31st Birthday Wishlist

birthday wishlist

Today is my birthday! So far today I’ve received the flu: sore throat, body aches, fever, fatigue… yeah. I don’t remember registering for this. At least it gives me an excuse to eat copious amounts of ice cream and watch all the old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, right?

So what IS on my birthday wish list this year? Check out some of my most coveted items from my Wishing and Swooning board on Pinterest these days.

1. BAGS: A girl cant ever really have too many great bags, can she? (My husband says “Oh yes she can,” but we wont listen to him now will we.) No matter how our size may fluctuate through the years, a great bag wont ever stop fitting ;) These days I have my eyes on the chicest little leopard foldover clutch from Accessory Lane ($45.99). It’s the perfect pop of leopard print without being too overwhelming, and adds just the right touch of fun to a polished look. For future speaking engagements I’ve been eyeing this fantastic weekender bag from Sole Society. ($79.95.) Its the perfect size for a quick overnight getaway, and it even has a separate compartment on the bottom just for shoes!

2. BEAUTY:  My amazing mama was in town this last week and actually surprised me with one of my most coveted beauty items! The gorgeous Everything Eyes Palette from Bobbi Brown (a Nordstrom exclusive item) has $139 of value at a $75 pricetag. I love that Bobbi has already coordinated the colors for perfect eyeshadow looks, and even included 4 amazing travel brushes that fit right IN the compact. I can throw this right into my bag and chance from day to evening on the go, or just touch up my look wherever I may be. Plus the colors are universally flattering and age appropriate for anyone, Bobbi’s signature when it comes to her cosmetic line. I’ve also been eyeing an amazing new lip line called Lip Sense, which seriously holds up to its claims of being smudgeproof all day color. Google for some videos from their sellers and you’ll see: these colors hold up to just about ANYTHING you can throw at them. For somebody who speaks on stage for part of her living? Im thinking a collection of their amazing colors might be in my future.

3. MUGS: I collect coffee mugs (much to my husbands dismay) and am always looking for great ones to add to my growing collection. Two of my most wanted right now? The fantastic “Stressed, Blessed, and Coffee Obsessed” travel mug from Be Still Clothing company is definitely my #1 must have ($18.00). It’s like they designed it just for me! I’m also eyeing this adorable “Coffee, Because Adulting is Hard” mug from Etsy, because lets face it, Adulting IS hard. ($13.00)

4.CREATIVITY: I’m always looking for ways to play with my creative side, and so this years list includes the amazing Minc foil applicator set from Heidi Swapp. This incredible little crafting device lets you make gold foil prints at home, and Heidi even sells a variety of other colored foils and accessories to let your creativity really shine. Im also coveting the amazing Lightroom editing collections from VSCO ($59.00.) I use the mobile editing application from VSCO, but Im dying to add their beautiful film style editing tools to my Lightroom suite.

5. CUTE COMFORT: When you are a #spoonie, you’re always looking for comfortable loungewear thats still chic enough to be seen in. This amazing “I Woke Up Like This #Tired” sweatshirt is pretty much my life story! ($42.00) Im dying to get my hands on one. This adorable “Coffee Is My BFF” loungewear set from Target is both cute AND affordable, ringing in at only $17.99 for both pieces.

6. PAIN RELIEF: Life with chronic pain means your fantasy wish list looks a little bit different than most, with items specifically geared to minimize pain and maximize your ability to be a functional human being. Since my husband and I are currently spending our nights on a 12 year old mattress that honestly belongs on a trash heap somewhere, my biggest fantasy would be an amazing memory foam mattress with an adjustable base. But…. that may have to wait until we win the lottery. A little bit more reasonable may be this 2″ Foam Mattress Topper ($57.99) that might make our current mattress feel a little more tolerable for the time being. If all else fails, I could use this Shiatsu Massage Pillow ($34.95) to imagine I have a live in masseur ready to tend daily to my aches and pains. A girl can dream right?

Ultimate 30th Birthday Wishlist

It’s officially my birthday week! This Wednesday I am turning the big 3-0. Whoah. I guess I have to finally admit I’m a real grownup now right? (If the mortgage and two kids wasn’t convincing enough…)

If you follow along on The Joy Parade instagram, you may already know that my family is in the middle of a pretty major faith walk right now. This last summer God called our family to leave everything we have known and move to a whole new state, buy a home, and start a very different and much more intentional life. It’s been an amazing journey, one I plan to continue chronicling on the blog. Over the holidays there was a pretty significant twist in the story though, in which the company my husband works for let us know that due to financial constraints they were going to have to make some personnel and salary cutbacks – which is a fancy way of saying “We’re broke, so you’re fired.” So here we are in beautiful Oregon, having successfully left the chaos of the Silicon Valley behind, looking for the exact type of jobs that are most centrally located in… well, the Silicon Valley. God loves the humor in a good irony I think. In the mean time that leaves us with a monthly income of exactly $0 and a beautiful dance between fear and faith as we walk out our Joy Parade in the midst of a whole lotta crazy.

So all of this to say, it’s not the best time to be celebrating a milestone birthday. The original plan was to take our first ever vacation as a couple and return to Mexico, the scene of our honeymoon, and ring in the 30’s with a big old margarita in a swim-up bar. The new plan for turning 30 involves some well loved yoga pants, a cheap bottle of wine, and total control of the remote while I binge on some Netflix. It doesn’t mean a girl can’t indulge in a little fantasy window shopping though, and Pinterest makes this easier than ever in the digital age.  (In fact I keep a running “Wishing and Swooning” board on Pinterest. It’s a great way for husbands to know what you have your eye on when a gift occasion comes around.) I have hope that someday our situation will be better, and a belated birthday gift will someday come my way. So I’ve assembled a fantasy wish list of some of the pretty little things that make my mama heart swoon and who knows, maybe someday down the line I’ll be able to pick something from my list and celebrate this new decade in style. A girl can dream right? <3

Birthday Wishlist


1 – Raskog Cart | Ikea | $29.99
Isn’t she a beauty? I have boxes of craft supplies and stationary items sitting in boxes and bags in my garage just waiting for some sort of official home in my office. And the color even matches my office perfectly! I’ve seen some amazing uses online for this cart – a bar cart, a craft caddy, a rolling art station for kids: it’s possibilities are endless.

