project 365 | days 215 thru 234

Now that Christmas & New Year’s are over, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great holiday. Wonderful, actually. It’s just…after all the holiday parties, birthdays (I have too many friends/relative with Birthdays that fall within a week of Christmas), shopping, gift making, gift wrapping, Etsy Shop tending, cooking, drinking, etc., I feel like I need a week’s vacation just to recuperate my energy. Or just 24 hours to sleep. THAT’s what I should have asked for this year. Sleep.

Regardless, my holiday was fantastic. I spent time with family. I ate some great food. I attended some great parties. I got all I wished for and hope you did, as well. Now it’s time to catch up on to some Project 365. To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts (more than once). Today we’re starting with Day 215. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 215, I just realized it has been almost a year since I’ve had my hair cut, which is why I seem to have more split ends than healthy ends. Excuse me for a second while I go make a hair appointment. Day 216, in case you didn’t know, Target is a black hole. On this day, I believe I went in to buy one single package of cat food. On my direct route to reach the pet product section, I had to stop off first and browse the greeting cards for almost an hour, which happened to be across the aisle from the hair care products, which led me to picking up some new shampoo, which got me to thinking about new accessories for my bathroom, which is why I left with a month’s supply of toilet paper and an entire set of new towels. Black hole…or the smartest retail store layout EVER?

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Day 217, one of my closest college friends—a sorority sister I hadn’t seen in almost 4 years—came in town for the weekend to visit. After picking her up from the airport, we began at my favorite neighborhood Irish Pub, Celtic Crossing, for a round or two of drinks. Day 218, there just so happened to be a Beer Festival (Cooper Young Regional Beerfest) less than two blocks from my house, so of course I happily dragged her there before later walking back home to watch our alma mater (Mississippi State) beat Tennessee, 41-31.

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Day 219, we rounded out my friend’s weekend in Memphis with brunch down the street at The Beauty Shop. I had so much fun, Kish, & I miss you already. Maybe next time, I’ll actually take you out of my neighborhood. Day 220, this is what happens two hours after gifting Maddie with a new toy. She’s only 45-ish lbs, and yet she destroys chew toys faster than my parents’ 80 lb. behemoth, Bogey. Kristen and I were picking up stray pink strands from every random corner of our house for weeks.

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Day 221, looking for the best toasted ravioli in Memphis? Visit Dino’s Grill in midtown, located on N. McLean. Plus, they have all-you-can-eat-spaghetti every Thursday night. Day 222, I put our mantle chalkboard to good use when Kristen’s friends Trish & Brian came to stay with us. I then became super lazy and left that welcome message up there for about two months.

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Day 223, everyone always says my sister and I look extremely alike. We get asked all the time whether or not we’re twins. While I agree there is some family resemblance between the two of us, the only attributes that are identical are our voices. When you talk to us on the phone, it’s basically like talking to the same person. Day 224, ever since I moved to Midtown (about five years ago), my favorite local Mexican restaurant has been Molly’s la Casita. Forewarning, their margaritas will put you on the floor.

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Day 225, my sister attended Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), while I attended Mississippi State University (MSST). Even though she could care less about football, I love the bragging rights that came with this absolute athletic domination. SEC all the way. Day 226, Maddie has recently decided our home isn’t good enough for her and begun the daunting task of digging her way to China. I’ll let you know if she at least makes it to the neighbor’s yard.

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Day 227, I forced Kristen to watch the Presidential debates with me. I’ve already touched on my stance with discussing politics, so I’ll leave it at that. Day 228, have you seen Argo? It’s the best edge-of-your-seat thriller I’ve seen in years. Kristen and I were literally on the edge of our seats throughout the movie. I was anxious and scared the entire time. I’ll be surprised if—come Thursday morning—it doesn’t receive at least a few Oscar nods. It’s a must see.

