Growing up by 30… or at least acting like it…

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I turn 30 years old this Sunday! I’m really excited to reach this milestone. A year ago, I did this blog post, “29 lessons learned in my 29 years.” It was a great post, but at the same time, parts of my life still felt like I needed to learn more lessons. I wasn’t quite where I’d imagined I’d be by 29 years old. So I made some plans and vowed to get myself a little farther down the line to feel a little more grown up by the time I hit 30.

1. Get outta debt.

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I didn’t have anything crazy like $50k in credit card debt or anything, but with my car payment, dental/health bills, credit cards, and student loans, I had more debt than I wanted or needed. It didn’t seem like a lot of bills, but when I sat down last year and added everything up, it totaled about $12,000. I hated having to spend money each month paying on things, so I set to work on getting rid of all of it. (More on this in tomorrow’s post.) I am happy to say that I made my last payment on my last bill two days ago. I am officially out of debt! Now I can start working on “building my wealth.” #shitgrownupssay

2. Investing in my future.

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That sounds in credibly grown up, doesn’t it? Investing. What a ridiculous undertaking. Yes, I have a savings account, but there are SO many other ways to invest money, most of which I’m completely lost on. I made one of my new year’s resolutions to open an IRA this year and when I went to the bank on January 2nd to do it, the banker asked why I wanted to open an IRA. My response? “Because you’re supposed to.” Then when he started asking me whether I wanted stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, I just sort of blinked at him. Slow your roll, buddy! One thing at a time! Just put this money in that account and leave it alone. I gotta get rid of my debt real quick and then we talk about bonds and shit.

3. Working a little bit more.

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Being self-employed is really cool on some levels; you get to pick when you work, you can take off as many days a year as you’d like, you really like your boss, etc. But it also has its downfalls. Not working as much means not making money as much. BOO. So to meet my financial goals this year, I reeled it in on the fun spending and cranked it out on the work front. The more work I did, the more opportunities popped up. My business blossomed and I got all my debt paid off. Boom.

 

4. Floss Regularly

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I mean, flossing takes less than a minute and it’s really not that big of a deal, but it feels like such a pain in the ass every night. I just want to go to bed! But every time I go to the dentist and they ask me if I’ve been flossing, I want to feel good knowing I can say yes… and also so I don’t have to spit out a pint of blood when they do it for me. I’ll allow myself two skip nights per week; usually Sunday nights when I’m arriving back in town from a work trip, and Friday nights because reasons… Ever since I had to have a root canal and crown last year (with no dental insurance, it cost me $1500) I realized it can be quite beneficial, physically and financially, to floss my freaking gums every night. And get dental insurance. And who knows when I might need to strangle my enemies? ; )

 

What grown-up things have you caught yourself doing lately?

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29 Lessons Learned Over My 29 Years of Life…

Since this is my last year in my 20s, I feel like it’s my last year to be a mess or make mistakes. Now I know that’s not the case; I’m sure I’ll make more. I’ve done pretty well for myself so far, BUT Ima do my best to remember what I’ve learned these last 29 years… and try my best not to repeat any former mistakes. At least not for the next decade…
In no particular order:
29 Things I’ve Learned In My 29 Years of Life

1. Surround yourself w/ peeps that make you feel happy/loved/spirited/excited and that love you EXACTLY how you already are.

2. Don’t judge. You never know where somebody else is coming from. Often you’re surprised to find the people you may dislike the most are an awful lot like you.

3. Always carry-on… as much as possible anyway. Checked bags get lost. A lot.

4. Always pack a bathing suit and extra underwear. I mean… why not? It’s not like it takes up that much space. You never know when you’ll be delayed/cancelled/wind up in another country…

5. Share what you have with others… even if all you have is a good attitude.

6. Be where the opportunities are. Be proactive! That ish doesn’t just find you (not always).

7. Boys DON’T ignore you when they like you. I’m glad I had an older brother to tell me these things. There was still heartache, but less confusion about boys’ antics growing up.

8. Just because he likes you doesn’t mean you HAVE to like him. It has to be mutual if it’s going to go anywhere.

9. When there’s money to be made, make it. Especially in the independent contractor world; being self-employed is awesome, but not as predictable/stable.

10. Travel as much as possible. It’s a big-ass world out there.

11. Keep #10 in check… being broke/ in debt isn’t much fun.

12. Don’t make excuses. Nobody wants to hear them and you’re only shifting blame from yourself to feel better.

13. When you’re a kid and you don’t brush your teeth in order to “stick it to the Man”, you’re only hurting yourself. #wishminewerewhite

14. Never leave a job until you have another one lined up. This helps motivate you to find one faster and keeps you from freaking out financially. It’s always worked for me.

15. Be patient. This always has been, and always will be, the hardest thing for me.

16. Go barefoot. Feel the ground.
16b. Watch where you step. Don’t step in dog ish.

17. Get to know the city you live in, even if you don’t want to be there. It helps…

18. Make new friends… even if you don’t need more. You can never have too many girlfriends.

19. Cheaper airfare is available during the middle of the week.

20. Never lose your inner child; dance as much as possible.

21. Don’t spend every penny you earn.

22. Sugar is yummy. But after age 25, it hides your abs and holds them hostage for a loooong time.

23. You can do a little of everything! Just not all at the same time…

24. When you follow your gut, you wind up exactly where you need to be.

25. Accountants and Financial Planners are the bomb. Make friends with some.

26. Spend more time happy than sad.

27. Being scared is ok. It gives you the chance to be brave, which gives you more strength later.

28. It’s nobody else’s responsibility to make you happy. The only person that can do that is you. If something’s not working, change it yourself.

29. Don’t settle. Ever. Bitches.

It’s a good thing I’m so wise now… ; )

What things have you learned, other 29/30 year olds?

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Birthday, NYC, Guest Teaching, etc

Today is my 29th Birthday! 
more on that later… 
I’m in NYC for the weekend
and STOKED to be guest teaching at Barry’s Bootcamp 
in TriBeCa today. 
If you’re in the area and want to be a BEAST today, 
come see me at 10am, 11:15am, and 3pm. 
it’ll be fun… 
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A Quote, a Poem, and a Birthday.

“Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of today. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul; it is to live in a nutshell and to count yourself the king of infinite space; it is

To see a world in a grain of sand, 
And a heaven in a wild flower, 
Hold infinity in the palm of you hand, 
And eternity in an hour.”
~  Francis Thompson,  (1913) quoting the poem
 “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake
Happy 6th Birthday 
to my nephew, Jaxson
Who took the BIGGEST breath to blow out his candle, 
and then spit on it instead. 
Ah, kids… 
; ) 
We could learn a thing or two from them.
Happy Friday!
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Last week was my JAM

I know. 
I haven’t been posting regularly. 
I’m sorry. 
Anyway…
Last week was great. I had my birthday, I worked, 
I traveled (shocker), 
got some great work offers to move me up 
in the industry, 
then I got to celebrate my birthday
(a week later). 
These things contributed to my great week. 
Therefore, 
they were my jam: 
APPLE PUMPKIN CANDLE:
This candle from Crystal smells SO good. 
It’s been lit 24/7 ’round these parts. 
It’ll prob be gone within a week. 

BRANDI CARLILE PANDORA:
I could listen to this Pandora station all day. And I kind of do… 
Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson, Ray LaMontagne, 
The Wailin’ Jennys, etc. 
So good. So chill. 
OUR DOGS:
Watching Tang and Church run amok makes me smile. 
Every day. 


THIS DISH:
Lynn made me dinner in exchange for watching her baby last week while 
she and her hubs had a date night. A fair trade indeed.
 AND you should check out her recipes on her blog
She’s fab. 


SUNDAE/BANANA SPLIT:
After test-paddling kayaks and standup-paddleboards 
Friday night, with Tamara and Scott, 
we got Graeter’s Ice Cream. 
Oh yeah. 
I couldn’t finish mine… but I gave it my best shot. 
#allinmoderation
GARAGE BAR:
 Birthday celebration Saturday night at our fave downtown spot.
Outdoor seating, 15 friends, glow-in-the-dark Ping Pong, and fun lights. 
BUDS:
This is me, (a little D after a lot of Bourbon)with Sarah. 

LOUNGING:
Enjoying my Sunday with my new favorite book
and a reading partner…

BFF:
Amanda just moved back to Louisville! 
We haven’t lived in the same city since high school. 
And her preggo belly is adorable. 

