Back to the beginning

In which I review my very first list to document it on this blog (#31).

I’ve spent the past week or so looking through the goals and posts of my first 101 list. I have them all linked up over on the archive page now, if you’re interested. It was pretty weird to go back and see all my old thoughts. (And photos.)

I found a lot of familiar-feeling goals that have made it on to every list I’ve made. Finish. Clean. Do things “right.” Funny to see that consistency from the beginning as this list was the most arbitrary of the three. I created it in the shortest amount of time, and I put a bunch of goals on there without a lot of thought. I later found more meaning in most of them and I completed 86/101, but wanted something more directed in the future.

I think maybe my next list will be a bit more like my first. The idea that I really need to challenge or improve myself doesn’t strike me any more in my current life. I think I need to learn to make myself a priority in this new kid-centric way of things. Maybe having a few more “just for fun” easy goals will help me. I still like the idea of grace and joy that I introduced in my first list, but I doubt my next will be split 50-50ish like the second and third. Now I think that if I have more joy, grace will follow.

Accidentally timing this how I did turned this goal into more than just housekeeping. It was good to remember all the changes in my life that these 101 lists have seen me through. I’ve been working on one list or another for eight years. Engaged, then married, then pregnant, then parent. Four moves. Three major job changes and three computers. Two blogs. Fewer haircuts than there should have been. More hesitancy. 404 ideas of how to change, improve, benefit.

I’m glad I looked back.

Branching Out — Maybe

In which I update a goal from my last list, where I focused on refining my style. In preparation for my trip to Ireland (#63), I’ve been ordering some new clothes.

I have been trying to take advantage of the end of season sales to order some clothes in preparation for our trip to Ireland, when we expect temperatures to range from 45° to 60°. Add in the expected rain, and I think I’m likely to be a bit chilly. So I’ve ordered some new sweaters, which I could use anyway, a few hats, some new earmuffs, and several pairs of boots for the wet days.

You know what that means… I actually have to wear skinny jeans, a look that I just don’t agree with for myself. But, as the hubs pointed out, at least I’ll be wearing a coat. That should make it a little more flattering.

At any rate, these are the boots that are currently in the running:

They are fleece lined the whole way, and I think they are passably cute. (I also bought a few pairs of Hunter rain boots, which I promptly decided I didn’t like at all.) But the upper part is very narrow — I think we’ve established by now that I don’t have large muscles anywhere, and my legs are no exception. But I have a hard time getting these over my legs. Because of that, there is a strange issue going on at the back of my ankle that I’m afraid will render these not comfortable enough for hours of walking. I’m hoping that it isn’t a problem, since these feel nice and warm.

So, anyone have other suggestions? I’m going to be wearing these around the house tomorrow to see how they feel, but I’m not sure that is enough of a test.

Flashback Fun!

In which I update my in-car emergency kit from my previous 101 project.

Though we hadn’t made it out to the beach until this past weekend, there is water everywhere around here. So I wanted to update my car emergency kit with one more item: a commercial window breaker and seatbelt cutter.

Most likely, I’ll never have to use any of the items in my kit. I especially hope that I’ll never have to use this one. Perhaps I’ve just been watching too much Mythbusters:

Though Adam did eventually get out of the car without using the emergency air supply, they determined that people weren’t likely to stay calm enough in a real life situation. People panic underwater? Preaching to the choir there, Mythbusters. I had no problem believing that I would panic if I ever got into a similar situation, but I especially believed it when they did a follow up episode. In that scenario, the car entered the water upside down and flipped several times before the pressure equalized enough to open the door.

A few dollars on Amazon seems a good trade for a bit more peace of mind to me.

New Wardrobe Additions

In which I revisit my last 101 project and show off some purchases for my new look.

I have been thinking of one of my goals from my last 101 project — creating a new, more adult look for myself. My friends have included some wardrobe goals on their lists, so this has remained a topic of conversation. (In more general terms, many of the goals I included on my last list are still making a difference in my life now. I’ll probably revisit more of them as this list progresses.)

I had a hard time creating my new look. I ended up considering the goal completed when I felt like I had a clear direction. I don’t love every single item of clothing, or all of my accessories and shoes. But I have a clearer idea of what I love about certain items, and what to look for in new purchases. I am building a wardrobe that fits, even when tailoring is required. I’m purchasing items that have interesting details that make them feminine. I’m wearing primarily skirts and dresses, and going for pretty but functional footwear while staying away from flip flops for the most part.

Or at least, I was. Winter has been a bit of a stretch for my new look — it is certainly my least evolved season in terms of my wardrobe. This is in part because I hate winter, and in part because I hate being cold. And I am almost always cold. I got several pairs of pants, and actually had them tailored so that I could wear them with flats. I’ve been wearing those with long underwear or tights underneath them for warmth. I also purchased a bunch of sweaters and have been wearing them with scarves for warmth and in place of further accessorizing.

I’m already looking forward to spring, when things will warm up a bit and allow me to wear some of the items I’d planned to wear in winter until I was rudely reminded what winter felt like. Over the past few days, I’ve also made a few purchases that I’m very excited about.


Image from, and linked to, Lands End Canvas listing


I ordered this lovely skirt the other day, and it is currently on its way to my doorstep. I am excited about the wool blend and full lining, the casual cut and waistband, and the pockets. This is my first purchase from Land’s End Canvas, and I was excited to get a sale and an extra coupon code, making this skirt under $30, including shipping.

And then the hubs and I ventured out to Marshalls, where I bought these shoes on clearance for $30. They are a hard-to-photograph mix of brown and pewter gray. I’ll need to punch new holes in the straps — I think that is why they had so many of these left. These are unlike anything else I own, and I think that they are going to be a fun addition to my closet. I will get rid of a pair of shoes in order to make room for these.

I also picked up a few cardigans, and a dress and jacket set that was on clearance. But I was most excited about the shoes. And extra points to my husband, who helped me make a choice between two similar pairs. He picked the best one, I think.