I’m turning 30 today!! And I’m pretty darn excited about it. While it’s a bit surreal to think that my twenties have come and gone, it’s exhilarating to think that I’m standing on the brink of this new chapter full of adventures, new friendships, and life lessons (learned from plenty of mistakes, no doubt!). Not that my twenties weren’t amazing. I met and married my soulmate and we created the other little love of my life, and I couldn’t be more grateful that I get to start this next decade with those two by my side. On the work front, my twenties were all about finding my passion — trying on different hats until I found a fit that made me love Mondays as much as I love Fridays (usually, at least.) I feel so lucky to get to do what I love every day. And in honor of this new beginning, I thought I’d take some time to consider: what are 10 things I want to do in my thirties? This isn’t a bucket list, and it’s not comprehensive. It’s about things I actually want to do, not things I feel like I should do (guess what? I don’t actually want to run a marathon or take a cross-country road trip.) This list takes for granted that I want to be a better mom, floss daily, and volunteer more, and instead focuses on 10 things that are more about having fun and enjoying the moment. Because if there’s one thing that I learned in my twenties, it’s that a decade goes by way too fast.

*homepage image by wynn myers


Go surfing.

I’m happiest when I’m near the ocean, and there’s something about surfing that represents total freedom and gutsiness to me. Since I’ve never touched a surfboard in my life, this one will also be about kissing my fears goodbye and just going for it… and I have a feeling that the exhilaration I’ll feel when I ride that first wave will make it totally worth it.

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Master bread baking.

The kitchen is my happy place, but so often when I’m in it I’m rushing around trying to get a dish put together in the quickest amount of time possible. For me, bread symbolizes slowing down — a return to the simple pleasures of life. I’d love to take time to master a signature bread recipe to make at the start of each week — one that we’ll spread with good butter and salt right out of the oven, and that will elevate weekday sandwiches to something worth celebrating.

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Eat sushi in Japan.

When I think back on my twenties, some of the most influential experiences undoubtedly happened while traveling to other countries: Italy, France, Spain, Greece… each of them broadened my perspective on the world and helped shape the way I approach food, design, even relationships. In my thirties, I want to go to Asia for the first time and soak up a completely new culture and its way of eating, living, and looking at the world. And hopefully eat sushi here.

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Finally learn to sit up straight. 

This one is the closest to a “resolution” on my list, but I’m determined that my thirties will finally be the decade where I finally master excellent posture! Despite my best intentions (and pilates classes), when I get tired or really into what I’m doing, I inevitably notice myself slumping over the keyboard. Maybe ballet classes will be my next plan of attack?

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Embrace the weekend.

One of the best parts of getting older is (hopefully) learning to prioritize what’s really important. A big part of my twenties was finding my creative work passion, and while I definitely want to take that to new heights in my thirties, I’m also determined to not let work be all-consuming. Life is too short to work through the weekend, and in my thirties, I’m going to be the type of person who is not afraid to turn off my phone on a Saturday to give my undivided attention to family and friends and creating great memories together. After all, no one ever looks back at the end of their life and says they wished they “spent more time working,” right?

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Live in Europe for at least 6 months (and have a picnic at Versailles.)

Every time I visit, I’m reminded of how differently Europeans approach life than Americans — lingering with family for hours over lunch, wandering the city with no other mission than to get inspired or be entertained. I always try to bring back a bit of this sensibility with me, but I think the only way to fully experience it is total immersion. This is actually something that I wanted to wait until after we had kids to do — I have a feeling there will be something really magical about experiencing the beauty of Europe through the eyes of a child.

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Rediscover poetry.

When I was in high school, I loved reading poetry. My favorite english teacher (or my poetry loving mom) would send me one of their favorites, and I’d pore over the words until I felt the transcendental beauty of it. That’s something that I’ve lost as I’ve gotten older (and too busy, perhaps?), but I’m excited to reengage with poetry and challenge myself by reading something that takes a little more effort to really appreciate.

