#101in1001

101in1001noteIn case your curious about the #101in1001 hashtag that I use, it stands for “101 things in 1001 Days”.

I ran into this in December 2013. I make resolutions every year, but they had started to become repetitive and standard. Lose weight, read books, work, etc.

One of my favorite bloggers, Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling, started this awesome concept of a limited-time bucket list. Instead of “Here is ever-growing list of I want to do, but probably never will”, this is “Here are 101 things I want to do in 1001 days (about 2.75 years)”. By giving yourself a deadline, you make yourself accountable. It also helps you look a bit further into the future and put a value on your time.

I keep my list in my wallet, printed in my journal, and on this site so it is always accessible. My list has helped me plan future trips, read more, take some things more seriously; but also it helped me stop being bored and take advantage of my free time. Most of my list is planned or in progress. But with three big trips coming up this year, I expect to check off a lot of things.

One hundred one items does take a little bit to put together, realistically. But you get a lot of ideas after checking out the many 101 lists on Mackenzie’s page. I’ve also been keeping a list on my phone of new items for my second list, which should start October 2016. Some of my favorite items things I can look forward to:

  • Paying off student loan debt
  • Seeing Adele in concert
  • Taking an oil painting course
  • Running the Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • “Finish” styling our house
  • Reading another 50 books
  • Buying a car

Not too bad right? Check out my list and get started on yours. It’ll be fun, I promise.

~Patti

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Sunday Reading

8e31c6829d84cd747a72028999870d94Last year, I made Sunday my morning to sleep in and read in bed. Although it doesn’t happen EVERY Sunday, it’s still my guilt-free time to be horizontal and perhaps just a bit…reclusive.

Last night, I went out with some girlfriends to see 50 Shades and have dinner/drinks at a new wine bar. Paired with a Movie/Brunch date this morning and Daylight Savings, my Sunday time is a bit curtailed. But, better to have plans than waste a weekend.

So Sunday morning reading will now be Sunday afternoon reading, and I get to spend some quality time with these:

  • Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: This is my favorite book of all time. I haven’t read it since senior year summer reading, so I added it to my 101in1001 list. Reading in the context of writing a paper versus reading for fun is considerably different and I’m taking it at a much slower pace. But three pages in, I began to remember why I love Henry James.
  • Why our Brains Love High Ceilings, an article by the Fast Company
  • 7 Secrets to Decorating Like the French
  • Lena Dunham’s Home Tour by Domaine Home. Both of the above articles are by Domaine. The first is one of my favorite articles, and it gives me a ton of things to looks for while we’re in Europe this Spring. The second is because I am thoroughly in love with Lena Dunham’s new California home. The photos in the article are the before pictures from the previous owner, so I’m very eager to see the after ones.
  • Sunday Inspiration from The Muse: I get these in my inbox every Sunday morning. The Muse puts together the best of the web, for working, living and playing.
  • Exhaustion is Not Always a Status Symbol by Lillian Cunningham, Washington Post Leadership. My favorite quote from the article, ” To me, a leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”

Have a good end to your weekend!

Weekend Vinyasa

When I started this two-week blogging challenge, I was up in the air on whether that included weekends. Ten posts versus 14 is considerable. But, since this challenge is a “writing everyday” challenge at heart, here is my first Saturday post.


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Photo: Shape Magazine

Every Saturday, or at least those when we’re not away, Troy and I go to Hot Vinyasa at our gym. It’s been about a year since this became part of our weekend routine. This still baffles our families, almost as much as me preferring that Troy grows his hair out. Our usual class is with a very hippy instructor who likes to play Lil Wayne and Michael Jackson. She also works you pretty hard in a room that is about 95 degrees. It gets even hotter and more humid when the class is crowded.

I’ve been to a number of yoga workshops with friends and was always able to see the practice of yoga linked to spirituality and self-actualization. Even typing that seems a bit heavy and pretentious. It’s slightly ironic that hot yoga, an intentionally hot/humid/heavy practice doesn’t seem nearly as overbearing as other classes meant to help you find your purpose.

All types of yoga practices aside, Troy and I really just enjoy it as a hobby and as a workout.  So here are a couple things about yoga in the Kit House:

  1. Stay Hydrated. Water before, during and after class to avoid the dreaded yoga headache/hangover. Sometimes after class, if we don’t stay on top of it, we are completely useless for the rest of the afternoon.
  2. Get a Yoga Towel Mat. This is a plush towel with a grippy backing that you lay on top of your standard yoga mat. The towel mat gives you plenty of friction when you get too sweaty halfway through class, preventing you from slipping, which we’ve both done in the past.
  3. Not all instructors are created equal. Our favorite instructor is very active and will make sure we are challenged physically in class. Others are more about relaxation and meditation. And then there are others who seem to yell about climbing your mountain and grabbing the sun. Whatever your style, we won’t judge. But for me, class isn’t complete without a million yoga pushups and a three-minute chair sit, no matter how much it might suck.
  4. Serious? We are in no way serious yogis. I only go once a week. Troy goes twice because he thinks cardio is boring. We aren’t meditating at home, and we haven’t perfected any headstands. We go because we both want to be more flexible and balanced. And so far, it’s worked pretty well.

