Friday, December 17, 2010

#40: Make at least 5 hand-made gifts for Christmas

Since we're only 8 days away from Christmas, I thought it was a good time to make sure I have all my hand-made gifts made (or scramble over the next few days to get them done). I'm counting my homemade & semi-homemade gifts, so here they are.

1. Picture Calendar: I do this every year for my side of the family. Make the pages in my Digital Scrapbooking software, then upload & order at VistaPrint when they're having a sale (which is pretty much all the time). Huge hit!

2. Reindeer Pops: Made these for Little Man's preschool buddies. He was really excited about the "Flying Deer"! You can find out more about this project here.

3. Car Playmat: Little Man is getting an awesome playmat that I made from felt. This is a picture from the beginning stages, but unfortunately I forgot to take a finished picture & it's all wrapped up. I'll take a final picture later. You can read about this project here.

4. Christmas Pickles: These are pickles made from cucumbers out of our garden. I've done this the past two years and it's always a hit! I think the Christmas Pickle ornament & story behind it is a nice extra touch. Here's my post from last year describing it.

5. Jam: I canned a lot of jam this summer. I'm not sure what came over me, but it was definitely "year of the jam"! Although last year we gave everyone at Josh's work pickles, I opted for jam this year. Wishing them a "sweet" Christmas! Best of all, all the jam I made (except the Damson Jam) was low-sugar and even one batch of sugar-free for his diabetic co-worker.

6. Glass Ornaments with Vinyl: I made several of these glass ornaments with vinyl, which turned out oh so cute!

7. Candle with Vinyl: I also fancied these plain jar candles up with some red vinyl.

8. Etched Beer Stein: My Dollar Store mug looks great now that's it's etched with personalization.

I exceeded my 5 gift goal - yay! Also, these were all so frugal, yet not "cheap". Definitely something everyone can use or enjoy. And I had fun making them!

#41: Complete a Glass Etching Project

Well I did it! My first Glass Etching Project. However, I know it will not be my last. I loved how it turned out and I'm looking forward to doing more. Maybe it's just a Southern thing, but monogramming is so addictive!

There's more about this project on my regular blog, check it out here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#26: Read 15 Books (7/15)

I finished The Glass Castle tonight and I'm pretty sure my mouth hung open and my eyes opened wide in astonishment for almost the entire book. You see, this book is a memoir so all I could think about was "THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!" My words cannot describe this book, but I'd encourage anyone to read it. I almost gave up part of the way through because it was so hard to think about people, especially children, living in such conditions. However, I'd encourage you to read through to the end - it is just so good.

The author has a short video about the book - Check out the video here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#26: Read 15 Books (6/15)

I read this book last week. So cute & timely for the holiday season. Loved it and would recommend it to anyone, especially at this time of the year.

#42: Complete a Vinyl Project

Using my Silhouette, I completed a few vinyl projects as part of my handmade holiday goal (#40).

You can see more about these projects at my regular blog, Domestic Dabblings.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

#36: Create & Complete our "Family Book - 2007"

I finished up our Family Scrapbook for 2007. I plan to combine 2005-2007 into one book using Blurb, but after that each year is going to need it's own year since how many pictures we took went up exponentionally upon the birth of our Little Man.

This was one of the more "interesting" events that year - I had definitely never been to a "chain-race" before. Have you??

Most of my scrapbook pages are extremely simple. Just a background, lots of pictures, title with a little paragraph about the event. Pictures are the most important part to me anyway, so I'm not even wasting my time on all the "frilly" scrapbooking.

#26: Read 15 Books (5/15)

I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett tonight - so good! I really liked this book because I could (sort of) relate. The entire time I read this book I thought about my grandmother, how she grew up and when she started her family. It was very much like this book, although I'd like to think the happier side of the book. She and one of her "help" were some of the best of friends and even sat with the family at my grandmother's funeral. Takes my mind to another place and I'm glad is in the past.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#80: Visit Tanglewood (1/15)

Little Man & I enjoyed a beautiful day at the local park back in November. We started off on the big playground and were the only ones. I knew it was too good to be true. Not two minutes after we got there three school buses pulled up and unloaded a mob of school age children. We decided to leave and play on the smaller playground - he loved it! 

He learned to climb the climbing wall while we were there, which gave me a heart attack b/c it's almost 6 feet tall, but he was a pro!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#26: Read 15 Books (4/15)

I finished Jennifer Weiner's, Good in Bed. I enjoyed it but it took a few twists and turns I wasn't expecting from the title. Overall a good, easy read. I've also red In Her Shoes by the same author.

Friday, November 26, 2010

#52: Find a Local Source for Chicken

I guess I should have been a bit more specific when I said find a local source for chicken, as in BUY local chicken. I certainly have found one (Hopkins Poultry - you can find them on Facebook & highly recommended by a friend), but haven't made it over there yet. At about an hour away it's not super local. I'm sure there are more local options than this, but I just haven't been all that motivated to find them and go buy chicken. Our freezer is pretty full of local beef and pork, plus a number of whole chickens I buy at $0.59/lb to cook in the Crockpot and shred. It's really hard to forgo that price, so we'll have to see what the future brings in our chicken department.

