Friday, March 2, 2012

The 30 in 30 Challenge

Last August 2nd, the unthinkable happened.  I turned 30.  It's true, IT'S TRUE!  In case you were wondering, I was perfectly content to be 28 for the rest of my life.  The 20's were GREAT! I loved every minute.  At 25, you're old enough to be taken seriously as an adult, but you're still young and agile and can even get by without wearing concealer.  Great years!!

So when 30 rolls around, you're like "Wha??? How did THIS happen?? How is this even POSSIBLE??"  30-something is mom & dad age!  Right?  I can't be there!

Blablabla, girls don't like turning 30.  That's the condensed version of the story.  It is what it is.

In an effort to create more excitement about the year of 30, I decided to make a list of things that I've always wanted to do, or that I'm really excited about getting to experience.  30 things to accomplish in the year of 30.  That way I could look forward to a beautiful and exciting year of doing things that I've always wanted to do, even if it did mean entering a new decade.

#1 should be getting to live in Paris, which is a dream in and of itself, so 30 is already an amazing year because of that alone. But I moved here when I was 29, so technically that one can't make the official list.

And so, half way to the next birthday, with some accomplished, but many left to go...I present my list.

30 in 30

Take a class at Le Cordon Bleu

Go to the Greek islands

Have a photo day around Paris

Eat at the top 20 restaurants I’ve always wanted to try

Read Mere Christianity

On a whim, book a ticket and go somewhere awesome for the weekend

Eat at the best restaurant in the world

A year and a half ago, I came across a review about this restaurant, Noma, that made me decide then and there that I'd have to go one day just to experience it. They do all kinds of crazy, molecular, creative, and outlandish things that make dining more of an interactive Nordic space experience rather than just dinner. The cuisine looks beautiful, natural, strange and delicious, and this means that I'm willing to book a ticket and fly to Copenhagen for a meal.

Turns out it has also received #1 on "The World's 50 Best Restaurants" list the past 2 years, so I guess that's something.  Best restaurant in the world? Alright, I'll try it.

Buy something unique at a flea market

Wear red lipstick one night

Eat at a 3 Michelin starred restaurant

As soon as it gets warm, go to the beach

Have a cocktail at Bar Hemingway in a cocktail dress

Eat like the blind at Dans Le Noir

Dans Le Noir is a restaurant that is operated by blind people and provides the experience of dining without sight. You leave all electronics and items with lights (watches, cell phones, etc.) in a locker in the front room, you get blindfolds tied on, and you're guided by your server (who is blind) into the completely sealed dark room, where you can't see a single thing. Then you have dinner like that. The idea is to heighten your other senses and expand your awareness. Everyone is on equal ground - no one can see. I think it's an awesome idea, and I'd love to try it.

Volunteer at Cook n With Class

When I filmed the episode with House Hunters, they showed me taking a cooking class here. I've always wanted to email them to see if they'd let me come to one of their market dinner classes, which are in the $300-400 range, too much for my budget...but maybe they'd let me volunteer to help so I can still experience the class.

Go on a long bike ride somewhere beautiful

Watch Amelie

Learn to drive a scooter

Kayak on the Dordogne

Take pictures for Potokka

I used to see the chef & owners of this restaurant on a regular basis (they own another well known restaurant right around the corner). Before they opened this new restaurant, one of the owners asked if I would come take pictures for their website. (I had sent them some photos from a meal one time). The restaurant is now open and bustling every night, but it never happened. I think it would be so cool to get to do that!

Go to the Loire Valley

Make a soufflé

Go to the Paris summer outdoor movie festival

Read A Moveable Feast

Eat tapas in Spain

Spain is one of my favorite countries. Even if it's just for a weekend, I definitely want to go this year. 

Play hookie one day

I want to leave work early just because it’s nice out & go do nothing.

Go to Musée de L’Orangerie

Monet is my favorite.  I can't believe I STILL haven't been here.

Take a long bike ride through the city at night

Create art for the wall

Picnic on the Pont des Arts

See an opera or ballet at l'Opera Garnier

...of Phantom of the Opera fame. My favorite musical. And the building is incredible. 

Et voila! That's my list.  If I get to do all these things before my next birthday, what an awesome year it will be!  It's exactly 5 months away from my birthday today, so that means I have lots to do to check everything off the list. Better start planning! 30 has been so far and is continually shaping up to be an incredible year. Grateful for that, and excited for the months ahead.

Speaking of birthdays, today is my brother's birthday!! His license says 21 but he's really still 5 years old in my eyes. He's so intelligent and well spoken for a kindergartner, I can't get over it.  Happy Birthday, David!!!

Now to start working on this list!


  1. Love this list Julie! Sounds wonderful and I wish I could follow in your footsteps as you accomplish every single one! Can't wait to read about them as you check them off your list! Happy 30!!

  2. Thanks Merritt!! Feel free to come visit and help me check a few off! :) Hope you're doing well friend!