101 in 1001

Well, once again it has been awhile! In an effort to keep up with my blogging, and because I like having goals and the feeling that I am working toward something, I have decided to do a 101 in 1001!

Start date: January 27, 2016

End Date: October 24, 2018

I’ve got approximately 2.75 years to complete all of the things on my list. Here’s what it is:
The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

The added bonus for bloggers – it keeps you blogging, and gives material to blog about!

I will update my progress here and blog about it the whole way! (That’s the plan anyway…) Coming up with 101 things was actually a lot harder then I thought! It took me almost 2 weeks and a little bit of help from Google for some of the ideas. Some of my goals are easy, some are hard, there are a lot of travel-related ones….here we go!

 

  1. Read 6 books per year (0/18)
  2. Take at least one cooking class per year (0/3)
  3. Re-finish an old piece of furniture
  4. Take an art class
  5. Join a gym
  6. Go for a drive/hike in Algonquin Park in the Fall
  7. Make a fitness plan and stick to it for at least 3 months
  8. Save $5000 for an emergency fund
  9. Learn to meditate and practice regularly
  10. Complete a colouring book
  11. Drive across Canada (at least from Ontario to B.C)
  12. Make traditional perogies from scratch
  13. Go snow tubing
  14. Take Haley on new hiking trails (0/6)
  15. Make at least one new friend
  16. Do an activity that is completely out of my comfort zone
  17. Spend a long weekend at The Inn At Bay Fortune in PEI
  18. Cook every recipe in a cookbook
  19. Go to Niagara-on-the-Lake overnight and do a wine tour
  20. Get a new car
  21. Make a donation to a charity at least twice per year (0/6)
  22. Do a new blog post at least twice per month (5/66)
  23. Go to at least two Toronto Blue Jays games per season (0/6)
  24. Get a piece of art for bedroom wall
  25. Do a random act of kindness (0/6)
  26. Build a snowman
  27. Make homemade marshmallows
  28. Make a pie (0/3)
  29. Make fudge for the office (1/6)
  30. Pay off credit card debt
  31. Get a new bed
  32. Get rid of broken treadmill and large (heavy!) broken TV in basement
  33. Take Haley swimming at Cherry Beach at least twice per Summer (0/6)
  34. See a drive-in movie
  35. Clean closet and drawers at least once per year and donate unwanted items (1/3)
  36. Make full length mirror and frame with barn board
  37. Buy a Brita water bottle and use that every day at work instead of bottled water
  38. Back up iPhone to computer every other month (0/17)
  39. Buy a gift for someone just because (1/3)
  40. Shoot a gun at a shooting range
  41. See a Cirque Du Soleil performance
  42. Rent a cottage for a week or weekend
  43. Travel to three new places (0/3)
  44. Take a trail ride on horseback
  45. Visit the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
  46. Get a new tattoo
  47. Plant wildflowers in the garden
  48. Take a weekend trip by myself to re-charge
  49. Have dinner in Toronto’s Distillery District in the Summer
  50. Go back to Ireland
  51. Go back  to England
  52. Go back to New York City
  53. Go back to the Florida Keys
  54. Go back to Las Vegas
  55. Have dinner at the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower
  56. Make 15 things from Pinterest (recipes/DIY/etc.) (2/15)
  57. Take one picture every waking hour for one day (0/3)
  58. Try a new restaurant (2/10)
  59. Do the CN Tower Edge Walk
  60. Spend money only on the necessities for one month (food/bills/etc.)
  61. Go tree-top trekking in Blue Mountain
  62. Participate in a charity walk
  63. Try skiing again (I think it’s been almost 20 years!)
  64. Keep my dresser top completely clean and tidy for one month
  65. Take a day or two off in the Summer and make no plans (this will be hard for me!)
  66. Go fishing (invisible bonus points for actually catching a fish!)
  67. Say ‘Yes’
  68. Say ‘I Do’
  69. Take a cake decorating class
  70. Take a last minute road trip
  71. Go to the CNE one Summer
  72. Pay for the person behind me in the Tim Hortons drive-thru
  73. At the end of each year make a photo album of the past year (0/3)
  74. Eat chili for all three meals on Super Bowl Sunday
  75. Make sushi from scratch
  76. Organize my recipes
  77. Go to a Summer music festival
  78. Find out my blood type
  79. Watch the sun rise and set in one day in the Summer
  80. Take a Winter vacation to somewhere warm
  81. Make homemade pasta
  82. Be a tourist in my own city and take a Toronto bus tour
  83. Go to a concert (0/3)
  84. Sign up for at least two 10-pass sessions of Pilates per year (1/6)
  85. Get some decent Pilates work out attire and get rid of current outfits
  86. Go to the local farmers market twice per season (0/6)
  87. Give up coffee for one week (0/3)
  88. Paint a picture
  89. Watch all of The Godfather movies
  90. Take a wine tasting course
  91. Make homemade grain-free dog treats for Haley
  92. Join a local book club
  93. Make homemade vanilla extract
  94. Go to the Calgary Stampede
  95. Attend a horse race
  96. Perfect a fancy pie crust that actually turns out awesome
  97. Get back in the habit of taking vitamins daily (it’s an on going struggle haha)
  98. Leave a 100% tip
  99. Visit a lavender farm
  100. Donate $5 for everything not completed on this list

Wish me luck!

