Monday, March 15, 2010

#10 part 1 Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain

The Southern Arts Society in Kings Mountain, NC hosted a reception for artist Brenda Beard-Bostian on Sunday for her showing of "Color: Language, Lyric, Metaphor." Mom, who attends the same church as Brenda, invited me to go along with her to check out the art on display. We had a great time and were quite impressed with the vibrant and expressive paintings. Though the gallery is small, Mom and I are planning on checking it out more often.... we're trying to get out and about more often to take advantage of the cultural events and exhibits around us.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#39 (part 2) Knight at the Charlotte St. Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday March 13, 2010 was the 11th annual Charlotte St. Patrick's Day Parade. Knight and I joined the Carolina Renaissance Festival in marching! The parade itself was fairly short, but we had a blast hanging out with some of our favorite Ren Fest characters while we waited for the festivities to begin. Knight had a great time and loved being petted and adored by scores of people. (Photo by Ron Tencati)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

#30 - New recipe from a cookbook (part 1)

Since I own waaaay too many cookbooks that I've never actually used, I decided it was about time I crack one open and pick out a new recipe to try out. When searching for a chocolate cupcake recipe recently, I turned to 'The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.' It's pretty big and has a lot of different sections, so I figured it would be a big help. I tested out the recipe for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. I blogged about them, too (click here), knocking out two things on my 101 List. Hooray!

Friday, March 12, 2010

#43 - lunch with CWs (part 1)

In an effort to strengthen my relationships with my coworkers, I've decided that I need to eat lunch with them more often. This is not quite as easy as it sounds, because someone needs to be in the office to answer the phones and help people that come in for applications and such.... so of course, not everyone can go to lunch at the same time. Boo.

But this week a few of us decided to hang out over lunch time and just deal with the phone as it rang. Hooray! So we all gathered up our leftovers and chilled in the conference room as we munched away and talked. Most of the talk revolved around pregnancy, since two of the 8 office staff are expecting babies in the next few months. But since we're all women, no one has a problem with the constant baby talk :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

#29 part 3 - Blog about Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle

Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle: A delicious blend of two favorite holiday flavors.....For complete recipe, click here!

Though this recipe got posted very, very late (I made it at Thanksgiving), it did manage to finally get blogged. Therefore it counts as a check off :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#17 - Passport almost done!

I went by the Post Office today to turn in my passport application for processing. Now all I have to do is wait for it to arrive in the mail :) Hooray! Soon I'll be free to travel the world! Of course, now all I have to do is win the lottery so I actually have the moolah to go somewhere......

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

#29 part 2 - Blog about Chocolate Cupcakes!

When I asked Mark what dessert he wanted for his birthday, he answered "something chocolate or lemon." And because I'm awesome, I made both. His parents had a small party for him on Saturday, and I tried out a new recipe - Dark Chocolate Cupcakes - to bring and share. Of course, I had my husband test one out before we left for the party just to make sure they were edible..... his review wasn't encouraging, but I took them anyway. As it turns out, everyone else had nice things to say :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

#25 - Dinner Party number 1

Since my very best friend just had a birthday, I hosted a small dinner party for him over the weekend. I assembled a lasagna, baked a loaf of Italian bread, and altered my cream cheese pound cake recipe to include lemon zest and topped it with a homemade lemon glaze. Though the affair was small and not fancy, everyone still had a good time. It's always nice to have a laid back dinner with friends. And though I didn't put any candles on the cake (it would've been a fire hazard), I do believe that Mark enjoyed the food and the company.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#28 - New Restaurant: The Thai House

Today my very generous mother took me out to lunch at the new Thai House in town. It was delicious! We both ordered the daily lunch special - which is Pad Thai on Wednesdays. Yummy! The food was super tasty. The service was exceptional. The decor is beautiful. And when I accidentally left my take out box of leftovers on the table, the hostess ran it out into the parking lot after me :) Overall it was a fantastic experience and I am so glad we went!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#89 part 2 - Read 30 New Books

"The Dark is Rising"
by Susan Cooper

Brandon had picked up this book a few years ago; apparently it was one of his childhood favorites. So I figured that while I had some spare time on my hands, I'd indulge in a bit of light reading and check it out. Well.... that and he'd picked up a copy of the new movie that was (loosely) based on the acclaimed novel. I love to read the books behind the movies. They're usually tons better ;) This book was no different. Hands down. Sooooo much better than the movie! Which of course made me glad that I saw the movie first, that way I wasn't disgustingly disappointed with it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

#29 part 1 - Blog about Stir Fried Rice

Goal #29 - to make and blog about 15 new recipes - is finally under way! A few weeks ago I decided to make Stir Fried Rice for dinner, and I just got around to publishing my blog post. Here is the link for your viewing pleasure:

Stir Fried Rice

Sunday, February 21, 2010

#71 (part 1) I detailed his car :)