2 – Stitch Fix Gift Certificates | Stitch Fix | $20 and up
I’m a regular Stitch Fix user and I have been beyond thrilled with most of the pieces my stylist has chosen for me. There have been times though that something gorgeous will come in my box and my referral points aren’t enough to pay for it and the budget just says no. It’s never fun sending goodies back when they are “keepers” in your eyes. Stitch Fix gift certificates make a great gift for any gal, whether she’s a regular subscriber or a first time user.

3 – Hunter Rain Boots | ShopBop | $148
Moving from California to Oregon brought one main difference – water falls from the SKY here you guys. Like free water just comes out of nowhere. It’s amazing. Needless to say I’m totally unprepared for this sort of thing. Would you believe I dont own a pair of real rain boots? I bought snow boots when we got here, and since they are waterproof I’ve been using those for now. But in terms of rainboots, Hunter is the gold standard. Aidan has a pair and they have held up to a couple years of all out little boy abuse, and are no worse for the wear. And these gorgeous glossy red ones would be the statement piece of any rainy day ensemble. TOO gorgeous.

4 – Gilded Portable Charger | Nasty Gal | $40.00
This gorgeous portable charge is the size of your average lipstick but contains enough kick to fully recharge an iPhone battery to 100% power. The best part of this particular charger though is that unlike a majority of its competitors, you don’t need to provide a cord. In fact, the cord it comes with is tiny and compact, and has three different plug types so you can charge just about any device you may own. It’s gorgeous AND practical – a total win.

5 -Tory Burch for FitBit Bracelet | ShopBop | $195.00
If this truly is a fantasy wish list, this item simply had to be included. Isn’t it stunning? Take any FitBit armband and convert it into a beautiful piece of statement jewelry, without effecting its functionality. I love the idea of making the athletic device less conspicuous and converting it into part of your ensemble. And it’s Tory Burch – need I say more?

6 – Leather Loop Key Fob | Henri Bendel | $38.00
I’ve been on the lookout for a chic and practical keychain with a sophisticated flair, and this one certainly fits the bill. I adore the classic chocolate and white signature strip of Henri Bendel, and it looks exceptionally beautiful on this leather key chain. Plus I would love the added practicality of being able to slip the loop around my wrist when running a quick errand that doesn’t require dragging my entire purse along.

7 – Madewell Transport Tote | ShopBop | $168
What better gift to celebrate coming into your 30’s than a quality handbag? I mean sure, I love a good deal from Target, but there is something to be said for owning a classic bag that will match almost everything and can last you well past your 30’s and beyond? I’ve been not so secretly swooning over this tote from Madewell for a long time. I’ve actually handled one of these beauties and the leather is simply heavenly. You can even get the bag monogrammed by Madewell for $10, for an extra chic touch.

8 – Cannon 6d with 24-105L | Amazon | $2,399
A full frame camera and an L series lens? Enough said. I love my little 7d and my starter lenses, but Im definitely dreaming of the day I can make the jump to a professional level DSLR. Can’t say it’ll be in the budget anytime soon, but having tested this set up out for myself I can say it’s absolutely worth the investment. If you’re thinking of getting a DSLR to capture your own authentic moments, this one is absolutely my top recommendation. It’s the most affordable of Canon’s full frame offerings, but certainly not lacking in function.

9 – Tortoise Royale Necklace | Charming Charlie | $15.00
I’m always a fan of a great statement necklace. It instantly takes a t-shirt and jeans to a whole new level of style and sophistication. And I have my eye on this affordable little beauty from Charming Charlie right now. Small price tag but BIG style points.

10- L’Eau de Chloe | Nordstrom | $70.00 for 1.7 oz, $90.00 for 3.4 oz
As much as I love my Body Shop coconut or grapefruit body sprays, they lack a certain sophistication that a beautiful bottle of high end fragrance brings. I used to own this fragrance year ago, and its absolutely enchanting: not too overpowering, fresh, bright, and perfect for Spring. A little spritz of a real fragrance completes any ensemble for a woman in her 30’s.

11 – Blogging Essentials Art Print | Jones Design Company | $24.00
I am a regular window shopper at the beautiful Jones Design Company website. So many beautiful pieces! This one would be absolutely on point for my office though, and is pretty perfect for me wouldn’t you say?

12 – Threshold Mirrored Accent Table with Drawer | Target | $79.99
My current bedside table? A cardboard moving box. Yeah… not exactly the chicest decor choice, but what can I say – the price was right! This glamorous little number from Target’s Threshold line would certainly be an upgrade though, and it matches the vision for our new master suite perfectly.

13 – Be Still Cotton Tote Bag | Kristin Schmucker | $28.00
I have been looking for a great cotton tote for some time now, and this one took my breath away. It would be perfect for throwing together a quick trip to the park, grabbing groceries, or taking the boys to the library. As an added bonus Kristin is a beautiful soul who runs her brand with character, so you can always feel great about the purchases made from her website.

(Disclaimer: some of the recommendations above contain affiliate links. This means if you click my links and purchase a recommended product, I may receive a commission from an affiliate. All opinions are entirely my own, and I have not been approached or compensated by any brands to be included in this article.)