28 Before 29 (recap)


1Soooo, this weekend I am turning 29. Last year I made a goal list, as I do every year. The birthday list concept was originally inspired by Hula Seventy. I think my very first one was "24 before 25". Every year I make a list. I never finish every single thing on the list, but it always inspires me to do things that I would normally put off. It's so much fun! So here's a recap of this past year's list and all the goals that were accomplished (or at least that I got photos of)….


1. Create an inspiring studio space. Check! I spent lots of time this year creating a home studio (not photographed yet, but here's an instagram peek) as well as a much improved studio for Red Velvet. This was fun.


2. Design a clothing line. Check! I'm so glad that I put this on the list. At this time last year my clothing line was still just a sketchbook full of ideas! Over the past year I designed my first two collections, built a wonderful team of seamstresses for Red Velvet and had so much fun learning along the way. I'll never forget these memories!

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4. Get married and enjoy every minute. When I made this goal I was engaged and just starting to plan our wedding. I was very nervous that the busy schedule of the year or the stress of planning a wedding would catch up with me. I promised myself that no matter what, I was going to enjoy our wedding season and let it be a happy time! Throughout the whole process, Jeremy and I were careful not to let stress mess up our experience. It was the happiest year ever and our wedding is one big wonderful memory! I am so thankful for this. It was pure magic!



6. Discover a new artist. I discovered Barbara Hulanicki this year and became a huge fan. She is the creator of the iconic brand Biba, as well as an artist and product designer. She's become one of my personal heroes!


7. Discover a new band. One "feel good" band that I listened to a lot this year was Best Coast. We play it at the store a lot.


8. Learn to take *real* days off work. This was a much needed goal last year. I had a real problem with not being able to take days off work due to guilt and stress. Over the past year I started taking off at least one full day every week (sometimes two) and it has been AMAZING. I've spent a lot of "me time" decorating my home and going on short trips with Jeremy. This goal has improved the quality of my life, big time!


9. Newlywed Nesting/Home Makeover. I really really enjoyed this. I actually have a photo shoot scheduled for a "home tour" next week… so I'll be sharing all my progress in the near future. Making our newlywed home special and warm was one of the best memories of my 28th year. 


10. Visit Corina. I wish I had photos of this. We went to my grandma's cabin and she let us look through her vintage clothes and keep stuff. It was amazing and so special. I definitely consider my grandmother, Corina, one of my personal style icons. 



12. Hang photos in our home. Here's a work-in-progress shot from a recent photo hanging adventure. I'm happy to report that we now have lots of memories hanging in our home! 



13. Create a RV lookbook for each season. These were so much fun! I love styling photo shoots. It's one of the best parts of owning a business! Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter

16. Makeover our website. Check! This was fun.


22. Design my dream closet. Done. I can't wait to share photos in our little home tour coming up soon…


23. Write a book. In progress! We're hard at work on this. (eeeep!)


25. Start video blogging. This goal definitely evolved over time. We spent the last season prepping to film a web series. It's been so much fun and a dream come true. Our first episode will be posted here next week!!!


27. Learn to sew. While I wouldn't say I "completed" this goal, I got a nice little start

28. Start a new collection. I started collecting family photo albums (our first one). I want to have a whole bookself full of them someday! 

What a wonderful year! I guess it's time to start making a new list for this coming year. Have you ever made one? If not, you should try it. xo. elsie

  • Thank you for sharing your goals and achievements with us. It is really inspiring to see how dedicated you are to living your life fully.

    I look forward to reading the next one!


  • I really love the way that you live your life! I know that’s quite random, but I just wanted you to know how insiring you are.

    Maybe I’ll make a ’20 before 21′ list!

  • I have to say that this made me believe that I can make everything of my goal list come true =P

    I make my own, when a new year begin !!

  • You snuck a couple (great!) surprises in this post! Can’t wait for the web series & book! You & all the RV girls are so inspiring, makes me want to strive to get the most out of each and every day!

  • happy early birthday!!! you are so inspiring i think you are an incredible role model for ladies of all ages! can’t wait to see what your book is about! xo

  • Amazing! It must be such a great feeling to look back on a great year where you got to do a lot of things from your list. I am very excited about the web series, I can’t wait to watch the first episode!

  • I’m gonna definitely try to put together a list like this in March when I turn 24!

    And can I say how much I love the colored tights your bridal party wore? I definitely want to incorporate lots of color into my wedding when I get married, and tights are a wonderful way to do that!

