A New Year and a 101 Things Update.

Hello there 2017.

2016 was a pivotal year in my life. We became parents at the end of 2015 and 2016 was spent adjusting into my new life as a first-time mom. It was an amazing and exhausting season in a way I don’t think anything else can be. But now that we’re into a new year I’m ready to stretch myself and (attempt to) make time for my own creative endeavors.

I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Roald Dahl

This year I hope to:

  1. Learn and create. The biggest change in my life last year was leaving my full-time job and staying at home with my daughter. While I have been and intend to continue to be a freelance designer, for the first time in my life in many years I have the opportunity to push myself as an artist in whatever direction I’d like to go. I want to set aside more time for pet design and aimless art projects. For me, that is always the best way to boost myself creatively and learn new skills. I received Jessica Hische’s In Progress book for Christmas and I want to spend more time learning lettering design. I’m also exploring pottery classes and would like to paint and draw more at home. All of those things will lead to me being a better, stronger, happier creative designer.
  2. Bulk up my reading content. I’ve always been a huge bookworm and read constantly. My reading list last year took a hit – as in it mostly involved books about baby sleep scheduling or was light/mindless. While I don’t intend to conquer Tolstoy this year, I look forward to reading some books with a little more nuance.
  3. Schedule myself. Transitioning to being a stay-at-home-mom last year was a huge change for me. I worked part-time for half of 2016, and freelanced for the second half of it. But I lost all sense of routine. I can definitely be type A and like to be organized about things, so this was a challenge for me. Now that my daughter is on a more reliable schedule and I’m not tied to a specific working schedule, I want to develop a routine that will be my new normal. This includes everything from exercise and meal planning, to play dates, to creative projects, to special outings. It can be very tempting to stay at home with a baby, I want to push myself to get out there and do a few unique things (such as a few art museums I’ve been wanting to see).


A few years ago I wrote a 101 things list (read my 101 things I wanted to do in 1001 days here). My 1001 days ended on December 31, 2016. I thought it would be fun to recap what I ended up accomplishing. Like many lists of good intentions I slowly forgot about it over time. (Hence my shorter list above for 2017!) Also, I made the list before I was even pregnant, so this was an idealistic list from a girl who had a lot more free time. Nonetheless, it was never about crossing things off a list but pushing myself to realize and accomplish some of my goals.

Here is my 101 Things list:

1. Go to before by 10:00pm every day for 2 weeks

2. Wake up at 6:00am every morning for 2 weeks – CHECK. A newborn baby will do that to ya!

3. Sign up for a 10k

4. Try a Bikram Yoga class – Bought a Groupon but The Bikram Yoga place near my house closed!

5. Run 8 miles without stopping

6. Go hiking in the White Mountains – We never made it to the White Mountains, but did end up hiking through Mt. Desert in Acadia National Park.

7. Take an online class in something I enjoy

8. Learn handlettering I did some minor practicing, but I just got Jessica Hische’s book and some Tombow markers for Christmas and can’t wait to hone my skills in 2017!

9. Organize music and get rid of CDs – CD free since April 2014

10. Create and maintain an address book – I finally went digital with my address book. No more erasing and crossing out old addresses.

11. Learn a skill that I don’t know  – I learned to grill. I started last summer, and while I’m no means a master, I’ve made progress trying everything from burgers to chicken to vegetables to pizza.

12. Edit together our wedding videos

13. Learn to can food

14. Make bread from scratch

15. Plant a vegetable garden

16. Make my own granola – CHECK

17. Learn the art of making a great cup of coffee – I’ve graduated to regularly making fresh press and making my own cold-brewed iced coffee. So I’m going to check this one off the list.

18. Find the perfect waffle recipe – Ach! I have tried 10+ waffle recipes and ton of them have been deemed “perfect”. Any to share?

19. Make my own pizza dough

20. Experiment making 10 new flavors of homemade ice cream Progress – 7/10 (Concord Grape Sorbet, Lemon Ice Cream, Cinnamon Chocolate Ice Cream, Watermelon Mint Granita, Maple 100 Grand Bar Ice Cream, Mango Mint, Brown Sugar Peach)

21. Successfully replicate a homemade version of Uno’s “The Cookie”

22. Daily devotionals for 1 month straight Lent 2015

23. Get involved in a ministry I feel passionate about – I started doing some design work for our church, so I’d say that qualifies. Both things I love and am passionate about.