Our instructor is very Come as You Are, and that suits us perfectly.

Have a good weekend!

A Charmed Life

485554_10103551672855941_112437061_n Two days ago, Sweet Briar, an all-women’s college, announced that it will be closing after the upcoming summer semester. This is coming after Foxcroft School received a multi-million dollar bequest, the biggest gift in the history of an all-girls school.

I’ve had this discussion with Troy multiple times. Private school may not be for everyone, but single-sex education can be an amazing experience, especially for girls. My two years at St. Margaret’s in Virginia not only challenged me academically but made me a more confident and capable person. I didn’t go there as a punishment or because I was having trouble. My family was in upheaval and I went because I knew SMS was a place I could focus on me, instead of trying to please everyone.

Now, as the St. Margaret’s Alumnae Association President, one of my favorite things to do is speak at the annual Charms Chapel. This year, I will not be able to attend the service, but I’m hoping my speech/homily will still be heard. This is a special chapel service where the alumnae association welcomes the graduating seniors officially into “alumnae-hood”. The receive a charm engraved with the school crest. Mine is pictured above.

Private schools often talk about leaving a legacy, whether it’s through your financial donations, the time you serve, or things you leave behind. I like to think mine will be the culture of being present, being a visible leader, even if it is all the way from Georgia.

I still wear my class ring and charm, and make every effort to create relationships with the current students. I like meeting with the leaders and talking about college. I like sharing my bucket list and giving them ideas for theirs. I like showing that not all alums are boring. It’s not all about your career or your salary, but the kind of life you want to lead. While going to an all-girls school might seem “cute” or “restrictive”, I and all other girls’ school alums know that the experience is nothing short of transformative.

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Photo: http://www.sms.org

Home Inspiration

After we closed on our home, I bought our kitchen table on eBay. The table’s former owner (who was also a UF alum) was redecorating his home and he gave us some pretty good advice. He said, “You’re home is never really ‘done’, and by the time you think it’s done, it’ll be time to move again.”

Now, I don’t feel the rush to buy furniture or art or hang curtains in rooms we don’t go into. But thanks to Pinterest, I have some pretty solid ideas for the next couple years.

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Photo: http://www.Arbororiginal.com

We have a two-car garage on the side of the house that has no windows. It’s a flat, three story wall with aged paint siding. I am planning on painting the exterior white (eventually) and adding this arbor. It should break up the space and give it a little color.

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Photo: http://www.ladolcevitablog.com

Our front porch is pretty plain, just brick stairs and some outdoor lanterns. I’d love to build out a little portico with columns. It should give the front brickwork a little more character and make our house NOT look like the scary house on the corner in the winter.

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Photo: http://www.Southshoredecoratingblog.com

Almost all of our first floor windows are floor to ceiling. While this lets in so much light, it limits our usable space, especially in our breakfast nook. I’d like to change out our tall bay windows for normal sized bay windows, allowing for a banquette.

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Photo: Hautelook

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about getting new furniture. If only our current couch wasn’t so nice to nap on. I love the shape of this couch and the fact that it isn’t overstuffed. Our living room is narrow, so big Hemingway furniture can be too bulky. I wouldn’t get rid of our furniture set. It gives Troy hope for a man cave later on in life.

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Photo: This is Glamorous

Lastly, this photo looks exactly like our guest bedroom, minus the headboard and comfy linens. While the guest rooms are perpetually “coming along”, one is in desperate need of a headboard. It’s hard to justify buying stuff for a room that rarely gets used. That is until the family visits…later this month…. But that is a blog post for another day.

If you happen to be on Pinterest (instead of working), check out my home board.

~Patti

The Americans, Part 1

Patti Travel_01 When Troy and I decided not to have a wedding reception, one of the compromises was that I wanted a two-week honeymoon instead of a one-week. That decision was made last June. In the eight months since, I’ve had blogs and spreadsheets and travelogues on the brain, trying to put together the trip of a lifetime. How many cities, for how long, and what exactly is our budget? I like to think I’m particularly gifted in time management and organization, because so far this trip is going to be a whirlwind. A European crash-course in London, Paris and Rome. Now that we are three months out and starting to actually buy things (flights, passes, hotels), here are some of the things that have saved my life and my time.