  • Love it! You are so inspiring! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead! Thanks Elsie! It was just my birthday too…. I am going to make my 28 before 29 list now list. 🙂 🙂

  • I am glad to see someone else is advocating the dying art of photo albums. I am determined to have a whole collection of them and blurb is an excellent resource. Currently shrinking over 1000 wedding photos into 100 for our album right now! The digital age can do wonderful things but nothing beats being able to hand down albums to younger generations. Awesome Elsie!

  • I made a list like this last year, so far i’ve done almost everything on it. You’re always so busy, it definitely inspires me to make the most of my time. Can’t wait for your home tour :]

  • You always inspire me so much! I love hearing about goals you’ve accomplished and plans for the future. I’m super excited for your book and new web series!
    Congrats on completing so many goals, and happy [early] birthday!! XO.

  • Wow! So many accomplishments! Congrats! I’ve never made such a list.I think I’ll give it a try ;).

    Have a fun weekend!


  • I did make a list this year – inspired by you! I’ve been checking things off my 29 before 30 list – and next week I have a big one, I’m running my first 5K! I’ve been training for months – and before I started, I had not run since I was in junior high. It’s been a really positive, health-improving experience! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • This is a great idea- I want to make my own list now! Looks like you had an amazing year. Congrats on accomplishing so much!

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • The amount of items on your list that you accomplished is impressive! And what’s more impressive as that you had a blast doing it! 🙂
    I’m inspired to make a list of my own this year!

  • Elsie, you are SO inspiring! I don’t know how you do it all, and with such grace! You motivate me big time. Great blog :]

  • It was so nice reading this… I actually don’t do it for my birthday but for new years eve.. and I burn the old one every year at 11 pm….
    I must congratule you because you have done a LOT OF YOU LIST and I’m so glad you do it, because I’m a big follower of your work :)… I’m planning on doing my own blog and you are for real a big inspiration!!

  • You’ve completed so many of your goals and such special ones at that!!! You should feel so proud!!!

    I do this every year as well. 😀 I’m doing quite good on my 22 before 23 list! 😉

    Happy early Birthday!!!

  • With all those goals crossed off and projects in progress for this year, I can’t wait to see what’s on your list for the next 365 days! I really must try this birthday-list thing, though I think anything after 35 might make for a troublesome one 😉 Keep it up Elsie for as long as it lasts though!

    Also, I wanted to say happy birthday Red Velvet (what a marvellous 1st year you’ve had!) and to you also, Elsie: your 28th year has been amazing to watch. Sincerest best wishes for an awesome 29th! xoxo, B

  • This is truly inspiring, I’m gonna start on my list as soon as I’ve posted this. I just found your blog and I’m definitely staying. I really, really like it here.

  • Well, seeing as I have five months left before I turn 29, time to get rolling! This is fabulous, and plenty of mine seem to coincide with yours. Love your blog, it just keeps on inspiring me!

  • You are the most inspiring person ever! Thank you so much for all the beautiful things you share. You have no idea how much you are helping to change my life right now. You are a blessing! 🙂

  • I make lists like these every year! Thanks for sharing yours. It’s so inspiring. And I ditto the comment above — I love the way you live your life.

  • I love this birthday list idea! I am definitely going to be doing the same come June! : ) But wow…You have done soooo much this past year it is so inspiring! You’re so talented and this blog has been my FAVORITE find this year. Thank-you. Also, I can hardly wait for your home tour! : D

  • I’m totally doing this for my 30th in March. It’ll be a nice milestone birthday to make some bigger goals. Thanks so much for sharing yours- they’re so inspirational!

  • One of my favorite things around birthday time is creating a new list of my own for the year. I try to revisit it often so I can see if I’m on track or not. There’s nothing quite like knowing you have completed a goal or even done something fun. You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • I cannot get enough of Best Coast! I love love love them! Also, this definitely inspires me to do more with my life and actually follow the list and try to have goals!

  • such a cute idea! i just may have to borrow it! i’m always looking for new ways to keep myself on track and inspired.

  • What a great little idea! I am a list freak so I think I will try this before my next birthday. Thanks for the idea 😀

  • It must feel so good that you have accomplished most of your goals! I’m terrible at that, but you constantly inspire me to try some more! 😉
    I can’t wait for your home photo tour and your new video series. I’m sure they’re going to be AMAZING!

  • Seems like you did pretty well in completing your list. I have a list for my birthday in April next year which I cheated by starting in January this. Haven’t done too well with it though but I think the general process has been inspiring. Have a happy birthday.

