Tuesday, February 7, 2012

30 by 30

Today is my birthday. I am 29 years old. For the last month I have been realizing that there is a list of things I’ve been meaning to get done and it seemed like a good idea to write them down. So here it is, friends. Thirty things to do by thirty. I’ve got a year to get it done.

I’ve organized it into categories, and I’ll blog about things as I accomplish them. Have you ever made a list like this? What do you think of mine? And do you have any book recommendations?

Culinary Projects
Make sausage. Probably turkey breakfast sausage.
Dinner Party 1: gussied up American food. I have a menu in my head that starts with buffalo brussels sprouts and ends with a giant hostess cupcake.
Dinner Party 2: food and wine pairings. Roasted lamb and a big fat red. Oysters and champagne. The classics.
Make croissants. Danish and croissant were both on one day at school and I ended up making danish... and I’ve been making them ever since. I’d like to try croissants, too.
Brew some gingerbeer.
Make duck prosciutto. There’s a wet-cure recipe from Bon Appetit that looks like something I can handle.

Take the CCP exam (and, you know, hopefully pass)
Read "On Food and Cooking." All the way through
Teach a cooking class.

Personal Projects
Go back to Europe. Kind of a cheat, since I’ve got a trip to Paris planned (with my mom and my sister!) in April.
Complete Project 365. I made it to 270 or something last time, but then I got distracted/married.
Learn to use my camera's manual setting
Find a way to sell or give my wedding dress to someone who needs one. I don’t know how, but I don’t need it anymore.
Watch the Godfather trilogy. Because I’ve never seen it.
Clean up my google reader and delete the dead blogs or the ones I don't read anymore
Read 30 books. Looking for suggestions. What’s your favorite read?
Purge cookbook collection. The ones I don't use are getting donated. It's time to curate instead of collect.
Figure out what to do with the 401(k) I left at my old job almost two years ago. Roll it over into something? I don’t know.
Put together a wedding album. You know, from our wedding a year and a half ago. That we already paid for. Heh.

House Stuff
Get not-ugly hampers for the bedroom so I can take the ugly ones out of the guest room.
Clean out under the guest bed and throw away some crap.
Clean out the giant black trunk in the basement and throw away some crap.
Move DVDs to sleeve books and chuck the cases to make space on book shelves.
Make the switch to using homemade, more natural cleaning supplies
Figure out if my sewing machine is broken or not, and if it is, fix it.
Once sewing machine is fixed, make curtains for the living room.

Fitnessy Type Things
Find a yoga studio I like. There are 2 or 3 within a ten minute walk of my house. Surely one of them will be a fit.
Do two chin-ups in a row. Right now I can do 3/4 of a chin-up, but that's it.
Run a 10k in under an hour. Last year I did it in 1:03 and change, but it was 85 degrees that day. I can do better.


  1. I have loads of book ideas- I love Margaret Atwood, The Hunger Games Trilogy is very popular right now, and you'll be 10% done!
    And the 10k- yes, awesome, you can totally do it. I'd love to run with you sometime!

    1. Ooooh I like Margaret Atwood! I loved The Robber Bride. And I have read all of the Hunger Games Trilogy and LOVED IT.

  2. Good for you!! I might try to do a 30 by 30...I like this idea. However, I only have until November... :(

  3. May I suggest that you join me in acknowledging The Godfather and The Godfather II as the only movies in that franchise? Otherwise, good luck with this!

  4. I agree with Jer 100% on the Godfathers. The third one will be a waste of your time that could be better spent making homemade cleaning supplies or doing yoga.

    Also, since I am the reason your sewing machine is (most likely) broken, please let me know and I will pay for its repair. I would hate to be the reason your 30 by 30 list doesn't get completed. Happy Birthday!

  5. Kudos on an ambitious list - looks like a fun (and productive!) year you've got planned. I only made it 100-something days on my own 365 project, but would like to conquer it one day myself. If you need help with manual mode, let me know. As for books, some old favorites include Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson, Personal History by Katharine Graham, and of course Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. More recent reads to recommend include Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund, and The New York Regional Mormon Singles Dance by Elna Baker.

    1. Oh, I think I heard the Elna Baker on TAL recently. Thanks for reminding me. Aaaand I may just take you up on the camera help!

  6. Great idea!

    I second reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. I'm on the third book now and have enjoyed the series.

  7. Dri,

    I love this list! I can't wait to read as you cross them all off your list. Woohoo!

    As for book suggestions:
    State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
    Hunger Games Trilogy will melt your face off (in the best possible way)
    As I think of more I'll send them your way (if you still need them)


    much, much love

    1. Thanks, Kusa! I loved the Hunger Games, and I'll check out State of Wonder :)

  8. Happy Birthday Darling Daughter,
    29 years ago I was in some pretty serious labor! I was about 8cm dilated and it was no fun, also too far along for any kind of meds so I just kept up the breathing with Dad feeding me ice chips. It was snowing like crazy all day. You were 2 weeks overdue and still taking your sweet time making your world debut :)
    Love, Mom xoxo

  9. I hope you had a fabulous birthday! I can't believe 30 is so close.
    So, I've made a giant Hostess cupcake and I can promise you that this is not an undertaking you'd regret. It was amazing.

  10. Awesome goals! I have a couple suggestions, if you're interested.

    Wedding dress: google "wedding dress charity" etc to get a HUGE list of charities that take donated dresses for various causes.

    401k: you can totally roll this over into a traditional IRA through Vanguard or any money management company. Call their 800 number and they'll walk you through it. When I did this (after also letting my old 401k languish for several years...) I had to get some paperwork from my old job, but it was still pretty painless overall.

    Books: for food-related books, try Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking & More Home Cooking (plus any of her novels, which are delightful), & MFK Fisher's The Gastonomical Me et al, if you haven't read them already. For fiction, I like to ID publishers I like and then just read whatever they put out. My favorites are Virago Modern Classics, New York Review Books, and Everyman. This is obviously a very lit-dork way to do it, however. :)

  11. I totally want to make croissants, gingerbeer, and sausage as well. All three are on my "list". Also, to blog more. Sheesh I'm lazy. Here's hoping you accomplish your goals! As for books, I've been consumed by the game of thrones series lately. If you're into scifi pick up from China Mieville, like Looking for Jake. So.good.

  12. Oh, and the 401k you can totally roll over into an IRA from any bank. I threw mine into a roth IRA and all I had to do was cash out the 401k and bring the check to my bank to start the new retirement fund.

  13. Happy Belated Birthday!! I also really want to make croissants :)