Behind The Butter

27 Things

Today is my birthday!

A couple months ago during one of my yoga training days, all thirteen of us sat in a circle and wrote down anonymously on a piece of paper something we would have liked our formal self to know. It could be whatever. Then, we put the scraps of paper in a bowl and one at a time, picked a piece and whispered the sentence into each other’s ears while the others sat with eyes shut in the circle. No one knew what your sentence was, but when it was whispered into your ear, it had significant meaning. It was a very powerful experience (I probably did an awful job explaining it—you’d have to have been there to really understand).

Anyway, since that day I’ve thought a lot about the exercise along with other things I would have told my former self…things I know today but didn’t know then. Things I wish I would have known. Things personal to me but just might apply to you, too.

Here we go!

1. Life is too short not to eat dessert every day.

2. You don’t have to like something just because it’s considered “cool” for a day.

3. Spend time every day in the Word…it makes a difference, really.

4. Be nice to your mom—she’ll be your best friend one day.

5. Be really nice to little brother…you really don’t know how long you’ll have him for.

6. Those amazing red heels? Yeah. Buy those.

7. No one cares what size your skinny jeans are except for you.

8. Don’t take anything personally.

9. Even though trashy magazines might say you should “date someone totally wrong for you at least once”, you really don’t need to do that. It’s a total waste of time.

10. If a guy wants to be with you, he will make it happen. If he doesn’t, move on. Seriously.

11. On that note, wait for him to call you.

12. Start a savings account.

13. Always keep a pair of flats and a fleece in your trunk…just in case.

14. Back up your computer.

15. Get closer with your grandparents and listen (really listen!) to their stories, they have lived waaaaaay longer than you.

16. You’re the one who is in charge of making things happen for your own life. Get on it!

17. Don’t whine. If you don’t like something about your life, change it.

18. Hair grows.

20. Be patient with your parents, they love you so much.

21. Tough times don’t last but tough people do <—cliche and true.

22. It’s a really good thing to be picky.

23. Sometimes friends just move on, drift apart and go separate ways. You don’t have to save every friendship if it’s not worth saving.

24. On that note though, make time for your girlfriends. Hug often.

25. Smoking cigarettes will absolutely not make you look cool….only stupid.

26.You are beautiful just the way you are.

27. Cool kids wear glasses.


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  • Judy
    June 11, 2012 at 3:25 am

    I really really love this. I think every parent should read this list to their child daily from the day they are born. Sage wisdom.

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    June 11, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Love love love this!! First of all, Happy Birthday to you, Jenna!!! I hope you have a great day. And I agree with everything you said … especially #3! πŸ™‚

  • Alisha @ Pink Spatulas
    June 11, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! I really like your list, especially #17. Enjoy your special day… it’s all about YOU! πŸ™‚

  • tina
    June 11, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna. You are amazing!!

  • Mel
    June 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Happy Birthday to you, Tanti Aguri a te! I hope you spend your day doing something absolutely fabulous!

  • Samantha
    June 11, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Happy Birthday! What a clever idea for a post. Agree with all of the list!

  • Lynn
    June 11, 2012 at 4:13 am

    What a beautiful, inspiring post! Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Jenna!

  • Krista
    June 11, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I love this– especially the one about your mom being your best friend. True story, girl! πŸ™‚ Happy birthday, Jenna!!

  • Debbi
    June 11, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Great post, and happy birthday!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    June 11, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Love all of these!! Happy Birthday πŸ˜€

  • Emily
    June 11, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Great list Jenna! Have a very happy birthday. Best wishes for your year ahead!

  • Sonal
    June 11, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Happy, happy birthday Jenna!! Your blog inspires me so much and this post is a great example of that! I agree with each of these points, but the ones that call out to me are no. 1, 8 and 26! Hope you have the most wonderful day πŸ™‚

  • Terri A.
    June 11, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! You are wiser than I am, and I’m 20 years older than you! #20 is so true. I was so impatient with my mom and now she’s been gone 3 years and I miss her terribly. I wish I could go back in time and sit with her and listen to her crazy stories. Have a great birthday.

    • Linda
      June 11, 2012 at 5:37 am


      I am glad I am not the only one who enjoys this blog who is old enough to be Jenna’s mom!!
      Jenna, your blog is a treat I give myself each morning here in Maine. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your love of life–you are wise beyond your years! Like Terri, I too have lost my mom (and my dad). Savor them; no one loves you as unconditionally as your parents.
      Happy Birthday!!

