Lists My Life

30 Before Thirty

I will turn thirty on September 22, 2010.

That gives me a little more than six months to do all of the things on this list…

  1. Visit the Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago. (Done!)

  2. Dye my hair red. (Done!)

  3. Finish redesigning my Smart & Lovely portfolio.

  4. Launch my design service.

  5. Stop drinking soda. (Done!)

  6. Lose 20 pounds. (Not drinking soda should help.) (Done!)

  7. Repaint my office. (Done!)

  8. Sew a dress for Eleanor. (Done!)

  9. Clean out the basement. (It’s getting scary down there.) (Late, but done!)

  10. Donate some of our books to the library. (Done!)

  11. Cook Pad Thai from scratch.

  12. Organize the catch-all closet in my office. (Done!)

  13. Get good at applying liquid eyeliner. (Done!)

  14. Print the bajillion photos I have stored on my computer and put them in albums. (Done!)

  15. Alphabetize our CDs and finish putting them into sleeves. (Done!)

  16. Landscape the front of the house. (Done!)

  17. Make an origami paper crane. (Done!)

  18. Visit the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. (Done!)

  19. Learn how to use my camera in manual mode. (Done!)

  20. Find my perfect shade of lipstick. (Done!)

  21. Decide for good whether I want a tattoo or not. (Done!)

  22. Pay off my credit card. (Done!)

  23. Make a video montage of Eleanor’s first year. (Done!)

  24. Have a date night with Brandon at least twice a month. (Done!)

  25. Grow tomatoes. (Done!)

  26. Have an adorable family photo taken. (Done!)

  27. Sing along perfectly to “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”. (Done!)

  28. Take Eleanor to the Shedd Aquarium. (Done!)

  29. Reduce (or eliminate) my reliance on paper towels. (Done!)

  30. Paint all of the trim in our house.

(I’m crossing them off the list as I complete them.)

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  • Reply
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    March 4, 2010 at 8:59 am

    […] did it! One item from my 30 Before Thirty list down, 29 to […]

  • Reply
    March 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I turn 30 this September too! This totally inspires me to make a “30 before 30” list! Awesome!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    We share the same birthday, Nicole! I’m just one year younger, so this coming september will be 29 for me. I think your to-do list before 30 is a great idea, and I must remember to create one for the last year of my 20’s.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2010 at 2:17 am

    I see you’ve already got a recipe in mind (from the venerable AB, one of my faves), but if you’re interested I have a killer (and so far, foolproof!) pad thai recipe that I’d be glad to share with you. It’s not hard to do, but you MUST, MUST, MUST have good mise en place, and a big nonstick skillet. Pad thai ingredients lists tend to be pretty long too, but luckily it works great as refrigerator velcro.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

    You can do it!

  • Reply
    35 before 35 « The Higher Nest
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    […] March 5, 2010 at 11:23 am (Craig, Lou, The Higher Nest, WeFo) Nicole’s post over at Making it Lovely inspired me to create this list. I’ve never made one before. I […]

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    […] *really* wish I had created a list of 30 things to do before turning 30 like this from Making it Lovely or this from Oh Happy Day! (two of my fav blogs by the way).  I’m not going to give myself […]

  • Reply
    March 6, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I’m right there with you sister…well, soon enough, I’ll be 30 in June of next year. I think I need a list now! Hmmm…where to begin? Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Love the list, I need to touch mine up some. I’m in the middle of 3 hour drive back from Chicago to Indianapolis in a driving rain storm, my husband is driving and I’m surfing my favorite blogs (yours is one of tops). We where in Chicago for the weekend for a little fun and to visit our son at SAIC, he is lucky enough to be in his junior year at this amazing school. I noticed that one of your before “30” list is to tour the new Modern Wing at the school. They are so proud of it staff and student, if you would like a personnal tour please let me know he would be so happy to show it off to someone who truely gets ART. I’m the only one in the family who wants to see it for the 90th time and still loves it. Marie

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Great list! I can help with a couple of items – a couple of years ago I was watching Martha Stewart, she was featuring how her daughter Alexis changed the way she did a couple of things at home in order to go “green” – she used cloth towels instead of paper and simply kept a basket in the kitchen to collect all the dirty ones and then do laundry. I decided to do this as well, I buy the cheap washcloths at the store, usually 10 for $2 or so, and I use them for everything from cleaning, drying, washing – even as napkins (for myself, not company). It has worked out well – not completely off of paper towels but using way less than I used to. As for the liquid eyeliner, I always loved it but didn’t think I could do it, specially on my rush out the door for work. One day I decided to see if somebody had posted a video to youtube about it and that’s when I discovered Make Up by Tiffany – she does a great job at explaining and I’ve been able to do it without a mess ever since. Revlon is the way to go, and Walgreens always has a sale of buy one get two. Good luck on your list!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Great list! You and I share the same birthday, although I’ll be 36 this year… 30 seems like a lifetime away :)

  • Reply
    March 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    To get out of the habit of using so many paper towels, I started by limiting how many rolls we could use monthly. By telling myself that we would only use one roll a month (if they run out before the month is over, tough luck!), I’ve found myself reaching for other options than the paper towel first.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Great List! Here’s an even better idea for the photos though… make digital scrapbooks!

