Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trying Again!

I've just set up a new 101 Challenge for myself here:

Rachel Tries 101 Challenges in 1001 Days...Again

My unofficial goal this time is to complete more items than I did with this first one! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wrap Up

So, I ended up completing only 58 of the 101 items on my list. I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed with that. I figured I wouldn't finish all 101, but I hoped to get a little closer than 58. Anyway, we were really busy this Spring, and I neglected all my blogging, unfortunately right at the end of this challenge. So, I'm thinking about starting a new 101 challenge, and trying to top my measly 58! :)

I wanted to point out a few of my favorites, or things that we implemented that really stuck:

1. Start using our cloth grocery bags.
I'm really proud that we are still using them. We've saved money with them, and eliminated so many plastic bags from our lives. Love these, my only regret is that it took us so long to get started using them!

25. Write a novel from start to finish.
I cheated a little when I crossed this off, because I'd just finished the book I'd been working on for years. But, I did write a new book from start to finish at the beginning of the year, in 2.5 months, and I'm pretty proud of that!

93. Foster an animal in need.
This had been in the back of my mind as something I'd like to do, but I didn't imagine us becoming foster parents while Liam was still so young. We've had 4 foster dogs so far (Moose, Murphy, Mojo, and Justice) and it has without a doubt been one of the most meaningful and rewarding things I've ever done in my life. Our last foster especially, Justice, was our first dog straight from the shelter, and watching him blossom with us was amazing. We fell in love and very nearly kept him, but it does make me happy to know he is now happy and well loved in his new home.

And then, there were a few things I was really disappointed I didn't get to cross off, so I think I'm going to give the 101 list another try, and see if I can do better this time! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Final Tally

19. Complete 30 new arts and crafts projects with Liam.
I didn't get pictures of them all, but we enough arts and crafts to complete this one.

33. Learn a new skill.
This skill ended up being writing. I thought I knew how to write when I started this blog, but once I started taking classes, I realized I had no idea what I was doing! I do understand the mechanics of writing now. I'm still learning to implement it all into my work, but I'm sure writing is a skill that you never stop improving.

43. Organize the office.
Oh, how I wish I had a proper "before" picture of the embarrassment that was our office. Let's just say it was a mess. Piles of boxes, paper and junk covering the whole floor. A Bow-flex taking up the middle of the room. It was also bright blue (which we loved, but painted over to put the house on the market) and we had started to cover the walls with concert posters and other fun stuff, but never finished. Anyway, here's what it looks like now that it's been cleaned up, repainted, and organized:
(Photo coming soon!)

77. Regain my abs and core body strength.
This was sort of a post-baby goal, and yes, my abs and core body strength are back to what they were before I had Liam.

87. Redo our guest bath.
This wasn't a huge re-do, but I dressed it up some before we listed the house. A new shower curtain, accessories, towel, etc.

Total Completed: 58/101

Friday, November 4, 2011

October 2011 Progress

Completed in October: 1/101
Current Total: 53/101

19. Complete 30 new arts & crafts projects with Liam (21/30).

After we went pumpkin picking, Liam picked out a couple of little pumpkins for our table centerpiece. He painted them blue, then covered them in orange glitter. They actually came out SO cute, they just didn't photograph well.

We also went on a leaf gathering walk and did some leaf rubbings. He enjoyed the walk much more than the rubbing, and again they did not photograph well LOL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

39. Visit Massachusetts.

Liam and I just got home from a weeklong trip to Massachusetts. We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends and introducing Liam to Boston!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

September 2011 Progress

Completed in September: 1/101
Current Total: 52/101

19. Complete 30 new arts & crafts projects with Liam (19/30).

Liam was home sick from school one day, so we had some fun with glitter. He told me what to "draw" with glue, then he sprinkled glitter on it:

We also made this train with pom poms glued to paper:

Monday, September 19, 2011

85. Enter a writing contest.

Eek! I entered my first writing contest today, the Emily. Wish me luck. If I'm feeling brave, maybe I'll post the results over on my writing blog. Finalists will be announced December 15th. I don't expect to get that far, but hopefully the feedback will be helpful (and not too harsh!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 2011 Progress

Completed in August: 2/101
Current Total: 51/101

19. Complete 30 new arts & crafts projects with Liam (17/30).

We were stuck at home one day while Hurricane Irene blew by, so we decided to tackle some arts & crafts. I saw an egg carton in the recycle bin, so we pulled it out and made egg carton ants and an egg carton caterpillar:

Then we cut this airplane out of a USPS box. Liam added the googly eyes so that it would look like Jeremy the Jet plane from Thomas the Train:

We got bored later that day, and there were packing peanuts that had come in the box we cut up to make the plane. I googled packing peanuts, and did you know that if you get them wet, they become sticky? You can stick them together and make all kinds of stuff. We stuck some to paper, and well, the results weren't too impressive. You have to get just the tiniest bit of water on them or they dissolve completely, so our peanut trains melted, but...we will try this again on another rainy day!

