A year of firsts for Riverside couple - 365 of them to be exact

News Jan 11, 2013 by Joanna Lavoie Scarborough Mirror

It’s been an unforgettable year of firsts for Riverside residents Laura Mendes and John Loerchner.

The creators of the 365 Things in 365 Days (www.365thingsin365days.com) challenge, the local couple (owners of Labspace Studio, a creative advertising agency and art house) have devoted the past year to new experiences.

Their amazing adventure, which officially began Jan. 14, 2012, is set to come to a close on Jan. 13, 2013.

In a recent interview, Mendes said what was intended to be a personal journey of growth and new experiences actually resulted in bringing the recently engaged couple closer to their family and friends who helped them accomplish several of their more whimsical to-dos.

“I think what we realized about the project is that it became about other people. We spent a lot of time with family and friends,” she said, pointing to Loerchner’s mother, who taught them how to bake pies from scratch and make butter, and his brother, who works on a dairy farm and showed them how to milk a cow.

“All of these new experiences also helped us grow closer and learn together,” said Mendes, adding even the ones that didn’t turn out so well, like making deep fried pickles, homemade yogurt and sleeping in a hammock, were still fun to try out.

The couple’s attempt to canoe from the Don River to the Toronto Islands was also a bust due to poor weather conditions as was Challenge #246 - learning to weave a basket.

Mendes called learning to scuba dive a “very scary” experience but one that was well worth it as they were able to use their newly acquired skills to deep sea dive in the second largest coral reef in the Central American nation of Belize this past year.

“That was incredible. It was just absolutely beautiful,” she reminisced.

Despite the not-so-successful challenges, Mendes said they’ll look back fondly on several others, notably going caving (in Belize), running a river together (Saugeen River in Bruce County), having a group spaghetti fight, hiking above 10,000 feet (in Machu Picchu, Peru), lighting a match with their teeth, and making a tree swing.

Overall, she said the 365 Things in 365 Days art project/challenge/experiment wasn’t about succeeding at challenges but learning from them.

“What we really realized is that you don’t have to succeed at everything. Every to-do was an experience and we learned that risk-taking is really important in our lives,” Mendes said.

“We learned it’s OK to fail because it’s all about the experience. I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. The 365 Things challenge might not be for everyone but we’re hoping it will inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and take risks.”

And while Mendes and Loerchner intend to approach 2013 with the same level of ambition, they’ll be taking a little break to focus their efforts on planning their upcoming wedding, which is set for the fall.

“As a couple, if we can accomplish 365 crazy things together we can accomplish anything,” she smiled.

“It’s been a super-amazing bonding experience for us and we really appreciate all of the support of our family and friends to help us check off the to-dos.”

A year of firsts for Riverside couple - 365 of them to be exact

Laura Mendes and John Loerchner challenge themselves to experience new things

News Jan 11, 2013 by Joanna Lavoie Scarborough Mirror

It’s been an unforgettable year of firsts for Riverside residents Laura Mendes and John Loerchner.

The creators of the 365 Things in 365 Days (www.365thingsin365days.com) challenge, the local couple (owners of Labspace Studio, a creative advertising agency and art house) have devoted the past year to new experiences.

Their amazing adventure, which officially began Jan. 14, 2012, is set to come to a close on Jan. 13, 2013.

In a recent interview, Mendes said what was intended to be a personal journey of growth and new experiences actually resulted in bringing the recently engaged couple closer to their family and friends who helped them accomplish several of their more whimsical to-dos.

“I think what we realized about the project is that it became about other people. We spent a lot of time with family and friends,” she said, pointing to Loerchner’s mother, who taught them how to bake pies from scratch and make butter, and his brother, who works on a dairy farm and showed them how to milk a cow.

“All of these new experiences also helped us grow closer and learn together,” said Mendes, adding even the ones that didn’t turn out so well, like making deep fried pickles, homemade yogurt and sleeping in a hammock, were still fun to try out.

The couple’s attempt to canoe from the Don River to the Toronto Islands was also a bust due to poor weather conditions as was Challenge #246 - learning to weave a basket.