      • Sandy
        June 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Terri and Linda,
        I too have lost both my parents and I know that I never loved them enough. I was not patient with them especially in their last years and I can’t get that time back for a re-do. I want to share #10, 11 and 22 with my daughter but no amount of advice from mom is ever really welcome when you are 21.

        Happy Birthday, Jenna.

  • Katrina
    June 11, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Awww happy birthday! What a cute list….and touching. Life is bonkers and I keep learning more and more every year πŸ™‚

  • Lynn
    June 11, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Happy birthday! I LOVE reading your blog! It makes my life richer – thank you!

  • Blog is the New Black
    June 11, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna!

  • courtney
    June 11, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Happy Birthday! What an inspiring list, a great Monday morning reminder:)

  • Dunja
    June 11, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! You are an awesome girl…just the way you are πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  • lisa
    June 11, 2012 at 4:51 am

    happy birthday! love your blog!

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free
    June 11, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Great post! Happy happy birthday!

  • Gennin
    June 11, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Hope your day is super special! I love the list on this post.

  • luv what you do
    June 11, 2012 at 4:58 am

    What a great post! I’m surprised there isn’t a book out there for teenage girls with al of our life lessons piled in to help through the more challenging years. I wonder if they’d even read it πŸ™‚

    Happy Birthday!

    • Lauren
      June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

      :O AMAZING IDEA! I would have read it! Heck, I have a ton to learn and would read it NOW! Even 10 years from now! Haha…I think we all need to be reminded to enjoy the little things, gain perspective during a tough time and savour each and every day we’re alive πŸ™‚

  • Ashley
    June 11, 2012 at 4:58 am

    Happy Birthday! Love the list.

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers
    June 11, 2012 at 4:59 am

    happy, happy birthday. i love this list!! i hope this is your best year yet!!

  • Monica
    June 11, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Love it!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    June 11, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna!
    After reading this I feel a little bit better about putting my entire tax refund into savings. I’ll thank myself one rainy day, right?
    My favorite point is 15. Grandparents are full of knowledge, history, talent, love, friendship… πŸ™‚

    • Sandy
      June 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Even better put it into an IRA, you will really be happy you did in 30 years.
      Good work for saving it, Molly.

  • Marissa
    June 11, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Hope your birthday is nothing short of amazing just like this list! Love it and agree with it all so much πŸ™‚

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen
    June 11, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Wow….tears streaming! Literally! Happy Birthday Jenna…I hope you do something fantastic to celebrate. I’m sharing this post with my 13 yr old daughter (and my 9 year old!). Such great advice they won’t take from me. πŸ˜‰ So glad you shared!!

  • Joy
    June 11, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Happy birthday Jenna – I loved every bit of your list!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    June 11, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Happy birthday! And I love everything on this list, especially #16. I spent way too much time in the past waiting around for things to happen – and it never got me anywhere!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    June 11, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!!!!! Thank you so much for these life lessons. I’d never heard the “Tough times don’t last but tough people do” cliche and despite the fact that it is indeed cliche, I really like it and it IS true! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating, and be sure to enjoy an amazing dessert (or two!)

  • lina
    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I’m usually just a lurker… but happy birthday, Jenna! Hope you have a good one!

  • Christina T
    June 11, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Great list, I have to agree with so much of it….especially the older I get. Happy birthday fellow Gemini πŸ˜‰

  • Elisabeth
    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! Great list – I turned 30 last month & definitely agree with pretty much all of ’em! πŸ˜‰

  • Ellen
    June 11, 2012 at 5:23 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thanks for all the great advice! God bless you!

  • jenna
    June 11, 2012 at 5:24 am

    love this list! i hope you have a great bday!

  • Kelly
    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Happy Birthday! We Gemini’s need to stick together, mine is on Friday!

  • Heather M
    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Happy Birthday!

  • aj
    June 11, 2012 at 5:26 am

    love this! happy birthday, jenna!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    June 11, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Happy Birthday! Great little reminders to LIVE life to the fullest.

  • katie @KatieDid
    June 11, 2012 at 5:29 am

    happiest birthday to you!

  • Amanda at the red table
    June 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Words of wisdom, those. A very happy birthday to you πŸ™‚

  • Betsy
    June 11, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Love all of these! Happy birthday Jenna!

  • Nichole
    June 11, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!! You inspire me in so many ways!

  • britt
    June 11, 2012 at 5:41 am

    i love this! happy happy birthday!

  • Austin
    June 11, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Such a great list (and a great idea to write it as well)! Happy 27th!

