December 10, 2010

1 year down!

I started my 99 list countdown on January 1st of this year, and I've nearly finished the first 365 days. My stats? Not lookin good!

-I've had to decrease my book number from 40 to 30. I only read 5 books this year, but I have a very good excuse...I'm working 4 days a week and go to school full time. gimme a break! Even at the pace I'm going, it's going to be hard to complete 30, but I will make a better effort next year to read more often.

-I've completed 21 of my 99 goals, and started on 15 more. Not too shabby, I'm relatively "on time" and checking off goals at a good pace that I could potentially finish them all in the time I've allotted.

-Just in the past two weeks, I've crossed off more goals...I finished reading Broken (sorry, but I do not recommend this book although the beginning and end somewhat redeemed the drawn out middle), Stephen and I decorated the house for Christmas (will eventually post those pictures here..til then, see Facebook), and I got all A's again this semester!

I'm about to reach a "milestone" birthday in 10 days: big 25...a quarter century old! I am feeling, as a whole, much better right now than i did this time last year. I, kind of..healthier, i'm definitely happier, i'm smarter, and wiser.

This time last year I didn't think I had very much to show for my 24 friends had finished school, some were finishing grad school, some already had great jobs, some were starting families, and many were getting married. I carried alot of envy around; I was coming to terms with a failing relationship, and just beginning graduate school as some friends were finishing. I felt like I was being left in the dust! Today, I am feeling much more positive about where my life is leading me. Yes, I've got a few more semesters of grad school left, but this time next year, I hope to be finished with the "classes" and completing my internship and practicum.

Last year, I couldn't wait to finish school, find a job, get on with it and start "livin' life." But now I see, it's already begun. 2011, bring it on!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

#35. Create 99 journal entries (6/99)

Four things I'm thankful for on this Thanksgiving

4. School and my job. Though the combination of the two have been the sole source of multiple migraines this year, I am still thankful for the both of them. I am lucky to be in grad school, and I'm lucky to have a job. I'm able to pay my rent on time and still put food on the table...I'm already more fortunate than 95% of the people in this world.

3. My 99 list. This list has made this year immeasurably more enjoyable. It's given me courage to overcome a few fears, it's made me more open to change, and it's encouraged me to not give up on challenges or give in to certain temptations (fast food!!). It gives me many things to look forward to and provides me with some great memories!

2. My family...always a source of entertainment and laughs. I love these people! I'm extremely fortunate to have a family that is so caring, compassionate, and always there for me. I'm especially glad I've been able to grow closer to Morgan, one of my cousins who has moved from CO to go to school here. Without her decision to move away from home, I might have never learned some of the "interesting" things I have about her!!

1. My boyfriend, Stephen. I have really lucked out here. I've stopped and asked myself multiple times, "How in the world did I get so lucky?" My smart, thoughtful, talented, sexyman...what would I do without him? He listens to what I have to say, supports me in work and school, takes care of me when I've got another migraine, helps me walk my gigantic dog every night, and loves me no matter how many times I beat him at rummy ;-) I love him so much, and I could spend the rest of my life proving that to him.

November 11, 2010

Time for a facelift!

As you've probably noticed, my blog has undergone a MAJOR uplift. Thanks to Google Chrome, my html from my previous template was completely screwed up and I couldn't edit anything at all...sooo I found a loophole, and that is to create multiple "pages." Which, now that I see it, looks alot better and more organized. There's a page especially for my list, and another page just for my beer, book, and wine list...since these are the two things I edit the most and couldn't do this with the old format!

I've also crossed off 2 more goals!

#10. One word: ZUMBA!
I FINALLY attended a zumba class! I have wanted to try this for a long time, but never found a willing person to go with me. My mom actually started going, then started dragging my cousin along, then they dragged me along with them last weekend. I can't say I was highly impressed, but it was a good intro course into zumba...I am definitely going to try and find a class I like up here in Columbia.

#19. Watch all 6 seasons of Lost
I started working on this goal in February and used this to hopefully get a chance to hang out with was my "pick-up line" if you will. ("Soooo I have the 2nd season of you maybe wanna watch it with me??" HAHA!) So I started watching Lost with Stephen, and next thing you know it's 8 months later and we've finally finished watching all 6 seasons. Thank you producers of Lost for creating my "in" and for creating one addicting series!

October 25, 2010

#7. Read 40 books (5/40)

It's been hard to read for pleasure since classes started and it's crunch time for me now. I've got papers due every week, multiple projects going on at once, and still working 30 or so hours a you can imagine what little down time I have, I want to spend outside, or with Stephen....or just mindlessly drooling, not reading! But I have forced myself to take a little bit of time each day to finish a book I purchased 2 YEARS ago.

