Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"30 before 30" Bucket List

30 things I want to accomplish before my 30th birthday


DressSunglasses - Earrings - Hat - Shoes - Bag

Today is my 29th birthday; my last year before the big 3 - 0.  Instead of my typical fashion post, I decided to get a little personal today.  When I was in my early twenties {when 30 seemed like a lifetime away}, I created a "30 before 30" bucket list.  This list covers everything from places I'd like to go, things I'd like to do, and goals I'd like to accomplish.  Today, I'm going to share my list, which ones I've checked off, and which ones I have exactly 365 days to accomplish.



I know I said this wasn't going to be a fashion post, but for my birthday this year, we planned a trip to my happy place - the beach!  We will be heading down to 30A Florida at the end of May and I couldn't be more excited for a week of sun, sand, and relaxation.  So I HAD to share this adorable look that I will be taking with me on our trip.  You can shop all of the items above!

Okay, back to my "30 before 30" list...

1.  Skydive ✔

I went sky-diving with my little sister for her 21st birthday.  It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and something I would definitely do again {maybe a 30th birthday adventure!?}.

Image may contain: 2 people

2.  Travel Europe ✔ (kind of)

I absolutely LOVE traveling and exploring new places.  I have marked Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, and Paris off my Europe bucket list, and my husband {Fielding} and I have a trip planned in August to visit several cities in Italy, which I couldn't be more excited about (bring on the wine and pasta!).  There are still many places in Europe I'd love to visit, like - Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Spain, but we don't have to hit all of those before I'm 30 :)

Image may contain: Brooke Alderman, smiling, sky and outdoor

3.  Go to the Masters ✔

I have loved golf since I was a little girl - I grew up watching and playing golf with my dad from the time I was old enough to hold a golf club.  As soon as I turned 18, I started entering the lottery for Masters tickets, and unfortunately have never won.  So you can imagine when Fielding surprised me with tickets this year, I almost fainted.  It was the most breathtaking course I've ever seen and a truly unforgettable experience.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Brooke Alderman, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor

4.  Run a full marathon/qualify for the Boston Marathon ✔

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon {time of 3 hrs and 30 min or 8 min per mile pace} is probably my proudest accomplishment.  I have been a runner since middle school and running the Boston Marathon always seemed like an unattainable goal.  While it took me several years to finalky qualify for Boston, it is proof that with hard word and determination, you can accomplish anything.



5.  Run Boston Marathon 

My goal has always been to run Boston Marathon before I was 30.  I will be running it on April 15, 2019 - 9 days before my 30th birthday!

6.  Start a Blog ✔

Starting a fashion blog was something that I talked about for years, so I made it my New Years Resolution this year to finally take the plunge.  I purchased my URL {www.smilesandstripes.com} on 1/1/2018 and never looked back.  This blogging journey has taken me way out of my comfort zone - but I've loved every minute of it!

7.  Open a Boutique

Ever since I was a little girl, it has been my dream to own a clothing boutique.  While I have not marked this one off my bucket list quite yet, I think starting my fashion blog is a step in the right direction!  I'm not giving up on this one!

8.  Learn to Cook

By learn to cook, I mean learn to cook things more gourmet than a casserole; something I would be proud to serve at a dinner party.  While I do not think I can quite mark this one off my list, my BFF and I did take a gourmet cooking class in Paris last year {which I highly recommend!}.

9.  Ride in a helicopter ✔

Fielding and I went on an Alaskan cruise in 2017.  My favorite excursion was in Juneau where we rode in a helicopter to the top of Mendenhall Glacier and visited an Alaskan dog sled camp.  We got to ride around the glacier on a dog sled and play with all of the puppies afterwards.  Top 5 coolest things I've ever done!

Image may contain: 2 people, including Brooke Alderman, people smiling, sky, snow, mountain, outdoor and nature

10.  Start a 401K ✔

I was lucky enough to find a career right out of college that offered 401K as a benefit.

11.  Invest in and learn about the stock market

I definitely cannot mark this one off my list and I'm determined to do so before my 30th birthday!  I better get to work ASAP, because I have a LOT to learn.

12.  Buy a dream bag ✔

I have a handbag obsession and I always told myself that I wanted to be in a place where I could purchase my dream bag for myself before I was 30.  I bit the bullet and purchased the Prada Saffiano Leather Double Tote while I was in Paris last summer.


