101 in 1001

January Self Portrait | Personal

While a general (smart phone, at that) 365 project is enough of a challenge for me, there are people out there taking 365 self portraits this year. Talk about a huge challenge. I greatly admire their dedication and creativity to take and edit a picture of the same subject every single day.  I have really been inspired by a lot of the self portrait projects I have seen the past few years... some I have seen have absolutely blown me away. I know that taking self portraits is one of the first things artists attempt to help them practice creativity. It is usually the first step or assignment in any workshop, class, or project. So here's my confession: I hardly ever take self-portraits anymore. I used to take them... until myspace got popular and I simply got weirded out with people thinking I stood around in my bathroom all day taking pictures of myself. (Where else is there a large mirror at my disposal?) Although I do remember being particularly proud of this little gem back in 2005:

Oh yeah. I took that baby with my little Nikon Coolpix I got for my birthday that year! (See? I was once a Nikon girl!) And in the WalMart parking lot, no less. Ahhh... we all start somewhere. :)

Anyway, so all that to say... Welcome to my new 12 month project. One of my items on my 101 in 1001 list is to complete 12 consecutive months of a monthly photo project and since I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I prefer to start most projects at the beginning of the year. I'll be taking 12 self portraits this year and posting one at the end of each month. I hope to be able to stretch my creative wings and try a few new things with this project... we'll see how it goes!

January 2011 | texture

taking the train | personal

Well, it’s only January and I am knocking things off of my 101 in 1001 list left and right! Although I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself since I only have 50 items on the list so far. But, I am excited to cross another item off of it! # 39. Take a trip on a train.

Last Tuesday night I boarded a train to Atlanta to spend a few days with Tommy while he was down there for work. If I’m being honest, I actually almost missed it. Had you been there to see me, you would have totally been able to tell I was a complete newbie. Oops! Lucky for me everyone who was already on the train was asleep, so I didn't have to do any sort of walk-of-shame. :) I took the red-eye (is it called that if it’s a train?) through the night and arrived in Atlanta in the morning.

Overall it was a great experience. Purchasing my ticket, boarding, and riding the train was overall a LOT less stressful than dealing with an airport. The attendants were super laid back and there was plenty of space for me to sleep comfortably in my seat and actually tuck my oversized purse in my seat with me. The pop-up foot rests were a treat, too! While there is a luggage limit, you would have to be moving to a new town to reach it (you can bring whatever you can carry). And though I didn’t take advantage of one of the available beds in a sleeping car, I can definitely appreciate that the option was there.

The best part of the whole thing was that the cost of the train ticket was less than half the cost of a one-way flight from Lynchburg to Atlanta. You can’t beat that! Taking a trip on a train is definitely something I hope to do again in the future... especially because each passenger has their very own electrical outlet right at their seat! Can you say a working trip? Yesss.

And because all posts are more interesting with photos... here's one of my 365 shots taken while I was in Atlanta at Condesa Coffee. This is, hands down, the best coffee I have ever had in my entire life.

Condesa Coffee

101 in 1001 | personal

The past three years I have taken the time to write a list of goals for the upcoming year. (See 2008, 2009, 2010 was never completely scanned in.) It has been a great way to live intentionally and make positive changes in my life. My favorite part about making a list of goals is going back and reviewing them at the end of the year. While doing that for 2010, I peeked over to my 2008 and 2009 goals and I realized a few things. I learned that while there were a few things on my lists that weren't completed in their specified year, they did stay with me and I truly am completing them one-by-one. But I also realized, the goals that are not task related (new habits, new mindsets) are consistently taking longer than a year to really find a solid place in my life. That said, this year I decided to do something different.

One of my favorite photographers/bloggers, Melissa Jill has been working on a 101 in 1001 list. That is a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. I have seen lists like these floating around the web for years and I never really thought it was a realistic way to set goals. However, watching Melissa set her goals and complete them one-by-one has been super inspiring. Cap that with my tendency to take a little longer than a year to make changes and reach goals in my personal life and I think I have discovered something that might just work for me. :)

My friend Kate and I came together and started building 101 in 1001 lists back in November. I think we both still only have half of our lists completed. I do have enough to share with you all, at least for now. Here's a peak:

Start date: December 30, 2010 End date: September 26, 2013

  1. Complete this list by Feb 28, 2010.
  2. Blog every day for a month
  3. Blog three times a week for a year on my SLP blog
  4. Build a welcome (& thank you) packet to send to couples who book with me
  5. Buy a year’s worth of birthday cards, address and stamp them all at once
  6. Buy/make/give Tommy 5 "just because" gifts
  7. Change portfolio site to no longer be flash based
  8. Complete 12 consecutive months of a monthly photo theme or blog meme
  9. Complete 52 consecutive weeks of Gratituesday blog posts
  10. Do something extra special for Tommy's 30th Birthday
  11. Document life more on my blog, even if some entries need to be private
  12. Donate $5 for each goal I do not complete
  13. Enter some of my work into a photography competition
  14. Give a gift of something hand-made
  15. Go on a ski trip with Tommy
  16. Go to DC during a Cherry Blossom peak weekend
  17. Have a book printed of 1 year of Gratituesday's
  18. Have all Christmas gifts purchased/wrapped by Dec 1.
  19. Improve my business website search optimization
  20. Learn Yoga poses/flow I can do on my own without direction
  21. Make an album of our wedding pictures
  22. Meet Kate Nesi, finally! :)
  23. Obtain copies of our parents’ wedding portraits, frame them, and hang them in our home
  24. Participate in another triathlon
  25. Participate in the creation of a style-shoot for a blog or magazine
  26. Read one book per month for 3 months to better my business
  27. Refine workflow to have wedding galleries online within 2 weeks of the event
  28. Return to Nepal (with Tommy?)
  29. Run a Holiday Giveaway Series on my blog
  30. Run in 2 races > 5k
  31. See Third Day in concert
  32. Travel to the West Coast
  33. Simplify my internet presence
  34. Spend a day hiking
  35. Spend more time outside
  36. Submit a wedding for publication in a magazine
  37. Take a cruise with Tommy
  38. Take a dance class (at least 6 weeks)
  39. Take a trip on a train
  40. Try 5 foods I have never tried before
  41. Visit New England in the fall/winter
  42. Watch 5 I’ve-always-wanted-to-see-but-just-never-got-around-to-it-movies
  43. Write a Will
  44. Make the switch from PC to Mac
  45. Make my office as mobile as possible so that I can travel often without it interrupting my work
  46. Learn how to make sushi at home
  47. Attend a (at least 2-day) photography workshop
  48. Run another half-marathon
  49. Earn a PR in the Smithfield Sprint triathlon
  50. Earn a new PR in the 5k distance (so far my best time was 36 mins in 2007)
  51. Run in a trail race
  52. Have my work featured on at least 3 different blogs
  53. Submit images and apply for WPJA
  54. Work on lowering carb and sugar intake
  55. Make the switch from coffee to tea in the morning
  56. Swap our chemical cleaners for home made cleaners
  57. Simplify our medicine cabinet by purging a lot of medicines and replacing them with herbs and essential oils
  58. Learn how to heal our bodies naturally (and save money in the process!)
  59. Travel to Florida to visit my grandmother
  60. Travel to Colorado to visit my sister
  61. Go on an anniversary trip with Tommy
  62. Spend more time finding inspiration through online photo sites
  63. Write something every day for a month
  64. Create a social media marketing plan and follow it
  65. Hire an intern
  66. Transfer business status from Sole-Proprietor to an S-Corp
  67. Repaint my kitchen walls
  68. Incorporate the use of an ipad into my business workflow
  69. Enhance Sincerely, Liz client experiences by adding gifts and surprises into my workflow
  70. Redesign Sincerely, Liz website and combine all of my online sites into one
  71. Rebrand Lynchburg Snapshot Studio
  72. Create a marketing plan for Lynchburg Snapshot Studio
  73. Develop and begin a preschool curriculum for Sunday (even if that means toddler school for now)
  74. Make running a regular part of my weekly routine
  75. Make 5 Pinterest recipes
  76. Complete 3 Pinterest DIY projects
  77. Create a "Sunday's First Year" book/album
  78. Go to the Farmer's Market once a month in the spring/summer. Buy and consume more fresh foods.
  79. Go geocaching with my nieces
  80. Shoot a photo session in an ice skating rink
  81. Simplify our magazine subscription list
  82. Make a photo album of our wedding pictures
  83. Swap out my beauty care products for natural, less expensive versions
  84. Go to a dinner theater with Tommy
  85. Have new head shots taken annually
  86. Start an annual head shot mini session day in late winter
  87. Go on a camping trip with Tommy while in Colorado
  88. Sell my landscape and art prints online
  89. Print and frame images for a collage of "life" in our hallway
  90. Take a weekend and "unplug" from all things digital
  91. Do a "day in the life" blog post
  92. Send a bouquet of flowers to someone "just because"
  93. Get a bold haircut
  94. Create the habit of making a weekly meal plan
  95. Find 3 healthy dessert recipes and make them often enough to no longer need to look at the recipe
  96. Host a party in our home
  97. Change most (if not all) the lightbulbs in our house to energy efficient bulbs
  98. Print at least two landscape canvas prints and hang them in our home
  99. Purchase some plants for our home and keep them alive
  100. Simplify my wardrobe by making smart accessory purchases and blog about the experience
  101. Move the Sincerely, Liz office into the basement from the current office space

I hope to blog about the goals as I reach them. I am very excited about this journey and also excited to be documenting it! Here's to 2011... and 2012... and 2013. :)

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.