40 before 40

Having been inspired by  Mrs Ayla’s 30 before 30 post and also my friend’s Helen’s 30 by 30 challenge – I decided to do my own ‘things to do’ list, but sadly I’m too old to do one before 30 *sob* that ship has well and truly sailed! So considered going for 35, but felt that gave me too smaller a time frame (I don’t need that additional stress in my life ;-P) so I have gone for the next major milestone birthday – the BIG 4…0…. – and then this at least gives me just over seven years to do it all – I may actually get a few of them completed in that time! Haha!!! Plus I do like a good list, so in no particular order…

1 Run a half marathon
I think this is something I could actually manage – it’s a feasible distance.  I’ve completed a few 10km races, so maybe one day!

2 Run a full marathon
Part of me thinks this is wishful thinking – I would just love to be able to say ‘I completed a marathon’ but I don’t know if I have the stamina or if my mind would let me do this! If I do get to do one, I would love to do the London one, the atmosphere looks amazing and I do love London.

Have you ever run a marathon? What would be your advice?

3 Learn to swim
This is something I have actually been working on this year, but had to be put on the back burner when I broke my ankle in March!

My friend, who has been teaching me, has been exceptionally patient with me and has told me I can actually swim, so it’s a case of getting over my fear of the deep end and it is an all encompassing, pathological fear of the deep end.  Now my ankle is almost back to normal this is something I want to get back to doing and would actually be very good exercise for my ankle – so technically it’s a win win situation!

Any suggestions on how to get over my fear?

4 Be an extra in a film/TV show
I always wanted to be an actress but it didn’t come about (my parents weren’t so keen), so this would be amazingly good fun – though not entirely sure how to go about it!

5 Get my degree
I’m doing a BSc in Computing and IT – so at the time of writing I’ve now completed three modules! My first one I passed with distinction, the next two I am waiting for my results.  All being well, and I pass, that will be all my level one OU modules complete and I will be starting my level two modules.
6 Resolve my food issues/intolerances
I’ve always had a sensitive stomach, which meant I ended up with disordered eating as I was scared of setting off my stomach issues, and have been finally diagnosed with IBS – though personally feel that this is just an umbrella term for “we’re not sure what’s wrong with you” – which I find frustrating.  I’ve been with a dietician and down the low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides and Polyols) route – which didn’t work that well for me. I then saw a gastroenterologist who in the end prescribed me a load of pills – which really isn’t me, and when I’d read the possible side effects, I thought “I’m not taking those!”

So recently I’ve made a real concerted effort to really eat healthily, but bring things in gradually, such as the other day I tried quinoa for the first time.
Though I have reintroduced dairy back into my diet I’ve stuck with soya milk, and I also choose to eat gluten free as I do actually feel gluten affects me – especially in wheat.  What I would dearly love to do is take a proper nutrition course and learn properly about nutrition – so this is something I’d like to do in the future and strangely recently I came across an interesting blog post on thestyledynamo.com about Nutrition for Sport and Exercise which I feel may be worth investigating and I’ve also signed up to do a free four-week course with Future Learn about The Science of Nutrition – I’m really excited.

Recipe from The Healthy Food Guide
Sweetpotato, Chickpea and Egg Bowl – Recipe from The Healthy Food Guide

The hubby and I have been getting recipes from The Health Food Guide magazine and their website and I’ve just ordered The Body Coach’s two cook books!  I think this is all closely linked with item number 19 on this list as well!

Healthy Oat Cookies - Recipe from Fitness Blender website
Healthy Oat Cookies – Recipe from Fitness Blender website

7 Write a book
Not sure which avenue to take, though!  There’s the Chick Flick option – an easy reading holiday book, like those of Lisa Jewell, Marian Keyes, Jane Green etc, which I love, I did start writing a story years ago inspired after reading Ralph’s Party…

