Category Archives: 30 Things to Do Before 30

Crafting the Perfect Cupcake

A couple of years ago I was a woman obsessed, when it came to cupcakes. I enjoyed baking them, trying new recipes, and generally sharing them with my work-mates.
For the most part, they all tasted pretty good.
The hard part was making them look good.
No matter how hard I tried, the icing never looked right, and any attempts at creating delicate swirls or fluffy tops fell pretty flat.

So, as part of my 30 Things to do Before 30 Challenge, I wanted to attend a cupcake decorating lesson.

Cupcake4I was pretty stoked when my partner bought me a voucher for my birthday so I could attend said lesson.
I booked myself in for May 10th, and was pleased that I would finally be able to cross this off my list.

Continue reading Crafting the Perfect Cupcake

I’m not a huge fan of the ‘I’m still here/alive!’ blog posts. Mostly because I seem to do so many of them, and also because it just highlights how long it has been since I last posted.

I mean, six weeks? Really? I’m sorry, Internet.

The domain for my blog is due for renewal, and I was ‘this close’ to cancelling it altogether.

I’m not going to, but I do want to make the next 12 months worth my while, you know?

I’ve only been blogging for 2.5 years, and when I’m in it, I really enjoy writing and sharing my experiences here.

But lately, I just haven’t been motivated to do so.

Don’t take it personally, I haven’t had the motivation to do much.

I mostly blame the addition of a brand-new library in my neighbourhood. (Although, I’ve somehow found the motivation to write book reviews *looks sheepish*)

I was seriously like a kid in a bookstore when it opened. Or me, 20 years ago. And I’ve been reading my butt off ever since. Except that’s totally not a thing. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s getting bigger.

I have been reading SO much. I’m talking four books in the last month. That’s like a book a week, you guys. That is more than I read for the entire five months prior!

Anyways, the strangest part is that I actually have things I want to talk to you about.

For example, I was able to cross another ‘Thing‘ off my list. Can you guess which one?!

I still want to talk about my other Disney Animators’ Collection Doll.

I have a bunch of photos from different ‘weekend adventures’ that I think are worth sharing, but which have been sitting in my camera for months.

My partner and I spent a gloriously relaxing long weekend up in the mountains in June for our anniversary.

And, we got engaged!

So yeah, there are lots of wonderful things to stick around for. Just bear with me, while I find my feet here again.

It’s kind of like riding a bike, but without the uncomfortable seat or helmet hair.

A Message from my Past

So I wasn’t going to do another post for a little while, but then this morning I received the below email from my past and I decided that I had to share it!
To be honest, I don’t even remember writing this, which kind of makes it even better.
But anyhow, I guess three years ago I must have stumbled across and wrote my future self a little letter.
Reading it this morning was actually pretty great and I think if you’ve never done this before – you totally should.

Dear FutureMe,
Happy Birthday!! I hope you have managed to complete everything on your “30 Things Before 30” list, but even if you haven’t – who cares?! It was all just a bit of fun and something to do, right?

I guess I should refresh your memory of what life is like right now (July 3rd, 2011). You are currently in Melbourne with Chris, have been here 2 weeks already and quite like it here. You don’t have a job yet, and you’re house-sitting in Collingwood, just outside the city.

Three years into the future, I have no idea where you are, or what you are doing now. I hope you are happy. Really, that’s the main thing I hope for you. I don’t know if you still keep in touch with your friends and family, or if Baylee is still in your life? I don’t know if you are married, single, still with Chris? Have you had a baby or brought more pets into the family? Did you end up going travelling next year (2012) and see more of the world?! Did the dreaded 2012 disaster end up happening?? In which case, I guess you won’t be reading this at all. Or ever. Not many people I know believe that the world is ending, but after all the earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis and hurricanes happening lately, how could it not? There is only so much disaster one world can take before it folds in on itself and gives up.

Anyways, if the world is still struggling on, I hope you have seen more of it. I hope you are still baking and scrapbooking, and I hope you are working in a job you love. If not, at least one you can tolerate with wicked work-mates.

But, I guess the point of this whole exercise is not for me to ramble on about all the things I hope you have accomplished in the last three years, but to give you advice. I don’t want to offend you!!