  • All these things are incredible. I always mean to make a list, but I never seem to get round to it.
    I think it’s a great idea, it gives you something to focus on and work towards.
    Well done on achieving so many goals 🙂

  • this is really inspiring! i think i will do the same for my next birthday (i turn 29 too, in the spring). it’s a great way to have goals & hopes & look forward to things, but without feeling that everything has to be completed or takes too long to do – i like the addition of Super 8 on the list!

    Katie x

  • Dear Elsie, you are such an inspiration to me and many many young women out there. You make me realize I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and leave me inspired to work on my own goals, ambitions and passion. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and being such a positive source of inspiration. I hope you had a wonderful birthday 🙂

  • You’ve done so much this year! So proud! I make goal lists every year also, but as New Year’s Resolutions. It looks like this year may be the first time I check all of them off, so excited!

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • Wow, you had a wonderful 28th year. I’ll be 29 next year and now I wish I had begun a list like this. I guess I’ll start with my 29 before 30 🙂 Congratulations on completing so many of your goal, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  • Ohhh cada dia me gusa mas este blog.. Elsie me encantan las fotos de tu boda…
    Y toda esta lista en cuanto tiempo? un año??? Caray.. yo creo que no llego ni a 4 !!!!

  • A VERY happy birthday to you! My 21st is tomorrow, so we are (almost) birthday twins! 🙂

    I am a fairly new reader, and I absolutely adore you. In just a short time, you have inspired me in so many ways. Thank you for being such a positive influence, and I look forward to keeping up with the rest of your incredible journey.

    I know that one of my 21 before 22 will be to take a trip to Red Velvet <3


  • I made goal list several times…but always I leave it abandoned.

    The next year (26 before 27) “accomplished some of the goals” will be my first goal.

    ps. i can’t wait to see your “home tour” and “Red Velvet Web series”. Seriously, RVteam is one of my best “inspiration heroes”!!

  • That is such a great and fun idea! I hope.you’ve jad an amazing birthday, and from the looks of it, you’ve had an amazing year!

  • Elsie, that’s such an inspiring idea! My birthday’s coming up in January and I think I’m gonna make such a list for the next year 😀

    Btw, a very happy birthday to you! Enjoy your day.

  • My eyeballs are euphoric that they found your blog.
    My heart is yippy. (Is that a real word? I’ll look it up.)
    My auspiciousness leaps.

    Cool, cool stuff, People.

  • I’m still salivating. So much so that I need paper towels…This is one of the top best sites I’ve come across in a long time.

  • Happy Birthday Elsie! I love reading your blog daily – a great inspiration; I only wish you lived in England and I’d visit Red Velvet all the time! Loved the article on you in this month’s Mollie Makes.

  • HAPPPYYY B-DAY MRS LARSON!!! Im so happy for you dear Elsie, you really inspired me in many ways, hope you spent a GREAT DAY, tons of love from Mexico!!!

  • I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and I’ve always felt inspired after reading on of your posts, but it seems like the best is yet to come 🙂 keep it up!

  • I would love to see what you have planned for this year. I’m so impressed by what you’ve managed to accomplish also (on top of store/wedding/collections?!) You’re a beast!

  • Wow, Elsie, you have no idea how much enjoyable and inspiring this post is!!! One of the most inspiring things about you is that you’re constantly thinking how to improve your life and then actually do it. We all know people who are not happy with their lives and think that that’s how it’s supposed to be and that they doesn’t have anything to do about it. You have and you are creating for yourself your dream life and that’s so inspiring. And those goals and decisions of enjoying the wedding preparations no matter what and learning to take days off work are great examples for that. It really is inspiring. Thank you.
    Oh, and I’m really excited about that book!!! And web series!!! Can’t wait! 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Elsie! You are such an inspiration 🙂 hope you have a wonderful day! Can’t wait for the web series!!

  • This makes me want to be MUCH more goal driven and focused! Thank you for your recap!

  • This is so inspiring- you are doing what you want to and working the way you want to. I’m only 16, but I’m going to start making these lists and doing things my way! Thanks and Happy Birthday!

  • Wow, it looks like this was quite the busy year for you! I loved seeing that whatever you checked off your list, you mentioned that you had fun doing it (and your excitement really shines through your writing!) – I think that’s what it’s all about.
    It’s posts like this that get me motivated and inspired to keep going when I’m feeling a little discouraged. Even though my birthday was in the summer, I think I’ll write a list anyway and see how much I can accomplish before the next one 🙂

  • it’s sucha great diea. i should do a list! i turned 31 last oct and since then i have been doing so much already! so yeah will be taking out the pen and paper and thinking of 32 (eeep!!) things to accomplish! xx

  • this is so much fun , I have made a list but it was for the new year . I liked this birthday list I think I’m gonna do it , and your list is so lovely and encouraging to accomplish

  • WOW! What a great idea! I love this- a neat way to think outside the box and push yourself to do things you may not have!

