101 Things in 1,001 Days

With it being New Year’s Day, I, like a lot of society, am excited for a new year and fresh start. I’ve written New Year’s resolutions pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Recently, in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, I created and followed what I called the New Year’s All Year Challenge. It went okay for me in 2011, and pretty well for me in 2012, but I did not keep up with in 2013. A lot of changes occurred in my life this past year (like moving out of my parents’ house, getting married, a new job, etc.), and trying to stay focused on multiple goals every month on top of those changes started to feel very overwhelming for me. I eventually let go of them because I tend to be a perfectionist and my lack of progress on them (due to focusing on all the other big events and adjustments going on) was unnecessarily stressing me out. While my 2014 isn’t currently shaping up to have the type of life-changing events 2013, I have decided to forgo doing a 2014 New Year’s All Year Challenge for the similar reasons. I want to achieve my goals in life, but I want to make sure I am doing so in a balanced way that doesn’t put unneeded pressure on myself.  I want to enjoy the journey and make sure I am having fun and spending time with those I love.

I am a longtime fan of Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, and I recently realized her 101 Things in 1,001 Days project is perfect way for me to approach the next year. Well, really, the next 2.75 years. As she described it, it’s a “happy medium between writing a to do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting those longer term goals.” So, I have crafted my own list and will begin my journey today! I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences with everyone. Happy New Year!!! : )

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Start: January 1, 2014


  1. Compete in a masters swim meet.
  2. Complete a triathlon.
  3. Meet my goal weight.
  4. Do yoga every day for a month.
  5. Stop biting my nails.
  6. Complete a Bible study.
  7. Try every fitness class offered at my gym.
  8. Take a self-defense class.
  9. Give up swearing for Lent (and see if it lasts after that!).
  10. Complete a plank challenge.
  11. Floss every other day for a month (and see if I can finally maintain the habit).
  12. Go to the eye doctor.
  13. Eat as a vegetarian for a month.
  14. Complete a squat challenge.
  15. Try 20 different workouts from what I have saved from magazines over the years.
  16. Practice meditation/mindfulness every day for a month.


  1. Attend a musical I’ve never seen before.
  2. Revisit the major museums in Cleveland (4).
  3. Go to a Blue Jackets game.
  4. Go apple or berry picking.
  5. Attend a live comedy show.
  6. Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
  7. Eat at five new-to-me restaurants in the Cleveland or Columbus area.
  8. Go on a tour of a brewery.
  9. Attend a professional orchestra concert.
  10. Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
  11. Go camping.
  12. Visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati.
  13. Obtain a passport and use it, even if only to travel to Canada (the only other country I have ever been in besides the U.S.).
  14. Visit the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.
  15. Take Madison to the dog beach.
  16. Visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  17. Attend Dinner on the Diamond again.
  18. See a major league baseball game in a stadium I have never been to before.
  19. Go to a BGSU home football game.


  1. Send Christmas cards to all of our family and friends before the holiday.
  2. Host a book club meeting.
  3. Prepare a meal for my family using an outdoor grill.
  4. Do something extra special for each member of my family.
  5. Host a fancy brunch for my friends.
  6. Mail my closest friends and family cards for each birthday during these 1,001 days.
  7. Throw a party for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.


  1. Donate to PAWS in Madison’s name.
  2. Donate toys to kids in need.
  3. Donate to BGSU.
  4. Complete 25 random acts of kindness.
  5. Donate blankets or coats to those in need.
  6. “Pay it forward” at a coffee shop or at a tollbooth.
  7. Donate books to an organization that distributes them to those who need them or volunteer with a literacy organization.
  8. Complete 40 service hours.
  9. Sponsor an athlete at PSH or donate to scholarships offered through PCSD.


  1. Read 75 books I have never read before.
  2. Bake a pie from scratch.
  3. Make a pizza (dough and sauce) from scratch.
  4. Complete compiling and order a full wedding album.
  5. See a classic movie in a movie theater.
  6. Knit a scarf.
  7. Make 15 recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
  8. Be inspired by Pinterest 10 times to either create/bake/cook something or utilize a cleaning/organization tip.
  9. Back up all my photos.
  10. Make a T-shirt quilt.
  11. Watch 10 Best Picture winning films I haven’t see before.
  12. Back up all my music.
  13. Create Snapfish or Shutterfly albums for each year since high school.
  14. Bake 12 different recipes of cookies and cut each recipe into an unique shape using our Year Of Cookies cookie cutters we were gifted for our wedding.
  15. Spend at least two months blogging consistently (five days a week).
  16. Watch Gone With the Wind again.
  17. Organize all my workout and recipe clippings from magazines into navigable binders/digital files.


  1. Start a history podcast and publish at least three episodes.
  2. Organize all my previously written swim practices and planning into navigable binders/digital files.
  3. Obtain a full-time classroom position and/or begin earning my masters degree.
  4. Learn all of the world’s capital cities and the names and locations of major rivers, mountains, etc.
  5. Develop my Honors Project (from college) into a full book.
  6. Organize all my lesson plans and resources into navigable binders/digital files.
  7. Find a way to combine my loves of social media and the field of education into something that serves a resource and/or community for either teachers or students.
  8. Truly study (not just skim/index through) all the swimming books I own and organize my notes on them into navigable binders/digital files.

Things That Scare Me

  1. Sing karaoke
  2. Buy a bikini and wear it in public.
  3. Get another tattoo.


  1. Pay off the Honda Civic Dan and I purchased in March 2013 ahead of schedule.
  2. Save at least $5,000.
  3. Create a solid budget and begin cultivating spending/saving tracking habits by following it successfully for at least two months.
  4. Finish changing name on all accounts/relevant records.
  5. Write a will and a living will.


  1. Buy big plastic bins and use them to organize the storage space/seasonal decorations.
  2. Set up a home office.
  3. Create and implement a rotating cleaning schedule and follow it for at least two months straight.
  4. Do an intake of my belongings, donate or toss what I don’t need, and organize what I am keeping.
  5. Find a more effective system for receiving mail, disposing of it/filing it, and responding to it.
  6. Style our bedroom.
  7. Style our living room.
  8. Buy an actual address book and use it.
  9. Clean my car and keep it tidy for at least two months.


  1. Find a skincare regimen that works for me and follow it for at least 30 days.
  2. Buy a grown up watch, and wear it regularly.
  3. Learn 5 new ways to style my hair.
  4. Get a pedicure.
  5. Find the perfect little black dress.
  6. Get grown-up luggage and use it (instead of using my backpack from high school!).
  7. Find my “signature scent.”
  8. Purchase a monogrammed bracelet or necklace.

 End date: September 27, 2016    


Image source


things i’m afraid to tell you



Recently a blogger movement has come about called Things I’m Afraid to Tell You. The posts from participating bloggers have been so uplifting. I really admire that the risk everyone has taken by sharing very personal aspects of their life and putting themselves, 100%, into the blogging community.

For a long time, I was too nervous to put myself 100% into anything because I thought my anxiety would become wholly overwhelming again. So I went way too far in the opposite direction; I became complacent about my life. Living every day holding back. Recently, I’ve come around. I know I’m strong enough to give my all without anxiety breaking me. No holding back anymore. Not in life, not on this blog. Which leads me to the only thing I am truly afraid to tell you:

I gained a lot of weight in college, due to various circumstances combined with just plain awful habits. I need to lose 55 pounds to be at my heaviest high school weight and the highest range of a healthy BMI. That number seems truly unreal to me. I never thought I would be the type of person who put on a large amount of weight and then spent years trying to get rid of it. I still don’t feel like that’s the type of person I am, but somehow that’s the situation in which I find myself. I have been unhappy with my health and appearance for years now, but have not taken strong action to change it until recently. I don’t know why. Not too much in my life has actually changed. There wasn’t a massive catalyst, at least not that it felt like. It was a series of small events: reading an article that made me realize I have (and always have had, even in high school at a healthy weight) weird and unhealthy habits with food; an article that made truly understand the science between anxiety and exercise; a friend honestly telling me how much weight she estimates I gained based on my appearance alone; coaching swimming in the same pool I used to race in and wanting to be a good role model for my swimmers; a Jenny Craig commercial that said “When you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t take care of yourself”; realizing my unhealthy habits passed onto Madison. MADISON. MY DOG. She trusts me to take care of her and I messed up. I know my unhealthy habits affect my daily life and therefore my interactions with people, especially those I live with and spend the most time with, like my family, Dan, and best friends, sometimes in disastrous ways. But for some reason, realizing my bad habits hurt my dog, who never did anything but love me and depends on me to take care of her, was the lowest point of this years-long…thing. Not struggle, ordeal, battle, journey…all those sound way too complicated or difficult or self-important for what has been going on with me. My life is not that hard. I have extremely supportive, accepting, and loving family, fiance and friends. I have a place to live rent-free as long as I need. I have a job I enjoy. I have a college degree. I have a car, a phone, a computer. I have health insurance that I’ve never had to use for anything worse than a torn ACL when I was 15. To not be as healthy as I can potentially be, and use my good health and the blessings in my life to be the best person, daughter, fiance, friend, neighbor, teacher, coach, pet owner, etc. makes me feel so ashamed. It is flat-out unacceptable. And I have known for years that it is unacceptable, and have tried to fix it with many false starts. But this time is different. Because this time, I’m finally not afraid to tell you the whole story. 