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Day 229, I recently finished reading the Beautiful Creatures series (also known as the Caster Chronicles), ahead of the first book’s film adaptation coming out February 2013. While this series didn’t excite me quite as much as The Hunger Games, it is better than Twilight. I think it would have been better suited as a trilogy, instead of stretching the story into four novels. A little long, but still a decent read. Day 230, I’m a horrible pool player. At least, I usually am. On this specific night at Young Avenue Deli, my partner and I won six or seven games in a row. I have no idea how this freak accident occurred, but I sure hope it happens again.

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Day 231, Kristen & I spent a lazy Friday night stretched out on my couch in front of the TV with our friend, Audrey, eating Swanky’s Taco Shop take-out and drinking beer. Night well spent. Day 232, Kristen and I attended the Dixon Gallery’s Art on Fire fundraiser event with my friend Jennifer. Food, beer, wine, bonfires, live music, fire performers, art, charity auction…I have a feeling this will become an annual event for me.

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Day 233, my family gets together every year before Halloween to carve pumpkins. Correction: my family gets together every year to watch my brother and I carve pumpkins while they eat and drink. With him being an architect and me being an artist, we typically go all out to see who can carve the better design. This year, however, I was lazy and only did the Apple logo, while he carved out the Autobot symbol from Transformers because his son is beyond obsessed with everything Transformers. My nephew freaked out and loved it. Day 234, my office got a new touch screen phone system. While I like to consider myself somewhat tech-savvy, it took me over a week to figure out how to use this thing. Which is why when I finally figured out how to access the voicemail, I had close to twenty urgent messages. #Fail.

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That’s it for today. Coming soon: another wood art post, plus a list of my favorite books read in 2012. Happy New Year!

– lindsey archer


A Shabby Chic Patio

Head on over to my sister’s blog to read her wonderful thoughts on the story of our recent patio furniture purchase. I couldn’t say it better myself!

kristen archer

Antique Warehouse Mall on Summer Avenue. 2 weekends ago. We walk in to the smell of grilled hotdogs and chili.  Homemade cupcakes, dips, chips, the WORKS are spread out over a table with a sign that says something along the lines of “this food is free so enjoy”. One look at each other and our plates are full.  Free lunch AND antiquing in one day?! BEST. DAY. EVER. The sole purpose of us going to the Antique Warehouse Mall that day was to help a friend out with her wedding decor. We accomplished that plus some.

The interesting thing about my sister and I is that we compliment each other. Sometimes this is a good thing.  Most of the time it just makes our bank account balances drop like flies.

I give you example number one…

I say “OMG look at that patio set it’s only $95. That’s only (pause…

View original post 578 more words

project 365 | days 159 thru 174

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, today is another Project 365 post.

To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts. Today we’re starting with Day 159. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 159, if you’ve ever tailgated at an SEC football game, then you’ve most likely played cornhole before. If you haven’t attended an SEC game, then I feel sorry for you. Why? Because we know how to party. When I recently went to Side Porch Steakhouse in Bartlett for my brother’s birthday and saw they had a mini cornhole set up on their bar, well…I fell in love with the place all over again (great steaks!). Then, I taught my four-year-old nephew how to play. It’s all about educating the next generation. Day 160, I know I’ve previously mentioned my weakness for Barnes & Noble. I might as well write them a check every other week for half of my paycheck—that’s close to how much money I spend there. Though, since my favorite B&N Bookstore closed in January 2011, I now buy most of my books online. It’s always exciting to come home and see a B&N box waiting for me on my porch.


Day 161, I love my neighborhood (Cooper Young). There’s so much to do, so many places to eat and grab a drink…all within walking distance of my front door. Kristen and I take advantage of this often, choosing this night to venture down to for sushi. Delicious. Day 162, Kristen has a talent for sniffing out yard sales. It’s like psychic magnetism or something. I can just put her on her leash, say Go! and within a few minutes…BAM! There we are on a stranger’s lawn full of fantastic treasures like this lovely trunk. Okay, not really. I don’t actually have to use a leash anymore. My sister’s way better trained than that.


Day 163 and 164 are both artwork pieces I made for Cooper Young Festival. Original acrylic paintings on canvas that I believe are both 16″ x 20″. Abstract guitar and Ticklin’ the Ivories.