Let’s Go Blue Jays! & Greek Chicken Pasta

It’s funny how the second August arrived the weather changed. I notice it in the morning mostly, walking Haley…its a lot cooler and has a Fall-feel to it. It seems earlier this year….though I can never seem to remember what each month feels like year-to-year anyway haha

This week my plan of attack is to paint all of the trim and interior doors…they are currently white- I am painting them a slightly different shade of white. A pointless task? Perhaps, but I can see the difference haha I didn’t get any done yesterday- I was just too exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well again…I know its because I have too much on my mind: everything that we have planned for the rest of August, and the BBQ we are having next weekend. Ah well…perhaps I will attack the trim tonight.

Last night I made a fantastic Greek chicken pasta for dinner. I found the recipe on Pinterest (where else!) from a blog called Host the Toast and it is one I will be making again I think…maybe with a few modifications. It was super easy and not too time consuming:

One Pot Greek Chicken Pasta with Creamy Feta White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/3 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
  • 8oz fresh spinach
  • 1 box of pasta (I’m still using gluten free pasta)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2-2 1/2 cups of reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 Tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 Tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 Tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8oz feta cheese
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • lemon zest and basil for garnish

Head olive oil in a large deep pot and cook cubed chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, until browned. Mix in the shallots, garlic, capers, olives and spinach and continue cooking for a minute or two until the spinach starts to wilt. Mix in the dry pasta and add the white wine and chicken stock making sure there is just enough to cover the pasta- add more if necessary. Mix in oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream, feta cheese and tomatoes. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, until sauce turns creamy and thick. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon zest. Enjoy!

photo (4)

I have come to discover that I am not a huge fan of capers, neither is The Boyfriend, so I think in future I will keep those out. He also doesn’t like olives so I plated his then added the olives to mine at the end.

On to sports! So the Toronto Blue Jays are doing amazing…FINALLY! I have always been a fan, as has The Boyfriend. Can you believe that tickets in the 500 level are going for over $7,000?! Whether or not they will actually sell for that amount is another story….I got The Boyfriend tickets to the last game of the regular season for his birthday, which also happens to be at the end of September (it’s ok, he knows he is getting them…I get them every year!) I am SO glad I got them when I did because I don’t think there are any decent seats available. I might try to get some tickets for a game here and there in between also…the cheap seats though…I’m talking $16 plus tax haha too bad tomorrows game is sold out :(

Lets Go Blue Jays!

photo (3)

Haley has jumped on the Blue Jays bandwagon!

The Wilderness Puppy- And the Following Weekend

Well…it has been a busy couple of weeks! My absence this time was due to illness and work craziness. I don’t know what happened, but the Tuesday before we went camping I felt so sick…I have never felt that bad, not even before I went to the naturopath and started figuring exactly which foods hurt me and which don’t. I honestly don’t know how I made it through work that day…to be honest I don’t even know how I MADE it to work that day. Anyways that went on for the rest of the week, gradually getting better. Friday morning we got up at 3:30am to head North to Algonquin and everything seemed fine… We stop for breakfast at Tim Hortons and everything goes down hill from there. (First I would like to say I have had a Tims breakfast sandwich not to long before this and felt fine) Anyways it got to the point where I told The Boyfriend that I might not make it to the lake, let alone canoe and portage for the next 4 hours. Luckily we arrived at Oxtongue Algonquin Outfitters an hour and a half early. I don’t know how I managed it, I didn’t think I would be able to, but I was incredibly determined…I somehow started feeling better and we went for it. It was a great time! SO glad we didnt head home. It was Haleys first time and she LOVED it. The first thing she did when we found our site is jump out of the canoe onto the beach and went straight into the water! There was some rain but nothing too bad…luckily we left Sunday because there was a bad storm Sunday afternoon that would have been pretty scary.

Haley Camping

This canoe stuff: not so bad!

Haley Camping2

Even Haley pitched in across the portage- she carried her own stuff!

