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Reflections of a now-24-year-old

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It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday! We gonna party like it’s my birthday! I’m really excited because even though today is going to be a fairly low-key day, my friends and I are headed down to Kansas City to celebrate joint birthdays. It’ll be wonderful to get away for a couple days and explore a new city.

Seeing as how today is that special day that rolls around once a year, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on my 23rd year and the lessons I’ve learned. One of the reasons I love blogging is because it allows me to visualize the past year, what’s happened, where I was, etc. On to the reflections:

  1. I don’t know everything. This is something I seem to learn every day in a new capacity. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd with a love of learning, so it’s exciting to me to know  I have so much more to learn and to experience in the coming years.
  2. Becoming more confident in who I am is a beautiful thing. If you asked me to describe myself, one of the words I’d use is introverted. That’s not to say that I’m shy, but I tend to reenergize when I’m allowed to be by myself or with a few close friends. I used to think this was an undesirable quality, but as I grow older, I realize how valuable it is to be comfortable enough with yourself to be with just yourself and your thoughts (and maybe a book or ten).
  3. Fewer friends are better friends. Speaking of being introverted, I find my friend group getting smaller as the years pass. And that’s OK. The friendships I have are the ones I deem valuable, and they’re the ones I want to pour as much of myself into as possible. I’d rather know a few people well than know a lot of people in a shallow sense.
  4. I’m glad I didn’t get married right after college. Not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing because I’ve had many friends who are happily married right out of college. But I’ve been grateful for this time in my life when I’ve grown more and more comfortable in who I am (without needing a man to lean on). It’s been empowering knowing that I can support myself and live the life I want to live on my own terms. (But if you know of any single and looking ginger guys, hook a girl up! Just kidding. But not.)
  5. Never say no to a cupcake. I’ve deemed this as my life motto. I am a sugar-holic, and I must admit that there are some days when I beat myself up inwardly about my less-than-perfect body. I’m very slowly trying to learn what balance is in terms of healthy eating and (grrr) exercising. But I’m trying to come at this new thinking by telling myself that I want to be here on earth for many years to come, and one of the best ways to insure that happens is by living more healthy. That being said, though, sometimes a girl needs a cupcake, and I’m vowing to work on not beating myself up for those moments of “weakness.”

So … now it’s your turn! Any wisdom for me as I get ready to take on my 24th year? I’d love to hear in the comment section below! 

Chambray in summer

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Chambray blouse: Banana Republic | Shorts: Apt. 9 | Espadrilles: Denim & Supply | Bag: Banana Republic | Hat: Forever 21 | Bracelet: Banana Republic

Summer concerts can be the most difficult to dress for, and I found myself in that predicament last weekend. The show turned out to be on a cool and lightly raining night, so I chose this outfit (minus the hat and instead with my cheery yellow rain jacket). I find linen shorts are the perfect material as a starting point, and a chambray blouse — with rolled-up sleeves — is the best topper (even in summer).

Channeling ‘Mad Men’

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Dress: Gap (old) | Heels: Vince Camuto via TJ Maxx | Bag: Unknown | Bracelets/Watch: Forever 21

Sometimes the simplest outfits are the ones that make a girl feel the best. This dress is an oldie but a goodie, and I hadn’t yet pulled it out this summer. Liz mentioned that I kind of looked like I stepped off the set of Mad Men with the print of the dress and the shape of the heels (which are a bit of a throwback shape). As an avid Mad Men fan, I’ll definitely take that as a compliment.

(P.S. See above for some other in-store dresses from Gap that are catching my eye.)

Back-to-school makeup (drugstore edition)

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Back to school, despite me being out of school for a couple of years, is still one of my favorite times of year. It always meant a new start, a new wardrobe and new makeup. I didn’t start wearing makeup until seventh grade and was totally clueless at first when it came to beauty products, so I thought I’d round up some of my favorite drugstore, very affordable, and very daytime-appropriate products that are perfect for beginners or those looking for a simple routine.

Staple shorts

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Top: Target | Shorts: Old Navy | Booties: Target | Bag: DVF | Necklace: Forever 21 | Sunglasses: Cole Haan via TJ Maxx

Back when I bought these shorts from Old Navy in the spring, I had no idea how much rotation they’d get from week to week. They’ve been on all the trips I’ve taken this summer and seem to go with so many tops I own. I’ve paired them with a crop topa graphic T-shirt and a printed sweatshirt. Needless to say, their cost-per-wear was well worth it (especially considering they were so affordable in the first place).

How was your weekend? It was a good one for me! The rain held off for the baseball game and concert Friday, then Saturday was spent at the downtown farmers market, grabbing some coffee, doing a little work, spending time by the pool, and getting my birthday celebrations underway a few days early.