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June 12, 2019

24 Things I’ve Learned at Age 24

·      That I still love my birthday

Like most kids, I always looked forward to by birthday for months. I had my wish list ready to go and a full envision of what my birthday party would be like. When I was old enough to bake, I even started baking and decorating my own birthday cakes. I turn 24 years old today and although my wish list has shrunk and evolved (massage and a hanging plant for our patio please) and I no longer have 20 friends come over to have a water balloon fight, I still make my own cake and look forward to this day of self-love and reflection.

·     What a podcast is and why they’re all the rage

If you would have asked me about podcasts a year ago I would have said that I heard about them but had no idea where to even go to listed to one, nor did I have any desire. I’m honestly not sure when this changed but I now listen to 1-5 podcast every single day. I listen to them while getting ready, during my commute to and from work, while I walk/run with Leo and while I edit photos. 

 ·     How to use the video feature on my DSLR

·     That wedding planning is a ton of fun but ridiculously time consuming.

If you didn’t know, I’m getting married in less than three months, so the planning is at an all-time high. I am a pretty detail-oriented person and the natural artist in me wants everything to look cohesive and intentiona. I could make a full blog post on this topic but to sum things up, I easily spent 16 hours last week agonizing over our invitations, envelopes and stamps. I called Nick one day on my lunch break to vent about the colors and fonts, finally placed the order and now, a week later, I’m having small regrets in my decision but moving on anyways because I just have to haha.

·     How to put air in my tires.

Yes, this took me 8 years.

·     To invest in fewer, high-quality clothing pieces

I’m by no means perfect at this. I still buy the occasional workout shorts at TJ max or cheap sandals from Target. However, when it comes to things like a pair of tennis shoes that I use on an almost daily basis, I’m trying to pick out something that I really love and know will hold its value longer than the off brand pair that was on sale. 

·     The if you want something, only you can put in the hard work to get it

I grew up in a middle-class home. We always had food in our kitchen, but we did not always have extra spending money. From a young age I had a desire to have more than what I was given. This didn’t make me ungrateful for what I had but gave me the motivation to provide from myself in any small way possible. I would ask my parents to do chores in exchange for spare change to buy Christmas presents for my family and babysat any chance I got. I got my first job at age 14 because I couldn’t wait to be able to buy clothes with my own money, knowing that I was able to do what I wanted with it because I had earned it. Looking back, I kind of wish that 14-year-old girl would have just relaxed and enjoyed one of the last few summers she had to be a kid (since no one was making me get a job) but I also look back and am proud of her because that drive she had to work hard is still with me today. I have big goals for this life and know that nothing will ever be handed to me. I also know that I am the only one who is as passionate about my goals as I am. That is why I am the one who needs to put in the hard work to grow and see them come true! 

·     To be content in my friendships

·     You can’t skip steps or use alternative ingredients for a Pinterest recipe and expect them to look like the photo

Tell me I’m not alone here? I’m ok at baking but I suck at cooking. I joked with two of my best friends when they got married and received all these nice kitchen tools at their bridal showers that they should now feel pressured to be a great cook. Jokes on me because now I’m going to be blessed with nice kitchen tools and want to be able to use them to prepare a meal that’s more advanced than cereal or avocado toast. The reason I stick to these simple plates is because the few times I try to cook a meal with a recipe I find on Pinterest, it’s a total fail. I typically lack in preparation to make sure we have the ingredients, make something that kind of resembles the recipe but of course is not nearly as appetizing, take one bite, frown, offer the food to Nick and find something else to eat. Maybe one day I’ll follow a recipe exactly and Nick will actually take me up on this offer!

·     That practice makes noticeable improvements

Perfection isn’t obtainable, but I do think it’s important to celebrate noticeable improvements. I am proud to say I have seen growth in many areas of my life in the past year including my photography skills, my ability to train Leo, my health and my ability to make my own happiness. 

·     That sometimes big changes come out of nowhere and happen over night

Long story short – we were planning to live in our last apartment until June but had to quickly move in the middle of January. Sometimes things happen that are completely out of your control.

·     That eyelash extensions are a dream come true

I never thought I would be a girl to get fake anything on a regular basis such as nails, tan, lashes etc. I did however know that I might like to have eyelash extensions for my wedding, so I decided to try them out a few months before just to make sure. You guys, I absolutely LOVE them! Not only do they look great, but they make me feel like I don’t need to wear as much makeup so I’m getting ready faster in the mornings and the best part…you don’t have to remove mascara at the end of the day! It’s such a treat! I’m not saying I will maintain them now until forever, but I am really enjoying them and don’t want to say goodbye to this luxury for at least a few more months.

·     That cute but uncomfortable shoes aren’t worth it

·     You can plan a trip by the hour, but it likely won’t go as planned

Nick and I went on a few trips this past year and my detailed itinerary came along with us. I love making the most of my time in a new place because I never know when I’ll get the opportunity, if ever, to go back there. Therefore, I love doing my research ahead of time for restaurants, sight-seeing locations, shopping, etc. One thing I didn’t consider both times is how tired we might become. I had planned out every hour but in reality, we ended up needed to spend an afternoon napping on each trip.

·     There are many places I want to visit within the U.S.

For years I was so focus on taking international trips. I loved these trips but have also grown a desire in the past year to travel more within the U.S. and even in my own state. I feel lucky to have been able to travel to Las Vegas, Traverse City, Seattle, Portland, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, New York City, Charlottesville, Richmond and Washington DC. in the past year. My list of both domestic and international destinations is ever growing and I’m always seeking more opportunities to travel. 

·     How to do a burpee 

·     The difficulties you have with your puppy will change all the time

This time last year Leo was about four months old and still very much a young puppy. I love seeing him grow and improve in many different areas, but it seems like with each accomplishment, comes a new challenge. He became potty trained then developed separation anxiety. Was finally able to be left at home and then started tearing up rugs. He went back to just tearing up toys but started to jump up on people. If it’s not one thing it’s another with my sweet Leo but he’s worth every challenge that comes our way!

·     That weekends can still be fun without alcohol and bad food

I used to look forward to eating “bad” foods and drinking on the weekends like it was the only way to have a good time. I’m so glad I no longer think this way and equally enjoy my nights on the couch at home with a healthy meal and La Croix.

·     How to blow-dry my hair

·      I love growing our Instagram and blog, but it takes a ton of work

If I could I would spend many more hours a week building these platforms and engaging with our online community because I absolutely love it! However, the time that I currently have available can often seem like not enough to achieve all that I’d like to. If you also enjoy creating content then you know just how much time it takes to come up with ideas, prepare, take the photos, edit them, write captions and blog post, promote the post, engage with your audience, etc. The hours add up quickly all for one post. It’s a ton of fun but takes a lot of planning, dedication and time to do it well.

·      That I don’t want to photograph weddings anymore and that doesn’t mean I’m not a photographer.

For the last four years I have been doing freelance photography. The last few summers have been filled with the responsibility of photographing weddings (along with seniors and families) on top of my full-time job. It got to be too much, so I decided to photograph my last wedding this spring and only take on other photoshoots, such as seniors, when I have time. It’s hard to give up something I spent so much time on but I’m thankful those skills will translate into my new goals with Instagram and blogging. 

·     How to manage Leo’s blow out

See blog post on his grooming routine here.

·      That I hold grudges and I need to work on that.  

I am naturally a sensitive human and have a hard time moving on when someone hurts me, even if it’s in a small way. It took me a while to admit this to myself and start intentionally working to get better about it.

·      I like writing down my thoughts and perspectives

I was the little girl who tried to keep a diary, a dream journal, write songs, etc,. so writing has always been something I enjoy doing. I enjoy it even more when there are no rules and I just get to pour my thoughts onto a page. That’s why I really like this whole blog thing and hope you liked getting to know me a little better by reading about a few things I learned this past year!

Things I hope to learn by age 25

·     How to keep a house plant alive

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