40 before 40: Well it came round so quickly that I fear as I go through this list in reality there is still much that I never managed to tick off. Although I can not quote bring myself to write a 50 before 50 list yet! But when I do it will be full of amazing places I want to visit as the boys get older and probably less about me! 40 before 40 was something I only really decided to do 12 months before I actually turned forty. Which was coming up a month a go. We celebrated with a family weekend to Cromer. Although I also have plans to visit Marrakesh with some close girlfriends at the end of the year and the husband has promised a special trip in the Autumn.

Because I only had twelve months my list was  not full of wonderful travel destinations or life changing events. Instead the list was focused on me, being a working mum something that doesn’t happen very often! So I guess the question is how did I get on? Well it wasn’t looking too bad when I did an update six months ago…

1.  Buy a new house – Didn’t happen. We have been watching the market and to be honest nothing has turned up that has made me want to turn our lives upside down. Plus we have been travelling so much over the last 12 months that to be honest we haven’t had time to give it proper consideration. However we have said we need to do it. So watch this space.

2. Find my style and declutter my wardrobe – nope.

3. Loose the extra baby weight (aka drop two dress sizes) – hmmmm

4. Launch a product – nope – the blog really takes up all my spare time and if I am honest my work life balance has completely gone the wrong way. But the travelling we are doing far exceeds my expectations. So I guess its crunch time – what’s more important to me in the few hours I get each night?

5. Go away 18 times –  DONE! we have travelled so much since I started this post that there is little surprise that thats not much time left for anything else…

  • Inverness – Eagle Brae with a lovely group of Bloggers
  • Brighton – For Hubby’s birthday we booked an overnight stay and a nice restaurant
  • Windsor – We wanted to visit the castle for our ABC of Castles so had a long weekend exploring the area
  • Glamping at Camp Caalm in Dorset – Having never glamped before it was quite an experience but the kids loved it
  • Longleat Centre Parcs – What I like about Centre Parcs is that you know what you are going to get and we had some great family times.
  • Hopton Park Haven – We hadn’t visited the Norfolk coast coast before and hope to go back
  • Rookley Park Isle of Wight – The hot tub was a big hit with the kids
  • Barcelona – Monkey and I went to Barcelona over the Easter holidays, it was his first city trip and surprisingly went without a hitch.
  • The Royal Garden Hotel – Based in Kensington with a special kids film package we enjoyed discovering the museums and the park.
  • South of France with Eurocamp – We stayed at several different campsites on the way down due to a flat tyre.
  • The Confetti Fields – Being on my list of places to visit since last year when I saw it spread across Instagram I knew I really wanted to visit. Although I think we picked the hottest day of the year so I wasn’t very popular.
  • Guernsey – For my Birthday including a trip to the beautiful beaches on Herm Island.
  • Portugal – Our main Summer holiday we spent in Portugal with James Villa Holidays
  • Countryfile Live – We had our first camping trip as a family of four which actually didn’t go too badly!
  • Rewind Festival – Another camping trip but this time at Henley on Thames and making the most of a child free weekend. With dancing, shopping, eating and a little bit of drinking.
  • Beverley Holidays Devon – I stayed near Paignton with boys at the end of the Summer holidays. Unfortunately Hubby couldn’t make it as he had run out of holiday.
  • Greenwood Grange Dorset – Lovely long weekend making the most of the amenities of this little complex with lots to do right on the doorstep
  • Jersey – I went with some girlfriends to celebrate one of my oldest friend’s 40ths it was a lot of fun and something we want to replicate every six months. Although I haven’t told Hubby yet!
  • Crete – During October half term we stayed at the Kiani Beach Resort, not only did I catch up with one of my blogging besties but we also went on some fantastic trips including a Cretan Cooking Class.
  • Finland – We were invited to watch the Levi World Cup in November I still have to pitch myself to check it really happened.
  • Edinburgh – We travelled up by overnight sleeper and had a lovely early festive break in the city. Also ticking off number 6 on my 40 before 40 list.
  • Disney – Our first ever Disney experience was in December 2018 when we spent a few days at Disney Land Paris.
  • London – Hubby and I went to London to celebrate his birthday for a child free weekend! Including a climb up the o2 and a Snow Patrol Concert!
  • Brussels – February 2019 saw us visit Brussels over the February half term. While we were there was walked over 30km in two and a half days. Monkey did fantastically well and we had a great time exploring the city.
  • Warwick Castle – staying in a castle is on our 2019 Travel Bucket List so we were very excited when  we were invited to stay.
  • A Treehouse Stay came next in the Welsh Hills which turned out better than I could have hoped for.
  • The beginning of the Easter holidays brought a trip to Berlin for Monkey and I, before we travelled to Rotterdam to meet Hubby & Kipper for a few days.
  • Easter weekend was spent in Swansea where we really enjoyed the super hot weekend on the beach. It was so beautiful at Rhossili Bay.
  • We hoped the weather would stay when we headed to Camber Sands the following weekend for an extended family getaway. Only the weather wasn’t in our favour. Not that it stopped us having a lovely weekend.
  • May half term as is tradition we headed to Italy with Eurocamp. Italy is by far our most favourite country by far.
  • In June as part of our brand ambassadorship with Konfidence we stayed two nights at Splash Landings hotel and enjoyed both the water park and the theme park.

