Tiny Tips Tuesday: Celebrate Your Birthday

it is your birthday

Dear Friend,

Last week I celebrated my birthday by reviewing my previous years’ birthday lists (2012 2013), eating vegan cupcakes from Pushkin’s, riding my newly tuned up bike around Midtown and taking my friends and their kids bowling on a Saturday afternoon. Pretty low key and yet still celebratory. Pretty much a reflection of where I am in my life right now.

Some years I have chosen to skip the party and almost pretend like my birthday wasn’t happening or that it wasn’t a big deal. Looking back, it seems like I did this in years that things weren’t going as I had hoped or planned.

I would love to hear from you. Please share how you celebrate your birthday.

  • Are you a huge party every year kind of person or do you love a low key get together with a few close friends?
  • Or do you skip the whole thing?
  • Or does it depend on how things are going in your life?
  • How do you feel about birthdays?

With lots of self-kindness and love,



Links To Love:

43 Things Before 43

A Half Birthday List 22 Before 44

Make A Birthday List from Rosie Molinary

Mrs. PartyPants (someone turned 40)

43 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

A Short List of Things I Hate

A Half Birthday List

The only advice I have about having a birthday list, is to start one when you are in your twenties.  When you get to be my age, my half birthday list is in the twenties!

birthday list

My reason for coming back to the birthday list is it helps me do fun and significant stuff I wouldn’t otherwise.

I’ve learned a lot about myself since doing The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher  – yes, I did the program and wrote it. What? It’s good stuff.

One thing I learned is that days, weeks and months can get away from me if I don’t actually take control of my schedule. I have a gold medal in time-wasting/mindless internet surfing thus leaving almost no time for things that are important let alone fun.

So now every Tuesday afternoon I plan my life: meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), movement, quiet time, work and most importantly fun.

I’ve been working on my half birthday list since mid-September because that is actually the six month mark for me and I wanted to be sure I wanted to publish another list before I actually published it.

Apparently, I do, so there you go.

22 Before 44: A Half Birthday List

  1. Take a dance class series. I have always loved dancing, but haven’t taken any lessons in years. I’m currently thinking intro to tap dancing. How much fun would that be?

  2. Pay off my teaching credential loan. It is time.

  3. Set up system for depositing checks. What? Doesn’t everyone struggle with getting checks deposited before they expire? You didn’t know checks expire? Well, you heard it here first.  Get a pretty box by the door and put a banking day on the calendar each week.Get that app that lets me never go to the bank again.

  4. Take a solo spa day in Calistoga to use the gift card in my wallet. Sometimes waiting around for someone to be able to go with you means you never get to go. So before my birthday, solo spa day.

  5. Buy a bigger food processor from Crate and Barrel to make life easier. Why Crate and Barrel? Gift card in my wallet.

  6. Read 22 books for pleasure. I have gotten away from reading fiction the last decade or so of being in a constant quest for knowledge. The next 6 months are all about the novel. Please leave your must read titles in the comments.

  7. Enjoy a restorative yoga class each month. Taught by someone else. I mean really.

  8. Celebrate family day with a day off at Apple Hill.

  9. Write 22 thank you notes to people who have touched my life.

  10. Take control of my calendar – clearing one day a week to schedule everything. Another brilliant tip from The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher. My day is Tuesday. Game changer. I plan all meals, exercise, meditation, work time, family time and fun. And it all gets done because it is on the calendar. What? I know. Revolutionary.

  11. Teach a restorative/writing workshop – Restoration NOT Resolutions is scheduled for New Year’s Day at It’s All Yoga. Save the date! More details later.

  12. Create a business with the city and or state. This is a by the end of 2013 goal.

  13. Set up business checking account. This is also a by the end of 2013 goal.

  14. Take a cooking class. I did this in Thailand and absolutely loved it. Do more of what you love. I think I’ve heard that somewhere before.

  15. Pretty up the back yard. Ideas include: a new gate, make under laundry room into a cute play area with shelves and cover, deal with the toy clutter, adding more shade, adding more flowers, adding an herb garden and more!

  16. Attend an author event. Inspiration? Yes, please.

  17. Make bread in the bread machineJust how long must one own a bread machine before one uses it? I’m at about two years. Crazy train, I know. This will stop or I will give it a new home.

  18. Wrap up 25 winter books for the kid to unwrap each day of December. Yay for new books! From the library!

  19. Pare down wardrobe/reestablish my personal style. More accessories and less yoga pants/jeans and striped t shirts.

  20. Investigate/start college fund for kiddo.

  21. Eat vegan treats. Make vegan cinnamon rollsmake vegan biscuits and gravyeat a vegan doughnut.

  22. Mini redecorate our bedroom. Ideas include: add shelves as foot board and night stands, new bedding, recover head-board.

Do you keep a birthday list? 

