23 Before 24

I’m having a little freak-out moment over here. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m turning 24, and this year just feels like it’s gone so fast and 24 just sounds like such a serious age…I know, I sound kind of silly. But I think (hope?) it’s normal to have some little anxieties around birthdays…mixed emotions, really, because nobody loves a good birthday week celebration like me. I’m basically the queen of birthday week. And yet I’m still a little nervous about the big two-four.

23 Before 24 via Imperfect Chevron

Anyway, all freak-outs aside, I’m doing a little reflecting on the past year of my life and I thought it would be fun to think of 23 things I’ve done as a 23 year-old before I turn 24 tomorrow. So on this magnificent birthday-eve, here’s 23 Before 24:

  1. I lived in 4 states while I was 23 – Colorado, Pittsburgh, Florida, & North Carolina
  2. I finished graduate school
  3. I started eating burgers again
  4. I saw 200 manatee (all at the same time) and it was amazing
  5. I went back to ballet after a 3 year hiatus
  6. I started getting serious about eating right and exercising again (just in the last 2 weeks)
  7. I worked really hard on expanding my blog in a purposeful way
  8. I started preparing for the biggest exam of my whole life — NBCOT here I come
  9. I ate no real ice cream (lots of lactaid ice cream though)
  10. One of my best friends got married and I was there in spirit! I’m still drooling over her gorgeous photos.
  11. I’ve been in 15 states – Pittsburgh, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas
  12. I’ve been working on breaking the bad habit of biting my nails
  13. I went to a dueling piano bar because apparently that’s a thing now
  14. I ate fried green tomatoes for the first time ever (SO GOOD)
  15. I relied on a laundromat for 3 months. It wasn’t great, I wouldn’t recommend it
  16. I dyed my hair for the first time in my life (just highlights, but a big deal for me!)
  17. I made a list of trips I’d like to take next *hint: it’s a looong list*
  18. I lived without a kitchen for 3 months
  19. I confirmed that the career path I thought was for me, actually is for me. Yay!
  20. I found an amazing photo-editing app that I will probably be loyal to forever
  21. I started wearing my hair more natural instead of blow-drying it every day
  22. I was happy 95% of the time (a big portion of that sad 5% went to school stress)
  23. I realized I wanted to move back to Colorado for good




Birthday Week

happy birthday!

I said goodbye to 22 and hello to 23 on my birthday last Wednesday (you guys, where does the time go?), and thanks to my family and friends, I had a great day celebrating! I’m a big supporter of the idea of “birthday week” now that I’m getting further into my 20’s, because somehow after you turn 21 birthdays don’t feel like that much of a big deal anymore. “Birthday week” lasts the whole week that your birthday falls into, and basically you just treat yourself to little things all week long (and continually remind your family that *hint, hint* it is your special week, ha!).

Here are some of my photos from “birthday week.” I’m absolutely kicking myself for not taking any pictures of my cake, which was from Costco and had these pretty musical notes on it, because it was really the only thing I wanted for my birthday. Which tells you where my priorities are in life (;

birthday donuts

It wouldn’t be birthday week without some birthday doughnuts! (It totally still would, but I really really love doughnuts.) I got them on sale after the 4th of July weekend was over — leftover doughnuts for the win!

happy birthday

I hung this adorable banner in our dining room the whole week. A couple of my friends gave it to me a couple of years ago as a surprise when we coached swim team together, and I’ve held on to it to bring out for birthday celebrations! It sounds kind of silly, but it made me feel special all week.


If you ever get a Starbucks giftcard, register it through their app, and then keep a little money on the card until your birthday so you can get a free birthday drink! I love that Starbucks does that, it’s really a huge treat for me since I almost never go out for coffee. I tried their cold brew coffee (with a touch of soy milk and no sweetener) and it was really good, I’d recommend it!


I think my cat has finally accepted me as her own again (it only took her 3 weeks *eye roll*). She hung out with me a lot during birthday week, and I snapped this picture of her in a new box she got this week.

spa day at home

On my birthday, I pulled out my old foot bath/home spa set and gave myself a “stay-at-home spa day.” It was so relaxing and felt like a really special treat to myself. I’m going to have to use that thing a few more times this summer!

Anyway, I had a great “birthday week.” Now that the celebrations are over, I’m starting to embrace being 23 and getting excited for what this year will bring. There are so many things to look forwards to, and I think it’s going to be a great year.


Gifting: 5 Amazing Sewing Gifts

If you’re anything like me, you think about gift ideas year round (for birthdays, holidays, etc.). Sometimes you just get this crazy good idea for a gift for a specific person, and it’s really fun to make it happen! My problem is that I get so excited, that I have a really hard time keeping the gift a secret–I just want to give it to the person so badly! As a kid, I remember talking to my dad and blurting out (accidentally, of course) what we’d gotten him at the store for Christmas. My mom was so mad! In the end, it all worked out–my dad pretended that I hadn’t ruined the secret, and my mom still reminds me every year not to tell. Even though I’m 22, I still get really excited and I have to be really conscious about what I’m saying around the holidays.

I’m starting this little mini-series called “Gifting” to round up some of my favorite ideas for giving gifts. I’ll try to do as many as I can before the holidays (no promises, this time of year is pretty busy with school!).

Today’s “Gifting” theme is gifts that you can sew for people. I personally love sewing Christmas gifts, and I’m sad that I won’t be able to do that for my friends this year since my sewing machine is a few states away. In the past, I’ve sewn some cute little drawstring bags for my friends, some pretty decorative pillows, and a paintbrush scroll, and I’ve loved creating a unique gift for each person. Here are some ideas I think would make great gifts this season (or anytime!):

1. Animal Tote Bag – this one is from ASOS, but would be easy to replicate with any animal you choose!

Lazy Cat Bag

2. These dog silhouette pillows would be fun to personalize, and they would make a really special gift!

Dog Sillouette Pillows

3. I made some reusable produce bags last year and absolutely love them, so I think they’d make great gifts. Plus, they’re easy to make a lot of them at once!

Reusable produce bags

4. These little cosmetic bags would make great gifts for your girlfriends (or pencil bags for anybody!).

DIY cosmetic bag

5. How adorable are these little bear bags? I think they’d make a fun gift for any age, but it would be fun to make them for kiddos that you know!

bear bags

Those are some of my favorite ideas for sewing gifts – I hope to share some more fun gift ideas soon! Are you making any DIY gifts for the holidays this year? I’d love to hear about them.