24. Do one pro-bono design job – CHECK.

25. Reread all works by C.S. Lewis

26. Attend one weekend retreat

27. Write a short novel

28. Write and illustrate a children’s story

29. Write one piece of fan fiction

30. Start and complete a 1001 gifts journal Progress – Started April 2014

31. Write to 10 of my favorite writers and ask for their advice

32. Restore Granna’s steamer trunk Progress – Started June 2014

33. Install board and batten – CHECK. Installed in upstairs bathroom and downstairs hallway.

34. Learn how to tile – I was supposed to learn this while renovating our upstairs bath, but after 7 weeks with NO shower in our house we ended up hiring it out to get it done quickly. We sold our tile saw over the summer to make room in the garage, so this dream will not be coming to fruition anytime soon. 

35. Learn metal stamping

36. Learn to use 5 new power tools 1/5

37. Make my own candles

38. Try glass etching

39. Learn to crochet (and actually make something) – I had a few lessons from a friend, but that’s as far as I got. I have pathetic finger strength (too many years at a keyboard?).

40. Sew a patchwork quilt – CHECK. I made a quilt out of my husband’s old dress shirts.

41. Sew something I can actually wear – CHECK. Made a bathrobe May 2014

42. Go candlepin bowling

43. Buy a book from the outdoor Brattle Street Bookshop – CHECK

44. Visit Castle Island

45. Go to SOWA – CHECK.

46. Attend Boston Marathon – CHECK. Attended 2014 and 2016

47. Attend Head of the Charles

48. Organize a girls “bakery crawl” – CHECK. Had a blast and blogged about it in June 2014

49. Walk the whole Freedom Trail – CHECK.

50. Eat at Upstairs on the Square – So sad. This restaurant closed shortly after I wrote this list.

51. FINALLY go to a Red Sox Game at Fenway July 2016 Red Sox vs Rangers!

52. Sam Adams Brewery Tour

53. Spend an afternoon at the Worcester Art Museum

54. Visit Newport (and go inside the mansions this time) – HALF-CHECK. I’ve visited twice, but not inside the mansions yet!

55. Go to the seaglass beach in Maine – I’m not sure which beach I was originally referencing, but I did stop at one while we were hiking Acadia. It was wildly unsuccessful in terms of seaglass hunting, but I feel I can check this off the list in good conscience.

56. Visit Martha’s Vineyard

57. Go to polo match at Myopia

58. Go to Brimfield Antique Market – CHECK. May 2016

59. Explore 5 nearby towns I’ve never been – 5/5 Portland, ME, Stockbridge, MA, Quechee, VT, Bar Harbor, ME, Duxbury, MA

60. Explore the South Shore – CHECK.

61. Go to Block Island

62. Visit a cranberry bog (in season)

63. Take a weekend trip with my Mom

64. Girls weekend in Stone Harbor – October 2015.

65. Visit my brother in Washington DC  –  April 2014

66. Visit Colls in FL

67. Go somewhere I’ve never been – Babymoon on Prince Edward Island

68. Attend two concerts – George Strait / Tim McGraw, and Garth Brooks (Also ended up seeing Tyrone Wells, Mat Kearney, and Need to Breathe)

69. See the Phantom of the Opera. I just need it to come back to Boston!

70. Host a fancy girly brunch

71. Host a fall BBQ

72. Host a seafood bake

73. Host a salt water taffy pull

74. Go camping – We had the opportunity but I was 8 months pregnant. Somehow my massive belly and sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag didn’t sound appealing.

75. Take a dancing class – Went line dancing!

76. Read 5 classics I haven’t read before – HAH! Did I mention all the baby sleep books I read? 1/5 Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

77. Participate in a book club – CHECK.

78. Learn to sail – I’ve been trying!

79. Go Wine Tasting in the Finger Lakes

80. Learn to Water Ski on one ski – August 2014.

81. Go swing and salsa dancing – 1/2- went Swing Dancing July 2014

82. Buy one piece of original artwork that I love

83. Visit three new art museums – 2/3 (The Cloisters- NYC, The Peabody Essex Museum- Salem, MA, )

84. Take a pottery class – Actually was researching this this week!

85. Find a perfume I love and buy it – Probably skipping this one… I don’t really wear perfume anymore.

86. (Finally) finish reading the Meaning of Marriage

87. Start playing tennis

88. Attempt to learn how to play golf

89. Buy fishing equipment and go fishing

90. Start a family memories book – CHECK.

91. Update personal freelance website – CHECK.

92. Update/organize my design portfolio – CHECK.

93. Redesign blog – CHECK.

94. Transfer to WordPress self-hosted – CHECK.

95. Start an editorial calendar and stick to it (for at least a month) – HAH! Or stop blogging for 1.5 years…

96. Attend 6 blogger events – 2/6

97. Launch an Etsy shop – Definitely re-thinking this one…

98. Learn about aperture and iOS on my camera – I bought a new SLR this fall. I have been slowly practicing but definitely need to dedicate some more time to it.

99. Start painting again

100. Find and complete 8 freelance design jobs – Check!

101. Paint a piece of art for my home