#23: Fill an "Operation Christmas Child" box from our family

Technically, our family didn't fill a single box. We joined forces with Little Man's preschool and my MOPS group to fill a large number of boxes. Our MOPS group filled 21 boxes with a huge bag of leftovers that I took to Preschool for them to use in their boxes. Since my partner-in-crafting-crime co-Creative Activities coordinator  & I were in charge of this project, Little Man and I actually got take all the boxes to be dropped off, which he was very excited about. We also collected money for shipping, but put it on my debit card so we could track where our boxes end up. How cool!

I'm glad these will end up providing a little bit of Christmas for a child around the world, but I think it's important to remember there are plenty of people locally who are also in need, especially given the state of the economy right now. At my family's Thanksgiving this year, we collected can goods to be used for "Backpack Buddies". What a great, simple way to provide basic needs to those around us.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#26: Read 15 Books (3/15)

I quickly read Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. It was interesting, but not one of my favorite books of hers. Plain Truth is the best book I've read by Picoult - truly great! 

On to another book...just not sure which one (mostly because I'm way down on the library list for the books I really want to read).

Friday, November 5, 2010

#27: Take a Photography Class

I just finished a 6 week Intro to DSLR Photography course. I loved it and learned a lot! I'm nowhere near a pro, semi-pro, or even decent amateur, but at least I'm out of auto mode (most of the time). I learned basics, like aperture and shutter speed. I also learned some neat techniques like light painting and night time photography. My brother and I had a TON of fun practicing for that assignment.

I liked this class not only for what I learned, but because it allowed me to have some adult time to focus on something I was truly interested in. Although I'm living my dream life being a wife and stay-at-home mom, it's nice to be able to converse and learn about something completely different than kids, cooking, saving money, etc. I'm so blessed that my hubby was willing to shell out his hard earned money and spend 6 evenings single-parenting after long days at work. I hear there's going to be an intermediate class during the next term...that's definitely peaked my interest!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#14: Take a Bubble Bath

After a long hiatus from bubble baths, I have actually enjoyed several since I started the 101 in 1001 journey. I really enjoy a hot bath on a cold day with a good book to read and that's just what I've been doing!

#26: Read 15 Books (2/15)

I just finished the third Stieg Larsson novel, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I enjoyed this series, but was ready for it to end. The author went into so much detail that it was a bit long, but a good story overall. I've heard some buzz about movies...would love to see them if an American version is made (I'm not into subtitles).

I'm interested in reading The Hunger Games series and the Harry Potter books (one of the last on the planet to not read those yet), but I need a bit of a break from series novels. I think I'm going to read a Jodi Picoult book I picked up at the "bargain" section at Borders. I enjoy her novels very much!

Monday, November 1, 2010

#82: Visit a Pumpkin Patch

We made our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch las tweek. Pumpkin Patches have come a LONG way since I was a kid. At this farm, there are mazes, animals, a corn pit, hay house, hay tunnel, enormous slide, teepee & fort to play in, a train on actual tracks, plus the hay ride to pick out your pumpkin. So much fun for everyone!! And I mean Little Man and I were accompanied by my parents, grandparents, my brother and his girlfriend. It's wonderful to have so many people who love you!

Is it just me, or does he look like he came straight out of an LL Bean catalog?

Uncles & girlfriends are so much fun!

That was a big slide and we went fast! :)

#7: Go to the Dixie Classic Fair

I love the fair...the food, the people, the crafts, the animals, the vegetables...I love it all! I've always gone to the NC State Fair, but where I live now that is not the fair to go to. Instead, everyone goes to the Dixie Classic Fair, so I had to check it out. It was enjoyable, far less crowded than the State Fair and much more relaxing with a toddler in tow. However, I don't think anything can beat the State Fair to me. 

Little Man enjoyed riding as he got used to all the sights, sounds, smells, and people.

He is a lover of animals, so naturally the petting zoo was a hit.

When he was tired of riding in the stroller, he happily rode on his Uncle's shoulders. 
Much better view from up there!

His favorite part of the fair were the Pig Races. He screamed "Go PIG go!" and "Run PIG run!" long after the races were over. He even enjoyed Swifty, the swimming pig (featured below).

#12: Go on a Picnic (1/5)

While on our weekend getaway, we also accomplished #12 on my list - go on a picnic. Since we spent the entire day at Biltmore on Friday and food is on the pricey side there, I decided to pack us a picnic. I had planned a long picnic with beautiful mountain views, but it was surprisingly over 90 degrees that day, so we chose to cool off in the shade of a tree and enjoy our lunch instead.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#15: Get a manicure & pedicure

Last week was a doozy! Lots of crazy and some not so great stuff happened, so my mom and I decided to take a break from the chaos and enjoy a little time together. We snuck away to get mani/pedis and it was delightful! Just what we needed to provide a little relaxation and pampering among a stressful time.

