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Friday, November 11, 2022

61 in 1001 DONE

Well, here we are. And until Tuesday of this week, I had completely forgotten today was the end of my 61 in 1001. I was scrolling through my editorial calendar and thought to myself, "Your 61 is ending sometime in November, when is that?" Much to my surprise it was today!

I launched my 61 in 1001 on February 14, 2020. Basically, I wanted to start the list on my birthday and 2020 felt like it was shaping up to be a good year. HA! In actuality, I know we look back on that first year of COVID negatively, but so much good came out of utter heartbreak. I genuinely feel closer to my friends because of that year, I did a lot of self discovery, explored Denver even more, put myself back out there, spent incredible months with my parents and had a great time in spite of it all. But, it did wreck my 61 in 1001 because so much of what I wanted to do was social!

Now, let's go back to that day, why did I choose 61 and not 101? "Well, I'm here to say I could never do the 101 because I found myself forcing myself to come up with 101 in things to do. And then those things I chose didn't bring me joy as I attempted to complete them over the course of the three years these lists take. So...I decided why not make the list more achievable? And focus on more goals that mean more to me? That brings us to 61 in the same amount of time." Back when I finished my most recent 101 in 1001 I completed 59% of the list. So...how did I do with only 61 in the same amount of time?

Drum roll please! I completed 42/61 bringing my percentage up to 69. That's right 69% of the list was completed, and I'm liking those odds. Looking back on past 101 lists they feel so daunting, and 61 felt daunting enough! I still didn't complete 19 and some of them look so silly now. You'll see that when you scroll down to the final list.

I personally think I did great for being in a global pandemic most of the time. Somehow I managed to: travel to a new state (and I kinda loved Minnesota for its quirkiness), go on a girls trip (Steamboat Springs with Lauren + Blair now is a core memory) and travel to a new country (Canada for work was an incredible experience...something I'm replicating next week, hopefully).

But what feel by the wayside? I didn't get to see six more plays (only one back in Feb. '20), I didn't find a dermatologist or financial planner or go to therapy, I didn't shoot a gun or add a layer to my skincare routine and I didn't get to see Beyonce. But, I did uproot my life and move across the country this year, which wasn't in the cards. And I got a new job...so a lot of that stuff just couldn't happen while my life was so up in the air.

Will I be doing another 61 in 1001? Damn straight. I really enjoy these lists, ever since I saw Mackenzie post her first one back in the day. I think I'll start Jan. 1, 2023 but we'll see if I can come up with 61 things before then...any recommendations are welcome!

What do y'all think? Could you be persuaded to do 61 in 1001?

The final list:

  1. Read 100 books (1. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, 2. Comfort Me With Apples, 3. Aunt Dimity & the Widow's Curse, 4. My Italian Bulldozer, 5. Die Like an Eagle, 6. The Sentence is Death, 7. Aunt Dimity & the Summer King, 8. Duck the Halls, 9. Free the Tipple, 10. Gone Gull, 11. The Deadly Dance, 12. French Chic Living, 13. Three Hours in Paris, 14. Red, White & Royal Blue, 15. Women's Libation!, 16. Wicked Witch Murder, 17. Pride & Prejudice, 18. The Marseille Caper, 19. No Nest for the Wicket, 20. When He's Dark, 21. The Penguin Who Knew Too Much, 22. The Devil in the White City, 23. The Man at the Bank, 24. The Daughters of Yalta, 25. Wrath of Poseidon, 26. The Word is Murder, 27. Boom Town, 28. One by One, 29. Aunt Dimity and The Lost Prince, 30. Dirty Billionaire, 31. Dirty Pleasures, 32. Dirty Together, 33. Dirty Girl, 34. Dirty Love, 35. Real Good Man, 36. Real Good Love, 37. Beneath this Mask, 38. Beneath this Ink, 39. Beneath these Chains, 40. Beneath these Scars, 41. Beneath these Lies, 42. Moriarty, 43. The Thursday Murder Club, 44. Dial M for Merde, 45. The Deal, 46. The Mistake, 47. Bringing Down the Duke, 48. The Score, 49. The Chase, 50. Even As We Breathe, 51. City of Bones, 52. Dream Maker, 53. Dream Chaser, 55. Crisis, 56. Still Standing, 57. Cockatiels at Seven, 58. The Wife Upstairs, 59. Shadows On The Lake, 60. Dream Spinner, 61. Toucan Keep a Secret, 62. The Great Mistake, 63. A Rogue of One's Own, 64. The Favor, 65. Cherished, 66. The Golden Dynasty, 67. The Key to Rebecca, 68. Tender at the Bone, 69. Rad Women Worldwide, 70. Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists, and Icons, 71. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 72. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 73. Girl Waits With Gun, 74. Winter Counts, 75. The Man Who Died Twice, 76. All That Is Secret, 77. Five Decembers, 78. A Thousand Steps, 80. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 81. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 82. Table Manners: The Cookbook, 83. The Saboteurs, 84. Teatime at Grosvenor Square, 85. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 86. A Special Place for Women, 87. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 88. Mr. Malcom's List, 89. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 90. How the Finch Stole Christmas, 91. Make it Ahead, 92. She The People, 93. Owl Be Home for Christmas, 94. Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, 95. Goering's Gold, 96. Lord of the Wings, 97. Iced, 98. Bittersweet, 99. Dial A for Aunties, 100. Forever After All)
  2. Travel to a new state (Minnesota, June '22)
  3. Try 50 new restaurants (1. Tocabe, 2. Bonchon, 3. Marino's Italian, 4. Cochino Taco, 5. Coal Mine Kitchen, 6. Tuk Tuk Thai, 7. Bird, 8. Vinh Xuong Bakery, 9. The Feedery @ Grow + Gather, 10. Louis' Cafe, 11. Leevers Locavore, 12. The Post, 13. Rupert's on the Edge, 14. Uno Mas, 15. Falafel House, 16. Stack Subs, 17. Chicken Rebel, 18. Roberts Italian,  19. Lynn's Tea Shop, 20. The Copper Pot, 21. NYC Bagel Cafe, 22. Mike's Famous Pizza, 23. McKinners Pizza Bar, 24. Sunflower Cafe, 25. Woodgrain Bagels, 26. The 49th, 27. The 303 Sports Grill, 28. Jessie's Smokin' NOLA, 29. Jabo's BBQ, 30. African Bar & Grill, 31. Intersections Restaurant, 32. Winston's Smoke BBQ, 33. Konjo Ethiopian Food, 34. Angie's Italian Littleton, 35. Iwayama Sushi, 36. Cuba Cuba, 37. Roots, 38. Mac Nation Cafe, 39. Homegrown Tap & Dough, 40. Anthony's Pizza & Pasta, 41. Genna Rae's Wings & More, 42. NOLA Voodoo Tavern, 43. Eat!, 44. Bar Helix, 45. Que Buena Suerte, 46. MC Brooklyn, 47. Cherry Hills Sushi Co., 48. Make Believe Bakery, 49. Rodizio Grill, 50. Spanky's Roadhouse)