As Will squeezed out the teabags, Alyson came into the kitchen; she came and stood behind him, placed her arms around his waist and kissed the side of his cheek. 
Will could feel her; warm against him, “hello gorgeous” he said “tea’s nearly ready”
“I feel bad now” Alyson responded, sticking out her bottom lip in an exaggerated sad face.
“Why?” Will said, feeling slightly concerned, he turned around to face her, breaking from his reverie, she looked up at him.
“’Cause it’s your birthday, I should be making the tea, and getting you breakfast” she stuck out her lip even further.  Will laughed, relief flooding him “that’s ok, I don’t mind, as long as I’ve got you I’m happy.” He bent down and kissed her, “Don’t frown, it makes you look old” he teased.
“You cheeky git” she said with a laugh, “you’re the old one in this relationship”
“Only by two months” he interrupted
“I’m not sure you deserve your present now, old indeed!” she laughed again “Oh, wait a second” she continued with mock surprise “is that a grey hair I see?” she said as she ran one hand through Will’s dark hair
“Hmrph!” was all Will replied with, pulling out of their hug, crossing his arms and pretending to sulk.

Or there’s children’s book option – not written anything, but have ideas such as Travis the Wing Mirror Spider (because we’ve all got a spider living in the wing mirror of our car) and Aliens Landed in the Playground at Lunchtime – a running joke with me and the Pink One, as she never does anything whilst at school or says ‘I can’t remember/I forgot’ so I kept suggesting outlandish things had happened and one day she ran with it and came up with an entire story!

Or maybe I could even go the erotic route, some mummy porn, well it has worked for E L James – so why wouldn’t it work for me? ;-P

He was wearing only a towel and his fine, tanned, six pack was completely on display, Clara could see a hint of a tattoo on his left hip and she was intrigued and instantly wanted to see more, she tried to clear her mind, for a moment she just couldn’t speak, clearing her throat audibly she managed “Hi, I’m Clara Foster, I’ve just moved in next door.  I bought round some cookies, and just generally wanted to say hi” in a higher octave than her usual voice and she could feel that she was blushing, as she gave what she felt was a completely embarrassing cheesy smile. Dear Lord, what was this man doing to her? She hadn’t even heard his voice yet or know his name for that matter! Wishing now that she’d tidied up her appearance before coming round or at least put on a little make up. She hadn’t expected to have neighbour who looked like this!

Which is your preference?

8 Go on a family sunshine holiday abroad
Well who wouldn’t!?! Plus it’s not ever something I’ve ever been on with my parents.
My small people are 6 and 4 – so what would be your recommendations?

9 Conquer my fear of heights (Sky Garden/UP @ the O2)
I’m not sure I’ll be able to do this but would love to go to the Sky Garden or do UP at the O2.  I’d also love to walk across the Sydney Harbour bridge if I ever get back to Australia – but I’m not sure I can get past this paralysing fear!

10 Take more weekend trips around the UK
I don’t appreciate the UK as much as I should, and it really is beautiful, and now that our kiddies are getting older they would appreciate these weekends away too!  Though occasionally it’d be nice to get away with the Hubby on our own too – see below! 😛

11 More date nights/days with the Hubby
I have even set up a Pinterest board to get ideas – we really need to do this and is definitely something we need to focus on now and not in the next seven years.  It’s hard sometimes not to get bogged down by day-to-day life, and when we don’t have the kids to want to get things done around the house.  We really need to make time for ourselves as a couple!

Any suggestions as to interesting (but not too expensive) day/nights out?

12 Be less hard on myself
This is going to be the toughest challenge – I am always hard on myself as a person and as a parent, I think it comes from being a perfectionist and never wanting to fail. These are unfeasible to achieve all the time – so then I mentally beat myself up, which probably adds to my anxiety.
I think I need to realise I am doing my best as a person and as a mum – and if some days are hard this is totally normal as I am only human and not to get down on myself about and realise that I can start again the next day.
Also to realise if people aren’t loyal to me, or care for me quite as strongly as I care for them – that this isn’t a reflection of me as a person and that I have done something wrong/upset them – that the issue could lie with them, but I find this hard as I will always lay the blame with myself.

13 Buy a weekly lottery ticket
I’m constantly saying ‘I just need to win the lottery’ but it’s hard to win if you don’t buy a ticket.  Maybe I won’t buy a weekly ticket, but at least get a ticket now and then!

14 Get another tattoo or add to the one I already have
I absolutely love my tattoo – it’s coming up two years since I had it done – it’s a tribute to my Pink One and my Blue One and I would like to get another one.  I like the idea of a dreamcatcher, fob watches showing the time my kids were born or flowers – but don’t know whether to add it into the one I already have or have it elsewhere! Not sure my hubby or parents will be happy with this one – but I really do love the tattoo I have, I think it’s beautiful and is very me!

