25 things i know to be true

by jenna on May 4, 2011

Last week I fell in love with this article shared by a friend to me on Facebook. It really got me thinking and then inspired me to write my own list of what I’ve learned in the past twenty five years (soon to be twenty six..whoot whoot!).

1. You really aren’t helping yourself any by cramming all night for an exam.

2. Everything tastes better when your mom makes it.

3. Money will never make you happy.

4. Being skinny will never make you happy.

5. Always wear your sunscreen.

6. If a guy really wants to be with you, he will make a way for it to happen.

7. Chocolate cake won’t fix a broken heart, but it sure tastes delicious.

8. Nothing in the world is more important than having faith.

9. You can never have too much under-eye concealer.

10. Don’t drastically change your hair color on Valentine’s Day.

11. Life’s too short to always eat your vegetables.

12. Shots of gin out of a turkey baster are just a bad idea (don’t ask).

13. Never change yourself for anyone else.

14. Take time to pray every single day, no matter what.

15. If a guy shows up drunk to your sorority formal then proceeds to throw up everywhere…he’s not worth your time (again, don’t ask)

16. Always pack a change of clothes and a toothbrush in your carry-on.

17. There’s nothing better than completely losing yourself in a good book.

18. Bubble baths make everything better.

19. Always do what is right for you and no one else, and that involves what you eat, how you exercise and how you choose to live your life.

20. Keep a journal.

21. Don’t spend money you don’t have…even if it’s for the cutest outfit ever.

22. Travel whenever you can.

23. Invest time in keeping up with your girlfriends through calls, emails and letters.

24. Don’t carry barbecue sauce in your purse.

25. I’d rather make less money and do what I love than make bank and be miserable every day.

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{ 121 comments… read them below or add one }

Moni'sMeals May 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I love it Jenna! We see eye to eye that is for sure.

I wanted to tell you what #’s are my favorite, but heck, I love them all!

I want that shirt so bad, I will have to remember to keep my eye out for one. :)


Jessie May 5, 2011 at 4:30 am

They are at Amazon.com


The Teenage Taste May 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I LOVE this post! #1, 2, 13, 17, 19, 23, 25 are my favorites! ๐Ÿ˜€


Megan May 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I LOVE your list! I feel like I would have listed nearly everything you did! Thanks for the bright spot in my afternoon.


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Jenna this is a great list!

Chocolate cake making things better, guys making it happen if they really want to be with you, not spending money you dont have…it’s ALL so true.

GREAT LIST, I love posts like this. And chai lattes, too :)


Brittanie May 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Jenna, this is amazing! I wish we weren’t so far apart because I think we were meant to be amigas! I love this post :)


Kelly May 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

This was perfect! I love it!


Angharad May 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

These all had me saying “yes!”
2. Everything tastes better when your mom makes it.
6. If a guy really wants to be with you, he will make a way for it to happen.
17. Thereโ€™s nothing better than completely losing yourself in a good book.
22. Travel whenever you can.

Awesome :)


Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

LOVE this list Jenna!

My favorite one: Always pack a change of clothes and a toothbrush in your carry-on.



Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing May 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

True dat.


jenna May 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

cute cute cute!!
btw did you ever get your purse clean?


jenna May 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

no :( I had to throw it away.


sarah (the SHU box) May 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm

oh no! i loved that bag (i have an orla obsession). she does have a few really cute patterns out now, though :)


Sana May 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

:) I am glad to hear that you are happy!


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) May 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Yes! Just what I needed to read today.


becca (bellebottoms) May 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Love this! I think I want to write my own list now!

I would also add to #24 that you should never carry ANY bottled condiments in your purse (mine was honey….and cleaning it was anything but sweet! :( )


Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique May 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Great post. I am turning 25 on Monday. You may have just given me a birthday post idea. Thanks! :)


Lisa May 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm

It’s a good list. I needed an uplifting list today!


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf May 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Especially the last one, and how it relates to #3. In fact, that’s something I’m working on right now.


Mama Pea May 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

A to the MEN.


kate May 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Great post!


lindsay May 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

love this. so well said. Makes me wonder about your bbq sauce and sorority formal stories though ๐Ÿ˜‰


Lauren @ Sassy Molassy May 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Awesome list! I love it. It’s so true that the little things are much more important than some of the things we think are major (What dress am I going to wear to a wedding? When am I going to make a lot of $$?, etc).