A million little pieces- James Frey

This is the book that caused much controversy a few years ago when Oprah's book club bashed it and had it taken off the shelves. The author was not entirely truthful in his autobiographical account of his drug addiction and recovery--many parts were made up because he was out of it and does not recall, at times, what really happened. IMO, it didn't detract from the book at all, I still enjoyed it immensely. The book was re-released with a note from Frey explaining the situation and apologizing for the misrepresentation.

Whether or not you've read it, I would be interested to hear your opinion on the book that caused such an uproar!

September 15, 2010

#35. Create 99 journal entries (5/99)

I was inspired by a friend's link to a website of "88 truths"- there were some that I could really relate to so I thought i'd knock one more of my 99 entries down and share a few I found thought provoking...and also some R.W. Emerson quotes that are worth sharing!

You can't change other people, and it's rude to try

Yelling always makes things worse

Whenever you're worried about what others will think of you, you're really just worried about what you'll think of you

Nobody has it all figured out

The world would be a better place if everyone read National Geographic

"There is an optical illusion about every person we meet."

"People seem not to think that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character." - R.W. Emerson

August 4, 2010

#7. Read 40 books (3/40)

Club Dead- Charlaine Harris

Hate is a strong word; I really hated this book! Not so much the story (although it really wasn't all that great), but I think Harris is a terrible author. This was the third book in the series that I have read, and they are honestly getting increasingly worse, but I am plowing through the Sookie Stackhouse series because I like the show True Blood and I want to see how much the show changed from Harris's books. So far, I am GLAD the HBO show has changed so much- for the better in my opinion! I am going to take a short hiatus from this series until True Blood season 3 "catches up" with this third book.

In the mean time, I've dug out 2 more books from my small library that I have started and never finished. One still has the receipt as the book mark dated July of 2008. Same bookstore trip that I also purchased Tweak, one of the best books I've ever read..and have since read twice while this other book, Broken sits and collects dust! I plan on finishing Broken as soon as I finish the other book I started last summer: A million little pieces by James Frey.

July 29, 2010

Bringing home Mika

While my two travel companions are both snoring, I suppose I'll take the time to map out our EVENTFUL roadtrip to Elberton, GA!

Stephen and I decided we were both ready to take care of a dog and I have been wanting a doberman for a long time. Last month, I was looking on the Pets Inc website and found 3 adorable doberman pups (one in particular!) and had stephen call IMMEDIATELY to see if they were still available for adoption. Unfortunately, the man said they were all adopted and my heart sunk. I haven't looked much since then until this past weekend when I was thinking about the 3 pups again, envisioning the one who looked so cute sitting on an old quilt. I was thinking, "if only i'd acted sooner" or "if only i went to the actual shelter more, then I would've been one of the first to see the dogs." Feeling a little sad about missing out on these great dogs, I started my online search for a puppy again last weekend. And lo and behold...i found the same exact picture of the particularly cute puppy on the quilt! I thought it had to be a sign! What are the odds?!

My heart started pounding and i dialed the number without a second thought. A woman answered and I asked if she was still available....holding my breath, i waited for the worst answer. But she said YES!! I told her to send me an application at once. I had the application filled out and emailed (and faxed....just to be on the safe side) the next day. Turns out, her original owner lives in Lexington where brokendobe rescue shelter is located. They are an organization that places dogs with foster parents until a permanent home can be found. "Lacy" was sent to a little farm in Elberton, GA.

So today, my cousin Morgan and I drove to Elberton to pick her up.

When we parked the car, my heart sank. The following are just thought blurbs because the scene was that traumatizing:
-12 horses out in the pasture....10 more in the stables
-3 dogs running around outside with no clean water
-mangy cats lounging around the had no right eye and was missing a portion of her right skull
-smell of feces
-owner has lack of hygiene
-6 dobermans in the pens outside...2 or 3 more inside
-2 cockatiels in the house...can't see the bottom of the cage. covered in feathers and poop
-filthy house...pee puddles everywhere
-trash. everywhere.
-empty boxes of horse heart worm medicine on the ground...she has been giving the dobermans horse medicine

The one thing that lit up my face: my dog. I was walking towards the pen of dobermans and they all started barking and running back and forth. Not my dog. She was locking eyes with me. Jumping straight up and down and keeping eye contact with KNOW you're coming for me.

Her old life will be left in the past along with her old name "Lacy." She did not respond to it anyways..never any one-on-one time with the owner, she had never been given a bath either...turns out, she loves them. Mika is her name now. And she is ours.

