28 by 29 List

Yesterday I turned 28. Doesn’t it seem like there’s a lot more than only one year between 27 and 28? I didn’t feel like 27 was that old, but now I might as well be 30. The older I get the faster time seems to pass, and it’s so easy to let a whole day, week, or month slip by without doing anything noteworthy. In an effort to prevent monotony, achieve a few goals, and put my 28th year to good use, I made a list of 28 things to accomplish before my 29th birthday.

28 by 29 list

  1. learn to french braid my hairDone!
  2. get a new stamp in my passportDone, Done, & Done
  3. fix up the basement spare room
  4. learn to play the ukuleleDone!
  5. try sushiDone!
  6. upgrade my laptopDone!
  7. have my wisdom teeth removedDone!
  8. practice hand letteringDone, Done, Done, Done & Done!
  9. introduce tea towels to the Wit & Whistle shopDone!
  10. wear more hatsDone, Done, Done
  11. find a new hobby Daniel and I both enjoyDone!
  12. decorate a cakeDone!
  13. organize the rest of our old vacation photos & print photo booksDone!
  14. come up with a regular cleaning scheduleDone!
  15. build a coffee table with my dadDone!
  16. paint each of my fingernails a different colorDone!
  17. try 12 new restaurantsDone!
    1 – The Irregardless Cafe
    2 – Udupi Cafe
    3 – Zoës Kitchen
    4 – Market
    5 – 18 Seaboard
    6 – Beasley’s Chicken and Honey
    7 – Boylan Bridge Brewpub
    8 – State Farmer’s Market Restaurant
    9 – Reflections Cafe and Restaurant
    10 – Tatler
    11 – Spice and Curry
    12 – Yuri
  18. host a girl’s nightDone!
  19. scope out the best antique shops around hereDone!
  20. wear perfume everydayDone!
  21. go on an impromptu weekend tripDone!
  22. practice painting with gouacheDone, Done, Done, Done, & Done!
  23. find the perfect shade of red lipstickDone!
  24. plant a butterfly gardenDone!
  25. determine my personal style & purge everything else from my wardrobeDone!
  26. read 12 booksDone!
    1 – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    2 – Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
    3 – The Stranger by Albert Camus
    4 – Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    5 – The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
    6 – Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
    7 – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    8 – The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
    9 – Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
    10 – Tooth and Claw by T.C. Boyle
    11 – Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
    12 – Animal Farm by George Orwell
  27. try screen printing againDone!
  28. make a paintingDone!


  1. Annie

    I just turned 28 too and feel the same way about the difference between 27 and 28!! I love your 28 before 29 list. It makes 28 feel way more exciting and less scary.

  2. Kerry

    A very happy birthday to you. I’d say you’ve already achieved quite a bit! And as one who was 28 a verrrrry long time ago, I have to tell you that even though the years do go faster, there’s still plenty of time to learn and do something new. Dare I say, that’s one of the secrets to staying young(ish)!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Oh, I don’t mind if other people turn 30. Just as long as it doesn’t happen to me. ;)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Yeah… I’ve been putting that one off for a while. I figured putting it on the list would force me to do it.

  3. Phoebe

    I think because when you’re 27 you can still conceivably be in your ‘mid-twenties’ (25 +/- 2). Anyways, great list – my birthday is coming up as well and you’ve inspired me to make my own.

  4. Chloe

    Love your list! Your blog is my favorite to follow right now. When it comes up in my RSS reader I always get excited to see what you are working on or thinking about.

    Its nice to know you still have your wisdom teeth. I’m almost 24 and mine seem happy to be where they are.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Thanks Chloe! I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog. :) Yeah, my dentist has been telling me for a few years that I need to have my wisdom teeth removed. They don’t bother me at all, so it’s hard to be motivated to have surgery!

  5. carrie

    Happy Birthday!

    I stumbled upon you blog and shop about a week ago and I absolutely adore your cards. You’ve got a real flare for it. I love your blog. Anyway, I can’t believe we have the same birthday and we are the same age! Weird, I think your list is a great idea and you’ve got some great things on there. You’ve inspired me to do the same :)
    I hope you had a lovely day. Also, you’ve achieved a lot already but I have the same feelings as you except I’m not even married yet but I hope he’s working on it!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Happy Birthday to you too Carrie! It’s so cool that we were born on the same day! What are the chances?!

  6. Kasey M.

    Happy Birthday!

    I’ve got a recommendation for a fun hobby to share with Daniel. Have you ever tried reading a book together? You read a chapter out loud, then he reads one?

    My Hunnie Bunnie and I started doing this about a month ago when we finally got a copy of The Hunger Games and couldn’t figure out who would get to read it first. I started reading it out loud in the car on the way home from the store…and now we’re done the entire series. Next we’re taking on The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which we will read with English accents!)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That is a great idea Kasey! We’ll have to try it for sure. We loved the Hunger Games series, and I can’t wait to see if the movies are any good!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Oh yes, I’ve made paintings before. I just want to make another one this year! :)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Nope, I’ve never tried sushi! It seems scary to eat raw fish, but I have to at least try it before I decide if I like it or not, right?