Day 165, happy 27th birthday to me. Kristen and I took off work and trekked up to Nashville to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters perform at The End. Mr. Jay Brannan. His voice + guitar playing was even more beautiful in person and absolutely worth the 3 hour drive. Day 166, my family meets up for dinner for everyone’s official birthdays. Since I was out of town on the 21st, we waited and met up at Boscos the next day where my sister surprised me with this custom made cake to resemble three of my favorite books (Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas & John Green’s The Fault in our Stars). Don’t I have the best sister in the world? And in case you have an upcoming celebration in need of a cake, this lovely piece of work was made by the supremely talented Ashley from BadAsh Bakery. I highly recommend her.


Day 167, I bleed Maroon & White. And now—thanks to a little birthday present from my Mom—so does my yard. Hail State. Day 168, more Cooper Young Festival art prints, which are also currently available in my Etsy Shop. Elvis Presley + Typography = great art prints.


Day 169, I waited until the weekend to celebrate my birthday with my friends and we started it off right early Saturday morning at Memphis’ very own trampoline park. This is what Christine, Cory, Kristen, myself, Laura and Jennifer looked like after one hour of jumping our asses off. We later met up with more friends for dinner, then drinks at Celtic Crossing, where I apparently challenged a guy to a dance off. In other words, I had a fantastic birthday. Day 170, I bonded with my new duvet cover (thanks Momma & Kristen) as I thoroughly enjoyed a lazy Sunday of doing absolutely nothing but laying in bed with Mulligan.


Day 171, more Cooper Young Festival art. More original acrylic paintings on canvas. Day 172, my parents’ dog, Bogey, is a beast. A 180 lb. adorable beast. He is so fluffy I could die.


Day 173, when I work on my freelance graphic design, I can’t just sit there on my computer and design or I get bored and have trouble concentrating. So, I usually have a million other things going on at the same time. Thankfully, I invested in a huge iMac screen that allows me to concurrently work in Photoshop, Illustrator, watch Hulu (Prison Break) and track my Twitter feed. I have no idea how this makes me work better and faster, but I swear it does. To each his own, right? Day 174, I call this one Big Ass Blank Canvas. 3 1/2′ x 6′ of white space just waiting for inspiration. Once I get the images up on my portfolio/art tab, you’ll get to see what I actually turned it into. Until then, you can see a small blurb of it in one of the four random headers I now have displayed at the top of this blog (viewable in desktop version only). Hint? I now call it Big Blue.


That’s 16 and done. I’ll be working hard this weekend editing the images of my artwork to update my portfolio, so check back next week. Have a great weekend!

– lindsey archer

project 365 | days 143 thru 158

Cooper Young Festival is over. It’s done. Officially. And yes, all of our hard work paid off. So, thank-you to everyone who came out to see our booth and a SPECIAL thanks to those who purchased some of our art. Our first festival was a great success for both my sister and me and we seriously can’t wait to do our next one (Suggestions? Let me know!). While I’m currently working on editing the images of our booth and leftover art, it will be a few days before I’m able to list them here on the blog and my Etsy shop. Until then, it’s time for some Project 365.

To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts. Today we’re starting with Day 143. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 143, anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with football. I won’t bore you with football statistics because if you’re like my sister, your eyes might glass over and then you might nod off before finishing the rest of this post. We can’t have that. To sum it up quickly: I love the SEC, Mississippi State, the Colts, Peyton Manning and now the Broncos. And if I’m busy on the weekends from now until the Superbowl, it’s mostly due to watching football. Day 144, my job has many wonderful perks. One of those is having lunch catered every day. On this day, my office had fresh lobster flown in from Maine. Yes, I know this is crazy. And yes, it was delicious. And because no one likes a bragger, that is all I will say on the subject, other than it is super hard to crack a lobster leg.


Day 145, girls night at Macaroni Grill with my sister, Aud & Leslie. We competed to see who could be the best fifth grader by drawing all over the table with the three cheap crayons provided by our server. We’ll call it a tie I won. Day 146, the Cooper Young Festival hosted a party at Cafe Ole to reveal it’s 25th Anniversary Poster. Here’s a small look at the various poster designs thru the years. My goal is to one year be chosen to create the design. One day.


