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What my 20's taught me

I've done a lot of reflecting over the last few months as I head into the next decade of my life. While every birthday is a milestone, hey we made it another year in life, 30 has been one that I've been the most fixated on! On the one hand there are certain milestones in life I thought I would have by now and then on the other hand I look back on everything that I have accomplished in my 20's and I'm pretty darn proud! I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things I learned in my 20's! 

On Finding Yourself ||

To this day, one of the best experiences of my life was studying abroad in Rome the Summer going into my senior year of college. I made friends from different cities that I still keep in touch with today, I traveled Europe by train, plane & everything in between & I learned so much about myself. Taking that time in your life when your responsibilities are basically getting to class & making good grades is the best time to explore & figure stuff out! There will come a point when you'll have those memories to look back on and you'll wistfully retell all the stories! As much as I like to think that I've "found myself" - I think there have been certain experiences that have given me the opportunity to round myself out and it's ever evolving! 

On Taking a Chance ||

The biggest chance I took in my 20's was moving to Boston after graduating from college - without a job & with basically one friend (hi Jess!) - not counting my sister since she's a built in best friend. I had just turned 22 and was seriously scared out of my mind that I would never make it let alone find a job. But I did and here I am 8 years later in a job that I absolutely love, with a side business that I am so incredibly proud of & a blog that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would keep up with for over 3 years! It was a decision that I would make 100 times over if I had to go back and do it all again! 

On Aging ||

That picture right there - senior year of college with my bestie Rachel & looking oh so tan! Now we're both on the verge of 30 & she's about to have twins!! The joy's of having a less than packed schedule and a pool in my back yard! So 30 isn't old per se, but I started to really take care of my skin when I hit 25. I've tried to be kind to my skin & I'm so thankful that my sister and mom imparted that wisdom on me - moisturize, don't over pluck those brows & for Pete's sake - don't tug on your skin when taking your makeup off - age and your skin's elasticity will drag it down on it's own! Oh and learn to drink more water - I think I'll always struggle with that! Oh and stop laying out to the point of getting a sun burn!! 

On Friends ||

Oh man, I'm not sure what I did in my past life to deserve the wonderful ladies that I have in my life - but the craziest part is that some of friends I've known for 20 years & others I only met two or so years ago. My 20's taught me that it doesn't matter how long you've known someone, when it comes to friendship the more laughs you share, the better! So thankful for these fierce women! 

On Grandparents ||


The only regrets I have are things relating to grandmother's - that I didn't call them more in my early 20's when they were still able to really talk to me on the phone and give me advice. I know how lucky I am to have both of them still with us, but I really do wish I would have called them more. They are still healthy (knock on wood) & I'm so excited that I get to see them in April when I go back to Florida for a visit, but it's never truly the same. So if you're in your early 20's or just lucky enough to have your grandparents - call them! 

On Parents - specifically mine ||

There will never be two people more in my "corner" than my parents! My 20's taught me that mom is always right & dad is going to be easy going about the decisions you make and guide you in his own way. When people find out how close we are or how often we talk (twice a day with each parent) they give me this sort of confused look, like what can you possibly talk about - it's less about what we talk about and more that we just hear each other's voices & everything is okay! I'd say I'm pretty lucky to have parents that have given me everything necessary in life to "make it," but what they really taught me in my 20's - just go for it. That far fetched idea - try it, that goal I'm striving for - do it and that trip I want to go on- take it!! 

On Sisters ||

There really is no bond like that of sisters! I would be lost without my sister - she's my sounding board for nearly everything in life & the one I go to when I need sage advice. She's the one that gave me a place to live (and my BIL being as awesome as he is agreed) when I first moved here without a job & didn't let me take that first job offer just because it was a job offer! We are closer than close - she's my sister & best friend and has taught me that I should forge my own path. As I've gotten older, the advice has shifted and now we're equal - her asking for my advice as much as I ask for hers! She's taught me that "having it all" is not an unattainable goal in life - "all" is a relative term & it's up to you to decide what it really means! 