Errign May 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

this post is AWESOME. love it. gonna try to think up my own 23 for my 23rd birthday!


Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit May 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

LOVE this list! except i’m currently cramming for exams :( whoops!


Ann @ Running With Chopstix May 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hahaha reading blogs was a study break from my all-nighter. She’s caught us both red-handed! *blush*


Caroline May 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

i freaking love you. i hope that doesn’t sound creepy. i’ve been following your blog and making your recipes for about 9 months now and you’re the best!!


Kayla May 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Love this! And that article is great–I’ve really been enjoying a lot of Relevant’s articles lately!
p.s. I really liked your hair dark!


Laura May 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I LOVE this post! Many of these ring so true in my life, too! And, yes, I still have yet to learn #1…


Em (The Lady Pastor) May 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Beautiful list. So sweet. And true. And hilarious.
I would use these words to describe you & your blog: beautiful, sweet, true, hilarious. :)


Kelli H May 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I love posts like these!


Jo May 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Interesting takes on money. When I was younger I always thought money can’t make you happy but… If you don’t have enough money you can’t actually things to make yourself happy.


Baking 'n' Books May 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Yeah, I have to agree. Bottom line, money does alleviate stress (when you need it to survive that is, not talking about being a millionaire here!).

#6 and #19 – yes.


Sarah May 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I give a huge “Amen” to #25.


Jenn from Much to My Delight May 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Oh man! I LOVE posts like this. You know a lot of good stuff girl. I especially agree with #25. Life’s too short too be miserable every day and no amount of money can assauge away the pain of a terrible work life.


Theodora May 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

So true–especially #25.


Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm

This is great.. humorous, yet also brings things into perspective!


Laura May 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm

You are so wise, so much life experience in this list! I loved all the points!


kaila @ healthy helper! May 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Love this Jenna! Words to live by for sure and so true.


Amber K May 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I loved this! They are all so true :)


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen May 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

LOVE THIS! Agreed 100%


Lisa May 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Amen sista!!!


Kristi May 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Great list! I need to remember #6.


Cyndi May 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Everything DOES taste better when your mom makes it!


polly May 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

ditto what momma Pea said!! :)


Mary @ stylefyles May 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

awesome list….was laughing at some of them…and totally agreeing for a lot of them!


gina g May 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Love, Love, Love!!!


Molly May 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Note to self: pack toothbrush and change of clothes in carry on for my CA vaca. Thank you.


Tamar May 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

You are one wise 25 year old, Jenna!


Jen May 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I agree with every point! This just lightened up my day.


Kelsey May 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Love all of these!!! I can totally relate to #4 the most… my eating disorder during middle school made up the worst years of my life!!! so glad to have made a full recovery before it got too dangerous! Thankful for my loving parents! check out my blog sometime … http://fitnessfanatic007.blogspot.com :)


staceyhealthylife May 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I love that list and its all so true.


A Teenage Gourmet (Sami) May 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

1, 3, and 4.

HELL YES. Thank you . . . AP Tests, here I come. :)


Arianna @ Laughter & Linguini May 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I love this! I couldn’t agree more with numbers… well all of them! Thanks so much for sharing :)


Heather at Heather's Dish May 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Big fat amen to all of it, but definitely am letting the last one sink in. Those pesky bills sure do get in the way but it would be so worth it to finally see a change Goethe better in my own career!


Christine May 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I LOVE this post soooo much. I’ve been an ELR reader for a while now and reading your blog really is a daily ritual for me – I love your optimism and positive point of view :) You’ve also been a big inspiration to me to keep blogging myself (www.epicureanbliss.com).

Number 13, number 6, and number 25 I especially love. I finally decided to follow my heart and go to culinary school so I could make a career out of my passion for food, and I’ve never looked back. Every day is an adventure, but I’m doing what I love!! Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to stay true to yourself :)


Joelle May 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

#14 and #23 are the only really important ones in life. They are the only things that make any of it worth it.


Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food May 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

What a great list! They are all SO true!! :-)


Lauryn May 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

#1, #4, #6, #8, #14, #19. WORD. For freaking shizzle.

I had to find out all this stuff on my own too. Wish I’d known it years ago… er, I wish I’d listened to my parents!


R @ Learning As I Chop May 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Definitely some words to live by!