Is there any wonder we have done little else for the last eighteen months…

6. Spend the night on a train in a sleeper carriage DONE

7. Watch a sunrise DONE – Monkey and I made the most of when the clocks changed and managed to watch the sunrise on a beach in Crete

8. Go to a concert DONE – In June just before my birthday I went to see Ed Shearen with a friend. We had a great time and even managed to fit in a little bit of shopping before hand. I *may have booked tickets to another concert for the early part of next year!

9. Go to a festival with the kids and camp DONE – when we visited CountryFile Live. I did wonder if it could be a complete disaster but actually the camping went well even though Kipper was only a little over two.

10 Have more massages – Nope I think I managed two in the whole eighteen months. Although that was more than I was having before. So in someways you could probably say that I did actually do this.

11 Go on a spa weekend with girlfriends – We didn’t manage to go on a spa weekend but we did manage to have a break over in London with cocktails. Plus I got a very nice voucher for my birthday for a treatment locally so we are planning a girlie day. So I am saying that this is also DONE.

12 Start taking a supplement regularly DONE

13 But a new designer handbag and not feel guilty DONE – while we were in Cannes I couldn’t resist a very well known designer brand and brought myself a beige over body bag.

14 Buy a new pair of Christian Laboutins and not feel guilty! – nope

15 Live by my new mantra – ‘ See believed she could so she did ‘DONE– I am getting much better at this and have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone both at work and also with the blog

16 Stick to my skin care regime every nightDONE

17 Increase my number of steps and buy a cross trainer – nope as this was always dependant on buying a new house so that we actually have the space for one.

18 Find a mentor or a life coach – nope

19 Become a mentor – nope. I had all the good intentions to sign up for this with work but we got knocked sideways at the beginning of the year and it all went on the back burner.

20 Join a ladies networking group – nope

21 Be in photos more with the boys and Hubby – I am getting better at this although never stuck to the Me&Mine project. Still calling this a success though DONE.

22 Have more of a social life – this is improving with my girlfriends although Hubby and I still struggle to make time for date night – Must try harder

23 Try skiing DONE – I managed to do this while we were visiting Finland. Turns out that I can learn how to stop pretty quickly and I didn’t fall over. Monkey on the other hand loved to throw himself all over the ice!

24 Do an indoor sky diveDONE – although technically not happening until Sept this year.

25 Have cocktails at the Sky Bar in London – I did intend on doing this on a recent trip to London but never quite made it. Nope.

26 Eat in a Michelin starred restaurant DONE – When Hubby I stayed in Brighton for his Birthday we went to Pike and Pine which has a Michelln started chef. I would like to share pictures with you, but we drunk a little bit took much!

