Today I am celebrating my birthday. The big 2-8. I’ve gotten some really great gifts so far, like the Lilly Bev Bucket, which is perfect for summer parties! I also got a couple bottles of wine and a Snickers Easter Bunny. My Little got me this perfect combo (I love bev napkins and anything with an anchor):
I can’t wait to see what the Hubby got me! I am not so secretly hoping for JT and Jay-Z Concerttickets or Book of Mormon tickets.That’s not a weird combo, right? We are going to my fav restaurant for dinner. I'm meeting up with friends for lunch and I am planning to get a mani/pedi this afternoon. The Hubby and I are celebrating with both our fams on Easter Sunday (GoT premiere!). Needless to say I'm very excited. I love birthdays. I happily drag them out for as long as possible. I know that eventually when the Hubby and I decide to have kids that will change (No, it's not bump watch 2013 unless you are counting Kate Middleton) and that our birthdays will only be important on the milestone birthdays (the big 10's) like 30, 40, 50, etc.
My next milestone is 30. So I've been thinking about goals to set for myself or a kind of bucket list before I reach 30. I recently read a list on Restored Style, called, "19 things to stop doing in your 20's," originally found here. It's an intense list to say the least.
1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.
8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.
9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.
10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.
11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.
12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.
13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.
16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.
17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.
18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.
19. Stop being afraid.
The article has some good advice (Thanks Brandon, Kirsten and Oprah!). I think it is thought provoking and challenging. In particular, #5, #6, #9, #12 really hit home for me. Although I must say I'm definitely guilty of all 19.
What list items hit home for you? Do you or did you have any goals or bucket list items before you reach or reached 30?
Over 25 Boutiques Selling Designer Fashions During a Stylish Two-Day Charity Weekend!The Junior League of Baltimore Boutique Warehouse Sale is back! This Spring, top local boutiques will set up shop at Hunt Valley Towne Center selling both new arrivals and offering huge deals on end-of-season merchandise.
On Friday, each boutique will operate their own mini-store, giving customers the option to shop both current and end-of-season items! Food and two complimentary cocktails are included in the ticket price.
On Saturday, the doors open to the public for customers to shop end-of-season items. All proceeds from ticket sales and booth rentals benefit the initiatives of the Junior League of Baltimore, Inc. The sale will be held in the old Filene's Basement site, to the left of the Burlington Coat Factory store. Friday, March 22, 2013 7:00pm - 10:00pmTickets $30 in advance (limited quantities available at the door $40)Purchase tickets
Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:00am - 6:00pm Open to the public Hunt Valley Towne Center118 Shawan Rd Hunt Valley, MD 21030
PARTICIPATING BOUTIQUES: Ellen Allen, Ellie, Francesca Bridal, Freesia, Fresh, Gamberdella Bridal, La Terra, Lily Pulitzer, Linens and Lingerie, Liquid Blue Denim, Liza Byrd, Magda, Morgan Truesdell, Muffy Writes a Note, Octavia II, Olde Liberty Shoppe, Red Garter, Ruth Shaw, Samuel Parker, Shop Mamie, Stella and Dot, Tickled Pink, Tiger Lily, Treasure House, Treasure Island, Wee Chic and more!
Space donated by Greenberg Gibbons.
Did you get your ticket yet? I'll be there on Friday. Hope I see you there!
Our 2012 Christmas Tree. No fancy themes. We have a tradition of buying an ornament when we go to new places together for our souvenir. Decorating our tree is always my favorite because it reminds me of all the wonderful memories we have made together so far. #ChristmasSpirit
The newest addition to our Xmas decor from our trip to Valley View Farms. Have you been? It's kinda amazing there. Now I just need a UMD one! #GoRavens
I finally used a great stocking stuffer from the Hubby last year - a Warm Cream Manicure at Red Door Spa. I chose Essie's Head Mistress and I love it! #StockingStufferIdeas
And last but certainly not least - I went to the YHL Living Social Event in DC with Sarah from Happily Ever After: The Next Chapter. I totally geeked out in front of John and Sherry talking to them about how they inspired me to buy a Karl of my own and ORB his feet. More detailed post to come! #NerdAlert #YHLFan
We had a lovely family birthday dinner for the Hubby this year hosted by his sister and her husband. I was asked to bring a birthday cake. Usually the entire family relies on Graul's for birthday cakes since they're always amazing but I wanted to try my hand at baking my own. I have never baked a cake before so it was definitely on my bucket list. What can I say - myour new Kitchenaid makes me want to bake - all.the.time. So I was really excited for another excuse to use it.
I asked the Hubby what kind of cake he wanted and his response was a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Not too daunting, right? I searched online for a recipe and decided on this birthday cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it did not disappoint. I used this easy chocolate fudge for the icing and it was the perfect amount of sweet.
I had a slight mishap when I took one of the layers out of the pan to cool...it totally broke in half. But it worked out fine. I just made it the bottom layer and the icing held everything together so no one could tell. I iced this cake maybe five minutes before we left our house. Next time I would cut the top off both layers to make them lie flat. It looked a little topsy turvy but that's okay for a first attempt. #AliceInWonderland. What's important is that the Hubby loved it and said he wants it again next year! Yay!
Now I just need to invest in a large cake stand with a dome and a cake carrier (like this or this)! #ChristmasHints
(Side Note: I've made a ridiculous amount of cookies with our Kitchenaid including these and these. I highly recommend both.)
Things have been a little hectic lately but at least I still have time for some Friday Five Love! #H54F
The Hubby and I went to the MD Homecoming Game on Saturday. We had a great time tailgating with my parents and DG sisters before the game which made up for the heartbreaking loss -Billy Cundiff style. On a somewhat related note- I really enjoyed the Mighty Sound of Maryland at half time. They were playing the theme song to Harry Potter in this pic. Can you see the "HP"? #HarryPotterFan4Life
I walked by the White House on my way to a meeting on Monday morning. Sometimes I forget and take for granted how cool it is to work in our nation's capital. #DCLove
Apparently I wear the same perfume as Lauren Conrad. I thought that was kinda cool since I'm an LC fan. Can't wait to get her new book, Beauty! I have been getting behind on my reading list lately. I'm reading two heavy books and they are proving tough to read after a long day of work. Especially since I'm trying to actually take in and register the messages. I think I need to take a break with a fluffy book. Maybe I'll actually start my book club book, Gone Girl.
Obsessed with Taylor Swift's New CD! I even went to Target aka Tarjay (as if that's a hardship for me) to get the Deluxe Edition. #Red
I am Charleston bound for a wedding this weekend! Congrats to the happy couple! Can't wait to celebrate with you both! #Bridesmaid