13.  Incorporate yoga into my fitness routine

I've taken a few yoga classes here and there and I love how relaxed I feel afterwards.  My goal is to incorporate yoga into my fitness routine to help with stress and flexibility for my running.  I recently took the first step by signing up for a fitness studio that offers yoga classes.  Baby steps, right!?

14.  Learn a new language

While I've visited many non-English speaking countries, I still have yet to master a new language.  I've always learned just enough to get me through the current trip.  With our Italy trip planned for this August, I have several months to learn more Italian words than "Ciao," "Gelato," and  "Limoncello" :)

15.  Scuba Dive

Never done it, but REALLY want to.

16.  Read, read, read

Obviously, I've ready plenty of books in my lifetime, but I am not marking this one off my list quite yet.  It is my goal to make reading - both fiction and non-fiction - a regular part of my life routine.


17.  Get promoted to a leadership role

Climbing that corporate ladder can be tough, but I'm determined to take that next step!


18.  Conquer one of my biggest fears - Public Speaking ✔ (kind of)

Public speaking is a critical skill to have, in both work and personal environments  I have to give presentations at work and for my service organizations every now and then.  While it gets easier each time I do it, I still get SO nervous.  I'll know I've mastered the skill when my palms don't sweat, my voice doesn't shake, my face doesn't turn red, and my heart doesn't race....Let's be real, this one will probably be on my "60 before 60" list.

19.  Have a "staycation" to explore Atlanta/Georgia

Atlanta and its surrounding areas have so much to offer, and we definitely do not do a good job taking advantage of all of cool things right at our fingertips.  This year, I want to make it a point to branch out and explore our beautiful city and state.  The top of my list {yes, my "30 before 30" list has many sub-lists} is to go to North Georgia for hiking and wineries.


20.  Have a weekend of no phone/internet

I am embarrassed to say that I've never done this.  As a blogger, I spend a LOT of time on my phone and can be disconnected from reality at times.  I think a weekend with ZERO phone or internet would be refreshing, a great way to re-charge, and spend quality time with my husband.

21.  Buy a home ✔

Fielding and I bought bought our first home in 2016 #adulting

Image may contain: 2 people, including Brooke Alderman, people smiling, people sitting
Signing our life away at the closing of our house

22.  Learn to drive a stick shift

Fielding has had a corvette for almost 5 years and I've literally never driven it because I don't know how to drive a manual.  That must change this year.

23.  Visit major landmarks in the US - Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty ✔

This is another one of those sub-lists I have in my phone, and I think we've hit all the major ones! {Al thought there's still many places in the US that I'd love to visit - Hawaii, Seattle, and Austin are my top 3}.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Brooke Alderman, people smiling, bridge and outdoor

Image may contain: 2 people

24.  Overnight hiking trip

Like scuba diving...never done it, but REALLY want to!

25.  Live by myself ✔

Right after college graduation, I moved to Hampton Roads, VA - a city where I did not know a soul - for a job with the Department of Defense.  I lived by myself, 11 hours away from Fielding, 14 hours away from my closest family member, and WAY outside of my comfort zone.  It ended up being a great experience that I would never take back.

26.  Go bungee jumping

I want to find a place to go bungee jumping when we go to the beach at the end of May.  Stay tuned!

27.  Find a mentor(s)

I've had many great mentors in my life - my mom, dad, step-dad, coaches, teachers, bosses, co-workers, friends, etc - but I have to admit, at the moment, I am really failing this one.  My goal is to build a relationship with a professional mentor who can provide career advice and encouragement at this stage in my life.

28.  Learn my family history

I want to learn more about my ancestors - where they came from, how they lived, and how they impacted the world and my own life. 

29.  Volunteer for a cause that I'm passionate about ✔ (kind-of)

I absolutely love volunteering, giving back to my community, and feeling like I am making an impact {even if its tiny} on someone else's life.  At work, I am on the community service board and volunteer at many events sponsored by various service organizations each year.  My goal is to pick one cause that I'm passionate about and really pour my heart into it.

30.  Complete a triathlon ✔

I am a HORRIBLE swimmer...I mean, I'm doing good to stay above water while doggie paddling.  So signing up for my first triathlon last year was terrifying - I didn't even own goggles, a swimsuit appropriate for swimming laps, or a bike.  I bought all the gear, borrowed a bike, trained all summer, and successfully crossed that finish line! 

Image may contain: 3 people, including Brooke Alderman, people smiling, people standing, child, tree and outdoor

As you can see, I've made a good dent into my "30 before 30" list but still have a lot to accomplish in just 1 year!  What are some of the things on your bucket list?? Tell me in the comments below!

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