#101 in 1001, Round 2


101-in-1001My first #101 list ended yesterday. I 100% admit that my first list was VERY ambitious. There were some big things going down…

If I had an unlimited amount of cash, it might’ve been possible to complete more than 50%. I can see now why the list should have a balance between big events, small victories, and goals that take a solid amount of time and commitment.

So here’s my new list that I’ve compiled over the last year. I even checked off two items, before the list started: 1) Pay off a credit card, and 2) Buy a second freezer for food storage.

Onward to the next challenge…

Start: October 1, 2016
End: June 29, 2019

  1. Create a 2nd list of 101 things to do. (10/1/16)
  2. Everything important not completed from my first list.


  1. Buy a car
  2. Buy an instant camera
  3. Create a P+T photo album
  4. Finish styling our first house, inside and out
  5. Frame and hang all of our art
  6. Get a compost barrel and a rain barrel.
  7. Get a second pet for the family
  8. Finish landscaping our front and back yards
  9. Host Thanksgiving
  10. Make emergency kits/food storage
  11. Scan all of my mother’s photos
  12. Scan/file/back up our photos
  13. Start a garden
  14. Sustain a lemon tree in Atlanta
  15. Throw a Quentin Tarantino Party


  1. Buy a pair of Louboutins
  2. Buy my first investment handbag
  3. Have a dress made for me
  4. Get everything on Nina Garcia’s 100 list (24 to go)
  5. Invest in a pair of good hiking boots


  1. Continue trying to visit every state (15 to go, 14 in January!)
  2. Go back to Montana
  3. Go back to Paris and stock up on beauty products
  4. Go on a fitness-based trip
  5. Go on a girls vacation with more than one other person
  6. Go on a trip with my mom
  7. Go on a west coast road trip
  8. Go on an overnight hiking trip
  9. Go south of the equator
  10. Go to a Black Tie function
  11. Go to a cranberry bog
  12. Go to the FL/GA game in Jax
  13. Plan a surprise trip for Troy’s 35th
  14. See a fjord
  15. See a glacier
  16. See the Northern Lights
  17. Start planning a trip for my 35th
  18. Take a photo with a giant Redwood or Sequoia in California
  19. Take another bucket list trip
  20. Take Troy to Portland
  21. Travel abroad for Christmas
  22. Visit 3 new countries


  1. Blow glass or create a stained glass ornament
  2. Buy a substantial piece of art
  3. Create a substantial piece of art
  4. Get my library card
  5. Complete a 642 Things to Write About journal
  6. Complete a Wreck This Journal
  7. Go berry picking, then make jam, then can it
  8. Go for a full day at the spa
  9. Learn calligraphy
  10. Learn darkroom photography
  11. Learn stick shift
  12. Learn to pick a lock
  13. Re-read Portrait of a Lady
  14. Read every Jane Austen Novel (3/7)
  15. Read the entire Dark Tower series
  16. Read the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide
  17. Read Women in Love
  18. Reinstate Netflix DVD’s
  19. Watch the rest of the 100 best movies of all time
  20. Re-learn how to play Cribbage
  21. Ride a Vespa
  22. See a Broadway Play
  23. See Mariah in Concert
  24. Stay up all night and have breakfast at 3am
  25. Take an oil painting course
  26. Go to a rave (Krewella, 10/7/16)

Health & Fitness

  1. Bowl a 150 average
  2. Complete another indoor Tri
  3. Do an early morning run every day for one week
  4. Do another 3-day refresh
  5. Do a juice cleanse
  6. Finish a 10k in under an hour (Best time 1:02)
  7. Learn to play golf
  8. Learn to snowboard (better)
  9. Learn to surf (better)
  10. Nail a crow pose and yoga head stand
  11. Ride a mechanical bull
  12. Run another Disney half marathon
  13. Stay at 120 lbs except if pregnant
  14. Take regular boxing classes
  15. Try acupuncture
  16. Visit a chiropractor

Professional & Finance

  1. Create a Living Will
  2. Develop an idea for a novel
  3. Buy someone the absolute best birthday present
  4. Be a guest blogger/writer on someone’s website
  5. Be part of a startup company
  6. Learn how to code
  7. Pay off my entire Student Loan Debt
  8. Reach 700 Twitter followers
  9. Take a grant writing class
  10. Take an online class
  11. Write an article for a magazine

For Others

  1. Be a part of the SMS Centennial
  2. Organize one big St. Margaret’s fundraiser
  3. Buy someone the absolute best birthday gift (also in January…)
  4. Complete another 52-week giving challenge and donate (most) of it

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @CoxswainPatti to keep up.





