Friday, October 17, 2014

On a 29th Birthday, 29 Things I've Learned

A few things I have learned in the past 29 years...

1. When in doubt, put an egg on it. Preferably a runny, free-range, farm-fresh one. Get that yolk!

2. Tell someone when you are proud of him or her. We all can use a little boost and extra support. Life can be really tough sometimes. When I am proud of someone, I say it and I mean it. With my recent life and career change, I can't even express how much it means to me every time one of my friends tells me they are proud of me. 

3. When at a wedding, it is totally appropriate to start a Conga Line while dancing to Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long." If you don't like Conga Lines, then you don't like fun.

4. Pay it forward.

5. Do more yoga. Om om om om om. [But really, I know I rave about yoga all the time. I truly believe it's benefits are beyond amazing. The key is finding a teacher / studio you enjoy. And if you can't do that, try a short 20 minute yoga session via you tube or Yoga Glow.]

6. Eat dinner without the TV on once in a while. Smell your food. Appreciate your food. Practice mindful eating. Rest and digest.

7. Try to find an activity you enjoy for exercise. I think of my dear friend Lauren, who bought a Groupon for classes at a boxing gym earlier this year. Now, she does the boxing boot camps and absolutely loves them. It took her a while to find her exercise jam, but she found it. And she loves it!

8. Find ways to relax your mind. For me, this means yoga or watching my "bad" TV shows like Revenge or Scandal. After a hard day's work, my brain needs a break and frankly, I don't feel badly for watching bad TV for an hour or two.

9. The spiralizer will change your life. Just do it.

10. Handwritten thank you card > Email thank you. When I was still working in my advertising job, one candidate, fresh-out-of-college, wrote and mailed me a handwritten thank you note. It was well-written, relevant to our conversation, and kind. He got the job. I never forgot it, either! It's an old classic.

11. Don't skip breakfast. And make sure your breakfast involves protein. I repeat, do not skip breakfast.

12. I am still a cat person. Sorry I'm not sorry. 

13. Group texts with good friends are necessary. They make me smile.

14. Felicity is still really, really good. Team Ben then. Team Noel now.

15. Be a little more self-forgiving. Hot damn we can be hard on ourselves. I am extremely good at this! No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and learning from our mistakes really is the best way to learn. 

16. Learn to say no. And own it. <-----This is one of the greatest things I have learned in the past two years. My wise and beautiful friend Zoe told me this one morning while on a run and I will never, ever forget it. At some point in your life, you realize that you really can say no when you need to, and you shouldn't feel so guilty about it. You can't do everything. And you can't be everywhere. When I say no, I struggle a lot with feeling guilty, however, I'm working on this. 

17. Help other people and be kind. Karma is real. 

18. Always save the bacon fat. Fry some greens in it. So. good.

19. Grown-up sleepovers are totally a thing. Two of my very best girlfriends somewhat regularly sleep over when my boyfriend is out of town. I feed them (cinnamon raisin toast with butter for Jaqui and zoodles for Julie). They make me laugh. We giggle. We're silly. It's the best.

20. Don't ever trick your midwestern boyfriend who is afraid of eating Indian food for fear of public digestion-disaster issues into going out to dinner and surprising him with an Indian Food feast. You will owe him many, many things. 

21. Eat more bison burgers. Bison tastes like a lean beef and is full of healthy fats. I love a good bison burger.

22. It still isn't always your fault. Really. Ease up a little. 

23. Hydration is so important. So simple, but so important. Keep drinking water throughout the day (critical for good digestion) and avoid plastic water bottles. 

24. For all my San Franciscans - I can't believe I'm spilling this, but I think my favorite restaurant in the city is totally Cocotte. Don't tell anyone...but tell everyone. The roast chicken and cocottes are ridiculous. And the restaurant makes me feel like I am back in Paris. 

25. Not all trips have to be trips. Some can be vacations. Do you know what I mean? I used to be all about the traveling to see a new place. And while this is still usually my preference, sometimes, you just need a relaxing, Vitamin-D filled trip. Poipu, Kauai is my happy place. 

26. This guy is my happy place too. He laughs with me and comforts me when I worry too much, lets me listen to The Today Show with the volume way too loud every morning, and 98% of the time trusts whatever I'm putting on his plate (see number 20).

27. Spread love. Tell whoever you love, how much you love them. Tell them often. 

28. It's probably not too late for you to go for it - your dreams matter and please remember that. You can do it! Please don't give up.

29. Always have gratitude. As the homeless man on the corner once told me two years ago: too blessed to be stressed. 

Too blessed, to be stressed.


  1. Love this. And happy birthday Lolo!

  2. What a great birthday post - I LOVE THIS. Happy Birthday!!

  3. So perfect. I totally feel you on the yoga (and basically everything else too).

    I've totally transformed by boyfriend on the physical handwritten card. Now we bring cards for everything, friends' birthdays, coworkers' baby showers, our own anniversary. I feel like a real card is such an obvious token you care.

    Congrats on another exciting year, especially with the big shift in going to school. You'll totally rock it with this attitude.