Mendes called learning to scuba dive a “very scary” experience but one that was well worth it as they were able to use their newly acquired skills to deep sea dive in the second largest coral reef in the Central American nation of Belize this past year.

“That was incredible. It was just absolutely beautiful,” she reminisced.

Despite the not-so-successful challenges, Mendes said they’ll look back fondly on several others, notably going caving (in Belize), running a river together (Saugeen River in Bruce County), having a group spaghetti fight, hiking above 10,000 feet (in Machu Picchu, Peru), lighting a match with their teeth, and making a tree swing.

Overall, she said the 365 Things in 365 Days art project/challenge/experiment wasn’t about succeeding at challenges but learning from them.

“What we really realized is that you don’t have to succeed at everything. Every to-do was an experience and we learned that risk-taking is really important in our lives,” Mendes said.

“We learned it’s OK to fail because it’s all about the experience. I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. The 365 Things challenge might not be for everyone but we’re hoping it will inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and take risks.”

And while Mendes and Loerchner intend to approach 2013 with the same level of ambition, they’ll be taking a little break to focus their efforts on planning their upcoming wedding, which is set for the fall.

“As a couple, if we can accomplish 365 crazy things together we can accomplish anything,” she smiled.

“It’s been a super-amazing bonding experience for us and we really appreciate all of the support of our family and friends to help us check off the to-dos.”

A year of firsts for Riverside couple - 365 of them to be exact

Laura Mendes and John Loerchner challenge themselves to experience new things

News Jan 11, 2013 by Joanna Lavoie Scarborough Mirror

It’s been an unforgettable year of firsts for Riverside residents Laura Mendes and John Loerchner.

The creators of the 365 Things in 365 Days (www.365thingsin365days.com) challenge, the local couple (owners of Labspace Studio, a creative advertising agency and art house) have devoted the past year to new experiences.

Their amazing adventure, which officially began Jan. 14, 2012, is set to come to a close on Jan. 13, 2013.

In a recent interview, Mendes said what was intended to be a personal journey of growth and new experiences actually resulted in bringing the recently engaged couple closer to their family and friends who helped them accomplish several of their more whimsical to-dos.

“I think what we realized about the project is that it became about other people. We spent a lot of time with family and friends,” she said, pointing to Loerchner’s mother, who taught them how to bake pies from scratch and make butter, and his brother, who works on a dairy farm and showed them how to milk a cow.

“All of these new experiences also helped us grow closer and learn together,” said Mendes, adding even the ones that didn’t turn out so well, like making deep fried pickles, homemade yogurt and sleeping in a hammock, were still fun to try out.

The couple’s attempt to canoe from the Don River to the Toronto Islands was also a bust due to poor weather conditions as was Challenge #246 - learning to weave a basket.

Mendes called learning to scuba dive a “very scary” experience but one that was well worth it as they were able to use their newly acquired skills to deep sea dive in the second largest coral reef in the Central American nation of Belize this past year.

“That was incredible. It was just absolutely beautiful,” she reminisced.

Despite the not-so-successful challenges, Mendes said they’ll look back fondly on several others, notably going caving (in Belize), running a river together (Saugeen River in Bruce County), having a group spaghetti fight, hiking above 10,000 feet (in Machu Picchu, Peru), lighting a match with their teeth, and making a tree swing.

Overall, she said the 365 Things in 365 Days art project/challenge/experiment wasn’t about succeeding at challenges but learning from them.

“What we really realized is that you don’t have to succeed at everything. Every to-do was an experience and we learned that risk-taking is really important in our lives,” Mendes said.

“We learned it’s OK to fail because it’s all about the experience. I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. The 365 Things challenge might not be for everyone but we’re hoping it will inspire people to get out of their comfort zone and take risks.”

And while Mendes and Loerchner intend to approach 2013 with the same level of ambition, they’ll be taking a little break to focus their efforts on planning their upcoming wedding, which is set for the fall.

“As a couple, if we can accomplish 365 crazy things together we can accomplish anything,” she smiled.

“It’s been a super-amazing bonding experience for us and we really appreciate all of the support of our family and friends to help us check off the to-dos.”