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It’s My Birthday, Bitches! : )

Some thoughts on my birthday: 
  • I’m really glad I was born. I’ve had a kick-ass life so far, with very few regrets, and no what-ifs. 
  • I really only plan on becoming more kick-ass as I age. I’m not upset about getting older at all. 
  • We’ll see if I still feel that way at 40… ; ) 
  • Thanks to Jennifer “Hardcore” for my sah-weet Birthday Princess crown and wand yesterday at bootcamp. She’s the BOMB. 
  • She even gave me a Ring Pop. A Ring Pop! It was amazing. Even though it didn’t fit on my finger… 
  •  Does anybody else accidently write their birth date when trying to write the actual date on your       `birthday? Happens to me every year. 
  •  I love Facebook on your birthday. Messages pouring in all day… Feeling the love, for sure. 
  •  I really love having Facebook friends in Asia and Australia. The messages pour in starting the night before. Thank you date line. 
  • My favorite cake is Pillsbury Funfetti Cake with Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip icing. It’s heaven in your mouth. My roomie is making me one tonight!!! 
  • Every year, at least for the last 3 years, we’ve gone to a water park for my birthday. It’s so much fun to run around like a 10 year old with all your friends. We’ll be doing that next weekend. 
  • I was supposed to be in Toledo today but my trip got cancelled at the last minute so I’m still in bed. Hey-ell yes. 
  • The only problem is that I didn’t plan anything to celebrate today since I thought I’d be gone. But I don’t really feel like planning anything. Thoughts on what I should do?
photo by Susane Pata. I’m pretty sure my fly is down. 
  • Thank you, Sarah for awesome flowers this morning! 
  • I’ll be heading to Greece one month from now! Yeow!!!
  • Does anybody else feel they should have their ish together by a certain age? I’m at that age now and while I feel like I’ve gotten most of my ish together, I still feel like a few other things should be done by now… like a substantially bigger savings account for one. ; ) 
  • Every year on my birthday I make my fitness class participants do X number of reps for everything depending on how old I am that year… e.g. 25 years old, 25 lunges per set. It’s fun. ; ) 
  • Take this into consideration if you ever come to my class on my birthday. 
  • Believe me, you’ll know it’s my birthday ahead of time. I usually start counting down a month in advance. 
  • I do have a long walk/run planned with this guy though… he loves my birthday. It means he gets treats too. 
  • Note the grass stain on his forehead. This is from him diving, headfirst, into bushes/grass/woods at top speed. Cracks me up every time… especially ’cause it’s still there from two days ago. Guess we’ll be getting a bath today for my birthday as well. 


What’s your favorite way to celebrate your birthday, but keep it mellow?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

*bonus points to anybody that can guess my age*
*WITHOUT looking in the archives at my bday post from last year*
*go*
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Happy Birthday, Nathan

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Even though you used to hit and torment me all the time…
Even though you tried to ruin Christmas every year by finding and showing me my gifts…
Even though you’re the reason I have false teeth…
Even though you try to steal every bite of dessert I’ve ever had…
Even though you insist on people calling you Nate, when your name is Nathan…
I love you.
Because you’re always there for me…
Because you’ll give me a ride anywhere…
Because we got busted sneaking out on the babysitter to play kickball in the mud… together…
Because you drove 34 hours across country with me and my janky car…
Because we had some of the best food fights in history…
Because we can do crosswords puzzles like it’s nobody’s business…
You’re the best big brother I could ever ask for.
Happy 30th Birthday, Nathan!
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Happy Birthday, Jax!

My nephew Jaxson is adorable.
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He also turns 5 today.
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This is actually from my bday.
And Tang’s in a headlock.
Whatev.
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My brother, Nathan, Jaxson, Amanda.
Happy family.
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^That’s my new favorite photo of them^
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Birthday Tango

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After having a birthday party (cake and pie with fam and friends) on Wednesday, going to King’s Island and riding roller coasters on Friday, and going to Splashin’ Safari (water park) today, my birthday week festivities are finally over. ‘Cause I’m tired as ish! : )
Thanks to everybody for the well wishes and my great family and friends for spending this time with me. I’m so lucky…
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I was born on this day, 27 years ago…

I’m officially in my upper 20s… cue dance party:


p.s. How much do you love Facebook on your birthday? Everybody writes on your wall… kinda makes you feel like a superstar. : )
i’m back from my crazy trip now. promise more posts will be up soon! holla!
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