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101 in 1001

Day 1001.

Dear Stephanie,

Right now it is the wee morning of Thursday, September 11th, 2014. You’re at the Halter’s 1114 house in Tennessee. Today you almost cried talking to Ernie about how desperately you’d like to move to Nashville. You also had a Chick-fil-a sandwich that messed you up pretty bad.

Of primary interest to me is where you’re currently located on the day this posts, nearly 3 years later. Are you still in Portland, working at Moore Street? or did you decide to stop with all of the plane tickets and relocate to Nashville? Who do you spend the most time with these days?

Today the worries that plague you are: the idea of moving to Nashville, specifically insurance related things. Your dad moving to the Philippines sooner than you’d like. Telling the boy you like how you feel. Do these things matter to you today?

I hope you are full of grace. For others, but primarily – and most difficultly – for yourself. Who cares if you barely crossed off 50 things on your list, like v.1 (oops)? It’s about life, experiencing it wholeheartedly and with a daring sense of adventure even in the mundane, daily tasks. I hope you have completely cut out gluten and dairy, for your own sake. Except, perhaps, for the cheese on Chipotle bowls and now Chick-Fil-A because you’re pretty in love with it today.

Here’s a little bit of what life looks like for you these days:

Reading: Holy Curiosity
Listening: just took “Red Meets Blue” off of repeat. Loving Ben Rector like always.
Watching: Depending on the season: Catfish, Hannibal, STUPID Pretty Little Liars (BET YOU STILL DON’T KNOW WHO A IS), trashy Real World challenges and OF COURSE CRIMINAL MINDS.
Wearing: Lauren Conrad everything.
Smelling: Well how about this: you would love Vera Wang Princess.
Eating; CHICK-FIL-A IS AMAZING. But always Chipotle.
Drinking: Pines Coffee. Either a Stephanie Bear or an almond milk Honey Lavender Latte
Missing: everyone. always. all the time. forever.

Love always,

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March Goals check in.

In February, I accomplished very few of my 10 goals. I was mindful of the goals I set for myself in March, and since we’re almost 1/2way through with March (UM WHAT) I figured I’d check in and share my progress. I might do this every month, honestly!

Here are my March Goals, originally posted here.

  1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (hello I’m in San Fran, I can’t NOT do that)
  2. Save $1,000 (read why here) I’ve added a little tracker to my sidebar!
  3. Read 2 Harry Potter books (so finish up through the 5th book)
  4. Try 3 Tone It Up recipes
  5. Visit a new coffeeshop
  6. Add 75 things to my Gratitude Journal
  7. Get a manicure 
  8. Donate 100 items. I’d decided on this BEFORE my good friend Susannah posted this Uncluttering challenge!
  9. Touch an elephant
  10. Leave a $20 tip for a bill under $10 (I keep thinking about doing this but I need to just DO it)

Here’s where we’re at! The cool thing is that two of these were items on my 101 list and reading Harry Potter is working towards another thing on my 101 list!

  1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge 
    I kicked the month off in San Francisco, and while I was there my friends helped make sure I could walk across the Golden Gate Bridge!
    Golden Gate Bridge //
  2. Save $1,000 (read why here)
    I added a little tracker to my sidebar – my goal is to save up $5k overall, and so far this month I’m already at $755.
  3. Read 2 Harry Potter books
    I JUST finished reading the 3rd book. I’d hoped to finish 3 and read 4&5 but today when I grabbed the 4th book and looked at the 5th… I forgot how BIG the books got. Hoping to at least finish book 4.
  4. Try 3 Tone It Up recipes
    Yikes! I haven’t tried ANY – glad I did this check in so I could be reminded of this!
  5. Visit a new coffeeshop
    Yesterday Justen and I went to church with my dad and afterwards we took the opportunity to find a new coffeeshop to visit – we stopped by Blend Coffee in N. Portland. They served Stumptown and were pretty good except I was so distracted that I forgot to finish my really good almond milk mocha.
    Blend Coffee in Portland, OR //
  6. Add 75 things to my Gratitude Journal
    So far I’m at 25. Getting there. 😀
  7. Get a manicure 
  8. Donate 100 items.
    My donate pile has around 24 items right now.
  9. Touch an elephant
    DONE. On Saturday, Justen and I drove to the Wildlife Safari and we pet AND FED an elephant!

  10. Leave a $20 tip for a bill under $10
    Not yet! I haven’t taken the $20 out of the bank, but I’m excited to do this!

I’m at 40% so far! Excited that I’ve already completed more of my March goals than I did of my February ones! Now. Time to get to work on Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire!

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101 in 1001

Okay. My 101 in 1001 list is like… 79.42% over. Like.. what the actual… but okay. I’m just going to sit in total shock and awe over that one.