July 26, 2010

#7. Read 40 books (2/40)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson

I started reading this book during a 2 hour flight delay last month and spent my day off yesterday finishing it. Overall impression? WTF. I knew it would be a helter skelter type book if you've seen the movie, and although it did not make much sense, I still found it very entertaining. I love reading books (or watching movies) about people who have overcome drug addiction or who were/still are abusing drugs and alcohol. I find it so interesting and am incredibly passionate about the subject. I'm fortunate enough to be able to study these subjects at school and I'm actually excited to start classes again in 3 weeks.

On an ironic note, I wasn't able to go 10 days without drinking alcohol. My 30 day count is, once again, postponed. I'm not an alcoholic, so in my head, staying sober is not a "need to" matter, but a "want to." And when I look at it in that light, of course I won't push myself to avoid drinking. I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to take this goal seriously.

July 22, 2010

#49. Go to a concert

Shannon, Carla, Jessica, her sister, and I went to see Dave Matthews and Amos Lee last night in Charlotte! It was alot of fun except for the fact I threw up after the concert and am STILL nauseous 24 hours later... and Shannon doesn't remember a thing- I wasn't even drinking! Great success or epic fail? Either way, it gives us one great memory :)

July 19, 2010

#7. Read 40 books (1/40)

South of Broad- Pat Conroy

GREAT book! I'm slightly embarrassed to only have read 1 book by now! I've never taken so long to read a book (I believe I started in December), and before I made this 99 list, I read at least a book each month, but then I started school in the spring and had absolutely no free time to do any pleasure reading. Now that drops the "books in process" count to just 3! I'm still trying to finish Club Dead, A million little pieces, and Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. Fear and Loathing is a short book, so I'll try to finish that one first, and now that I'm on the current season of True Blood, Club Dead is right about where the show is lining up so it'll be interesting to see what the show has changed.

I'm working on crossing off a more difficult goal- to resist alcohol for 30 days. I am one week sober today and I really didn't think it would be this difficult. I have already tried to postpone my 30 day stretch because I'm going to the Dave Matthews concert in 2 days, and would love to be able to drink at that BUT if I start making excuses now, I will allow myself to make excuses every I have since January. I may learn something about myself in the next 23 days, hope I like the outcome...

July 8, 2010

#15. Go white water rafting

Sorry for the delay! After vacation in MD/CO, I've been up to my eyes in work and random things I have been putting off. One new thing I've added on here is a Flickr page and a photo stream on the right side (below my beer/wine list). I'll continue to add to the flickr page, and add pictures of rafting as soon as I get a chance so stay tuned!

I've never been white water rafting before, and CO was a CHILLY introduction. Water in the mid-30's will definitely wake you up! We only went through class 3 rapids, but the water was so shockingly cold, I don't know how well I would have functioned in a class any higher! It went by way too fast, but it was alot of fun and I would love to go again...maybe next time in warmer waters though ;)

June 27, 2010

#97. Visit a new state


Last week, Stephen and I made the drive up to his hometown of Snow Hill, MD. It's on the eastern shore of Maryland, very close to Virginia after you go through 2 tunnels through the Chesapeake Bay. It took about 8 hours but it really didn't feel that long! The town is exactly like my sister-in-law's one stoplight hometown of Red Bud, IL. Lots of farm land, wide open spaces, stars as far as the eye can see, and lightning bugs in such a large number it looks like a firecracker fizzling out falling to the ground.

We stayed in MD for 4 days before driving to Baltimore to hop a plane to Denver. During our stay, we went to Stephen's friend Seth's house (probably the coolest house I've ever been to--it had a secret room behind a bookshelf just like in a mystery movie!). Seth's backyard was an oasis! He built 2 Koi ponds partway under a gazebo with wisteria growing around it, he had a saltwater pool, a parrot named Walter, and 2 pet bunnies!!! Seth took us out on his boat in the bay and brought us to a little island you can only get to by boat. There we found some of the prettiest, complete conch shells on the beach and Stephen and I took a "few" to add to the growing collection at my house. I also learned what a Mendanite was....there was a group of them on the beach- apparently they are like Amish people! Stephen decided to snap some pictures of them if you're curious what they look like haha!

We drove to the beach which, much to my surprise, had white sand and clear water. I almost felt like we were in Florida, especially when a pod of 8 or so dolphins came swimming up near us!! I was standing in the water when I saw a dark cloud...first thought was a whale, but I quickly dismissed that and realized it was a very large school of fish. I knew something was probably pushing them to shore so I got everyone's attention and we spotted the first 2 dolphins! It was really neat to see them that up close. His sister Lauren and her fiance Louis, met up with us and we went into one of the hotel pools...and I made a poor life decision: Tequila. After a few drinks, we decided to go on the nearby roller coaster that shot you forward into some loops, then took you backwards through the whole thing again. GREAT idea!

