End of the Year Update of my “101 Things” Challenge

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on a 1001 day challenge that I started back in the Spring of 2016. On April 24, 2016, I published a post titled “101 Things to do in 1001 Days” and compiled a list of what I thought would be relatively achievable things I could accomplish in 1001 days. Then in April of this year, I did a quick update post of what I had accomplished so far.

As I mentioned in one my of previous posts, it was two bloggers that inspired me and my list. First was Kate from Kate The Almost Great, and she pointed me in the direction of Mackenzie Horan at Design Darling, who put together her first list together in 2011. This list, like Mackenzie says, is a cross between a “to-do list” and a “bucket list.” It’s everything I wanted and hoped to accomplish in 1001 days.

So what’s on “My 101 things in 1001 days” list? Here we go… What I’ve accomplished or what I have done so far is highlighted in BOLD, with an explanation of my accomplishments in italics.

BEGINNING DATE: APRIL 24, 2016

ENDING DATE: JANUARY 19, 2019

  1. Write 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days.
    DONE!! I completed this list and posted it on my blog on 4/24/2016.
  2. Meet 5 blogging friends in person.
    Pamela Valentine, Dawn Hill Priebe, Julie Dellinger, Genavieve Rose, and Joann Crohn. Added bonus is the dozens of women bloggers I met at the BlogHer 16 Conference in L.A. and the BlogHer17 Conference in Orlando, Fla. I wish I had gotten more business cards. This past BlogHer 17 conference, I felt more comfortable and more confident, spending more time socializing and meeting some pretty fabulous women and men. The one blogger who I met in 2016, that made me think about the direction of my blog, was Chloe Spencer. She kind of issued a bit of an unspoken challenge to me, which was to start my own YouTube channel. I’ve yet to do this, but it’s still on my mind.
  3. Go one month without frivolous spending.
  4. Go to 5 concerts.
    April 1, 2017 – Aaron Lewis at CEJ in Knoxville, TN
    Oct. 4, 2017 – Aaron Watson at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
    *Feb. 9, 2018 – Brantley Gilbert in Knoxville, TN
  5. Go see 3 musicals (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
  6. Make 10 recipes off Pinterest and blog about it.
    **I often refer to Pinterest for my sausage ball recipe. I also have made a delicious popcorn & pretzel snack that I call “Christmas crack” and the girls at my office love it. I’ve made some really tasty chocolate brownie cookies. I made baked beans for a small football party {when Tennessee played Texas A&M}. I’ve got some other recipes that I’m looking forward to trying. When I get all 10 recipes done and eaten. I’ll write one blog post featuring all 10 recipes.
  7. Find out my blood type.
    A couple of months ago, I gave blood and they sent me a donor card with a letter stating that my blood type was O+.
  8. Try 5 new foods.
    For anyone who knows me, I’m not a fan of seafood, but my friend Tresa got me to try crab rangoon. Ate one, didn’t like it. Then my husband and I went to our local Chinese restaurant and I decided to try crab rangoon again. Nope, still not a fan, but at least I tried it. Secondly, I’m not a fan of coconut. It’s a texture thing. However, I tried some kind of yummy candied coconut strips that I think were from Whole Foods Market. OMG, they were tasty but without the texture!
  9. See 5 Audrey Hepburn movies.
    So far, all I’ve watched was “Funny Face”, and it was a musical.
  10. Watch Casablanca.
    I checked this movie out from my local library one evening and watched it one night when my husband had to work late. I actually enjoyed it and now understand the whole, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
  11. Visit 3 art museums.
    So far, I’ve been to two museums. First, my husband and I went to the American Museum of Science & Energy in Oak Ridge, Tenn., during the Secret City Festival, on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Then on August 4, 2016, while on the L.A. walking tour with Mixbook, I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum. It was so cool!)
  12. Meet someone famous.
    I met Aisha Tyler at BlogHer 16 in Los Angeles, although it was so brief, I don’t know if you would count it, but I’m counting it because I have a photographic proof!

    Meeting Aisha Tyler, if only for a moment, was amazing!
    Meeting Aisha Tyler, if only for a moment, was amazing!

    I also met Janet Mock, Luvvie Ajayi, Cat Cora, and Carla Hall at BlogHer 2017 in Orlando, Fla.

