Friday, April 29, 2011

Appyhay Irthdaybay

Dear Janey Canuck & kidAmy,

I thought about creating my own video for you, but then I realized that everything on the internet lives forever. Then I found this beauty video.

Happy 29th Birthday 
to two of my favourite ladies,
Janey Canuck & kidAmy!!!!*

* I could probably use some training in graphic design. Clearly, this blog post is your birthday card, not your birthday gift! ;)

Love, Katy

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Holidays... :D

I must say, I definitely made the right decision working hard last week, so I could take it easy this week! It actually feels like I am on holidays right now, which is a pretty great feeling :)
Today I added something new to my list: Thing 87 - Read 20 of the classic novels on my Kobo. I was inspired to get started on this after reading the novel My Jane Austen Summer. It definitely wasn't a novel on par with the classics, but it was a fun read that I think I would have enjoyed even more if I had read Mansfield Park prior to reading it. 
This started as an idea to read all of Jane Austen's novels, but when I realized that there are only 6, that seemed a bit weak. Then, as I was perusing through my pre-loaded Kobo novels, I saw that there were many books that I have wanted to read at some time or another - The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Castle of Otranto, and, of course, Dracula - which I STILL haven't read. Up first, though, is Northanger Abbey. This is the only one of Jane Austen's books that I think I have read before. I say think, because it I'm pretty sure it was required reading for one of my many English courses, but I can't remember if I read it or not - I should figure it out soon though, as I'm about 10 pages in so far. This will, of course, help with Thing 58 - Complete my 50 Book Pledge. I've decided if I reach 50 books before June 30, then I will make the change to a 100 Book Pledge official. If you are interested in this Thing, I will be uploading the file to a new page link at the top of the blog. 
I also got an official start off to Thing 52 - Take photos of time spent with friends or family at least once a month, by taking some photos of Easter Brunch with my Grandma. Here's a lovely pic I took of her:

I must learn to be stealthier with the camera, as my brother managed to evade almost every shot I tried to take of him! I was conned into taking lots of pictures and videos of the cats, which I will spare you of here. I took several doozy pictures of my Mom - she manages to open her mouth or move in EVERY photo I take of her! - but I did get ONE nice shot of my Mom & bro on a walk we took after brunch:

Maybe I should make one of my Things be to take a photography class - I'm pretty challenged in this area!!

A few other updates:
Last week 3 of my favourite people (the Little clan) came over, and Lyn was reading my list and suggested that Thing 13 - Go on a Spa getaway with friends could easily be done to celebrate all of our 30th birthdays next year - what a great idea! (I knew I was friends with her for a reason ;) ). So that's something to look forward to! 
I've also followed through on Thing 77 - Pay off my credit card every month. Clearly, I shouldn't even use the card, but we live in a world where certain things can only be paid with credit card. This month it was my OCT fees - paid it off this AM, and all is right again - phew....
I'm getting closer to finishing Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done. I've decided one thing on it won't be done, and that is cleaning the outside of my car (thank you Mother Nature!), but I've added several things as I've gone through the list, and it *should* be done by Saturday, right on target! :)

That's all for now, stay dry folks!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Well, I'd say Week One was a success, wouldn't you?!

Well, Week One has come to an end, and I have actually completed something off of my list! I actually, honestly, can't even believe how much I did accomplish this week - I am well on my way to finishing several other Things as well! Here's the official update:

Finished: Thing 74 - Finish unpacking and organizing all of my personal papers
I actually went above and beyond with this one, because I finished unpacking in general! Honestly, I feel like I am in shock a little, because I actually completed this goal. The pile in the corner of my apartment has stressed me out for the 8 months that I've lived here, and for the year before that as well. To have it done still has me in disbelief.

To review: I went from this:

And moved along to this:

Which really was an achievement in and of itself! But, I wasn't done, as I still have my Everest to climb:

It seriously makes me sick to even look at it! But, I barreled through, and 4 long hours later, I finally ended up with this:

Everybody together now...Ahhh..... :) It's an awful photo, proving once again that I really need to get moving on Thing 80 - Upgrade to a Smartphone. But if you look closely, you'll see my budget calendar, my "Needs to be Paid or Filed" bin, that lovely pink box holds my desk supplies, and the filing cabinet is all organized and filed. Yayayayayayaya!!!!

In Progress: Thing 9 - Get Rid of 101 Things

I have 30 things to get rid of so far. I think the rest will be covered by sorting through my school stuff, and when I switch over my winter/spring clothes. My wardrobe definitely needs to be sorted through as I only wear about 30% of what I own! Will update on this further when I have finished - and have things to give away!

