Guest Post: Alli of 100 Messages

by Ashley on July 26, 2011

I’ve asked a few friends and fellow-bloggers to guest post while I am getting acquainted with Hudson–though I know I’ll enjoy sharing updates and photos from time to time. Alli is expecting her first child and we’ve been comparing notes at work and over dinners; I love her unique way of  capturing this time on 100 Messages and was happy she agreed to share the idea here…

100 Messages in 100 Tiny Bottles is my attempt to write one hundred messages to our unborn child before he enters the world this November. My original idea was actually to create a visual/poetic art project for the baby where I wrote one hundred messages on little parchment scrolls, placed them in little bottles, and exhibited the bottles in a wooden display case like this one:

I still would like to accomplish this. But my idea quickly morphed into a tumblr blog since I realized I only had about 5 months in which to write that many messages. I decided to get on the ball right away, and 100 Messages was born!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I wanted to document this remarkable event through words. I began writing poetry, and thought I’d write a poem for each week. That became too much to handle with my job, baby planning, and the great fatigue of the 1st trimester working against me. I decided to “downsize,” so to speak. That’s when I discovered that writing small messages was a great way to utilize the creative energy I needed to expend.

I usually compose the messages when I’m commuting to work in the morning. The ten minute walk and thirty minute subway ride provide lots of time for me to ruminate and people watch—two things I find help me produce meaningful little messages. The mornings are also the time during which I find the most clarity. I jot down four or five, sometimes six, at once and filter out the better ones throughout the day. The messages post twice or three times a day, and they usually reflect whatever energy, emotion, or spark I’m currently feeling. My intention is that my son will read them one day and reread them throughout his life, gleaning different meanings from the messages as each year passes. Of course, I hope my other readers gain something from them too. Some of the messages are silly, some are straightforward, and some are more abstract, like little poems. Sometimes I post photos (usually ones taken by my husband) or videos. Ideally, each message should fit into whichever compartment—or bottle—of your life you need them for. You can follow along at or find me on Twitter @100messages.

I like to think that I am gathering the little lessons I want my son to learn, before the actual whirlwind of raising him begins. And the fact that I’m growing this collection of messages as I’m growing him seems somehow invaluable. Sort of magical. Sort of a pure snapshot of this exact time in our lives. I can’t wait to share them with him.

Have you experienced a surge in creativity since you found out you were having a child? How are you expressing that? And…can anyone tell me where to find tiny bottles to put these messages in?

[photo above by Edward Brydon]


Susan Lee July 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

A friend recommended this site back when I was in wedding planning mode. I never used it, but she had a great experience with them. They’ve got lots of different shaped bottles. Many are pretty cheap.

Al July 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

What a great idea!! I love it. Congratulations!

HeatherK July 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Oriental Trading Company has 12 bottles for $13.

This is such a sweet idea.

ashley July 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

i love this idea! the messages you’ve written are beautiful. a spin off of this could be an alphabet book with messages for each letter. i’m due in Nov as well, this could be a new project for me!

Jill July 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I cannot get over how sweet this is! I love it to pieces!

eileen(mom) July 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm

This idea is incredibly creative and special , just like you. It’s a reminder of how I always learn from you. Bravo!!

jenny July 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

This looks just like the wooden display case from my grandmother’s kitchen. Brilliant idea and I love the messages. xoxo. September 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Howdy! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
If you have any suggestions, please share.

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