Karen May 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Once again, you’ve proven that you have the most adorable personality ever and are wise beyond your 25+ years! Terrific list, Jenna…thanks for brightening my day!


linda May 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Hi Jenna,
I never comment, but thanks for this post! I loved 3-6, because they are so true but really all of the advice is great!



amy walters, aDESIGNdock May 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Love them ๐Ÿ˜‰ I concur!


AliG May 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

All true!


Paige @Running Around Normal May 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

That is some grade A advice right there :)


Chelsa May 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I love them all… so true!


Ash Bear May 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I rarely comment but posts like this ALWAYS make me smile! :)


Allison May 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This could be one of the best posts you have done—-ever!
I love this. I am going to do this right now!


Rebecca May 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Great list! I think #21 is the most important! Student loans for an education is one thing, but the one thing I always stress to young people is not to have debt!


Baking 'n' Books May 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Yep. Honestly, I wish I had never gotten an “education” knowing the misery I’m in now.

Amen to that.


Grace May 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Such a fantastic post!! I can relate to some of those….. :)
You seem like such a fun person Jenna, and your blog truly brightens my day and makes me smile. Thank You!


Kait May 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I LOVE this…thanks for sharing


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

absolutely BEAUTIFUL post!!


Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I need to beat #25 into my brain and then figure out a way to make it happen. Cheers.


Ellen May 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jenna! I was reminded of things we should all remember and learn! Let’s all live life to the fullest!


Julie May 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Jenna. I love your posts. I find myself re-reading them multiple times a day. Thank you! By the way, my husband and I are planning our 1 year trip (whoot!) to San Fran and Napa, Sonoma….and are doing it all by your recommendations under “Wine Country” Thanks for being our travel guide. We’ll be in your end of the world come September! (All the way from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.)


jenna May 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm

awesome!! September is the best month to visit the Bay Area—it will be gorgeous then!


AshleyH May 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

totally true Jenna. Love it!


RunEatRepeat May 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Amen Lady!


Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for sharing this list :) Amen to not spending money you don’t have, especially when borrowing from a friend…

I can’t even list 19 things I’ve learned in my 19 years off the top of my head!


VeggieGirl May 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

This is my new favorite post of yours. No lie.


French Heart May 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I agree with all that think can be summed up with ‘be true to yourself’. Think that is ALL important. And if anyone in life isn’t affirming—get rid of them. Life is too short for people that bring you down.

BTW Jenna. Today in Carmel was AMAZING!! The Mission was BANKED with Casablanca Lilies—unreal & totally MAGIC. I met a jazz LEGEND in a coffee shop visiting here with his wife—both SO cool (when I say LEGEND I mean LEGEND) he speaks fluent French & travels all over Europe constantly. An honor to meet them. (Reminded me that ‘A Great Day in Harlem’ is one of my all time fave films). And had dinner at Casablanca Sat night w/a winemaker. FAB night!!

Then ran in somewhere for something to go & they were playing Dallas Green’s ‘The Girl’….reminded me of you & Adam. The girl (in the official video) even looks like you.

A person at 25 who knows being their own person, true to themselves, is someone who really gets it. That is a real gift. I remember when Goldie Hawn said she’d rather ‘pick dog-doo off the street for 25 cents an hour’ than compromise herself. I didn’t understand it at the time. Now I do. I think never be attached to money or things…only your own eternal soul.

You’re such a great girl!!! Love the post!!!


Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I love this list!! I think the ones that I most identify with are:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 25

25 I always find that so many people who work 60-80 hour weeks in jobs they hate are doing so because they want to be able to travel on the weekends and have an amazing retirement. Well my dad worked for over 30 years in a job he didn’t like and he died a couple years into his retirement. You have to love what you do NOW, the future isn’t guaranteed!


Jodi May 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

That is SO true :)


Lu @ A Mix of it All May 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

It is true that anything mom makes tastes better. I love your list. It’s great.


Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily May 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Number 16 should just be a rule of thumb for life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stranded somewhere on this planet and having a toothbrush made all the difference.


Christie {Nourishing Circle} May 5, 2011 at 2:59 am

Lovely list, Jenna. Very inspiring – you are wise beyond your years.


Lisa May 5, 2011 at 3:22 am

I love this list! Definitely inspired to make my own, now.


Kristin @Wounded Fawn May 5, 2011 at 3:48 am

Im surprised by the gin comment. You seem more like a whiskey girl! Maybe that was the problem?


