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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My 101 in 1001

Have you seen these lists?  101 in 1001.  I've run across it in Blogland here and there in the last few years but it wasn't until a few months ago when a friend blogged about starting her own 101 list that it really sparked my interest.  I ended up blog hopping from one list to another for a couple hours that night while sitting on the couch watching who-knows-what with the husband.  I even read a few of the unique or funny ones out loud to Sam and we idly talked about a few things we would put on our own lists.  The idea stuck with me and I found myself Googling more lists when I had a some down time while waiting at the bus stop, etc.  And pretty soon I had my own list of around 47 items and decided I may as well commit to it.

But wait - maybe I've lost a few of you.  As far as I can tell, the idea links back to the Day Zero Project (info found here) and this is how they describe the concept:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.                    
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).
Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

All right, so are you ready to see my own list?  (Taking a deep breath here, once I put it all out there in black and white I'm committed!  And as you can see, I actually started my list a few months ago and am just now taking the leap to post it LOL)

Start date: Monday, January 21, 2013
End Date: Monday, October 19, 2015
Alayna’s 101 in 1001
1 - Hit goal weight
2 -Get my flexibility back
3 -Make exercise part of my weekly routine
4 -Gradually edit/add to wardrobe until I love everything in it and how it makes me look.  Then resolve only to buy things I LOVE
5 -Make wearing make-up a habit
6 -Make wearing jewelry/accessorizing a habit
7 -Buy a pair of really cute and COMFY boots
8 -Find my best beauty routine
9 -Buy a really great peacoat/trench
10 -NO eating out for one month
11 -Take vitamins (have been doing this pretty much daily for at least the last month 2/2013)
12 -Find out my blood type (I’m sure I did at some point but I can’t remember it!)
For Fun:
13 -plan a really great Halloween costume, for once
14 -stay up til Midnight on New Year’s Eve
15 -take at least one big family vacation per year (in addition to visiting family in Utah) (One down!  Disney World Feb 2013)
16 -take the kids camping
17 -take the kids sledding (winter trip to Utah?)
18 -do something fun/social/girly at least once per month (3/33)
19-21 -visit some of the places we are only likely to visit while we are living here.  Complete at least 3 of the following:
                -Myrtle Beach
                -Colonial Williamsburg
                -New York City
                -Washington DC
                -Blue Ridge Highway during the Fall
                -Outer Banks
22 -go to Disney World (Feb 2013)
23 -take a class for fun (dance, cooking, photography, etc)
24 -try 10 new restaurants (3/10)
25 -visit a restaurant that has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
26 -get the kids a puppy (haha this happened sooner than I thought.  March 17, 2013.  St Patrick's Day!)
27 -invite friends/neighbors over for dinner
28 -pick a book/series and read it as a family
29 -go to a concert
30 -go berry picking
31 -ice skating
32 -Disney on Ice
33 -go horseback riding
34 -go boating
35 -do something ridiculous and outrageous

36 -call W at least 1/month (3/33)
37-call B at least 1/month (3/33)
38 -go on a “date” with Sam at least once a month (day dates count!) (4/33)
39 -institute regular one on one or dates with the kids
 -write an I love you letter to:
43 -make a new friend
44 -send happy mail to someone at least once a month (1/33)
45 -plan something great for our 15th Anniversary
46 -weekend away with Sam, without kids
47 -go to a movie with Sam (I know, I know – it’s harder than it looks!  We rarely get babysitters and when we do there is rarely a movie out that we both want to see so our dates are usually dinner out and shopping)

48 -gain a working knowledge of Photoshop
49 -practice taking photos 3 times per week for at least a month
50 -take family photos once a month for a year (1/12)
51 -start scrapbooking again
52 -then COMPLETELY finish an entire scrapbook
53 -go totally manual with the camera and be comfortable with it
54 -read Exposures book all the way through
55 -some sort of crafty time with someone else at least every other month (3/16)
56 -make something visual to remind me of my Word for the Year
57 -make at least 10 of the items I have pinned on Pinterest (5/10, Christmas card booklet, Easter 2x4 animals, 2x4 flower pots, glue gun holder, patching jeans)
58 -find a piece of thrift store furniture and refinish it (found 2 chairs! 3/2012  Now to reupholster them!)
59 -take some of the photos from my Photo Idea List (ie: Kaitlyn in my wedding gown, a single location during each season (tree-lined highway or that swampy area down the road), bokeh with Christmas lights background)