  13. Have a picnic by a lake.
  14. Visit 5 cities I’ve never been to before.
    I went to Los Angeles for the BlogHer 16 conference, August 3-7, 2016.
  15. Invest in a pair of good riding boots.
    I purchased a pair of Steve Madden Freebird knee-high leather boots in Coal. I even featured them in one of my dress form outfit posts last fall.
  16. Learn to ride a motorcycle.
    At Thanksgiving last year, my husband bought me a Vespa. Then we bought him a Harley Davidson Heritage. When we got his motorcycle, I had to drive my Vespa back to the hotel {by myself} in Daytona Beach traffic. We’ve been on a couple of rides, but I’m hoping to take the motorcycle course next spring.
  17. Take my nieces out for a day of fun, paid entirely by me.
  18. Increase traffic to my blog and Social Media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin).
    My Instagram has almost doubled, and my Bloglovin and Twitter accounts have also increased. I’m starting to keep better track of them so hopefully they’ll continue to increase!
  19. Knit 5 scarves for my friends.
  20. Run the Susan G. Komen Race in Knoxville.
  21. Participate in a book club.
  22. Start playing the piano again.
  23. Visit a winery and blog about it.
  24. Find a wine (red, white, whatever) that I like.
  25. Send someone flowers just because.
  26. Pay for someone’s Starbucks order.
    I don’t really go to Starbucks, but I did “pay it forward” at Chick-fil-A. After I found out that the car ahead of my had paid for my order, I turned around and paid for the order behind me.
  27. Keep a zero balance on credit cards for 6 months.
  28. Pay off all my doctor’s bills.
  29. Save $5000 (or more) in the Vacation account.
  30. Go out to dinner with friends once a month for 6 months (non-consecutive).
    I met up with a couple of other Knoxville bloggers. We met at Casual Pint and ordered deep dish pizza {and OMG it was delish}!! I also have a dinner planned later this week for one of my co-workers {who is also my friend} who is getting married this upcoming weekend.
  31. Blog every day for 3 months.
    Blogging every day for three months straight is a bit of a challenge, so I’ve kind of changed it. So far I’ve written every day for the past two Octobers.
  32. Redesign my blog to reflect my personal style.
    I have done this – to an extent. Thanks to Chloe Spencer and her wonderful advice, I have done some tweaking and work on my blog. I still have a lot of work to do, but I think that there will also be something I want to update or redesign when it come to the look or overall aesthetic of my blog and/or the brand of Green Acres Meets Paris.
  33. Have a couple’s photo shoot for me & my husband.
  34. Invest in blog business cards.
    I invested in business cards for the BlogHer 16 conference. I used Vista Print and was extremely pleased in how they turned out and by how quickly I received them after I ordered them. Thanks, Vista Print!
  35. Attend a fashion show during New York Fashion Week and blog about it.
  36. Drink 64-ounces of water a day.
  37. Ditch my Diet Coke habit.
    Thanks to Topamax, I ditched my Diet Coke habit. After about three days on this medication for my headaches, Diet Coke began to taste like mold, so… yeah, YUCK! I haven’t had a Diet Coke in about 12 or 13 weeks. There have been times when I wanted to take a sip of  a one just to see how it would taste to me now, but I’m afraid that I would fall right back into that 100+ ounce a day habit. And yes, on many days I did drink that much Diet Coke. Now I either drink tea or water.
  38. Travel abroad, hit one of the places on my bucket list, and blog about it.
  39. Go a day without electronics (I.e., no phone, no iPad, no Mac).
  40. Attend three blogging conferences and blog about it.
    My first blog conference was the BlogHer 16 conference in L.A. Then this past June, I attended BlogHer 17 in Orlando, Fla.
  41. Organize my dressing room and blog about it.
    I organized my dressing room and my two dressers using the Kon Mari Method, which I wrote about in a post titled, “Ask Yourself: Does This Spark Joy?” My husband liked how I used this method to organize my dresser drawers that he had me organize his dresser drawers. We have maintained this organizational method for over four months and I think I may try to do share this method with my parents.
  42. Finish the Howard Family Memory Book and give copies to my family.
  43. Send out either Christmas or New Year’s cards.
  44. See a Cirque de Soleil performance live.
  45. Try acupuncture.
  46. Land a freelance writing job.
  47. Make and blog about 12 DIY projects from Pinterest.