On our last day before flying to Colorado, we went to a family get-together at his aunt's house to celebrate father's day. I LOVE his family! ESPECIALLY their food!! It was so great seeing where Stephen came from, where he grew up and who he hung out with...even seeing the naked baby pictures ;) Watching him with his family made me appreciate him even more than I already do. I look forward to visiting MD again soon, hopefully again before the year is over!

To view pictures, click here: Flickr

June 10, 2010

#35. Create 99 journal entries (4/99)

4. What would you do if money were no object?
I would first pay off all my student loans and credit card debt.

I would hire enough helpers to clean up the mess made by BP.

I would buy a nice boat just big enough to seat my best friends, and the prettiest house on the lake...with a heated pool and hot tub in the backyard, a 2 story family room with a fireplace that has a 2 story stone mantle, a black grand piano, an updated kitchen that catches the morning sun and has an intricate Mediterranean inspired tile backsplash and gas range with a huge fume hood, a gorgeous bathroom with a large walk-in shower and 2 rainfall showerheads on either side...and an overflow tub like this one!! ....OK, so I watch alot of HGTV!! I could go on, but I will get sad because money IS an object lol

I would travel to England, the Philippines, Italy, France, Germany to see the Allens, Amsterdam, Spain, Ireland, and as many south and central american countries as I can while still feeling like my life was not threatened. And once I found a nice place on the country side, I would build a vacation house there.

I would donate as much as I could to the Susan Komen breast cancer foundation and St. Jude Children's research hospital

June 8, 2010

#35. Create 99 journal entries (3/99)

I have taken out my previous goal to take the stairs 7 days in a row for 3 weeks, not because I am just that lazy, but because I have NO stairs to take in my every day life. Even once school starts back up, my classes will all be on the same floor, likely in the same room! So I've found a more "doable" goal:

Thanks to my old friend Katie, I ran into a link to Marelisa's blog that had some inspiring journal prompts. I have a few entertaining stories so I'll answer just a few tonight while I'm procrastinating cleaning for my upcoming housewarming party!

1. What scares you?
Lizards. I am petrified of lizards. Anyone who knows me or has seen me jump (or go completely rigid) at the sight of a lizard knows that petrified is no exaggeration either. I'm not even sure when this fear began to grow, because when I was a kid, I was perfectly fine with them. My neighbor would catch them and hang them from her ears and I wouldn't have a second thought about it. Now if someone did that in front of me, you can be sure I would be at least 20 feet away. I think it's because they are so spastic and unpredictable. You don't know where a lizard's going! And neither do they...spiders, on the other hand, they have a game plan. And snakes probably do too, they won't jump on you. Lizards will.

Don't try to tell me they are more afraid of you than you are of it, because lizards HAVE run towards me. At my dad's company picnic, I made quite the scene when I sat down on a picnic bench across from dad's coworker, and a lizard ran full speed from the other end of the bench towards my legs. I jumped, screamed, and never has a party gone silent so fast.

Yes, I know they don't have teeth. But with their beady little eyes, prehistoric claws, and quick legs, it is enough to drive me into a panic attack when faced with one! That's why I never added "hold a lizard" to my 99 list. I really can not, will not do it.

2. What is your take on soul mates?
I used to believe there is one person "made" just for you. One soul mate in the ENTIRE WORLD who you're supposed to spend the rest of your life with. A counterpart so compatible with you that only God himself could have crafted such a creature. A person that you are BOUND to meet and fall in love with, after a random string of events that destiny planned, has you tripping in a bookstore to find a handsome man to help pick up your books. Who just so happens to be your best friend's boyfriend's cousin twice removed! And whatdaya know, he loves dogs too.
Now that I've grown up, I believe this only happens in movies.

I think you can fall in love anywhere in the world you go and not thank destiny and a random string of events for it, but fate. I think anyone can fly to Italy and find a person they want to spend the rest of their lives with. That doesn't mean this Italian is the only person who their soul is supposed to mate with! They can very well fly back to American and find another soul they can mate with. I just don't believe there is one and only one soul mate out there for everyone. And believing such a thing limits you to the people you can find yourself in love with.

3. What are 3 things you want in a relationship?
Trust, Challenge, and Passion

Trust is the foundation upon which every good relationship stands. Without it, the relationship crumbles and both people are left hurt. I think trust includes someone you can depend and rely on to be there for you through thick and thin, someone you can trust to keep your deepest secrets and respect enough to keep theirs, and above all, someone who will remain loyal and committed to you.

Challenge doesn't mean a relationship you constantly have to work for; challenge means inspiring and motivating your significant other each and every day to be the best person they can be. One who is going to push me to do the things I've always wanted to do, not "let go" of myself, and keep things exciting! We mustn't be bored now, what will we do 20 years from now??