27 Put my skill set to good use and help a charity DONE – Through work we help a number of charities. At the beginning of the year I was part of a team trying to help a charity increase its footprint. We did pretty well as they chose our ideas to implement.

28 Become a parent governor DONE – okay so a slight cheat as I am already one of these but its something I have wanted to do.

29 Eat in the pitch black at a restaurant in London DONE – At the beginning of Nov I went to Danes le Noir in London with some girlfriends. I really enjoyed the experience but it is the sort of thing you only do once.

30 Take Hubby to the top of the Gherkin – not yet although I have got an experience voucher. So will happen a little late but I am classing it as DONE and we may pick up the Sky Garden at the same time.

31 Get my DNA analysed – I would love to know more about my genealogy – nope. Thought about it a lot and almost brought a kit, but haven’t as yet. Nope

32 Go for afternoon tea with the girls – a fancy one! Nope

33 Do Go Ape – (I hate heights) Nope

34 Get my colours done – which will help with the new wardrobe. Never made this one either which I am regretting.

35 Go to an Italian cooking school for a day DONE – I did this one pretty early on thanks to Jo from Bookings.com and the Giovannini Family.

36 Send a message in a bottle – Nope and now with all the pressure on plastics and sea I am not sure if I ever will do it.

37 Take my mum away for the weekend– Nope. Although I know she wants to do a tour of Venice so it could be that we do end up doing this next year.

38 See the Northern Lights DONE – We managed to see these when we visiting Finland and went Chasing the Auroras with Arctic Frontier. It was an amazing experience.

39 Go to a ballet DONE – I inadvertently booked a ballet for January when I arranged for us to go and see the Snowman. I had no idea it was one and not really what I had imagined when I put this list together. But its another one off the list.

40 Go to a drive in – ideally something girlie like Dirty Dancing or Grease – Nope I couldn’t make the dates last Summer. Fingers crossed for this August instead.

So how did I do? At 39 and a half I had ticked off seventeen things. At the point I turned 40 I have ticked off twenty two.  Which I think in hindsight is pretty rubbish because at the time of writing my first post on forty before forty all of these things were really important to me. Maybe my priorities have changed without me realising? I’m not sure but I don’t think I will be putting the ones I haven’t made into my next bucket list. I guess for once I am not ticking everything off. Before I would have got quite stressed by this, although I have no idea why! Now I realise that its okay for my priorities to change. If travel is my passion then maybe my next age related bucket list should be focused on that and experiences?

I would love to know what would be on your list, please let me know in the comments below.

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13 Comments

  1. Great list! I would say the important things on there like holidays and experiences are the ones that count!

  2. That’s one long list I hope you get through them all and have a great time. You do look good . I think people seem to look younger for their ages these days. My eldest daughter is 41 she still looks young to me. I’ve just reached 66 but still try to stay as young looking as possible and with a 5 year old hyperactive grandson I certainly keep on the move lol

  3. Wow you went away 18 times!!? That is seriously impressive! I’m 40 next year so best get cracking with my list – eek!

  4. I just turned 39 and in the process of compiling my list, too. You’ve given me some great inspiration for it. I think 18 trips is a bloody good effort! Plus you’ve managed some great things for your own self- care. Good job!

    Kat x

  5. Troy Easton Reply

    She looks good for 40 and I like that she has a list of things she has done, It’s good to see what she has done and I like the pictures.

    • Wow, this was a very challenging lost you set yourself and I think you made a great go at it. I’m seriously impressed that you fit in 18 holidays. I hope you enjoy looking back on all the special memories you made this year.

  6. Debbie Skerten Reply

    Wow what a list. Very impressive and all those places you’ve visited, fantastic.

  7. The parents of my best friend in high school had a boat in Holland (I went to high school in Germany) and they’d take me with them when they went across the border for a long weekend. We must have thrown a tonne of messages in a bottle in to the Dutch sea – never had a single reply.

  8. Melanie williams Reply

    I love this idea. Finding your style and more importantly declutter the wardrobe is a must for me too xx

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