30 Before Thirty

Guys, I can hardly believe it – the countdown to my 29th birthday is on! It’s just 5 days off now! Because it’s my last year in my twenties, I figured it was time to revisit the 30 Before 30 list I wrote back in 2011 on my old blog, Sincerely-Sara.
28th Birthday

I actually completely forgot about this list in 2012 and 2013 but when I rediscovered it recently I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals already!

I also realized some of my goals needed to be revised; for instance, when I said I wanted to travel to 25 different countries (ha!) – I think was being a little unrealistic!

Check out my new and improved 30 Before 30 bucket list after the jump!

1. Run a marathon:

It’s funny, this was one of the first goals I wrote down and it was one of the first goals I accomplished! I ran the Philadelphia Marathon back in November of 2011.


2. Buy a *professional* camera:

I got the Sony A55 in April 2011 and love it! You can see some photos I took with it here, here, and here – I think they’re all great! I’d like to start using this camera even more often.

3. Travel to Maine: Our wedding photographer, Meredith Perdue lives in Maine and I’d love to go visit her! Plus, I’ve heard the coast of Maine is gorgeous in the spring. I’ll have to act fast to make this happen in the next year; maybe make it a weekend trip?

4. Take a cruise:

We went on our first cruise in June of 2012 and it was so much fun!

5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

I volunteered in a different way and it was the most rewarding experience ever.


6. Buy a house:

We signed a contract on a home this past weekend — eek! I really shouldn’t cross this off until we have the keys in hand, but if all goes as planned, we’ll be moving in the first of November! I’m so excited!

7. Order lunch in French at a bistro in Paris with views of the Eiffel Tower:

They say Paris is always a good idea and I have to agree, but we took a long trip to Florence, Italy earlier this year and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world! I definitely want to go to Paris, but this might have to go on my 40 before 40 list!

8. Paint a big piece of furniture.

I still want to do this but it doesn’t matter what I paint – furniture, a wall or canvas! I love DIY projects and painting, and I need to make time to do those things.

9. Buy a pair of Chrisitan Loubutins NEW GOAL: Have a functional wardrobe with the basics and a few fun pieces.

Name brands are overrated! My closet really needs BASICS more than anything — solid color tank tops and work appropriate shoes. Classic pieces like a jean jacket, leather jacket, and riding boots.

I started revamping my wardrobe last September via a personal shopper, which got me off to a great start, and since then, I’ve come a long way on my own, but there’s still some improvements I’d like to make. I think moving and giving my closet another thorough clean-out will help a lot.

10. Land a job as a Science Writer

Funny thing: I got to dabble in the world of science writing on a six-month detail at the U.S. Geological Survey. It was amazing work experience – I learned so much! – but I may have also decided science writing is not my favorite kind of writing. I’d like to explore writing non-fiction at this point instead, maybe in the realm of true crime (I know, I’m a weirdo)!

11.  Get published! Freelance!

Even though I’m not freelance writing I’m doing a heck of a lock of writing for this blog, which is a start! I signed up to contribute to Tabata Times and some other open publications but I’m yet to submit anything; I should revisit this goal soon!

12.  Host a Bible study and/or woman’s group

So I haven’t HOSTED a women’s Bible study yet but I did just join one! I’m going to Bible Study Fellowship on Monday nights; ever heard of it before?

13.  Drive cross country. See the teton mountains.

I’d love to see the Teto mountains! We were actually planning a camping trip out west but ultimately decided to got with a relaxing Caribbean trip instead. I’m not sure I will see the Tetons in my 20s, but it’s definitely rolling over if it doesn’t happen this year.

14.  Take a road trip with my mom.

Still planning to do this and I think there’s plenty of time before I hit 30! Where should we go, Mom?

15.  Do a handstand.

Woo hoo! I’ve pretty much got handstands now, but I’d like to keep it going – learn to do a handstand walk and handstand push-up. All in good time!

16.  Do a single pull-up.

Still some work to do on this one! I can do a kipping pull-up but not a strict one and I WANT TO GET A STRICT ONE! JUST ONE!

17. Get a Personal Training Certificate.

As you may know, I was seeking to get a NASM certificate last year but didn’t feel confident to take the test when my study period ended. It’s kind of a sore subject for me because I feel like I wasted a bunch of money… and, I’m not sure I want to get certified anymore?

Well, scratch that, I do want to get certified it’s just a matter of making the time and, overcoming the *fear* of being a fitness instructor. I know I love working out and encouraging others but a fitness instructor? That’s just so far from where I started this journey and while I know I CAN do it, actually doing it is a whole different matter.

