Life Lessons: The 29 Things I’ve Learned in 29 Years

birthday muffin celebrate 29 years 29 lessons

It’s my birthday! I might be freaking out a little! But…honestly not as much as I thought I would be. 🙂

Ok, this is something I’ve actually given a lot of thought to the past month or so. I turn 29 today….I think back to when I was 20 and what I thought life would be like in 9 years and this isn’t it. In fact, it’s not even close.

That’s not a complaint. I love my life! My family, Draz, my dogs, my home, this blog and all of the awesomeness related to that and so much more! Instead, it’s more of a realization that life takes some crazy and unexpected turns. Twists and turns that put me in a wonderful place in life that I could never have imagined at 20!

I’ve learned a lot along the way and still have so much left to learn! But here are 29 life lessons that I have learned so far! Some serious, some not quite so, and in no particular order, but I hope you enjoy all of them 🙂

29 Life Lessons I’ve Learned So Far

  1. I don’t know what it means to actually feel like an adult. I’m still waiting for that one.
  2. Parents are people too and pretty awesome to hang out with!
  3. No one actually has life all figured out.
  4. Not everyone will like you or needs to…and you don’t have to understand why.
  5. Be present for the moments of everyday life. It’s amazing.
  6. Reach out to those that you care about, even if you’ve lost touch.
  7. Drive slower!
  8. Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
  9. You can like who you are while still trying to improve yourself.
  10. Push your comfort zone!
  11. Don’t expect life to follow your plan.
  12. Be unapologetically you – be honest about who you are and what you enjoy in life.
  13. Try to put a positive “spin” on things when you are having a bad day/interaction/moment/whatever.
  14. Be silly!
  15. Take care of your body – it’s worth the time.
  16. Take care of your mental health too – it’s just as important as your physical health.
  17. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
  18. Find things you truly enjoy instead of things that just fill time.
  19. The best dates and/or moments don’t have to cost much, if anything.
  20. Quality over quantity – applies to much of life!
  21. Don’t procrastinate – it NEVER helps.
  22. Be spontaneous (at least occasionally).
  23. Smile often.
  24. Be kind to others, even when you don’t feel like it.
  25. Make sure you sleep enough.
  26. Try new things often!
  27. Give yourself a break – you can’t do everything.
  28. Always make goals and strive towards meeting them.
  29. Cut the negative thoughts and self-talk.

So that’s some of the things I’ve learned over the years. So aren’t surprising and a few took me a long time to learn. Some I still have to remind myself of. But either way, I am so excited to see how this year goes! I think that 29 is going to be an amazing and transformative year for me! (And I am so excited to share it with all of you!)

What are some of the things that you have learned over the years that have surprised you or been harder to learn? I would love to hear your thoughts!

And don’t forget that the Jewelry Giveaway ends today at 8 pm CT, so if you haven’t entered yet, hop over and get your entry in!

Giveaway

Sara (1)

 

101 Things in 1001 Days

Do you like making lists? I love making lists. Lists of chores, errands, goals, plans, projects….pretty much anything I can make a list of. But this list was even more fun than all of those others!

I had seen this project a few times on different bloggers sites, but mostly thought “Oh that’s neat. Good for them.” and moved on. But the project stuck in the back of my head, not really gaining ground, but still there. When I was wandering around on the internet last week I stumbled across another blogger’s list and instead of the previous “Oh that’s neat” I thought “That sounds really fun! I should do this. Just think of all the things I could get done!” After that decision, I checked out the website for this project, Day Zero and started working on my list.

Now, I don’t know if I will get everything done on the list. I would love to think so, and I’m certainly going to try, but realistically at least a few things won’t get done. I tried to make the items challenging and/or something I had been putting off doing without choosing items that were completely unreasonable.

With all that being said, enjoy!