Money/Work Related:
 -grow the blog
                60 -consistant and regular blog posts (let’s say at least 2 per week)
                61 -work on SEO and tags
                62 -comment on other blogs a lot more
                63 -link parties (at least 2 per week?)
64 -write up a few of my crochet patterns and list on Etsy
65 -pay off all debt (except house and maybe truck.  Hopefully the truck too, but let’s be realistic)
66 -start savings accounts for the kids
67 -take the leap and start doing a few photo sessions for profit
68 -set up a better accounting system for Etsy

Because I need to:
69 -organize and back up photos
70 -re-do recipe binder
71 -complete at least 5 Random Acts of Kindness
72 -surprise someone
73 -continue Project 365/52 (I was great about posting once a week until Christmas and I'm having a hard time catching up again)
74 -update kids’ journal files
75 -give the kids more regular chores, have them help more around the house (new chores started 4/21/2013 - so far so good!)
76 -work up menus list (at least 6 weeks’ worth for both Summer and Winter) and then USE them
77 -complete at least 10 projects that have been on my perpetual To Do list for a long time (0/10)
78 -make annual Spring Cleaning list and complete it (a reasonable list, not an insane list!) (working on it!  lots of progress this week 4/5/2013)
79 -try 10 new recipes (4/10 crockpot ranch tacos, Sonoma chicken salad, cream puff cake, chicken enchiladas)
80 -update IPOD (especially playlist for working out)
81 -find a technology recycling place and drop off the broken TV (that thing has been taking up space in the bedroom for almost 3 months now!)
82 -stock the garage freezer
83 -get a new cell phone (3/2013)
84 -re-evaluate and make decision on TV/cell/internet services (3/2013)
85 -declutter the craft table then make a point of doing it every day before bed and right after finishing a project for an entire month (then hopefully it becomes a habit) (0/31)
86 -don’t go to bed with dirty dishes in sink or on counter for an entire month (again – hopefully a habit after that!) (0/31)
87 -finish 72 hour kits and emergency prep
88 -go to the eye doctor

For the House:
-fill in some of the empty space in the living room.  At least:
                89 -something on the walls
                90 -console table
                91 -ottoman(s)
92 -print, frame and display family photos
93 -furniture for front porch
94 -plant flowers every Spring (April 2013)
95 -finish decorating Tyler’s room
96 -make centerpiece for the dining table for all the big holidays/seasons (Spring, Fall, Christmas, everyday)
97 -throw pillows for the couch
98 -rug for entry
99-blinds for living room and craft room
100 -Kaitlyn’s room:  bulletin board and lamp
101 -lamps for master bedroom, alarm clock for my side of the bed (because I'm too blind to see the clock on Sam's side without getting up)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Patched Up

Holes, holes, everywhere!  I guess it's the curse of having active children, right?  Usually mine are pretty good about not destroying their clothing.  But a few weeks ago it seemed like every single pair of Tyler's jeans was suddenly sprouting holes in the knees - not good!  So I took stock of the problem.  Yep!  4 pairs of Tyler's jeans had at least one hole and 4 pairs of Kaitlyn's jeans too.  EIGHT PAIRS!  Plus a couple of shirts that the puppy snagged with her teeth.
It's April and the kids have less than two months left of school.  ou know all of their current pants are going to be too short by the end of the summer so I really didn't want tYo replace any of them right now.  What was I to do, but turn to Pinterest for inspiration? LOL 
It didn't take long to find quite a few fun and easy options.
Tyler's got some "monster knees" (the camo ones got this treatment too and are even cuter, but he grabbed them and wore them before I had a chance to take photos and I've forgotten to snap a pic when he has them on)

I also did a little reverse applique (on the left) and experimented with the fabric glue when I got sick of picking apart the inside seams in order to fit the pants in the sewing machine.  So far the ones with the fabric glue are wearing just as well as the other ones - yay!  (Good to know because using fabric glue is so much easier and faster than sewing!)
Kaitlyn wanted to go with hearts and butterflies, so I did a variety of applique, reverse applique, and fabric glue on hers.
All those fabric scraps from other projects really do come in handy, as does saving a few pairs of old jeans.
So now we're all Patched Up.  The days are mostly warm now so I'm pretty confidant that the next mending session won't involve patches but possibly turning old jeans into cut-offs for the summer.

