I know I've already said this on several different platforms, but I'm super excited about turning 30. It's now just two weeks away (April 22nd to be exact), and I feel like Christmas is coming. I don't know why I'm so excited, but I am - maybe because I'm pumped about the next chapter in my life and what it might entail. Regardless, I wanted to put together a list of shamelessly self-promoting 30th birthday gift ideas in anticipation of the big day. Even though the specific items I'm listing here are clearly things I personally want (Mom, Dad & Hubby, this blog is for you!), I'm making it general enough that hopefully any of you will be able to apply it to the almost-thirty sporty girl in your life, too. Happy present buying!
Special nostalgic treats
There's something about turning 30 that makes you want to re-discover all the things you enjoyed as a kid, and food is a great way to recapture special moments in your life. For instance, I used to get a huge box of Nerds and a Dr. Pepper every time I went to the movies. Haven't done that in years, but there's something about it that seems really appealing right now.
So, rather than take your birthday girl out to a big fancy dinner, ask what her favorite treats were as a kid, or what food experiences she remembers most, then try to recreate those experiences to let her revisit her past. Here's what I'm craving now:
- The Salt Lick BBQ Brisket, $59.95 - The Salt Lick is where I had my high school graduation party with my very best friends from childhood. I may not live in Texas anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't miss delicious brisket!
- Atomic FireBalls, $9.95 - As kids, my friends and I used to see who could keep a FireBall in our mouth the longest. Do that enough times, and you learn to love the spicy little suckers.
Wish list experiences
After taking a trip down memory lane, most 30 year olds spend some time thinking about what they want for the future. Help your favorite birthday girl achieve some of her goals by asking her what's on her bucket list or wish list. I've got a ton of things on my list, some of which are going to cost a pretty penny (surfing trip to Costa Rica, anyone?), but here are a couple other items that I've been wanting to experience:
- Thai food cookbook or cooking lessons, variable price (cookbook shown is $14.81 from Amazon.com) - I love eating Thai food, and since my wonderful husband doesn't think he likes it (he's never really tried), he's hesitant to go to a Thai restaurant on the rare occasion when we eat out. I would love to be able to cook and enjoy Thai food at home, and it's on my list of things to learn.
- Sandboarding gift certificate, any amount - I love snowboarding, so when I heard about sandboarding, I decided it was something I wanted to try. We live about three hours away from one of the best sandboarding locations in the country, but we just haven't made it out that direction. I'd love to have an excuse to go give it a shot!
Lounge wear that's mildly age-inappropriate
There's not a 30 year old out there who wants to think it's time to put away some of her favorite college-aged fashions. Go ahead and indulge the youth in your favorite sporty girl and pick up a few belly-baring tops or super-short shorts. Lounge wear and weekend wear is a great place to start because you can keep being "age inappropriate" for as long as you want when you're in the comfort of your own home. Best place to find young-looking clothing that 30-somethings can pull off? Victoria's Secret!
- The Gaucho Short (39.50) and The Crochet Tank Top (49.50) - You can't go wrong with bright, flirty colors and a lot of bare skin!
- Classic Fleece Banded Bottom Pant ($44.50) and The Perfect Swing Tank ($24.50) - Comfortable, casual and oh-so dorm-room chic!
- Fleece Short ($29.50) and Classic Fleece Dip-Dye Hoodie ($59.50) - Perfect for the beach, pool or just around the house!
Wish list toys
Most of us have a few "toys" on our wish list - these are things we can live without, but deep down inside, we have a burning desire to have them. For me, most of my wish list toys go way back to childhood (or at least to my mid-20s) - like when my parents said I couldn't have a trampoline. Maybe, as a grown, 30-year-old woman, it's time to have some fun!
- JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Model 250, $239 - I don't need a big outdoor trampoline - this indoor one will do just fine, especially since it's 85% larger than most indoor tramps.
