“101 in 1001” challenge – July 2011 update

Even though I wanted to accomplish some of my Home & Organization tasks this past month and I didn’t, I managed to get a number of other tasks done. Going on vacation actually helped with my list, go figure!

1) Grow food plants in the garden (Spring 2011) (1/1) – DONE
We’ve been eating cherry tomatoes almost every day and that darn squirrel is kind enough to share them with us! I’ve also picked some baby chard (absolutely delicious!) and I’ve spotted some zucchini growing too. My melon plants have been very, very slow but I’m seeing some growth now – fingers crossed. Wouldn’t it be great to eat cantaloupes right out of the garden?

Cherry tomatoes growing in the garden

Cherry tomatoes growing in the garden

28) Unsubscribe from emails I never read (1/1) – DONE
I may still get some random emails I don’t want, but I’ve unsubcribed from many mailing lists, probably reducing my incoming email by half. 

39) Post 2 to 4 times a month to my Buy Products From France website (1/72)
I may have to scratch off this task and kill my website. Long story short, California just passed a law making me an “employee” (a tax nexus) of companies who pay me online commissions for sales referrals. Apparently the state thought they’d force vendors to collect the online sales taxes they haven’t until now. The real consequence is, vendors are cancelling their affiliates so they won’t have to collect sales taxes. And affiliates are left without income, which they won’t pay income tax on. California will lose a lot of tax revenue but the legislative bureaucrats don’t get it. Amazon was the first company to terminate my affiliate contract and since most of the product referrals on my sites are through Amazon, several hundreds dollars of monthly income are now gone! I don’t see the point of maintaining a website I built for profit if I can’t make money off it. Looks like I just have to find a more significant task, or another website. I love how my state managed to crush my small business and that of 10,000 other people…

As I said earlier, going on vacation helped me cross a number of things off my list:
68) Take two family vacations (1/2) – one down, one to go!

I also found more time to cook and try new recipes:
57) Cook one large family dish every week (7/143)
58) Make/bake one family dessert every week (6/143)
59) Try 10 new recipes (2/10)

When we didn’t cook, we tried new restaurants, so it helped this task:
62) Try 10 new restaurants (4/10)

We took refreshing walks on forest trails. Gosh, I miss it already.
78) Walk in a forest (1/1) – DONE. I want to do it again!

We even found some free time to watch a few movies:
72) Watch one new movie with my husband every other week (6/72)

73) Watch 50 of IMDB’s Top 250 movies (http://www.imdb.com/chart/top) I haven’t seen yet (1/50) (Monsters, Inc.)
I’ve seen a lot of movies on the IMDB list, all of them before I started my 101 in 1001 challenge. The first movie I’ve watched since then is Monsters, Inc. Yes, I shamefully admit I’d never seen it before, even though it’s absolutely hilarious and super sweet. Damn, those Pixar people are good. My only request to them? Stop making movies that make me cry.

69) Make birthday cakes from scratch for every family birthday, including mine (1/15)
I just made my own birthday cake and it has to be the most delicious chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten! You just can’t get anything this good out of a box or at the store. What do you think?

My birthday cake

My birthday cake

75) Pet a dolphin (1/1) – DONE
I was lucky enough to pet a dolphin during a recent visit to SeaWorld with my youngest. This woman showed us that if you keep on pouring water into the dolphin’s mouth, the dolphin will make weird, happy noises and let you pet it. Try it the next time you go, it works! I so wanted to take a photo of the whole thing but was afraid I’d drop my camera in the water, Queen of Klutz me.

81) Visit a botanical garden (1/1) – DONE
We took the kids to the San Diego Botanic Garden this past weekend. I can’t even remember the last time we went there so it was great to go back, especially since they’ve created a brand new children’s garden. The kids had a blast so we’ll have to go back.

90) Drink Diet Coke only twice a week (2/143)
I’ve been struggling with this task. I put it there because I really want to limit my soda consumption. I’ve realized it doesn’t matter when I drink Diet Coke but rather how often. I’ve also tried to replace the soda with ice tea and this seems to do the trick.

If you’re interested in joining this challenge, stop by Sarsm’s Blog for all the details. There are eight of us on board now (we just got two new recruits!), so you’ll get our support if you sign up:

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16 responses to ““101 in 1001” challenge – July 2011 update

  1. Look at your tomatoes, lady! They’re gorgeous. (I have a ton on the vine, but they refuse to redden. My lettuce is lonely on my plate!)

    I always love your list posts – from books to 101 tasks, your lists speak to my love of order and organization.