Passion, love, sex! I want a relationship that keeps me completely captivated. An attraction so obvious that it knocks me off my feet and catches me off guard. I want to still be romantic like my parents...35+ years into a relationship and my father still brings home flowers for my mom, they still kiss each other every day when he comes home from work, they still cuddle on the couch when they watch movies, and they go out on dates like they're teenagers. THAT is what I want, a genuine love. I want to be reminded of the small things that made me fall in love in the first place and appreciate the fact that I'm lucky I get to share my life with this person. This may sound incredibly sappy, but I want to renew my wedding vows when i'm 65 years old because I'm still so in love with my wrinkled, gray haired man. And in the back of my head, know that he's probably wrinkled and gray because of me!

June 5, 2010

#53. Front flip off a dock

Ok so a diving board isn't exactly a dock, but I say it counts!

Shannon had a pool party yesterday so Erin and I drove down for the day. After a few beers and 3 shots, I was good and ready to conquer my fear of doing a front flip off the diving board. I have no idea why I have this irrational fear, because I can dive off it just fine, but I have this mental block in my head that prevents me from flipping over!

I stood at the edge for a good 15 or 20 minutes, counting to 3 numerous times and trying to handle my nerves digesting some liquid courage, so just when everyone watching gave up hope and turned around, I did it! I don't think I had a full rotation because the small of my back stung for a few minutes, but I still did it!

And after all the fuss, I can honestly say I won't be doing that again for a very long time! It's probably one of the "harder" goals on my list believe it or not...that is, right after going 30 days without consuming any alcohol ;)

May 23, 2010

3 crossed off- what a week!

2 more crossed off my list:
#25. Attend 5 friends' weddings (1/5)
#34. Hike to a waterfall

Jessica and Perry's wedding was yesterday and it was a beautiful day downtown Charleston! Jackie's wedding was an hour before Jessica's and I knew I wouldn't be able to pull a "27 dresses" and go to both :( It was great having another mini high-school reunion though and I'm glad Stephen got to meet all my friends from back home.

As promised to Erin, I present the epic story of "The Hike to Horsethief Falls- Hilarity does not ensue."

The morning was already getting off to a rocky start when my youngest cousin, Mackenzie, ran back into the house in tears minutes before our departure. I assumed one of her sisters said something rude to her to make her cry, because that's kind of expected from them. Not from your own father.

Already ticked with dad, mom gave him a hard time during our hour drive to the falls. Once we got to the base of the mountain/trail, the view was INCREDIBLE! We started our mile incline hike at 9,200 ft above sea level and mom was already winded in the first 5 minutes. I was trying to keep up with my cousins to not be permanently labeled "the out of shape one" so I stayed in the leading half of our 7 person group. We got to a point in our hike where the trail split. According to the shitty map their website provided, we were supposed to cross a creek to get to the falls. Well, we saw a creek off to the left and decided to jump across and continue on.

An hour and a half later, we accepted the fact that we were lost, and far away from any sound of rushing water. At this point, Christian and Morgan just wanted to walk back to the car but my father insisted we go back to the creek and continue going straight to find the waterfall! Thus created the great schism in our 7 person group as hatred and resentment took's not a family vacation until everyone wants to kill each other!

We made our way back to the creek and proceeded up the mountain. Not only were we back to our treacherous incline, but we were now doing it through about a foot of ice/snow that fell the week before. Improperly dressed in sneakers, shorts and t-shirts at that. At one point when my foot sunk knee deep in snow, I was so close to walking back to the creek where there was no snow, and waiting for my family's descent. But as this 99 list has proved as a motivational tool, I kept going knowing I would be able to cross one more goal off my list. We FINALLY made it to the waterfall, I snapped one picture, and I made it back down the mountain in record time. Only to find the car had been left unlocked for the past 3 hours!

Just as I thought peace was approaching our 7 person group, we all decided to make a scene in Taco Bell. We ordered about 20 tacos, there was some confusion on dad's part whether or not he got the right thing (he did...i told him that, and so did christian) but he insisted on arguing with the cashier. We counted and recounted the tacos for him before he finally believed he was not being jipped by this poor 17 year old kid behind the counter. Christian was mad. I got mad. Morgan was mad. Mom yelled at dad. Dad was mad and called us all assholes.

All in all, it was a fun trip up the mountain! Christian and I both agreed we'd like to hike some more waterfalls in the near future....but next time it's best we leave the family at home!

May 18, 2010

#37. Learn how to drive a stick shift

My family and I arrived in Colorado yesterday afternoon after a layover in Texas. Visit a new state is on my list, but according to Stephen, a layover in a new state does not count haha. We were only there for about 45 minutes, so to clarify that goal- i need to actually EXPERIENCE the state, step outdoors at the least!

I was successful in crossing off another goal this morning though! Morgan's jeep is a stick shift and I got a quick lesson from her and drove around the neighborhood. I only stalled 4 times HAH! Driving a stick takes alot of focus, i had to think about clutch, break, if the knob was in 1 or "the middle" (as I call it, I'm sure there's another name), blinkers, clutch + gas, clutch + break. I almost did not have enough mental energy left to look out for other cars at 4 way stops! I never did go into reverse, nor did I go up a steep hill, scary thought.

I'll be possibly crossing another goal off my list on Thursday- stay tuned!

May 13, 2010

#48 and #51

I've started 2 more of goals yesterday:
#48. Complete 5 works of art(1/5)
#51. Make the dean's list every semester (1/5)

I finished my housewarming gift to myself this morning, a recreation of the painting I did for a friend during football season. It's a silhouette of the gamecock with a realistic gamecock in the foreground on a 24x36 canvas. It's my largest undertaking to date, and I actually think it turned out better than the cooler I painted last year! I promise one of these days I'll create a page where my pictures of these goals will go, but until then, you'll just have to see it on my facebook! I think it looks pretty good and I can't WAIT to hang it in my new house. This is only the second time I've really tried painting anything worth displaying, and I am highly considering selling them...I know they'd be a big hit especially here in Columbia :)

I also saw that my grades were finally posted yesterday. I did better than dean's list, I had a 4.0 semester!!! My first one since the 6th parents are so proud!

May 12, 2010

#12. Don't watch tv for an entire week

I was just going to wait til I went to Colorado to complete this goal, but not having a TV in my room during the final weeks of school helps too! I have gone about 2 months without watching very much tv, and true, I've caught up with my guilty pleasure (The Amazing Race) watching it on hulu, but i haven't actually parked my rear in front of the tube for hours on end like I did when i had over 1,000 channels and a DVR haha. I have no idea what's going on on American Idol, so my ears have been saved, and I haven't been watching Extreme home makeover, so my tears are saved. I've come to the conclusion that TV is bad for my overall health so once I move into my new place, I don't know if I'll be so quick to get cable now that I know I CAN survive without Oprah!

May 10, 2010

#20. Go kayaking or canoeing

I FINALLY got to put a canoe in the river! I've wanted to do this for as long as I've lived in Columbia, and not really sure why it took me this long to do it. A friend of mine is a river guide for Adventure Carolina, one of the places that sells/rents kayaks and canoes and does guided tours of the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree river. We went up Broad river in a spot that's relatively calm compared to Saluda, and we paddled out to where it meets up with the Congaree. It was a short way, so hopefully I can go again soon and stay out there a little longer. Glad summer is finally here!

Also, my number of semesters in grad school is about to increase exponentially because I just got an interview for med school! It's the rehabilitation counseling program, and the two classes I took this past semester are actually a part of this program not social work, so they will be able to count towards this degree. Not sure if I'm still going to pursue my drug and addictions certificate, I more than likely will, as it's only 12 more hours. The semester is technically over, but I still have work I'm doing for one of my classes....welcome to grad school!

April 24, 2010

#23. Try 20 new wines

Last night, Stephen and I went to Riverbanks Wine Tasting in the Garden and it was alot of fun! There were 27 stations each with 2-5 wines to sample and a few small tables of finger foods. I am not much of a wine fan (as you can see, my average rating was a "1") but I did find a white wine that I really loved, the Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc. There was a table of Japanese wine and sake, and I've never had a cold sake before but I really liked the Gekkeikan Zipang Sparking Sake! There was also one table of RJ Rockers beer. The one I tried was a peach beer and I loved it, so I'm hoping Flying Saucer has this and I can count it towards my 50 new beers. I still haven't found a red wine that I really love, but the more I try, the more I'm sure I will start to appreciate them.

April 19, 2010

Melissa's Adventures to Wonderland

#94. Get a new piercing

I drove to Asheville, NC and got my rook pierced!!!!! I love it so much. It only hurt for a minute or two! My friend Chris got his tragus pierced. We didn't drive all the way to NC just to get pierced though, I would have done that in Columbia, but I have been wanting to go back to Asheville since my sorority retreat there a few years ago. We wanted to visit some of the shops in the downtown area, namely, WONDERLAND! (which is the coolest shop in town-especially if you're as obsessed with Alice in wonderland as I am)

Asheville is such a great town. The view driving into town is amazing, the people are down to earth, there are tons of local artists and musicians playing in squares, it's a very clean city, there's a lot of personality to that place. Chris actually was mistaken for a local and a group of tourists asked him for directions...and he actually gave them correct directions! haha that was pretty funny, I know he felt at home in that town! I would really love to live there for at LEAST a short while some day. It's only 2 hours away from Columbia, which I was surprised by, I definitely thought it was about 3 hours. Knowing that, I will absolutely be making a trip again sometime during the summer to do some hiking.

April 17, 2010

Relay for Life

#72. Participate in Relay for Life and walk for Edna Grace
#9. Volunteer 24 community service hours with ESA (3/24)

USC held their annual Relay for Life and it was great seeing the sisters again! Especially Molly, Britney, and JSharp ;) I walked in honor of my former band director, Edna Grace. She is an amazingly strong woman who has battled breast cancer for as long as I've known her. She went into remission while I was in high school but the doctors found more cancerous cells fall of 2008. She went through chemo again and last April I lit a luminary and dedicated my fundraising for her. I gave her the breast cancer awareness shirt "I fight like a girl" and it is now one of her favorite shirts!

She is one of the most courageous women I know and she doesn't let anything stop her or get her down. In the same year she was going through chemo, she lost her brother, after she had just lost both of her parents in 2007. This time last year was such a tough time for her. So today, I promised myself I would keep her in my thoughts and prayers as I walked around the track at Relay. And I thanked God that we still have our "Ms. Grace."

March 28, 2010

Great weekend in Charleston

#95. Participate in the Cooper River Bridge Run

To first give you a little background information on my training schedule, I haven't ran a mile in over 4 years, and before that it has been another 4 years. And I have never ran more than 2 miles at one time before. At least not until the day before the race! I've been suffering from an upper respiratory infection and allergies for the past month almost, and it's prevented me from running more than around the block before feeling like I was going to pass out. Lung capacity was zero, so I had no confidence in my ability to run even a mile! So the day before the race, I decided I'd try to run a half mile. I reached a half mile and realized I could keep going. I surprised myself by running almost 2 miles, something I definitely didn't think I was capable of given my status 3 weeks ago!

Now let me tell you about the Bridge Run. It's a 10K, or roughly 6.2 miles. The bridge itself is about 2 miles long and begins 2 miles into the race. The record holder ran it in under half an hour. A "good" time is under 1 hour.

I finished in just over an hour and a half!! I don't think that's too shabby :) I had the support of my family and Stephen, who walked next to me the whole race when he could have easily finished a half hour sooner.

Knowing now, that I am capable of running 2 miles without having to stop, I'll definitely start training for next year's Bridge Run, and create a new goal to run it in under 75 minutes!

#70. Purchase a nice jewelry hanger for my earrings
The Flowertown Festival is an annual event held in Summerville the same weekend as the Bridge Run. Erin and Aaron came with Stephen and I and we were there luckily before the rain caused everything to shut down early! I did get to go after the Bridge Run though to get a little art inspiration, but instead walked away with a really neat earring hanger and an ALICE IN WONDERLAND purse!! I also found the best crabcakes this side of the Mississippi and if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, those crabcakes would be it :)

On a more frustrating note, I always thought Lent was 40 days- from Ash Wednesday til Palm Sunday, but the Lent season is actually until Easter which is the Sunday after Palm Sunday. Sundays don't "count" in the 40 days, which would push it back one more week. Which means I have another WEEK i have to go without fast food!!! Can I do it??

March 22, 2010

30 days sober!

...from fast food that is!

#89. No fast food for 1 month
I made it 30 days without pulling up into a drive-thru and it was more difficult than I thought it would be! Not because I truly crave fast food, but because of the convenience factor. Sometimes, I don't get off work til 8 or 9 at night, and I live 30 minutes away. I don't always feel like cooking when I get home, but I pass all of my favorite fast food restaurants on the way to the house. It was hard because fast food restaurants surround me!

So now that I've made it 30 days, i could TECHNICALLY eat fast food now, but that wasn't the deal I made. I agreed to give up fast food for 40 days for Lent, so I've got another 6 days I need to stay sober.

You would think I would feel more healthy after a fast-food fast, but I actually feel the same. I've had an upper respiratory infection and allergy issues for the past 3 or 4 weeks so I really haven't been running too much in preparation for the Cooper River Bridge Run this Saturday.

So if you pass a tiny asian girl decked out in breast cancer awareness attire passed out at the 6 mile marker, please pick me up and carry me the rest of the way!!!

March 7, 2010

#41. Learn a new sport

YEAAAA DISC GOLF! I told my mom about playing with my friend Stephen and she had never heard of the sport before. Basically you play with different shaped/weighted discs that are smaller and heavier than frisbees. It's like playing golf, there's 18 holes and most of them around Columbia are par 3 but instead of a hole, you're aiming for a metal goal about 200 or so feet away. The rules are pretty much the same too though if you've ever played any game with me, you know i tend to play by my own rules, and in my made up rules it's not how many throws it takes to get there, but the speed in which you do it!

Maybe one day I'll be so lucky to throw an ace like this guy!