In Progress: Thing 29 - Phone 1 extended family member a week to keep in touch

I phoned my Nonna & my Aunt this week, actually, entirely unrelated to the list, just to catch up with them, but I was happy to realize I got this started! I need to get started on Thing 21 - Call a friend once a week soon as well, next week! :)

In Progress: 32. Colour in an entire colouring book

I haven't started the colouring, but look what I found:

Sorry, but I can't figure out how to rotate it! If you look closely, you'll see the "Bi-Way - $1.99" price tag is still on it! haha - I've had this since I was about 10. Kept it with babysitting stuff, teaching stuff - apparently kids don't want to colour in anything Barbie anymore! There are about 4 finished pages in it to start with, but since there are about 150 more to go, I'm gonna let that slide. Unless, of course, anyone can find me a Buffy or Bon Jovi colouring book? ;)

In Progress: Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done

I forgot to take a pic of the list at this point, but trust me when I say it is about halfway there! Mostly what's left are things that needed to wait until I went home, or the actual "cleaning" of my apartment that I decided to save for next week. I think I am on track to finish by next Saturday, will hopefully update this Thing with good news then :)

In Progress: Thing 57 - Watch the entire series of Angel & Firefly to complete my Joss Whedon fan experience
I finished the first Season of Angel this week during my organizing, and am 2 episodes into the second season. Sadly, the crossover events with Buffy that actually feature Buffy are over now, but there are still guest appearances by Willow ahead, and let's not forget Season 5 when Spike arrives! :) It's not as light-hearted as Buffy was in the beginning - it's very angst-y and I kind of wish Angel would just get over it, unfortunately I know that's not the case. It features a lot of flashbacks that I feel like I've already seen on Buffy as well, so hopefully that changes soon. Surprisingly, I'm actually starting to like Cordelia on the show, which I thought would take longer.

In Progress: Thing 61 - Take a pole dancing class

I'm excited to say that this is going to probably happen sooner rather than later! I found a wagjag that is offering a "Polekitten 101" course for only $29, and I found out my twitter friend @mssweetmarie is interested in taking it as well, so hopefully I have some fun updates on this Thing soon!

In Progress: Thing 86 - Keep a plant alive for 6 months (unrelated to Thing 64)

This is a new addition to the list, as I knew I wanted to find a hanging plant for my living area. (Not because of any plant-related needs, but because the hatch to the attic always flies up when the windows are open, and makes me think I live with ghosts, which I really don't need!!) Anyways, most plants that I have had die quickly and painlessly, but I've decided to try and keep this one alive! It's pretty odd-looking, but has character. Sadly, if you are taller than me it is in your direct walking path through my apartment, which isn't much of an issue at this point, but perhaps will become bigger in the future? ;)

Again, taken by my cell, so the greens, reds and yellows in the leaves really aren't given much justice here. As insurance, I think I might attempt to plant these wildflowers I got as a wedding favour several years ago - hopefully they will still grow!!

So that is all of my updates for the moment. As you'll see on my 101 Things List I have updated it to show which ones are in progress by bolding them, and I've crossed out my completed Thing as well. :)
To end with, I thought I'd share with you some pictures that I took of things I unearthed in my unpacking, and displayed to really show off my diverse and ever-expanding interests... enjoy! :)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day Five Update aka, Should Thing #87 be to think up some interesting blog titles?

I could really use a sunny day right about now...couldn't you?
Thankfully the awful weather has kept me inside, working away at organizing my apartment. Another day or two at this and I will be halfway done Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done, the other half of the list is mostly things I need to do either when I go home for a visit, or to plan for when school starts back up in May. I promised myself that I would finish with my apartment before I tackled lesson planning, as I feel the elimination of that stress will help make lesson planning easier. I've also gotten to a good start on Thing 9 - Get rid of 101 things, so far I have 17 things in my box to get rid off - not bad so far!!
The other thing that is on its way to getting done is Thing 74 - Finish unpacking & organizing all of my personal papers, I've already gone through 1 pile of papers, just 3 more piles, 2 more plastic bins & 1 filing cabinet to go! (Yikes!)
Now, for Thing 69 - Complete the A-Z Challenge, I should elaborate a little. There are A-Z challenges for reading, for watching movies, etc. I saw one that had to do with going to new places, and I think that my challenge will be along those lines. Basically, I want to acknowledge all of the new things that I will experience in life - new places, new events, new activities. My guidelines for this will be relatively loose, and could coincide with other events on my list. I decided on the format on Monday night, when my co-worker Paula invited me to her house for a Passover Seder. This was a new experience for me, and being apart of the event was really an honour for me. I find religion fascinating, and I was interested to see similarities in the readings we did from the Haggadah that reminded me of readings from my own Catholic background. Considering we share most of the Old Testament, I don't think I should have been surprised, but experiencing something in a new light can make you realize the most obvious of answers. In short, for my A-Z Challenge, I have completed P - go to a Passover Seder.