So, here is the advice from the PastYou –
* Be nice to everyone – who knows what kind of day other people have had, and even a smile from you could be enough to brighten their day, as well as your own.
* Have a go. Even if something scares you or makes you feel nervous – give it a try. I know it’s easy for me to say, sitting here in the past, wishing I were braver, but I have heard that nothing makes you feel more alive than trying something you were scared to do. So, give it a go!
* Remember that you’re not the only one with feelings and thoughts. Other people have a right to their opinion, even if it is not the same as yours. Sometimes you find it hard to think about the way other people are feeling, and focus mostly on yourself – if you still do this, please try and change the way you think. And stop being so over-sensitive!!
* Work is not the most important thing in the world. Don’t miss out on an opportunity because you are worried about having to take time off, or getting up early the next day. Life and its experiences are more important than a job, and there are worse things you can do than turn up to work tired!!
* Explore. Not only the wider world, but the world around you. Have you gone for many walks in your immediate area? Have you found any nooks and crannies? Any special places, un-seen on first glance? If the answer is no, then get out there today!
* Stay true to yourself. If you’re still not entirely sure who you are, then what better time to find out? If you like something, buy it. If someone else doesn’t like it, who cares? It’s obviously not for them, it’s for you. Don’t let other people’s opinions put you off being yourself.
* Keep taking photos!
* Keep Baking!
* Keep Scrapbooking!
* Keep being a good friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend, mother(? Pets count as kids), auntie and whatever else you may be. Keep at it.
* Keep smiling!
Anyways, I hope this letter finds you well and happy. Have a wonderful birthday, and enjoy your 30’s. Your 20’s have been a roller-coaster ride so far, but if you have survived those years, then your 30’s should be a breeze. Don’t worry about getting old, or being too old to do certain things. You can do whatever you want to do, whatever you put your mind to. When the time is right, it will happen. And as Paul would say – “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Hehe.

Love, Shell from the Past xo

Thing 30

Folks, I bet you thought this day would never come.
Yet here we are.
The final thing in my list of ’30 Things to do Before 30′.
Sure, I’ve hardly done any of the things on my list.
And yup, this one is no exception.
Today is the last day for me to take action.
But I’m sure you all know by now that it’s not going to happen.

Thing 30: Pick One Recipe Book and Cook all the Cupcakes in it

Well I did pick a recipe book at least.
I believe it was called ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’.
At least, I think it was this book, because I did bring it to Melbourne with me.
It has a total of 15 cupcake recipes inside.
I cooked a total of 2.
Winning/Not Winning.

Red Velvet, because...duh
Red Velvet, because…duh
Hazelnut & Chocolate, because...why not?
Hazelnut & Chocolate, because…why not?

I can’t believe I have now posted 30 days in a row.
Also – I’m sorry.
If you’ve come and visited every day during this journey, then I both thank and applaud you.
You’ve done better than I.

Look, I know I’ve only managed to successfully cross off about half of my list.
In three years, I think that’s okay.
I still have plenty of life to live, and as much as I complain about it, starting a new decade isn’t all that bad, right?

My 30’s are going to be full of new experiences and life challenges.
I know this.
I’m not setting myself a new list of crap to do before I hit 40, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief on that note.
I will keep this list in the back of my mind though, and I do hope to cross off a few more items.
Getting a bigger place to live would certainly help here, just saying.

So for now, it’s a fond ‘so long’ to my 20’s – it’s been real.

Thing 29

Thing 29: Go up the Chairlift with my Snowboard

Chris can snowboard.
I can’t.
I’ve taken lessons, gotten frustrated and given up for the day.
I’ve tried again, gotten better but still not good enough or confident enough to go up the damned chairlift.

As far as I’m concerned, unless you know you’re going to be able to get back down that mountain on your own two feet, there is no point going up in the chairlift.

So I still haven’t been able to cross this one off yet.

But, I am working on it.

This will be thing.

#iwentupthegondola #notthechairlift
#iwentupthegondola #notthechairlift

Thing 28

Thing 28: Own at Least 5 Dresses, and Actually Wear Them!

This is a funny one.
I was always envious of those girls who wore dresses like all the time.
I loved the idea of prancing around in flowy dresses, not a care in the world.
But, I could never find dresses that fitted my body right.
A short upper body and wide womanly hips can make shopping for dresses and skirts quite tricky.
But I really wanted to be a dress wearer.

I mean, why try to figure out what combination of pants and tops I should wear each day, when I could just chuck on a dress and be done?!

So I have looked and tried on many a dress.
I think I have finally found a style that suits me, and one that I can get away with buying online, confident that it will fit my body right.

I am pleased to say that not only do I own and wear MORE than the five dresses I was aiming for; but now I hardly ever wear pants to work!
I am officially a dress-wearer.

Totally worth a high-five.

Thing 27

Thing 27: Have a scrap page/idea Published

I love scrap-booking.
I just haven’t done any in a long long time.
It seems to be my excuse for a lot of things around here, but truth be told – my apartment is too small to do anything!

You really do need some decent space to make a go of scrap-booking.
A little area that you don’t have to constantly pack up at the end of each session.
A place reserved for all the “stuff” that comes with scrap-booking.

I started Project Life last year.
Didn’t even come close to finishing.

A few years ago I would often read scrapping magazines, look up ideas online and was totally into it.
My scrap-booking wasn’t amazing; but it wasn’t crap, either.
I often toyed with the idea of sending samples in to these magazines in the hopes of being featured, which is why this thing has ended up on my list.

I haven’t done it, but maybe someday I will.