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Splurge on an “investment” piece.

It might never seem like the “right” time to splurge on that pricey bag or piece of jewelry, but hey — if I can swing it, life’s too short not to buy that thing that I really love, that I’ll keep forever, and that’s so beautiful and timeless, it’ll make me smile just to look at it. Now to choose what to set my sights on…

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Own only gorgeous lingerie.

I have a drawer full of practical bras that get the job done and disappear under my clothes… but what I’ve really always wanted is a lingerie drawer that made me feel girly and sexy! So wonder what would happen if I tossed all my boring undergarments and swapped them out with pretty, silky, lacy, all-matching sets that made getting dressed every morning more fun? There’s only one way to find out…

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Master a headstand.

I’m far from an experienced yogi, but this ranks right up there with surfing (see slide 1) as the most butt-kicking symbol of strength and (quite literally) balance that I’d love to master in my thirties. I think it seems super hard and like it would require a lot of effort on my part, which is what would also make it so exhilarating.

***And for those of you who are already well into your 30’s or beyond, I’d love to know: If you could celebrate that milestone birthday again, what advice would you give your 30-year-old selves?

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50 comments
  1. 1
    Anne Campbell | May 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I LOVE THIS CAMILLE! So much. Especially savor the weekends with friends and family and the picnic in Versailles. Cam and I did that with Marguerite, and it was the best. day. of. my. life! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 2, 2014 at 5:58 am

      yay, that makes me so excited. That is one adventure that we MUST have.

      Reply
  2. 2
    Gap | May 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Happy birthday girl!!
    xox, Gap.
    http://www.gaptoothedgirl.com

    Reply
  3. 3
    Jessie | May 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Happy birthday! I crossed the 30s threshold just last year and although I’m only one year in, it’s been pretty awesome so far. I started an annual list of things I wanted to do before my next birthday (28 things to do before I turned 28, 29 before 29, 30 before 30, etc., although I’m stopping at 30 because anything beyond that is just too ambitious for my schedule), so I totally love your list. And I think I’m going to add surfing and eat sushi in Japan to my list!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 2, 2014 at 5:59 am

      Wow, go girl! That is pretty amazing, and I bet as you look back over the last few birthdays, you’re blown away by how many things you’ve accomplished. So inspiring!

      Reply
  4. 4
    Girl Named Allyn | May 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Love this! I’ll be at 30 in a little over a year, and I’m a huge fan of setting positive goals to look forward to (ie not focusing on weight loss or anything like that). I definitely agree with headstand/handstand, and I’ve been working on conquering my fear of real bread making (http://girlnamedallyn.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/pizza-101/) due to a long and strange fear of yeast.
    Happiest of birthdays to you!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Sounds like we are on the same wavelength! 😉 Let me know how yours go… and enjoy the last year of your twenties!!

      Reply
  5. 5
    Lily | May 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    These are all awesome goals for a lady in her 30s… I still have a ways to go but maybe I should start making one for my 20s before it’s too late!

    x Lily
    http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  6. 6
    Wendy | May 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Happy Birthday! Love your list, and yup! 30’s are the best 😉 get ready!

    Reply
  7. 7
    Erin Hodges | May 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Happy happy, friend! xo, erin

    Reply
  8. 8
    Sarah @ 702 Park Project | May 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Happy happy birthday! My hubby turns 30 tomorrow! 🙂

    Reply
  9. 9
    Kim West | May 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I love you in pink lady, pink dress, pink lips. YES!!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 2, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Haha, I better start busting them out more often!!! xoxo

      Reply
  10. 10
    kelly colchin | May 29, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Happy, Happy, Happy, Camille! XOXO

    Reply
  11. 11
    Heidi | May 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Happy Birthday! This list is amazing and definitely go for that splurge item.

    http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

    Reply
  12. 12
    Melanie grizzel | May 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    My 30’s were the best years of my life so far and I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one single thing. Happy birthday!