In other news: I'm about halfway through Lent and halfway closer to reuniting with fast food! My Arby's cravings are growing stronger every day. March 28th- please come swiftly!

February 25, 2010


A big change in my life calls for a few changes to my list. I've edited a few and added one that will be quite rewarding: Spend a morning meditating on the beach

February 16, 2010

A little inspiration goes a long way

#1. Inspire someone to create a 99 in 999 list of their own
The first of my 99 goals is complete thanks to a real cool new friend, Chris! **Thanks Chris, good luck completing and pursuing your 99 list!!!** If he lets me, I'll post a link to his list so he too may inspire some of my other followers to make a 99 in 999 of their own.

#54. Give up something for Lent
I have never actually given anything up for the entire 40 days of Lent, and it seems I'm having alot of trouble completing a certain goal to resist fast food for 30 days, so I'm gonna kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I've decided to give up fast food so it's already marked as "complete." Making it to the end, however, is a different story. But wish me luck! I will definitely need it

.....China Palace isn't fast food, is it??! If it doesn't have a drive-thru it's ok, right??!

This is going to be a LONG 40 days

February 9, 2010

Induction to the UFO Club

#22. Try 50 new beers at Flying Saucer
Erin and I went to flying saucer last night for pint night and signed up for the UFO club. This keeps track of how many beers you've had and won't count repeats (which is a good thing for me) because anyone who has gone to bars with me knows I am not one to branch out...budweiser, budlight, or soco and coke are always my only choices. Saucer is known for the wide range of beer on tap and I figured what better place to get me to branch out!

So we got the shirt (YEA!) and had our first three last night. Still being a person to stick with what she knows, I ordered a beer that's already tried and true. New Belgium fat tire..verdict: good beer! Then an Allagash white. NOT a fan. Then a Sweetwater blue..verdict: ehh, indifferent?

Here's a random fact: out of all 5 senses, the sense of smell stays in our memory longest. Whenever I smell something, I'm always associating it with something from my childhood.

So last night when I smelled this Allagash white, it smelled exactly like a wicker basket! Weird, yes, but I thought of all the times I went to Waccamaw with my mom as a kid- which has since gone out of business. Sad to say, the taste was not as fond as the memory. The Sweetwater blue smelled like a bathroom air freshner. Didn't taste too bad, but couldn't help thinking about the bathroom at Bey's when I drank it!

I've added a box on the right to keep track of my beer and wine list just because it's easier than logging into the beerknurd website. Along with really cheesy icons to let you know how I felt about them

Three beers is all they allow you to log in one night so we'll be making a trip again in the very near future. Stay tuned...

January 21, 2010

#94. "Friends choice"- I've had some interesting suggestions from friends including shooting things or learning to shoot things, but the one I think I like the most is get another piercing!! I would really like to get my rook pierced- and for those who don't know what that is, click here!

January 19, 2010

Celebrating life and mourning death in one weekend

My dad's mother passed away during the night on January 15. She lived to be 81 years old. The death in the family was a very sad event for the entire family, but there was also a silver lining to it. And that was the family was reunited for the first time in almost 15 years when my dad's father passed away. We agreed as a family that we need to stop meeting on these conditions and have a get-together before we lose another member. And this event ended my 15 days being alcohol-free.
..makes me sound like an alcoholic, but it will be very easy for me to complete the 30 days, that is, after my anniversary with Will in one week where I'm sure we'll be trying a new wine. At least I'll be 1 new wine closer to my goal on my 99 list!!

My brother and sister-in-law drove in from IL with Gabby for MaMa's funeral, but we ended the day on a very high note. Gabby got to meet my best friend's daughter Chloe, who is only 2 months younger than Gabby. They became fast friends which I knew they would and they were so incredibly cute together!! I hope they become close friends as they grow up- it would be really special for Teresa and I, and even my parents, to witness that :-)

January 4, 2010

#95. "Family's Choice"- My parents had a great suggestion for this one, and that is to participate in the Cooper River Bridge Run. A Charleston native, and I've never participated! I've always either had to work or was out of town during that entire weekend (a weekend which the Flowertown Festival also falls). Last year, my family all participated...MY DAD BEAT THEM ALL!...and this year, I want to be a part of it too!

If you've never been to Charleston and participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run/Walk, you can simply click this link and it will take you to the registration page.

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

"Two thousand ten" or "Twenty ten" ?

Today is the kick-off to my "99 in 999" and I couldn't be more excited to start crossing things off the list. #94 is currently blank for a friend to fill in so stay posted to see who's suggestion I use!

23. Try 20 new wines and find a red and white wine I actually like (1/20)- Will's brother Lex bought us Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc. I'm not a huge fan of wine, but I actually liked this one! Not very sweet, but really flavorful.