Thank you to all of you that have read or kept up with my 101 in 1001 project on this blog. I have now converted all of my posts over to my new site: http://www.mandyandconner.com. I hope you will join me over there to continue following along with my 101 in 1001 project as well as life as a newlywed. Also make sure you update your RSS feeds. Thanks!
Check out the latest update on my 101 in 1001 project on my main site: http://www.mandyandconner.com
All those who love Etsy say “I”. I love Etsy because of the homemade aspect of most of the products. I love that everything comes from entrepreneurs who are expressing their creativity. I feel inspired when looking through the homemade shops and sometimes even splurge on items that I know are one-of-a-kind that I can’t recreate myself . I am not going to lie, I want to open an Etsy shop. Not sure what I would sale, but I love the idea of running a small business and making the products by hand. Just putting that out there. Here are a few of the things I am loving right now, especially with Valentine’s Day on the brain.
I have a thing for art right now, especially if it has some connection to my family. I love these Fox prints since our last name means Fox.
These other two are just unique and lovely finds for the love in your life. Enjoy.
January Update for my 101 in 1001 Project.
#3: Go on a date a month for 6 months
#12. Have a girl’s night once every other month (6/16): The Bachelor started back up this month so we had a viewing party at my house. Some girlfriends came over for pizza and reality tv.
49. Join a Sunday School Class. We took the first step in making this happen. Our church doesn’t really have “Sunday school classes” but they do have newly married groups filled with 5 couples plus a mentor. The group focuses on the fact that we are all in the same stage of life and how to grow together in our spiritual journey. I am excited for this group which will actually start in the middle of February, however January we actually met our group and got connected for the first time.
51. Do five random acts of kindness. (2/5). We went to Dinner with a gift card a few nights ago. It was a place we normally don’t frequent but the gift card was for more than we could eat or take home with us in one sitting. There was only some change left on it, but it still felt good not to waste it. We just asked the cashier to take it off for the person behind us. Nothing big, but a little goes a long way sometimes.
#67 I am a visual person so it is fun to use Pinterest for recipe inspiration. A few weeks ago we made the bacon wrapped honey glazed chicken strips. It was intended for an appetizer however we paired it with mashed potatoes for our dinner. It was fantastic. Check out the original recipe here.
82. Cut coupons and try to save some $ for 3 months. (1/3). This was the first month that I only went to the store with coupons in hand. Now, I am not an “extreme couponer” but I did save over $10.00 with coupons alone for just 3 trips to the grocery store in January. Of course these coupons were combined with store discounts so overall I saved $42.00 in the month of January. In our house that is over 5 days of meals for free!
What goals did you accomplish this month for your 101 in 1001 challenge?
#3: Go on a date a month for 6 months:
Not only was this one of my 101 in 1001 goals, but it has become a weekly goal for our marriage. Marriage is all about learning more about each other and truly understanding one another. For me, I know I am loved through the act of quality time. The first 5 months of marriage have been lacking in that quality time due to the fact that my hubby has been busy with school, two jobs, and football. Now that it is a new year, new job, and no football it was time to commit to one another the act of quality time.
Our goal was to do something unplugged without cell phones, just the two of us, each week. The challenge for us was to make it something that was not common place, like dinner and a movie, and something that cost little to no money. For this month we decided to visit Callaway Gardens because they offer free admission during January. Obviously this is because the gardens are not very vibrant or colorful, however it is still beautiful for having a picnic or visiting the indoor exhibits. Here are a few pictures from our day exploring the lake, butterfly house, and gardens.
A full recap of the date is on our joint blog. What ideas do you have for date nights that are beyond just dinner and a movie? I welcome the suggestions!
Hello 2012. What a year 2011 was! I kicked off the year with a challenge for the next 1001 days. The challenge was created out of the fact that I was bored. I was bored with life. I was used to being busy and challenging myself but had been feeling less than extraordinary due to a new found freedom that comes once you graduate and are not locked into a strict schedule every single moment of the day. The challenge to embrace change, grow in new directions, and celebrate life’s little moments were all part of the reason I wanted to challenge myself with 101 goals over 1001 days. I have made some progress over 365 short days and want to recap the highlights:
January began with the 1001 challenge. Some of the goals on the list seemed a little lofty to me and were designed to really push me out of my comfort zone. It would also allow me to try new things. January kicked off with some travel and meeting a fellow social media friend. I went to North Carolina and Indiana during January. I also went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Fox in Atlanta. One of the challenging goals on my list was trying 30 new recipes. My ability to cook 365 days ago on a scale of 1 to 10 was 1. I barely could make mac and cheese. I am happy to say that I am becoming more comfortable in the kitchen and over the last few months I have really pushed myself. January began the new recipe challenge and I am happy to say the Bacon Avocado sandwiches are still one of our go-to meals.
February began my journey of trying new restaurants. There are a ton of cool places to eat in Atlanta and I wanted to be able to try them all out. February also was about planning for marriage. One of the best books I have ever read was during that month, 5 love languages. It has helped us as a couple more than I can say. It not only helps me understand my spouse better but it also allows me to understand people’s motives, especially in the work place. I have grown a lot just by that simple book. Thank you Gary Chapman for writing a book that explains so much.