  • Barbara
    June 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I’m printing this out and hanging it by my desk. I totally agree with all of these points, and I think it is very important to remember them. I would also add : buy or pick fresh flowers whenever you can. it is amazing what flowers can do for your mood every day.

    Happy Birthday!!

  • estroJen Zabala
    June 11, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Your list was a gift to us readers! Happy Birthday!!! πŸ™‚

  • Cait H.
    June 11, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Happy, happy birthday to you, Jenna! I hope you have wonderful day. Can’t wait to read your book in the fall.

  • Kayla S
    June 11, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Love this post, thanks! Happy Birthday Jenna!!

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    June 11, 2012 at 5:58 am

    happy birthday!! I love this list so much!

  • vivian
    June 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Happy birthday jenna! I hope you have a reader meet up when you come down to orange county:)

  • Shannon D'J
    June 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna! Love your little pieces of wisdom. I must work on Nos. 3, 13, and 14. All great advice. No. 23 is tough to swallow, but a big life lesson! At least I’ve learned and accepted that one. Hope you have a fantastic day planned and that Adam and your girlfriends spoil you! Birthday cocktails al fresco, perhaps?

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    June 11, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Happy Birthday! …and thank you. I really needed that this Monday morning.

  • Gina G
    June 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

    This post is beautiful in every way. Happy birthday Jenna! πŸ™‚

  • Brandi M
    June 11, 2012 at 6:12 am

    AMAZING! I am going to print this out and give it to my 14 year old daughter! It’s amazing how similar we girls are. πŸ™‚
    I hope you have an absolutely fantastic birthday Jenna!

  • Mom
    June 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Happy Birthday my sweet daughter! When people comment to me on how beautiful you are physically, I always tell them that you are even more beautiful inside than out. This is just one small example of that. Love you so very much ~. Happy Day !!

    • Karen
      June 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

      How lovely, and I totally agree w/your sentiments re. your beautiful daughter, Mama Weber!

  • emily
    June 11, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Happy birthday!

  • Maggie
    June 11, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Happy birthday! I think that’s a great list of things to remember.

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    June 11, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!
    I love this post! Your 27 things are bang on. Totally easy to forget and totally worth knowing. Wishing you a delightful year ahead. Cheers πŸ˜‰

  • Keri-Danielle
    June 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    June 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! Love #17 so, so much. I constantly think that when I hear people (or myself) whining.

  • Maryz
    June 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Happy Birthday!

  • Sara
    June 11, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Hope you had a blessed day!

  • Liz @ IHeartVegetables
    June 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Happy Birthday!!!

    #8 is great. That was the BEST Advice I got when entering the “working world” and it’s helped me tremendously!

  • Lydia
    June 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! You’re an inspiration! Cheers!

  • Becky Henderson
    June 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! This is such a beautiful post and one that I will be thinking on for the rest of the week! Thank you for being so open and honest with us. Have a wonderful day!

  • The Intrepid French Learner
    June 11, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Happy Birthday!

    Do you feel old today? There are some birthdays which for whatever reason seem especially “old” – know what I mean? I remember that 10 was one (of course – double digits), as were 19, 24, and 27. (I’m 35 now.) 27 just seemed “grown up.”

    Your list is great – entertaining, varied, and TRUE! Speaking of age 27 and things I wish I could tell my former self… you don’t have to be engaged by 27! I laugh now when I think of the “timeline” I had set for myself…. engaged by 27, married by 30. (I got married when I was almost 33, and I think it was a perfect age.)

    (I am a long-time reader, sometimes-poster, and have just launched my own blog, The Intrepid French Learner, chronicling my journey through self-study of French. This is the first time I’ve left a comment listing a website.)

  • Jennifer
    June 11, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Happy birthday! Such a great post, I agree with all of the others – these really rang true with me. Keep being totally inspiring and amazing, and hoping you have the best birthday yet!

  • Betty
    June 11, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Feliz CumpleaΓ±os πŸ™‚ great list! don’t forget to eat lots of yummy cake!!

  • Ali @ Around the VeggieTable
    June 11, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Happy happy birthday!! I love your list πŸ™‚

  • Stacy
    June 11, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for giving us a present on your birthday!!! Wonderful words to live by! Have a great day!!

  • Lori
    June 11, 2012 at 6:47 am

    happiest of birthdays to you, jenna!!

  • jenna k
    June 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

    happy birthday!! i hope you have a wonderful day (week) filled with good friends and good food. πŸ™‚
    i adore these. especially 10 and 11. i REALLY needed to read that after the weekend i’ve had.

    • Meaghan
      June 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Ha, I was just thinking the exact.same.thing. Thank you for reminding me to keep my high standards, Jenna!

