#ThisIs40 Photography Project {Week 1}

#ThisIs40 Photography Project Week 1

So… I turned 40 last week and oh what a week it was! I spent a week away, part with friends, part with my husband and had a lot of time to think and reflect and plan. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my birthday! With the thinking came a few regrets. One of those being that I really, really miss doing the Project 365 photo project and sharing it on Dine & Dish with you all. They were never my most popular posts… I know you all come here for the food… but they were one of my favorites.

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I’ve decided to start a new daily photo project called #ThisIs40 and I plan on documenting the next 365 days of my life through photos. Today is the first installment. As always I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram…my favorite social media platform. I’m going to try to take most of my pictures for this project with my DSLR Camera (so they won’t be on IG), but there are always some fun things I might share on Instagram with the hashtag #ThisIs40 that I won’t share here.

So with all that said, here we go! Thanks for coming along for my 40th year! 

October 5th Wine at #BBRetreat

October 5th: My 40th birthday was spent in Park City, Utah (one of my favorite places in the world) with some of my best blogging friends. Heidi, Maria and Kelley planned the most perfect blogging retreat for a small group of us. This trip stemmed from conversations a year ago while most of us were at Harry & David in Oregon and turned into something beyond anything any of us ever expected! It was an amazing few days away, where we learned, laughed, cried, ate, played and just had the most wonderful time connecting with each other. I feel so blessed to have started my 40th year with such great friends!

October 6th Balloons

October 6th: On Sunday, I woke up for my final day in Utah, had the most AMAZING breakfast pastry from Les Madeleines in Utah. Then, I headed to Las Vegas to spend the next few days with my husband! Actually, Nick had a work conference at the Aria Resort and Casino so I tagged along. When I arrived this fantastic balloon bouquet was waiting for me from my dear friends, Johnna and Bree. I was so touched, once again, by how thoughtful my friends are. I am pretty darn lucky!


October 7th: I woke up this morning, went to the hotel gym for a run, came back to the room and just took my time getting ready. I didn’t have to get ready for anything, but decided to dress up and do my makeup and hair and just be that person for the day. I’ve learned from taking the Sarah Jenks Live More Weigh Less Mastery Course the power of red lipstick. A simple thing like putting on red lipstick truly can transform the way you feel. You should try it!


October 8th: Today was my spa day… I gave myself that gift for my birthday! I had a wonderful hot stone massage by a man I nicknamed “Mr. Miyagi”. Then I spent a good chunk of the day just hanging out in the various pools and treatment rooms of the spa. It was such a relaxing day! A great gift.


lunch shanna shawn Oct-9th-Nick-I

October 9th: The good thing about being on Midwest time when you are near the west coast is you wake up early enough every morning to see the most amazing sunrise. Today’s was one of my favorites!

I spent today with two of my blogging friends… you might know Shanna from Pineapple and Coconut and Shawn from I Wash You Dry. We went to lunch together and did some shopping and just had a great day together! Check out these cupcakes Shanna made me for my birthday… aren’t they perfect? I think she knows me well, don’t you? The cupcakes were some of the BEST we’ve tasted too… you can find Shanna’s Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream recipe here. You won’t regret it!

Tonight, Nick and I went to see Cirque du Solei’s “O”. It was really fascinating, but will I get shunned if I say I just didn’t like the show as much as I expected to? I know a lot of you absolutely LOVE this show, so I feel kind of uncultured saying it just wasn’t my thing, but it wasn’t. I guess I’m more of a Broadway girl!


October 10th: As much as I loved my time away, I honestly couldn’t wait to get home to see the kids and dog. My mother-in-law drove a very long way to get here and take care of them while we were gone, which meant the world to us. I was so happy to be home though!

Whitney English Day Designer

October 11th: I came home ready to strategize and get down to business with some of my freelance work and other business ideas I’ve been tossing around. I was so happy that my new Whitney English Day Designer for Creative Entrepreneur’s arrived! Perfect timing!

fb number 48October 12th: I wrote this on Facebook yesterday…so you can see why my son now has the numbers “48” shaved into the side of his head :) “Over the weekend I finished the book Go Ask Alice, the diary of a teenager who becomes defiant and because of a couple poor friend choices, heads down the road to drugs and destruction. In the book, it stated that one common theme among teens who turn to drugs is that they all initially had big arguments with their parents over hair and resented their parents for not allowing them that avenue for self expression. So, guess which one of my kids is now getting his hair cut and having his football number & the Nike swish shaved into the side of his hair. He’s pretty excited that I said yes (and glad that I read that book!). Choose your battles, right?”

That’s week one of #ThisIs40.. I hope you all enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing in these little glimpses of my life. See you next week!



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  1. says

    Love love loved spending your birthday with you.

    LOVE that you’re going back to the things that make YOU happy! We should all do that more.

    LOVES YOU <3

  2. says

    Love this new series. I”m a year away from turning 40 and I have to say, this is a wonderful age, it has exceeded my 20-something expectations. So glad you had a fabulous celebration!

  3. says

    I am so glad you are starting this series! Love seeing your photos and love hearing more about what’s going on in your life! You are always an inspiration! I am so glad you were able to attend the Better Blog Retreat. It was a real treat to spend time with you! xo

  4. says

    I wish I could express just how excited I am about this project. I think it’s wonderful and I just love getting these sneak peaks into my favorite bloggers’ lives! Yay for 40 :)

  5. says

    I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this series. This is SO you Kristen. I love how you can toss around ideas, let them stew and then come up with something that is so fitting to tell YOUR story. Biggest of hugs and can’t wait to follow along!! xoxo

  6. says

    Love this series idea, I don’t do Instagram but I’ll be following along here :) What a beautiful collection of pictures and memories, and love the red lipstick – it IS amazing what hair and makeup can do for mood and productivity!

  7. says

    Oh I love this Kristen!!! Maybe some people come for the food but I’m not one of them…I come for THIS!! This is the Kristen I fell in love with. Happy 40th!! I want to be you when I’m 40. And 33, 34, 35… xo

  8. says

    Lovely idea! Also liking the deal with the hair. We let our 18 year old do whatever he wanted with his hair (yes, once he dyed it with blonde leopard spots) because as you said, that was something that 1. grows back and 2. isn’t permanent and was always 100% 3. HIS choice. Having that ability to make a choice for himself did – I think – take off the pressure to rebel in other ways because he knew he had the freedom to be crazy with his hair.

    He’s grown out of that now and is just lazy and cheap and won’t get his hair cut anymore!

  9. says

    I am in love with this series. And you! You are so inspiring and I may not even personally know you, but I have already learned so much! I can not wait to follow along everyday and see what you are up too and how you are living life to the fullest!

    Oh and the blogging retreat in Utah? Oh man, I am so jealous of you all. It sounds like such and amazing experience and fun time. I cannot to hopefully meat you all! :)

  10. says

    Happy, happy birthday, Kristen! Keep on celebrating the entire month!
    I laughed out loud about your son’s hair! Middle school! When my son (who is now a junior in high school) entered middle school, we told him he was in charge of his hair – paying for hair cuts, riding his bike to get it done, and the length of it. He let it get so long – it was longer than mine. My husband and I never said a word but it was so hard – for me! I took a picture of him with his long hair and hung it front and center on the refrigerator. It took a bit of time but he did get it cut and to this day, he’ll look at the picture and say, “Why didn’t anyone tell me about me hair?” We just laugh – now. :)


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