24 Thoughts on Turning 24

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Happy Birthday, Me! Today I turn 24 years old.  Time to party! Or, only 1 more year until my quarter life crisis! Much like last year’s 23 Things on Turning 23, I decided to share the wisdom I have learned as I celebrate another anniversary of when a world without Kelsey became a world with Kelsey.  Enjoy!

  1. Cool, only one more year until I can officially declare a Quarter-Life Crisis.
  2. It’s only a matter of time now until my metabolism starts slowing down.
  3. Gross. I need to start getting my life together now, don’t I?
  4. Years are going faster and faster now that I have more time in the past to compare them. That’s terrifying.
  5. I wonder how many more years until my face stops breaking out. Any day now, right? Puberty should be ending sometime soon.
  6. Age does not mean adulthood. I may be able to make my own doctor’s appointments, but I still call my Mommy to ask laundry/cooking/life/philosophical questions at least once per day.
  7. I should probably buy stock in antacids now.
  8. This past year was huge for me, and I’m very excited to continue on with the momentum of those major changes to continue to see positive change in my life. Like getting more cats.
  9. Goat cheese is amazing, and I’m ashamed it took almost 24 years for me to figure that out.
  10. Now I want goat cheese.
  11. Life is too short and time passes too quickly to not choose to be happy. Even if you can’t feel happiness, focusing on cutting out whatever negativity you can and working towards what makes you happy is 100% worth it.
  12. Puppies make me happy. So do cats. I should get another cat.
  13. Naps also make me happy.
  14. It’s totally okay to do things by yourself, and try new things by yourself. You don’t always need to hide behind other people.
  15. Living alone is actually really great.
  16. You have to learn how credit and credit scores works. Seriously. You have to.
  17. Now is the time to start addressing things that you think may be problems, especially with mental health. If you think something is wrong, better try to fix it now than regret it later.
  18. Preventative Care.  Say it again for the kids in the back: PRE-VENT-A-TIVE CARE.
  19. Food is starting to hurt me. Why is food, something I hold so near and dear to my heart, starting to hurt me?
  20. I am not 21 anymore. I cannot drink like I am 21 anymore. I cannot live my life the day after drinking like I did when I was 21. It just doesn’t happen. Time to accept that and move on.
  21. There is nothing wrong with being a 20-something homebody. It’s fine. Embrace the sweatpants and Netflix life on Fridays and you could be much happier. Add some goat cheese and you could be REALLY happy.
  22. A couple thousand in savings seems like a lot until you need to spend it.  Always be putting money away. ALWAYS! You never know what will happen/when you will need it.
  23. Just because something is normal doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I’m referring to no longer having a car– but this can be used for pretty much anything. You do you, boo. Life is too short.
  24. A year ago on this day I was very unhappy. I had no idea that in a short 365 days I would be sitting in my Chicago apartment, working from home for my nonprofit job, and taking a break to write this blog post. You just never know, kids.

Cheers, friends!

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Countdown to Christmas: 1 Final Wish

One more day until Christmas!
Hope everyone is having a fantastic Christmas Eve.  Enjoy the day, get your last minute shopping done, and pretend that this isn’t supposed to be my Christmas Make-Up Look.
Happy Holidays, friends.  Enjoy your deviled eggs and presents!

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Countdown to Christmas: 2 Host/Hostess Gifts Better Than A Bottle of Wine

 

Christmas is looking to be a pretty low-key affair this year with my family.  I’m thinking I may even wear my giant, stained and from-the-men’s-section “Buddy The Elf” shirt to dinner.

However, I know a lot of people will be going to parties, or friends’ houses.  As it is customary to bring a gift, I thought of some ideas better than the usual bottle of wine that most people bring.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wine, but you can really make an impression on the host by getting them something different than every other guest is giving them.  Visiting a boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s parents? Make a splash by getting them something way better than anything else they’ll get.  Suddenly you’re the favorite! Take that, Cousin Judy.
I’ve included some links, but most of these can also be picked up at your local stores.  I suggest checking out TJ Maxx, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Nordstrom Rack, a card store, or little kitschy shop.  Even stores like Walmart or Kmart have great little gifts at this time of year.

Gift Ideas for the Host:

  • Coasters
  • Beer glasses
  • Scotch Glasses
  • Ice ball maker for scotch glasses
  • Basically any kind of fancy alcohol glasses
  • A bar kit
  • Sports-themed Holiday gear, like a NFL team Santa hat
  • Holiday cufflinks, if your host is a gentleman with swag
  • Ice bucket
  • Nice set of cards, dice, or poker set.  Bonus points if you already know how to play the game and can suggest it after dinner
  • Flowers with the vase that they can reuse

Gift Ideas for the Hostess:

Got any more ideas? Leave them in the comments! Happy Holidays, and here’s hoping you impress your future in-laws this season!