  • Christine @ Take with Food
    June 11, 2012 at 6:49 am

    A vert Happy Birthday to you, Jenna! Great list, I relate to so many of these. All the best for your 27th year. I’ll be right there with you soon, my 27th birthday is coming up on July 7!

  • Jordan@almondjay
    June 11, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful and inspirational post. I am so glad I walking out the door to start my work week having read this πŸ™‚ You have put a little skip in my step with your thoughtful and honest words.

  • Ally
    June 11, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Happy Birthday!!

  • Melissa
    June 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Happy birthday to you!!! And thank you for this -you should share this with your yogis. i wish i could go one of your classes, im sure they are amazing!

  • polly
    June 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    i love them ALL. and i love YOU, little sis!! I read the “be nice to your mom” one to Abbi and she giggled. πŸ™‚

    Happy, happiest of birthdays sweet friend.

    • Sandy
      June 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Polly – I miss hearing about your sweet family. Hope you are doing well and having a great summer with your darling girl. I can just imagine that you are picking strawberries and going to the grandparents for father’s day weekend. πŸ™‚

  • Christy
    June 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Happy birthday! Hope your birthday this year exceeds all the past ones! πŸ™‚

  • Kath
    June 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen
    June 11, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Happy birthday you wise, wise woman!

    June 11, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Happy Birthday!
    Great list. Number 4 is my favorite. My mom day several years ago and hate when girsl complain about their mom’s. I am so jealous not to have my best friend around.

  • Danielle
    June 11, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Absolutely love your list. Happy birthday, Jenna! xo

  • Cristen
    June 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Happy Blessed Birthday Jenna!
    There was so much truth and beauty in that post!

  • Padma
    June 11, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Feliz Cumpleanos Jenna! I wish you the happiest of days!

  • kyla
    June 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

    What a wonderful list from a wise girl. Thank you for this. Have a very happy birthday, we, your blog readers just simply adore you.

  • Monica
    June 11, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Yay for June birthdays! Happy Birthday Jenna, and love love loved this post. Have a happy day!

  • Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life
    June 11, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!

    This is such a beautiful post for so many reasons (27 to be exact).

    I love each thing you wish your formal self knew. #1 is something I know and I happily stick to every day as a 21 year old… glad that I’m on the right track there haha. And my mom is truly my best friend. Everything else I will be copying and pasting onto a sticky note and remembering.

    I actually just experienced #23 a few months ago, and I have never been more relieved or happy in my life because of it (seriously crummy friendship).

    Anyways, have an awesome day Jenna, thinking of you!

  • Heather
    June 11, 2012 at 7:18 am

    amen to all of them – and happy birthday!

  • Kelly
    June 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna! What an awesome way to reflect back. With age comes wisdom, but unfortunately, you can’t tell someone that – we all have to live it to understand it. Mistakes are healthy! I hope you have an awesome day and an even better 27th year!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    June 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! LOVE this post..After a bad, unexpected breakup recently, I needed to read numbers 10 and 11 right now.. 16 and 17 are my life mantras – I always try to remind my friends of those.

    Have fun celebrating!

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    June 11, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! Your blog was one of the first blogs I read and it’s still one of my favorites today πŸ™‚ Wishing you a great year ahead!

  • Natalie
    June 11, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Love this! Happy Birthday Jenna! I’m sure I could think of plenty to say to my former self as well!

  • Notyet100
    June 11, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Many mny happy returns of the day,.

  • Ruth Crumplar
    June 11, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Hope it’s a great day. Thanks for your blog – I love it and read it every day! My professor in seminary says 27 is the eternal age – or the age he thinks we will all be in heaven – no evidence to say that’s true or not – but enjoy it!!

  • Bianca
    June 11, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Stacy @ Stacy Eats
    June 11, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Happy birthday to you!!! Hope you have a blessed day, Jenna!

  • Jess
    June 11, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!! Love you and your blog!!! Enjoy this day and most definitely eat dessert!

  • Jen
    June 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Happy birthday!!!

  • Alyson
    June 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Today is my 27th birthday as well!

    happy happy birthday!

    I love your list, I think I’ll “steal” a couple and add it to my “27th year” list.

  • Alexis
    June 11, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Cool kids totally wear glasses. That was my favorite πŸ™‚ Happy birthday!!!

  • Jenna | The Paleo Project
    June 11, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! May your 27th year be as wonderful as you… Thanks for all you do in the blogging community. XO (another) Jenna

  • Page
    June 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

    This list makes my heart smile. Happy birthday!