  • Oh my goodness Elsie you have achieved soooooo much in the past year, you must feel so proud of yourself! 🙂 It’s my birthday in a little bit and I am determined to write my own list, I think it helps keep you accountable and motivated x

  • Thank-you for sharing with us. It really inspires me to do a list like this for when I turn 27 in January! 🙂

    I absolutely love everything you have done and it is such an inspiration to read about it!

    A big one on my list is to start making photo albums. I am a photographer, yet I have barely a hard copy of any image I have taken for personal-use. This is actually a big-time goal for me!

  • I made my first list two years ago, 24 before 25, after seeing yours. Currently I’m working on 26 before 27. I love dreaming and setting goals. I feel like my life has gotten more productive and adventurous since starting them. I hope you had the happiest birthday! Blessings in this new year! 🙂

  • This is such a good idea! I just made my own list and cannot wait to start accomplishing my goals. I am so inspired by your blog. Plus that kite print dress is adorable.

  • Amazing goals! What fun! I just started reading your blog a few months ago, but some of those goals just seem sooo you that I never would have guessed you only started a year ago!

  • Love your super fun blog. Your post is definitely along the same lines as my project for this year. Check it out here and let me know if you would like to be a part of an “interview with a beginner”. It seems like you are exceptional at moving through your lists.


  • Love this, I made a 24 goals before my 25th year list last summer too! I didn’t realize other people did this!! It’s really helped me set some goals for the year and prioritize. And one was to start a blog! CHECK! 🙂


  • No you didn’t. That is awesome.. how.. when? I can barely accomplish my few things to do.. and here you are doing a list long and doing each so wonderfully.
    Btw love your wedding pictures. So cute!

  • How wonderful! I have my own Life Goals List and have just recently started sharing it with the world. I love the way you have captured your goals with images. Enjoy your journey!

  • All of this is so fun and exciting! BUT… you forgot number 3! You skipped over what looks like “pug photoshoot”? and that sounds fantastic. Anyway, this is a neat idea and finishing most of the goals on the list is always a nice bonus.

  • What a wonderful idea! My birthday is quickly approaching and I fully intend on creating my own list for the occasion. Thanks for sharing this inspirational idea.

  • Can you please share how you print your instagram pics? Thanks! This list is awesome – thanks for the inspiration!

  • Hula Seventy always has the best list themes, don’t you think? One of my favorites was a list of what she wished she could tell her 17-year-old self (or something like that). Congratulations on accomplishing so much in a year! And happy belated 29th! 29 is a good year, I’m sure you’re discovering…

  • I’ve seen these lists floating around but have yet to do one of my own! I need to!

    I love yours, and all the creativity it entails!

  • haha I remember creating a “14 before 15” inspired by your scrapbook pages a long time ago 🙂 now I just create a list of new year’s goals!

    by the way, I’m always amazed with the amount of things you can accomplish, Elsie! congratulations!!

  • Wowzers, that is one long and ambitious list. And you’ve achieved so
    many of your goals – not small goals, but really HUGE amazing things! I am soooo inspired by this. I’m curious – do you ever get stressed? This never comes through in your posts but I’m wondering whether you are frantically running around having a melt down or whether you have mastered the art of being calm and enjoying everything you are doing. I have a tendency to turn things I love doing like sewing into a chore as I put too much pressure in myself to do too much. But you seem to manage so well! Any tips you can offer on accomplishing big dreams without stress? x

  • This is truly inspiring. I shall now start my own list. Thanks for the idea. I LOVE Best Coast too. They always make me feel happy and carefree. 😀

  • You inspired me to make my very own goal list! I’m amazed at the goals you have reached in a year. I can only dream that I will eventually be able to do the same. You are an inspiration to many! Keep up the hard work, Elsie!

  • Hey Elsie!
    I loved that you shared Barbara Hulanicki on your blog! Her work is fabulous. In case you decided to start looking for a new artist for next year, I thought I’d leave you a recommendation. Adam Turman is a Minneapolis artist that I think you’d really enjoy! A lot of his work shows Minneapolis pride, but he also does a lot with cycling as well! He’s an example I think you might like! http://www.AdamTurman.com/index.php?p=12 Thanks for your amazing work!

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