- ElliptiGO 8C, $2,499.00 - Hey, a girl can dream, right? I've wanted an ElliptiGO ever since they were still in their product testing phase about five years ago. It's an elliptical training outdoor cycle! How cool is that?
- Flybar 800 Pogo Stick, $233 - This is another childhood dream of mine - to own a pogo stick. Now that I'm an adult, a child-sized version won't do. The Flybar 800 supports up to 180 pounds and has up to four feet of jumping potential.
You may not be able to fund a vacation for your favorite sporty girl, but you can help outfit her for her dream getaway. Even if she doesn't have a trip planned quite yet, she'll appreciate the support you're showing by helping her fund the additional expenses. In my case, my dream vacation is a couple weeks on a warm, sandy beach:
- Oakley Dolly Bikini, $88 total - A comfortable, supportive bikini is always in style, and if your 30 year old birthday girl is confident enough to wear one, support her in her confidence! (Mom, Dad - small top, large bottom, mix & match colors is fine!)
- Athleta Trestles Scrunch Bikini Top, $52.00 and Splash Low Tide Swim Bottom, $44.00 - A girl can't have too many cute bikinis when she plans to spend a couple weeks at the beach! (Mom, Dad - small top, medium bottom)
- FitFlop Sling Sport Sandal, $65.00 - A pair of cute, comfortable flip-flop sandals is essential to a beach vacay. I'm loving the FitFlop Sandals in orange or black from Victoria's Secret. (Size 11!)
- Tie-Waist Cover-Up Dress, $45.00 - The perfect vacation coverup will take you easily from beach-lounging to romantic-dining. A soft color and floaty fabrics are key to pulling off this look. (Size medium!)
Every sporty girl has a hobby. Whether it's running, lifting, cycling or trying out the latest fitness trend, there's bound to be a way you can support her passion. A great place to start is clothing and fitness accessories, but don't be shy about asking if there are any specific tools she's been putting off buying. You may be surprised at the seemingly random items she would love to receive for her big 30th birthday.
A good rule of thumb when buying a workout top for a sporty girl is to pick something that has a few unexpected details. Chances are she has a lot of workout clothes already, so you want to choose items that are fun and different. Here are a few tops I'm coveting right now: (Mom, Dad, hubby - I'm a size medium unless otherwise noted)!
- Women's Under Armour Don't Interrupt Tee, $24.99 - I love the "Don't interrupt my playlist" graphic on the back - sometimes a lady needs her "me time" at the gym!
- Oakley Printed Align Bra, $40.00 (size small) - How cute is this graphic print with the yellow, gray and black color contrast?
- prAna Etta top, $65.00 - The asymmetrical tank is a trend in fitness fashion right now, and I love that this one is combined with a reverse ombre fade.
- MPG Ziggy Top, $52.00 - It may just look like a black tank, but the MPG Ziggy top has a lot of cute features in its cut and style.
- Oakley Short Sleeve Relax Top, $38.00 - There's nothing I love more than a relaxed, wide-neck t-shirt, and the mesh, contrasting-color detail on this Oakley number makes it especially crave-worthy.
Before buying just any pair of workout pants for your sporty lady, make sure you ask her if there are particular styles she likes or ones she veers away from. Most women are a little picky about how their pants fit, so getting some guidance before making a purchase will help prevent returns or exchanges. (Mom, Dad, Hubby, mediums usually work great!)
- Under Armour Women's Heatgear Slash Capri, $49.99 - See those slashes on the back of the pant? That's to let the air in and keep you cool during a tough hot-weather workout.
- Lululemon Athletica Wunder Under Pant, $78.00 - Loving the waistband of these ankle-length leggings. Plus, they come in multiple inseam lengths, making them perfect for women of all heights.
- Under Armour Women's UA Great Escape 3" Shorts, $34.99 - The graphic print and the slight flare to these shorts ensure a top-notch fit for women of most body types.
