Success or Fail? A 30 Before 30 Update

Hi team. Last year, I wrote about making a 30 Before 30 bucket list, which was comprised of a whole bunch of goals, activities, etc. I wanted to do before I turned 30. Well, I turned 30 in January, and I’m proud to report I checked off 22 out of 30 items on my list! Not too bad, and to be honest, I’m not even upset I didn’t finish them all. By even making the list in the first place, it forced me to do things I don’t think I would have otherwise, so getting any of them done is an accomplishment in itself.

In my post from last year, I highlighted some of the tasks on the 30 Before 30 list, so I’m revisiting them and seeing how I did. Obviously, I don’t have all 30 of them listed, but just imagine they’re all here.

Learn to make 3 new dishes

2015: When I cook dinner, it’s not really anything special. The less ingredients the better. I blame this on account of my frugality and laziness, but I’m hoping to change that (the laziness, at least I can control). I figure if I master at least 3 good dishes, it can be my go to for parties and what not. Sushi is probs my favorite food, so another one of the things on my list is learn how to make sushi. And conveniently, I would also like to have a dinner party, so all this just fits right together.

Status: Accomplished! While sushi making was fun and I didn’t die from eating the raw fish, I think I’ll leave it to the professional sushi chefs to provide me with much better rolls.

Go somewhere I’ve never gone before

2015: If I won the lottery today, I would use it to pay off all my debts, do some other things with it, and then travel. Anywhere my heart desires – possibly even in first class! Living in LA, you kind of get stuck in the… LA-ness of it, and it’s good for your sanity to get out every once in a while. I usually spend my vacation time in the same places, mainly back home on the east coast. But there are so many other places to go that won’t break the bank. Although I said I would start this thing on my birthday, I’ve cheated on a few things already, this being one of them. A few of my friends and I recently went up to Napa Valley for a brief, yet completely successful and fulfilling weekend, and it was glorious. It was my first time in that area, and let me tell you – Napa is everything it’s cracked up to be, folks.

Status: Accomplished! I went to multiple new places in 2015, including the Temecula wine country and Grand Cayman Island and Castaway Cay (thanks to a cruise I went on). However, I tripled up on a trip by driving down to La Jolla, about two hours south of LA. The city is right on the edge of the Pacific and is exactly what you picture when you think picturesque California coast. Also, they’re known for seals, as seen below. They had cute stores and great food and highly recommend – 10/10.

Travel somewhere by myself

2015: Speaking of which, I feel all Eat Pray Love/Wild about this, in that going on a trip by yourself is necessary in life. I’m an only child and independent by nature, so the thought of this doesn’t sound scary or intimidating, as I imagine it would be to some people. This sounds delightful to me and I have yet to figure out where said trip will be.

Status: Accomplished! Like I said, I tripled up on La Jolla by going solo bolo to a pimp ass resort called Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. I got free champagne when I arrived, had a huge bed to myself, a bathroom with marble floors and a complimentary bottle of wine. Again, highly recommend – 10/10.

Get a massage

2015: I’m gonna be real with y’all – I don’t necessarily find it appealing when complete strangers touch me, especially if I’m half naked. Is that completely unreasonable? But I’m going to try to let that go in favor of comfort and relaxation.

Status: Accomplished. And my gut was right. The final triple threat of that La Jolla trip was getting a massage at the resort. While it was luxurious and I got free cucumber water, I don’t think I would ever do it again. I didn’t feel as relaxed as I thought it was going to be, and that’s all my fault, not the fault of my masseuse, who was lovely. I didn’t take a pic of that, so here’s the view I had while sitting near the saltwater whirlpool and reading a Dawson’s Creek novel at the spa.

Photo Jul 08, 2 11 44 PM (1)

Volunteer 20 hours

2015: I used to volunteer a lot growing up. Forgetting the fact that in high school a lot of it was required, I actually enjoyed volunteering, and did it throughout college. For a while there I even wanted to work for a non-profit. I really want to get back into it, and I’ve had some attempts in the past couple of years, but I’m actually making a goal of 20 hours to fill, which is really not even that much.

Status: Big Fail. This was one of the items I was most bummed about not accomplishing. I wanted to find one organization that I cared deeply about, then exclusively volunteer for them, but I just kept putting it off. It’s still on my list!