3 Month Warning

My #101in1001 list ends September, 29th. That’s 3 months to finish a lot of stuff…

In the last year, I’ve:

  • Run a Disney race/half marathon
  • Visited Japan, gotten harajuku makeover, dyed my hair purple(fuchsia) and got as close as I could to the apex of an active volcano
  • 2 books away from reading 50 books in 2.75 year
  • Seen Taylor Swift in concert
  • Visited New York City and Portland, Maine
  • Completed a 52-week money-saving challenge and donated the bulk of it

But in the next 3 months, I have much much more to tick off the list. Those that do not get accomplished before deadline will be added to my next list, starting October 1st.

Some fun points on my next list: Read The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide and The Dark Tower Series, Host a Thanksgiving, Take regular kickboxing classes, Learn how to can, and Visit Crater Lake.

But before we get to that, I’ve already scheduled my next mud run (Rugged Maniac in August). I need to schedule a fun shopping scavenger hunt to pick up things from Nina Garcia’s One Hundred, and I have to finish re-finishing my great-grandmother’s dresser.

Troy and I have our full-day date planned for this weekend (in Chattanooga), and I am *this close* to making the appointment for my first tattoo.

Yesterday, I got a Facebook comment that dressing up Harajuku is “Kinda weird, no?”. Isn’t that the point? Not to mention, who makes trolling Facebook comments at 32. Get a real life…

I pride myself on being able to walk the line between non-traditional and classic. Building an interesting life with a little bit of old and the experiences of the new. The outcome? I always have something to look forward to.

Love. Angel. Music. Patti

Get a Harajuku makeover. Done 3/28/2016. #101in1001

During our Japan trip, I made a stop at Maison de Julietta. It was a small vendor at The Forest, a mall in the Harajuku district. You make an appointment for a makeover and photo shoot, introducing you to: Baby Doll, Sweet Lolita, Gothic Lolita, and the Boy Prince. Bet you didn’t know I moonlight as a Dark Water Victorian Pirate in a top hat.

This was a semi-awkward experience. Although they had some amazing costumes and props, I couldn’t really mix and match. You really had to stay with a specific style. I’m sure I confused the stylist by not going for the page boy wig. Plus, one-size fits all clothing doesn’t really help. I wasn’t quite comfortable until I saw the finished product.

However, during my makeup application, the woman next to me was getting ready to go in for her photos. She was in her 50’s and dressed in full baby doll; with pig tails, rainbow hair, and an oversized teddy bear. That took a lot of the pressure off trying to look good in an American sense.

Surprisingly, some of the shop girls were very impressed with my choice of wig +outfit. The photographer was very fun to work with, and even got Troy for a couple photos. Photoshoot crasher…

Lesson: People love it when they get to express how they feel in how they look. And, I’m really starting to rethink bare matte lipstick.


2016 so far…

Since my last post (almost a year ago, ouch…), we’ve visited Maine, NYC, Japan together and are finally circling back around to getting this house presentable.

We’ve have a handful of family visits just in the past 6 weeks, so we’ve been working overtime to get our yard and guest rooms up to par.

We are now the proud owners of 6 small boxwood bushes, 3 fully-mulched flower beds, 2 porch topiaries with pots, a recently-trimmed 15ft. camellia bush, and a new trash can. It’s a super smart trash+recycling can, so I can’t contain my excitement.

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On the bright side, our yard looks great and you can tell all the afternoons we’ve put in are starting to pay off. However, like most home owners know, the work will never be completely done. Now that we’ve exhausted all the projects we can do on our own, we have  begin our long-term investments. These include:

  • New vinyl siding to replace the original wood siding
  • New thermal windows. All of the windows are original to the house and 100% of them have broken seals.
  • Deck refinishing. While the support structure is sound, many of the slats are cracked  and/or bowing. I’d like to replace these with composite slats that are waterproof and weather durable (and also not an ugly brown).
  • New garage doors. Along with the siding, these doors are original, made of wood, and are painted a rather unappealing  antique color.

Most of these projects should be done in the next year and I’m estimating a good $25-28K should cover it. Any idea where to find it?

While I know real estate investments can be very profitable if handled correctly, this house was not meant to be a short investment. We love out house, our neighborhood and our town, and unless something amazing comes around the corner, we are planning on staying in this house for the next 5-10 years. No need to have the return on investment, or how good the market is (or is not), or the what-do-we-do-if-we-have-more-than-two-kids talk.

More photos of the house to come, probably when more family comes to visit and we have to emergency tidy up again…



Two Months and a Trip Later…

Following our Eurotrip, I took a very nice break from blogging to take on the last of my Presidential duties, the beginning of my Past-Presidential duties, a 4th of July family event and one work trip. I love reconnecting with my family and while I’m home, I’ve been getting out a lot more, planning weekend trips and outings with friends.

