101 in 1001 (Round Two)

Happy Wednesday! Once again I’ve decided to make a 101 in 1001 list inspired by Mackenzie Horan! (You can take a peek at my last list here.) While I only checked off 64 items I still really enjoyed having it to reference. Now that I’m settled in KC this felt like the perfect time to create another list that felt more relevant to what I’m interested in and want to focus my time on now. I will update this post with my progress over the next 1001 days!

Letters Are Lovely | 101 in 1001 (Round Two)

January 1st, 2019 – September 28, 2021

creative CAREER/lettering

1 Update Portfolio (January 2019)
2 Attend a new conference
3 Work on calligraphy for envelope addressing
4 Participate in Hallmarket
5 Create an illustration focused piece (January 2019)
6 Collaborate on a second font at work
7 Take a work trip
8 Letter a return address stamp
9 Set up home studio
10 Continue mentoring


11 Write anniversary notes in our guest book each year
12 Go camping
13 Make a weekend trip to a winery
14 Celebrate our 10 years of dating anniversary
15 Volunteer somewhere together
16 Send out Christmas cards each year
17 Surprise Dale with a date night
18 Try three new restaurants
19 Go hiking together
20 Walk to Brookside shops for date night


21 Try a new Fusion class (Drenched: January 17, 2019)
22 Try a yoga class in KC
23 Hit water goal every day for two weeks straight
24 Try five new recipes (Greek Bowls, Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup, Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup, Salmon Avocado Toast, Pita Tostadas with Butternut Squash, January–March 2019)
25 Try Be Well smoothies every day for a week
26 Update our recipe book (February 2019)
27 Treat myself to a massage
28 Treat myself to a facial
29 Buy new glasses
30 Switch to silk pillowcases


31 Take a family vacation
32 Visit two new states
33 Go to the beach
34 Dale & Allie trip on one of his vacation weeks (Booked Cali Trip, April 2019)
35 College friends reunion trip
36 Travel to Thailand
37 Visit friends in Charleston
38 Visit friends in NYC
39 Travel to Iceland
40 Travel to Europe


41 Go to the Kansas City Symphony
42 Go to a concert
43 Go to a KU game at Allen Fieldhouse
44 Take a trip to the Nelson (Napoleon Exhibit with Sophie & Dale, March 2019)
45 Take a flower arranging class
46 Go blueberry picking
47 Take a cooking class
48 Bake a fancy cake or dessert (Baked Derby Pie, January 2019)
49 Take Sophie and Grace to dinner
50 Watch Victoria (January 2019)

Get Organized

51 Go through clothes (January 2019)
52 Get TSA Pre-Check and Possibly Global Entry
53 Unsubscribe from emails (January 2019)
54 Instagram clean up (January 2019)
55 Go through phone and organize/delete contacts
56 Take broken china to be repaired
57 Organize Basement Shelves (January 2019)
58 Organize 2018 photos (February 2019)
59 2018 photo album
60 Fix security system/get doorbell


61 Host a dinner party
62 Record Grammy and Pop telling childhood stories
63 Help mom organize family photos
64 Spend a weekend at Turkey Hill
65 Send hand-written letters to five friends
66 Finish college t-shirt quilt with Sophie
67 Join a book club
68 Host a movie night at our house
69 Host a murder mystery party
70 Mail birthday cards to 10 friends


71 Read an autobiography
72 Read a fiction novel (The Wedding Date: January 2019)
73 Read a non-fiction book (The More of Less: March 2019)
74 Read a historical book
75 Read a book (Fruit of the Drunken Tree: January 2019)
75 Read a book (The Woman in the Window: February 2019)
75 Read a book
75 Read a book
75 Read a book
80 Re-read all the Harry Potter books


81 Cook our own food for two weeks
82 No extra purchases for a month (clothes/jewelry/books…)
83 Put money into a savings account each month for a year
84 Increase retirement savings percentage
85 Follow up with student loan debt advisor
86 Reach savings goal
87 Start investing monthly after reaching savings goal
88 Write things to buy in list for the next month for four months
89 Make a donation to charity
90 Plan long term financial goals

KC House

91 Buy a TV for the living room
92 Get a rug for our bedroom
93 New house numbers
94 Plant grass seed in the front yard
95 Paint stairway
96 Update bathroom (one room challenge?)
97 Get larger dining room table and more chairs
98 Hang up porch swing
99 Hang wallpaper in the sunroom
100 Replace kitchen, hallway, and sunroom lights