15 Start drawing/painting again
Recently I have been doing some colouring in and have found it quite therapeutic – so would like to expand on that.


Maybe drawing/painting would be a good coping mechanism for my anxiety!?


16 Go to Australia
Well, the hubby and I have been before, but I really want to go back with the kids. It was just the most amazing experience, I adored Sydney and would also like to go back to the Whitsundays as it rained the entire time we were there and all the activities were cancelled!

The kids would adore Australia – just want them to be an age where they can appreciate it, and also cope with the 24-hour plane journey!!!

17 Do a massive wardrobe cull
I actually did it back in March, but then broke my ankle so currently the bags of clothes I want to get rid of are still sat in my bedroom – need to arrange to take them to charity, or as they say charity begins at home so take them to cash my clothes and get a tiny bit of money for me (to pay for the kids activities)!?!

Clothing cull - how did they all fit in my wardrobe? Still don't have anything to wear!
Clothing cull – how did they all fit in my wardrobe? Still don’t have anything to wear!

18 Buy new running trainers
I’ve only ever had two pairs in the two years that I have been running, and though I hate change, since breaking my ankle it would probably be good to get it checked whether the ones I have now are the best for me when running!

19 Get into the best shape and fitness
Since taking up running in February of 2014 I have been more interested in keeping fit and doing regular exercise (always loved walking) and in September 2015 I started a weekly Boxercise class with Foxlee Fitness which I love – but it was since breaking my ankle in March this year, meaning I couldn’t do the normal level of exercise I’m used to, that really brought home to me how much I actually enjoy working out.  So subsequently, now my ankle is on the mend, I’ve really got into working out about 4/5 days a week and actually eating healthily adding more fruit/veg to my diet and increasing the variety – with the help of a fabulous website called Fitness Blender and also The Health Food Guide. So far it is going well and I’ve got to eat lots of delicious and healthy meals.  I’m also drinking lots more water and getting more sleep – so far it’s going well, so I’m hoping I can keep up this lifestyle change!
Maybe one day I may get that six pack/defined abs that I dream of ;-P

Oooo, look - definition! Just got to keep it up now...
Oooo, look – definition! Just got to keep it up now…

This is closely linked with number 6 on this list too – I think you can’t really have one without the other.  You can work out as much you want, but if you’re not fuelling yourself properly you’re not going to get the outcome that you’re after and for all intents and purposes you could end up doing yourself damage. It’s like my dad always says “Everything in Moderation” and I am taking that as my motto! You can always see what I am up to on my Instagram page!

I’ve even started to have the niggly feeling that my future lies in the health/fitness industry, but we’ll see!

20 Learn to control my anxiety
I am a natural born worrier – I’ve even posted blogs about my anxiety issues one, using my blog as my unpaid therapist, about taking part in Mind’s #TakeOffTheTape campaign and one for a day when my anxiety overwhelmed me and I felt completely flat.

I’ve always been a worrier and I think I always will be a worrier, it’s just part of what makes me me, but I want to find ways to deal with it so that my anxiety doesn’t get the better of me, because when it does it takes the joy out of life, as overthinking all the time is exhausting! As is constantly caring what people think.

Recently though I’ve starting exercising regularly and eating healthily and this has actually helped me with my anxiety – though having a break from my studies is probably also helping.
Though I need to watch for what might trigger me – which could be, for instance, my Blue One starting school in September…

21 Develop my blog/social media presence
Will just keep doing what I am doing!

What are your suggestions?

22 Go to more blogger events
I think they’re a good place to learn and meet other bloggers – plus I do enjoy a good day out!
I thoroughly enjoyed the Photography event at John Lewis which I attended with Helen of Hels Bels Blog.

23 Go to Disney World Florida
Oh come on – this is just a must! Want to wait for the kiddies to be an age that they’ll actually remember going if we’re going to spend that much money on a holiday!