Camping

Campfire on the beach

Camping 2

I wish every breakfast could be like this breakfast *sigh*

Algonquin 2

Haley Camping 3

Wilderness puppy

Last week was a short work week which was nice….but it was also overwhelmingly busy. I love being busy at work, but it is mentally exhausting haha

This past weekend was also busy! (that time of year!) Friday The Boyfriend and I went to The Twisted Fork for dinner in Mount Albert…it was our first time there and it was really good! Saturday thanks to a text at 5:45am from my Mom I was awake…did a Pilates class with my sister and at night The Boyfriend and I went to see Slipknot at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. Sunday we went to the Unionville Farmers Market then drove to Burlington because The Boyfriend had to measure a few things for work. Haley and I walked along the waterfront for about 10 min before we found out The Boyfriend couldn’t get the measurements because the area was locked, so we headed home taking the long way through Caledon. I’m exhausted reliving it all again haha

And here I am at work again, gearing up for the week…Next weekend The Boyfriend and I are having a rather large BBQ so I am trying to sort that out now to avoid last minute stress later (who are we kidding though…I love planning and the stress that comes with it!)…Also, in my head I have completely painted, updated and redecorated my house- so I know what I will be doing this Winter to keep busy!

The Beach

It’s Monday, and the beginning of an apparent heat wave. It’s too bad I will be inside at work all week…ah well- It is a short week for me, The Boyfriend, Haley and I are going camping in Algonquin this weekend! I think it is safe to say that it is my favorite place to be- and this year will be Haley’s first time…I am a little nervous about her and the canoe haha REALLY hoping she doesn’t lose her mind and tip us over. In hindsight we probably should have tested this out beforehand….

This weekend was a good one! Im pack at Pilates- I really missed it these past 5 years. If you live in the Markham area (or even if you don’t like me) I HIGHLY recommend trying Sol Barre Pilates & Yoga– Lynne is an AMAZING instructor. I honestly wish I had gone back sooner!

Yesterday we ended up taking Haley to the dog beach at Cherry Beach in Toronto and I am very happy to say she now loves the water! I KNEW she would go in when she saw other dogs having fun! I think we spent a good two hours there- it’s such a great place! Massive off leash dog park with wooded areas, two beaches and tons of dogs! The Boyfriend and I were so happy (and a little relieved) when she jumped in the water. I know she didn’t want to leave, but two hours of swimming for her, and 2 hours of us in the sun (and me getting slightly burnt) was enough. She slept for the rest of the day. I can’t wait to take her back!

photo (3) photo (5) photo (6)I also managed to paint my garage and front door! I seem more excited about this then I should be, but I’ve never done outdoor painting before! Now all that is left is the trim around the second story windows. Of course now that that is almost complete my mind has moved on to the next project(s) I am basically planning on painting the entire house, among other things.

This week will be focused on preparing for Algonquin, getting through work, and eventually finding time to sleep. Rocky is going on a little vacation of his own to my parents on Wednesday- My Sister said she misses having a cat around, and I figured since we would be away this weekend now is the perfect opportunity. I think he will enjoy the time off from the office- he comes with me almost every day!

And now, coffee.

And Then it was Summer…

Summer is in full swing…going by far quicker then it did when I was a kid. (I’m back by the way….hi!) I was walking Haley the other day and I could smell BBQ, fresh cut grass, Summer air…the typical summer smells and I thought of just how happy Summer makes people….it’s around for such a short amount of time…we spend the majority of the year wishing for it to come back, and when it does it’s over in the blink of an eye. It’s kind of depressing! Over the past few years, as I am getting older, I’ve found I try to squeeze as much as humanly possible into these few short months. I have done that once again this year- looking forward to the rest of July and August I am busy every.single.weekend. As exhausting as that thought is, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have all of January through March to stay inside and do as little as possible, I don’t want to waste a single second.

This weekend, for example, I am going to (FINALLY) paint my garage door/front door/trim…something I have been attempting to do since the May long weekend (I’ve just been far too busy haha) Sunday The Boyfriend and I are going to take Haley downtown to Cherry Beach- its a dog-friendly beach in downtown Toronto. Haley needs some encouragement when it comes to water…she’s afraid of it. Yes, my 53lb lab with the webbed feet and double coat of fur- the dog MEANT for water- is afraid of it. She leaps over puddles when it rains, will only get her front paws wet in pools. This issue was confirmed last weekend at the Dog Days of Scugog dog festival- Haley had the chance to try dock diving- she wouldn’t go past her paws on the ramp into the water and when she finally DID decide to get right in she scared herself and leapt right back out no amounts of treats or toys would get her to move an inch further…so I think taking her to a beach with other dogs might encourage her and show her that it really isn’t a scary thing. If all else fails *sigh* we will take her to dog swimming lessons (something I never thought I would ever have to do…or say haha)

My absence: There is no one reason. Christmas was coming up and I got side tracked with that. I think I also lost my enthusiasm for blogging…it kind of gets you down every once in awhile: is anyone reading? I’m not necessarily writing about anything remotely important so really all I have to go on is entertainment value haha I thought about coming back MANY times but each time I stopped myself because I wondered if anyone would read it. Recently the thought of coming back wouldn’t leave so I knew I had to post something, and if no one reads it that’s ok- I’ve actually found that blogging is useful for me…a few times I have had to look back at it to find a recipe I posted because I lost the paper version of it haha  So I’m back…I don’t know how frequently, but I don’t think there will be another 8 month gap any time soon.