101 Try something outside my comfort zone (Led Ability KC Mural Painting with Meredith, January 2019)

Thoughts for 2018

2018 is officially here! This will be an eventful year: Dale graduates from medical school in May and we already have a packed calendar leading up to our Europe trip to celebrate! In some ways it feels strange because there are so many unknowns and a major drop-off in planned events after May. The last few years I've tried to keep my "resolutions" simple, and not metric based. Interestingly enough my thoughts for 2015 and 2017 were pretty similar, and in 2016 I created a 101 in 1001 list (which I'm still crossing things off of!) But this year I'm feeling the need to spend a little more time really thinking about how I want to approach this hectic year. So without further ado here is a slightly longer list of thoughts for this New Year!

Letters Are Lovely | Thoughts for 2018

Live in the Present

  • Last year I wanted to focus on being present in the company of others. This year I think I need to refocus my energy and take this a step further. While I may not always be distracted when spending time with family and friends, I do allow my mind to wonder about the future a lot. In 2018 I hope that I can not only take a few steps back from endless scrolling on Instagram, but let my thoughts focus on the now.

Be Resourceful/Conscious

  • I have always thought of myself as a resourceful person, but this year I want to be even more intentional and conscious of my daily decisions. This year I want to take pause before purchasing, eating, and in general be conscious about how I am spending my time. I have big dreams for a year of creative growth, and I know that I can adjust how I spend my time to make them a reality. I also would like to continue simplifying my life, maybe this is the year I really commit to buying less and fully enjoying what I already have. In 2018 I also plan to take note of those relationships (and experiences) which leave me feeling joyful and which are draining. Letting go just might make all the change of this year be more peaceful.

Daily Gratitude

  • This year I started a new planner, and while in the past I have had planners specifically designed for gratitude journaling I've been loving just recapping my favorite moments of each day in this regular planner. Instead of to-do lists I just write a few highlights, things I'm grateful for, or even just a little moment that I remember from the day. I've always loved documenting my life, and this seems to be the perfect combo of a diary and a gratitude journal. Who knows if will even look back on my entries, but either way I have a whole book of positive thoughts and things I am grateful for in case I need it.

Embrace Growth and Creativity

  • Being back in the Lettering Studio at work has been really inspiring and exciting! Being surrounded by the most creative and talented artists every day is pushing me towards growth, even when it is uncomfortable. In 2018 I want to embrace being out of my comfort zone and accept growth without having to have a specific outcome in mind. I do know that this year I want to focus on calligraphy, sketching, and create some lettering using the iPad Pro!

Daily Reading

  • I have always loved reading, and while I have read a lot more in post-college life this year I hope to make it as much a part of my daily routine as possible. Maybe I will document what I'm reading here on the blog! 

Be Active 

  • While I have some good habits going, I want 2018 to be full of activity! This year I hope to keep going to Fusion, keep an active mind with meditation, and get to yoga more often. Also I would love to just try and get moving more on a daily basis with walks and more breaks at work.

Hopefully sharing these thoughts will help keep me motivated and accountable in this new year, happy 2018!

2017 Best Nine

Today I'm looking back on 2017, and thought my #2017BestNine from Instagram would be the perfect place to start. I'm always curious if the posts chosen will really reflect my year, but in this case they did! This year I was lucky to spend quite a bit of time traveling, Dale and I celebrated two years of marriage, and this year was full of wonderful new opportunities at work. I love that these three huge areas of my life are reflected: travel, work, and family. These photos show our anniversary celebration, a work trip to Chicago, my family's trip to Chile, time with family at our lake house (Turkey Hill), my trip to LA with Laura, a portrait taken at Hallmark, and a sister picture from New Orleans. 

Letters Are Lovely | 2017 Best Nine

But of course there are lots of things not captured as well. This year I have spent countless hours with friends both in Kansas City and St. Louis, I've committed at least one hour each week working out at Fusion Fitness, Dale and I spent a lot of time cooking in our tiny kitchen, I've driven what feels like a million miles back and forth between STL and KC, and dealt with all the general ups and downs and the uncertainty of what the next year will bring. I'm grateful for all I have experienced and learned this past year — 2018 will be a big year for us. I hope you have some time to reflect on your past year too, happy new year!