On Love ||

I've loved, I've lost (that's actually an Ellie Goulding lyric) & I've certainly made my fair share of mistakes, but I wouldn't change any of it - well maybe a few dates I would just cancel if given the chance...but it was all part of the growing up process. I entered my 20's as a hopeless romantic and still am! I was lucky to "find" Gary at 23, which is certainly young, but we were in the same place in our lives and it just clicked! If I could go back and tell my younger self anything it would be to do it all the same way - but trust your gut with everyone - there's a reason it's called a gut instinct! When I was in high school I had a boyfriend tell me that fairytales aren't real life & that finding prince charming wouldn't really happen! Nice, huh? Well thankfully I didn't believe him and in my 20's I learned that is absolutely not true - he does exist (as the little chocolate M&M's say) & it's pretty much the best feeling ever when you find that kind of love!  

So if you got through all of that....I want to know what you learned about yourself in your 20's? 

74 comments

  1. So I am Crying because to have lived just 3 decades and your heart and brilliance is amazing Biana!! You truly just "get life" and that my dear is why so many people LOVE YOU!! Including me, I hope this week is going so fabulous for you, you deserve the BEST birthday week and month, lol...EVER!!

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  2. Love this! I think it's awesome you talked to your parents twice a day!! I would tell my young twenty-something self to stop taking myself so seriously. I felt so overwhelmed by all the things I "had" to do and thought I was so busy. I look back on that now and think...HA. Hahahahaa.

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  3. I really love this post!! I feel like turning 30 is such a big deal because your 20s is the decade in which you really matured and did a lot of growing. Our 20s were filled with so much--college, job finding, marriage, paying your own bills, etc. I think it's so great that your family is so close because it's definitely not like that for everyone!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  4. Loved reading this!
    Xo, Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com

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  5. This is such a great post! And I love that you are so close to your parents. I am incredibly close to mine, and my in laws! I am turning 30 in a couple months and one thing I have learned in my 20's is...you are stranger than you think. Four kids in five years, military deployments, 7 moves, and the loss of family members, I was sure I was going to explode at some point. My 20's have taught me an awful lot, and I am really excited for 30!

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  6. I love all of this! Not quite hitting 30 over here yet, but I know it will come quick. I love your perspective, and totally admire how you branched out and took such a leap after college.

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  7. Family is such a big part of your life and I'm right there with you about the importance of them. You and Gary are so wonderful together, complete fairytale love for sure. You are going to love being in your 30s! I honestly do not miss my 20s at all. So much wiser now and I take such better care of myself. Happy almost bday girl!

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  8. You should really be proud of yourself and all that you have accomplished in your twenties, and guess what? It's only going to get better for you. If you thought your twenties were good than you are going to love your 30's! Now that you have found your yourself and you have your feet firmly planted on the ground, you can move forward with determination and accomplish anything you want to. So proud of you girl.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  9. Beautiful post! I learned so much through my twenties as well! This is perfect and I can relate so much to this. Thank you.

    Sincerely Miss J
    www.sincerelymissj.com
    (check out my giveaway!)

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  10. I love this post Biana! I completely agree on studying abroad (one of the best decisions I've ever made!) and wishing I called my grandparents more in my early twenties.

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  11. So beautiful! Notice I will NEVER be tan in a pic regardless of when it's from! Ha! Can't believe it's been a decade of friendship... I feel both old and lucky to have had so much time with you!! Cheers to more decades!! And in the "On Love" post... I distinctly recall a few duds and hilarious dates that should be in a book one day! ;) XOXO, R

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  12. I love this post! What a great reminder and something you'll be able to look back on when you hit the next birthday or milestone! Love your sister's advice in regards to having it all, Happy Birthday Month!!

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  13. What a sweet post, Biana. You have accomplished so much in your 20s and have so much to be proud of! I know your 30s will be just as successful or more! I would agree about talking to your grandparents. I lost both of my grandfathers young but was able to see and talk with my grandmothers much more before they passed away. They come from such a different kind of generation and I always loved talking to them about what it was like growing up. Hope you're having a great birthday week!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  14. This is such a great post. It's amazing how getting older really makes you appreciate your family! I definitely wish I had called my grandmother more when she was around, but I am sure not to make that mistake with my mom. I talk to her almost daily!