  • Jenna@redheadrunningwild
    June 11, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Happy Birthday!!!! That list is beautiful and very true! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Maria
    June 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Happy Birthday darling! We loved spending time with you in Seattle! You are amazing! Come visit us soon! Caleb insists:) Have a great day! xoxo

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Aww, LOVE this!! And LOVE that yoga exercise! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    P.S. I always feel sooo self-conscious in my glasses…I never wear them out and will wear my contacts even when my eyes are killing me. I need to change this! Thanks for reminding me that glasses are cool πŸ˜‰

  • Tracey
    June 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Well said! Wonderful post! Happy, Happy Birthday to you! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio
    June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Happy Birthday!!!

  • Karen
    June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    What a brilliant and inspiring list, Jenna…I love when you display your more cerebral self on your blog! Have the happiest of b-days and may all your wishes come true!

  • Ashley
    June 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Good list, Jenna. You’ve got me considering making a list of my own. Happy birthday, I hope you have a fantastic day!

  • Ali @ Gimme Some Oven
    June 11, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I adore this list! Especially the part about grandparents…such wisdom (and stories galore) there!!

    Have a wonderful birthday!! πŸ™‚

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    June 11, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! Love this list. Just saw my 94-year old grandfather yesterday which reaffirmed a lot of what you listed:-)

  • Alexis
    June 11, 2012 at 7:56 am

    That was wonderful. Happy Birthday!

  • Sarah
    June 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Happy happy birthday, Jenna! Your blog makes me smile constantly, and I hope you have a birthday that makes you smile constantly! πŸ™‚

  • Janelle
    June 11, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Happy birthday! My birthday was a week ago. June is the best birthday month. πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! I agree! Life is too short to not eat dessert every day! πŸ™‚

  • Hope
    June 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Goodness I wish I had read this list at 16! You are very wise!

  • Cassie (bake your day)
    June 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Adore this. Happy birthday, Jenna, hope it’s a beautifully blessed one. Cheers to another year!

  • Jamie
    June 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Happy birthday, jenna!! This is an awesome list. i agree with every one. I loved the one about keeping a fleece in the back of your car. My fleece is like my security blanket!

  • Lucinda
    June 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Hope today’s the best!

  • Michelle Torres
    June 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Sending you lots of Happy Birthday wishes from NC!!!! I LOVE the list, I too wish I could had read this when I was a teen, now i need to read it to my daughter who just graduated high school over the weekend. I hope today is the most Beautiful and special day for you, Enjoy!!!!

  • Ali
    June 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Happy, happy birthday! I am printing this list and reading it when I feel down. Life is way too short to worry about such inconsequential issues.

  • Jenna
    June 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna!
    Love this!!

  • Erica
    June 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Happy Birthday, my friend! Love you!! xoxoxo

  • Corrie Anne
    June 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Awesome. Happy b-day!! I love the skinny jeans one.

  • Hannah
    June 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!

  • Nicole
    June 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! All 27 things I really needed to be reminded of so THANK YOU πŸ™‚ as always, beautiful.

  • Katya
    June 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! I hope you have an amazing day and year ahead! You are very inspirational and it’s great to know that people do follow their dreams and get somewhere good! Best of luck with!

  • Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables
    June 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

    amazing and inspiring–happy birthday!

  • Lauren@littleyellowkitchen
    June 11, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Happy birthday Jenna! And thanks for these lovely reminders. My brother is going through a rough patch w the fam and I have kind of written him off lately. I’ll give him a call today though πŸ™‚

  • Allyn
    June 11, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Happy birthday! Mine is tomorrow, so we’re basically birthday buddies!
    So many of those things on the list spoke to me. I will say for any single girls, 10 and 11 are especially true! My husband has mentioned many times that I was the first girl who he actually had to pursue, and he loved it. Obviously it worked for us!

  • Beverly
    June 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!!!

  • Becky
    June 11, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Happy Birthday! Have a great day. Love the list-very true!

  • elise
    June 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

    happy birthday!

    i was so confused by the first description of the activity…its former self not formal right? i was trying to think of all these proper things, haha!

  • Christina
    June 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!
    Love this post!

  • Michelle
    June 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna!

  • Dana
    June 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!!! I loved your 27 things list!

  • Jane {In the Pink and Green}
    June 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Great words of wisdom…Happy Birthday Jenna! πŸ™‚

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    June 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Happy birthday!! Hope you have the loveliest of days.

    And anyone who can’t find at LEAST 3 things on that list that applies to them is lying. I certainly had way more than that hit home for me.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    June 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! What a great list and I agree with your #9…total waste of time!