When Brandon went out of town this weekend, he took my car..... of course, leaving me the keys to his. So I took advantage of this opportunity to go ahead and complete his February surprise. Since he's really into cars, I figured that coming home to a beautifully clean interior would be a really nice surprise. Of course, I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if he notices.... he better.... the thing looked like crap when I started on it! So while the dogs stared at me through the kitchen glass door, I scrubbed, polished, and vacuumed Brandon's daily driver. Of course, I didn't do much to the outside other than take it for a spray-down at the DIY car wash, but since he's extremely particular about the exterior and cleaning techniques, I figured he'd consider it a blessing that I didn't attempt to sud and scrub it by hand. (I'm perfectly capable of washing a car, but as I said, he's extremely particular about how it's done.... it's safer to just leave it be.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

#41 part 1 - Game Day with Mom & Dad

Before I helped Mom tackle her junk drawer, Mom and Dad and I had a blast playing my newest card game. Though they have numerous games of their own, Mom and Dad were willing to try out "Monopoly Deal" since I brought it over. We played 5 hands.... I won 3 ;) Sometimes you just get very lucky with the cards you draw! I think that it doesn't really matter who wins as long as everyone's having a good time together. Though Dad got a bit peeved that he drew seriously bad cards for the entire third round (funny - since he's the one who shuffled for that one!), the remaining rounds were a bit more competitive so it all ended well!

Friday, February 19, 2010

#38 part 1 - Help Mom with cleaning/organizing

Since Brandon is out of town for the weekend, I decided to head over to my parents to spend some time with them. While Dad sorted through my classical CDs to find a song he wanted, I helped Mom to sort and organize one of her kitchen junk drawers. It wasn't much, but it was something.... Though the fact that her kitchen drawers are at least twice the size of mine made me feel a little better about only tackling one ;) We sorted through twister ties, old flashlights, matches, and furniture repair kits... among a ton of other stuff. Thankfully she had little organizing trays already in the drawer, so that helped us put the kept items back in an organized fashion. Hopefully next month we can tackle something a bit larger so I can feel more helpful!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

#89 part 1 - Read 30 New Books

"Witch & Wizard" by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

From the dust jacket:

You are holding an urgent and vital narrative that reveals the forbidden truth about our perilous times....
This is the astonishing testimonial of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and a wizard. Thousands of young people have been kidnapped; some have been accused; many others remain missing. Their fate is unknown, and the worst is feared—for the ruling regime will stop at nothing to suppress life and liberty, music and books, art and magic...and the pursuit of being a normal teenager.

My best friend Mark gave me this book for my birthday last month. He knows how much I like to read :) I think I finished reading it in about 7 hours; it was a pretty fast read. I was actually pretty excited last night when I realized I would be able to finish it.... then of course on the last page there is a "to be continued....." HA. I had no idea that it was the first book in a series, so now I have to find out when the next book comes out so I can pick up a copy of it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

#67 - Date Night #1

Friday, February 12th

It was a cold and snowy night.....

Seriously. I'm not kidding. The temperature was in the teens and it was actually snowing. Real snow. Not the pansy stuff that usually passes as "snow" in this area. The weather channel was predicting 3" by the end of the night. (And in case I need to point out, that's NOT a lot, no matter what other people say.) So what did we do? Instead of staying in and avoiding the idiots on the road, Brandon decided that he wanted to take me out. Yay! My mission - come up with a list of 5 potential restaurants for him to choose from before he got out of the shower. So I racked my brain while I touched up my makeup and chose a pretty sweater.

We ended up at one of our favorite restaurants, where I ordered the exact.same.thing I always get, and it was fabulous. Yum! And with our usual date-night rules (no discussing bad things) conversation flowed smoothly and we had a light-hearted evening. The drive home was safe, there was good music via his iPod, and we enjoyed watching a movie in our PJs before heading off to bed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#90 - Renew my Library Card

Hooray for another check!

I honestly thought this goal would take me longer to check off.... which is pretty sad, considering that I work less than half a mile from the public library. As it ended up, the short distance is exactly how I ended up being there on a cold and rainy Tuesday. Since my work office is too small to host a good sized event, my boss had decided to rent out the auditorium at the Library to host a Valentine's Day Party for consumers, staff, and families. The Library has turned out to be a great location for us to hold events - partly because of it's close proximity to the office. So all I had to do was make the effort to stay after the party ended, head up to the check-out desk, and get the job done.