  4. Do 4 more Haute Table travel guides (1. Ultimate Austin Guide, 2. Ultimate Denver Guide, 3. The Ultimate Colorado Roadtrip, 4. 3 Days in Portland, Oregon)
  5. Watch 5 documentaries (1. Building Chernobyl's Megatomb, 2. Tiger King, 3. 100 Humans, 4. 13th, 5. Feminists: What Were They Thinking?)
  6. Try 3 new cocktails
  7. Go on a girls trip
  8. See 6 plays (1. Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery)
  9. See 2 more classic films (1. Some Like it Hot, 2. His Girl Friday) 
  10. Take a spontaneous trip (Surprised parents, Sept. 2021)
  11. Try 20 new breweries (1. LaBelle Brewing, 2. Hogshead Brewery, 3. Creature Comforts Brewing, 4. Birds Fly South Ale Project, 5. Swamp Rabbit Brewery, 6. Dry Falls Brewing, 7. Triskelion Brewing, 8. Lost Province Brewing, 9. New River Brewing, 10. Booneshine Brewing, 11. Fonta Flora Brewing, 12. Sidetracked Brewing, 13. Johnson City Brewing, 14. Great Oak Brewing, 15. Yee Haw Brewing, 16. Kettell Beerworks, 17. Blowing Rock Brewing, 18. Olde Mecklenburg Brewing, 19. Sugar Creek Brewing, 20. Baere Brewing)
  12. Visit a dermatologist
  13. Visit a friend (not Hannah)
  14. Try a new cuisine
  15. See 3 more live shows (1. Pitbull, 2. Dale Watson, 3. Dua Lipa)
  16. Go to the gynecologist
  17. Visit a new national park (Summer 2021)
  18. Watch 3 more foreign films (1. Isi & Ossi, 2. 365 DNI, 4. I Am Not an Easy Man)
  19. Find a financial planner
  20. Go to therapy
  21. Pursue graphic design somehow
  22. Bake a new cupcake flavor
  23. See the Kit Carson Carousel
  24. Travel by myself
  25. Attend the symphony
  26. Make Croquembouche
  27. Treat myself to a spa day
  28. Work on my book
  29. Travel to a new country
  30. Do something for my career (Visit Longmont Visitor Guide)
  31. Throw 3 more parties (June 2021: Red Flag, October 2021: Bread, February 2022: Mamma Mia)
  32. Re-read all of the Harry Potter books (Nov. '21: Sorcerer's Stone, Nov. '21: Chamber of Secrets, Feb. '22: Prisoner of Azkaban, Feb. '22: Goblet of Fire, March '22: Order of the Phoenix, March '22: Half Blood Prince, April '22: Deathly Hallows)
  33. See an opera
  34. Add a new layer to my skincare routine
  35. Go to a wedding
  36. Cook 10 new recipes (1. Cranberry Walnut Muffins, 2. Breakfast Grilled Cheese, 3. Buffalo Ranch Lettuce Wraps, 4. Potato Skins, 5. Tomato Soup, 6. Spicy Lasagna Soup, 7. Pesto Baked Chicken, 8. Chipotle Chicken Nachos, 9. Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Burrata, 10. Rigatoni with Kale & Sausage)
  37. Shoot a gun
  38. Work on a campaign
  39. Go to a basketball or hockey game
  40. Get business cards
  41. Go on a fall foliage road trip
  42. Finally write my Austin guide (Ultimate Austin Guide)
  43. Vote in the 2020 election
  44. Have my camera professionally cleaned
  45. Attend a caucus 
  46. Build a snowman
  47. Go to a drive-in movie
  48. Take a cooking class
  49. Go to 20 new coffee shops (1. Commonwealth Coffee, 2. Queen City Collective, 3. Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, 4. Griffin Coffee, 5. Kabod Coffee, 6. Whittier Cafe, 7. Morrison Joe, 8. St. Mark's Coffee, 9. Silver Bean Coffee, 10. Ti Cafe, 11. Cafe 13, 12. Lost Coffee, 13. Cafe Zuri, 14. Kunjani World Coffeehouse, 15. Boho Brew, 16. Beleza Coffee Bar, 17. Table Public House, 18. Monk & Mongoose, 19. Stylus & Crate, 20. Jubilee Roasting Co.) 
  50. Create a photographer's guide to Denver
  51. Grow Denver Food Adventures to 3,500 followers (June 16, 2020)
  52. See BeyoncĂ© (if possible)
  53. Go to a drag brunch
  54. Attend a state fair (Texas State Fair, Oct. 2021)
  55. Buy something big for myself (Sheep Sweater 2021)
  56. Bake bread
  57. Keep fresh flowers in the apartment for 3 months
  58. Donate to Planned Parenthood (Sept. 1, 2021)
  59. Go flower picking
  60. Buy perfume I truly like
  61. Finish this entire list in the time frame