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In between jetsetting, we finally took down the tree in our backyard and have started back with the house projects.
IMG_4581 IMG_4576 IMG_4579

So now we have a ton of open space, lots of light, and an entire backyard to resuscitate. However, we have two more months left of summer and a lot of things planned, in a good way. Including:

  • My first visit to Pasadena, for work
  • A kinda-sorta surgery for Troy
  • My 30th birthday in Maine
  • My stepbrother’s wedding in Maryland
  • Seeing the Giants (and working) in Denver
  • Ending the summer in New Orleans with my bestie

Over/under on how many house projects we can tackle?

The Americans, part 2

f504cdae11c3501f00451c035b990dd6We’ve been ready for this trip for WEEKS. All of those important details that everyone freaks out about? I handled those months ago. I don’t think I need to read another trite blog post about the importance of packing ziplock bags and compression socks.

Instead of the oh-my-god-could-you-be-more-obvious travel tips, here are a couple things I’ve stumbled upon:

  • Book the Travelers Lounge. We have a very long layover in London-Gatwick before our jumper flight to Rome. To help beat the jet lag, we have planned on buying a day pass to the travelers lounge. After 7 hours of sleeping in a chair, sleeping horizontal and not having to worry about my luggage sounds good. We can also use this layover time to buy International SIM cards, Oyster cards, get cash and freshen up before our next flight.
  • One Day at a Time. I had a moment last week when I was trying to map all of the metro stops for everything on our itinerary, forgetting that the Paris metro system is vast and not exactly straightforward. There was also no accounting for distance scale, how much we’ll be walking around, or weather. Instead of trying to plan out my every step, I stopped and decided to just take logistical planning one day at a time. Our hotels and apartment all have WiFi and the SIM cards give us Google Maps. The purpose of this trip is really to take everything in. If we spend a few extra minutes waiting for a train, it’s not a big deal in the long run.
  • Nice Americans. There are so many movies that show American tourists in foreign countries asking for Ranch dressing and refusing to speak the native language. Hate to tell you, but this is completely true. Be humble. You’re in someone else’s hometown. Plus, your traveling to experience somewhere other than America. Don’t try to Americanize everything.
  • Plan Dude Stuff. Europe has always been the place where I wanted to go shopping, look at priceless art and eat pastry all day. However, that is probably not what Troy had in mind. So I’ve planned some things that are more “manly”: A Gentleman’s Tea in London, whiskey and specialty cocktail bars, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and jazz clubs.

No surprise, but I won’t be posting anything for the next two weeks. In the meantime, check out the instagram @CoxswainPatti.

A Charmed Life

485554_10103551672855941_112437061_nLast year, my Charms Chapel speech took an hour to write at 2am. It was a simple stroll down memory lane. This year, my speech has come down to the wire. I wanted it to be unpredictable, but not like I aspire to be a graduation speaker. So I decided to throw it back to my senior year and honor our past Chaplain. Mixed with a little yuppie advice and some young gun style, I came up with this:

This is the time of year when amazing women like Michelle Obama and Amy Poehler get to share their words of wisdom to graduates all over the country. I’m neither, obviously, but I hope what I have to say will stick with you at least through the afternoon.

Dear Class of 2015,

When I was a student here, Chaplain Anne Riggs was our School Chaplain and she started the first chapel of each school year with this reading: Numbers, Chapter 13: 1-33. She called it the Grasshopper Homily, and it always resonated with me.

13 The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran.

17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many.

21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

It’s not hard to see the parallels. Canaan was the real world. Every single adult was a Giant. And I was a grasshopper.

Since graduating from St. Margaret’s, I have felt this feeling on more than one occasion; like I had worked so hard and made it to the promised land, only to find that I was still just a grasshopper in a sea of giants, vastly more knowledgeable and more experienced. I guarantee at some point, you will feel this way as well, whether it’s your first day of college, your first job, or even, like myself, at soon-to-be 30. It’s very overwhelming, feeling like you’re the youngest person in the room all over again.

However, Isaac Newton also had something to say about this. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Education replaces an empty mind with an open one and you will never have the opportunity to learn and grow so much in so little time, as you will for the next four years.

At my SMS Graduation, Lee Boudreaux, class of ’86 was our speaker and she said, “Anyone who stands behind a podium during the month of May feels compelled to tell their audience to go out and follow their dreams. There’s probably some fellow down at the Moose Lodge at the other end of town, telling a bunch of deer hunters that they should go and follow their dreams even as we speak.”

So aside from telling you to Dream big, stay foolish and wear sunscreen, here are some other things to keep in mind:

Be open to making connections.

Find mentors and read the books they read. Real books.

Know that it’s not just about making career connections, but also about building relationships, with giants and with grasshoppers alike.

Remember we not only grow with our professional accomplishments but multi-dimensionally as humans. It’s what makes us truly interesting.