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43 Books: Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

I bought this for myself for my birthday and it is book number 39. Not too shabby.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. Seriously, if the word minimalist is in the title I’ve probably already checked it out.
  • The subtitle: Enjoy Modern Family Life MORE by doing LESS. – I love doing less and enjoying more. Like a lot.
  • An entire chapter dedicated to self-care!
  • The ideas in this book are completely doable.
  • This book helped me feel less alone in the sense that I want to do less and enjoy parenting more. I still see so much what I call parenting Olympics around that it was refreshing to read a book with beliefs similar to mine.
  • As part of the book launch, the authors held a 2 week Min Camp where each day we were asked to do an easy action from the book. It was such a great way to put the book into action. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s still going on.
  • I love the idea of limiting extra curricular activities (both from a parent AND teacher perspective – down time is good for everyone).
  • I love the idea of saying no to activities and physical stuff to make room for the remarkable.
  • Kudos to the authors for emphasizing working with the teacher when dealing with their kids’ school and the idea of GOOD ENOUGH when it comes to school. I was basically fist pumping and shouting during that part.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • I wish the self-care chapter would have been first instead of last because I am such a huge advocate of self-care. I get that a lot of people haven’t been taking care of themselves and have to sort of be talked into doing something for themselves. But SO IMPORTANT!
  • The writing in the education section got a bit circular. I’m thinking because it is so ridiculously personal for each family and everyone’s experience is so different. Still, the emphasis on taking the competition out, (ironically) wins.

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Good lord, YES! Asha and Christine use their own experiences and family stories to illustrate the topics in the book and I feel like we are kindred spirits.

Should you read Minimalist Parenting?

Absolutely. If you have kids and feel like your life is running you instead of you enjoying it, read this book now.

Have you read Minimalist Parenting? What did you think?

43 Before 43: Actually Make Something I’ve Pinned From Pinterest

In the spirit of not being such a holiday Scrooge for Ruby’s sake, I’ve decided we’re going to decorate our house for the winter holidays.

This is a huge step for us. The first year we were in our house we cut down and decorated Christmas tree with lights and bows and then never did it again because we always spend it with family out-of-town. Plus the whole undecorating part was so not fun.

This year is different – the Ru is home and since I’ve always felt the holidays were for kids, we’ve finally got a reason to decorate.

Enter the Life/Birthday List and I found the inspiration from my favorite hobby obsession Pinterest:

For tutorials on making this and other alternative “trees” – click the photo.

Here is my actual “tree” – I’m looking forward to seeing it lit up at night.

I’m so excited I am able to already cross something off my list.  If you are interested in other ideas I have found for the home – check out my list on Pinterest.

Are you all inspiration (like me) or do you make time to be creative and actually make things?

43 Things Before 43


For months I’ve been reading about other people’s Life Lists and wondering if I could ever make one without driving myself crazy with all the achieving and in-my-head competition.

Would my list be cool enough?

Would I really do everything I said I would?

What huge adventures await?

Inspired by Rosie’s birthday list, Sarah’s try new things before her birthday list and Amy’s Life List, I’ve decided to put together a list of things I would like to do before I turn 43.

Why 43 instead of 42?

My birthday is in 4 months and I don’t want to hurt myself getting it all done before then. My list is l-o-n-g, makes me think I needed to start this  thing in my 20s.

My intention with this list is to remind myself to have more fun, take care of myself and to do things out of the ordinary.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

The List:

1. Take my birthday (March 20th) off – no work, no obligations – just fun.

2. Take an anti-gravity yoga class.

3. Road trip to Portland with Ruby.

4. Take Ruby to see live music.

5. Read 43 books.

6. Put my feet in the ocean with Ruby.

7. Pick berries.

8. Go on retreat.

9. Teach an active yoga class.

10. Go to the movies by myself. {Yep, I’ve never done this. I have, however, gone to a rock show on my own so don’t feel too sorry for me.}

11. Attend a service at a Universal Unitarian church.

12. Explore the Taiwanese culture in Sacramento.

13. Learn 10 words/phrases in Mandarin.

14. Run a 5K.

15. Write a fan letter.

16. Rent a house at the coast or in the mountains.

17. Teach a class on social media and blogging to teachers.

18. Sleep outside.

19. Do a swim workout.

20. Watch my first students graduate from high school.

21. Spend a week away from the Internet.

22. See a play.

23. Go to a sing along at the Crest.

24. Take a photography class.

25. Take a cooking class.

26. Take a private yoga class.

27. Actually make something I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

28. Go to the ballet.

29. Have a family portrait taken.

30. Watch a movie outside in the backyard.

31. Take Ruby on a hike.

32. Help a friend start a blog.

33. Build an outdoor shower.

34. Make a wall of bookshelves in the dining room.

35. Redesign the entryway and make it pretty and useful.

36. Start a mom/play group in Midtown.

37. Teach a class at my gym.

38. Organize the pantry.

39. Get rid of all the shoes I don’t wear because they are uncomfortable.

40. Take a nap in a hammock.

41. Host a baby shower.

42. Take a photo every day.

43. Make the Book of Me into a book.


Do you make yearly plans? A Life List? Would you like to?

I’d love to hear about yours.

And I’d love for you to join me in making my list a reality. Please let me know if you’d like to do any of my 43 with me.