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Week Re-Cap

Don't forget to get the new COVID vaccine!
Happy Wednesday! It has been a lovely weekend at home after so much travel...but I am getting on a plane tomorrow so...you know!

Summit Coffee's shaken pumpkin chai

Some shots from the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market.

Do we think Papa John's pizza looks like a pumpkin?

Look at this sweet girl!

Freedom Park

Get your flu shot!

The Green Room opens Nov. 11th in South End!

Zada Jane's brunch

Was a bit under the weather last week so rewatched my favorite season of Love Island.

Starlight on 22nd

Buffalo Creek Preserve

Blacow's bento box dinner

Napa on Providence

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

50 Dates to Take Yourself On If Your Single In Charlotte, North Carolina

It's officially cuffing season and for us singles it can be a rough time. But that doesn't mean you need to enter a period of hibernation where you only leave your house for more books and wine...it's me, I'm talking about me. I've compiled a list of 50 dates you can take yourself on for the rest of the year (and into next year) in Charlotte — because there's so much to do and see in the Queen City. What did I miss?

1. Browse the shelves of Park Road Books before walking down to Suárez Bakery and treating yourself to the seasonal cupcake, maple pecan in Nov. '22.

2. Take yourself on the long way around Reedy Creek Nature Preserve to see the Robinson Rock House Ruins.

3. Book a Chef Alyssa's Kitchen cooking class and learn how to make perfect pies for the holiday season.

4. Dance in the aisles of the Knight Theater as the Charlotte Symphony does a tribute to ABBA (Nov. 11–12).

5. Buy over-the-top pre-prepared dishes from Reid's Fine Foods and enjoy a night on your couch rewatching Love Island.

6. Incite a fight (just kidding, don't do that) at a Charlotte Checkers game while housing a Cajun filet sandwich from the Bojangles stand.

7. Make yourself a bouquet of fresh buds at the Charlotte Flower Market.

8. Learn about revolutionary Black men at the Levine Museum of the New South's new exhibit, "Men of Change" (now through March 12, 2023).

9. Sip a fancy cocktail (or mocktail) at Idlewild Bar — it's right of the light rail line so no need to drink and drive!

10. Book yourself in for a vinyasa yoga class at Pranayama House Healing Center (Charlotte's newest Black owned yoga studio).

11. Snap up some aesthetically pleasing cards at Paper Twist and have an evening of sending correspondence to your best friends like you're Elizabeth Bennett.

12. Snack on the duck confit spring rolls at Bernardin's Restaurant in Uptown before exploring the colorful world of Andy Warhol at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (now through Jan. 2, 2023).

13. Go on the half-mile walk at the Whitewater Center to see the Lights exhibit, there are more than 50 instillation to wow you. This year they also have ice skating!

14. Learn about the 11th president of the United States at the James K. Polk State Historic Site down in Pineville.

15. Book a night for yourself at the uber cool Refuge in Plaza Midwood (there are only five rooms and their concept is incredible).

16. Wander through Davidson College's campus and have a gourmet sandwich for lunch at the Pickled Peach.

17. Pick up the best of the best baking supplies at the Cake Depot and have yourself a patisserie day.

18. Pick up a boba drink at Gong Cha and check out the massive granite boulders at Big Rock Nature Preserve.

19. Get to Haberdish early and treat yourself to their chicken with waffle breakfast — a liege waffle with the best fried chicken in Charlotte will make your Sunday morning amazing.

20. Enter into your Bridgerton era in the steamy conservatory at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

21. Browse through thousands of vinyls at Repo Record to find your new sound.

22. Take a break with a locomocha in the historic house that is Brakeman's Coffee and Supply in Matthews.

23. Have yourself a bougie spa day at Selenite Beauty — the Swedish massage and a microcurrent facial look incredible.

24. Dress up and see an incredible musical performance during a Jazz @ The Gantt evening.

25. Grab some popcorn and see an indie flick matinee at The Independent Picture House.

26. Attend City Art Room's public Paint and Sip — they advertise themselves as solo friendly and why not somewhat interact with people while taking yourself out?