Thoughts for 2017

This year, perhaps more than any other year, I have really spent some time reflecting on the new year. While I haven't specifically created resolutions for myself, I have put some thought into different areas of my life and how I can make little changes that better align with how I would like to live. In 2015 (two years ago!) I wanted to spend more time on this blog, focus on fitness, and put more emphasis on relaxing. Last year I made my own 101 in 1001 list, and I am happy to report I have completed just over half of the list! While I enjoyed making that list, and will continue to complete items off of it, this year I went a little deeper. I won't share all the lengthy details of my notes here, but here are a few key points to keep myself accountable! 

Letters Are Lovely | Thoughts for 2017

Embrace Simplicity

  • Like many others, in 2016 I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Marie Kondo's method did allow me to get rid of unnecessary items in our apartment, but in the new year I would love to place a greater emphasis on what I purchase. I hope to be more considerate, and in general thoughtful, about everything I buy. I want to focus on appreciating and loving the items I already own. Some things that are becoming more important to me are buying locally, considering ingredients, what the environmental impact is, and trying to make less impulse purchases. 

Challenge Myself Mentally and Physically

  • This year I am grateful to be starting the year having been more active than I have been in a long time! Going to Fusion Fitness over the past two years really has shifted my mindset — I no longer doubt that I would even be capable of trying a new class. In 2017 I hope to continue working out at Fusion, and I would love to add more Yoga to my life. A few months ago I discovered a wonderful yoga studio in St. Louis where I plan to attend classes at regularly! I also would love to keep reading, meditating, and place a greater focus on healthy eating this year. 

Be Present in the Company of Others

  • Daily I notice myself distracted by my phone or pondering the next task I need to complete. I hope to make a more conscious effort to listen during conversations with friends and family, and to focus as much as possible on the moment at hand. 

Remain Grounded in Gratitude

  • Both meditation and the Five Minute Journal transformed my approach to gratitude in my daily life over the past year. Moving forward, I want to discover for myself the best way to keep gratitude a part of my life, but possibly in a more natural way. I don't want gratitude to feel like an item on my to-do list. This is one area I will continue to ponder. I can't wait to see what this year will bring, happy 2017!


I love bringing my polaroid camera along to celebrations, and 2016 has already been full of such occasions. Here are a few snapshots from New Year's and my birthday. I hope you all have had a relaxing weekend! (Also if you find yourself in St. Louis and in the mood for a fancy drink head on over to Olio!)

Letters Are Lovely | Polaroids

Thoughts For A New Year

I hesitate to write down a true list of resolutions for 2015, but I have been pondering what I hope to accomplish in 2015. Here are a few thoughts and goals:


1. Letters Are Lovely

This year I hope to devote more time to blogging! In 2014 I often didn't have the time to devote to this space what I would have liked. I truly believe "Letters Are Lovely" not only sums up my love for lettering, but also encompasses the essence of a blog in general. Letters themselves make up words in songs, books, and what I write. This new name will hopefully give more focus to my blogging as I continue to share snapshots of what I am working on and things that inspire me.

2. Fitness

Those who know me well know that I am not necessarily athletic, and throughout college I rarely spent time working out. Before college, especially in high school, I spent countless hours in dance classes. I have found that this is the sort of structure I need to be active, so I recently have started going to Fusion Fitness in Kansas City. While at this point I am confident I might possibly be one of the least-athletic people there, this is exactly the motivation I need to be more active. 

3. Relaxing

I have recently noticed that when I should be relaxing I am still focusing on my to-do list. In 2015 I want to place a greater importance on spending my free time enjoying the company of those around me and not thinking about everything I could be working on.

Hopefully writing these things down will help these thoughts to be important not only in January, but the whole year through!

2014 Reflection

I have to admit this post was harder to put together than I expected, 2014 was BUSY! I think the main reason this year is so hard to reflect upon is because I went through so many major changes within such a short period of time. I graduated from college, got engaged, adopted a kitten, and started my career. I was lucky enough to travel to Colorado, Spain, and San Francisco. These are all events which could merit a full paragraph so I will keep things simple. Looking back at 2014 helped me to realize just how lucky I am to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. These few pictures barely begin to summarize everything that happened in 2014, but they are some of my favorites. 

I can't wait to see what 2015 will bring!