101 Things in 1,001 Days

Start Date: October 6, 2015

End Date: July 3, 2018

  1. Get $2000 in Emergency Savings
  2. Take a day trip to a state park I’ve never been to
  3. Complete Kayla Itsines BBG1
  4. Complete Kayla Itsines BBG2
  5. Take a trip to another state (for at least 3 days)
  6. Attend a BBG Meet-up
  7. Start my business
  8. Blog 5 days a week for a month
  9. Take a weekend trip with Mom
  10. Meditate daily for a month
  11. Complete a 365-day photo project
  12. Take a cooking class
  13. Take a metal-working class
  14. Upgrade my camera
  15. Take a photography class
  16. Run a 5K
  17. Attend a blogging conference or workshop
  18. Go to a jazz festival
  19. Make a piece of wood furniture
  20. Complete a pull-up
  21. Do 30 consecutive full push ups
  22. Learn to can vegetables
  23. See a ballet
  24. See an opera
  25. Write a recipe ebook
  26. Have a picnic
  27. Learn to sew
  28. Finish 5 crochet projects
  29. Go to an art museum
  30. Attend the local crochet & knitting group
  31. Learn Japanese to a conversational level
  32. Take a pottery class
  33. Go zip-lining
  34. Bake a birthday cake
  35. Get dressed up for a special dinner
  36. Go to the Omaha Zoo
  37. Get a massage
  38. Take a ballroom dancing class
  39. Go rock climbing
  40. Take a yoga class
  41. Create a gallery wall
  42. Read a book of poetry
  43. Wear a two-piece swimsuit
  44. Go to a drive-in movie
  45. Bake a pie from scratch
  46. Make a new friend
  47. Find and buy the perfect LBD
  48. Find and buy the perfect shoes to go with the LBD
  49. Complete a coloring book
  50. Learn basic HTML
  51. Wear a skirt or dress every day for a week
  52. Have fresh flowers in the house every week for a month
  53. Have a date night once a month for six months
  54. Learn how to make sushi
  55. Do something special for my 30th birthday
  56. Build a snowman
  57. Wear nothing black for one week
  58. Meet an online friend in person
  59. Save $10 for each task completed
  60. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  61. “Re-learn” how to ride a bike
  62. See 2 stage productions
  63. Visit Hindu Temple and Cultural Center
  64. Pick 10 books by unknown (to me) authors and read them
  65. Go to a personal clothing stylist
  66. Do a handstand
  67. Send in a card to PostSecret
  68. Do henna on someone else
  69. Refinish deck
  70. Build pergola
  71. Take parents out for a nice dinner
  72. Do yoga outside in a public place
  73. Go ice skating
  74. Go to a local town festival
  75. Plant and maintain a raised garden for one summer
  76. Plant a fall garden
  77. Visit two friends from college
  78. Make a meal entirely from the garden
  79. Learn to play the guitar
  80. Take another bellydance class
  81. Do an outdoor photo-a-month project: Ada Hayden
  82. Go to a poetry reading/event
  83. Write a letter to my college mentor
  84. Go on the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad
  85. Go minigolfing
  86. Make a healthy pizza from scratch
  87. Go canoeing or kayaking
  88. Find a daytime job
  89. Go to an arts festival
  90. Go to a crafts fair
  91. Attend a holiday service with my parents
  92. Attend a religious service of a religion I’m unfamiliar with
  93. Run a charity race
  94. Donate any clothes I don’t use anymore
  95. Go to a big fireworks show
  96. Declutter and organize basement
  97. Go to hot balloon festival
  98. Take a floral arrangement workshop
  99. Read 100 new-to-me books
  100. Make treats for everyone at work for no reason
  101. Go to 2 cultural festivals

Have you seen this project, maybe even made a list of your own? How did it go? Do you like the idea of a multi-year goals project like this one?

September Favs, October Goals

September

To say that this month did not go as planned is a bit of an understatement. That being said, I am not really upset about that either.

I started off the month in good spirits, sure that I would be telling you I had made it 4 weeks through Kayla Itsines’ BBG. This did not even come close to happening! First my back, neck and shoulder locked up. Then, just as I got cleared to restart the program and was all excited about starting the next day, I sliced my finger open. Another ER visit, more stitches, and not being able to put pressure on my finger for at least another week, possibly longer.