    Have a wonderful year and best wishes for only fabulous things for you πŸ™‚

  • Arianna
    June 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Thank you for posting this, most of these apply to me too!

  • Brianne
    June 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Agreed…on all accounts! Happy Birthday, I love reading your blog. I especially love your book recommendations….finished How to Love an American Man, wonderful story πŸ™‚

  • Living The Sweet Life
    June 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Happy Birthday πŸ™‚

    This is such a lovely post, I adore it so much so – that I’ve actually just printed it out and I’ll keep this list with me. Every once in a while, we all need a little reminder. Thanks for this xox

  • Shannon @ A Fork In Each Hand
    June 11, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy!

  • Liz @ Southern Charm
    June 11, 2012 at 9:33 am


    Happy Birthday!!!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    June 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna. Love your 27 things. Very true and too often we forget a few of them.

  • Tracy @ Commit to Fit
    June 11, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

  • samantha @ peach in the city
    June 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Amen to the red heels!

  • Gillian G. @ When Bread Is Broken
    June 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Cheers to that – happy birthday!! πŸ™‚

  • Allison
    June 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hi Jenna, Happy Brithday! Some of these are more on the tough love side, but all of them are absolutely true. Thank you for the words of wisdom, and I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating! πŸ™‚

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy
    June 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

    These are all awesome. It would be fun to hear what other people had to say to their former selves as well. Happy Bday, Jenna!

  • Liz
    June 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! I love your list. I’m in my 27th year and I wish I would have known these things when I was younger. But I guess that’s life and how we learn. Have fun celebrating!

  • Alison (Fueling for Fitness)
    June 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Happy birthday! You’re lovely and so is your list! πŸ™‚

  • Urban Wife
    June 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! I love your list….very wise and practical. πŸ™‚

  • Lisa
    June 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

    We are birthday twins! Love your list…hope you have a wonderful day πŸ™‚

  • Amy
    June 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!

    We did that same exercise at my yoga studio (while working through Baron Baptiste’s 40 Day Transformation). So powerful, right?

  • clare @ fittingitallin
    June 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful advice Jenna. Happy birthday!

  • Mai
    June 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

    loved this list!
    happy birthday!

  • Millie Snyder
    June 11, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I LOVE this post. You know, you get told these life notes over and over and I never have that “ah-hah” moment until I really experience and realize it for myself. The one I really resonated with you on is #15… get closer to your grandparents & listen. My favorite moments are when we are hanging out and every now and then they slip out a story or memory that is just so interesting- something that I would have NEVER thought to ask and I learn so much about them, life, and the trying times they’ve lived through. I think to myself… I don’t know if I could’ve survived some of the things they did, and they did it well.

    • Sandy
      June 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      I think we are all just as strong as our parents and grandparents and we will withstand the tough times when we are tested. You just don’t know what you can do until you have to.

  • Melissa
    June 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna and what a great list!

  • Kate
    June 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Great post! Happy Birthday πŸ™‚

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2012 at 10:38 am


    I love list posts, such positive energy!!!

  • Karen
    June 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna!!! Thank you for this list, I LOVE IT!

  • Jenn
    June 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna, I hope you have an amazing day!

    I love your words of wisdom to your former self, thank you for sharing them with all of us. They are so very true. I love #17 – my husband and I are big on “no whining”, and #10 – Once I decided to find the guy that really wanted to be with me I found my husband. He moved to a different city with no job just to be closer to me when he graduated from college. I was overwhelmed by him taking that risk instead of doing the “easy” thing and moving back in with his parents until he found a job. He treats me like a Queen every day and I am so blessed to be able to call him mine.

  • jamie
    June 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Happy birthday Jenna!! Hope that you have a wonderful day!

  • Sarah N
    June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Happy birthday!

    I love #1 and #23!

  • Margarita
    June 11, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! Great life lessons for women of all ages! πŸ™‚

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  • lani
    June 11, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Happy birthday, beautiful, talented, Jenna! Hope that you have a great day!

  • Megan @ Megan's Miles
    June 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna!

  • Morgan
    June 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Happy Birthday!
    Experience has shown me that #15 and #23 are so, so true.

  • Lisa A. A.
    June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Happy birthday, you wise woman! Love your list; so much truth!

  • wendy frances
    June 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Happy, wondrous, peaceful, blessed birth day and year for you!

  • Maggie
    June 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Happy birthday, Jenna!

    The exercise from your yoga training sounds very interesting and powerful. I would love to participate in something like that.

