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
    Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d
    July 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I recently learned how to make a paper crane. I started with a larger size and perfected the folding, so I started making 1 inch suqares of paper to make mini cranes. Too cute! I’ll show pictures on my blog soon. Make sure you use thin enough paper, too. Anything thicker than average printer paper won’t work… Good luck!

  • Reply
    Elena @ Breakfast for Dinner
    July 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Great list! How did you come up with it all? I just turned 29 and would love to make my own! My #1 is to see Italy, and we’re booking that for the Spring, so I couldn’t be more thrilled!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    The easiest toddler dress is a reversible sleeveless one pattern piece dress from Simplicity. I made some for my daughter 28 years ago. It is Simplicity 8537. I found it again at You can do it in about two hours or less. skip the matching pants. You don’t have to do All the work yourself on your list. You could trade something in your inventory for a person to help you clean out the basement. I’ll bet someone could show you how to make a crane at an Asian restaurant near you. It is not very hard. Start singing and video it for us so we can see you.
    I’ll be 65 (time does fly, I still remember the 60’s very well) in 16 months. I don’t think I could do 65 different things. Maybe 15? I’ve already done so many things, most of what I have left to do is clean up.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Here is an idea for #8:

    Super cute and super easy. Good luck with your list.

  • Reply
    Heather Espana
    July 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Such a great list!
    I might be able to help you with #19 :-). I always get people asking if I can help them learn to shoot in manual, and I did a little blog post on the subject a while back. You’re welcome to read and use it if it helps you. And you can always email me with questions! :)

    Here is the post:

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I would suggest getting a blurb book instead of printing pictures into photo albums. I did it with our wedding and vacation photos and left the books on the coffee table and we (and our visitors) actually look at them.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Wow!!! I just turned 29 and turning 30 was not making me very… excited!!! But with a list like that I might change my mind! Thanks for the idea!

  • Reply
    bienvenidos « The Thing with Tomatoes
    August 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    […] goals, and cross them out as I get to them.  The idea was inspired by a host of things, among them this post from Nicole at Making It Lovely, one of my favorite home/design […]

  • Reply
    August 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    23. Make a video montage of Eleanor’s first year:

    use animoto (.com?) it’s very easy and makes wonderful video montages. made one for hubby for father’s day and he adores it.

    :O) Christina

  • Reply
    August 2, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking about trim …. a lot…
    What color would you paint your trim? And does that go for crown moulding as well? In search of the perfect trim color.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Origami cranes are so easy! Good luck with them, I’ve seen them used in decorating in a cute way (hung on a string).
    My birthday is also 9/22! Best wishes with your goals birthday buddy :)

  • Reply
    August 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    i’m thinking of having my own 30 before thirty list too..! yeay

  • Reply
    Kerry G.
    August 4, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I started making Pad Thai about 2 years ago…here’s a recipe I adapted.

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Eleanor’s Pillowcase Dress
    August 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    […] checked another item off my 30 Before Thirty list last night! #8: Sew a dress for Eleanor. I made a pillowcase dress, following Jaime’s […]

  • Reply
    30 things before I turn 30 |
    August 6, 2010 at 6:55 am

    […] reading Nicole at Making It Lovely‘s blog post about 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30, I was inspired to do it for […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Eleanor’s First Year (Video Montage)
    August 16, 2010 at 9:10 am

    […] finally finished the video I wanted to make, so that’s another item crossed off the 30 Before Thirty list. I’ve also had prints made of my many, many photographs to be put in albums, so that […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » The Farnsworth House
    August 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    […] 18 on my 30 Before Thirty list: done. Visit The Farnsworth House by Mies van der […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Making Room for Baby
    August 19, 2010 at 11:07 am

    […] all of this puts greater urgency on #9 of my 30 Before Thirty list: Clean out the basement. All of this shuffling of space hinges on getting it ready, and I am […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Paper Crane
    August 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

    […] checked another one off my 30 Before Thirty list today; I made a paper crane while Eleanor took her morning […]

  • Reply
    August 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    You have inspired yet another 30 before 30 list! Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration! Yours was the first 30 before 30 I’ve ever heard of – I’ve now created and published my own at Thank you! Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Black Spindle Back Chairs
    August 31, 2010 at 8:50 am

    […] going to paint the wood trim white (it’s on my 30 Before Thirty list), and I’d like to paint the ceiling too. The wallpaper is staying (I’m going to […]

  • Reply
    September 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Today is my 29th birthday. You’ve inspired me to create a list, too! I hope you’re able to accomplish everything you set out to do in these last few weeks. :)

  • Reply
    September 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    You have just over a week left! Great progress! I’m hoping my 2010 New Year’s Resolutions list looks as crossed-off as this!