Day 147, I am a messy painter. Instead of washing the excess paint from my brushes or wiping them against a paper towel, I often just use my hands or clothes. Some call it being lazy. I’d rather refer to it as creative genius. Day 148, Maddie is so adorable. She drives me crazy most of the time and is absolutely horribly trained, but she is just so damn cute. Right?


Day 149, Kristen and I have become experts at what she likes to call curb shopping. In this case, a more accurate description would be as follows: driving down a ghetto-ish street, spotting a random pair of distressed doors leaning against the dumpster of an abandoned building, parking the car, counting to three, sprinting from the car to confiscate said doors, stuffing them into the trunk without shutting it to save time, all the while praying no one sees you before you can get the Hell out of there. Danger? Ha. We laugh in the face of danger. Curb shopping is awesome. Check out our new shabby chic doors. Day 150, I’ve recently reconnected with some old high school friends by being talked into joining our high school reunion committee. We’ve had so much fun catching up and hanging out together, I have renewed hope I will actually enjoy my 10 year reunion instead of freaking out about attending. I’m actually now looking forward to it.


Day 151, my Etsy Shop had a little surge that sent me to the Post Office with a whole group of orders. Keep shopping! Day 152, I’ve tweeted about Newk’s a few times in the past month which apparently put me in the running for the July Twitter Prize of which I wasn’t previously aware. Whatever. I’ll take it. Thank you, Newk’s, for the $25 gift card. I spent it wisely.


Day 153, more Cooper Young Festival art. Considering that is all I’ve been doing for the past few months, there are a lot of artwork pictures on here. I sold two of of these three. I consider that a success. Day 154, I recently had the pleasure of creating the album artwork for Memphis singer/songwriter Chris Milam’s new EP, Young Avenue. He’s amazingly talented and I had so much fun working with him. Here, I attended his show at the HiTone. If you’ve never heard him play, his record release party is this Friday night at HiTone. You can read more about him here. See you there.


Day 155, I love hats. My only complaint? Why do men’s hats get sizes while most women’s feature One Size Fits All? Spoiler: one size does NOT fit all. I have a huge brain head and find it somewhat embarrassing that I am forced to purchase all of my hats from the men’s section. It’s an issue I feel needs to be addressed. Hat designers, please take note. Day 156, I love playing golf with my Dad. My golf clubs are closely guarded by a lion, while my dad’s are looked over by whatever species of dog you think this looks like. I would call the lion my good luck charm, but I’ve never actually beaten my Dad at golf, so…maybe not.


Day 157, Jon Stewart is amazing. He managed to score the first interview with Robert Pattinson after Kristen Stewart got caught Mini-Coopering her director. This is how he explained his show to all the Twihards tuning in for the first time. This graphic came up at least ten times before Pattinson appeared. It was funny every time. Day 158, more Cooper Young Festival art. Not much else to say there.


And, that’s 16 and done. Another 16 of Project 365 is queued up to post tomorrow, so check back. I also apologize for the status of my portfolio pages. I’m currently updating/organizing them with more recent work, so bear with me for a few more days.

Again, thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi at Cooper Young Festival. It was a blast and we will definitely be back next year.

– lindsey archer

when i grow up

When I was young, I specifically remember wanting to grow up to be a writer.

I have this vivid memory of creating a book stand with an old childhood friend. Seven or eight years old at the time, we thought we were geniuses, sure we had come up with the Next Great Idea. While our peers were busy squeezing out cups of lemonade to sell for 25¢ on the neighborhood corner, we were up to our elbows in Xerox paper and Crayola colored pencils, eagerly writing and illustrating our own books. After bounding them with her parents’ stapler, we set up shop on the sidewalk in front of her house, ready to make our millions.

Spoiler alert: our ingenious idea didn’t exactly take the publishing industry by storm. While we did sell a few books—one to an indulgent neighbor, a couple to her mom and probably one to her little sister after a bribe or two—I don’t remember being disappointed in not fulfilling our bestseller potential. Like many things as a child, our bookstand was a fad. It didn’t take long for us to forget about it and move on to bigger and better things. Like the bedazzler.

