101 in 1001 challenge – August 2011 update

I have a lot of exciting news to report on my 101 in 1001 challenge. This past month has been very productive, especially on the home front. I’ve tackled several tasks I’d been procrastinating on for a long time, some of them for almost two years! I’m SO glad I’ve gotten them done and I love the results.

If you’re interested in joining this challenge (you know who you are!), stop by Sarsm’s Blog for all the details. I just heard we got two new challengers on board! I promise you, you’ll get our support if you sign up:

Here are some great things I’ve accomplished in the past 30 days:

9) Decorate our living room’s bare walls (1/1) – DONE
We have a high ceiling in our living room, which sounds fancy but if you don’t decorate it, you end up with a giant bare wall… I finally found a gigantic, beautiful frame to cover part of the wall (thank you so much, IKEA!). I even managed to put it all together and hang it on the wall all by myself! The best thing about it, it still leaves enough room to display the kids’ artwork on the wall.


10) Decorate our bedroom’s bare walls (0/1) – DONE
I had the frames all ready to go, but they had been sitting on top of some furniture since we moved in this house almost two years ago. All of my impressionist art is now on the wall and I love to look at my Monets and Renoirs (reproductions) every day!

11) Make my office an organized, well-decorated, comfortable place of inspiration (1/1) – DONE
My home office has been unwelcoming since the beginning, with no real desk to sit at and concentrate. Thanks to Office Depot, I found a sturdy, professional, yet very affordable desk ($99!) while I work on my computer or do art. I even managed to hang some frames on the walls. I love, love, love my new office and now work at my desk every day.

17) Sell the baby crib by end of spring 2011 (0/1) – DONE
I managed to sell the crib but not the mattress, so I may have to just donate it. We just bought bunk beds for the boys, so when they get delivered I’ll have another crib/toddler bed to sell. The boys’ new room will look great. Finally getting to making your house into a home is a wonderful feeling. Better late than never!

69) Make birthday cakes from scratch for every family birthday, including mine (2/15)
Here’s the Spider-Man cake I made for my son’s 5th birthday. This is the first time I’ve ever decorated a cake, so I think it turned out pretty well for a novice like me.

I’ve made some more progress in my daily and weekly challenges and you can see my full up-to-date 101 challenge list. Again, feel free to join us in this challenge – I’m very glad I did. The more, the merrier!

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18 responses to “101 in 1001 challenge – August 2011 update

  1. Wow! You’re doing well. I enjoyed the update :)

  2. Hmm…I wonder if you’re referring to me when you say “you know who you are.” :)

    The funny thing is that the first thing I would put on my list is the first one you mention in this post: decorate the bare living room walls. Ours are still totally white and blank and we’ve lived here for four years. Now I feel inspired again…

    • Ah, now I don’t feel so bad about waiting two years to decorate our house! Going back to your recent post on paper, you know you could print your 101 in 1001 list and cross off the tasks as you complete them. Am I tempting you yet? ;-)

  3. Wow, the rooms look great!!

    I really like the IKEA picture. I bet it’s a great focal point in the room!

    I’ve been working on my office too.

    Well done!

    • I can’t wait to read how your 101 in 1001 list is going, especially since you’re back in town and in the small urgencies of the day.

      • I’m going to update next week – but the amazing news is I’ve eaten several home-grown veggies!!

      • Congratulations for managing to grow something in your garden against all odds! I’ve been able to enjoy some zucchini and chard, on top of the cherry tomatoes. I would have some melons by now, if not for the darn squirrels that ate all of my seedlings (and the next ones, and the next ones) and then the melon flowers. I’ve had enough and last week bought some squirrel poison. There’s plenty of food for them out there right now, I don’t need them to destroy my garden.

  4. Oh, and I LOVE the cake ;-)

  5. Wow! I love the picture in your living room, it’s gorgeous! :)
    Good job on everything you have accomplished so far!

    • Thank you! The IKEA frame is giant (almost 80″x55″) so it’s a perfect size for our huge wall, which looked awfully bare for a long time. I’m glad I was able to tackle so many home improvement tasks this past month. They were seriously overdue and really make our home a lot nicer to live in (even though I was nice before).

  6. I like the Spider-man cake, very well done! I made a similar cake with the face of Sirius Black on it from Harry Potter with a few friends one time and we were pretty proud of that. :) It was hard to eat it after all that work!

  7. Cake looks great. Did you use butter icing?

    I find Royal Icing is good, but not the roll out sort! (That sets my teeth on edge)

    Can you get ‘writing icing’ – which comes in little tubes?

    • For the color icing, I used tubes of multiple colors with a writing tip. As for the icing, this was a HUGE dilemma. Being French, I never, ever saw birthday cakes with tons of sugary, oily frosting on it like in the US. There may have been some chocolate icing (with chocolate and butter) or some whipped cream, but that’s about it. So it’s hard for me to even conceive all the work and ingredients that are involved.

      I can’t stand the thick American frosting and the fondant you can buy is just as bad, so I actually used thick custard (creme patissiere) for this cake. I had to keep it cold for the writing not to run but it worked. If you have a great recipe for light, tasty icing that can be written on, feel free to share!

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