Celebrate that you went to an all-women’s school, because you will see the difference it makes in just a few short months.


Give back.

Find a cause and share it with others.

Help build something that stands the test of time.

The SMS Alumnae Association can be a valuable resource for all of this. I often say that some of the smartest, most inspiring people I know are the ladies I graduated with. Excelling in the fields of law, medicine, science, education, business, the arts and more, we are constantly learning and growing. It is a testament to the magic of this place.

You are joining a great network of over 1,900 women, and 3 men, who share the same traditions, memories and sisterhood. It is a network that stands on the shoulders of those who came before, helping each new generation grow and thrive, and building a more solid foundation for those to come. Nineteen hundred of us who all started out just as you have, as grasshoppers. Whether you know this or not, we have been watching you and we’re excited to see where you will go as ambassadors of St. Margaret’s School.

So young grasshoppers, Padawans, novices, soon-to-be giants and St. Margaret’s graduates, enjoy your time in college and beyond. You’ll find it’s not such a scary place after all. Come back often to share your experiences, with us and with each other. And as you grow in age, may you always grow in grace.

Congratulations and welcome to the St. Margaret’s Alumnae Association.

The chapel service is tomorrow afternoon. I think for one of my last duties as President, this is a pretty good note to leave on.

Sunday Reading


Happy Sunday Wednesday.

We are less than a week away from our big Eurotrip. After almost a year of planning and some very lucky developments at work, I have passed the anxiety stage and am hanging out in the “just get here” stage. I think I’ve read every travel article twice. Gone over my lists and itinerary ad nauseam. How many more semi-empty days until I can pack my bags?

While I’m triple-checking the clock, here is what I’ve reading pre-vacation:

  • A Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank. I categorize this book as “Help, I’m in my twenties” reading. I just finished Girls in White Dresses, and needed a quick read to pass the time, so I could start a new book on my trip. I did not know that I had pretty much already read this book, in the form of the Sarah Michelle Gellar movie, Suburban Girl. I never like to watch the movie before the book, so this kind feels like cheating. Not a bad read though…
  • The Independent Women of Sweet Briar by the New York Times. Women’s schools have been in the spotlight a lot lately, with the closing of Sweet Briar College to the renaming of Mary Baldwin College to Mary Baldwin University. I’ve come across many excuses from friends who would never picture themselves in a single-sex environment. However, what they don’t know is the magic that happens once you get there.
  • Nora Ephron’s Wellesley College Commencement Speech, 1996. This goes hand-in-hand with the first two. What are the expectations of women now versus then, and what can we accomplish now that there are no more excuses?
  • 17 French Drugstore Beauty Products That Actually Work via Buzzfeed. I wanted to post some of my favorite travel blog posts, but this article is the one I’ve read the most.
  • A Shortcut Guide to the French Quarter via Savored Journeys. In the last couple weeks, some girlfriends and I have talked about a Girls Weekend in September, after my birthday. Guess who already has the basic itinerary in place…

Little Leadership

This past weekend, I attended my last Board of Governors Meeting as Alumnae President. I also got to talk with the Freshmen Intro to Leadership class.

St. Margaret’s Senior Charms

When I started writing about leadership, I brought in a coxswain point-of-view, paired with a young professional’s ambition, as seen in this post (and also this post). But when I met with the freshmen, I realized all of that didn’t really hold much weight to them. I had to start at the beginning.

Why did I choose to be a leader?
Why did I jump at this position?
What was the spark that started the fire?

When I was in college, my Reverend told me something invaluable. She said, “When you’re sitting there thinking ‘I can do this better,’ you obligate yourself to do so.”

Don’t wait for your turn. Don’t hoard all your good ideas. Don’t do it for the recognition.
Do it because it is right, or stop complaining.

In high school, I had to move around a lot, starting over every couple of years. Leadership was not an option when you’re continually trying rebuild your foundation. When you’re that young, most of your confidence comes from your peers. Ask anyone who’s ever run for Student Council…. In that world, going out on a limb is the scariest thing. (Read A Separate Peace)

For me, the key was showing up. Be present. Show genuine interest in what you’re doing through your time and effort. You don’t have to be a leader yet, just someone who is interested in the cause and wants to learn more. Your actions will speak for themselves. And then when you’re ready, you make your move and it’ll seem like the most natural thing in the world.

One of the things I tried to do during my term was to be more visible and active on campus. That meant flying up to Virginia more than expected. In case you’re wondering, it was completely worth it.

I learned that I am the type of leader who likes to get her hands dirty. The type that will email often, push the agenda, and doesn’t want things to be business as usual. I like being a fun leader, and letting my age show every now and then. I can wear different hats and engage with many different types of people. I’m not changing the world, but I think I changed the perception on what it means to be an active volunteer.