  • Sara
    June 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Beautiful Jenna, happy birthday! Hope it is the best!

  • SaraJane
    June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Happy birthday! I love #9. Wish someone had told my not-so-much younger self.

  • d.liff @ yellebellyboo
    June 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    we have the same birthday! I hope yours is very happy!

  • Kendra
    June 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Jenna! I stumbled upon your blog a couple months ago and appreciate your recipes as well as the way you are able to communicate so effectively with your writing. I also wanted to say that I think #22 is super important! Being a divorcee and finally finding a special guy five years later has been worth the “picky” wait. What great advice! Hope you have a beautiful birthday.

  • Moni Meals
    June 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    So well said Jenna. Real, true, and badass. πŸ˜‰
    It is kind of like what I try to follow every day, the book “The Four Agreements.” Great book if you haven’t read it.

  • Moni Meals
    June 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    doh! And…. happy birthday!!!

  • Grace (GracefulEats)
    June 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Wished you Happy Bday on Instagram, but here’s my “official” blog birthday wish: Happy Birthday, Jenna! LOVE this post – thank you for sharing. You are such a huge inspiration (read: moving to CA = scary but what an adventure!). Hope you have a faaaaaabulous day! xoxo

    • Grace (GracefulEats)
      June 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      #4 is so true – still working on that! πŸ˜‰ And I love, love #7. No one really ever cares about our clothes size as much as we do…

      • Sandy
        June 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        So true Grace (#7).

  • Amanda
    June 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Happy birthday! I love the list. Very true and wise words πŸ™‚

  • Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon
    June 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Happy Birthday! And thanks for this list πŸ™‚ I love them all but especially #13. Some things are always true, but only apparent to you when they smack you in the face!

  • Amanda
    June 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have an awesome day!

  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork
    June 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Happy birthday Jenna! A great list, too, and I love the idea of the whispering advice yogi circle or whatever you would like to call it. πŸ™‚ Hope you had a lovely day!

  • Carole
    June 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing those ideas. I am 41, and I agree with them all. I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

  • Linda
    June 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    No. 10 is so true. If only I could get back all of the time I spent worrying about whether a guy liked me. If he’d wanted to be with me, he’d have been with me! (When I finally found a guy who really wanted to be with me, he didn’t make a secret of it.) Happy birthday!

  • Becky @ So Very Blessed
    June 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    YES to all of the above! Such a great list! And happy birthday to you! I hope it’s the best one yet!

  • Lindsay
    June 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I love this list! Happy Birthday and eat cake!

  • Allie
    June 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I love this! And everything about your blog.
    Have a wonderful birthday!

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Happy Birthday! Beyond love this post…everything I needed to hear.

  • Lia
    June 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    That was really nice. A great thought piece for all of us. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sonia the Mexigarian
    June 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Happy Birthday Jenna. Love this post. So true on so many levels.

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks
    June 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love this! And you. And happy birthday! I’m totally missing you today.

  • Heather
    June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! I love your list – hope you have a great year. (And I can’t wait to read your book!)

  • Louise
    June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Best wishes today and everyday, Jenna. You are quite a remarkable woman!

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    June 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jenna! I just want to say AMEN to your list…especially #1! πŸ™‚

  • Jenna C
    June 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    happy birthday jenna! Great post. You are awesome!

  • Sarah
    June 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Happy Birthday! And I love your list. πŸ˜€

  • Rachel L
    June 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Happy birthday Jenna!! Thank you for the exceptionally wise advice πŸ™‚ I couldn’t have said some of these better myself

  • Jaime
    June 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Happy birthday, Jenna! I hope it’s amazing. (It’s so weird to follow your blog and then see you pop up on three others while at the BlogHer conference! Love it.)

  • Michelle @ A Little P
    June 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Happy birthday!!

  • Sarah
    June 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Amen to all 27.

  • sherri
    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    happy birthday, jenna! you are a very wise young woman. thank you for sharing your list. hope you enjoyed seattle. it was sunny and 70 today! xo

  • Barbara
    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Love this entire list! #5 is particularly touching…an #10, well I still have to remind myself of that one from time to time! Can’t wait for your book! Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

  • April
    June 11, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Amen to #10! I love this list. Need to do this soon.

    I hope you had a great birthday! πŸ™‚

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    June 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday! I love your27 things. I want to share them with my staff. The guys might not get them all but there is some really good life lessons in your list.

  • Christena
    June 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I really like when you write posts like this because your heart really shines through. I can tell that you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside and that you have a heart for people. I get frustrated easily with my parents. I am going to try to be more patient. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder.