Hopefully one day (soon) I’ll look back on this goal, laugh at these fears, and share my success story!

18. Rebrand/vamp this blog  This was in regard to my Sincerely-Sara blog and I did revamp it (although it’s no longer viewable since I paused on paying the hosting fees to host this blog instead). NEW GOAL: Revamp this blog! 

19. Wear a bikini

It’s so weird that this is even on this list, but it is! Even weirder that I actually wore a bikini during our vacation in Florida!

Sara's Bikini

20. Get my Master’s degree

Ok so this one has a backstory: I’ve been torn between two colleges and two programs for awhile now. I’ve written the application essays for both (read: both!) and even gone so far as to solicit references. But, I haven’t been able to bring myself to actually apply! The busyness of life or fear of (enormously ridiculous) student loans – I don’t know what it is but this just hasn’t happened… But at least I’ve started!

21. Learn to use my sewing machine. NEW GOAL: Learn some HTML code!

I’m totally OVER trying to learn to sew (anyone want to buy my sewing machine?) and would much rather learn some code. It’d be awesome if I could revamp MY OWN blog MYSELF! There’s so much on the backend of blogging where a little code knowledge would go a long way. I WILL work on this, this year!

22. Go scuba diving NEW GOAL: Go parasailing

I did this in Turks and it was SO fun yet so scarrrrrrrrrry! Proud of myself for going through with it!

23. Go a church mission trip

Still want to do this although I doubt I’ll pull it off within the next year.

24. Host a dinner party

I’ve hosted several! When we started girl’s night, it was the perfect opportunity to start doing this more regularly and they’ve been a blast – both to host and attend!

25. Have a closet that looks like this: NEW GOAL: Have a home that really reflects my personal style.

I’m anxious to do this when we move into our first place this November! (Check out my Pinterest board: “When we own it,” for a glimpse at what I mean, my personal style!)

26. Travel to Greece and stay here:

Yep, still wanna do this! Gosh, I have so many travel goals! Greece would be amazing but it’ll probably get bumped to the 40 before 40 list!

27. Sponsor an ALS event (race or fundraiser).

I did the ice bucket challenge, which I think is the best fundraiser to ever happen to this horrible disease!

28. Get a tattoo… Even if it’s small like one.

I still want a tattoo but I’m still not sure of what yet!

29. Have an amazing office/workout/creative space.

I love my creative space! You can see photos of it here.

New Home Office

30. Take my little sister on a weekend getaway to someplace cool.

I’m still working on this. She’s a freshman in High School now so I definitely feel like my window of opportunity is quickly closing — who knows what she’ll think is “cool” much longer!?

Phew, ok, so that’s A LOT of goals! Now share yours!!

What are some things you want to accomplish before the big 3-0 or 4-0?

Hey girl!

Welcome to Sincerely Sara, a Virginia-based style blog sharing affordable fashion finds for millennial mom.

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  1. Naomi S wrote:

    First off – congrats on buying a home!!!! Where did you buy??? So happy for you guys!! Second – if you need a travel buddy to Maine, I would love to tag along….I absolutely love the Northeast coast and, of course, lobstah. Thirdly – Tabata Times!! So exciting! Fourthly(?) – you’re a youngin’!!! Happy early Birthday!
    P.S. If you need any help with HTML code, hit me up. That is my job! And now I’m inspired to make a 40 before I’m 40 goal. gah! I’m almost 35. 😛

    Posted 9.9.14 Reply
    • Sara wrote:

      Thanks Naomi! It’s not nearly as big as your house — we’ll have to come there when we want to mow or cookout – haha! 😉 It’s a condo in South Arlington near Pentagon City. We love the location because it’s close to everything. YES to Maine! Let’s do it! Tabata Times takes submissions from anyone/everyone. I still need to work up the courage to submit something!! Thanks for the birthday wishes 🙂 AND YOU LOOK SO YOUNG!!!!!!!

      Posted 9.10.14 Reply
  2. Debbie wrote:

    I love the 30 before 30 list and the fact that you have so much accomplished. I am 3 months behind on even making a list but I am thinking I need to. Also, my husband is great with code and he converted his blog himself. If you need any help from a developer, let me know 🙂

    Posted 9.9.14 Reply
    • Sara wrote:

      Thanks Debbie! It’s fun to make these lists and then look back – even if you’ve forgotten about them like I did! I hope to continue the tradition into the next decade 😉 Your husband is my hero! To transform my own blog would be walk on water! ONE DAY!

      Posted 9.10.14 Reply