For me—as I’m sure like many of you—the answer to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was constantly evolving. After winning an art contest in grade school, I traded my writing career aspirations for those of becoming an artist. After watching the Magnificent Seven take home gold for Team USA in ’96, I was sure—as a 10-year-old not currently enrolled in gymnasticsI had what it took to become an olympic gymnast. Some time in high school, I decided biomedical engineering + medical school was the right choice for me. While covered in hardened cookie dough and earning minimum wage from my local mall’s bakery, the thought of some day becoming a rich doctor was extremely appealing. Then I got to college and realized I didn’t actually like science (thank you, Momma & Daddy, for your patience).

So, yeah. Growing up, I never replied to that age old question with the same answer. As my hobbies and interests changed, so did my professional career goals. Even today, nearly six years into said professional career (holy crap I’ve been working a big-girl job for almost 6 years excuse me while I figure out where all that time went), I don’t have a definitive answer.

Don’t get me wrong. I count myself lucky that I am currently employed and actually enjoy what I do. I still get excited when I design a new poster or advertisement, often giddily pulling up a picture on my phone to show my sister at home. Yet, being a full-time graphic designer means I only get to write on my downtime. And I really love writing. I sometimes can’t help but think…wouldn’t it be fulfilling to make my living by writing every day? What would that feel like? To be able to wake up and have writing as my only responsibility? To write for a living? To be able to answer that question with Oh, I’m a writer? Though, if my writing was to switch from hobby to career…would I still enjoy it as much? Wouldn’t I miss graphic design?

Aaaaaand…back and forth. And back and forth.

Then I have my paintings and other art to think about. With Cooper Young Festival in less than a week, all my free time over the past few months has been dedicated to the booth my sister and I will have this Saturday (Booth D-23). Instead of trying to fit in time for my writing, I’ve been painting and crafting. And guess what? I forgot how much I love to paint. And while my sister and I have only joked about the idea…the concept of us opening up our own shop to sell our work becomes more appealing by the day (as long as I don’t have to be in charge of my taxes because all those forms stress me out).

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? Ha. Good question. When is the deadline for my answer? It can’t have already passed, right? Because at 27, I don’t feel grown-up. I feel like I’m just beginning. How long before I actually have to pick one thing and commit? Because the thing that scares me most of all…what if I pick the wrong one?

Seriously. What if?

– lindsey archer

P.S. – Cooper Young Festival 2012 is THIS Saturday, September 15th. If you’re planning on attending, please stop by Booth D-23 (we’re in the Congo Church parking lot) to say hello and/or introduce yourself. If you live in the Memphis area and are NOT planning to attend, stop being boring.

project 365 | days 111 thru 126

I’m taking a break from all the Cooper Young Festival art updates for a different kind of update.

Yes. I’m still plugging away on Project 365. Since I’m way behind on the recap, there will hopefully be another Project 365 post later this week. To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts. Today we’re starting with Day 111. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 111, I think these types of towels are manufactured to see how many times they can make adults go “awwwwwwwwwwwww!” Like, you can’t look at my little nephew here and not absolutely fall in love with him. Unless you have no soul. And this just in: Babies. Weigh. A. Lot. I can’t hold that little chunker for more than five minutes before I have to pass him along to someone else. What? I told you. I’m not good with babies. Day 112, dinner and drinks at Slider Inn, whose slogan reads, “Nice and Easy.” Slider Inn. Nice and Easy. There are so many different ways I could go with that (insert that’s what she said joke here), I would rather just allow you to use your own imagination.


Day 113, I’m a woman. Of course I saw Magic Mike opening weekend with a group of 14 or so friends. Obviously, we all loved it. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough Matt Bomer. You can never have enough of perfection. Day 114, this is what the side of my parents’ pool looks like when my four year old nephew goes over to swim. We have more water guns than total members of our extended family.