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Christmas Countdown: 3 Last-Minute (Super Easy!) Holiday Desserts + A GIVEWAY!

It’s no secret that I am Queen of Procrastination, sitting on her Royal Throne of “I Can Do It Later”. I’m really good at waiting until the very last moment to get things done, usually to my own detriment.  I can only imagine that others are also in my camp.

And as the holidays can be hella stressful, I thought I’d give you something I know everyone needs this holiday season: a few super quick and easy last-minute holiday dessert recipes!  Convince your friends and family that you totally planned ahead with these easy to throw together sweets.  Nobody has to know you bought the ingredients two hours before the party.

3 Last Minute and SUPER Easy Holiday Desserts

You’re welcome!

1.  These delicious sugar cookies from Katrina’s Kitchen that I’ve become obsessed with.  They’re super easy to prepare and the dough doesn’t need to be chilled for hours like other sugar cookie recipes, so you really can make them in a snap! And, if you’re really pressed for time and don’t have time to decorate, they’re moist and flavorful enough without icing,  Just skip the cute cut-out designs, form them into flat cookie shapes and sprinkle on some sugar before you bake.  Nobody will be the wiser!

I’ve made them twice in the past two weeks, and my mom made them once this week.  It’s replaced our old favorite sugar cookie recipe.

2.  This Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge recipe from Cookie + Kate.  It’s freezer fudge, so it whips up super quickly. And who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together? Awful people, probably.

Honestly, I have yet to try this recipe, but it’s book-marked for the dessert I plan on bringing to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve! I really don’t see how you can go wrong when the ingredients are chocolate and peanut butter.

3. If you want to really wow them, try some S’mores Bark.  This is a great basic recipe, but it’s so simple you really can’t go wrong.  My mom and I made this all the time when I still loved at home.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay down an even layer of melted chocolate, toss on some broken up graham crackers, and mini marshmallows.  If you want to get super fancy, add some melted white chocolate, almonds, or caramel.  Whatever you’re feeling, go for it! Let it cool and harden, then break into coarse pieces.  Serve with a smile and enjoy the compliments. You’re such an amazing chef!

And to reward yourself after rounding up an awesome dessert, how about another kind of little treat? I’ve teamed up with Jessica and a few others over at SomethingWhimsy.com and we’re giving away a $300 Target gift card! Enter on her blog here!

And now that I am super craving something sweet, it’s a good thing I’m on my way home to Ohio for the holiday where there will be plenty to go around. Anyone else been dreaming of holiday food for the past week or so?

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Christmas Count-Down: 4 Easy Ways to Pay it Forward this Holiday Season

4 Ways to Pay It Forward This Holiday Season
As I’m getting older, I’m getting more and more into the “Giving” side of the holiday season.  I like receiving gifts as much as the next gal, but I really love watching someone’s face light up when they get something unexpected, or they get something they really need.
And because of that, I thought it’d be fun to share some super easy Pay It Forward ideas for this holiday season.  It really doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day, so in honor of 4 days until Christmas (!!!!!) I thought I’d share FOUR ways to Pay It Forward:

1. Be someone’s lay-a-way angel, or pay for someone’s dinner.  Stop in at a major store near you that does law-a-way, and ask if you can make a small payment on someone’s account, or pay off the whole thing if you can.  Or, you can pick up someone else’s check at a restaurant. I witnessed this last year while working at Applebee’s and it made me cry.  The looks on the kids’ faces when they realized someone took care of it was wonderful.  Everyone loves being surprised!

2. Give your leftovers to someone in need.  I always take my leftovers home with me, no matter what is left.  I used to just leave them in the fridge, but now I like to give them to someone in need on the street.  Despite what they are doing or how they got there, everyone needs to eat, and it must be terrifying not knowing how or where you will get your next meal.

3.  Give a big tip to a waiter, waitress, or other service industry worker.  I got a $200 tip this weekend catering a home-party and it was the best surprise ever.  Happy Holidays indeed!

4. Leave a holiday card as a surprise for someone.  If you’re able, maybe sneak in a small gift card or something nice into it as well.  Imagine some’s surprise when they come home from work and find a card with a $5.00 Starbucks card attached from a kind stranger.

Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments, or please let me know any other stories of Paying It Forward.  I’m a sucker for a good heart-warming story!

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