Monday, September 27, 2010

#35: Create & Complete "Family Book - 2006"

I finished up the last of our Family Scrapbook from 2006 tonight. These are so much easier than our current ones are going to be because we took so few pictures! Only big events were photo worthy, not our everyday life. I'm making these scrapbooks very basic, the focus is definitely on the photos, not any fancy scrapbooking techniques. The photos are what I'm most interested in anyway. Here's one page from the book...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

#26: Read 15 Books (1/15)

My goal is to read 15 books during these 1001 days. I've read one so far and I'm on to the second. When I started this, I was reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, but I didn't want to count that book since I was already half-way through it. I finished it and now the second book in the series. 

I really liked this book! It's a bit darker than what I typically read, but I've really enjoyed reading them. I had to speed through this second book because my husband starting reading the first and is flying through it. I didn't want him to have to wait for me! Now I'm on to the third, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. I've heard it's just as good as the second so I'm sure I'm in for a treat!

#79: Weekend Getaway without Little Man (1/3)

As I've already mentioned, we went to the mountains and visited Biltmore Estate this weekend without our Little Man. It was so relaxing to be on an adult schedule and just enjoy each other without the constant toddler interruptions. Even though we enjoyed our time away, we were so excited for him to wake up from his nap when we got home so we could give him lots of hugs and kisses - we missed him!

Self-portrait on the Blue Ridge Parkway on our drive back to the mountain house after a long, hot day at Biltmore.

#2: Visit the Mountains (1/3)

This weekend was spent in the NC Mountains - a place I love to go to relax. I'm a beach girl at heart, but there's something so peaceful and calming about the mountains (after we get to our destination - those mountain roads are SCARY!). 

We were celebrating my hubby's 30th Birthday for this trip sans our little one. I am not a late sleeper, so while my sweet honey slept in, I enjoyed coffee on the deck while having my quiet time and reading my book. A doe and her fawn even walked through the yard Saturday morning and stared right at me. They must have known I wasn't a threat because they took their sweet time nibbling berries and leaves around the yard. 

#1: Visit Biltmore Estate

My hubby and I had a weekend away in the mountains (#2) by ourselves (#79) to celebrate his 30th Birthday. We had a great time! Our first day we visited Biltmore Estate. That place was amazing! I really loved Antler Hill Village on the property which had a "Kitchen Garden", Animal Barn, and a winery - that sounds like my kind of place! The house was quite impressive, but that was more for my history buff hubby. Not quite the nice fall weather I was hoping for - it was 90+ the day we visited Biltmore. I was hot & tired by the end of the day!

The rest of the weekend was spent eating way too much and relaxing to a level that should be illegal. It was fabulous to just lay around, watch football, read, eat, and spend time together.

Note: Even though we toured the winery at Biltmore and enjoyed the tasting, I'm not going to count it as #11: Visit a NC Winery. I want that to be a separate and unique experience.

#58: Start Canning Something New

A sweet friend of mine (who is expecting twins!) gave me two bags full of apples from another friend's tree. Understandably, she didn't have the time or energy to do anything with them so I gladly accepted!

These apples obviously aren't shiny and polished from the grocery store, but they smelled and tasted delicious (a little tart). They did have some bad spots that had to be cut out - no big deal.

I used my trusty peeler-corer-slicer that my grandmother gave to me. This thing is a lifesaver when working with apples!

Apple slices waiting in a big bowl...

I've only canned applesauce in the past and I don't add sugar. The reason I can get away with that is because I use a variety of apples - some tart and some sweet. This gives it a great taste with no need for added sugars. Well, this batch was tart and I only had these apples, so I had to think of something different to do. I looked at my Ball Blue Book of Preserving and decided to try my hand at Apple Butter and just canned apples in a light syrup (can be used later for baking or pureed into applesauce if I find some other apples to mix in).

It tastes great, but I'm not sure I got the consistency right (I'd never actually eaten Apple Butter before).  I was afraid of pureeing the apples too much because the recipe warned against liquefying the apples. I have no idea if the apple butter turned out like it was supposed to. Nevertheless, I'll take taste over texture any day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#34: Create Family Book - 2005

It's amazing what motivation a list can make! Tonight we didn't have much on TV we wanted to watch, so we turned on something mindless and I worked on our family scrapbook for 2005 (I'm mostly a digital scrapper). I've decided to do one for each year of marriage, sort of like a family yearbook. I took WAY fewer pictures before Little Man came along, so I didn't have too much to work through with this album, which made it come together quickly!

I wanted to show some of the pages, but they all (but this one) had personal info that I didn't want on the web. So here is one page from our Honeymoon. Simple & sweet, but memories all in one place.

It is amazing to me how much digital cameras & picture quality have improved in the last 5 years!

 So, #34 is checked off the list! Well I guess not technically since it's not printed yet, but that's the easy part thanks to Costco, so I'm declaring it official!

The Challenge: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching outside your norm.

Why 1001 Days? 
The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is enough time to allow you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks.

Start Date:  September 7, 2010
End Date: June 4, 2013
(using this calculator)

This post officially checks #100 off my list!

This wording was taken almost verbatim from Becky's 101 Goals in 1001 Days. I loved how she had her list divided into categories, so I did the same.