Saturday, January 12, 2013

I reached the 1001st day on Friday.  I finished 64 of the 101.  Unfortunately, I didn't complete all that I had wanted to but I'm happy with where I got.  I didn't do a good job of considering at the beginning the expense of some of the items I put on my list and thus, getting them all done in 1001 days was just not going to happen.

Here are the final items I've worked on or completed since my last status update. (Blogger has changed how photos are uploaded and I unfortunately do not have time right now to upload them to another site in order to upload them here so I haven't added photos this time.)

#10 -- I spent 5 days in Mobile, Alabama for a conference in October.  I had driven through Alabama before (on my way from Miami to New Orleans) but had not spent anytime there.  I can honestly say I have no desire to ever go back to Alabama, at least not Mobile.  It just seemed so vacant and rundown for a major city.

#17 -  I went to see The Jersey Boys at DPAC with my friend Tammy.  The beginning was a little slow but I enjoyed it.  It was a great girls-night-out!

#21 - Emile and I went to our first Carolina Panther's game on December 23.  It was against the Oakland Raiders.  I had a great time and would love to go again.

#27 - While in Mobile, I got a much-needed massage at the spa near my hotel.  It was wonderful!  I would have spent more time there in the sauna and so forth but I had to get to the conference.

#33 - Although I haven't been to the dermatologist yet, I did schedule an appointment.  The soonest they can get me in is the end of February.

#37 - I finally made a bucket list.  Not surprising, most things are travel related! :)

#41 - We have meet a few more families in the area.  Our next door neighbor had some friends move our subdivision and they also then met their next door neighbor.  We got the chance to meet both couples at our neighbor's birthday party and Halloween party.

#42 - I've had a few girl's night out.  The night Tammy and I went to the musical, to a painting workshop with a group of friends, and dinner out with my book club friends.

#43 - Unfortunately, Emile and I didn't make time to go out once a month over the last 1001 days.  We only made it out half of that time.  But with 3 small children, it's always a struggle.  We did get a chance to go to see the movie Django Unchained while our family was visiting and also to the Carolina Panther game.  I'm hoping we get better at making time for the two of us as the kids get older.

#45 - Claire just turned 3 in December.  We will be signing her up for ballet in June but it's too early to do it right now.

#59 - I've read a few more books but didn't reach my goal.  It's been easier to read with my iPhone but my books tend to be long and thus, it takes awhile.  The ones I read recently are:  Plain Truth by Jodi Picout, Where We Belong by Emily Griffin, The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory, and The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Synder.

#62 - I did get a chance to learn all capitals of all 50 states.

#65 - Last weekend, my husband and I spent sometime learning the location of 5 constellations (Orion, Aries, Gemini, Perseus, and Cassiopeia) and saw Jupiter (very bright tonight) and Betelgeuse (very red, bright star). It was a beautiful night for it and a lot of fun.  We need to get a telescope!

#85 - I finished knitting Claire's baby doll blanket which she was very excited about.

#89 - I have made 5 new recipes recently, all but one using my new crockpot -- enchiladas, a turkey dish which wasn't very good, chicken cacciatore, and whole chicken with potatoes.  I also made meatballs for the first time one night. 

#90 - Tammy and I ate at Six Plates.  It was pretty good; definitely not kid-friendly which is what we needed that night.

#94 - I watched my 5th Academy Award movie.  I have seen so many of them that I had to go back to 1979 to find one that I hadn't seen - Kramer vs. Kramer.  It was ok.  I didn't really see why it got an award but I suppose movies were different back then.

#95 - We sent a birthday card to Opa.  I feel like I've sent 20 birthday cards but I'm not sure.

#99 - I've tried 13 wines in the last few months in an attempt to reach my goal.  Like the birthday cards, I feel like I've tried 50 different ones over the last 1001 days but I'm not sure since I didn't record them all.

#100 - This year we did buy Christmas gifts for another family.  It was for two little boys that are living with their widowed grandmother.  The girls even helped pick out and wrap the gifts.  They were happy to help!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lots of Reading!

I have been able to read a lot more now that I have an iPhone because I'm able to read while nursing Ethan.  Plus I've gotten into a lot of good books lately which have made it easy to power through them.  Here are the books I've read since April (#59):

I really like Sandra Gulland books.  I read her Josephine Bonaparte trilogy also which was really good.