      I’d love to visit Italy one day! It’s definitely on my travel list. :)

  7. dana

    Hello and Happy Birthday! Great list!
    I taught myself to french braid one summer when I was at my grandmother’s and nobody knew how, so here is my advice:
    DON’T use a mirror! Just start with a braid, keep adding, and don’t look in the mirror until you’re done. Dedicate some time to it, like when you are watching TV or listening to radio or whatever. Dirty hair is easier to learn on, because it’s less slick. Also, if you don’t pull it too horribly (painfully) tight, then you can tuck wisps in with a comb if you miss them….just until you master the art.
    Good luck!!!!!!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Thanks a lot for the tips! I’ve never tried it without a mirror, and I bet that will help a lot. With the mirror I get confused about which hand is doing what, and I end up with a big tangle!

  8. kate

    Don’t completely despair on #24, unless you’re completely unable to cross your legs. If you can cross your legs, you can probably work your way to the splits. Here’s a set of stretches similar to what I used once to up my flexibility when I was trying to go from out-of-shape to auditioning to be a dance major within one month. Best practice, if you have the time, is to hold a passive stretch until it no longer hurts…just breathe through the pain, inhale, then relax the stretched muscle as you exhale. It’s just like meditation. http://www.ifafitness.com/stretch/stretch7.htm

    And even if you never make it to the splits, if you stick with it, you’ll be surprised by the increase in flexibility. Having that extra flexibility is just plain healthy…it’s the key to injury prevention across all activities. Of course, I should practice what I preach! I just turned 31 yesterday (but if anyone asks I’m still 26), and I’ve let myself get horribly out of shape over the past year. I got myself a new pair of running shoes for my birthday as added motivation. Hopefully it works!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      I can cross my legs like a champ. Sweet! Thanks for the advice and the link. Yeah, I figure if I aim for the splits and fail, I’ll at least gain some flexibility. Good luck with your running! I’m sure the new shoes will help, that kind of thing always works for me. :) Happy Birthday!

  9. sevda

    hey, happy birthday! i have always imagined you as a obsessive reader, i don’t know why. a book a month sounds normal, so i thought isn’t it strange how we always make presumptions…

    have a great year! : )

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Too funny! I can be obsessive if I really get into a book, but in general I do a pretty normal amount of reading. :)

  10. Julie

    MAC Russian Red, my hair is a different color every few months and it is one of the few true red lipsticks that is almost universally flattering. Happy Belated Birthday!!! I sounds like you’re going to have an amazing 28th year :)

  11. Stacy

    Happy Birthday! This is always such a fun time of the year.

    I CAN NOT wait for number 9! Tea towels are such a weakness of mine and I already love your designs. That is a major win-win for me. :)

  12. Katie

    This is a great idea! It’s really nice to have a concrete set of goals, including both easy/hard things as well as serious/fun things. Very inspirational.

    Make sure you do some research on wisdom teeth though It’s a commonly accepted procedure, but there’s always another side to every story. I’m not having mine taken out unless they ever start to bother me! A useful link: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/skip-that-surgery-most-wisdom-tooth-extractions-unnecessary/

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Thanks for the link Katie! Unfortunately a few of my wisdom teeth are growing directly into the roots of my other molars, so I think I need to go ahead and have them removed to save my other teeth. :( Hopefully yours never start to bother you!

  13. Stacy Jean

    Happy Birthday Amanda! I discovered your blog after etsy highlighted your shop as a feature seller. I just turned 28 a few months ago and I totally relate to how you feel! I feel like I should be all grown up now, but I’m so in denial! Thanks for sharing your list! Many of your items are on my list too but you have taught me to relax and just add some fun things too, they don’t have to be monumental, just self satisfying. Your blog is especially charming to me because I live not far in Holly Springs so its really neat to see you being so creative and successful in our area. Reading your blog makes me smile. Thanks!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Oh yeah, I definitely had to add a few easy to accomplish fun things to the list. :) Awesome that you’re right up the road from me!

  14. Brandy

    Love your goals and they feel completely obtainable which makes it easier to complete them. When you try sushi make sure you go with someone who has eaten it before and that you get the good stuff it makes all the difference. If you ever come to Vancouver, I would be happy to take you we have some of the best sushi in the world :)
    Happy Birthday!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      That is excellent advice. I would have no idea what to order!

  15. Charis

    Great list! I made a similar one at the start of this year, 52 in 52. It’s actually gotten me to do things I would never have gotten round to otherwise!

  16. Kat

    If the Russian Red doesn’t work try MAC’s Ruby Woo. It is a little brighter than the Russian and it is super matte so it doesn’t feather or fade as quick.

    I was also on the quest for the perfect red, and this is mine =D

  17. Melanie

    M A C’s Red. Just red. It looks good on everyone. That’s what the sales lady told me, and she was right. Stunning!

  18. katy

    I just found your blog and I LOVE this post. I turn 28 in a few months and eek…it is making me feel old. turning 27 wasn’t that bad, but I think 28 is just scaring me (and I think my freaking out is scaring my husband a little bit…)

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Thanks Sophia! I’ll let you know if I get stuck. I’m hoping the “Ukulele for Dummies” book I ordered will do the trick.

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      It took me a long time to read it too! I liked the story line (and I really liked how it ended), but I could have done without all the long political discussions (ehem, Levin) that kept slowing me down!

I love your comments more than I love chocolate (almost).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *