Monday, December 28, 2009

633 days to go...

Well, I'm a year into this process and have completed 20 of 101 things. I had wanted to get to 30 by the end of the year, but sadly that did not happen.

However, I'm pretty happy with my progress to date. The following "things" have now been completed:

#7: Read a Brave New World
#9: Read Lord of the Rings trilogy
#12: Start a journal
#15: Get a manicure/pedicure (I definitely did this more than once!)
#19: Drink 6 glasses of water a day for 1 month
#22: Make a home first aid kit
#23: Keep a food diary for 30 days
#28: Find a white wine that I really, really like (also did this more than once!)
#31: Find a good farmers' market in Boston
#38: Refine the chore schedule
#39: Stick to chore schedule for 2 months straight
#40: Send Christmas cards in 2009
#54: Start a rainy day jar for change
#73: Celebrate our 1st anniversary
#74: Take a Duck Tour
#88: Finish converting family videos to DVD
#89: Start a blog to document this process
#92: Start a cooking blog
#93: Complete a proper spring cleaning
#94: Go to a Red Sox game at Fenway

In addition, I have another 10 things underway, though most will probably take a while longer to complete (quilt, I'm looking at you...)

Looking back, I think this year has been fairly productive. The blogging process has been so important in keeping me on track and encouraging me to complete many of these tasks. If I didn't feel like it was breathing down my neck all year, I probably wouldn't have finished half of these!

It's also a nice way to reflect upon the past year and all that has happened. While most of the things are minor, every day life sort of events, remembering the circumstances under which they were completed helps to remind me of all the fun stuff we've done this year. The Duck Tour was first completed when my mom and Isabel came to visit, and the Red Sox game was a result of Yuna's arrival. The spring cleaning was part of the ongoing process of falling in love with our apartment, and the food diary helped to make me more conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth every day.

All in all, I'm really excited to be continuing this process into 2010. Thanks again to everyone for their ongoing support!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

#63: Complete 5 DIY projects (wherein the author does a happy dance)

In the ongoing attempt to finish decorating our living room, I've been trying to add more colour and pattern to the room. I'm happy we chose neutral/solid prints for our couches (which are more permanent), but it means that the room can look a little plain without some pops of pattern in accent items.

One place I really want to add this accent is in the pillows on our couch. I picked up this fabric last time I was in Hamilton, and although I was originally planning on using it to recover a lampshade, I decided it would work better as a pillow cover.

I'm really happy I made this choice, since I think it looks fabulous! I'm really happy with the result, and even have leftover fabric to make another cover or use somewhere else. This is the first of at least 4 pillows that need to be made, but I think it's a great start.

Directions are here:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

#28: Find a white wine that I really, really like (wherein the author returns from an extended hiatus)

Hello folks. It has certainly been a while since I last posted here. I make no apologies for this however, as I've had an absolutely lovely summer, despite not having made much more progress on this list. That was one of the things that appealed to me about doing the 101 things: spreading out the list over such a long period of time allows for the natural peaks and valleys of commitment and success that come with goals and resolutions.

However, because I'm such a natural nerd, the return of the fall season can always be counted upon to spur me to do two things: 1) seek out a new fall wardrobe and 2) to renew my commitment to being organized and following through on goals. In my school-age years this obviously resulted in several weeks of meticulously organized binders and school planners, before I would inevitably return to my natural habits. In this case, I'm finding the colourful leaves and cool weather to be just what I needed to get going on my list again.

One of the accomplishments of the last few weeks included finding a white wine that I really enjoyed. I was a little hesitant about posting it here simply because it has such a silly name and certainly does not sound like a very serious wine, but I can't deny that this was one of the most enjoyable discoveries I've made in a while.

The Kung Fu Girls riesling from Washington State is described as follows:

An ever-so-slightly off-dry, zingy, wine with floral and pineapple aromas and flavors plus asian pear, apricot, quince, and a zesty lime peel with great minerality on the palate. This wine, from the strange mind of producer Charles Smith, is so sleek and racy that it never seems sweet. The grapes came from the rocky soils of the Evergreen Vineyard near the town of George, Washington. The vineyard lies on the crest of an undulating basalt ridge between 1300 and 1400 feet in elevation. The initial 250 acres were planted in 1998 with the balance of the current 450 acres completed in 2005. The soil is a shallow clay loam over basalt and caliche, contributing to the wines mineral tone and complex fruit flavors.

This wine is incredibly affordable ($14 in most places), and I'm hoping it's also available in Canada. If not, I'll make sure to stock up on a few bottles before my next trip home so that I can share the wealth.

Thank-you to the 2 or 3 remaining readers who have continued to check in on the status of this blog during my hiatus. I'm hoping to return to more regular posting in the coming weeks and knowing that there are a few people monitoring my progress is great incentive to get back to work.