Day 115, as a graphic designer, I have a really hard time sticking with one blog design. I get sick of it after about two or three weeks and decide it’s time for a re-design. I can’t help it. It’s ingrained into my DNA. I’m actually surprised this design is still currently on the blog as of this post. No promises if you check back in a week. Day 116, this is what my office parking lot looked like the day before the July 4th holiday. I was literally the last person there. I guess it’s because I’m just such a hard worker. Yeah, we’ll go with that one.


Day 117, Happy 4th of July! I celebrated with friends, family, lots of hyper children, BBQ, enough random dips & appetizers to feed a small army and of course some Coors Light encased in my Alma Mater. Hail State! Day 118, every time I paint, I use the same acrylic art palette to mix all my colors. When the paint starts to get too thick and clumpy and distracting, I simply scrape it off with a razor blade and it’s like I have a brand new palette. By the look of it right now, it’s about time for a scraping. Oh, and apparently, the last thing I painted was the color of diarrhea. Either that, or Mulligan (seen here lounging in the background) is very sneaky.


Day 119, this was the week my sister went out of town to visit friends in Nashville and took the terror puppy with her. Similar to the previous picture, Mulligan reveled in his unlimited freedom. He finally got rid of the slobbery hyper thing with big paws and rank breath (not you, Kristen)! I don’t think he was very pleased when Maddie trotted back in after only a week. Day 120, whenever my mom has dinner/evening plans that don’t involve my dad, my sister and I take him out so he won’t end up sitting at home with a Hungry Man Dinner or a chicken pot pie. With Kristen gone, I ended up taking him to Genghis Grill so he could escape the ladies night of daiquiris and wine taking place in his kitchen. I cherish my father-daughter date nights and I think he was very thankful.


Day 121, I love my lazy Sundays. Lazy Sundays without the puppy dropping slobbery duck squeaker toys and rubber tug of war rings in my lap every five minutes? Perfection. Mulligan agrees. Day 122, I got my latest book from Barnes & Noble in the mail: Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. I can’t say enough how ridiculously awesome this book is. If you’re tired of the poorly written mommy porn currently sitting atop the Bestseller list, go out and buy this book. Immediately. Beautiful writing, real characters, humor, suspense, shocking twists & turns that manipulate and guide you thru this amazing story…if I hear another person rave about 50 Shades of Suck, I will smack them atop the head with Gillian Flynn’s masterpiece of a novel. At 415 pages, it’s a pretty hefty hardcover, so watch out. Read it.


Day 123, have you heard my sister and I have a booth at the 2012 Cooper Young Festival? I’ve been working non-stop designing some typography prints to sell. Here, I made a Cooper-Young specific typography “city print” full of places and things around my wonderful neighborhood. It’s listed in my Etsy shop here and I’ve blogged about it before here. September 15th can’t come soon enough. Day 124, since I was planning on opening up an Etsy shop and needed new business cards for the art festival (and because I call myself a graphic designer), I figured it was time to get serious about creating myself a personal logo. I’ve toyed around with various designs in the past, but could never decide or stick with one (cough, like my blog design, cough). I think I’ve finally found one I really like. It incorporates my initials (LEA), my art (paintbrush) and my writing (scroll pen tip). Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick with this one for a while.


Day 125, I officially launched my Etsy Shop. Thank you everyone for the wonderful feedback and please keep shopping :). Day 126, ah…the terror puppy. The cute-adorable-little-devil that recently chewed up my fairly new Toms. I’ve written before about Maddie’s talent for tapping out SOS messages on our back door (go here). For some reason, she thinks the only way to get our attention to let her inside is to jump like a track star and fling her entire body into our glass door. I mean, why go with a simple bark when you can display your olympian level high jump skills? Why go for a simple scratch of the paw when you can leap high enough to collide the entire underside of your body with the door? She’s so talented. Are there puppy olympics? Because I volunteer Maddie for the High Jump. And if there is a category for Who has the hardest body of puppy steel, I volunteer her for that one, too. Bring home the gold, Maddie.


That’s 16 and done. Since I’m currently on day 146, I’ve got more Project 365 on the way this week. Stay tuned!

– lindsey archer

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