30 before 30 (Part One)

2 Jul

I’ve been giving this list a lot of thought.

While I’m big into list making, unless it’s directly related to work, school or weekend errands, lately I’ve been awful about crossing things off or keeping up with them (hello, New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve only managed to stick with two of them).  You’d think that blogging about it for the world (or rather, the 150 people who read this each day) would make me more accountable, but alas, not so much.

However, I’m going to give it another try because these are goals that I’ve had swirling around in my head for the last six months or so, things that I’d like to do before I’m 30 for no particular reason other than to say that I did.

1. Read the Harry Potter Series. (Please don’t shoot me! I wasn’t into the fantasy/scifi genre when these came out, but I’m ready for them now).

2. Conquer my fear of heights which I believe will be in the form of sky diving, with  my brother, the weekend before my 30th birthday. A bit drastic but I hear it’s an amazing experience and I know if I summon my willpower I can do it.

3. Self-host my blog and grow it a little bit  more. I know, a tad bit vague but I’d like to ramp this up with either some more readers, giveaways, or a focused theme.

4. Go to Italy & France. Maybe at the same time, maybe not. There’s a good chance I wouldn’t come back from Italy in which case the rest of this list will go right out the window.

5. Donate my hair to Locks of Love. This means no more dying  my hair, letting it grow long, and then chopping it all of. I’ve cut off enough hair before (I used to have a long mane of hair) but it’s always had dye in it, so I’m doing one more dye job and then it will be au naturele for me.

6. Take French classes (again). I used to be nearly fluent in French. Then I graduated college and stopped speaking, reading, writing. I miss it. I want to be in a place where I dream in French (it used to happen to me all the time!).

7. Run a handful of 10ks. Half marathons and full marathons are out for me thanks to Doctor’s Orders, but a 10k or two, I’m allowed. I’d like to run my first one later this year if I can, and then maybe two or three a year after that.

8. Become a homeowner (after figuring out where I want to live, at least for the next five years).

9. Make at least ten cupcake recipes from my Martha Stewart Cupcake book. Sounds like it would be cake (no pun intended…really) but her recipes are incredibly intense and it takes about three to four hours just for the batter!

10. Vacation to Alaska. I have this odd desire to live in Alaska but before I do that, I think visiting would be a good start. I want a real experience, not the touristy kind so I’m thinking a vacation rental kind of situation.

I still have 20 more things to come up with; any suggestions for something I absolutely, positively must do before I’m 30? (I have three years and two months to go!)

To all my US based friends, have a lovely Fourth of July weekend! I’ll be back next week with an Ode to Jack (he turns six!), a giveaway, and weekend updates.


34 Responses to “30 before 30 (Part One)”

  1. Veronica July 2, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    I’ve always wanted to donate my hair to locks of love too! I looked into it once and per their official website:

    Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.

    Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. If unsure, ask your stylist. We are not able to accept bleached hair due to a chemical reaction that occurs during the manufacturing process. **If the hair was bleached years ago and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.

    Maybe you don’t have to wait as long if your hair is only dyed and not bleached.

  2. Kyla Roma July 2, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Oh my gosh, that you’re going to sky dive makes me feel like I’m going to faint just hearing about it! My take on my fear of heights is that doing something extremely uncomfortable is possible, but that it probably won’t make me more comfortable with heights in general lol That’s my excuse for just rolling with it, anyway.

    I think that your list is bang on, especially in terms of figuring out where you want to live so you can put down roots and get exploring your new city!

  3. jen July 2, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Those are all great! I never came up with a list before i turned 30, in fact the only thing i ever said about getting older was if i wasn’t married by the time i turned 35, i would become a nun. my aunt the nun was disappointed when i got married last year…

  4. Aimee July 2, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    I would love to do #6 as well. One of my undergrad degrees is in French, and I love France. (Hence, the name of my blog – I’d Rather Be in Paris.) I used to be fluent, but don’t have the opportunity to practice at all anymore. You live in the St. Louis area, right? If you happen to find a place for adults to take refresher courses, please post about it!

  5. Becky July 2, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    This list looks great so far! You will LOVE the Harry Potter series and you can probably knock that out this summer (they’re addictive). I’m also growing my hair out to donate it to locks of love so we can swap split end horror stories! :) Happy long weekend!