20150928_093146

I am really pleased that I am still managing to work out some, both on the treadmill and with some BBG workouts (modified when needed). I do hope that I can restart this coming month though!

I can’t say that the above pic is a “fav” but it does represent something that matters to me. I am pretty proud of myself for not giving up or having a mental setback of sorts with this most recent injury. This is the third injury in a row and it honestly feels like my body has turned against me sometimes. But I know I can keep at it, do what workouts I can and I will get back on track! I just have to remember that this is a journey and that will include times where things don’t go as I would like.

And now that I’m done whining about my setbacks 😉 On to the September Favorites!

DSCN0820_picmonkeyed

DSCN0873_picmonkeyed

DSCN0933

DSCN0943

DSCN0929

20150911_094947 20150905_055341

DSCN0986

I did pretty good about my second goal this month, which was to photograph something every day. I did take at least one photo most days!

October Goals

  1. Work out 6 days a week, even if I can’t restart BBG yet.
  2. Continue working on my photography, but with more focus. I would really like to build up my skills and create some stock-style photos for the blog.

How was your September? Did you reach the goals you set for yourself? Any goals for October?

Bingeable Podcasts

How do you entertain yourself? Radio, Pandora, TV? Podcasts maybe?

While I do love Pandora and probably would go crazy without my daily dose of jazz, I listen to a lot of podcasts almost every day. A LOT…like 5-7 hrs a day most days. My real-world job is pretty much menial tasks and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought. Enter podcasts!

I actually only started listening to podcasts at all about 6-8 months ago. I know, I’m really behind on the times! So instead of being bored, or just daydreaming (though I do a fair amount of daydreaming anyways), I can use the time to learn new things, listen to interviews, be inspired, or just be entertained!

So without further ado, here are some of my favorites!

History:

city-capital-italy-historical

  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – This is by far my favorite podcast! I have listened to many of his episodes multiple times. I just recently finished up re-listening to his series on World War I. His use of first-person accounts really makes me connect with the events he’s telling about.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – This one is a lot of fun and so random sometimes! I have learned about so many different topics that I would never have even thought to look up or find out about. Just today I listened to ones on Mary Ann Cotton, the Amazons of Dahomey and an interview with the author of “The Billion Dollar Spy”.
  • The Egyptian History Podcast – I have been into Egyptian history for as long as I can remember (at one point I could write my name in hieroglypics) and this one has been so fun to listen to!
  • The History of Rome – I am actually planning on re-listening to this one soon. There was so much detail and I would like to absorb more of it!

Entertainment:

  • The Art of Slaying – My guilty pleasure…Buffy the Vampire Slayer! This podcast is an episode-by-episode analysis and discussion. I have not finished this one yet, but I loved what I have listened to!

Art:

art-brush-painting-colors

  • Artists Helping Artists – While I am not a painter (though I wish I was!), this podcast has inspired me artistically, entertained me, and helped jumpstart my putting my studio together.
  • The Potter’s Cast – This podcast makes me wish that I had my kiln already! I am planning on getting one soonish, but these interviews are just so inspiring and motivating! (And as a complete side-note, this podcast helped confirm that the brand of kiln I’m planning on is the right one to go with)

Fitness:

sport-fitness-workout-resolution

  • The FitCast – So many good interviews and information! I can’t say enough good things about this podcast. It’s entertaining, informative, and motivating! Every time my motivation is lagging, The FitCast gives me a boost!

Humanistic:

  • TED Radio Hour – One of the top podcasts (to me) on this list! I have listened to so many episodes, on so many topics. I have smiled, laughed, cried…so many emotions have been inspired by this podcast. I have heard amazing stories from incredible people. The episodes are thought-provoking and moving. Their most recent 2-part episodes called “Screen Time” was fascinating!
  • On Being – A very spiritually-based podcast, she interviews so many amazing people. Their stories, their messages, and their lives are so beautiful to listen to. There have been episodes that have inspired changes in my life, especially to try to be more mindful in my daily life.
  • Invisibilia – Another NPR production (like TED Radio Hour), this podcast is still pretty early on. Only one season in, I am eagerly anticipating their new episodes. With episodes like “How to be Batman,” “Fearless,” and “Our Computers, Ourselves” this podcast is not to be missed!