    Reply
  13. 13
    Lauren | May 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    We share a birthday! Happy Birthday Camille! The 30’s are amazing – I’m just a couple years in. Love your list, especially the part about Europe. I’ve lived in London and Paris for work and college, but it’s definitely one of my goals to rent a house for a summer in the south of france with my husband and (future) children. Their way of life is so much different and enviable.

    Please post when you master your signature bread recipe. I’ve been working on this too. Have a wonderful day!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | June 2, 2014 at 6:02 am

      Oh my gosh, happy belated Lauren!!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday, and I think that your south of France summer definitely needs to happen. xoxo

      Reply
  14. 14
    Jennifer Rose Smith | May 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Happy birthday to the best boss and an inspiring friend! I believe you will accomplish all of these goals and more in your thirties. I feel lucky to be along for the ride. Cheers!

    Reply
  15. 15
    Mia | May 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Happy birthday, Camille! What a great list. I’ve dreamed about surfing and living in Europe too! And yes to eating sushi in Japan – it was such a great experience, and the culture there is so fascinating. I also got excited about your headstand-ing practice – a teacher who can guide you through the safety, body mechanics, and alignment for the pose (and not risk any head/neck or other injury), as well as help you assess your bone structure and proportions (to determine whether headstand or some other inverted pose is the best inversion for you) is key. Pardon that little bit of “evangelism” – safety is a big concern of mine as a teacher and student of yoga! Thank you for all that you (and your team) do for this website – it has become my virtual “happy place” since the “Style Notes” days. I would love to read more when you check off something on your list! Wishing you all the best for your 30th year and beyond.

    Reply
  16. 16
    Kiri | May 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Happy happy birthday! This is an incredibly relatable list. There are so many great things in the world. Here is a cheers to more adventures ahead.

    http://www.stateofsunshineblog.com

    Reply
  17. 17
    celine @aquahaus | May 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    What a thoughtful and beautifully cultivated list. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, and I have no doubt that you will accomplish and excel at each of those goals. Bon voyage!

    Reply
  18. 18
    Heather P. at Fancy Alter Ego | May 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Happy Birthday! This looks like a great bucket list for your 30s!

    Reply
  19. 19
    Edna St. Vincent | May 29, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    thank you for not pledging to train for a triathlon, cut out all carbs, and start a gratitude journal.
    that last one is actually a good idea, but i know you to be someone who is already very grateful about all the blessings in your life. my favorite of your goals is getting back to poetry. i am convinced that reading a poem a day makes you more attuned to the world around you –the beautiful and the tragic, the sublime and the ridiculous. happy happy birthday, Camille!

    Reply
  20. 20
    Julie Khuu | May 29, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Happy Birthday Camille! Oman you make me feel like an oldie (but goodie)…Just a few years ahead of ya and I have to say your list is quite inspirational! I’m totally on board with ya with living in Europe…specifically Paris in the 11th as I’ve always dreamed…something about spending days in the city gardens and museums just idling away. I’m at my most inspired when it’s ALL about the people and community. Can’t wait to see how you rock your 30’s girl…live it UP!!!

    xo-Julie
    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog

    Reply
  21. 21
    Shannon Balcom | May 29, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Happy birthday to a gorgeous lady who inspires women everywhere to celebrate the simple beauties of life. You are truly, truly an inspiration to me and I hope you feel loved and celebrated by many today. All the best to you, my dear!

    Reply
  22. 22
    diane smith | May 29, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Happy Birthday! The 30’s are great…enjoy!

    Reply
    • Gail | May 30, 2014 at 7:14 am

      Happy Birthday Sweetness. !! My thirties were one of my best times. Do all the things you want…

      Reply
  23. 23
    Natalia Little Rus | May 30, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Aw, happy happy birthday! Loving the list! x

    Reply
  24. 24
    KATERINA | May 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Happy Birthday!!! What a great list!