27. See some of the most colorful (and slightly wild) signs at Charlotte Museum of History's "Charlotte: Signs of Home" exhibit.

28. Spend the day picking through vintage Pyrex, ugly Christmas sweaters and old Coke bottles at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall.

29. Pop into The Culture Shop for a fancy bottle of wine and charcuterie board fixins' for a movie night at home — might I suggest Mamma Mia?

30. Make your own candle at Paddywax Candle Bar — you'll choose a vessel and scent that will make your home smell incredible.

31. See Charlotte's oldest house in the Fourth Ward of Uptown — stop in for a cold one at Alexander Michael's tavern after.

32. Take a long drive to a mountain town like Boone, Blowing Rock or Banner Elk.

33. Have a dessert field trip day where you try multiple place's sweets — recommended: Dulce Dreams Cafe, Pepperbox Doughnuts, The Batch House and SWIRL.

34. Volunteer somewhere to make the Queen City a better place.

35. Try a flight in a metal bucket at King Canary Brewing — sit outside under the striped umbrellas for the ultimate experience.

36. Put on your best 1890s vintage and dine in the historic McNinch House Restaurant — the Chef's Tasting is five courses with wine pairings included for the price of $215.

37. Hike the Tower Trail at Crowders Mountain State Park for ultimate views — in any season. Pop into Big Red's Cafe for a coffee flight post ramble.

38. Buy fresh produce, baked goods and steaming coffee on a early morning trip to the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (Saturdays are the best time to go).

39. Learn about the Pee Dee indigenous group at Town Creek Indian Mound.

40. Plan for a manicure or pedicure at Modish Nail Spa, the red nail theory might work? But this post is about having fun while being single, so don't worry about it!

41. Enjoy authentic Ghanaian food at Mama Gee's on the east side of Charlotte.

42. Take yourself shopping at Specialty Shops SouthPark (it's a beautiful shopping center and I love it) and treat yourself to a flaky croissant at Renaissance Patisserie.

43. Walk through history on the Queen City's Black Legacy Walking Tour through Uptown. 

44. Bring your laptop and get something done with a coffee, glass of wine or can of beer at Rosie's Coffee and Wine Garden.

45. Order all appetizers for yourself at Calle Sol — we're talking plantain nachos, croquetas and yuca huancain.

46. See the incredible historic mansions along the Queens Road loop and walk through Queens University's historic campus.

47. Make your own terrarium at Plant House — they serve wine during some of the workshops and nothing sounds better than vino and greenery.

48. Take a long walk around Freedom Park to see the stone bridge, bright-blue pond and demonstration garden. Bonus points if you bring your sketch book and make some beautiful art.

49. Buy tickets to see "Fashion Reimagined: Themes & Variations 1760–Now" at the Mint Museum Uptown (opens Dec. 10). 

50. Indulge in the La Fresa Fria, a cocktail complete with strawberry soft-serve ice cream, gold tequila and triple sec, at Que Fresa.

Want more?

A day trip from Charlotte that's great for solo travelers >>
Charlotte's best fall events and activities >>

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday Links

Happy Monday! I wish I lived in this house and could read the following articles on that porch with my coffee...

50 abortions, 50 states. These essays had me bawling and in awe at the incredible power of people who can get pregnant.

"What the hell else has to happen for you to get off your butt and vote?" Tomorrow is election day!!

The new Orient Express train looks incredible!

Okay, need to book a stay into the replica of the house from The Holiday in Georgia...

Need this for my holiday decor this year.

Charlotte news: the best biscuits in the city, a Black-owned yoga studio just opened in South End, Sycamore Brewing opened in Charlotte Douglas and Weathered Souls is opening this week!

How cute is this pink sweater?

Stylish small spaces — loving this as a one-bedroom apartment person.

