25 Things I Have Learned On My Way To 25

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My birthday was yesterday. I thought I would "treat myself" to a day off and completely block off my calendar/to-do-list from any work-related obligations. I had no plans to write a blog post, no goals for working on my novel, and no ideas of getting consulting work done.

I don't know who I was kidding. That is so not me. I jumped out of bed, started working, went on a run, and ran errands. And you know what? It was a great day once I started moving. 

Breakfast at DeBoer's

A 6 mile run while watching Alias and Veep

Flowers from my husband

More flowers from my parents

No-chip French Manicure

Dinner at The Reserve in Grand Rapids

Flourless Birthday Cake with Whiskey Marshmallow and Salted Caramel

In honor of my busy body, list-writing self, here are 25 things I have learned on my way to 25. These are my personal lessons, and definitely not meant to be my creed-to-the-people, so don't hate on me if you disagree, ya dig?
  1. Just because you're good at something, it doesn't mean you have to keep doing it. Figure out what kind of activities/hobbies/careers make you feel like your favorite version of yourself. Do those things.
  2. Write thank you notes. Send thank you flowers. When people love on you, find ways to love on them right back.
  3. Drink, eat, and consume full-fat everything. Quit it with that fat-free crap. It's not real and it confuses the heck out of your body. 
  4. It is always worth it to take that extra 60 seconds and make the bed. Getting into crisp, folded sheets at night is so much better than a squirreley mess.
  5. Learn how to poach eggs to perfection. It is definitely a skill, but it's an impressive one to have.
  6. It's ok to eat pancakes, but eat some eggs too. Did I mention eggs?
  7. You don't have to stay friends with the same people forever. It's a good thing to try, but if they leave you feeling icky, it's not worth it.
  8. Make friends with your neighbors! I have never needed a cup of sugar, but I have certainly had some great late night cocktails with neighbors, and that's just as good (if not better!).
  9. Don't just run. Strength train too. Your legs (and booty) will thank you for it. So will everyone looking at them...
  10. Figure out what colors look good on you. Keep buying things in that color. 
  11. Eyebrows are important, so give them some attention. Don't over pluck, over-dye, or over-color.
  12. Teeth are important, too. Keep 'em clean and oil swish!
  13. Crying is actually pretty awesome. Crying when you're happy can't be beat. Let yourself cry.
  14. When you do cry, don't wipe your eyes - pat them underneath, instead. Better for your skin, less raccoon eye madness.
  15. Invest in a nice "computer bag" that fits your laptop, chargers, some note pads, and your makeup comfortably. It will make traveling so much easier.
  16. Find a store that makes jeans that are most flattering to your body (for me, it's Ann Taylor LOFT). Keep going there.
  17. Learn how to cook a meal from scratch. It is really satisfying to create a delicious meal the whole way through, especially if you can do it without having to constantly reference a recipe.
  18. Be nice to the people at the post office. 
  19. Tip well! You'll make someone's day, and they'll remember you (and serve you well) when you return.
  20. If you meet friends/significant others who you can be yourself around (you know, like you can belt out that song in their presence instead of suddenly wondering "crap, I hope no one heard that"), keep them around.
  21. It doesn't matter how cute they are, if those heels are "a little" uncomfortable at first, they will chew a hole in your foot by the end of the night.
  22. On a similar note... sometimes, a $25 pair of heels from Target are more comfortable than your $225 designer flats (I'm looking at you, Tory Burch).
  23. Drink more water. Like, always.
  24. There is no such thing as too many flowers.
  25. Take time to write. Don't just barf your thoughts into an email or Facebook message, actually take the time required to ensure you are saying what you intend to say in the most effective way you can. As one of my favorite quotes would put it, "If I had more time, I'd write you a shorter letter."


  1. Love all of this. Happy Birthday!

  2. These are really great lessons! I especially like the last one. One of the best classes I ever took in college was Reporting & Writing, and my biggest take-away was "Why say in 20 words what you can say in five?" Get to the point and EDIT EDIT EDIT. And YES to #3. Real food is better than fake food.


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