And this is 40. FORTY. Sounds young to some of you and probably sounds old to others. I don’t really know what to think. If I’m being honest I actually like who I am more now than when I was 30. I’m wiser, more confident and definitely have a better sense of who I am. Sharing 40 things I learned in my 30’s that I feel shaped who I am today. Some are serious, others funny but these are 40 lessons and pieces of advice I would hand my 30 year old self if I could turn the clock back 10 years.
SHOP MY LOOK:
1 | PACK UP YOUR HIGH HEELS – God how I used to love to torture myself and wear stiletto heels and dance in clubs with my friends all night. Miss those fun nights but don’t miss the foot pain that went along with it. I traded those heels in and honestly never looked back!
2 | I AM AND PROBABLY WILL ALWAYS BE A LONG HAIR PERSON – I remember shortly after Erik and I got married I chopped my hair and got bangs. He didn’t love it and neither did I. I don’t think I cut my hair past a trim in my 30’s and I don’t plan on it anytime soon. Long hair, don’t care!
3 | I DON’T LIKE TO COOK – And probably never will.
4 | AN ACCESSORY CAN COMPLETE ANY OUTFIT – Hats, scarves, headbands, jewelry. Amazing what an accessory can do for an outfit.
5 | WELCOME NEW FRIENDS INTO YOU LIFE – They say the older you get the harder it is to make friends. This is true on so many levels. However, finding friendships that come in your 30’s usually are formed because you have things in common now. Maybe you don’t have a history of years together but finding new friends who share similar interests can make for lasting friendships
6 | LET GO OF TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS -And on the flip side, don’t be afraid to let go of toxic friendships. I learned in my 30’s that some friendships just run their course. Some people are meant to be in our lives for only a short time and that is ok. Friendships are about give and take but when they become more take and more work it’s ok to let it go. I’m not saying it’s easy but sometimes letting go is better for both sides. If it’s meant to be then you’ll find your way back.
7 | INDULGE – Eat the damn slice of cake. Enough said.
8 | MAKE A STATEMENT CHANGE – Change your hair color. Get lashes. Whatever. I learned in my 30’s to not be afraid to change my look if it’ll make me feel better. I’m not saying change who you are but don’t be afraid of change and some beauty enhancements.
9 | DRINK LESS – Because hangovers are so for your 20s!
10 | FIND A HOBBY – I learned in my 30’s the importance in having a hobby. Best thing I ever did was join a community for maltese lovers. I made great friends, had an outlet and met so many people who share the same love for their dogs as me.
11 | LEARN SOMETHING NEW – Sounds so cliche but really learn something new. Maybe I was late to the game but I learned in my 30’s how to finally do makeup. I took an online course and it was life changing. Not even kidding. I learned so much from it!
12 | TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN – Like this is seriously so important. Maybe my Japanese genes have helped me to look younger than I am (thanks Mom) but truly good skincare plays a big role in this. See this blog post for my latest skincare favs and use my code HOUSEOFLEO for 20% off at Tula.
13 | THERE REALLY IS NOTHING MORE COMFY THAN BIKINI PANTIES – (sorry Erik)
14 | MAKE WORKOUTS A PART OF YOUR LIFE BUT NOT YOUR LIFE – This was a big takeaway from my 30s. I used to be so nuts about working out. But these last few years I stepped back. Maybe part of it was due to the demands of growing my blog but now I schedule 4-5 days a week on my calendar and don’t get down on myself if I miss a day.
15 | KEEP THE SPARK IN YOUR MARRIAGE – Marriage is work. Erik and I will be married 13 years this year and I can absolutely say we are more in love now than when we got married. Make each other laugh, fight but forgive, and remember why you fell in love and find time to celebrate each other.
16 | DRESS HOW YOU WANT – How many times I hear, “I can’t wear that. I’m too old.” So yes this is true on several levels. I mean I’m not sporting booty shorts anymore but no matter what your age if you like a trend then wear it! Just find a way to make it work for your age and comfort level. I’m 40 but hey I’m sporting a tulle skirt!
17 | DON’T FORCE FAMILY – We don’t get to choose our family. It’s not always easy to get along with family members. This I 100% know for sure. Some people will fall on the side of it’s family so work it out. I fall on the other side. If it’s not healthy and the relationship has become toxic then just don’t force it. You can always love your family but some relationships are better left at a distance which in the end is better for everyone.
18 | ANIMALS ARE TRULY THE GREATEST GIFTS – I always knew this one but as life goes on I realize it more and more. There is no greater gift than the love of an animal. And bunnies. Bunnies make amazing pets!
19 | BE A KID WITH YOUR KID – Momming ain’t easy. We have a million things a day to do. But taking time to just be a kid with your children are the memories that will stay with them as they grow up.
20 | SPOIL YOURSELF & SPOIL OTHERS – Whether it’s buying a bag, getting a facial, going for a massage just be sure to spoil yourself once in awhile. And do it for others too. I learned in my 30’s that there is nothing more rewarding than making those around you feel spoiled.
21 | LOVE YOUR BODY – This was a big one for me. I think so many of us go through the love/hate relationship with our bodies. Sure I’ve always worked out and have always been in good shape but there were times I felt really good about my body and other times really bad. I think we all go through that. Having a baby and getting back into a 2 piece felt really good, but as the decade went on I still saw changes that just come with time and aging. To be honest I just came full circle to accept my body the way it is. I’m not torturing myself with eating perfectly, working out like a maniac. Those days are behind me. And if I’m being honest here I don’t think there is anything more classy that a woman in a one piece bathing suit. See #22.
22 | ONE PIECE BATHING SUITS ARE SEXY – Goodbye bikinis. Not looking back.
