30 before 30

As you gathered from this post, it was recently my birthday. My 27th birthday, if you wanted to know. As a lot of people do on their birthdays, I started to think about some of the things I would like to accomplish. I think about my 1, 5, and 10 year “plans” pretty regularly. Of course various life events can easily throw those off, but I always figured it’s good to be working towards something. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to put pen to paper and write down a “30 before 30” list. Sort of like a bucket list for the next 3 years. Although some of these are big ticket items (like #7 and #1), most are just things I have wanted to try or that might be fun. I figure if I write them down and put them out into the universe then I am going to be more likely to pull them off.

You’ll notice that I haven’t listed house/DIY stuff here, like “Renovate the kitchen”. Let’s be honest, the “to do” list for our pad would take up all 30 spots and then some… I did write that list down too though, so look out for it on the blog sometime soon.

Here it is. My 30 before 30, in no particular order.

  1. Have a part-time business that provides a reasonable stream of part-time pay (etsy shop, blog, design work, etc).
  2. Go on an outside-of-Canada girls trip with my best gal pals. (done! went to Nicaragua in July 2012)
  3. Be part of a community design project in Ottawa (like an Ottawa version of Toronto’s bloggers give back).
  4. Learn to sew. Goal: complete one project (hello, new pillow cases).
  5. Throw a surprise party for someone.
  6. Do a personal yoga challenge – a class a day for 30 days.
  7. Have a baby!
  8. Cook through a cookbook.
  9. Go to a comedy festival.
  10. Add at least 3 projects to my design portfolio (official, paid, non-family/friend projects!).
  11. See the Grand Canyon.
  12. Go on a spa weekend.
  13. Sit on a Board of Directors for a not-for-profit organization.
  14. Take a pottery or painting class.
  15. Learn to make yoghurt (maybe I just need to buy a yoghurt maker?).
  16. Make a quilt or “granny square” crocheted blanket.
  17. Host a theme party.
  18. Be debt free (not mortgage debt, but international Master’s Degree debt…).
  19. Visit a Canadian Province/Territory that I haven’t been to (not yet visited: Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island).
  20. Give blood.
  21. Travel outside North America at least 3 times. (#1: Nicaragua,)
  22. Participate in the Ottawa Urban Craft Fair (and hopefully other craft fairs in the city).
  23. Do a video blog post.
  24. Re-read my notes from my 2008 photography class and take on a photo project.
  25. Go on a classic Canadian (or American) roadtrip.
  26. Walk on the Brooklyn Bridge.
  27. Improve my Spanish so that I can actually carry on a conversation. Si?
  28. Eat no processed foods for a month.
  29. Spend an entire morning in bed relaxing, reading and drinking tea.
  30. Make a list of the things I want to accomplish in my 30’s.

So, I have 1086 days to get these done. Or 26,064 hours. Or 1,563,840 minutes. However you want to think about it. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

  • http://www.madeinmorningside.blogspot.com Ashleigh

    You should come to the Edinburgh comedy festival that would tick off numbers 9 and 21. I am trying to get better at sewing as well and started with a cushion cover this weekend :-) xox

    • gemma

      Oooh that would be such a great way to tick those off!! Edinburgh has been on my list for quite some time!

      Happy sewing :)


  • http://www.moneypitlove.blogspot.com April @ Money Pit Love

    Hey, I think I can help with one of your bucket items! At least, I can hook you up with someone who can.

    Do you know Kelly, formerly of the blog Jax Does Design and now of DTTD (http://dttd-idc.blogspot.ca/0? She is heavily involved in philanthropic efforts with fellow bloggers and designers in the Ottawa area, and might be able to connect you with some projects either on the go currently or on the horizon.

    Between you and me, she’s also the absolute sweetest so drop her a line some time, if you’d like. And that would totally take care of #3!!!

    • gemma

      Thanks April!! I did actually meet Kelly for the first time a few months ago at BlogPodium in Toronto. I’ll definitely chat with her about this at some point!! Thanks for the tip :)


  • http://nadinethornhill.wordpress.com Nadine

    This is a great list! And now that number 30 is done, I’m sure the other 29 will be a snap. :-)

  • http://thebrickbungalow.blogspot.com Megan

    Thanks for sharing! I made a 40 before 40 because, at the time, I was 28 and I knew the items on my list would take some time. So, now that I’m 30, I have a good chunk done but 10 more years to keep working on the rest! Here’s my list: http://thebrickbungalow.blogspot.com/2010/11/40-before-40.html

    BTW, found your blog via your bathroom reno post on Young House Love. Gret job!

    • gemma

      Nice, Megan!! I love the “become really familiar with my sewing machine”.. haha sounds like something I definitely need to get on, too! Thanks for popping by :)


  • http://ourlifeindesign.blogspot.com Kala M.

    Hi Gemma,

    I found your blog on Young House Love, where they shared your Reader Re-design of you bathroom. So awesome. As I was reading through your blog I found this post about your 30 before 30 and think I’m going to have to write a similar post. September 25th is my 27th birthday and I’ve started thinking about the whole what do I want to do before I’m 30. Swing by my blog and you will probably see my 30 before 30 list in the next several days.

    • gemma

      Thanks Kala! Definitely do it. It’s such a good way to put down on paper what you want to accomplish, and make sure you stick to it! Will definitely pop by your blog to check it out! Thanks for popping by :)


  • http://love2decorate.blogspot.com Love2decorate

    Hi Gemma,

    Your list reminded me of some things I wanted to do for a long time. May be I need to write up a list and read it every so often. I can probably help with “15.Learn to make yoghurt”. Buy some greek yogurt. Warm milk enough so you dont burn when you stick your finger in it. Beat 1-2 tbsp yogurt in a small bowl with a fork (so you are not dropping a lump of yogurt into milk) and mix into milk. If you live in cooler weather, turn on the oven to broil for 30 seconds – 1 min. Turn off the oven and place the bowl of milk in the oven and leave overnight. Depending on the amount of yogurt mixed and the temerature around (though high temperature won’t help), your yogurt will be done in as early as 4 hours to as long as overnight. The longer it sits outside, the tangy it becomes. Once the milk looks like it is set, keep it in the fridge so it firms up even more.

    Finally, if it doesn’t look too perfect the first time, keep trying. I am from a family that makes fresh yogurt everyday, sometimes twice a day, fresh for each meal. Trust me it is an easy process. You just have to get the hang of it.

    If you happen to come to California as part of #21, you can stay at our place. No boarding expense and close to Disneyland might please you.

    Good Luck.

    • gemma

      Wow — thanks for those yoghurt making instructions!! I am definitely going to have to get going on that “30 under 30” item sooner rather than later. I definitely want to make fresh stuff everyday like you do – sounds so yummy!! I’ll let you know how it turns out :)