Everyone has been talking about this book.  I found it really poorly written and could barely finish it.

I've really enjoyed Emily Giffin's books.  I thought this one was as good as Something Borrowed Something Blue.

Gone Girl is one of the best books I've read lately.  I highly recommend it!

Another Giffin book.  It was entertaining but not as good as Baby Proof.

I haven't been taking as much time as I should in reading my Environmental Management magazines but I have finished another one (#66)

I am now tasked with making a new dish (#89) for our family (Emile does 99% of the cooking) -- Mexican bean casserole.  It's really good and easy.  The best part -- the girls like to eat it!

I'm very excited that we finally converted our unfinished storage room on the 2nd floor into a playroom for the kids (#84).  It's not that big (12x8') but big enough for them to have a place to do art activities, puzzles, and play with their dollhouses!  I love it!

Emile and I have been able to go out twice in the last few months (not nearly enough) without the kids (#43).  Both times it was to dinner and a movie (The Dictator and The Dark Knight Rises).  For our recent date night, we tried a new sushi restaurant, Mizu (#90), which was excellent and close to our house - reminded me of the sushi places we went to in SoCal.

I also went to Natty Greenes for the first time with my book club friends (#90, #42).  A good American style restaurant.  I also had another night out with friends at Chili's one night this summer. (#42)

Since Ethan was born (and since getting pregnant), I've only recently got to have a new wine (I nurse so I was waiting till he started sleeping longer at night) - Blufled Riesling.  Pretty tasty.  I also had a new wine at Natty Greenes but I don't recall the name of it. (#99)

We've had a fairly wet summer and so recently, the girls and I got to play in the rain.  They loved it!  They put on their rain jackets, rain boots and brought their little umbrellas.  Before long though they gave up the umbrellas and rain boots to just run around and get soaked! (#50)

I finished my first knitting project.  I made Natalie a baby doll blanket which she loved; Natalie picked out the yarn.  I've started one for Claire also. (#85)

I love going to get massages.  Whenever I find a good Groupon for it, I make time.  I discovered the the Eco Friendly Beauty Bar which turned out to be one of my favorite spas so far (Skin Sense is the best) but I also went to Massage Envy for a last minute massage once (and again swear I'll not go back).  Ready for my next massage! (#27)

I'm not sure I've been tracking the birthday cards I've sent out but I know we sent three this summer to my Dad, sister and mother-in-law. (#95)

I've looked up the locations of all the countries I've received postcards from and their associated capitals.  I love my Postcrossing hobby!  Here's the list of countries and capitals I now know (#63) - 56 of them (many I knew before getting the postcards).


Australia -Canberra
Austria - Vienna
Belarus - Minsk
Belgium - Brussels
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Sarajevo
Brazil - Brasilia
Canada - Ottawa
Chile - Santiago
China - Beijing
Costa Rica - San Jose
Croatia - Zagreb
Czech Republic - Prague
Denmark - Copenhagen
Estonia - Tallinn
Fiji - Suva
Finland - Helsinki
France - Paris
Germany - Berlin
Greece - Athens
India - New Delhi
Indonesia - Jakarta
Ireland - Dublin
Israel - Jerusalem
Italy - Rome
Japan - Tokyo
Latvia - Riga
Lithuania - Vilnius
Luxembourg - Luxembourg City
Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur
Malta - Valletta
Mauritius - Port Louis
Mexico - Mexico City
Moldova - Chisinau
Netherlands - Amsterdam
New Zealand - Wellington
Norway - Oslo
Philippines - Manila
Poland - Warsaw
Portugal - Lisbon
Romania - Bucharest
Russia - Moscow
Serbia - Belgrade
Slovakia - Bratislava
Slovenia - Ljubljana
South Africa - Cape Town
South Korea - Seoul
Spain - Madrid
Sweden - Stockholm
Switzerland - Bern
Taiwan - Taipei
Thailand - Bangkok
Turkey - Ankara
Ukraine - Kiev
United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi
United Kingdom - London

Thursday, April 19, 2012

6 Month Update

I'm keeping track of the items I complete but just not updating this frequently enough.  Here is the latest update since October:

20.  Emile and I had a date night in February before our son was born in which we went to our first Hurricanes came.  It was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed the game and hope to go to more next year.

