I Dare Allie

I Dare Allie

I recently read a really fun memoir, Lu Ann Cahn’s I Dare Me, that chronicles the year during which she did something new, for the first time, every day.  That’s 365 new things! She did big things:  the Polar Bear Plunge; she ate a scorpion (no way Jose!) and enrolled in graduate school.  She also did little things, such as:  learn to say the alphabet backwards, organize the pantry and bake a cake from scratch.  The latter group may not sound like much, but if you’ve never done these things, than they aren’t little.   Why did she do the whole experience?  To reboot and recharge her life – and it worked.  I think it’s just so cool.  The book doesn’t cover all 365 days, but her website does, with videos.  Check it out. I had fun exploring.


The author has a Facebook group set up to encourage others to try new things.  The page is called the I Dare Me Club.”  So you can probably guess what I’m leading up to… Yep, I’m going to do the same thing and I’d love for you to join me.  If a year is too much, do one new thing a week and share it with me.   I’ve already started, on a random day in February.  So far, it’s been pretty good.  The hardest thing has been coming up with ideas and I definitely need to get better at planning ahead.  A few times I’ve had to pull firsts out of thin air.  Every three to four weeks I’m going to post an update about my firsts, to keep myself motivated and honest!

February 18, 2014 – I cooked a steak for the first time.  Yes, I am 44 years old and I’ve never cooked a steak.  It seemed to always be “the man’s job,” except when it was my mom’s.  I used a skillet on the stove top (at this point I didn’t know how to use a grill).  I enjoyed my steak, as did Audrey, but Hunter – not so much.  It was a little crispy on the outside.  For the record, hubby was out of town.

February 19, 2014 – I submitted my first nonfiction essay for possible publication in an anthology.  Nervous.  I still haven’t heard anything.

February 20, 2014 – I did geometry for the first time since the mid 1980’s (according to the book, if decades have passed, than it can be considered a first).  Surprise, surprise, I still got it!

February 21, 2014 – We have a Ranger, which is an off-road utility vehicle (I think).  I’ve driven it around our neighborhood, but never on trials in the woods.  I went into the woods, following my wild husband and it was muddy – and fun.  Really fun.  And I got rooster-tailed (splattered with mud from my husband’s four-wheeler) and still had fun.

February 22, 2014 – I watched Mary Poppins for the first time.  Can you believe I’d never seen it?  Right on the heels of seeing Frozen, it was a bit of a letdown, but still entertaining.  I also learned how to say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

February 23, 2014 – I ate fried ice-cream.  It was yucky.  Hubby says it was because I ordered it in a Japanese restaurant – apparently, Mexican is where it’s at.

February 24, 2014 – I signed up to audition for a live blogger show!  That was outside my comfort zone, for sure.

February 25, 2014 – I begged my friends to beg their friends for Facebook “likes” of my Latchkey Mom page.  I felt really weird asking, especially since my friends had to then ask their friends, but I did it!  I doubled my page likes in a week.  Thank you friends!

February 26, 2014 – Applied to get a blog sponsor.  Awaiting a response.

February 27, 2014 – Became a “track mom,” even volunteered to help on the field during meets.

February 28, 2014 – I played Angry Birds.  My youngest is obsessed with this and actually is the one who taught me to play.  I don’t get it.

March 1, 2014 – I tried out for the Listen To Your Mother Atlanta show.  I was freaking nervous and I thought I did pretty well.  Apparently not – I didn’t make the cutL.

March 2, 2014 – Audrey and I crashed an open house when we were out walking on a beautiful Sunday.  She wanted to see what the decorator model looked like and we were not dressed appropriately to pose as potential home buyers.   Then I thought – why not?  I marched in and announced that we wanted to steal decorating ideas and asked if we could look around.  The man on duty looked annoyed, but the woman laughed and told us to take our time.

March 3, 2014 – I bought a stranger a drink in a bar.  My husband was with me!

March 4, 2104 – I ordered tilapia and ate some of it.  I love shell fish, but fish-fish, not so much.  But we were eating at one of our favorite restaurants and I figured if I had a chance of liking it, it would be at their hands.  It was okay.

March 5, 2014 – I rode a dirt bike, as the driver!  It was Hunter’s bike, I didn’t take it out of second gear and I only rode in our yard.  I circled the house five times and rode down hills!  It was fun, I get the attraction, but I won’t be heading out on the open road anytime soon.  I almost took out our basketball goal, too.  Rich got it on video.

March 6, 2014 – I went in a gold mine and “panned” for gold, but only found “gems.”


March 7, 2014 – I became a Huffington Post blogger!