I had originally planned on heading over there on my lunch break one day (when I wasn't feeling lazy) and replacing my card, but why make an extra trip if you don't have to ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#19 (part 1) Pay off 5 credit cards

So today I wrote the final check to pay off the Sears card. Hooray :) Of course, this wasn't much of a stretch since the remaining balance was pretty small. But it's such a fantastic feeling to be done with it..... as Lao-Tzu said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So: one down. four to go!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

#40 - part 1 - Hanging out with my Mother-in-Law

Instead of putting off completing part 1 of goal #40 until the last minute, I jumped right in and made plans with Robin. Hooray for me. And not only did I make plans, but the weather and everything else cooperated so I could actually follow through with said plans. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

So this morning, I woke up and got ready - I even actually did my hair - and headed out to Charlotte to go shopping at South Park Mall with my MIL. We had a great time, found some awesome sales, and picked up some cute clothes. Mom was very generous and bought me two really cute summer shirts :) We even stopped in to Victoria's Secret..... and it wasn't nearly as weird as I would've thought, checking out lingerie with my husband's mother.

We shopped until I thought I was going to drop, picked up some lunch at the food court, and shopped some more. All in all it was a fantastic day. I had a really great time and I'm feeling quite good that I've decided to put more effort into our relationship. It's easy to get along with people when you try! And as far as mother-in-laws go, I am quite lucky. Everyone's heard the horror stories about evil mother-in-laws and how horrible they can make your life, so I'm happy to report that I don't have any terrible tales of Mother-in-Law drama to report on a regular basis.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#87 - Create a 101 in 1001 List

Perhaps it's cheating to even put this goal on my list, seeing that once I finished the list, I'd have one automatic check off.... but considering how long it took me to come up with my list, I don't care. It really took quite a bit of effort to come up with 101 goals; especially since I constantly rewrote, revised, and revamped a lot of them multiple times.

In my quest to come up with a list of my own, I checked out quite a few 101 Lists from fellow bloggers. It was quite interesting to look at the vast array of goals out there in cyber space. Some goals applied themselves quite nicely to my own life and aspirations - so I copied them for myself. Once armed with a few ideas, I got to work on finishing my list. As I said, it took some effort, but probably the most helpful thing I did was to categorize my goals. The categories made it easier to come up with more goals to fill in blank spaces, make sure my goals didn't overlap too much, and evaluate what areas of my life I needed to improve.

So.... 1 down, 100 to go! Wish me luck :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

My 101 List

I have officially come up with a list of 101 goals for myself. I have broken them out into categories so they're easier to read and concentrate on.


February 1, 2010 - October 28, 2012

Arts & Crafts
1. Sew a court gown for the Renaissance Festival
2. Make a quilt (even if it's a small baby quilt)
3. Relearn how to knit and crotchet (0/2)
4. Play my violin at least twice per week for 1 month
5. Hem 5 pairs of pants (0/5)
6. Take a Christmas Photo to add to 2010 Christmas cards. Print copies.

Cultural & Travel
7. See an Opera
8. Go to the Botanical Gardens 10 times (2/10)
9. Attend a symphony
10. Visit 5 local museums/galleries (1/5)
11. Spend a day exploring downtown Charlotte
12. See a performance of Shakespeare
13. Attend a local Festival (Greek Fest, October Fest, etc.)
14. Tour a vineyard
15. Tour the Biltmore Estate
16. Take a trip to the Mountains
17. Get my passport made
18. Go on a Cruise

19. Pay off 5 Credit Cards (1/5)
20. Put at least $xxx per month into savings (0/33)
21. Get the Emergency Fund up to $xxxxx (number confidential for my peace of mind)
22. Pay for only ONE meal out per week for a month
23. Save up 3 months worth of living expenses (in addition to the E-Fund)
24. Pay off at least 75% of the big Credit Card (0%)

Food & Entertaining
25. Host 10 dinner parties at the house (1/10)
26. Purchase wine glasses
27. Host Game Night at the house 6 times (0/6)
28. Eat at 10 new-to-me restaurants (3/10)
29. Make and blog about 15 new recipes (4/15)
30. Try one new recipe from 10 different cook books (1/10)
31. Test different fondue recipes and select ones for a small party. Host party.
32. Make homemade ice cream
33. Add one recipe card per month to the recipe box (5/33)
34. Make scones

Friends & Family
35. Have sister and BIL over for dinner
36. Call Grammy once a week for a month
37. Mail a post card to 20 friends
38. Help Mom with cleaning and organizing once a month (5/33)
39. Take Knight somewhere (park, play group, etc.) once a month (1/33)
40. Go shopping etc. with MIL once every 3 months (1/11)
41. Have Game Night/Day with Mom & Dad once a month (1/33)
42. Meet Ally & Beans in person (0/2)
43. Have lunch with CW(s) once a week for 6 months (0/26)

Fun Activities
44. Attend a professional sporting event
45. Go to the Zoo
46. Pick apples at an Orchard
47. Attend a non-local Renaissance Festival
48. Play miniature golf
49. Go bowling (not on the Wii)
50. Go with a friend to "Paint your own Pottery"