    *Last year, I made both my husband and myself “ugly sweaters” for my office Christmas party. I’ve got several other DIY projects on the horizon. Once I get all of them done, I’ll write one post detailing all of the DIY projects I finished.
  48. Learn calligraphy.
  49. Enjoy a day at the spa.
    A few months ago, I took the day off from work and enjoyed a spa day. The doctor I work for gave me a gift card to a local spa and I used it, along with some “fun money” from my loving husband and treated myself to a trio of spa treatments. First I started with a full body deep tissue massage. It was the most relaxing hour I’ve had in a long time. From there I went and had a milk and honey body scrub. Oh my goodness, it smelled so wonderful and was equally relaxing. After about 15 minutes of letting that milk and honey scrub soak into my skin, I was led to the women’s changing room where a steaming hot shower awaited. I hopped inside and washed the scrub off, and then headed back to the room where I had the scrub done. She then applied a sweet smelling moisturizing lotion all over and sent me off to my final treatment – my pedicure. I enjoyed all three treatments and hope to do this again soon.
  50. Try one “out of my comfort zone” exercise classes.
  51. Join Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center.
    Instead, my husband and I both joined Workout Anytime because it’s close to home and inexpensive. It has all the equipment we need to workout together, but no classes (which I would prefer, but it’s okay).
  52. See Billy Joel in concert.
  53. Turn Maw’s recipes into a book for our family.
  54. Find my signature scent.
    It was hard to narrow down my favorite scents, but I’ve got five that I feel are my signature scents for each season and/or special occasions. I wear Loves Baby Soft, Nest Midnight Fleur, Coco Mademoiselle, Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon, and Avon’s Imari.
  55. Go to the top of the Empire State Building.
  56. Go zip-lining.
  57. See 10 “classic” films.
    I’m going to count “Funny Face”  and “Casablanca” in this category as well!
  58. Establish a new series on my blog (i.e., His & Hers, Weekend Wardrobe, etc.).
    I have started seven new blog series: Dress Form Outfit; Links I Love; Dinner Party; Wish List Wednesday; Wanderlust Wednesday; Woman of Style; and Man of Style.
  59. Go tandem skydiving.
  60. Learn a new language.
  61. Go one month without ordering takeout / fast food.
  62. Read 5 biographies/autobiographies.
    Leah Remini, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology”
    Andrew Morton, “Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography”
    Lauren Graham, “Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between”
  63. Learn to do the splits.
  64. Donate to a Kickstarter campaign I believe in.
  65. Organize my Yahoo and gmail accounts.
    Done! This one was harder and took some time. I have unsubscribed from several newsletters that were just clogging up my email accounts. But I’ve narrowed things down and categorized them so they ware easier to find.
  66. Host one blogger lunch or dinner twice a year.
  67. Publish 12 “How-To” posts.
    How to be a Role Model and Build Self-Confidence (8/4/2016); How to Let Go… (7/31/2016); How to Create an Awesome Summer Bucket List (6/26/2016); How to Make Your July 4th Weekend Unforgettable (6/24/2016); How to Wear Pom-Poms (6/20/2016); How to Put Together Your Summer Essentials (6/13/2016); How to Get Your (Faux) Glow On (5/26/2016); How to Break the Fashion Rules this Summer (5/16/2016); How to use Beauty Oils in your Beauty Routine (5/2/2016); How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo (4/30/2016); How to Fill Your Life with Hygge (10/29/2017); and How to Wear a Blanket Scarf (10/8/2016). I’ve written several other how-to posts.
  68. See a TED Talk Live.
  69. Mail a care package to my brother and sister-in-law.
  70. Mail care packages to my nieces.
  71. Take my husband to Ireland for our 20th anniversary – 10/17/2018.
  72. Grow really good tomatoes and burpless cucumbers.
    My husband said that both my tomatoes and cucumbers were super yummy. Even my friend, Cindy A., liked my cucumbers. Even though I planted Goliath tomatoes, they turned out to be on the small side, like tangerine-size. My cucumbers were crispy-crunchy and tasted pretty darn yummy in our summer salads. I’d say I’ll still plant cucumbers next year, but may go with grape tomatoes next time. UPDATE (4/30/2017): I have planted a hybrid cherry tomato and a hybrid burpless cucumber plant this year. I can’t wait to taste the fruits of my labor!
  73. Buy a Vespa or a cafe-style motorcycle.
