The day is finally here! I’m 40 years old! When I turned 35 I launched a 40 Before Forty list of things I hoped to achieve in the 5 years. Now, I’m not going to blame covid for my failures, but that year and a half of craziness certainly didn’t help the travel related plans! Check out the things I was able to achieve in these 5 years!
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Last year I shared the update of my 40 Before Forty List and the things I almost or didn’t achieve! I’m proud of all that I was able to do and look forward to creating a 50 Before Fifty list in a few years! PS if you’re a list lover like me, don’t forget to check out my 30 Before Thirty list I did in my younger years!
First, let’s review the tasks I was able to complete in the 4 years this list has been active. 25/40 Complete
- Go on an adults only vacation. DONE! My bestie Allie and I went to Savannah and had a great girls only trip! 5/2018. Would have loved to go on one with Derek and had planned to but covid hindered that the second half of my time frame!
- Read Gone with the Wind… again. DONE! I’m named after it so I was due to read it again and did so by January 2018!
- Upgrade my DSLR camera and/or lens. DONE! I must’ve been a good girl as Santa brought me a new Canon 80D in 2017 and then I got a new wide angle lens in 2020 to capture shots like the above!
- Book a professional photoshoot session. DONE! 10/2018 We did our first mini photo shoot for our Christmas cards which has since become a yearly tradition ever since.
- Complete a physical challenge. DONE: I completed a 10 MILE woman’s only race 10/2017
- Take a class to learn a new skill. DONE: Participated in a Paint and Sip experience with fellow NJ bloggers in 2017, a Chocolate painting class in 2019 and a cookie decorating class in 2020!
- Pull off a big surprise! DONE! We pulled off not one but TWO big Disney reveals in the past few years including this one featuring my most every liked Instagram photo and this one from just this past June!
- Treat myself to an expensive experience or splurge item. DONE! 12/2017 I bought a new Canon 80D camera!
- Do something scary. DONE! 10/2020 – I took a leap and started photographing some friends for their Christmas cards which turned into photographing their friends that I didn’t even know! It was scary to take that leap of faith but I had a great experience and loved it! I look forward to doing more family photography mini sessions this year!
- Try a new hairstyle. DONE! I had my first experience at a blow out bar through a moms group meeting and had them give me those large barrel beach waves. I loved it and used the photo for my profile for a while! I’ve already recently been trying to figure out how to style my wavy/curly hair!
- Start a new family tradition. DONE! 12/2018 I decided to let each sister pick out a gift on their own (of course with guidance) to buy, wrap and give to the other sister. It was a hit and we do it for their birthday (since they share one) and Christmas now!
- Find a personal mantra. Creativity Takes Courage. It’s a phrase framed in my office (and one you can grab from my Etsy shop) and something I think about with the new things I’ve tried recently, including launching my shop and being a family photographer for Christmas card shoots!
- Attend another blog conference. October 2020 I attended my first VIRTUAL influencer event thrown by Toy Insider called Holiday of Play. It gave me an opportunity to connect with a few brands, some of which I started working with after the event!
- Perfect a new craft. Wow perfect is a restrictive word! Will I ever be perfect at something? Probably not! But I’m glad I’ve added cross stitch, as in my stitch people gifts and vinyl crafts to the list of crafts I love to do!
- Get finances in order and write a will. DONE! Yep, we adulted!
- Try a trendy new gym class. DONE! Never in my life have I really done weight training but since getting a heavier set of dumbells for Christmas I’ve been doing some upper body and lower body strength training workouts from Fitness Blender on Youtube for the last 2 months!
- Learn a new makeup technique. DONE! I stretched out this concept to include all self care and got to try press on nails! I’ve been loving them for about a year now to give me more confidence out in the world and on all the videos I create for social. Update: I’m now an affiliate for the HelloLove press on nail brand so check out their shop and learn more about my experience with them on my instagram!
- Try sushi. Yes it was a California roll and yes it was from Wegmans but I tried it and it was ok. I got a lot of opinions from people on Instagram when I shared this but you have to remember that I’m not a foodie, I don’t crave or usually love mixed flavors and I only just started enjoying vegetables in my 30s! So this was a big step for me. While I’m not opposed to trying it again, I still not think this food type will be for me.
- Learn HTML so I can fix blog problems myself. DONE! July 2021 I completed a face lift to my blog! Head to the home page to take a look!
- Try 50 new recipes. DONE! Check out this post with links to all 50 new recipes we tried, including this banana bread recipe that’s now our go to!
- Binge watch a triology back to back to back. DONE! I’m kinda cheating on this one but I think it counts! During quarantine we started a tradition of watching a family movie night on Fridays. This past spring, we introduced them to the “Honey I shrunk the kid” triology that we watched over three different weeks. While it’s not back to back persay, it was consecutive weekly and we got to indulge in all the glory of those 90s classics!
- Go on a multi mile hike. DONE! The girls and I explored a bit more this past summer with just us, with friends and with Grammie! I’m sure some were over a mile but I never tracked them officially. Count this done!
- Watch the sunrise in a beautiful place. DONE! Went for a walk one morning during our North Carolina vacation and captured this sunrise shot!
- Volunteer my time somewhere. 2021 – I got to co-host a virtual mystery reader and Spookley craft project for Hailey’s first grade class last fall since parents were still not allowed in the building.
- Complete 5 random acts of mail!
- #1 package sent- Box of Sunshine
Here are the 40 Before Forty tasks I did not complete! Onto the excuses!
- Complete 5 random acts of kindness. UPDATE: I completed 3 of 5. I like to think I’m pretty kind, but maybe just too planned to complete “random” acts?!
- Renew and use my passport. UPDATE: Half complete! Derek and I did renew our passports but didn’t get to use them.
- Take a family road trip someplace we’ve never been before. We didn’t get to achieve this before my deadline but we do have one trip planned to Great Wolf Lodge for this spring break and I want to do another to Hershey this summer so maybe I just stretch this into my 40th year?
- Have a “YES” day with my kids. I guess I’m just not a cool mom, what can I say?
- Visit 3 new states. Pretty sure I was an overachiever with this one as I didn’t even get to one. These were my choices and being 40 made me realize I’m not really made to a super adventurous person. Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Kentucky, New Mexico, Alabama, Lousiana, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Kansas, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alaska
- Officially stop biting my nails. FAIL! My Red Aspen nails makes them pretty for a while but it hadn’t stopped this 40 year old habit when I take them off!
- Host a multi course dinner party with food made from scratch. Party? What’s that?
- Have a tech free day. With a job in social media it’s really hard to step away from this so big fat fail from me!
- Return to my pre-pregnancy weight. Good news is I’m not letting this 40th birthday stop me from getting into a more healthy shape for me. I’m down 6 pounds since the new year since I really started to focus on some personal self care.
- Be fit enough to wear a bikini again. Wow! Did 35 year old me really want 40 year old me to wear a bikini on the beach? haha. Safe to say that even if I were more fit, I don’t know if I feel this is my 40 year old personality. Now at 40 I am much for accepting of my figure and form. I wear the bathing suit at the beach. I don’t hide from taking pictures with the family.
- Learn what the different knives in my kitchen are used for. We’re getting a new kitchen this summer/fall so I hope to make time for things like this in our new space.
- Create a beauty routine that includes moisturizing. More self care I’ve been avoiding!
- Create a flossing routine. Can’t say I have a true routine down for anything these days but I do think I flossed more in my 30s than my 20s.
- Learn how to grill. I guess I just prefer when Derek does it and I didn’t try very hard on this.
- Publish something.
See how I celebrated my 40th birthday!