  6. mandy July 2, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    Awesome list Nora. I have an intense fear of heights as well and agree with Kyla, the though of sky diving makes me a bit queezy. I think you will really enjoy the Harry Potter series (and think you should add Gone With the Wind to the list!). =) I used to be able to read French pretty well but once I graduated I lost nearly all of it as well.

  7. Maddy July 2, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    My husband donated his hair to Locks of Love. HE was growing it out for a long time and he had beautiful, healthy hair, so he was the perfect candidate to donate! I love your list and I certainly think it’s doable, except for the skydiving that’s going a little bit far. Don’t you want to LIVE to see your 30’s?? ;)

  8. MASHley July 2, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    ash – please pack me in your suitcase whenever you go to italy and/or france! i love both of those places. especially italy. i really want some coffee and gelatto now :(

    great list though. don’t think i ever want to sky dive, but i’m not a huge fan of heights. even though i’ve gone on a thousand and one plane rides i still get a little bit anxious just doing that.

  9. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns July 2, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    You are wise to start thinking about your 30 before 30 list a couple of years before you turn 30! I need to re-visit mine soon and see how much I have accomplished – although, I know it isn’t much. Yikes. Time to get on the ball!

    I never thought I’d like the Harry Potter books as I am not really a Sci-Fi/make-believe world kind of person… Well, in 2004, I was in Europe on vacation with my best friend Brooke and I ran out of reading material. The only book in English in the train station that I hadn’t read was the first Harry Potter book, so I begrudgingly bought it… and got hooked! So much so that I bought the next book at the next train station, and kept reading them when I got back. Absolutely loved them!

    Oh, and I am so jealous of your French speaking skills… I bet the language will come back fast to you! I taught myself basic French with some CDs before my trip in 2008, but I only know the most basic phrases. However, I never asked a single question or spoke a word of English to people in France when I was there for 3 weeks – so I am proud of that. :) I didn’t understand most of what people were saying to me, but with I understood enough to get by (and hand signals helped when getting directions). :)

  10. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks July 2, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    The Race for the Cure (9/25) and Trick-or-Treat Trot (10/31) both offer 10K options … and both are in Chicago … just saying. =)

  11. Emily Jane July 2, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Loving your list!! And don’t worry, I’m still not caught up on Harry Potter either – I still have the last two to go. Which is a cardinal offense in my house :)

    D’s sister is donating her hair to Locks of Love, too – good for you, and I love that skydiving is on the list – I didn’t have enough room on my 26 but next year? Bring it!! :)

  12. Alesia July 2, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    I’m trying to come up with 50 before 50! (I have 14 — pathetic.) They range from big (run a 10K, wear a shirt tucked in) to small (make homemade mayonnaise, get a proper bra fitting). How about running a marathon? My brother ran the Boston Marathon on his 30th birthday.

  13. rachieannie July 2, 2010 at 10:26 am #


    But seriously, I do and we do. Anytime you want to make your way up north just let me know and I will definitely hook you up! I even happen to live in the biggest city in Alaska and it conveniently has an airport. I won’t even act like a cruise ship activities director. Promise.

    *not sure why I felt the need to use said exclamation. it just felt right so i went with it.

  14. Margarita July 2, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Going sky diving is one my dreams too!! Don’t worry about the cupcakes book; it’s not that hard – start with one-bowl chocolate cupcakes, red velvet, brown sugar pound cakes, vanilla, marble – the easy ones ;)

  15. Ashley July 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Really love this idea. I’ve been wanting to do a life list of sorts, but 101 in 1001 intimidates me. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the list!

  16. Erin July 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    I love your list! I always had intentions to do this myself, but with my 30th birthday just a few months a way (and a few weeks after I give birth), I think it will have to wait.

    Sooooo…there’s a house for sale across the street from me. I also own two hardcover sets of the Harry Potter books that you could easily borrow if you lived across the street from me. :)

  17. hannahkaty July 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    I would join you in a heartbeat over these cupcake ventures ha ha. Great list love, and awesome layout.. Pretty and New. So you.


    Hannah Katy

  18. OG July 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I will be more than happy to taste test your cupcakes, and no that is not a euphemism. I have been sky diving, but never been to Italy or France, definitely do it after school and before work so that you can spend more time there!

  19. Maddy July 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Fantastic list! I also created something similar — a 25 Before 25 list.