    But I’m not sure I can get behind the Diet Coke limitation goal. I shudder at the thought. Can you cheat and drink Coke Zero? Diet Pepsi? :)

    • Let me tell you something about tomatoes… These red tomatoes you see on my photo tooks WEEKS to turn from green to red. I honestly thought they’d stay green, then drop off the vine, just like that. So don’t despair and let the sun do its thing.
      Regarding lists, are you considering joining the 101 in 1001 challengers? Come on, you know you want to! ;-)
      As for the Diet Coke, I really drink too much of the stuff. Think McDonald’s biggest cup, then a refill… so this can’t be good for me. Coke Zero uses a different artificial sugar, but I’d drink more of that one instead, along with the other “chemicals” in there. I’m not a Pepsi fan, but that would be the same issue. Freshly brewed ice tea (not the one from the soda machine) tastes really good, so I may opt for that. And make some at home too, to beat the heat of summer…

  2. That cake looks devine! And #39 bums me out. WTH, California?

    • And that cake tasted even better than it looked, if that’s even possible!
      Yeah, I don’t understand why California is doing so much to make businesses leave the state. There’s already been a mass exodus in the past few years but with this, it can only get worse. Clearly states and businesses have to embrace the way people shop today, and realize that some people do try to make a living using technology…

  3. I love that you got to pet a dolphin.

    • I’ve been to SeaWorld several times before and I’ve never seen able to pet one before. They never come close enough, especially if you don’t have food for them. Now that I know how to attract them, I hope to pet another one next time with the rest of the family.

  4. I think you missed out Tilly who doing the challenge….

    This one fascinated me:
    “57) Cook one large family dish every week (7/143)”

    Does that mean cook for the whole family a meal from scratch just once a week? My life in reverse! I don’t know how to word this so that it doesn’t sound like a boast (which it is not intended to) – but we eat at least one meal a day that one of us has cooked (usually me) and most often from scratch, and only eat out as a special treat. Is this just a cultural difference? Is it much cheaper to eat out where you are?

    • Hmm, The Laughing Housewife is mentioned on the top of this page, as well as the list of 101 in 1001 challengers on the right sidebar. Am I missing something?

      OK, let me clarify the “cook a family meal”. We only eat out for lunch on the weekends because we’re usually out and about. Add to this one lunch during the week when I’m out with the kids (e.g. the zoo) and don’t want to cut the outing short to go home and eat there. And the occasional take-out pizza. That’s it for eating out (I’m not including my husband here or he’d screw up the stats). For all the other meals, I make them myself. I cook the separate ingredients, like veggies, startch, protein, and put them together at meal time. So my kids could have a meal with some eggs, veggies, and maybe spaghetti with sauce.

      When I meant “cook a family meal”, I meant cook something that implies bake, simmer, something like that, involving all the ingredients. E.g. a pasta dish, a stir fry. The problem is, my oldest and I are the adventurous eaters so we have a wide palate. My youngest and his dad have a more limited palate so it’s harder to cook something for them that I know my son and I would really like. So I just have to find some recipes with ingredients and spices I know everyone will like. It’s a challenge and that’s why it’s on the list!

      • Ooops! Sorry, I scanned the list and didn’t see ‘Tilly’, but now I see her…. maybe you can delete that bit of my remark and refs to it?

        I understand about the 57 now! I have a similar problem with likes and dislikes, but as I have said elsewhere I find it’s hard to please all of the people all of the time. In our house Scout still picks out mushrooms, for example when I cook, but he is loads better than he used to be! Last nights Greek Moussaka wasn’t a
        great success, (Too oily following the reipe) but they all manfully ate it… with Scout picking out the aubergine skins!

      • Editing comments? Maybe we can live with it until I get to it. ‘-)
        Good for you trying moussaka. I hate aubergines so I don’t expect my kids to eat them, but I sure want to try out many things. With the right sauce, almost everything tastes good!

  5. Your garden looks amazing! as well as your Birthday cake, I had planned on baking mine from scratch (my birthday as on July 9) but we never got around to it, maybe I will make a belated birthday cake for myself. :) Congrats on your list! you are doing amazing!

    • Until I moved to the US almost 20 years ago, I’d never bought a birthday cake for anyone and mine were always homemade. American birthday cakes always have to be covered with tons of frosting and the “white” cake or chocolate cake underneath is just average. I like the idea of making our own birthday cakes to celebrate as a family, so we can enjoy delicious cakes we’ll remember for a long time. Try it out and see how it works for you!

  6. Impressive month!!

    I love your cake, it looks delicious, as do your tomatoes. Mine are still green!!

    Very cool that you got to pet a dolphin. But sorry to hear about the new law.

    • The thing about tomatoes is you have to be very patient. Actually patience applies to the whole garden. I now have a few zucchini that weren’t there last week, so it’s pretty nice to see.
      I’m working on more things on my list, this time on the Home & Organization. Unfortunately some of it requires my husband’s help, so who knows when I’ll get those done! But I do have all the parts, so that’s the first step.

  7. You have been very busy this month! Good work on accomplishing all that you have so far and I also am sorry to hear about the law in CA. :(

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