That’s all for now! Do you have any favorite podcasts? Have you listened to any of these ones? If you have, what is your favorite one?

Lessons in Gardening: The Conclusion

This year has been a year of exploration for me…one of trying new things and pushing my boundaries. One of those things I pushed myself on was learning to garden. Something that I’ve always wanted to do but never tried. Gardening intimidated me. It still does.

That being said, I am super excited about how this first foray into gardening went! I still have a HUGE amount to learn, but I did manage to grow some tasty veggies and herbs in the backyard and some pretty impatiens in the front.

Here is how they are looking now:

DSCN0951_picmonkeyed

DSCN0952_picmonkeyed

There are a few little tomatoes still growing, but overall the plants seem done. That’s ok though. We did get some veggies out of them (like the ones pictured below!) and it was a fun experience!

DSCN0595_picmonkeyed

DSCN0590_picmonkeyed

DSCN0931_picmonkeyed

Just for some perspective, here is how the garden progressed over the summer:

VeggieConclusion

GardenConclusion

I do need to do some more research between now and when we plant next year. Things like when to harvest, how often to water, etc were all things that were beyond my knowledge this year. For example, I really struggled with getting the impatiens to grow originally. Thankfully I have a very patient dad who dealt with my calls asking if my plants were dying (they weren’t) and if the veggies were ready to harvest (they were actually past due on that one 🙂 )

With this initial experiment in gardening a success, I can’t wait to plan out our garden for next year! We are tentatively planning on one raised garden bed instead of the pots for the veggies and herbs. In the front, I am hoping to find some more shade-lovin’ plants to put up there and really overhaul patchy yard.

Oh, and check out this little guy I found crawling around when I took these last photographs! Anyone know what type of caterpillar it is? It’s pretty cute and fluffy!

DSCN0934_picmonkeyed

DSCN0940_picmonkeyed

What about you? How is your garden growing? Are you a first-timer like me, or more experienced? If you are a first-timer, are you planning on doing it again next year? I would love to hear about your experiences and any tips you might have for me!

DIY Painted Lamps: Adventures in Spray Painting and Budget Remodels

Hey everyone! This week is the first of hopefully many (but at least 4) weeks of DIY projects for the home! While I have always loved doing DIY projects, I have never taken much time to develop any real skills at them. At least ones that aren’t art-related.

Now I find myself really getting into them and wanted to learn some new skills as well. We have been working on remodeling our house for a few years now and I have started to get a little frustrated at the lack of cohesion in the decor. Most rooms are a mash-up of items from my childhood, ones given to me or left by past roommates, some art projects I’ve made and a few art pieces I’ve collected.

Read More

Learning Henna

Henna is something that I had seen before, but hadn’t had any personal exposure to until around a year ago, when I went to a small gathering teaching about henna. I didn’t do any myself, but was shown how to and had a design done on my hand. I was hooked! I immediately went home and started researching, reading as much as I could. I ordered some from Henna Caravan shortly after that and started practicing. I honestly haven’t done much yet, but I am slowly working to build my confidence.

Here is some designs I did last summer. Read More

Learning to Garden: How My Garden is Growing!

Hey everyone! Just a quick update in my ever-continuing journey in learning to garden!

My vegetable plants seem to be growing in pretty well! I’ve been told I need to get cages to support the tomatoes, so I’m going to be picking those up over the next couple days. Anyone know if I have waited too long based on the picture?

DSCN0290
The plants as of yesterday. Also, don’t you just love my yoga frog?! I think he is just awesome! My mom got him for me 🙂

Read More

Learning to Garden: Lessons From My Dad

Gardening has always been one of those things that seems just out of reach. Plants were something I wanted but never really seemed a possibility. People that had lush flower beds and bountiful gardens were people to be admired and, I’ll admit, envied a little. Their beautiful lawns were a stark contrast to my own.

plantingbefore
The front lawn before we started planting, with a little of the fresh topsoil added. Pretty bare, right?!

Read More