    I didn’t think this one would happen as soon as it did, but I’m happy to say that I am now the proud owner of a 2009 Vespa. My husband and I were traveling to Daytona Beach for Turkey Run last November (2016) and stopped in Moultrie, Ga., for the annual Swap Meet and Car Show. There I found my Vespa and made two new friends – Gary Kinney (the man who sold us the Vespa) and Ken Wilson (a Vespa rider and travel blogger).
  74. Finish a screenplay and submit it to the Sundance Screenwriting Lab.
  75. Walk 10K steps every day for a month.
  76. Lose (and keep off) 10 lbs.
    At my heaviest, I was 190 lbs. I can happily say that I’ve lost 12 lbs in the last few months and I haven’t gained it back! Now to work on #94 and start getting my stamina and strength back.
  77. Get an article published in a magazine or an online news outlet.
  78. Save up to $5 for every thing I cross off on this list.
  79. Visit Washington, D.C.
  80. Take a cruise.
  81. Volunteer at Sundance Film Festival.
  82. Complete a NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).
    I actually completed a Blogtober Challenge, where I blogged every day during the month of October. You can check out the archives for the month of October 2016 and read them all, if you’d like!
  83. Go stand-up paddleboarding.
  84. Watch a movie from the year I was born.
    American Graffiti. It is one of my husband’s favorite movies and it came out in 1973, the year I was born.
  85. Write a “One Line A Day” journal for a month, possibly a year.
  86. Go parasailing.
  87. Quit sugar for 30 days (or longer).
  88. Buy something off Etsy and blog about it.
    I purchased something from Bare and Me at the BlogHer 16 conference, and yes, I blogged about it! I also purchased some monogrammed golf balls for the doctor I work with, and he really like it.
  89. Pull out my sewing machine and sew myself a dress.
    I didn’t actually sew a dress, but I did manage to make two travel neck pillows for my brother and his wife.
  90. Go geocaching.
  91. Answer “50 Questions that will Free your Mind” and blog about it.
    I answered all 50 questions. It took me ten months, but I did it. I answered five questions at a time and in the last blog post, I linked the previous 45 questions.
  92. Collect 25 autographed photos of some of my favorite actors/actresses.
  93. Read 101 books, and blog about the ones that were really fantastic.
    Leah Remini – Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology; James Patterson – Cross Justice; Elizabeth Lowell – Night Diver; Gillian Flynn – Dark Places; Michael Connelly – Nine Dragons; Andrew Morton – Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography; Maria Menounos – The Everygirl’s Guide to Life; James Patterson – The Murder House; Tom Wolfe – Back to Blood; David Baldacci – The Last Mile; Kate Hudson – Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body; Joel C. Rosenberg – The Auschwitz Escape; Marc Cameron – National Security.
  94. Do Beach Body Yoga twice a week for 30 days.
  95. Take a day-trip just for fun and blog about it.
  96. Write 50 handwritten notes to friends and loved ones.
  97. Buy new eyeglasses.
    Both my husband and I purchased new eyeglasses in January. I got two new pair of glasses and I love them.
  98. Publish one outfit post a month for a year.
    The first year I started my blog, I put up one dress form outfit blog post a week. This time around, I’m posting one outfit a month on my dress form. Here are June, July, AugustSeptember, October, November, December, January, February, MarchApril, and May. I have continued with the monthly dress form posts, so just check back each month for another featured outfit.
  99. Write a guest post on someone else’s blog.
    I actually did this, and now I can share it. I wrote a guest post for Lifestyle Queen Bee, a lifestyle blogger that I met through Facebook. I wrote an under $50 fashion challenge post.
  100. Give $5 to charity for every task on this list that I don’t complete.
  101. Inspire someone to come up with their own “101 in 1001” list.

I’m sure I’m missing some things, but I haven’t finished going through all my index cards where I wrote down what I accomplished. I also have a more complete list of books I’ve read in my daily planner, but when I wrote this blog post, my planner was no where near me and so I’ll update it next time {promise}!

In the mean time, if I’ve inspired you to come up with your own “101 things in 1001 days” list, comment below and leave me a link to find your list. Or you can give me a shoutout via Twitter or on Instagram and I’ll be sure to check out your list. Good luck on compiling your list and achieving your goals!

Yours Truly,
Vanessa

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