26 before 27 challenge with Free Printable!

Whooohoooo… today is my 26th birthday!!

I just love to celebrate my birthday. There is something so special in knowing that you were placed on this earth to make a difference. It is also a good time to reflect on the year that passed, as well as plan for the year to come. This year I have decided to start doing a 26 before 27. Basically, what it means, it that I have created a list of 26 things that I would like to do before my 27th birthday.

26 before 27 - Simply Organize Life

This is not just a list of goals that I would like to achieve, it is more like a list of 26 fun things to do, which will add a bit of sparkle to the everyday. This list includes some big items {which require a lot more work} and some little items, which I would really like to do, before my next birthday.

The benefit of keeping a list like this, it motivates you to have intentional, effortless fun. It also helps to get to know yourself better, encourages you to brighten up someone’s day and to know that you are making a difference in the world. It can also be a great way to get closer to the one’s you love, through random acts of kindness.


#ONE – Plan an overseas holiday with my hubby.

I really, really would love to go overseas with my hubby. We both love traveling, adventure and experiencing new sights and sounds. My idea is to set up a whole itinerary, get an estimated price and start saving for our dream vacation. Greece is definitely on the top of my list of places to visit.

Outcome: This sort of happened, we are going to visit my brother in the UK next year and talked about our trip, but no actually planning was involved, so this was probably a FAIL…

 #TWO – Organize and upgrade my wardrobe.

I would like to define my style more and fill my wardrobe with more types of clothing that fit together and that I feel comfortable in. Then it’s out with the old and in with the new. This will happen throughout the year, as buying clothing can be quite expensive.

Outcome: DONE! This one I can be proud of, I am not 100% there yet, but I have managed to purge a lot of old clothing and get new one’s that fits my style.

#THREE – Learn to cook 26 new dishes.

I am so excited about this challenge because I just love being in the kitchen. We have loads of different spices and sauces in our kitchen which really inspire me to put a twist on regular old recipes. I must admit that I am not the world’s best cook, but I think this will give me a push in the right direction.

Outcome: Um… To be totally honest, I think I made like one new dish, so this is an EPIC FAIL…

#FOUR – Read at least 10 books.

I am such a sucker for vintage/old romantic love stories. I especially like the writings of Francine Rivers, so I will definitely read one or two of her books. For the rest, I will probably read something from my own bookshelf. So many books, so little time. I would read all day if I could, especially when paired with a nice hot cup of coffee and a piece of milky chocolate.

Outcome: I read at least 4 books, cover-to-cover, but I know I can do better!

#FIVE – Go to my graduation.

Wow, I have finally written and passed my final exams. I can’t wait to go to my graduation and receive my certificate for all my hard work over the past couple of years.

Outcome: DONE & DONE. Here is a picture to prove it:


#SIX – Watch a theater show with my hubby.

My husband is not really that fond of musicals or theater shows, but once we are there and it’s a good show, he finds that he too can enjoy this art form. I, on the other hand, quite enjoy the theater every once in awhile. The last show I watched was Sound of Music, which was quite spectacular.

Outcome: FAIL, we didn’t even make an attempt.

#SEVEN – Create a photo wall.

We have a huge collection of professional pictures from our engagement, wedding, first and second year anniversary shoots, that we did. It would be so much fun, to sort through and choose a couple of them to decorate our walls. This not only helps to make our little one bedroom apartment feel homey, it will also help to remind us of the good times that we have shared along the way.

Outcome: Um, FAIL…

#EIGHT – Pay off all our debt.

How wonderful would that be? We have faced a lot of financial challenges since we got married plus made a huge investment in my studies. Luckily, we are almost at the finish line, but it would be nice to be debt free!

Outcome: This was DONE a few times, but at this very moment we still have one outstanding account. Let me just tell you, it feels good to have no debt. 

#NINE – Do a 5km road race.

The last time I walked/ran a 5km marathon was about 10 years ago. I don’t have very good knees so I try to avoid strenuous exercise, but I must also admit that I have become a bit lazy over the past couple years. So this year it would be awesome if I can push myself to start doing road races again. The first step is probably to pre-register for a race and just go for it.

Outcome: This didn’t happen, but I did sign-up for Park Run, which is a tiny step closer to doing a 5km road race.

#TEN – Start a recipe binder.

I have a lot of different loose recipes that needs a good home. I will share my complete binder on the blog, with a freebie printable. How does that sound?

Outcome: Nope, this didn’t happen either.

#ELEVEN – Arrange at least 1 coffee date with each of my closest friends.

I have been way too busy and overwhelmed these last couple of months, there is just so many things in life that demand attention. I think catching up with some of my closest friends and sharing a cup of good coffee, is just what I need to unwind and get away from all the hustle and bustle, that is life. Plus I get to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world.

Outcome: DONE, well I had coffee dates with most of my friends, which was way more effort than I made previously.

#TWELVE – Create 5 awesome free printables for my blog.

Showing some blog love and appreciation for my readers. The aim to create printables that are pretty and functional. Watch this space…

Outcome: DONE :)

#THIRTEEN – Visit an art gallery. 

Neither me or my husband have really ever been into art, so it would nice to go to an art gallery and explore something new. Plus this can also count towards a date, so it’s a win-win situation. It’s always a good idea to experiencing something new.