22.  Emile and I took the girls to the NC Museum in Art in February to see the Rembrandt exhibit.  The girls didn't get that much out of it given their age but it was nice for us to get to an art museum again.  But I definitely miss the Met.

27.  I got a prenatal massage right before Ethan was born.  It was wonderful.  Looking forward to my next one; hopefully in May.

42.  I had three girls night out adventures.  One night I went to the Red Room with the girls from my book club for dinner.  Always a great time with those gals.  I also went to Tribeca Tavern and also Mellow Mushroom with some friends from my baby board chat line that I'm friends with.  Also a great time.

43.  As I mentioned above, Emile and I went to dinner and to the Hurricanes game back in February.  We also went to Goodnights Comedy Club and Irregardless Cafe one night.  I wish we got out more though.  We're working on it!

55.  I have finally updated the girls baby books so they are current.  Just in time to have our third child!

59.  I tend to read very involved historical fiction or biography books so it takes me awhile to get through a book.  I've been adding in other good reads that are not quiet so dense.  Here are the recent ones I've finished.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  It was very well written but pretty sad. 

Something Borrowed and also Something Blue by Emily Giffin.  Her books are always entertaining!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity.  This book made me appreciate my husband and want to make sure we didn't let life get away from us.

The Help by Kathyrn Stockett.  Great read!

Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens by Jane Dunn

66.  I have finally read 3 of my Environmental Management magazines which is helpful for my job.  Just wish I could keep up with them.

86.  I'm excited that I have learned how to knit.  I've started making Natalie a blanket for her dolls and hope to have it finished soon!

87.  I finished another photo album of our international travels -- Emile's and my trip to Canada

88.  I've made two new deserts -- a Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake and an Apple pie.  I was pretty happy with both of them but the apple was by far the best.

90.  I've tried the Red Room ( which is tapas food and Irregardless Cafe ( which is more traditional food.  Both were pretty good.  I'd go back to both.

94.  I love movies!  I was surprised how many Academy Award winning movies I've already seen.  I had to go back quiet a few years to find one I hadn't seen.  I ended up with The Last Emperor and Platoon.  One more to go.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Catch up continued

Blogger only allows 20 labels per post so I had to separate my update into two.

82. We finally got the remaining rooms in our house painted. The living room, hallways and laundry room are a beige color. I love the new, more finished look.

87. I have finished two photo albums of our international travels -- our trip to Switzerland back in 2006 and our recent trip to Paris and the Netherlands.

88. I made Natalie and Claire "Pinkalicious" cupcakes -- pink frosting and cake!.

90. I recently tried Pop's and Mez in Durham. Both were pretty good.

94. I recently watched The King's Speech (2010) -- great movie!  And we also saw The Hurt Locker (2009).

95. I've sent out the following birthday cards -- my dad's, sister's, brother's, mother-in-law's, and Emile's aunt's.

99. I'm not doing very good of keeping track of the wines I've tried but I know I've tried at least 4 since the last posting. Now I'm pregnant and won't be drinking again for awhile so it may be hard to meet this goal.

Catch up time

Although I don't post often, I have been mentally keeping track of my 101 goals that I've finished or worked towards.  Here's my latest:

7.  Emile, the girls and I took our first family vacation to Carolina Beach on the coast of North Carolina.  While there, we also spent a morning seeing Wilmington.  Two new locations in North Carolina!

14.  Earlier this summer, we took the girls blueberry picking.  It was actually our first time also.  They loved it.  They both did great picking only the blue fruit.

15.  While in Carolina Beach, we flew a kite with the girls for the first time.  Claire loved it.  Natalie was more interested in going back to playing in the sand and waves at the beach.

27.  I just got another massage today at the Falls Day Spa near my house.  First time going there.  It was wonderful!

29.  I did wear a bikini again to the beach one time this year early in the summer before getting pregnant again.  Thankfully, my stretch marks from Claire had actually already disappeared but wearing a bikini still felt challenging since I'm not as fit as I used to be ... but still not bad!

32.  I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables as snacks and although I'm not planning on cutting out carbs, I'm defintitely doing better.

