A Squared: 30 Before 30: A 3-Month Check Up

Monday, November 18, 2013

30 Before 30: A 3-Month Check Up

Back in August on my 29th birthday I shared my list of 30 things I want to do/accomplish before I turned 30. Well, I was serious about it! So, to keep myself on track with these goals-- at least, with the more realistic ones-- I thought I'd give you a little quarterly status update so that you can keep me accountable...

30 Before 30

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Signed Edition)
image via
3. Read [and finish] one book per month. For someone who fell off the reading bandwagon for a long time, I have been doing pretty well here! Since my birthday, I have read Middlesex, Gone Girl, and I just finished Where'd You Go, Bernadette this weekend. It was a good book, but I was anxious to finish so that I could get started on Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. I have missed reading about Bridget!

6. Get back to my "comfort" size/weight and stay there. The last time I was there was in 2008. I have lost 1 lb. since writing this goal. Not exactly a goal achieved, but progress nonetheless. I am glad I won't need to revisit this goal again until WELL after the holidays!
11. Make some real professional progress. I try not to divulge too much information about my day job here, but what I will tell you is that things are going well. After almost 4 years I still like my job and my team and things are going in a very positive direction there!

12. Go to more networking events and make more of an effort to meet new people. Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of new people-- especially in the Chicago blogging community. This blog has introduced me to some really fun and inspiring people and has also provided me with the opportunity to attend some fabulous events with them (see here, here, here for examples). I'm really looking forward to spending more time with these new friends!

14. Brush up on my dwindling Italian language skills. After studying Spanish in school for 7 years, I actually picked up on Italian pretty quickly when I lived in Florence for a semester in college. Since then, however, the only time I have had a chance to practice is when ordering dinner at Italian restaurants. Not quite the same. So, I have downloaded an iPhone app (Italian FREE 24/7) and some podcasts (ItalianPod101.com) that have actually been really helpful. I listen to them on my walk to work and I think that it's slowly coming back to me!

20. Win a recipe or cooking contest. Get ready for this-- Not only did I win one; I have won three! The photo at right of my Huevos Benedict won the Cuisinart Point & Shoot Photo Contest. They sent me a Cuisinart 6-Quart Multicooker as a prize!
Additionally, my Brussels Sprouts & Apple Salad recipe was a semi-finalist in P.F. Chang's Goodness of Fall Contest. I won a gift card to P.F. Chang's!
And although it's not a recipe, a photo that I submitted of cheese curds won me a cookbook in Cooking Light's Lighten Up, America! Photo Contest.

29. Improve the photography on A Squared. I'm still looking into getting a professional quality camera and have a lot more to learn about photography, but in the meantime I think I have really stepped up my photo game in terms of props, plating, lighting, and editing. For example, see the two photos below:

orzo in 2011
orzo in 2013

A pretty noticeable difference, right? Keep watching-- it's going to get even better!

30. Stop sweating the small stuff and enjoy the last year of my twenties. Always a work in progress. But seriously, life is pretty darn good.


  1. Dang! 3 wins already?!? That's awesome.
    If you're ever looking to add another blogger meetup to your #12 goal, I'm always up for a lady date. :)


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