24 Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando
The hubby and I are massive Harry Potter fans – loved all the books, enjoy listening to the audio CDs as read by Stephen Fry and even quite liked the films.  We’ve introduced the wonder of Harry Potter to our kiddies and they actually went as Harry and Hermione for world book day!
TogetherWe’re hoping to take them to on the Harry Potter studio tour in Watford very soon – but the ultimate dream is to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – that would be amazing!
HP HG25 Read more books
I love reading and I always feel happier when reading a good book! I suppose it’s a way to lose yourself in another world and have a moment to yourself. My favourite authors (amongst others) are Harlan Coben and Karen Rose

26 Reduce my technology dependence
Hahahaha!!! Probably not going to happen – but I could try small things, like not checking my phone in bed… but I’ve just upgraded my phone after a two-year contract…

Oooo, new gadget!!!
Oooo, new gadget!!!

27 Do something with my singing
Not sure as to what as my voice suits Andrew Lloyd Webber, Disney and Church hymns!
Though currently absolutely in love with a beautiful song called “Don’t Worry About Me” by Frances which I did a cover of just for me – as I love it so much and the words just strike home with me.

Suggestions gratefully received!

28 Do a massive sort of all the stuff in the house
One day this will happen and I will be ruthless, though I hate throwing things away! I don’t like letting things go! Included in this clearout should also be our garage – and if number 34 is to happen we definitely need to have a clear out!

29 Get a new camera/lens and go on a photography course
I love my Nikon D60 – but it is 10 years old this year! As much as I’d like to get a new camera, I’d be just as happy getting a new/another lens. I’d really love to get a macro lens as I do like doing close-up work, especially with flowers.
I’ve been on a one day course, which was along London’s Southbank which was amazing and would love to go on another course and just understand how to use my camera properly.

30 Go to the theatre to see a new show
It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to the theatre – but going out soon with friends to see a Swing Dance show over from the US. I would utterly love to take my Pink One to see Wicked (though technically this wouldn’t be new to me – it would be new to her, and it would be wonderful to watch her face as she watches it! I think it would be magical!)

31 Go to bed earlier/get more sleep
Have actually been better at this – actually getting to bed by 11pm which for me is early, just need to try and keep it up and not let it creep back to midnight or later, well not all the time! The occasional night out is also good! 😀

32 Pretend to be a tourist in London for the day
With my digital SLR camera – visit all the tourist traps and don’t be embarrassed to take photos!

33 Learn where the letters of the alphabet are without having to say the whole thing
Come on – admit it, you do this too!

34 Have the house extended and the garage done
We have the plans and the planning permission – just need the finances/good builder…

35 Go to Ireland
Hope this will be sooner rather than later – the last time I was in Ireland my Pink One was 8 months old and she’ll be seven years old this year!

36 Narrate an audiobook
As weird as it may sound, I love reading out loud, as a kid I used to read out loud to my dad and now I read out loud to my kids and would just love to give it a try!

37 Become a brand ambassador for Joe Browns
Because I just love, love, love their clothes and have done a couple of posts, off my own back, on them here and here! 🙂

38 Grow my hair (or not!)
My hubby likes my hair long, I on the other hand like my hair short! I’ve had various styles and lengths.

Hair today...
Hair today…

I did say to him that one day I would grow it again, but I just don’t know, I feel so much more confident and happy when I have my bright red pixie crop!

...Cropped tomorrow
…Cropped tomorrow

What do you think?

So you can see I haven’t quite got forty – and no I haven’t forgotten how to count – I was wondering if there were any other suggestions out there you’d like to share with me – tell me in the comments below… 😀 xxx


You Baby Me Mummy

10 thoughts on “40 before 40

  1. Fab list and so many of these are so achievable before you hit 40. Love that you’ve left yourself lots of time to work your way through the list 🙂

    You should do a road trip in the UK – easy, cheap and fun with the kids – and somewhere like Spain, Greece or Turkey would be good for a chilled beach holiday. There are so many resorts that cater for families and kids. You definitely need to take the kids on the HP Studio Tour – I’ve been 3 times and I can’t get enough. And if you visit the park in Orlando I am definitely coming with you!

    Also, number 33 – ditto – hahahahaha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep – number 33 gets us all!!! Haha!!! 😂
      Thank you for all the lovely suggestions – love them!!! 😊 thank you also for taking the time to read and comment – I appreciate it! 😄xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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