Back to sorting and organizing my papers now!

P.S. Debating making #86 on my list - Avoid the common cold - any tricks of the trade that you'd like to pass along, just let me know, because I am TIRED of being SICK!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thing 6 - Reach goal weight (130 lbs)

So this morning I went for my work-out and it went pretty well. I felt like I'd gotten my ass kicked, and I'm pretty tired now, but it definitely was something I needed to get into gear. I was a little uncomfortable working out in the co-ed section of the gym, but not as much as I thought I would be.
She started me off on treadmill warm-up - 5 minutes, which the bulk of it was at a speed of 3.5 & incline of 4.5. It definitely warmed me up and the incline was something new for me, but I can see how it benefits.
For future cardio work-outs I learned that I should do interval training, which would be 45 seconds as hard as you can go, then 1.5 minutes at a steady pace. I did this once or twice before I ended my gym run last year, and it definitely helps burn calories, so I will be incorporating this into my work-outs. To start with, Alana suggested 5 rounds of the intervals, working up to about 35 minutes.
My plan is to follow the outline for workouts that she gave me, but on my own, because I definitely can't afford it right now. Hopefully I can stick with it and I will try and post about it on here because I need to be accountable!
If you're interested in reading about the rest of my workout and my 12- month plan/workout outline, you can check the page out from the link at the top of this page called "Thing 6".

Day Four

I haven't been as on top of blogging as I had hoped I would be to start off this challenge. I think I neglected to take into account the fact that I was going to feel completely exhausted after 3 1/2 months of work with no break. After blogging on Day One, I worked a little more on ideas for my list, and how to achieve them, then gladly escaped to my Aunt's to watch some movies. Day Two consisted of running errands in crappy Canadian Spring weather (bad day for driving on the QEW), then coming home to crash for 3 hours on the couch, even after 8+ hours of sleep the two nights before. After the mid-day nap I tried to accomplish a few things around my apartment, but mostly just created huge messes and almost broke my bed frame trying to rearrange my room.
Thankfully I picked up a measuring tape at the dollar store, so now I can measure before attempting to move things around again!
Day Three, happily, was much more productive & I accomplished a lot. To start with, I had a personal consultation at Good Life, that I won off of Facebook for "Liking" a contest to win a free membership for a year.  This put Thing #6 - Reach goal weight (130 lbs) into gear. My personal consultation consisted of setting fitness goals, discussing how to get there, deciding why I was there, etc. It clearly was constructed to lead into  personal training sessions, which I definitely cannot afford right now. I was upfront with my consultant, Alana, and she was more than willing to help me regardless. I shared my hopes that I could reach my goal weight by my 30th birthday in January, and she agreed that it was an achievable goal (yay!). As a follow-up, she set up an appt. with me for this morning to get me started with an actual work-out plan, and she is writing down a 12-month workout outline for me plan around. All for free. Colour me happy!
So that is where I am heading after this blog entry. For now, my goal is to work out 3 days a week, and try to hit up 1 or 2 classes on the other days. They just started a straight Yoga class at that club once a week, so I am hoping to start going next week, which will help out Thing #34 - Learn enough yoga to be able to do it at home on my own.
I also started creating one of my giant to-do lists for Thing #54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done. I put simple and difficult things on the list, so that I accomplish some of my other goals in the process, that I had planned specifically for this two week break.

Here's a picture of my list:

As you can see, I left myself a little room to add more things, and I have already crossed several things off. I think by the end of today I will be able to cross off 3 or 4 more things as well. :)
One thing I will be able to cross off (hopefully) by the end of today, is organize steel shelf. As you can see below, I got a good start on it today, finally using the bins I bought from the dollar store 2 months ago for my food storage.  