3 crafts in one day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

57. Go whale watching.

While we were in Redondo Beach, we went on a whale watch. This time of year, blue whales migrate past southern California, so we were excited to go see them.

First off, we saw a Mola Mola, which is the largest bony fish in the ocean.

Next, we saw 2 minke whales, likely a mother and calf.

And finally, blue whales! We saw 4. They were lunge feeding, which was very cool. They would shoot up from below with their mouths open to capture plankton, lunge up into the air, then roll onto their sides back into the water. The photos are not that impressive, but here are a pair of blue whales lunging out of the water:

2 whales spouts:

I'm so glad we were able to do this. I have a special fondness for marine mammals!

68. Go to at least 5 concerts (3/5).

While we were in Vegas, I saw Celine perform at Caesar's Palace. I've seen her in concert a few times before (like 10-15 years ago) and while she's not currently in my iPod I am a long time fan, so I was looking forward to the chance to see her in Vegas. The show was good, although in the middle she got a little too show tunes-y for my taste, instead of performing her own songs. But overall I really enjoyed it.

24. Take a vacation without Liam.

Bill and I took a 5 day trip to Vegas and CA for Chrissy and Paul's wedding. We very much enjoyed the getaway time, and Liam was spoiled rotten by grandparents.

Chrissy and Paul's awesome Elvis wedding!

After 3 nights in Vegas, we headed to Redondo Beach for 2 nights.

Monday, August 1, 2011

July 2011 Progress

Completed in July: 3/101
Current Total: 49/101

19. Complete 30 new arts & crafts projects with Liam (14/30).

2 more crafts with Liam this month. First, we made some pipe cleaner animals one morning when it was too hot to go outside to play. A dino, a spider and a duck:

We also had a playdate at a pottery painting place, and Liam made some tiles. The first small tile he made was for us. I made the mistake of letting him mix his 4 chosen colors (blue, green, red and purple) all together to make a barf worthy brown. After that I split his colors for the 2 larger tiles we were making for the grandmas.

Red and purple:

Blue and green:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

5. Read 101 books (101/101).

Done! And enjoyed every minute of it! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

#35 Go to a wine tasting, and #50 Date night

This weekend, Liam spent the night at his grandparents' house, and Bill and I took the chance to go out. We drove up to the Rock of Ages Winery for a wine tasting. We bought 3 bottles of wine. Ironically, the ones I liked best were the cheapest, hopefully buying more than 1 bottle makes it still count! :)

We then stopped in Durham on the way home for some tapas at Cuban Revolution. The food was TERRIBLE. Yuck. How I wish we had a Bongo's Cuban Cafe up here. Anyway, it was still nice to get out for a munchkin free date night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

19. Complete 30 new arts & crafts projects with Liam (12/30).

So Liam and I have been busy trying out a few arts and crafts projects this summer. Some have come out well, some not so much.

Here we tried painting with cookie cutters (something he'd done at school). It came out okay, nothing special. Liam chose to use his dino cookie cutters:

Here we tried another variation of a project Liam had done at school. We made a boat. We tried first with a milk jug, but it was a fail, so we tried again with a juice carton. It was the perfect shape for a boat:

We wrapped it in foil, and gave it a sail.

And tried it out in the bath tub (of course). The sail, as I feared, got a little heavy and fell over, but the boat was a lot of good bath tub fun!

After we got home from the beach last month, we made hand print octopuses (octupi?) and accessorized with googly eyes. This one was fun, and I thought they came out super cute!

Finally, we tried some homemade play dough. We didn't have any cream of tartar, so we just used the old school flour/salt/water recipe. Liam enjoyed mixing.

He was pleased with the results, but the play dough was pretty gooey.

We decided it would be better played with inside plastic bags.

Bill was able to firm up the green with some extra flour, and Liam made this play dough train: