101 in 1001 – Update II

Oh my goodness me. I couldn’t quite believe it but my very last 101 in 1001 update was over a year ago. I honestly thought it was just six months ago! Time really does fly, doesn’t it? I thought I’d do another update as I’ve definitely been going through those goals!

Here’s what I’ve accomplished…

1. Come up with 101 things {done & recapped in my last Updates post – you can find that here}

2. Publish one new blog post every weekday for an entire month – this was a good exercise in finding out what I don’t actually want to do with this blog. Whilst it was fun to come up with all of the ideas for posting every weekday in that particular month, I definitely didn’t have time to put a lot of work into them what with a full time job. Instead, I’m now far more focused on posting quality over quantity.

3. Try 30 new restaurants – I’m not going to lie, accomplishing this goal was seriously fun. I’m both a creature of habit & someone who really enjoys trying new things, so whilst it was sad to choose new places over old favourites, I definitely recommend it. You might even find new favourites – which I did!

6. Go to at least 3 music concerts – This was a good one because I didn’t mean just any music concert. These had to be artists whose music I really loved & enjoyed. It didn’t matter what venue they were playing – two of them were in stadiums & one was in a club in the city. All three were amazing & I’m so happy I got to experience each show.

9. Upgrade my camera to a fancy new one (& figure out how to use it) – okay so I cheated a little bit on this one. I didn’t buy a whole new camera but I did buy a beautiful, amazing lens. You might have noticed right at the beginning of 2016 that my photos got  super clear & sharp – that’s a f1.5 lens for you!

17. Make planning my outfits for work the night before a habit – this is such a good goal to have. It cuts down on your time spent getting ready in the mornings so much, I don’t know what I’d do without it! Now that I’ve also switched to having showers at night, I have way more time to do makeup & style my hair every morning. One tip though – keep a good eye on the weather, you don’t want to lay out a sweater on what turns out to be a hot day!

21. Do a spin class – I have to let you Sydneysiders in on a secret…have you tried Scenic Cycle? It is one of my favourite workouts! It’s classic spin class style with very low lighting, an extremely energetic instructor & a healthy mix of beginners & experts but at the front of the studio is a huge screen showing a road or trail video that you ‘travel’ down as you cycle through the class. I’ve done beautiful trails in Switzerland, Japan & the U.S., & they’re always launching new ‘destinations’! It’s so much fun & I’m 100% hooked now!

23. Go a whole month without any chocolate – I did this last January & it was horrible. Goal accomplished. Enough said.

25. Go a whole month without alcohol – I did this as well in January. It wasn’t as bad as going without chocolate but I really did miss a glass of afternoon champagne or rosé!

26. Go to at least one new country – Done (kind of)! Recently I travelled to Hawaii. Now, whilst I have been to the U.S. previously (a good few years ago now), Hawaii is pretty darn different to the lower 48! If I do manage another International trip before my 1001 days are up, I’ll replace this goal with that but if not, then I’m happy with this one!

27. Have breakfast in bed – Believe it or not, this is something I’d never done! So one chilly Winter weekend when I was home alone, I made up some pancakes, sliced some strawberries, brewed coffee & drizzled maple syrup. It was divine.

28. Go a week without wearing makeup – So far, I’ve done this one twice! Over the Christmas & New Year’s period in 2015 & 2016. It feels so nice not to have makeup on, especially when it’s almost unbearably hot in a Sydney summer! I find that my skin gets so good as well when I take a break from makeup.

29. Cook a Christmas turkey – I’ve now done this two years running! We had a classic roast turkey for Christmas 2015 & then last year we did it Italian style, covered in delicious crisp strips of pancetta. Definitely a turkey to remember!

31. Make homemade pasta – I made gnocchi a little while ago which was absolutely delicious & sometime soon (maybe when it cools down again!), I’m going to try other forms of homemade pasta. It might be a good excuse for a cooking class!

32. Get at least 8 (if not 9!) hours of sleep every night – The week I made this a super priority, I felt so rested. Although I was fighting off a head cold so the extra hours of shuteye were definitely necessary. I now have a ‘Bedtime’ through the app on my phone so I can figure out if I’ll get a good 7-8 hours every night which is so handy.

34. Invest in business cards for the blog – I did this a little while ago using the lovely folks at Moo but I definitely think it’s time for an upgrade, that’ll be something I’ll do this year for sure!

35. Go through ALL of my clothes & donate anything that needs donating {done & recapped here}

36. Throw my first proper dinner party – entree, main, dessert, signature cocktail, etc – This was so much fun! Although it was a lot of work, I did make it a little easier on myself by having dishes I could prepare or even cook in advance. The entree was a seriously delicious elevated bruschetta with blue cheese, walnuts & honey, main was tagliatelle bolognaise, dessert was a blueberry ricotta cake & I chose bellinis for our signature cocktail.

40. Visit a city I’ve never been to before – Done! I had an amazing trip in November to Hawaii where we stayed at the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. I loved exploring Honolulu (ahem, especially the Ala Moana Centre & the Waikele Outlet Mall…) but in all seriousness, Honolulu is a lovely city, full of warm, friendly people, beautiful sites, delicious food & great live music.

41. Send out Christmas cards one year – I totally wanted this to be a regular thing, but alas so far I’ve only done it in 2015. It was a lovely way of connecting with friends & loved ones & I’m hoping to do it again in 2017.

46. Get a deluxe facial – I had the most beautiful facial whilst I was in Thailand which used fresh & icy cold rosewater. It was unbelievable! Closer to home, I’ve been enjoying facials at a local salon near where I live which includes a half hour facial massage – perfection!

51. Go without red meat for a month – This was a tricky one. About three & a half weeks in, I was feeling seriously tired & almost anaemic so I called it off. I just don’t think going meatless would work for me in the long run.

58. Get a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Vara’s – Probably not on everyone’s goal list but I die over these shoes! They’re so gorgeous, timeless & classic & I found the perfect pair in cobalt blue patent leather at an amazing sale price so I kind of had to have them…

59. Grow a house plant (& not let it die) – Whilst I did have a super cute little succulent, it kind of, well, died. So to compromise, I made a cutting of a bonsai jade plant we have & it’s going great guns! I’m calling this a win!

61. Go on a road trip {done & recapped here}

63. Create a mini kitchen herb garden – Okay, bit of a confession here. I created the perfect little garden, put it out on the balcony to get some sun & rain…& a huge storm hit. It died. But I’m planning on revamping it very soon!

64. Go to the outdoor cinema in summer – This is a funny one, I actually did this on a first date! Now, unfortunately, the date wasn’t a crazy-amazing, sparks flying date but the movie was great!

68. Have an article published (in a magazine or online) – Completing this goal definitely surpassed my expectations as I’m now a regular contributor for Career Girl Daily! It’s a fantastic website with loads of great articles about fashion, career, beauty, lifestyle & more. You can check out all of my posts here.

70. Buy another pair of Christian Louboutins {done & recapped here}

71. Buy & wear a real gown to an important event {done & recapped here}

75. Make pizza from scratch {done & recapped here}

77. Make delicious goodies to give to friends & family for Christmas – Last year I got super duper organised & made delicious little shortbread cookies & peppermint bark to give out as little Christmas gifts.

79. Get a spiralizer & make zucchini pasta regularly to cut down on dinnertime carbs – We do this all the time now, it’s great! Although, funny story, I went to buy 5 zucchinis in an online grocery order but I didn’t realise instead of 5, I was buying 5 kilos! Bags & bags of zucchinis arrived! But hey, at least we got our fill of zucchini pasta that month!

82. Meal plan at least my breakfast, lunch & snacks every day for a month – This is a great way to cut down on buying lunches, wasting food & keeping an eye on what you’re eating everyday. It doesn’t work in all office environments & for a time it worked really well for my old job. But now, with a new location surrounded by tons of healthy places, I think I might just treat myself to a few lunches out!

84. Bake a cake & decorate it with fondant – This was super fun! Last year, the weekend before Christmas, I had a big barbecue with friends to celebrate my cat’s first birthday. Uh, hello crazy cat lady amiright?! But seriously, it was so much fun & I got to create a “cat cake” with fondant!

86. Indulge in a whole day at a spa {done & recapped here}

89. Celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time – Ok so I might not have eaten turkey & pumpkin pie but I was in Hawaii for Thanksgiving last year. We went out for dinner, watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & the Waikiki Parade &, most importantly, I went Black Friday shopping! Now if that isn’t Thanksgiving Day done right, I don’t know what is!

90. Try at least 50 new recipes – Done & done! This really stretched me in figuring out some cooking skills & testing recipes. It was fun to try something new instead of making the same old stuff. In fact, I still try a new recipe every time a special event comes up!

91. Buy a pair of classic black ballet flats to replace my old ones {done & recapped here}

93. See the Christmas lights & windows at David Jones – We did this as a family for Christmas in 2015 & it was magical! Whilst it would be lovely to have a white Christmas, the best thing about living in Sydney is that you can go out & do all your Christmas errands in shorts!

95. Cook a meal using only produce bought from the Farmer’s Market – I loved this challenge. I went to the market with the Bossman & we bought gourmet sausages, purple Dutch carrots, beautiful multicoloured heirloom tomatoes & a whole heap of cherries for our dessert!

96. Have a lobster dinner – We actually kind of had two! While we were in Phuket in March 2016 we definitely took advantage of the fact that amazingly fresh & delicious lobster is quite cheap & we had two beautiful lobster meals!

98. Bake Christmas sugar cookies from scratch – Alright. These were tricky. The baking bit was easy as pie but icing them? Oh my gosh, it’s impossible! I didn’t even try them this year but maybe Christmas 2017 I’ll give them another crack!

99. Get a luxurious massage {done & recapped here}