Outcome: No go…

#FOURTEEN – Go camping for a weekend.

This can turn into such a romantic and fun weekend. I am not afraid to go camping, I learned from the best – my mother dearest. She is a super organized and well-seasoned camper. Seeing that we don’t have any camping gear, we would probably have to borrow everything from her, luckily she doesn’t mind at all. Fun, fun, fun!!

Outcome: I can’t even remember if we went camping this year, so it’s probably a no!

#FIFTEEN – Take my mother and granny out for coffee and cake.

We must appreciate the people in our lives and by doing something small every once in awhile can show them just how much we appreciate them. This is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the people that I love.

Outcome: Sadly my granny passed away this year, but we did have a great time drinking coffee and eating cake at her house. I miss her so much already…

#SIXTEEN – Do 26 random acts of kindness.

This is almost a project on its own. I will make a separate post on this item and tick off my kindness acts as I go.

Outcome: I did write a post about this, to be honest, I have done any of them. Although I have done other acts of kindness, so I guess in a way this DONE :)

#SEVENTEEN – Write a letter to my friend who lives in New Zealand.

It has literally been years since I wrote a letter to one of my best friend’s that has immigrated to New Zealand. We use to write to each other all the time, but as one gets older, time just flies by. This is really one I would like to pursue wholeheartedly.

Outcome: This didn’t happen…

#EIGHTEEN – Play a round of golf with my father.

It is not a big secret, but I don’t like watching or playing any kind of sport. My father just loves to play golf. He literally plays golf every weekend. Just like spending quality time with my mother, it is also important to me to spend some good father-daughter time with dad. See you on the golf course.

Outcome: This also didn’t happen…

#NINETEEN – Start a devotional and prayer journal. 

I cannot resist a notebook. I have at least ten unused ones, so this year I would like to make one of those notebooks into a devotional and prayer journal. With these types of journals, it is just so awe-inspiring to look back over the year and realize how many prayers were answered, what revelations have come light and how God has changed us.

Outcome: I do have a notebook with random notes and ramblings about my journey with God, but I want to be way more intentional with this. I would say half-half…

#TWENTY – Buy a DSLR camera. 

Oh, the possibilities…

Outcome: YES, this did happen and I was so excited – the best present ever.

#TWENTY-ONE – Go on a photography course with my new camera.

We have very talented photographers in South Africa and there is just so much to learn from them. I have already researched a few courses, so I just can’t wait to finally start my photography journey!

Outcome: I didn’t go on a course that I really wanted to so, NOPE…

#TWENTY-TWO – Make 10 things from Pinterest.

I have the tendency to pin hundreds of great DIY’s, recipes, design tutorials etc. but honestly I have never even tried one of them. Let’s do this!!!

Outcome: This didn’t happen, AT ALL!

#TWENTY-THREE – Go wall climbing with my hubby.

As per point number 18, I do not like sport, but once again this is something that my hubby enjoys and I decided that I would give it a try. Who knows maybe, I can learn to love it?

Outcome: No go…

#TWENTY-FOUR – Do one ‘out of my comfort zone’ activity. 

I feel out of my comfort zone a lot. As the year progress, I will pick the one time that was the most extreme and add it to this listing.

Outcome: This happens to me daily, I got really close to a snake the other day, which is pretty out of my comfort zone. I got to take this picture:


#TWENTY-FIVE – Visit a kitty or puppy shelter and play with all the furry friends. 

Wow, this can just be fun. I will definitely take some pictures and post them here.

Outcome: I am very disappointed that I didn’t do this…

#TWENTY-SIX – Have 52 date nights with my hubby.

Time flies by so quickly and as part of building a healthy sustainable marriage, we must learn to have fun together. I will make this a series on its own, which will commence in the new year. I cannot wait, I love my hubby to bits.

Outcome: I never counted, so I would go with half-and-half…

So that is my list. I cannot wait to get started. Once every two weeks or so, I will place an update on my progress. This will not only remind me to complete the tasks on my list, but also it will also keep me accountable.

Because it is my birthday and I would like to bless you with something. I have created a {… before …} freebie, which you can use to create your own list of fun things to do. Hope you like it…

{...before...} - Simply Organize Life

I would love to know, what fun things would you add to your list?

Remember to have fun!

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  • I just adored this post and was almost jumping up and down with some of your to-do’s, they are so awesome!! Since I’m turning 29 in exactly 36 minutes, you have inspired me to do a 29-before-30 list for myself, if you don’t mind me bagging your creativeness :)
    I wholeheartedly agree on #22. Because seriously, how many times do we pin things or save recipes off of Facebook and we N E V E R get around to actually do the things we pinned and make the recipes we saved. It’s like our own fairy tale land inside our heads where we have all these brilliant ideas, but we never put it in action. Such a brilliant idea of yours!

    Looking forward to your feedback on this as the year goes along xx

    • Hi Marné

      Happy Birthday!! May you have a wonderful year, filled with awesome adventures! I am totally with you on that #22, we need to pin less and create more.

      Thank you for your positive feedback and feel free to share some of your 29 before 30 with us. I would love to hear, what you have planned for the year ahead!