I haven’t done an update on how my list is going in like… A YEAR. OVER a year. Whaaatttt. It’s time, y’all. Let’s do some updating.

I’ve celebrated 5 of them. National Peanut Butter Day in Nashville, TN right after I first started. National Apricot day with my friend Rhoda. National Popcorn Day with the kids at my church. National Oreo Day when I made an oreo dessert to take to our friends’ house for dinner. and OBVIOUSLY baked cookies on National Cookie Day. Boom. 5 random holidays done. I’m thinking for my next 101 in 1001 I’m going to add more than just 5, because they were REALLY fun to celebrate!

After MONTHS of “does this count? does this count? does this count?” I finally decided that one 100%, absolutely counted. This past summer I was able to be a counselor at camp for a week, and I straight up slept under the stars.


Boom. Done. Always my favorite one to finish – and then I think “I should have a higher number!” Definitely going to up this one for next time. Want to know something CRAZY? 15 of the 35 coffee shops were located in the Vancouver/Portland area, the rest were out of town!

Wait – this one might be my favorite to finish! I love seeing how many different homes I’ve been welcomed into and how many late night conversations this number represents.

Justen is the best. After my car was totaled and during the time I was off work, he drove me to Seaside to go to the Seaside Aquarium. It’s not big, but I LOVED watching the sea lions, reading all about the fish and I kind of freaked out about the octopus. They are such weird creatures.


Speaking of Justen and how great he is, he got us tickets to see the Portland Trail Blazers. He incorrectly blasted all over social media that it was my first game but he was WRONG – I just want to clarify in case any of you saw his tweets or whatever. They played Bruno Mars multiple times, which made me happy. But the Blazers lost and the food was overpriced and those two things really disappointed me. I did also see a square of the original #pdxcarpet which made up for the other two things about the loss and the food.

Last year my friends and I had a Star Wars Marathon and I officially watched all of them – PLUS I saw the newest one. Who knew that while Darth Vader was bad, Emperor Palpatine was even worse?! I could probably do with one or two more viewings to really understand the movies but you know. Until then.

Okay so my dad taught me how to make an omelet, and I decided that I really do not have the culinary skills for that and I decided to always just stick with scrambles. Is that bad of me? Anyone else? Why are omelets so hard to make? Or am I just an over exaggerator? Or both?

I think that in my head, setting and achieving social media goals would mean I’d “made it,” blog-wise. Wrong. I’ve TWICE had to expand my goals, which is SO COOL – but that makes me feel like the goals were too attainable and weren’t something that required the amount of work I was wanting to put in. Noted for next time. 🙂

Ugh, you guys. ENTER GIVEAWAYS! Every so often I enter giveaways and win and I’m like “YES! I always wanted $75 to Bed, Bath & Beyond and a tube of toothpaste!” It’s actually really awesome, you guys. I needed a new toilet seat and who wants to drop money on a toilet seat? Guess what… I didn’t have to because I HAD A GIFT CARD TO BED, BATH & BEYOND. I won that giveaway after I’d won the others, but seriously… enter giveaways. My theory is this… someone has to win, right?! 🙂

This one was really cool, because the main thing was I couldn’t ask. Every time I got one of those Facebook notifications that someone had changed their profile pic to one of my pictures I got SO EXCITED! I LOVE seeing pictures I’ve taken on people’s Facebook profiles. and speaking of…

Two days in a row, you guys. TWO DAYS IN A ROW. I’m really starting to fall in love with photography. Over the past few months we’ve been able to take pictures for people and just recently people have started paying us! SO COOL. Here are a few of the maternity photos we took for Justen’s brother and sister-in-law:



OMG y’all, weddings are my favorite. I’ve had the privilege of watching so many of my friends get married, and good news THEY ARE ALL STILL MARRIED… praise hands, y’all.

Let me be honest. First I won a game of Catan Jr and I decided that if I never won a game of grown up Settlers of Catan, I’d count this as a win. But this past Labor Day at Lummi Island, we played Settlers of Catan… AND I FREAKING WON.



With these, I have finished 28.71% (29) of my 101 in 1001. Y’all, I have GOT to get on this, because this 101 in 1001 list is kicking my butt.

Few questions for y’all.
Have you ever done a 101 in 1001 list? What do you think would be cool things for me to add to my new one (which would start next June)? and any of y’all want to help me cross some things off my list?!

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101 in 1001 update

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my 101 in 1001 list.  Right before I published this new list back in September, I wrote a post about what I learned my first attempt at finishing a 101 in 1001 list. #1 was “a lot can change in 2.75 years.”

Okay, a LOT can change in even less time. My 101 in 1001 list was written around the reality of my life at the moment. There are a few things on that list that hurt to look at, because I’d always imagined being able to tell a certain person about the things I was doing… and now we are no longer speaking. Sometimes looking at my 101 list reminds me of that and I feel a stab of pain, but I’m determined to push through that and so now… an update is very much in order!

#8. Celebrate 5 ridiculous holidays (01/05)

National Peanut Butter Day //

When I was in Nashville, Travis & Megan helped me cross of 1/5 of these! We celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by making a bunch of peanut buttery things.

#48. Fill up my journal

Last entry of my journal!

#50. Finish/empty 50 smelly things

I keep track of this when I do my empties posts!

#51. Lose 20 lbs

Y’all I am literally SO CLOSE to this. Depending on the day (haha) I am often LESS THAN A POUND away from this. On a whim, I brought a whole bunch of old clothes in from the garage… I found this pair of American Eagle shorts that my dad + stepmom bought for me for my birthday in 2003. The shorts were too small back then, and I recently TOOK THE TAGS OFF AND WORE THEM. I’ve not been great about writing about my weight loss because it’s kind of unintentional (small decisions, nothing I’m waging war on) but you can check out the few posts I have written here.

weight loss //

#76. New Glasses

Holy crap it’s REALLY been awhile since I’ve updated this 101 list!

#79. Redeem Rapid Rewards for a free flight

I wrote a blog post about it here. Slightly bittersweet to read, but whatever. No going back; only forwards.

#96. Send 5 packages using old Birchboxes

birchboxes //

They SERIOUSLY make for the CUTEST little care packages! Add some fancy lace packing tape and it’s a super sweet little surprise to drop in the mail!



There are a few other ones that are in progress, but these are the ones that were worthy of being mentioned in a blog ;D

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What I learned attempting 101 things in 1001 days.

Tomorrow my 101 expires.
I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m flushing my goldfish or something! Goodbye…!!!

101 in 1001 lists are pretty popular these days. The idea is pretty simple: you make a list of 101 very clear goals and set a limit of 1001 days to accomplish it – 2.75ish years. I didn’t complete mine – I actually didn’t really hit 50%, and I wanted to share with you the things I learned about my list. // what i learned while attempting to do 101 things in 1001 days
#1. A lot can change in 2.75 years.
When I first made the list, I had just purchased a plane ticket to spend the weekend in California to visit the girls I used to live with. I worked 3 days a week and had 4 days to do whatever I wanted, and I built my list around that. I now have a full time job with no real consistent schedule. That affects my ability to plan. Oh and I bought a new car which takes a lot of my $$ every month.

#2. Priorities can change a lot in 2.75 years.
3 years ago, I was allll about wanting to write songs on the guitar. I thought it would give me more opportunities to play music. I am consistently able to play the piano in various groups now, and so things like “buy a guitar” just no longer interested me.

#3. Friends make things more fun.
I had my friends walk across the i5 bridge with me. It was rainy and my shoes got really dirty, but it was so much fun. It’s not anything we would have just randomly thought to do. It was one of my favorite things to cross off because my friends bought into it. Completely a list that keeps you isolated and doing a bunch of things by yourself is no fun.

#4. The 101 things can’t be an attempt to become a new person.
I gave up coffee for a week. But I still drink coffee. I gave up soda for a month. I still drink soda. I gave up technology for an hour before bed for a month. But I’m back to that. Some of the things I put on my list are there because I want to be the kind of person who does those things. If you want to know what those things were, go look at the ones that didn’t get crossed off.

#5. The 101 might spark some new habits.
In August of 2014, I spent nothing but gas money for the month and I did a huge downsizing of my stuff. Over the past year I’ve continued to let go of stuff and have been way more mindful of my spending. I am grateful for the change it kickstarted.

#6. If you make a goal to do more of what you already love… you will love to do it.
I love coffee and I love couch surfing. The two most fun things to be intentional about were sleeping in different places and trying new coffee shops, because those were things I already love doing. I just had to be intentional about doing it more often.

#7. 1001 days goes by REALLY FAST if you’re not paying attention.
Seriously, I looked at this list SO OFTEN and I’d think “oh I will have plenty of time to………” and here we are and time ran out.

#8. The list doesn’t really matter. It’s about life.
I live a pretty spectacular life. So even though I kind of failed at crossing some things off on my list (for example, I never sent Travis Batista a colored in coloring book) I did even cooler things (like actually spending time with Travis and his wife when I went to Nashville).

I don’t feel like I failed at my list at all. I have been excited to start a new one (it’ll post in a few days) since I realized the overwhelming amount of work it would have to take to finish my old one.

Hopefully some of this is useful and encouraging to those of you who have 101 lists or are thinking of making one. I’ve loved having one to help me break out of my comfort zone (um I took a picture of what I wore every day for a month. That was soooo weird for me) and to keep track of small memories I wouldn’t remember otherwise.

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