March 8, 2014 – I made a life list.  Simple, I know, but it took a lot of thought, because I’m not getting any younger and I wanted it to be achievable.

March 9, 2014 – I made Jambalaya from scratch!  I also ate it, which I’d never done before (but picked out the chicken and sausage).  The family (who ate it) loved it.  Triumph!


March 10, 2014 – I watched The Bachelor.  Apparently I picked quite the episode for my indoctrination.  I’m going to censor my comments, because many people I love watch this show – but it ain’t my bag baby.  What an asshole that guy is.

March 11, 2014 – I used a grill!  I turned it on, and cooked the burgers, all by myself (under the watchful eye of the Grill Master).  No more mac and cheese when Dad’s out of town!


March 12, 2014 – I set up a Tumbler account.  I’d seen the icon on a bunch of blogs I follow, so I thought I’d better get on board.  I’m official, but I have to be honest, I don’t get it.


Do you have any suggestions for firsts?  Have you done any of the things listed above?  What would you dare yourself to do?

16 thoughts on “I Dare Allie”

  1. Allie I also mastered the grill last year!! After all those years thinking it was Kevin’s domain this girl cranked it up! I’ve now made pork tenderloin & beer can chicken in addition to the basics. I love using the grill!
    As for other firsts this year – I renewed my passport that expired almost 20 years ago, I left the country and visited Panama & took a ride through the Panama Canal (amazing), I tried sea bass ceviche (not bad- all the stuff in it drowned the taste of fish), I went “real” fishing in a boat (caught 2 fish), I visited ancient ruins of a convent (words cannot describe how amazing)… closer to home I went to a real speakeasy – had to enter through a fake phone booth to enter (way cool), I willingly ordered sushi in a restaurant (still not my thing but I tried it), and I applied for a grant to become certified a behavior specialist. You never realized how many things there are around you that you’ve never tried – good luck in your quest!!

    1. Thanks Sarah! And I cannot wait to hear more about Panama! I am so proud of you! Also – I need to know more about the behavior specialist certification. Where do you find the time!?

  2. Great idea! I love it! So here are aome ideas I have for you–
    Volunteer somewhere out of your comfort zone or do a yucky task like clean cat rooms at the Humane Society.
    Plant a vegetable garden or if you have before plant a new vegetable.
    Every time you go to the grocery store pick up a piece of produce you have never cooked w or eaten. Take it a step further and go to an ethnic market.
    Sign up for a CSA.
    Take a ballroom dance class or some other dance class like belly dancing.
    Pick a phrase and learn how to say it in as many different languages as you can. Perhaps one per week.
    Make your own beer
    I will let you know what else I think of for you.

    1. I love SOME of these. Clean cat rooms? Goodness, that ain’t happing! No way, never ever. yuck! (plus I’m allergic).

      I’m with you on the volunteering. That’s a good one. I’d love to do the vegetable garden, but remember I’m on the road most of the summer. What is CSA? Ballroom dance – I like! Make beer? OMG, have you been talking to my better half? He wants me to make green beer for today’s first.

  3. Cleaning the cat rooms really made me appreciate the humane society soooo much! It has to be done every day and there are so many rooms! But the allergic part kind of rules that one out. CSA= Community supported agriculture. http://www.localharvest.org/csa/. Maybe you can just plant an herb garden, most herbs are maintenance free for the most part.

    Well green beer is disgusting if you ask me artificial food color should be banned. But making your own beer could be fun. Or Maybe cheese, yogurt or even homemade ice cream?

  4. I love this idea, Allie! I too have never made a steak… :( Good for you for tackling all these firsts. Oh, and if you’re referring to the HerStories Project book, we will contact everyone with an update in the next week or so. It’s going to take us awhile, unfortunately- we received 115 submissions for the 20-25 essays we were planning to use- yikes! That’s a lot of reading…
    Just liked your FB page, too! :)

    1. Thanks Stephanie! It’s been a little enlightening to realize how many things I haven’t done, some by choice, and some just because my husband’s “always done it.”

  5. Wow! This is AWESOME! You did tons of stuff. I’d love to say I’m joining you, but I don’t want to commit to anything. My plate feels teetering-over full. Too much pulling me everywhere. I’m really impressed with your list and with the idea. It’s one of those, “Why didn’t I think of this first” things. Though are for sure other concepts out there that are similar one-year projects things.

    1. Thanks Nina. The hardest part is coming up with ideas. And, embarrassingly, so many of my first are simple things, which is a little surprising to discover how little I do. But the BIG things are so daunting (and either expensive or life threatening:)). The road trip will give me lots of new opportunities, though.

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