  • Emma
    June 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Been reading the blog a while – huge fan! I think this post is extremely significant because you are maturely looking at your life and sharing valuable lessons with the rest of us. Happy Birthday!

    PS : my mom is my best friend also πŸ™‚

  • Julie @ Table for Two
    June 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    happy birthday! i loved this post so much. it’s such great insight and a great way to make me think about stuff i don’t think of on a day to day basis. makes me appreciate life so much more.

  • Maggie
    June 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Love this post so much! Happy Birthday!!

  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia
    June 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I always love reading things like this. At 21, I like to think I’ve learned some things by now that my former self would have benefited from, but I certainly still have plenty to learn! I love #13 on your list–flats and a fleece are always the things that you find yourself wishing you had! And #14? Yup, learned that one the hard way last fall. RIP my harddrive (twice).

  • B @ Crags and Veggies
    June 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Happy Birthday! I love that cool kids wear glasses and that it’s acceptable to eat dessert everyday! Oh, and that he should call you!! Hope the day was wonderful!

  • Emily
    June 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

    LOOOOVE this list. I think its such a great exercise to write down things you would have told your former self – a lot of the things on your list would have been good to know years ago, and some of them are definitely good to keep using as reminders when we get too caught up with life!

    Happy, happy birthday to you! I just pre-ordered your book on Amazon, and it will arrive in September, in time for my birthday, so then you’ll be giving me a birthday present! πŸ™‚

  • Kristina
    June 12, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Jenna!! I am so impressed with your wisdom! I am ten years older than you and I will admit right now that I was not as self-assured nor as knowing as you are when I was your age. When you’re my age, you’ll be a genius! πŸ™‚ You’ve inspired me to write my own list for my nieces and nephews. Hopefully they’ll learn faster than their auntie! πŸ™‚ Happy birthday, Jenna!!

  • Samantha
    June 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA! a day late! Hope it was fantastic!

  • Jo
    June 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I hate this one: On that note, wait for him to call you

    but I follow it.

  • Cecilia @ My Life Sans Gluten
    June 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a good one πŸ™‚

  • Val
    June 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I love this! So glad you had a great birthday!!

  • Elizabeth
    June 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Love this! Happy birthday…and I love the pics of Seattle…I am here now!

  • Mo
    June 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Love this! Thank you so much, I truly appreciate these types of posts…they have helped me so much through my last year, that was the hardest year yet. I will take to heart all of what you said because you’re such a wonderful influence. Thanks Jenna, happy belated birthday!

  • lindsay @ prettylittleparadise
    June 13, 2012 at 5:52 am

    love this post and your list of 27 things… perfect! and happy belated birthday πŸ™‚ i made your barbeque chicken pasta monday night and my boyfriend has proclaimed that he is going to make me make it every week!!! he LOVED it, and i loved it too… thanks for helping the future housewife inside of me!!

  • Megan
    June 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Love this post! You are wise : ) Also love your shoes, I got a pair myself after seeing them on your blog!

  • Marie
    June 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Happy belated birthday!!! This is an awesomely beautiful list; loved every one of them!

  • Kayla
    June 14, 2012 at 7:58 am

    i love this post. thank you for sharing this!! πŸ™‚

  • Diana
    June 14, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I love this post. πŸ™‚

    Oh and Happy Belated Birthday!

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner
    June 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Happy Birthday, Jenna!!!!!!! πŸ˜€

  • Cacmuffin
    June 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!! What a wonderful post! I especially liked the eat dessert first & hair grows apart πŸ˜‰

  • Hannah
    June 17, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Love this- so true! Happy belated birthday!

  • Kim
    June 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Happy belated birthday!!! 27 was one of my favorite years! I’m convinced that it’s the age where we’re finally getting to know ourselves. Thank you for sharing all of the beautiful wisdom as well!

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  • Kristi
    June 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I’d like to add something to #13 – Flats, Fleece and BATHING SUIT should always be left in the trunk!

    13. Always keep a pair of flats and a fleece in your trunk…just in case.

  • Stacey
    June 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

    i cannot tell you how much i needed to hear some of these things. thank you.

  • Debbie
    July 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

    What a great post, Jenna! This caused me to pause and do some personal reflecting. This post spoke in such a powerful way. Thank you! As you can see, I’m so far behind on google reader. Sorry!

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  • stacey
    November 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Occasionally I re-read this… I just love it.

  • Dana
    February 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Ditto to Stacey! June 11th is my parent’s wedding anniversary. πŸ™‚