    By Lauren M

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  15. Love this! So far in my 20's I've learned to stay close to family and friends who are there for you. I also think it's important to do things that make you happy, blaze your own trail and stay true to yourself. You only do this once :-) Hope your birthday week has started off amazing!
    xo
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

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  16. I loved this post! It's so beautiful to reflect on our growth! You have a lot to be proud of and welcome to the 30s club! XO- Kim

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  17. This was such a great post! I agree with everything, especially that family really is everything!

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  18. Aw, this is so sweet, love this post!! You've definitely had a great decade- one of my only regrets is not studying abroad in college- I bet that experience was awesome!

    xo, Kristina

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  19. I loved everything about this post! It definitely struck a chord because so many of these are lessons I've learned and am still learning! One of my BIGGEST regrets is graduating early instead of taking a semester to study abroad! I'm hoping we'll be making up for it over the next two years because there's nothing like immersing yourself in another culture!! Happy Birthday week girly!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  20. I love this post! So much yes, especially about family and taking care of yourself!

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  21. I love this! You've definitely learned so many things in the past few years and shared so many valuable lessons about growing up and finding yourself.

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  22. Beautiful post gurlie! Super jealous of your sister and your relationship, I always wanted a sister because they're a built in best friend. And I so wish I had studied abroad, my cousins have been doing that and I just wonder why I never thought to. Such an amazing experience! Wishing you all the more happiness in the best decade yet <3
    Green Fashionista

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  23. Love this so much! I'll be 32 in May and I have to say that your 30s aren't so bad! I had a pool in my backyard growing up, too, but have learned the importance of sunscreen! Sisters really are the best - so thankful for mine! I hope 30 is your best year yet!

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  24. ah this post! makes me so happy. we both explored new cities in our early twenties and found our happy place! i wish i would have studied abroad - i knew i'd regret it! and all the love for family and growing up in our 20s. and beyond. so excited for the 30s!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  25. This was such a great read, girl! I loved reading about different stages of your life and what you've learnt through them all. My sister and I are unfortunately not close, but my mom and I are! We talk several times a day and before we get off each call, we have several closings, haha. We're so much alike and it's like one big sitcom when we're together, haha, so I love the fact that you're close with your mom and dad, too! Eddie and I met in a very unexpected way, at a bus stop. I missed my bus and lingered around an extra 5 minutes, even though no other busses would be running for the remainder of the day (I forgot if it was a holiday or something). He had to go to the other side of town to where I was to help a friend who begged him because he didn't want to drive that direction, since it was out of his way. He spotted me and stopped traffic right in the center of the busiest street in the city and would not leave until I gave him my number, haha. I don't suggest ever doing this though, these are different times, different times, haha. That's how we met and have been together 11 years, married 8. I say all that to reiterate the underlying theme for your storyline here, you just never know where life will bring you, but sometimes, you just have to be open, not try and figure everything out and everything just falls into place. Thanks so much for sharing, beautiful, and I hope you have the most amazing birthday (I wish I knew the exact day) I'll have to stalk your Instagram, haha!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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  26. Great post! Entering a new decade is very though provoking. I definitely had fun in my 20s and did a lot of traveling. It is nice to have that to look back on now that I have three kids!
    xo, Traci
    waltzmetoheaven.com

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  27. Great post! Isn't it interesting how much we really do learn and grow as we age. It makes it easier, ha! I definitely agree on the parents part. Man, I am so lucky to have such wonderful parents and I just realize it more and more as I age.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  28. I love everything about this post! I'm so glad you took a chance and moved to Boston to!

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  29. I LOVE everything about this post! I definitely did the most growing up in my mid to late 20's and this pretty much sums it up perfectly. Cheers to 30's being even better than the 20's! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  30. Love this post so much!!! You are a beautiful person inside and out and I wish you many more years of happiness. Life gets better in your thirties too! :-)

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  31. This is the sweetest post I've read of yours, Biana! I'm only 6 years into my 20s but it's seriously such a time of growth and finding yourself. I believe your 30's are only going to bring more joy, more amazing experiences and more laughs!! So glad you came into my life during your 20s <333
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

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  32. I love this! You certainly have so many positives to reflect on! Moving to Boston and making a life there when you knew hardly anyone - so amazing! Cheers to the last 10, and cheers to the next 10!