34.  My splurge on myself was a new Coach hobo bag.  I got it at a outlet store in South Carolina and I love it!

40.  Emile and I did get a chance to go somewhere for our 10 year Gordo Day (our nickname for our dating anniversary).  We went to Paris for a few days before one of Emile's work conferences.  It was wonderful and our first trip together somewhere without the girls that was just for the two of us. 

41.  We did finally meet two new families in our neighborhood.  We co-hosted a barbeque in which two new families game.  One I've run interacted with since then but the other we haven't seen around yet.

42.  I may have had another girls night out since the last update but I know there was at least one when a friend was leaving town.  A bunch of us got together for a dinner at her house.

43.  As with #42, there may have been another but Emile and I did recently go out two dinner and a movie here in Raleigh and then also to a movie when we were visiting family in Minnesota.  We also went out to dinner and a movie a few months ago (we go to a lot of restaurants and movies!).

45.  Natalie is now taking ballet and loves it.  Claire will more than likely be taking it in a year as she's already into dancing a lot.

46.  The girls went to the ocean for the first time during out trip to Carolina Beach in July.  They loved it!

47.  I just finished Claire's 1 year photo album last weekend.  Just in time for her to turn two in 2.5 months.

49.  While at Carolina Beach, we took the girls to the NC Aquarium in Fort Fisher.

59.  I've recently finished reading Something Borrowed and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

68.  I have successful putting money away in savings for retirement for over a year now.

69.  After speaking with our financial planner, our approach to the girls school has changed.  The money will come out of a different source so setting it aside right now is not necessary.

78.  I have finished decorating the girls bathroom and the breakfast room.  I don't have photos yet of the breakfast room but here is the bathroom.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

31. Get tonsils removed

I have been busy these last few months in tackling some of my 101 goals.  The biggest was getting my tonsils removed on January 21 (#31).  It was by far the most painful thing I've done to date; even more so than my two c-sections.  One advantage to getting my tonsils out is that I wasn't able to eat as much.  And thus, of course, I dropped some weight -- the last few pounds of my pregnancy weight.  I've gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight (#28)!  It's such a relief to be back to this stage.  I also definitely slept in and didn't feel guilty...multiple times while recovery (#39). 

Since the last post, I've done the following other things:
  • Emile and I tried a new restaurant in Raleigh -- Mura Japanese Restaurant (#43, #90).  It was wonderful, although I don't think it was that much better than some of the other sushi restaurants we've frequented.  While there I tried a new wine, although I don't recall the name (#99).
  • I bought a stand mixer finally!  I tried it out by making a crust for the banana cream pie that I made from scratch (#88).  It was wonderful! 

  • Emile, the girls and I had a picnic at Baileywick park (#12).  It was a lot of fun and something we plan to do frequently this summer.
  • I spoke to my doctor about getting a mammogram.  My previous OB doctor had recommended getting a mammogram at around 31 because my aunt got breast cancer at 36.  My new doctor doesn't think it's necessary at my age (now 34) because under 50, a mammogram is not that accurate.  If anything, he recommends doing gene testing instead which I'm looking into.  I have agreed that doing a mammogram now would not be the way to go so I'm removing that from my list since it's no longer applicable (#30).
  • I hung out with some girl friends twice in the last two months (#42).
  • I've read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (#59).  Great book about HeLa cells.  I highly recommend it, for even the non-scientist.

  • I also read Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran a few months ago but forgot to list it (#59).  It was also a very good book.  A historical fiction (my favorite).
  • I finished decorating our bathroom (#78).  I'm pretty happy with it.

  • Another one that forgot to list before was that I have started helping Emile with the gardening and landscaping (#79).  I will doing more this summer also.
  • I was going to make homemade green cleaning products but I instead decided to go with the green products available in the store.  I've switched over all the products I have been using for Method products (#83).
  • I recently spent a weekend in Charleston, S.C. with my bookclub friends (#8).  It was a blast.  While I was away, I also didn't use the internet or computer (#92) and no TV for two days (#98).