I'm going to Bermuda in two weeks and I had no idea it was an onion-growing spot.

I have never used incense before but to have this little cowboy hat I would!

If you love bows, this is the gift guide for you!

The Evergirl's holiday gift guide collection is out and there's something for everyone on your list.

NEED this baguette ornament.

Adding most of these books to my fall reading list — love the aesthetic of academia.

A bunch of Madewell picks.

Elizabeth Debicki on playing Princess Di...I'm so excited!

Objectively do not need this refrigerator but god do I love it.

Want more?

Last week's links >>
Decor that I want for my apartment >>

Friday, November 4, 2022


It's that time of the year again, when we must vote! And why must we vote? Because it's super important. It is a civic duty. And because, most of us in this country were not granted the right to vote in 1776. Many groups had to fight for the right to vote, including white women who were arrested and force fed for attempting to vote. Black women were abused, harassed, jailed and more to vote. And in a lot of states people are still trying to prevent people who don't look like them from voting. It's not fair and it's not okay and the only way to enact change is to vote. So, please, find your polling place (vote early if you can) and vote. Are you a North Carolina voter? Check out how to vote for human rights >>

Want more?

How I felt after the 2020 general election >>
The blog post I wrote the morning after the 2016 election >>

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Decor I Want

Now living by myself...and having moved across the country, I'm having to buy a bunch of things and it's actually inspiring me to look at decor again (I haven't done so since sophomore year of college). Below are some things I would love to add to my home and they really fit that coastal grandmother aesthetic because that's the vibe I'm currently in. I think as I get older I remain in that classic/preppy vibe I had to begin with but it matures. What's your favorite piece?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Week Re-Cap

Happy Wednesday! I should really just start calling these monthly re-caps because I don't get around to making them except about once a month. There are photos from my time at home helping my family with Hurricane Ian, my time in Austin with Marcus, a work trip and countless drives and walks to see fall leaves. How are y'all?

Personally think this is the best one yet!

Ran into my childhood best friend at a brewery during hurricane clean up.

The morning light at Elizabeth Street Cafe.

Marcus and I watched Hocus Pocus 2 and it was so cute!

Hook 'Em!

Took Marcus to Texas Roadhouse for the first time and he loved it.

Finally had Whataburger after MONTHS.

We made pizza too!

And I had an iced latte from Jo's on a very early flight out.

Drove up to Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I adore the pollo chipotle at Valle de Bravos in Banner Elk.

Loved Hall Family Orchard in SC.

Bush-N-Vine has the best peach soft serve ice cream.

Cherry Place Farm is so cute.

Simpson's Pumpkins is the cutest pumpkin patch in a supermarket parking lot.

Had to get orange milk at Patterson's Farm.

Just a few fall shots from my walks.

Now here's a bunch of Charlotte foods:

Pumpkin spice cupcake from Suarez Bakery.

Pumpkin spice ice cream from Golden Cow Creamery.

Fenwick's tomato soup

Plantain nachos from Calle Sol

Pumpkin loaf from Smelly Cat Coffee Roastery

Chicken tortilla soup at Pablo's Tacos & Tequila

Not Your Mama's Pumpkin Pie at Two Scoop Creamery

Look at this amazing pyrex!

Only at 5am are the rocking chairs at Charlotte Douglas empty.

Some shots from Sioux City and South Sioux City, Iowa & Nebraska.

Meet toothless!

Dinner & a margarita at Mi Familia.

Breakfast at my hotel in Nebraska.

Had dinner on the Iowa side at Marto Brewing.

Jackson Street Brewing

This airport code was too good not to get a magnet.

Tacos in ORD.

Sent out 90 Vote Forward letters on Saturday.

DiPrato's in Columbia, SC

A very juicy IPA from Columbia Craft.

Went to a South Carolina Gamecocks game just for fun.

Love meeting the most amazing people in Charlotte!

Want more?

Last month's re-cap >>
Recent home buys I'm loving >>