A Year of 40 Things!

Today is my 41st birthday and I couldn't be happier.  I've spent the past year trying 40 things I've never done before and it has been one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had.  I can honestly say that this has been the best year of my life.  I've learned so much and had so much fun with so many different friends.  I truly have a lot to celebrate.

Naturally, a lot of people have asked me which of the 40 Things was my favorite.  What a difficult question!  The list is so diverse that it's truly like comparing apples and oranges. Perhaps if I break the 40 Things into categories it will be easier to decide.

Places I visited:

All of these were really fun and places I'd happily visit again.  We had a great time at the Petrified Forest and at Bouchon.  The Conservatory of Flowers was awesome.  The drive-in movie experience was great.  But the two that stand out most to me are the Planet Walk and the Oak Cafe.  Despite being really sick that day, I absolutely loved doing the Planet Walk. There is truly no better way to really understand the scope of our solar system and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is gorgeous.  As for the Oak Cafe, it's the only place on the list that we've made an effort to visit a second time within the year, which speaks volumes.

Foods/drinks I tried for the first time:

This is an interesting category.  Out of all the foods and drinks I tried, there isn't a single one I wouldn't eat again.  That said, I wouldn't go out of my way for a macaroon, Shamrock Shake, Egg Cream, or absinthe.  I'd eat them, but I wouldn't order them.  The chess pie was fine; I'll be trying the lemon version soon to see how that compares.  I really enjoyed the Afghan food and the cacao nibs; both are things I'd actively seek out.  I had a blast eating the Top 10 Jewish Foods.  Not only did I love the challenge, but the food was delicious.  So that leaves Miracle Berries as my favorite in this category.  Getting together with my former coworkers (who I dearly miss) for the world's weirdest luncheon was truly a highlight of my year.

Crafts I'd never done:

Once again, it's so hard to pick a favorite.  I had a fun time trying spirelli and have made it repeatedly throughout the year.  The copper etching was fascinating, but I won't be doing it again.  The metal stamping was cool.  That leaves the three in-person classes I took: glass flamework, beading, and lapidary.  I absolutely loved all of them and I think the class format is a huge part of that.  I love learning, but I especially love interacting with an expert teacher.  Of the three, I think the beading class was my favorite.  It didn't have the steep learning curve of the glasswork or lapidary; I went home with a bracelet I love that I'm proud to wear.

Foods I'd eaten before but never prepared myself:

I have such good memories of making these foods.  Some I have made again and again (risotto, poached eggs, popovers).  By far, my favorite was flambeing.

Everything Else

This might be the hardest category of all, since it isn't really a category.  I loved teaching the scrapbook class and it's been a lifelong goal to see the Harlem Globetrotters in person.  We've been planning to hide a geocache for about two years and am so glad we finally did.  The Library Roulette was awesome and I had an absolute blast with our family Cupcake Wars competition.  So that leaves two: cooking from a mystery basket and being a Mythbusters volunteer.  I can't believe how fun it was to cook from the mystery basket, but could anything top filming an episode (twice!) of a hugely popular show?  Nope.  Being a Mythbusters volunteer tops my list of the coolest of my 40 Things.

More than anything else, this year has been about trying new things with others.  The goals I accomplished alone were great, but they don't compare to the ones I shared with friends and family.  A huge thank you to everyone who joined me for one (or more) of my goals:  Mom, Dad, Brian, Kari, Timothy, Dave, Pat, Carl, Courteney, Kylinn, Jonna, Karl, Cathy, Rita, JoAnn, Stephanie, Lesley, Diana, Marcia, Rebecca, Kristen, Miriam, Rina, Kelly, Ken, Sheena, Devin, Diane, Suzzi, and Gayle.

The biggest thank you goes to Steve and Trevor, who joined me for an amazing 25 goals (Trevor) and 31 goals (Steve).  You truly made my 40th birthday something I will never, ever forget.  I love you.  


  1. Happy Happy Happy BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! YAYYYYYYYY for accomplishing your goals!!!

  2. You've accomplished so much in just one year! You are amazing! A very happy birthday to you!!

  3. Happy birthday! It was a blast to follow along this year and a thrill to participate in a number of them.

  4. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It does sound like you had a VERY amazing year!
    So very awesome for you!!!

  5. Happy, happy birthday Cindy!!! SO AWESOME that you finished your list and had a great year!! I hope 41 is just as exciting and good for you!! ;)

  6. Happy birthday! It has been so fun and inspiring following your goal progress. I am looking forward to seeing project 41!

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cindy!!!! :D It's been such an amazing trip to take with you, as a follower this year! I have been inspired by your willingness to take on new things and new places! You are one awesome woman! Many happy wishes coming your way!!

  8. Happy happy birthday Cindy! Glad you had sooooo much fun accomplishing the goals on your list.I've enjoyed reading about your journey too. The best is yet to be. Hope 2013 is an even more fabulous year for you. :)

  9. I keep meaning to post here but I keep getting distracted, clicking back to all the other posts, lol. I thought I had read them at the time but I missed some. Catching up and enjoying your posts so much.

    I love that you did this project. Very inspiring. It made for a really good blog reading experience too. Well done.


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