During March I challenged myself to a 30 day fry free zone. This was a big challenge mostly because I didn’t realize how many French fries I ate and how fee alternative options were available. During March I also went to Florida for a professional conference and assisted in some workshops there on social media.
April was a time for more travel, blogging, and meeting new people. April was the month I challenged myself to blog for 30 days straight. New restaurants were tried, three states were visited, and a wine was tasted.
May and June were busy with house hunting for our newlywed home and strawberry picking. The month was also filled with girls nights and reading The help. Work was busy for May and June so there was a lack of progress on the 1001 challenge, however there was a lot of planning and preparation going in to making the next few months a success.
The summer were the months that the biggest changes happened. In July I started my new job as a “career women”. The summer seemed to fly by as I tried to squeeze in as much time soaking in the sun while juggling planning a wedding and working full time. My girls only trip happened in the form of the Bachelorette Party this month planned by my wonderful sister. I also embraced my singlehood and went pushed myself to go to a movie by myself. July was also busy as I took a dance class and went through Pre-Marital Counseling with Conner.
August 13, 2011 finally rolled around. Months of planning the wedding of my dreams finally came to reality this month. I also did some traveling outside of the United States this month to Jamaica. In my spare time I also joined the Junior League. This would be the platform where I could devote my 101 hours of volunteering over the next 1001 days. https://mandyvolpe.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/101-in-1001-august-update/
September began the volunteering as well as the wedding detox. By wedding detox I mean it was time to get my name legally changed, organize our wedding stuff, and sell all unwanted wedding decor. September was pretty busy in the fact that there was a lot of new things happening and the month really called for an establishment of a routine. I felt like that routine finally happened by the end of the month which meant that the chaos settled down too.
October was a fun month filled with date nights, dinner parties, and a girls night out. October was the 100th anniversary of my sororities charter on campus so there was a lot of celebrating going on!
November was laid back because I was busy traveling and preparing for the holidays. New recipes were tried along with some volunteering.
December was about family and “first’s”. It was the first married Christmas, first time getting a puppy, and first time for new traditions. December was a little slower and involved a little bit of relaxation. It also was a time for some crafting. December was a nice time for reflection of how lucky I was during 2011 and how much had happened. It was also a time of reflection on goals achieved as well as outlook to the future.
I am excited for the mystery of what 2012 has in store. Here’s to 2012.
December 2011 was a time for holidays, family, friends, and giving back. I was so excited to send out first Christmas Cards as newlyweds (#9).
I also went to dinner with a dear friend during my staycation in December (#12). Other progress on the 1001 challenge included paying a stranger a compliment and volunteering for 3 hours during December.
A lot of progress has been made on my 1001 project since January 1. Check out the recap posts to stay up to date on the challenge:
I was doing some Christmas Shopping the other day and found some really pretty displays in the West Elm store. I wanted to share them with you as they may inspire your last minute holiday decor or even your Christmas table settings.
This display caught my eye because of how the plates are placed on the block of wood. I really liked the idea of using the wood as platters or even creating levels within decorations with the wood block. For the fall, we actually took a piece of wood and placed a hurricane vase with a candle on it. We filled the vase with some silk flowers I had in my crafting inventory.
This was a Thanksgiving table they had on display, but it could also work for Christmas time since it incorporates a “rustic Christmas” look. I really like the centerpiece. I would probably add some Christmas ornaments to make it a little more festive.
There you have it for the displays that caught my eye.
I am a huge fan of Pinterest. I am obsessed with the inspiration that the site drives in my soul. I am obsessed with Pinterest as a company. I am obsessed with watching how companies, entrepreneurs and the creative world are integrating it within their business practices. Peoples’ online e-shops are up because people are repinning their content. Viewership is up on blogs due to new links from Pinterest (hello new readers!). I just love how quickly it has overtaken society and how people are using it. Enough about that. Here are a few projects I created after being inspired on Pinterest:
Baby Onesies! I am a beginner at sewing, but after seeing a pin on pinterest, I thought I could attempt to make a few for a dear friend that is having a baby. I thought they turned out pretty cute, especially since the selection of boy clothes is limited in the stores.
Christmas Wreath: Originally, I found an all white wreath on pinterest, but wanted to put my own spin on the design. I decided to do a green wreath, as it would go good against our red front door. The whole process was actually very easy- cut felt circles, pin them onto a Styrofoam ring. I spent maybe $10.00 on the project after I bought the styrophom, felt, and sewing pins. I say it was worth it to create something that can be used for many years to come.
Paintings: My sisters came over to my house last week for a slumber party and we had so much fun painting our own canvases. We all found some inspiration on Pinterest and then adapted the design and colors to fit our own lives. Mine is the “Georgia on my Mind” canvas.
Crayon Art: Finally my last piece of Pinterest art was a rendition on the crayon art. I already had a black and pink painting so I wanted something mono-toned to go with it. I used the hair dryer method to melt the crayons and then made sure the wax went all over the canvas.
So those are my November Pinterest art pieces. What have you Pinned and created lately?