  • Reply
    30 before 30: Rachel’s List » Starfish and Coffee
    September 14, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    […] inspired by a blog post I came across the other day, in which the author set out to do 30 things before she turned 30, so […]

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » The Modern Wing of the Art Institute
    September 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    […] checked another one off of my 30 Before Thirty list yesterday: Visit The Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago. Inspired by the great works […]

  • Reply
    25 Before 25 | My Crafty Condition
    September 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    […] People have bucket lists of things they would like to do before they die, but that seems like such a long time away. So I’m doing something a little different, along the lines of Making It Lovely’s 30 before thirty. […]

  • Reply
    September 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    What a great idea! You’ve inspired me to create a similar list. Thanks Nicole!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2010 at 7:26 am

    hi,im turning 30 tomorrow too..just like from mauritius..happy birthday :)

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Pretty, but with Meaning
    September 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

    […] after having attended the Mighty Summit. We focused on our life lists, which is much like my 30 Before Thirty list but bigger. Grander. I have lofty goals and dreams, and I look forward to sharing them with […]

  • Reply
    September 21, 2010 at 11:49 am

    happy 30th birthday eve!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Happy Birthday (im a day ahead in NZ so it is really still your birthday)
    OMG you only have five left, One house project(the trim) the other four are all work related. Well done. I can imagine the basement as a great space thought I know you have limited funds. Maybe one approach is to think about the layout of the room where will you be looking at most while you work and make that really nice and finished. Refinish one wall at a time for example as you can afford it starting with the wall your desk or work space faced. I have carried a pair of enormous ( big enough to cover a wall) 1960’s heavy shot gold and tangerine curtins from house to house for many years and I have hung them to hide many and eye sore area. May be some inexpensive curtins on walls you can’t get to yet. Cant wait to see what you come up with.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Mellor
    September 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Happy 30th Birthday Nicole! Isn’t it weird that I don’t even know you, but have been thinking about the fact that it’s your birthday all morning – have been following your blog for a couple of months now – it’s really inspiring! Well done for achieving so many of the things on your list! Hope you have a lovely day! Rebecca

  • Reply
    Tessasaurus » 30 before Thirty
    September 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    […] first got the idea to do a “30 before Thirty” from Nicole Balch the author of one of my favorite blogs.  It’s sort of like a bucket list, but I have to […]

  • Reply
    September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Happy Birthday! If you start your “40 Before 40” list now, think of all the time you’ll have to complete it! :)

  • Reply
    September 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Happy Birthday!! : )

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Revisiting the 30 Before Thirty List
    September 23, 2010 at 11:47 am

    […] best years yet! So now that my birthday has come and gone, it’s time to see how I did with my 30 Before Thirty […]

  • Reply
    The Line Diet or Steve Ward Diet or Easiest Diet Ever… | Fitch Family Fun
    September 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

    […] on September 24, 2010 by divaskychick The Line Diet Nicole at Make it Lovely has this great 30 Before 30 list that I’m way too old to join in on but I did crib a fantastic idea she cribbed from the […]

  • Reply
    October 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    This is wonderful! It made me smile! I’m 29, I should do something like this too. Inspiring…

  • Reply
    October: What You May Have Missed « Covet Living
    November 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    […] below (which I logged into my inspiration folder stat) – is also the genius author of the 30 Before 30 List…  a list of 30 goals she set for herself, and then worked diligently to hit in the […]

  • Reply
    Goals list for 2011 | Creatively thinking
    November 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

    […] I’m babbling about that because Nicole Balch’s article “30 before thirthy ” , gave me an idea. I will put my goals list in the blog and cross them off as I achieved […]

  • Reply
    » The Empty Basement Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so.
    November 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    […] just over a month late, but we finished another item on my Thirty Before 30 list. #9: Clean out the basement. (It’s getting scary down […]

  • Reply
    one year older, one year smarter « The Prettiest Teacup
    November 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    […] by Nicole over at Making it Lovely, I wrote down some things I would like to accomplish this upcoming year before I turn thirty. Here […]

  • Reply
    Fall 2010 « pleasant and home
    November 28, 2010 at 11:29 am

    […] Turned 29. Only relevant because I’m working on a 30 Before 30 list and really need to finish it or I’m never going to be able to get everything […]

  • Reply
    December 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I love your list! I’m currently working on my 30 before 30 list (I turn 30 Jan. 4, 2012). I used one of your ideas – to organize all of the photos I have printed. So needs to be done!

  • Reply
    30 before 30 | theology&geometry
    December 22, 2010 at 11:45 am

    […] dinking around online a while back, I saw a 30-before-30 list at Making It Lovely?. It got me to thinkin’ about how I’ve got a smidge more than a year before I hit the […]

  • Reply
    21 before June 21st | UlvDesign
    January 7, 2011 at 1:33 am

    […] autumn I got inspired by Nicole at Making it Lovely and decided to make a list of challenges for myself, and I’m surprised at how well I did. It […]

  • Reply
    The Steve Ward aka The Line Diet « Dear Johnny…
    January 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    […] through my bookmarks, I came across Nicole of Making it Lovely and her 30 Before Thirty list, which by the way she successfully completed! One of her goals, with probably the rest of the […]

  • Reply
    On Persistence | Making it Lovely
    January 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    […] mentioned it a few times before (learning to use my camera in manual mode was on my 30 Before Thirty list), and it’s something that I’m going working on. I can take a decent photo, and […]

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jess and the Elm City
    January 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I just made my own list and mentioned you on my site! Thanks, Nicole! Quite inspirational :)

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