  • While I was in Charleston, I got to try five new wines:  Honey Moon Viognier, Biltmore Riesling, Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc, Jacob's Creek Pinot Grigio, Mirassou Pinot Grigio (#99).  All very good!
  • I've sent out one birthday card to my mom (#95).
I've tried keeping up on my Wikipedia reading but I've slacked.  I did read up on HeLa cells recently.  The following is a summary:
  • A cell type in an immortal cell line in scientific research.
  • Cells derived from cervical cancers cells taken from Henrietta Lacks.
  • Cells were propagated by George Gey.
  • Neither Lacks nor her family gave Gey permission, but, at that time, permission was neither required nor customarily sought.
  • HeLa cells were used by Jonas Salk to test the first polio vaccine in the 1950s. Since that time, HeLa cells have been used for "research into cancer, AIDS, the effects of radiation and toxic substances, gene mapping, and many other scientific pursuits".

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#67. Wikipedia search - Brazilian Carnival

A friend from college spent a year in Brazil and always talked about Carnival.  I've heard about it hear and there over the years but never really new exactly what it was about.  I thought it was time to look into it more.  The following Wikipedia information can be found here
  • Annual festival held 40 days before Easter
  • The term "carnival" comes from carnelevare, which means "to remove/raise meat" since part of the tradition is to abstain from consuming meat and poultry.
  • Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil
  • Festivities last for about a week, day and night
  • The consumption of beer accounts for 80% of the annual amount and tourism receives 70% of Brazil's annual visitors
  • Modern Carnival originated in Rio de Janeiro in 1641.

Friday, January 14, 2011

#67. Wikipedia search - The Queen Mother

I'm watching The Queen and it got me interested to learn more about The Queen Mother (Mum) whom I haven't read much on yet (I've read a lot on the Tudors). So I did a Wikipedia search and discovered a lot of new things:
  • Her full name is Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon
  • She is a Queen consort (i.e. by marriage) as she was married to King George VI
  • King George VI became King when his brother, then King Edward VIII, abdicated (denounced the throne) to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
  • She lived to be 101 years old.

Plus a lot more information which can be found here. So it looks like I've started my Wikipedia goal. Now to remember to read something once a week for the next year.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

73. Half Marathon

After my pregnancy with Natalie, I ran a half-marathon as a way to get back in shape.  I decided to do the same after I had Claire.  I completed my 2nd post-pregnancy half marathon (#73) on November 7th.  I actually even ran it a minute faster per mile and didn't feel nearly as sore as I did after the first one.  I may have to do this again.  Also, during my training, I finished doing 30 days of the 30 Day Shred (#72) (although not 30 days in a row) -- I like doing that workout once in awhile, but lets face it, working out everyday straight with 2 kids is just never going to happen.

I also voted (#93) in something other than the Presidential election on November 2.  It was actually a great feeling to be contributing in that way.  I plan to continue voting during more elections.

A few weeks ago, Emile and I went to see True Grit (#43) one evening.  It was a great movie; one we'd recommend.  And of course, it's always wondering getting time away with just my husband.

I made a curtain (#81) for our guest bathroom which I'm very proud off.  I think it actually turned out well.  Having finished the curtain also means I've finished decorating another room in the house. Plus I have finished my office. Two more rooms done (#78).

Last night I finally finished and order Natalie's 2nd year photo album (#48).  Now to finish Claire's 1st year. 

Since my last post, I've only sent out one birthday card to my father-in-law (#95) but there are a lot of birthday's coming up!

Although we didn't take Claire because she's too young, we did take Natalie to see her Oma's production of the Nutcracker (Continental Ballet Company) (#26).  She loved it and even got to dance with the lead, "Clara", after the performance backstage.  Here's my favorite photo from that day:

Shortly after Claire turned 1 yr. old (December 3), I weaned her from nursing (#52).  She was exclusively breastfeed for the entire year (i.e. no formula), 12.5 months.  I'm proud of myself for doing this for both of my girls!

I also organized the storage room, finally (#80).  It is so much easier to get to things, and so much more room, now that it's organized.  Emile and the girls helped assemble a shelf system.

My friend Jenny has started a professional photography business, Sweet & Sunny Images.  We had her take a family photo (#97) of us for our Christmas card this year.  I love how it turned out so much that we got a 16x20 print made that we'll be framing for our living room.

Apparently I've been pretty busy with these in the last few months.  I've completed an additional 9 since the last time I posted!