Shel Silverstein

Well, tomorrow I turn the age knob up one more dial. 25 was a most excellent year, for sure. Righteous to the core and full of surprises. Here's a look back at some of the goals on my "25 Before 26" list that I accomplished!

#1: Write, illustrate and publish a children's book. CHECK!...almost..

Back in January of 2011 I drove from California to Montana with a mission. I planned on spending a month there, visiting with my wonderful friend Sarah and dedicating my time to one thing: writing and illustrating a children's book. I didn't finish up the story I went to Montana to originally write, but I did finish a picture book called Hairphabet. I submitted the book idea to Chronicle Books, but heard nothing back from them. I sort of gave up on the book ever getting published until fate stepped in and I got hired by a comedian in LA to do some illustration work for her. It turned out that she was starting up a publishing house called Paradisiac Publishing. I asked her on a whim if she'd ever consider publishing a picture book and told her about my idea. Turns out that she was interested! So, although my book wasn't published in my 25th year, I'm excited to announce that it will be published in my 26th! Look out for it in the spring of 2012!

hairphabet - full page

#2: Find a place to park my trailer/live in it/use it for a studio space. CHECK!

I found two places! The first was someone's driveway.. and the whole thing got old quickly. The second was amazing! I lived in an artist's community with my trailer for nearly six months. I couldn't have asked for a better place to live during this time of my life. It was the perfect combination of awesome and weird. Plus, this is where Picture Day got it's start!


#6: Road trip!!! (I can't get enough of them..) CHECK!

Wow, this goal far exceeded itself. I knew that I'd be roadtripping to Montana when I wrote my "25 Before 26 list", but I had no idea at the time that I'd be road tripping across the country in a food truck for a television show! Being a part of Seabirds Truck and getting to travel cross-country for The Great Food Truck Race with the great girls on the truck was definitely, without a doubt, a major highlight of my 25th year!

#7: Spend at least a month in Montana with Sarah (this is where I'm going to do all of the work on my book! I'm giving myself a 30 day deadline starting next week!) CHECK!

#10: Sip tea in a tea room like this one. CHECK!

Just a few days after I wrote this list I drove through Salt Lake City, Utah on my way to Montana and made it a point to visit the exact coffee shop that I referenced in my #10 goal. It was such a cute place! ...and I had the privilege of visiting it a second time while on the road with Seabirds for The Great Food Truck Race!


#11: Get really, really good at vegan baking. CHECK!

Okay, so I'm totally taking advantage of the fact that this is a blog created by me that's about my life.... and making this a "Oh! Oh! Look! I'm cool and doing things that are cool and stuff!" post. I don't mean for it to come off that way and I definitely think that there are cooler people than me out there, BUT I can say with confidence that I've gotten really, really, really good at baking vegan cookies in the past year. They're now delicious. Like deliciously delicious. Therefore, I'm going to brag just a little and show you that savory photo above!

#15: Be in the audience of The Price Is Right.. and a contestant if I'm lucky! CHECK!

Man, this was such a fun experience. I got to be a contestant on LINGO with my sister, Cynthia! I have always wanted to be on a game show. ALWAYS! I even planned a game show themed road trip after college that I had hopes of getting funded and made into a television show (hard to explain.. hah). I thought for sure that 25 would be the year that I made it to the audience of The Price Is Right.. I mean, I live in California.. just an hour from LA! Well, maybe LINGO isn't The Price Is Right, BUT it is LINGO!!! My sister and I made it all the way to the final round (we didn't win the grand prize of $100,000.. womp womp) and we walked away with a decent paycheck for one hours work!


#18: Get really good at the ukulele (like this kid) CHECK!..well, maybe not that good..

I bought my trusty ukulele just over a year ago while on Roadie tour with Roadtrip Nation. I got it on a whim, but knew that there must have been a reason why I was drawn to it. Turns out that it's the only instrument that I can actually understand! I've learned a lot of chords on it (primarily because most chords involve only pressing one or two strings at a time!) and I've even written a few songs (another goal on my list that I've almost completed!) So, to show you how skilled I am at the ukulele, please partake in the following highly cultured videos.

What about the other goals? Is that what you're wondering? I finished a few more, but there were also a few that I didn't complete this year that will probably transfer over to my "26 Before 27" list! I love the idea of a "so many goals before a certain age" list. It's great to focus enough at the beginning of a year of life that you can articulate the things you want to get done in a set period of time. I'm not sad that I didn't complete every goal on my list because I don't know if I would have completed (or actually exceeded in the case of LINGO and The Great Food Truck Race) any of them without my list. I got the idea from Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess. Such a smart way to put into words on paper (or the internet) what's really important to you for a years-worth chunk of time. Stay tuned for my "26 Before 27" list!

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