Tuesday, January 13, 2015

101 in 1001 - Round 2!

Several years ago I discovered the 101 in 1001 challenge: complete 101 tasks in 1001 days.  I created a list, completed some of the items on the list, and then slowly but surely forgot about the list - the exact thing I said I wasn't going to do!  I'm extremely disappointed that I abandoned my first list so I decided to make it up to myself by creating another list (many items from the first list are now on this list) and I'm determined to stick with the challenge this time.

101 in 1001
Start: 12:00am January 1, 2015
End: 12:00am September 28, 2017

Organize my computer files
Complete the 100 Happy Days challenge
Make five recipes from Pinterest
Complete a 1,000-piece puzzle by myself
Learn five new songs on the piano
Make a pie on pi day
Carve a pumpkin using a carving kit
Make a gingerbread house

Complete five arts/crafts from Pinterest
Learn how to applique
Learn how to embroider
Learn how to crochet
Learn how to knit
Learn how to paper quill
Complete at least one piece of origami
Complete one paper mache project
Complete one project that requires Modge Podge
Try my watercolor pencils
Give my scrapbooking desk a facelift

Read a book of poems
Read a book of short stories
Read a classic novel
Read a memoir
Read an autobiography
Read a biography
Read a nonfiction book
Read a book from the "self-help" section
Read a book series
Reread a book I don't remember
Read a banned book during Banned Book Week
Read all novels written by an author
Read 101 books during this challenge
Keep a list of all the books I read during this challenge
Read one Christmas novel each Christmas season of this challenge
Listen to an audiobook
Read a novel then watch the movie
Watch a classic movie
Watch a documentary
Watch a foreign film
Watch a silent film
Watch a movie series
Rewatch a movie I don't remember
Watch all movies starring a favorite actor or actress
Watch 25 Christmas movies from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day each season of this challenge
Watch an entire television series from beginning to end

Go on a strudel ride with dad
Make cheesebuttons with mom
Visit all the thrift stores in town in one day with sissy
Make dog treats for Crickett
Host a crockpot party
Send a fun piece of mail to someone once a month for a year
Give five handmade gifts
Give ten handmade cards

Whiten teeth
Try acupuncture
Play Bingo at a bingo hall
Go snowshoeing
Ride a horse
Get a tattoo

Run a 5K
Run a 10K
Run a half-marathon
Run a relay race
Complete the one-hundred push-ups challenge
Complete the one-fifty dips challenge
Complete the two-hundred sit-ups challenge
Complete the two-hundred lunges challenge
Complete the two-hundred squats challenge
Become flexible enough to touch my toes
Go for a run while on a trip/vacation
Bike to work at least once

Volunteer at the local humane society
Volunteer at the library's used book sale
Go through the Garden Walk
Go through the Holiday Home Walk
Attend a local Symphony-Orchestra concert
Visit the new Heritage Center
Visit the former Governor's Mansion
Ride the Lewis and Clark Riverboat
Travel the Enchanted Highway
Visit Dickens Village

Organize digital photos
Organize and scan film photos
Read "point and shoot" manual
Read DSLR manual
Start and complete Project 365
Photograph five North Dakota towns
Work my way through my Photoshop tutorial book
Read Photo Idea Index
Read Photo Idea Index: People
Read Photo Idea Index: Places
Read Photo Idea Index: Things
Create and complete my own photo-of-the-day challenge
Take a fun perspective photo
Recreate an old photograph
Have a professional family picture taken

Buy new glasses
Buy a piano
Create or be part of a Relay for Life team in honor of my mother-in-law
Thank an employee for great service and notify the manager

Monday, January 5, 2015

Word of the Year, 2015 Edition

I've decided to jump on the "word of the year" bandwagon.  I love the idea of having a single word help guide you through the year, something to focus on when you need inspiration or a simple reminder.  I had the perfect word jump out at me in December while I was pondering the new year ahead.

gray (grā) n. a shade between, or mixture of, black and white

As much as I'd like life to be black and white, it's not.  Very few things in life are that simple and clear-cut and while I understand this fact, I have a hard time accepting it.  My mind is set on "all or nothing" and has been for as long as I can remember.  I've definitely become more flexible over the years but I still stress myself out on a near daily basis by not being able to meet myself somewhere in the middle, somewhere in that "something" range.  Gray is the color of compromise - it sits between the extremes of black and white, after all - and that is exactly what I need to start doing, compromising with myself.  I need to teach myself that it's okay to live in the mixtures of black and white where everyone else is living, where all the best things in life are waiting.  I need to start living in the gray spectrum because if I don't, I'm going to miss out on being the happiest and healthiest version of myself that I know can be.

So, here's to learning to live in the grays in 2015.  It's going to be hard but I suspect it will be a lot prettier of a place.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! God bless!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday 13: 2014 Etsy Christmas Finds

Since next week is Christmas and I love Etsy, I thought I would see what wonderful items should be under my tree.  I do believe this is going to become an every-holiday, every-year kind of post.  So much fun!

1.  Pretty Christmas tree necklace.  Lots of other really great necklaces in the shop, too!

Etsy shop

2.  I love holiday garland!

Etsy shop

3.  Charming vintage jewelry Christmas tree.  So many gorgeous arrangements in this shop!

Etsy shop

4. Beautiful nativity scene.

Etsy shop

5.  Cozy quilt.

Etsy shop

6.  I love holiday pillows!  Mr. Rudolph's nose would even match our couch.

Etsy shop

7.  I am so in love with this painting.  It's so magical; I wish I could jump right into the scene!

Etsy shop

8.  I own no holiday wreaths and think I should probably change that in 2015 since wreaths always seem to make it on these lists of mine.  How pretty are those felt flowers?

Etsy shop

9.  I would never wear this but I thought it was absolutely adorable!  Such a fun, festive dress!

Etsy shop

10.  What an easy little change to make a room more festive!

Etsy shop

11.  How charming is this Santa train planter?

Etsy shop

12.  Vintage carolers.  I don't have any carolers in my Christmas collection and think I should probably fix that by getting these lovely ladies.

Etsy shop

13.  Noel candle holders.  I'm kind of a sucker for anything with holly.

Etsy shop

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014 Ornaments

I'll be the first to admit that shaping and fluffing the Christmas tree is an infuriating process for me; I turn into someone even more rotten than the Grinch.  It is the only thing I don't like doing at Christmastime.  Once I open the boxes of ornaments, though, I can't help but cheer up; my heart grows three sizes.  So many pretty baubles and charming characters that bring memories flooding back.  I absolutely love the collection Mitch and I have made and add to every year.

This year Mitch and I continued our tradition of bringing home a Christmas ornament from every vacation destination; this little guy joined our assortment in February after our trip to Las Vegas.

Our 2014 Hallmark Keepsake ornament is a combination of two of my loves: popcorn and snowmen.  When you activate the ornament, the machine illuminates and popcorn falls as "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" plays.  It is so adorable!  Go watch the video here.

Poppy Holidays

It's a blizzard of popcorn!
All fluffy and white,
it blows and it drifts - 
what a magical sight!
A "snowman" pops up
to complete the cool scene,
as the fun just keeps falling
in this merry machine!

Did you add any new ornaments to your collection this year?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Six Years Old

Our little girl turned six years old today!  Where has the time gone?!

To help Crickett celebrate her special day, Mitch and I got her a little cake from a local dog bakery specializing in healthy, all natural products.  The cake was made of ground buffalo and rice with a mashed potato frosting (yum, huh?); it smelled absolutely disgusting to me but must have been quite delicious because it sure didn't take long for Crickett to gobble it up.

Best picture I could get as the little girl was way too excited to pose nicely.
Happy Birthday, our beautiful little Crickett!  We love you to pieces!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas treats have been made (and devoured).

Christmas decorations have been put out.

Christmas movies have been watched.

It truly is the most wonderful time of year.  Hands down.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Happenings: Crickett

I thought I should write a little about November while it's still November!  I attempted to summarize this month a couple of time before but got overwhelmed (doesn't take much some days) and gave up.  To help my scattered mind I thought I would break the month up into a couple of different topics.

So, here is the first - and cutest! - installment of November Happenings: Crickett!

At the beginning of the month I caved and turned my existing Instagram account over to Crickett.  The account is now all about Crickett and only Crickett; photos and videos of my little girl with captions told from her point of view.

Crickett only follows other animal accounts, mostly dogs and the majority of those being other Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  There are certainly some clever people out there; I have laughed to the point of tears on more than one occasion.

I know this whole thing might sound a little crazy to some but the experience has been absolutely joyful for me.  There is nothing better than scrolling through photos and videos of adorable pets; it's a high point in my day, a place with so much happiness and positivity.  The world needs more of that.

Sunday, November 16, 2014