the big 3-0: thankful thoughts

by Grace Bonney

The delicious cake and cake stand above are from Herriott Grace

Design*Sponge turns seven years old this summer, but today, I’m officially 30. I was only 23 when I started this site, and in some ways, I can believe it’s been that long, and in others, it still feels like yesterday. I’m so lucky and honored to still be sitting here, doing the job I love every day, so I wanted to share some of that gratitude this morning. Rather than worrying about getting older or any of the other things people do around this new age bracket, I wanted to really celebrate all the things that have been the most enjoyable, gratifying, humbling and fulfilling over the past few years spent running this site. Whether you’ve been joining me here since 2004 or are just stopping by for the first time, I want to thank you for the support and creativity you share with me, and everyone at D*S, every day. This site has been one of the most significant and special things to come into my life over the past decade and it wouldn’t be possible without all of you. I wish I could share some cake and a glass a champagne with all of you in person, but until then I’ll raise a virtual glass to our collective health, happiness and friendship. If this next decade is filled with half as much love and inspiration as you’ve all shared with me during my 20s, I will be the luckiest girl in the world. xo, grace

P.S.: I always love starting a special day with great music, so I’m listening to “Clay Pigeons” by Malaena Cadiz this morning. Click here to join in and listen. I wanted to embed the player in this post but it auto-plays so I decided to skip it, since most people don’t want to hear music without warning when they load a site. (Thanks so much to Lisa for the tip!)

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  • Happy birthday Grace…I just wanted to tell you how inspiring and wonderful this site is for those of us who love beauty and look for it in our daily lives. Keep enjoying what you do and sharing your passion! :) Big hugs.

  • Happy, happy day Grace! And thank you for all your hard work on this site — it is SUCH an inspiration. If you have any qualms about your 30s, put them aside — this decade is ALL the fun of the twenties without all the uncertainties. Enjoy every moment.

  • A very happy birthday to you Grace! I wish I could feel as zen about my upcoming 30th birthday as you!!
    I hope you have a wonderful day, get lots of pressies, eat lots of cake and yummy food, and surround yourself with the people you love :)

  • congratulations grace on building a lovely and informative site that brings inspiration and happiness to so many other people. you are just a babe in the age game. life only gets better, xo!

  • HAAAPPY BIIRTHDAAY TOO YOUU, HAPPY BIIRTHDAY tooo youuu, Haaapppy biiirthday deeear GRACE, Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

    30 is a fabulous number, and you are inspirational, motivational and remarkably accomplished! a great example to all of us wafting around the 30 mark :)


  • I am heading into that same age bracket in a few weeks time and I am taking the same approach as you. I am not going to have the anxierty filled ‘breadkdown’ my friends have had. I am instead looking back proudly to see where I have come from and looking forward with great anticipation of what this new chapter holds. I hope you have had the happiest of birthdays. You have much to celebrate and be proud of. Congratulations.

  • Happy Birthday and Congrats on all the inspiration and love you share with us. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!!

  • I hope you truly gave yourself some time off and enjoyed your big day, and both Cole and I wanted to be sure to say Happy Birthday. Of course I meant to do this on your actual birthday, but I’m 36 now and the memory isn’t what it used to be :)

  • Happy Birthday, Grace! I always start my day with Design Sponge…and today especially, thanks for the song and introducing me to an artist I’ve never known before. Added Melaena Cadiz to my Pandora playlist. Another day brightener, thanks to Design Sponge!

  • Happy Birthday dear Grace! You’ve made the days brighter for so many of your readers. And just think about everything you have accomplished in this amazing decade! Brava!

  • Happy Birthday Grace! You are now “thirty, flirty, and thriving!” says “Jenna Rink” from “13 Going on 30”. Enjoy! Congrats! It is the best decade! I love love love your site and read it every day!

  • Happy Birthday, Grace!! Welcome to the 30’s age bracket/box!! Thank you for working so hard on such a wonderful blog, you’re awesome!!! xo

  • Can’t believe you are only 30 – just a child! You have wonderful design sense and writing ability – thanks for all you do for this blog and congrats on your birthday.

  • I hope you had a magnificent birthday celebration, Grace! All I have to say is, the best is yet to come. I keep telling myself that as I’m turning 30 in August too… I cannot thank you enough for starting Design Sponge! It’s helped me move away from this mental block i’ve been trapped against for some time now.

  • happiest birthday to you grace! i love, love, love your sentiments here. 20 is a great decade (i just left it behind myself) but 30 hold so much promise (especially based on the great accomplishments of the last 10 years.) i can’t wait to see what it holds for you and i so grateful that you share it with us. true inspiration is your gift to us on your birthday…and everyday!

  • I’ve been enjoying D*S for several years now, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I look forward to looking at your posts, recipes, columns, and before and afters. It’s such a delightful treat! Thanks for your vision, stamina, and sticking with what continues to be an inspired and inspiring site. Happy Birthday!

  • Hey Grace,
    This is so cool. I am a June girl too. I’m turning 20 this 20th, and I was feeling bad about having wasted my last two years. Was almost depressed.. Thank you for lifting my mood- you are turning 30 and here you are going on about celebrating all the good things that happened to u and looking forward to the coming years. Made me rethink about life and my priorities..Thank you again. Hope everything turns out to be fantabulous for u :)
    Came across d*s 3 years ago and till today, I’ve never failed to check in on d*s every time I log onto the internet, which is like everyday!! But I have to say… I think your posts are becoming maturish you know… I prefer the ones you posted years ago when you were knee deep in your twenties ;) But wait.. the site is still lovely.
    btw, i don’t know if you’ve heard of Sri Lanka.. but I’m a Sri Lankan and I’ve been hooked onto d*s, so maybe I’ll try to pass this off as a b’day gift- someone living in as far as Sri Lanka is an avid follower of D*S, which only means the D*S is really good!

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