    Zelle
    Southern Style

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  33. It's so amazing the life you've formed for yourself in an unknown city and I love that you did study abroad, I always say looking back that's one thing I wish I did!

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  34. Yes to all of this. And a gentle reminder to call your parents and grandparents more often. So thank you for that. Cheers to 30!

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  35. What a great post - I love this!! Thanks for sharing the things you've learned!! Such good advice!

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  36. You've already accomplished so much in your life Biana! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

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  37. So wise... I wish I woke up in my 20's about skin care... I'm just now, in my 40's getting on that - you can imagine the hot mess I already am.
    YESSS - I so wish I spent more time with my grandparents too. It hurts my heart I didnt

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  38. Sweetest post EVER, Biana! I loved reading this! You definitely made a big and gutsy decision when you moved -- I don't think I could have done it. But look at you, you've made it and even found the love of your life along the way. I'll be honest, hitting 30 scares me a bit...but I love your outlook. Cheers to 30 pretty girl!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  39. Love this!!! So many great lessons. I know I grew up the most and learned the most from my late 20's and I am going to be *gulps* 34 this year!!! So I am standing her welcoming you to the 30's and up party and I have to say that my 30's have been the best years yet! So you just wait! It will be fabulous!

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  40. This is such a great post!!! Like you said, there are some milestones you thought you'd have by now, and other things you never even though of, but are doing right now and are so proud of yourself! 30 definitely brings from reflection - I am feeling you there!

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  41. This is probably one of my favorite posts of yours ever! So much wisdom to digest. I definitely wish that when I was in my early twenties that I took more chances and those special opportunities to "find myself." I always was too focused on the future that I think I missed out on some stuff. But, like you said, it's crazy where life takes you and to look back on everything that you've accomplished thus far!

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  42. What a great post, Biana! This is such great advice for everyone! And as someone who has been in her 30s for 4 years already (yikes) I can tell you that it only gets better! I wouldn't change a thing! You have SO much going for yourself... you are going to ROCK your 30s!

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  43. These are some important lessons you learnt Biana! Happy birthday and hopefully you keep learning as you grow older!

    XoXo,

    Tamara - LoveofMode.com

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  44. Happiest of birthdays to you Biana! I'm turning 30 later on this month and I have to admit that I'm pretty freaked out about it, but seeing this post really makes me think about all the things that I have learned in my 20's and that I'm thankful that I don't have to do it all over again! I really love the one about your parents because no matter what moms really are always right!

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  45. I LOVE this post, Biana! I thought studying abroad was such an important time of my life too. :) I love how close you are with your family. :)

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  46. great post!! i studied abroad in paris during college and i WISH i studied there for a whole semester but it was such a great experience and really got me wanting to travel more. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  47. I wanna know what eye makeup remover you use that requires no tugging! I hate that! AND I wear contacts, and putting them in and out also does ... basically whatever. I need a better eye CREAM lol...

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  48. This post is so spot on. You grow up so much in your 20's - and in your 30's you really find yourself.
    Amanda Kids and Cabernet

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  49. I love this so much. It was so beautifully written. Even though I don't always feel like I have my shit together, & I'm certainly not where I thought I'd be at 28, I'm looking forward to my 30s.

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  50. This is so beautiful! You have totally rocked your 20's and you look fantastic!!!!

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  51. Awwwwwww, such a great post. So honored to be your "first" Boston friend! It's been such a delight to know you and call you a friend for some many years. I seriously am in denial that you're leaving your 20s...you are wise beyond your years girl!! :)

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  52. 30 looks amazing on you beautiful lady! The 20's were fun but you nailed it with realizing the things that matter the most and how to appreciate them all moving forward. Trust me, the 30's are just as fun, just in it's own slightly more adult way but being surrounded by love is all that matters. Embrace it and enjoy every moment!

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  53. This was so sweet! Even though I'm just over halfway of twenties I have learned how incredibly important family is in the last few years and I'm so lucky and grateful for my parents, sisters and husband! They are everything! I also laughed when you mentioned how tan you were in the college picture, every time I look at a picture of myself from college I'm amazed at how tan I used to be!! But my poor skin thanks me now!

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  54. Ahhh I am turning 30 this year too so this really hit home! 20s are definitely that golden year wear you learn so much, good and bad, and really shapes who you are to become! Cheers to 30s being another chapter and an amazing decade!