    My absolute favorite in both style options, layout and book quality is shutterfly. They are hands down the best. Also they let you store unlimited high quality pictures for free.

    I’ve ordered over 10 and they are seriously amazing. Also just and FYI they do a 20 – 30% off sales several times a year.

    Cheers and good luck!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Hey we have the exact same birthday…year and all. How funny!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I came across you blog, I love it! It’s crazy as we share the same birthday and first name… But you blog is so inspiring and I have decided to start my own list of 26!
    Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    great list! it inspired me to make my own!

  • Reply
    Katie Stephenson
    March 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    This is one of the best lists I’ve ever seen. I’ve also tried to really reduce paper towels and I use the really cute 50cent white towels at Ikea with the red stripes. They wash really well and I have drawers full of them. I also want to let you know that my husband and I do date nights at home sometimes. After baby goes down, one of us goes for the dinner, we sit and eat in front of the fire and play games, etc. It’s fun if you can’t get a sitter often. We usually get a sitter once per month or so. Just an idea. Excited to see you checking these things off of your list.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Here’s an opportunity to knock off #1 and #17 at the same time!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I can do #27. And my hint from this side: it’s all about putting the breathing in the right place. :)

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    April 19, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Just found your blog – it is lovely indeed!
    Here is a fantastic step-by-step recipe for truly authentic, delicious Pad Thai – I’ve made it several times this way and it is as great as you would find in good Thai restaurants. It’s a bit or work – mostly prep – but totally worth it!

    Love the hair, btw!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Shedd Aquarium
    May 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    […] 28 on my 30 Before Thirty list: done. And we had a lovely day! Life, Parenthood | Related […]

  • Reply
    May 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    What a super list! I turn 29 on Friday – I think this may call for a 30 before 30 list of my own…

  • Reply
    May 3, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Love the list! I think it is a great idea to put some challenges out there for yourself & maybe I’ll give this a shot.

    For #14 I recently started getting my photos done into books. I really loved the photo books by Picaboo & by Pixable. These would make it a lot easier to get this crossed off your list.

    #22 is an incredible goal! Hubby and I just paid our CC’s off and it feels awesome.

    Good luck with finishing these!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I am a list maker/lover so it was great to see what you had on yours. I had the same struggle with getting a tattoo too and then I decided that if I couldn’t decide then that was my answer because something like that needs to be ALL or nothing and I was always wandering around in the middle. I’m 47 now and very content to have an un-inked body.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    So, now that you have perfected your liquid eyeliner technique, any tips on how I can do the same? I just switched over from pencil and I’m having the toughest time with it! :p

  • Reply
    May 11, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Oh I’m turning 30 a few days after you, on the 25th Sept! I have a massive list though – I think it will be an achievement to get it down to 30 items! I’m going to start a note thread on Facebook about this – hope you don’t mind me borrowing the idea . . . ?

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    June 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    First, my thirties were my best!

    Second, regarding #19, this book from the magazine Arizona Highways is a great resource for using your DSLR:

    They have photography workshops that are fabulous and this books acts as a companion.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Where is “learn how to swim”? Maybe you can put that on your 40 Before Forty list. You totally need that Anthropologie swimsuit, and so do I!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    We have the same birthday! Good luck with your list; you’re an inspiration.

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    […] item has been crossed off of my 30 Before Thirty list! Number 26: Have an adorable family photo […]

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    July 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    You’ve got a ways to go!!! Get busy!!!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2010 at 3:02 am

    I love your list and am hijacking it. Probably won’t be able to finish it, but trying should be fun.


  • Reply
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  • Reply
    July 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    wow, what a cool idea. i’m 30 in a month, so i would need to do 30 things in 30 days!

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  • Reply
    July 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I have a Pad Thai recipe… very very good. From a recipe book called “reBar” – famous now all over but located near me on little Vancouver Island. If you like to experiment with yummy food that’s a little different… try this book :)

    loving your 30 before 30 posts. Very inspiring :)

    (copy and paste link?)

  • Reply
    July 22, 2010 at 10:44 am

    oh, come on, get on youtube and make that paper crane already! :)

  • Reply
    July 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I need to do #22, #11 sounds delicious. Great list!

  • Reply
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