Sarah@The Flying ONION May 5, 2011 at 3:52 am

+1 to everything you said! ๐Ÿ˜€

Beautiful list! You’ve inspired me to make my own. ๐Ÿ˜€


Jessy May 5, 2011 at 4:03 am

Love this!


pawsitivelife May 5, 2011 at 4:51 am

Awesome advice. I very much agree with money not making you happy (nor being skinny). I often (or too often) loose myself in a good book. My life advice is to live and let live. not to let others dictate your choices in life and not to judge others for their choices


Aileen @ Happy Little Southern Nest May 5, 2011 at 5:58 am

Love this list Jenna! I just love reading your blog every day. Thanks for all of your writings :)


mindy May 5, 2011 at 6:27 am

I love Shauna! Her husband, Aaron, used to be the worship leader at my church before they moved back to Chicago. Her books (Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet) are raw and honest and inspiring. I think you’d really like them!


Laura-Ashley May 5, 2011 at 7:11 am

Thanks for the fabulous list!! Made my day! I keep reminding myself of #6 :)


Amelia May 5, 2011 at 7:14 am

I think that each one of these #’s speaks to me. It is definitely what I needed to read this morning. :) Have a wonderful day!


Carissa May 5, 2011 at 7:46 am

#25 is my favorite. So many people think money will solve everything but you really can’t buy happiness!


Khushboo May 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

Love love this and agree with them all!


Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine May 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

I was going to name off the ones that I agree with, but then I’d rewrite the whole list practically! Good calls on all of them! #25 is what I’m dealing with now…


Curly J May 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

Great post! Some of them are SO TRUE!


Kelsey May 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

LOVE This List!!

Been there on the Gin and Turkey Baster situation….it helps when the gin is mixed with Fresca :)


Katherine: Unemployed May 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

what a great shirt! too funny. I’ve never heard of relevant magazine before!


Ashley May 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Great list. In regards to #9, do you have an under-eye concealer you recommend? I’m in the market for a new one…they discontinued mine! Thanks! :)


jenna May 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I love Almay!


Trish May 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You’re awesome. This is a great list.


Happy When Not Hungry May 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Love this especially #9 and #14!!!


Joy May 6, 2011 at 1:33 am

This list is exactly why I come here every day!


Morgan May 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

I love this list!


Mellie May 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Being skinny might not make you completely happy but i don’t think any of the overweight people i know are happy with their weights, either. Otherwise I agree with these!


elise May 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

i shoved a bottle of wine in my massive purse/bag the other day and thought of your bbq sauce disaster. i figured the glass was a bit stronger. but still, it was my fave coach bag and i was nervous the entire time.

great advice :)


Katina May 8, 2011 at 4:01 am

Love this post. I really love your blog, I have been following for a couple weeks now, but I haven’t had time to comment. I especially loved # 3, 4, 8, 14, 21, 23, 25 in this post. Thanks for the inspiration, I love blogging about food and I am pretty sure that yours is the best food blog ever! God Bless.


Katie May 8, 2011 at 8:00 am

Love this post, lots of good ones!


gia May 9, 2011 at 10:25 am

Love it!! I think I’m going to make my own list too. I love especially the idea of being yourself, and not letting anyone distract you from that. Amen sister.


Alex May 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I really enjoyed reading your post! Iโ€™m only in high school but I definitely know number 1 is true, I should probably think about changing my study habits before college. LOL! As for number 2, Iโ€™m not so sure it pertains to me. My mom has attempted cooking for the last 17 years of my life and still can only make toast! At least she tries and thatโ€™s why I love her!


Danica May 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

I think this is by far one of my favorite posts you have ever done :) LOVE this list and I am totally adding a few of these to my list of “quotes” that I keep whenever I need to remember what is important in life ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have fun with you Mom! I think it’s awesome you surprised her.


Jennifer May 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

#25 is something I need to remember and something I wish more and more people would keep in mind.


Bess May 11, 2011 at 7:04 am

Love this list! So true.

I do have a quick question for you…are you at Folly Beach in that picture? It looks so much like one of the stores we have down here?


Amy May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I love this article – what a brilliant way to reflect on the years past and appreciate all those bumps in the road that you hated at the time but you actually learnt something from.
By the way, you have a beautiful blog. Simple enjoyment and celebration.
Great job for surprising you Mom too :)


Shelley May 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

well said :)


Elena May 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

What a fabulous list. Thanks for sharing! :)


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