When shopping for workout bags, look for ones that will be functional for the purpose that the birthday girl will be using it for. Also, think about her lifestyle - will she want a traditional duffel bag, or would she prefer a bag that she can use for other purposes as well, like taking it with her to work or traveling with it on the weekend. Generally speaking, the best gym bags are the ones with lots of pockets and multi-functional ability...plus, they should look cute. Here are a few I'm loving right now:
- Adidas Airline Bag, $50.00 - This one may look larger in the picture, but it's actually perfectly compact, measuring 15"x11"x5". The shape and simple style make it great for trips to the gym or keeping essentials with you on weekend getaways.
- Oakley Impact Bag, $80.00 - There's really not much that this bag doesn't have. It may be larger and a little bulkier than other bags, but with a zippered bottom compartment to store shoes or wet clothes, a removable internal laundry bag and lots of pockets for everything else you need, you'll easily be able to make this bag work wherever you need to go.
Cute fitness accessories
When in doubt, you can't go wrong with cute hair ties, headbands, socks or water bottles. The good thing is these types of fitness accessories don't cost a whole lot, so you can pick up one or two inexpensive items that you know she'll use on a regular basis. Socks and headbands may not seem like a glamorous 30th birthday gift, but you can't frown at practicality (especially when it's something unique and cute that she may not buy for herself)!
- Lululemon Athletica DANCE! Headband, $9.00 - Loving the double-band look!
- Fuelbelt R2O Revenge Hydration Belt, $29 - An excellent and feminine way to carry water during long runs!
- Adidas Superlite 2.0 No Show Socks, 6 Pair, $18.00 - Cute colors make for easy folding on laundry day!
- Sparkly Soul Sparkly Wide Headband, $17.00 - Every 30 year old deserves to sparkle when she runs (or rides, or kickboxes, etc.)!
Special training tools
Like I said, there may be some seemingly odd items that your sporty woman would like for her 30th birthday. If you don't want to come right out and ask what you should buy her, just ask what types of training she's been trying or if there's anything she'd like to try but hasn't had to tools to give it a shot. Who knows, maybe she wants a heavy bag to practice boxing or a BOSU ball to enhance her balance. Most sporty women keep abreast of the latest trends and like trying new things, so a simple question could save you a lot of grief. Here are a few of the items I'd like to add to my training repertoire:
- Lifeline USA Jungle Gym XT Wall Mount, $25 - I love my Jungle Gym XT, but I hate that to use it I have to close myself up in tight hallway in order to anchor it to a door. I've been wanting to get these wall anchors so that I can attach them to the ceiling and use the system in my living room.
- First Place Competitor Hurdle from Perform Better, $79.95 - I'm no hurdler, but I do appreciate the drills you can do to improve hip flexibility and stability when using a hurdle. I would love to have five or six of these available to use, but one is a great place to start!
- Nike Sparq Speed Ladder, $42.00 - Again, I don't plan on becoming a speed demon any time soon, but speed ladders give you the chance to run a number of speed and agility drills quickly and easily. Sure, laying out a ladder shape with tape on the ground can do the same thing, but I don't think our gym manager would appreciate that!
- Indo Board Pro Training Pack, $299.95 - I'm a balance training fanatic, and I would love to start training on the oversized Indo Board Pro. You can perform any number of exercises on top of the board with either the balance disk or roller underneath. Plus, the larger size is perfect for taller individuals or anyone who loves participating in board sports.
Laura Williams, M.S.Ed.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science from Texas State University, Laura Williams focused her career on aquatic and fitness management. Over the course of eight years she moved cross-country three times to take on progressively more difficult roles. She left management in 2010 to finish her master’s degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is now a writer, entrepreneur and the “Sporty Girl CEO” of GirlsGoneSporty. When she’s not working, Laura can be found running her dogs, snowboarding, lifting weights, attempting yoga or watching shamelessly trashy television. Connect with Laura on Google+.