Health & Fitness
51. Incorporate 5 new healthy recipes into the menu regime (0/5)
52. Don't drink any pop for 2 weeks straight
53. Lose 40 lbs (5/40)
54. Don't eat any desserts for one week
55. Hike a trail at Crowder's Mountain
56. Fit back into my favorite dress
57. Don't skip taking a single pill for one week

Home Improvement
58. Re-upholster dining room chairs
59. Replace the mailbox
60. Paint trim in the bathroom
61. Install an attic in the house
62. Hang artwork in the office and master bedroom (0/2)
63. Buy new pillows for the guest bed
64. Get a new couch and loveseat
65. Plant something in the front flower bed
66. Make or buy a window covering (besides mini blinds) for the office

67. Go out on 1 date night per month (1/33)
68. Conceive a baby :)
69. Confidential "pork chop" goal
70. Take Brandon on a picnic
71. Surprise Brandon by doing something super nice once a month (1/33)
72. No TV for 1 night/week for 12 non-consecutive weeks (0/12)
73. Mow the lawn for Brandon

74. Read "Sink Reflections"
75. Create a spreadsheet for our DVD collection
76. Do 15 minutes/day of cleaning for a week
77. Keep the guest bed "laundry free" for a week
78. Create a designated space for the Coke Caps
79. Declutter hair and makeup products
80. Replace the laundry closet door
81. Organize the laundry closet with shelving
82. Donate all old college textbooks
83. Completely clean out the living room of unwanted stuff
84. Declutter bookshelf in guest room

Personal Growth
85. Participate in a walk for charity
86. Donate at least $125 to Greyhound Lifesavers each year (0/3)
87. Create a 101 in 1001 List - Completed February 1, 2010
88. Make an A or B in 15 classes towards degree (0/15)
89. Read 30 new books (2/30)
90. Renew my library card - Completed February 11, 2010
91. Help Brandon change oil in the Tribute
92. Do not play any computer games for one week
93. Do not take any "Mental Health Days" for 4 consecutive months
94. Go to Church at least once a month for 6 months (0/6)
95. Read 5 nonfiction books (0/5)

Random Goals
96. Create 5 playlists for my iPod (1/5)
97. Teach Knight and Jewel to "bow"
98. Create a new blog
99. Submit photo(s) for Greyhound Calendar
100. Paint Jewel's toenails pink
101. Actually do my hair once a week for a month -on a work day!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Snowy Saturday

Saturday has finally arrived..... all covered in snow! So I'm going to avoid risking injury to my shiny red car and stay home all day. It seems like an excellent time to get things done around the house. I have homework to do, laundry to fold, and taxes to prepare (among what seems like a million other chores).

Of course, no one wants to work, work, work all day on a Saturday, so today sounds like a great time to go ahead and finish up my 101 list. Of course, it would probably help if I hadn't left the file with my incomplete list at work. Saved on my work computer. Far far away from home. *sigh* Nothing quite works out the way I want it to!

So instead, I'll waste some of my time today by making my blog prettier...... Of course, 'pretty' is a relative concept, so as long as I think it looks good, I'll consider it to be a success. Though of course I owe everything to - since that's where I find the backgrounds I like best.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Like the millions before me.....

..... I am going to start the "101 in 1001 List."

Though it may seem like an out-of-the-blue project, not to mention a very lofty goal for a procrastinator like me, there is a reason why I'm jumping on the bandwagon. Last week I received a package in the mail from a friend of mine. It was a pre-matted photograph that she'd taken on one of her trips. Totally random, right? Wrong. I found out later that I was among the lucky people who received a surprise because she checked off #15 on her 101 List. And since this friend is someone who I think has fantastic ideas, I'm hoping that some of her fabulousness will rub off on me during the process.

So what is a "101 in 1001 List," you might ask? Well, after doing some extensive research on the subject (by Googling it), I learned the following.....

The Mission:
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 my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. 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 organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Of course, the first step is to actually come up with 101 goals that meet the criteria.... which is a LOT harder than it sounds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daydreaming? Why yes I am!

Hi. I’m Cameron. And I’m a procrastinator. I’m also the annoying type of person who starts a project, goes full speed with it for a while, gets bored, and then never quite finishes. I keep telling myself that I’ll start working on it again. Tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next weekend. And we’re back to square one.

Most likely this blog will be much of the same….. I’ll keep up with it for a while, then I’ll get busy with another project, lose all creativity with this one, and forget about it for months on end. Of course, I’ll have every intention of writing another post tomorrow. Or the next day. Or whenever I finish “whatever-dumb-project-I’m-obsessing-over-at-the-time.”

But for right now, I dream of having a cute little blog that at least one person finds even remotely entertaining..... even if that one person is just me. Besides, it’ll give me something else to work on while I procrastinate on my other projects ;)