A Tired Puppy & Lemon Chicken

Friday is finally here! Its weird, the weeks seep to be going so fast yet so slow haha I don’t know how that works….

Anyways this week was much like the rest, busy, nothing crazy happened. Haley was at her doggy daycare yesterday…she was SO tired last night that she passed right out on the couch. We put a treat on her nose…something we have never successfully been able to do…and she didn’t even flinch! She ended up waking up with the treat on her nose, but she was so out of it she still didn’t notice it was there haha it took her a good two or three minutes.

photo (7)

At Haleys daycare, K9’s in Kahoots, they have a Pet Photos with Santa day…of course I booked Haley a time haha it is Sunday December 7 from 12-4pm and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Uxbridge/Scugog Animal Shelter…if you have a dog and live in the area you should give them a call and book a time! There will be a professional photographer taking the photos…and the fact that it helps the animal shelter out is amazing.

photo (6)

This weekend The Boyfriend is going to his friends…the group of them get together ever few months for a dart tournament/guys night…that means Haley, Rocky and I have the house to ourselves! I plan on putting up the Christmas tree, drinking wine, and watching crappy made-for-TV Christmas movies…I thoroughly look forward to it!

Yesterday I decided to make lunch for myself and a few co-workers…it’s been a tough couple of weeks so I figured it would be nice to have something positive to look forward to for once haha I made lemon chicken with pasta, a sausage tomato sauce, Caesar salad and garlic bread. It turned out really well! I love having a kitchen at work…apparently this is going to become a regular thing. Fine by me! I love it.

Martha Stewarts Lemon Sauce for Lemon Chicken

  •  2 cups of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp. oregano
  • Black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook chicken breasts. When there is about 20 minutes left, pour lemon sauce over chicken and continue cooking. For the pasta sauce I used Presidents Choice tomato basil and added some mild Italian sausage…cut the sausage out of the casing and cook in a frying pan, breaking it up as it cooks. Enjoy!

photo (8)

Tis’ the Season!

I try to not get too excited about Christmas until after Remembrance Day…but every year I fail haha It’s tough when your neighbours have their Christmas lights on and the Christmas commercials are all over the TV and radio. On that note, I suggest you watch the John Lewis Christmas advertisement for this year, it is cute and sad and Christmassy all at the same time…I like that sort of thing haha . John Lewis is an upscale department store in the UK and every year they put out fantastic Christmas adverts. You can find the link to watch the commercial by clicking here

It snowed in Mount Albert last week…the trees were covered, the farmers fields were covered…it was nice! Of course it melted two days later, but it got me in the spirit. I am putting up the Christmas tree this weekend, already made my Christmas shopping list, The Boyfriend and I bought outdoor Christmas lights this past weekend. Our first Christmas in out first house! Only 6 full work weeks left until Christmas…honestly it can’t come fast enough. I know I mentioned before about customers and how they can get rather short and moody this time of year….well it seems they are even shorter and moodier then usual which makes the work days SUPER fun. I get 12 days off from December 24 onward (including weekends) and I am so so excited.

5

snow!

This past weekend my Mom, sister and I went to the annual Bling it On fundraiser in Markham to raise money for underprivileged teens at Christmas. Once again we had a fantastic time…great food, great entertainment, and though we didn’t win any of the ticketed prizes, I won a nice picture from the silent auction, and since it is all about raising money, I was more then happy to have won it!

photo (3)

My sister and I, ready to go to Bling it On!

Haley and Rocky’s relationship continues to grow…sort of. If Rocky isn’t in one of his moods, he will happily be within a foot of Haley. When I was sick (finally got better…3.5 weeks later!) Haley and Rocky slept on the bed with me during the day. Rocky found amusement by playing with Haley’s wagging tail as she slept…she didn’t seem to mind at all haha

haley rocky

Rocky’s new toy

I know I have been really slacking lately when it comes to posting new recipes (or posting in general!) but I promise to post one soon! I am actually making lunch for some my boss and a few of the people in my office this week as a kind of pick me up…we desperately need I, so I will post that!

haley