    <3 Shannon 
    Upbeat Soles

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  55. Cheers to 30! I love how you talk to your parents on a daily basis. My parents are constantly texting me (sometimes at 3am because of our time differences) and its nice that I'm able to communicate with them so well now that I'm a little older and a little wiser (much wiser than my teenage years, at least).

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  56. This is such a great post my friend!! One of the biggest lessons I learned in my 20s is to trust the Lord, and his timing, and follow his lead instead of my own- it makes all the difference! Cheers to a new decade!

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  57. Love love love this post Biana! It's so awesome you were able to live abroad and move to a totally new city by yourself. As you mentioned I really think it helps you discover who you really are. All of your reflections are so on point. I still have 1.5 years left of my 20's, but I can definitely relate to most of these. Side note: You and your mom are total twins!! You guys look so much alike. Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

    Annessa
    www.seekingsunshine.com

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  58. Looking so beautiful in these pictures honey.
    Also see cupshe coupons and check out my latest blog 5 Ways to satisfy your fashion

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  59. Such a lovely post dear!! Nice photos!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: PFW STREET STYLE BEST OUTFITS II

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  60. awww i love this! i love how close you are with your family. welcome to your 30s honey, you're gonna LOVE it.

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  61. So first of all, you look exactly the same as your senior high school pic! Like you will continue to age well and still be flawless at like 50! lol You have so much to be proud of!

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  62. Happy birthday gorgeous! You are so wise and self-aware, and I feel like more people turning 30 could be like that!

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  63. I love this post so much!! Isn't it great to reflect back every now and then to remind ourselves just how lucky and blessed we are? 30's are the new 30's lady, and you will rock it!! Xoxo

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  64. I adore that photo of you and your Grandmom.

    I always get reflective around birthdays, especially big ones - my 30s reflections post is ready to go for tomorrow. Yes yes yes to the skincare here. I absolutely hate washing my face at night and doing all that but it's important.

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  65. Cheers, Cheers CHEERS to turning 30! (I am right behind ya in April!) I absolutely love how you wrote this post and I especially love how close you are with your parents and sister. That is truly a gift that not everyone has. So special.

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  66. What a beautiful post. Being an adult in our 20s really helps us appreciate how special family is. You and Gary are so perfect, too - what amazing love you share!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

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  67. Wonderful post. These are great lessons learned and I wish I would ahve learned them in my 20's many I learned in my 30's. Speaking of, they have been so amazing and way better than the 20's, and armed with all of this knowledge you are sure to have the best decade. Love how cute you and Gary are. You were so lucky to meet him so young! And you are right, prince charming does exist!

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  68. oh my, my 20s were sooo long ago!!! Reading about what you have learned, you are soooo far ahead of where I was in my 20s...oh my, I am waaay past you in age and you are STILL way ahead of me. You are truly an "old soul". I am certain your parents/grandmothers are so proud of you that they could burst! I know that I would be! xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

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  69. I'd say your 20s were a success if you've taken away ALL of this from it. I know your 30s are going to be amazing because you soak up all of the experiences thrown your way :)

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  70. Love! I always feel almost silly following all you young girls but there is one thing y'all all have in common..you're strong and confident and live without regret. I feel like that was what I learned in my 20's...live without regret. Hope you have the best weekend!

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  71. Love. It sounds like you've been blessed to be surrounded with some amazing people girl. That's pretty darn cool. I love that you are so close with your parents. Cheers to 30!

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  72. I love all the things you shared here, but I especially relate to the grandmother one! xx, I'm Fixin' To

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  73. I love all the amazing pictures that went along with all your 20s life lessons. I especially love the pictures of you with your grandmothers... and I need to call mine more often. <3 My study abroad semester in my 20s was absolutely transformative for me, too.

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  74. This was really great to read. It sounds like you have alot to be proud of and have come to alot of conclusions about life in general. It's great how close you are with your sister and parents. I too am turning 30 this year and I think I may sit down and reflect on my life and what I've learned about myself thus far. It's scary to be turning the big 3-0 especially when things in life haven't gone as planned. All I can do is hope that things will get better and better for me each year that goes by!

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