    Reply
  25. 25
    Rose Tinted Home | May 30, 2014 at 6:44 am

    You have inspired me! I turn 28 in just 2 days and I have been having anxiety about the whole ordeal. I hate the feeling that there is an outside pressure mandating that you accomplish certain things at certain times in your life. You are so positive and enthusiastic about turning 30 and what the next decade will bring – it’s infectious! Thank you so much for sharing a bit on your hopes and dreams for this time.

    xo Rachel

    Reply
  26. 26
    Laura | May 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Happy Birthday! Definitely check out Dancers Shape in Austin for barre classes. They absolutely having me looking toned & standing straighter!

    Reply
  27. 27
    Melissa | May 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Love this! Perfect list!

    Reply
  28. 28
    Lorraine | May 30, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Do Bar Method! You’re posture with straighten right up! There are lots of barre studios but as far as I know Bar Method instructors have the most rigorous training program for 6 months whereas places like Pure Barre are certified in 2 weeks and they aren’t as strict about proper form.

    Reply
  29. 29
    SouthernSpoon | June 1, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Happy Birthday! Speaking from one year in, it’s a fabulous decade : )

    My sweet Texan grandmother worked on her posture every day of her life, always reminding herself (and her daughters and granddaughters) to stand up straight because that’s when you look your best and also, more importantly, *feel* your most confident. I still smile every time I catch myself straightening up because I think of her. You have so much to joyful and confident about- cheers to the next decade!

    Reply
  30. 30
    Little Observationist | June 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I turned 30 not so long ago as well and I’d love to do a few of the same – embrace weekends is a great idea and so important really. And less important but equally exciting – the investment piece and gorgeous lingerie 🙂

    Reply
  31. 31
    Megan // F Yeah! | June 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Happy belated birthday! Hope your day was fab!

    In March, I turned 30, though I didn’t share your enthusiasm about it. The opposite actually so I think coming up with a new ‘to do’ list of little accomplishments and big adventures would help me embrace it and have something to look forward to 🙂

    Reply
  32. 32
    Karen | Char Co. | June 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    You have really good goals for your 30s. I especially like the living in Europe idea for 6 months, sitting straight, and embracing the weekend.

    Reply
  33. 33
    tara | June 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    These are so cool! I love the living in Europe for six months one. I’ve always wanted to live in Europe.

    Reply
  34. 34
    Tre | June 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    🙂 Pretty good list!

    Reply
  35. 35
    Catherine Clark | June 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Great list! I just turned 30 also and some things I want to do in my Thirties include: wear more bright lipsticks (hot pink!), try to say “yes” more than “no” (but learn when/how to say “no”), and to travel as much as possible.

    Reply
  36. 36
    amanda mishelle | June 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I love all of these (as I tried to sit up straight while reading)!

    Thanks for inspiring me to make my own list, no need to wait for NYE or a birthday — just gonna jump in!

    Reply
  37. Great list! I’m about to turn 31 next month and you’ve inspired me 🙂 Do me a favor and master that surfing.. I only tried a few times and never succeeded, only to move to the east coast away from any tide line.

    Reply
  38. 38
    Claire | June 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I JUST turned 30 myself and share the majority of your list!!! You read my mind! I’m ready to clean out that lingerie drawer! Such a good one ; )

    Reply
  39. 39
    Erica | November 12, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I’m obviously posting on this very late, but love this post! I am turning 20 soon and am compiling a list of 10 Things I Want TO Do in My Twenties. Here’s what I have so far:
    -Develop a healthy relationship with food
    -Travel around Europe
    -Throw a dinner party
    -Become comfortable in my body
    -Rescue another pet
    -Get my driver’s license
    -Find the perfect pair of classic black pumps
    3 more to think of!

    Reply
  40. 40
    Erin - Carry On To | April 22, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Ah we’re in the second half of our 20s and this sounds so… lovely !! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
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