  1. Google Maps + Excel: I created a multi-page spreadsheet to track our itineraries and budget. From all of the articles and blog posts and travel books, I made a master list of everything we wanted to see and do in each of the three cities we chose.  I divvied them up by location/arrondisement and created a custom google map for each day. Now we can see explore each part of the city, see the main attractions, and not waste time in transit. A screen shot of our Paris Google Map is in the graphic above.
  2. TravelPro: I’ve been traveling for work for 7 years now. I’ve had two roll aboard bags and yesterday, I just order us new ones. In December, I stopped in to the TravelPro Outlet store to check out new luggage, since Troy’s bag was out of commission. My salesman was great and picked out two models that would survive the European cobble streets: the TravelPro Maxlite for Troy since he doesn’t travel as much and packs fairly light, and the Crew for me, the kind that pilots and flight attendants use. We were able to get the latest 22-inch models of each bag at a great price. They both have considerable packing space while still being considered a carry-on. If you are considering buying a new roll aboard, get the 2-wheeled models, not the 4-wheel spinner bags. Two wheels allow for easier transportation and they give you much more packing space.
  3. AirBnB: Thanks to work travel, Troy and I have accumulated an obscene amount of Hilton and Marriott Reward points. This will make our London hotel entirely free, and our Rome hotel deeply discounted. But for Paris, I wanted to rent an apartment not only to take advantage of the open food markets, but also to have a washer and dryer. We found a cute two room apartment in the 19th, six days for $650 on AirBnB. We booked the apartment 2 weeks ago, so now our trip finally feels real. This has completely freed up a lot of our budget, and we don’t have to pack nearly as much. Awesome way to travel light!
  4. The Paris Pass and the Roma Pass: Yes, the Paris Pass is expensive, but this is our honeymoon after all. A six-day pass for six days in Paris, the Paris Pass includes free entry and express admission to all of the museums and monuments on our list, as well as open access to the Metro and public transit. In this case since we’re trying to hit all the big things in a limited window, we do save money and time. On our next trip to Paris, since we would’ve already seen the major attractions, we probably won’t need to buy a Paris Pass again. The Roma Pass offers complimentary entries and fast passes to our first two attractions in Rome and discounted entry to the attractions after. This Pass is considerably less expensive and also perfect since we will only be spending three nights in Rome. Both passes make my trip planning so much easier.

What are your favorite MVPs for trip planning? Bon Voyage! ~Patti

20 Questions

I didn’t mention this in yesterday’s blog post, but it is the beginning of a self-issued 2-week blog challenge. Blogging everyday for 2 weeks is on my #101in1001 list, and it seemed like a good way to kickstart the new site.

I like keeping the About Us section fairly simple, but for an adequate introduction, here are 20 things about me/us:

  1. We’re both half-Filipino and we met at the University of Florida.
  2. We bought our house in 2013, after looking at 40 other houses over 5 months.
  3. I went to an all-girls boarding school, and am currently their Alumnae Association President (until June). My two years at SMS was an incredible experience and I am a huge advocate of single-sex education, women’s leadership and leaning in.
  4. I have a degree in Advertising and a minor in English Lit.
  5. My grandparents had a giant world map where they put dots on all the places they’ve traveled. This is my oldest motivation to travel.
  6. My favorite books are Portrait of a Lady and the Game of Thrones series. Troy loves Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers.
  7. We have a rescue cat named Shorty. He has no tail.
  8. I am a Virgo, INFJ.
  9. I collect Nancy Drew first editions and moonstone hobnail.
  10. I was an early Twitter adopter. Follow me at @CoxswainPatti.
  11. I will attempt to cook anything, and can normally hit it on the head. Except Biscotti…I am terrible at biscotti…
  12. I want to write a book, but so does every English major on the planet.
  13. Coxing in high school completely changed my personality and my life. I went from a wallflower to Napoleon.
  14. I have a multi-volume journal that I’ve kept since my sophomore year of high school. However, I found that the only reason I really write in it is if things get depressing or complicated. Blogging is a much happier hobby.
  15. Troy’s computer is closer to a command center. He could be in front of the screen watching anime for days.
  16. I have a very long bucket list. So far, I’ve gone skydiving, coxed Head of the Charles, completed a Tough Mudder and went to Bonnaroo.
  17. Troy used to be a sushi chef in college. I used to make ice cream cakes at Cold Stone. We like to eat a lot.
  18. Growing up, I used to spend my summer on a ranch in Montana.
  19. We both work from home. It’s pretty convenient and we spend most of the week in pajamas.
  20. We have an incredible trip planned this May, and it is the subject of tomorrow’s blog post. Check back tomorrow!

A New Home

In January, I was having trouble with both of my blogs. I had a personal blog where I wrote about leadership and coxing. I also had a blog that shared the process of buying our house and making it our home. For a long time I felt it was impossible to combine both. I just wanted to write something and not be limited by my blog theme. So one afternoon, I got bored and bought a website.

So here is my new home/domain, www.thekithouseblog.com. This is a blog where I will be sharing about our first home and style, as well as my/our adventures on the road. IMG_1067

Although I’ve been blogging for awhile, I went back to the drawing board, looking up how to write a first blog post. There is an obligatory picture of us, a quick bit on what this blog will be about, and a here are couple links to the new site tabs:

Read about Kit Houses and a little about us in the About Us tab, as well as some of my favorite restaurants.

All of our previous home photos can be found in the Our House Tour tab.

Check out my 101 in 1001 list and she what we’ve got in store for the next year and 9 months.

I hope this blog piques a tiny bit of your interest. Thanks! ~Patti