I think I am going to go pick up 1 more big bin, because the 2 little ones aren't really working. I will save them for whatever else I decide to put the shelf. The bottom shelf happily has my board games out for display finally. As you can see, I still have lots of other things to organize around the shelf, I'm hoping to have that all done by Thursday night. I can't wait until this part of my apt. is all organized, it's been stressing me out so much since Christmas, because I had planned to do it all then, and never got around to it. Once all of this is done, I will have completed Thing #74 - Finish unpacking and organizing all of my papers. Because, seriously, 80% of what is in those boxes and bins is all papers. 
Before bed last night, I started on Thing #70 - Donate 1,000,000,000 grains of rice - by registering on and so far I have donated about 500 grains. Considering the amount of time I waste on the internet, I think it will feel good to complete this, and I actually think I might use it in the classroom for my students - what an inspiring way to help others! Thank you to Janey Canuck for including this on her list, so I found out about it!!!
I also started on Thing #57 - Watch the entire series of Angel & Firefly to complete my Joss Whedon fan experience by starting Season 1 of Angel on a DVD set I borrowed from the library. Unfortunately it skipped a lot through the first 3 episodes I had on as I was cleaning, which was disappointing. But my friend Paula lent me her netflix membership so I can continue watching the entire series on there, which is so awesome - Thank you Paula!!
OK, I think that is a good round-up of the things I have started so far - I guess in retrospect, I have accomplished a lot so far in my 101 things challenge. I didn't give myself a lot of easy or fast things to accomplish, so I think I need to be a little more forgiving with myself when it feels like i haven't gotten very far!
Keep sending me your ideas to fill out the rest of my list - Holly sent me one yesterday that I'm not entirely sold on, but I am thinking about it, so we shall see!
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day One

Here I am at Day One, and raring to go!
Well, not quite actually, as I'm still missing about 17 things from my list, and haven't actually done anything yet to start my quest, but writing this blog is sure to help! (Right?)
I've decided not to stress over the last 17 things - the alternative is to pick a bunch of things that don't matter, and inevitably end up changing them. I'd prefer to pick as close to right the first time around. I think my goal with this list is to actually do things for myself, that matter to me. Picking the majority of my list off of pre-existing lists just doesn't sit well with me.
In the way that we like to let a good bottle of wine breathe, so too will I let the remainder of my list breathe. Profound, eh?
I've decided that the first undertaking from my list will be #54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done. This should help also with #74 - Finish unpacking & organizing all of my personal papers, and #9 - Get rid of 101 things. This are large tasks to undertake from the get-go, but I've been feeling like my apartment is slowly swallowing me up, and my mental health is seriously depending on getting these things done. The fact that I have 2 weeks of holidays and the forecast is mostly calling for rain the next few days, should help greatly with getting a good start on things. I'm also hoping to get a start on #57 - Watch the entire series of Angel & Firefly to complete my Joss Whedon fan experience, #70 - Donate 1,000,000 million grains of rice & #83 - Register my list on the Day Zero website.
I will try to post here as close to daily as I can, I haven't had a good record with regular blogging in the past, but hopefully I start to make some progress that I'd like to share with everyone.

Hopefully it doesn't surprise anyone when I say that #67 - Go for a whole week without leaving any dirty dishes in the sink stresses me out the most from my list. I can't believe I actually put it on my list. What was I thinking?!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Like trying to nail jell-o to the wall, while looking for a needle in a haystack, as it's raining cats and dogs..."

Life needs goals. Most recently, my goal was to be house-free. I accomplished this goal on Friday April 8, 2011! Yahoo!!
But that goal was about freedom from my past, and was not about building my future.
That's what this blog & goal are for: my future. I hope that when I prove I can accomplish these 101 things in the next 1001 days, I will also have created strong building blocks for my future.
(Sidenote: I love metaphors. I am considering having one of my goals be 'speak only in metaphors for one day'. But that might be like trying to nail jell-o to the wall, while looking for a needle in a haystack, as it's raining cats and dogs and everything's coming up roses in the sunshine of my life. Or something like that. In any case, it'd be hard, perhaps I will only communicate in metaphors in written form for a day. Probably a good idea for when I'm NOT teaching.)
Thanks to Janey Canuck for introducing me to this idea, and for allowing me to borrow a couple of her ideas too! Also to Melissa & Holly for the original idea. Bear with me on this journey, and kick me in the pants (metaphorically) if I start slagging off.
My current end date for this goal is Saturday January 11, 2014. I was going to make it end on January 27, 2014, which will be my 32nd birthday (Gah!) But, that would mean waiting until May 2, 2011 to start. And with 2 weeks of holiday starting Saturday, I'd like to get started then!!

Wish me luck!!