30-Before-30: Odds And Ends

As I got closer and closer to my 30th birthday, many things fell into place to complete my list at the last minute.  These are the few that were smaller in nature and didn’t require a whole post.  Still, they were completed and that, in and of itself, was something to celebrate.

Buy something I really want

After buying my first home, it was hard for me to think of anything else that I really wanted.  I could have just called it a two-for-one and said becoming a homeowner and buying my condo were worthy enough to check off two items on my list, but I’ve never been one to take the easy way.  Nope, I needed to purchase something else that I wanted.  I thought about getting a new wallet, but I just couldn’t find one that I liked.  I thought about a new piece of furniture or home décor, but I didn’t want anything that badly.  Eventually, an idea came to me and it was perfect.

I wanted a new computer.

My old laptop was an artifact at over five years old and I was so sick and tired of the damn thing telling me I had 28 updates to install, none of which would upload when I pressed the magic button.  Plus, after loving my iPhone, I decided that it was time to invest in a brand that so many of my friends were in love with: Apple.

So pretty and so fast!

So pretty and so fast!

Yep, I am the proud owner of a MacBook Pro and I love it.  It’s fast and relatively simple to learn how to use.  Granted, there have been some hurdles.  I’ve had a hard time finding files from one application to the next (seriously, why can I find a photo in Finder, but not in Photos when I want to upload it to Facebook/WordPress?  If anyone knows how I can get the secret decoder ring to find my files, I would be eternally grateful.), but I’ve found ways around it (hello untitled desktop folder that I can always find!).  The screen is beautiful, it has yet to crash on me, and I don’t even miss right-clicking.  It was the best birthday present I could have ever bought myself.

Give yoga another try

I’m going to be perfectly honest, I still have a love-hate relationship with yoga.  I have given it another try with a six-month subscription to myyogaworks.com that has an amazing and extensive library of workout videos.  I find that I do like it, but I want more.  I want to be able to do the ridiculous poses that make me look like I have bones made of rubber.  I want to see results a lot faster.  I want my flexibility to come back like it was in high school.  But I know that’s not the point of yoga.  It’s about long-term commitment and practice, practice, practice.  What I would really love is a local studio to take a live class so I can be amongst other people who aren’t wrapping their tails around me and clawing at my yoga mat (I’m looking at you, Baxter).  Unfortunately, the studios in my area are either 1) ridiculously overpriced or 2) are not open when I can actually attend.  So my search continues for both a place and a community.  Anyone need a yoga buddy?

Baxter means well, but he's a very distracting partner.

Baxter means well, but he’s a very distracting partner.

Ride a Ferris wheel that overlooks the ocean

One of the benefits of living in Southern California is the close proximity to the Santa Monica Pier.  And do you want to know how many times I’ve been to Santa Monica in the last seven years?  Twice.  I’ve been to Europe more times.  When a place is in your backyard, you often take it for granted.  I almost didn’t go to Santa Monica to ride the Ferris wheel.  I thought about riding the one at my local county fair last summer, but I didn’t get around to it.  I even thought about ditching the idea of the ride.  It’s not like I had never been on a Ferris wheel before.  But as I’m sure you’ve probably gathered about me by now, I don’t give up on goals.


So, one Friday after work, I headed down to the Santa Monica Pier to ride a Ferris wheel overlooking the ocean.  It was a beautiful day to be stuck in traffic, frantically search for a parking spot, and then go it alone.  When I purchased my ticket, I was told that there are no single riders and that I would have to go with another party.  Turns out, I wouldn’t be so alone after all.



Crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t be joined by a couple looking for a romantic trip around the wheel, I was delighted to see that I was partnered with four university girls from Canada.  They were absolute dolls and were very eager to help me check off an item on my list.  We chatted about what they had been up to in Santa Monica and we all enjoyed the gorgeous views of crystal blue water and a cloudless sky.  It was a fun ride with some fun gals.


Create a vacation photo book

I have created photo books in the past, but never one for myself.  Well, that was going to change before 30.  I thought about doing a collection of my snaps from my various European adventures or last summer’s visit to Costa Rica, but I quickly realized that photos from a vacation that was over a week would result in a huge and very expensive photo book.  So I went smaller.

Photo Book

My trip to Arizona was only two full days so I didn’t have as many photos, but I did have a lot.  I headed over to Snapfish and set about choosing the right photos, selecting layouts that would best showcase the snapshots, and adding captions.  It all reminded me of my years on the high school yearbook staff.  The whole process was fairly simple and with a 50% promo code, fairly inexpensive.  Now I have a beautiful book of my first solo trip to show to friends and family.

Plus, four more items checked off the list.

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