Go see at least 5 movies in the theater

2015: I am a TV person. I watch all the TV. And like I mentioned earlier, I am a frugal person. Unless it’s a movie I really want to see in the theater, I will wait until it comes to Netflix and I receive it as part of my subscription. However, working in entertainment news, it’s usually helpful to know what I’m writing about, and not just basic facts about them. I’m not gonna lie to you – I already have my first movie lined up. And it’s the Backstreet Boys documentary, which comes out on Friday.

Status: Accomplished! I ended up seeing MORE than 5 movies!!! Ironically the BSB movie I ended up buying on iTunes it was released in the theater, so I cried in the privacy of my own bedroom. The other films include but are not limited to: The Last Five Years, Spy, Inside Out, Magic Mike XXL and Trainwreck. All movies that were A+++

Watch 5 “classic” movies

2015: To go along with that, I’ve written about my Pop Culture Blind Spots before, and I’m going to make an effort to actually sit down and watch some of them. We’ll start with the black and white classics… Star Wars will have to wait.

Status: Accomplished! Again, I was an overachiever on this one and did way more than five, some which which I did as a Pop Culture Blind Spot for this very blog (Star Wars or Dirty Dancing, anyone?). Some other faves include Bridget Jones’ Diary, Top Gun and Back to the Future.

Donate clothes I haven’t worn in a year

2015: I have been meaning to do this for years, and now’s a better time than any to actually follow through. Part of this involves re-organizing my closet, which I’ve already done and am super excited about. But this whole – I’m saving this just in case I need it for a Halloween costume – thing, isn’t working.

Status: Accomplished! And I’ve donated twice!

Read 3 new books

2015: Again, I am a TV person. I watch all the TV. Thus leaving me with little time to sit and read. Hell, I barely have time to catch up on my Entertainment Weekly issues. As for reading actual books, I find that I read the most when I’m traveling, since there’s nothing else to do. I used to read all the time when I rode the subway in Boston, but now, I have to like pay attention to the road when I’m driving and stuff. Also, I have a tendency to just re-read books – I don’t need to read Harry Potter again (I mean I could and should, but I shan’t). But I’ve set a realistic goal for myself and hopefully I can finish three new books by 2016.

Status: Accomplished! Luckily, I know myself well enough that a total of three was risky, but I read FOUR! Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, Dawson’s Creek: A Capeside Christmas (that novel I was reading in La Jolla) and two books by fellow Emerson alum and one of my friend’s BFFs, Katie Cotugno, whose two YA books, How to Love and 99 Days, I devoured.

Go to 10 new restaurants

2015: Like my go-to books, I have go to restaurants, and it’s time to change that. I’ve been compiling a list of eateries in LA that I’ve been wanting to go to, and 10 seems like a reasonable number. I will just have to force my friends into going to all new venues.

Status: Accomplished! After I hit 15 I stopped counting, but one that is an LA staple that everyone needs to go to is Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Ugh I dream about it still.

Photo Jan 09, 7 14 03 PM

Explore 5 new places in LA

2015: LA’s a big city, and while I’ve lived here for just over five years now, there’s still plenty more to see. You get stuck living in the bubble of your home neighborhood and work neighborhood, and any little pockets that your frequent. I never make it down to the West side or like Venice (as seen above) or Santa Monica or anything over there, mainly because there’s no reason for me to. Sans Dunkin Donuts, of course. But it’s time I start taking advantage of what’s around me.

Status: Accomplished! I’m not a big sports fan but it was still exciting to go to my first Dodgers game with a real Dodgers fan who could explain pretty much everything to me. Plus I got a Dodger (hot) Dog which was as good as everyone says it is.

Photo Aug 14, 7 25 47 PM (1)

Clean out email

2015: I’m at 19% of 15 GB used on my Gmail, which I’ve had since 2006. That number may seem low, but you should see my inbox (don’t). It’s time I start cleaning shit out.

Status: Accomplished! Plus I have all the tabs now and the Gmail app on my phone, which I didn’t have before. God bless.

Pay for someone’s coffee 5 times

2015: Pay it forward. Be kind to one another. All that jazz.

Status: Fail to humans everywhere and to Ellen DeGeneres. Let’s be real, if anyone’s buying coffee, it’s for myself.

Take a photo or video each day

2015: This is not a new thing. I’m going to see if I can keep it up. Instead of posting it every day, I’ll hopefully keep it up and compile everything into a handy video/slideshow on my 30th.

Status: Accomplished! And I just finished putting it all together in one 13 minute long video! You’ve been warned.



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