recent inspirations: you can go farther

I am a total magazine addict. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my all-time favorites is Self. It always makes me feel comforted, capable, and energized. Self has a great feature called “A Moment to Yourself.” I’m a bit very behind in my magazine reading, and while looking through the parts of Self’s February 2012 issue that I hadn’t looked at yet, I revisited the issue’s A Moment to Yourself and felt galvanized. It was exactly what I needed right about now, and I had to share it with you:


“Seek new horizons. Once upon a time, we believed the world was flat – that beyond a certain point, there would be nowhere to go. And though we now know the world is round, we still fear falling off imaginary edges, too often thinking there’s only so far we can stretch, so hard we can push. The most dangerous limits are those in our own head. When you fell you’re at your edge, look again. You can go farther.”




things that are making me happy


  • A new pair of jeans in my favorite style
  • Browsing Pinterest and wedding magazines for cute ideas and useful tips
  • Having a fun time at the Indians home opener (even though they lost the longest opening day game ever!)
  • Delicious Breyers Blast Golden Oreo ice cream
  • ABC’s new show Scandal 
  • Organizing my life by ordering a classy new planner (I have always used a hard copy agenda – I don’t know why I ever strayed!)
  • Long walks with Madison using her new Indians leash
  • Holiday weekends with family
  • Finally getting my hair cut for the first time in a year!
  • Driving with the windows rolled down and the radio turned up

 What is making you happy as of late?



weekly gems

Source: oopsydaisy.com via Kelly on Pinterest

my life: recent happenings via instagram

First three photos: My friend Elizabeth’s cute papillon puppy, Rosie (she’s 2.5 pounds!); Madison in a basket of blankets; cuddling with my family’s dog Sasha while watching Wheel of Fortune with my parents. Middle three photos: fantastic Melt Quesadilla appetizer Dan & I shared on our first trip to Melt Bar & Grilled; my delicious BBQ chicken grilled cheese from Melt; yummy cake from Resch’s Bakery, courtesy of my future-in-laws, to celebrate Dan & I’s engagement (and in our wedding colors!). Last three photos: Dan & I before his indoor soccer game; Dan knocking down an opponent player while playing; booty from my weekend trip to Target.
Sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. (I also apologize if there are formatting issues while viewing this post – some browsers aren’t displaying it correctly) The end of the swim season accompanied with subbing and traveling often has taken some toll on my spare time, which has been spent with family and friends with little leftover time for blogging. What have you all been up to lately?
*If for some reason you are having trouble leaving a comment, please e-mail me at beagleandbear@yahoo.com or leave me a comment on Beagle and Bear’s Facebook page. Thanks for your help with this issue!

weekly gems (and a wish for the world)

weekly gems

Source: google.com via Kelly on Pinterest

things i’ve been meaning to blog about, cook it edition: baked salmon

After I started a job in Columbus, life got very hectic and I took an unplanned break from this blog. Since leaving that job and moving again, I’ve returned and recommitted regularly blogging at Beagle & Bear. Part of that returns includes a blog series called “Things I’ve Been Meaning to Blog About,” which is made up of posts I intended to publish in summer or early fall but haven’t yet. This post is part of that series.
One of my presents upon graduation this past May was a Barnes & Noble gift card. I used it to buy the cookbook I am reading in the photo above: 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know: Engagement Chicken and 99 Other Dishes to Get You Everything You Want in Life by Cindi Leive and the editors of Glamour.
I adore this cookbook. It has the readability and fun of an issue of Glamour, and the recipes are relatively uncomplicated and delicious. The star recipe in the cookbook is a meal called Engagement Chicken, which is accompanied by an explanation, stories, and a Hall of Fame list. In addition to an introduction and the Engagement Chicken story, the recipes are categorized into the following chapters: Breakfast and Brunch, Nibbles, Drinks, Soups and Salads, Meat and Poultry, Seafood, Pizza and Pasta, Meat-Free Mains, Sides, Cheap and Easy Meals, Sweets, and Menus. All the recipes have cute and cheeky names, such as He Stayed Over Omelets, Forget the Mistake You Made At Work Margarita, Get Him to Clean the Apartment Burgers, Instant Happiness Mac and Cheese, BFF Birthday Cake, etc. Each recipe is rated on a scale of one to three high heels, printed in pink and black, and is preceded by a short story explaining the background of and/or use for the recipe.
I made my first recipe from the book late this summer. Together Dan and I made Bikini Season Baked Salmon, although we slightly altered the ingredient list for our purposes. It was easy to make, tasted wonderful, and left us feeling satisfied and healthy.

Bikini Season Baked Salmon, adapted from Glamour magazine’s 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know

Four-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Lemon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the salmon skin-side down in a ceramic or glass baking pan. Rub the salmon fillets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season generously with sea salt, lemon salt, and pepper. Let the salmon sit in the pan for 10 minutes.

2. Drizzle the white wine over the salmon. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon fillets are opaque.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Top each salmon fillet with the lemon juice mixture and serve immediately.