I'd love to see some suggestions posted in the comments about which item from my list I should focus on next...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

#22: Make a home first aid kit

Okay, so clearly I've been a little behind in keeping up on my 101 things. However, the gods were clearly smiling down upon me this week as I received a total 'gimme' on #22. Our office was holding a 'Vendor Day' (opportunity for companies to come into the office and hold a bunch of giveaways in an attempt to get us to become customers). In addition to having won a free night at a Starwood hotel (I swear Starwood Hotels is not paying me to endorse them), I also got this sweet, free first aid kit:

How on earth could such a small kit contain all the necessities of a first aid kit, you might ask? Well, my friends, I invite you to behold the glory that is the new Meneer household's first aid kit:

- 10 bandaid of varying sizes
- 1 sterile non-stick pad
- 1 packet of pain relieving gel for burn relief
- 3 packets of antiobiotic for general disinfection
- 1 nasal and sinus decongestant
- 2 extra strength pain relievers
- 4 alcohol prep pads
- 2 (fruit flavoured!) antacids
- 1 sterile gauze pad
- 6 antiseptic towelettes
- 1 roll of medical tape

I am totally not above taking 'things' where I can get them!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

#63: Complete 5 DIY projects (wherein the author reminisces)

I totally stole this idea from one of my favourite new decor blogs, This Young House, and decided to make it my first DIY project. The idea actually came to me late at night a few weeks ago while I was staring at an already hanging picture frame and realizing it really needed to 'pepped up'. Once I remembered the scrapbooking paper I had stored in the back of a closet, the whole project came together.

I used keys from the various places that we've lived over the course of our relationship, and glued them to the scrapbooking paper. I inserted these pieces of scrapbook paper into the frames, and voila! instant nostalgi-art!

Isn't it super cute?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

#94: Go to a Red Sox game at Fenway (wherein the author takes up citizenship in the Red Sox Nation)

One of our closest friends, Yuna, came to visit us this past week on her way back from a trip to Washington. Her visit was truly fantastic, and while I wish I'd been able to take time off work to be able to show her sights, I know Nate did a fabulous job playing host.

Having friends and family come to visit is wonderful for so many reasons, but one of those is the excuse that it gives us to play tourist in our own city. Although Nate and Yuna probably walked the equivalent of several Boston marathons over the course of the week (including hiking up to the summit of Wachusett Mountain!), I luckily got to participate in a few of their outings. One of these was the highly anticipated Red Sox game on Thursday night.

Yuna is a massive baseball fan, and she was gracious enough to take time from watching the game to explain a few particularities of the team and the rules, making the whole experience even more fantastic. Fenway Park has such a sense of history and nostalgia to it, and even walking around in the hours preceding the game was a lot of fun. Boston is so good at creating a mood of excitement around its sports games, and just watching and listening to all of the busy action around us got us more than pumped for the amazing game to come. The night got off to a particularly good start with a dinner of sausage on a bun, eating while sitting on the curb outside of Gate C.

Although we ended up opting for the cheapest tickets available, all of us were pleasantly surprised by the position of our seats. Fenway is a small enough field that you feel pretty close to the action regardless of where you sit. We were particularly lucky to be almost dead centre outfield, and even though we weren't sitting in the covered section, we avoided the pretty constant drizzle throughout the game since we were sitting directly under the jumbotron. Pretty sweet!!

And of course, the best part was the phenomenal game itself. The definite highlight was the record breaking TWELVE-RUN sixth inning!! Yuna commented that she'd never heard of a sympathy cheer such as the one that the Boston fans bestowed upon the Cleveland Indians when they finally got their first out. Needless to say, the Sox won 13-3- we're pretty sure it had to do with how loudly we were French no less!

I also had to include this last photo, as it was the result of about 10 straight attempts to take a photo of the three of us. With every one of the first 10 being ruined by someone blinking, we decided to just screw it and take one with all of us blinking...much better!! (p.s. Don't you love how Yuna looks like an anime character when she closes her eyes like that?!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

103 days in...

So, I'm now 103 days into this process. According to the schedule, that puts me at 2 "things" behind, assuming I'm doing 1 every 10 days. I'm not overly concerned by this however, because I have several "things" that have been started (the quilt, AFI movies, perfecting casseroles, decorating the bedroom and living room, etc.) so I feel that there will inevitably be a bunch that get wrapped up around the same time.

I thought I would post this update thought to just put into words my thoughts about how the first 100 days have gone. I am loving this process: there are already so many activities that I would never have gotten around to beginning (or finishing!) if I didn't have the feeling of this blog breathing down my neck. They're mostly things that I have thought a lot about doing over the past few month or years (reading the LoTR trilogy and A Brave New World, developing a chore schedule, having fresh flowers in the house, trying new restaurants) but that I've never seemed to get around to accomplishing. I can only hope that this blog continues to compel me to get off my rear and put more of these idle daydreams into action.

I'm also enjoying having some people participate in this with me. I know of two other people who have begun their own 101 things list, and it's exciting to have others to share this experience with. And I really appreciate that there are other people reading this blog (we've been averaging 50 unique viewers per week), which is helping to hold me accountable for finishing this list. As I said from the beginning, my hatred for blogging has been overshadowed by my need for a mechanism for shaming me into following through on this.

Anyway, just wanted to give everyone who's been nice enough to indulge me by reading this blog a little update and a promise that there will be a bunch of new "things" getting crossed off the list in the next few weeks. Thanks for continuing to hold my feet to the fire!