  20. Kim July 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    As an enthusiastic life-long Alaskan I whole heartedly support your desires to come here. And I’m a very enthusiastic tour guide…so will happily offer advice when you finally make it up. (Though I am moving to NC in less than a month…advice about my beloved home state is always available.) :-)

    I had also planned to read all of HP before I turned 30. Didn’t happen, I turned 30 just over a month ago. Now I’m wondering if I can pull it off before I start grad school in a month and a half?? :-)

    Good luck with your list!

  21. Nicole @ LaughOutLoud July 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    I LOVE this list! Awesome! J’adore francais, et je pense que nous devrions parler francais entre eux! AND I may have to copy this. That’s a great idea.

    When DO you turn 30?

  22. Elizabeth July 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    I think working on a list like this is a great idea! If you’re really looking for something outlandish, try being vegan for a month. I did that and felt great, but the cheese and butter lured me back in. =)

  23. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 2, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Oh you MUST read the Harry Potter series. I have read the entire series at least 3-4 times, some of the books 5+ times and it never gets old. The imagination of J.K. Rowling is unrivaled!

    I think your French will come back fast if you start practicing again. I’m jealous, even after 7 years of French I was nowhere near fluent!

  24. Amanda July 3, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    I love these first 10, and you’ve even given me some ideas for my next 101 ;)
    I’m right there with you…I had about 7 years before I moved to France, and by the time I came back I’d say I was functionally fluent. I always have issues with that characterization, because I think you get to a certain point where you realize how much you might know, but how much you still don’t know, you know? ;) But apparently living your life entirely in French 24/7 (other than giving directions to tourists, ha) means fluent for most people so I just acquiesce, haha.

    2 of the special investigators I work with speak French nearly fluently, so in a spurt of random we now speak to each other in French in the hallways! It’s so fun to hear a “ah, Amanda, ça va?” :)
    And I really want to go to Alaska. Let’s go!

  25. LiLu July 3, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go to Alaska! They have these cruises that leave from the NW coast… someday…

  26. Stephany July 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    I actually just did the Locks of Love thing, which is pretty impressive for me because I get so sick of my hair so easily that I always want to chop it all off! I cut about 11 inches off and, honestly, 10 inches isn’t as much as I thought it would be. Also, my hair has been dyed and was dyed for the LoL.

    Anyway, happy to hear you want to do it because it’s such a fun experience!

  27. Nicole July 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Love your list! I’d never be brave enough to go sky diving!!

  28. Megan July 6, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    I’d like to read the Harry Potter series soon, too.

    Um, take me to Italy when you go? :)

  29. Emily Jane July 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    GREAT list. Let me know when you get to book 7 as I still have to read that one too!

  30. ria July 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    i love this list. there is a lot on here i’d like to do before i turn 30. 2 years! eek! i wish i was fluent in a language. i took 3 semesters of french and could never quite pick it up.

  31. rebekah July 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m watching the Harry Potter movies this summer and only then reading the books. I’ve been told that this way i won’t be disappointed. We shall see!

  32. E.P. July 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    I seriously hope you love the Harry Potter books. It took me a few books to get into them, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last few. And am constantly listening to the last one on tape because, well, my fiance bought that. Yeah…

    Italy and France? Count me in! I’m always down for going back to Italia!

    And running again? Hooray! I want to talk with you about training, etc., since you’ve got a little more running experience than I do…

  33. Lauren July 12, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Sorry to comment on every post at once but I can never normally read blogs on a computer and am unable to comment from my phone. I’m going comment crazy!

    You MUST go skydiving. It is so much fun. I went when I was in New Zealand and it was a great experience. You seriously feel like you are flying!

    And yay for running! I’ve been keeping up with it pretty well which is surprising. I have the Twin Cities 10-miler coming up in October. I’ve run a half before without any training and don’t want to have to do that EVER again! Do you ever run without music? I never listen to music when I run (I can’t keep track of ipods to save my life) but I wonder if it really makes a big difference?

  34. Tabitha July 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    I’ve been slowly trying to catch up on / clear out Google Reader, so this comment is way overdue. :-P I just gotta say that #2? I totally want to do it, too! In fact, one of my 101 items is to do something death-defying, and I’m debating between sky diving and bungee jumping. And #7? Love it. I have been thinking about signing up for a 10K because I am starting to lose motivation/focus on this whole exercise-and-eat-right routine. Gah.

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