Life with a puppy...

 She's adorable and a sweetheart - and she's taken over our lives!  I knew puppies were a lot of work, really I did.  But that knowledge doesn't make the adjustment any easier.  People compare puppies to newborns or toddlers - they wake up in the middle of the night, they insist on attention, you can't leave them unattended anywhere, and your whole schedule now revolves around how long you dare let them go in between trips outside to potty (the answer to that one is NOT LONG) - and they have a point, obviously.  So I have to admit that I am still mourning the loss of the freedom I found when my youngest started school.  Or maybe I should adjust my perspective and look at all the things the puppy has added to our lives...
Dog toys all over the living room floor.  A giant dog crate in the bedroom. The Spot Bot (total lifesaver invention!) that has taken up permanent residence in the pantry (for easy access when we have to clean up accidents).

Restricted access to the second floor (the first week she was here she was afraid to go up the stairs and we thought "great!  we've got it made!"  That didn't last long obviously so I went searching for options on Pinterest.  This gate design is Japanese, I think, and works pretty well.  We wanted something free-standing and easy for the kids to move)
A doggy door in the screen porch.

A bathroom that constantly smells like dog.  (This is where she eats and where she hangs out when she needs a break or we are running errands.  And yes, we usually find her under the toilet like that lol.  She's not going to be happy when she gets too big to fit back there!)

And two extremely happy kiddos!
And really that's what it's all about.  Despite the adjustments, this not-so-little-anymore bundle of the softest-fur-you've-ever-petted is a good addition to our family.  We all love her.  And I've seen a whole new side of the kids when it comes to taking responsibility and caring for the puppy.  They don't even complain when we send them out in the back yard with a shovel and a bucket to scoop up the you-know-what! :P

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quick Cards

 I love scrapbooking - playing with all the fun patterns and colors, the embellishments, all the fun layouts...but I haven't taken the time to do any real scrapbooking in probably three years (eek!).  I promised myself I would start scrapbooking again this year, but the closest I usually get is applying scrapbook paper to countdown blocks.  During our little crafty time over Spring Break, I did however manage to make some cards - go me!  My friend was working on hair bows (which turned out really cute and I may have to create some for Kaitlyn now) but I needed a bunch of cards for Girl Scouts, so I pulled out the patterned paper scraps and off I went.  I forgot how much fun it is, and how easily cards come together.  (It totally had me missing our monthly card making group in my old neighborhood!)

In only a couple of hours (or less - who can tell with kids running around and dinner to make in the middle of it all?) I had 6 birthday cards (hopefully that is all we will need until the end of the year) for the girls

 a couple of thank you cards for our special guests (an EMT for our first aid/safety badge, and our trip to the cupcake bakery last night, which was so much fun!)
and while I was at it, I made a couple of thank you cards for the girls to sign for my co-leaders.  April 22 is Volunteer Appreciation Day and they deserve the recognition.

Sometime soon maybe I can pull out the photos and really scrapbook, but first I have orders to box up and drying racks to paint and dinner prep to think about...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spur of the Moment Crafting

It was Spring Break for the kids this week and we were lucky enough to have some friends visiting for a few days.  It was an absolute blast - fun, busy, chaotic, loud (with 6 kids and a puppy how could it not be?!), exhausting - and totally worth it.  Normally when my friend Audrey and I get together we work in a little bit of craft time and this week was no exception.  I can't remember what we were looking for on my Pinterest boards when we ran across this little project and instantly said "hey we can do that now!"  And thanks to our wood scrap box, we had everything we needed at No Cost (yay!) right here waiting for us.
 So any guesses what these are? lol  One of the girls said they look like boats - and I'd have to agree.  But in reality they are...
 Glue Gun Holders!  It probably took us a total of 30 minutes (not counting drying time for the spray paint) to make up a set of two holders for each of us.  They are still missing a scrap tile piece to catch the drips, but other than that I'm totally set!  I can't wait to see how they work! 

Oh! and the original inspiration for these can be found here.  We didn't stick strictly to her measurements.  The scrap dowel pieces we had were all about 4" long and they worked just fine.  We also moved them a bit closer together and put the wooden block closer to them as well.  That just seemed to work better, especially for the smaller low-temp glue gun.
We did a few more projects in between fun activities with the kids.  I'll post those later!  Happy Sunday!