23 | HALO TOP & ENLIGHTENED ICE CREAM – 2 of my favorite discoveries in my 30’s.
24 | ZOODLES – As were zoodles. I feel like we cracked the code to eating pasta on Sundays when we discovered zoodles.
25 | HAVE OLDER FRIENDS – Making friends with women older than me turned out to be some of my best friendships ever. There is no competitiveness or jealousy. And their advice is always spot on and comes from the heart.
26 | FIND YOUR PASSION – When I started this blog I never actually knew it would become my greatest passion but it did times a million! When you love what you do it’s never work or so the saying goes. But it’s absolutely true.
27 | DON’T SETTLE – And once I found that passion I wasn’t going to settle for anything else. Sure my parents probably wanted me to stay in my “safe” insurance career but if I’m being honest I would have been settling for a career I didn’t want. I’m not saying quit your job by any means but if you aren’t happy find a solution to making it better.
28 | CHASE A DREAM – Piggybacking on #27 here. Soul search and find what will make you happy. Maybe it’s a different job position, a different career. Whatever it is chase it. Set goals to get yourself there. I set a goal to be blogging 5 years before deciding to stick with it or let it go. I made it successful in 2 years and was able to blog full time.
29 | MAKE SACRIFICES – But with those dreams comes sacrifices and you have to be willing to make them. Dreams don’t come true unless you work for them. You can envy someone next to you wishing you had what success they have but ask yourself this. Are you capable of doing what they did to get there? Are you willing to make the sacrifices they made to achieve what they did?
30 | HAVE GOOD FINANCES – I learned in my 30’s to put money away, don’t overspend, and make smart choices with your money. I make sure I can pay my credit card in full every month. It’s something I have ALWAYS stuck to. Stay within your means always!
31 | WHAT WAS LIKE LIKE BEFORE AMAZON? – I mean seriously. I can’t even remember. See this post for my most recent Amazon haul.
32 | LET GO OF THINGS YOU DON’T USE – Stop saving everything. Donate it, sell it or give it away. If you haven’t used it in 2 years it’s time to let it go! And yes that goes for your High School Varsity coat.
33 | FIND YOUR CONFIDENCE – It’s a work in progress for everyone but I can totally say that I am confident in who I am. I learned in my 30’s that not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to support you. It’s ok. Be proud of yourself. YOUR own opinion of yourself is all that truly matters. Be confident in who YOU are.
34 | STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE – And to really test that confidence we just talked about try to step out of what’s comfortable and try the uncomfortable. For me that was starting my blog and then going to all the events that are a part of this industry. It’s not easy what I do on a day to day basis. I may make it look that way but trust me it’s not. It can be intimidating, competitive and downright scary. BUT all those moments that I stepped out and pushed myself ended up only making me more confident.
35 | DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP – Whether it’s asking for help with the kids, learning something new, or just being able to vent to a friend. I learned in my 30’s to never be too proud or feel like you need to have it all together all the time.
36 | SPEND TIME WITH YOUR PARENTS – Some of my favorite memories in my 30’s were going to David Gray concerts with my Mom. She’s my absolute best friend. Schedule dinners, pedicures and get togethers with them.
37 | TAKE PHOTOS – Easy for us considering what I do for a living. But truly take lots of photos and video. If you’ve never hired a professional to shoot a family photo session do it! Those are photos you will cherish forever.
38 | AGREE TO DISAGREE – This was a tough lesson in my 30’s but it’s not always about who’s right and who’s wrong. Sometimes you just aren’t going to come to terms in every situation. It’s ok to agree to disagree and move on.
39 | KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES – Make a list of your best attributes and your weaknesses. Work on making those weaknesses into positives. I learned in my 30’s that my positive attributes are: hard working, driven, dedicated. My weaknesses that I’m working on: patience, over working, stubbornness.
40 | LOVE YOURSELF AND DON’T CHANGE – We are our own worst critics. At the end of the day you can’t please everyone and we should’t want to. Don’t change who you are for anyone. If they can’t accept you and love you for who you are then that is ok. Let go. Those who truly love you for who you are – hold those people close and don’t let go.
I’ll miss my 30’s. It was the decade I became a Mother. The decade I left a career and started a new one. The decade I really figured out who I was. Today I enter 40 feeling beautiful, confident and successful. Not just successful in work but in family and personal life. I hope you can all say that when you turn 40. And if it takes you longer that’s ok. I hope you can say it when you turn 50 or 60 or 70. It’s so important we embrace and love ourselves. Age is just a number. Don’t dread it. I learned in my 30’s to reflect on all you’ve gone through up until now, all you have achieved and all you have lying ahead of you. So hello 40. I’m Tammy and I’m here to move mountains in this next decade of my life.
READER QUESTION: “How long have you been married and where did you meet?” Erik and I just passed our 12th wedding anniversary this past September. We actually met in high school. We had Sophomore gym class together and I invited him to my sweet 16. Ironically he has no remembrance of going but I have a photo of him there! We didn’t date in high school though. We saw each other at a friend’s house the summer before we turned 21 and let’s just say he instantly swooned when he saw me. HAHA kidding. Ok not really. He did swoon! He asked me to the movies and that was it. We dated on and off in our early 20’s but by 25 we were living together and got married in 2007!
READER QUESTION: “Where is your necklace with initials from?” My name necklace is linked here. I love layering it with other gold necklaces. Heads up the quality is GREAT but shipping can take 4-6 weeks because it’s custom made.
READER QUESTION: “What advice would you give your 20 year old self?” I learned in my 30’s to just take your time and enjoy the moment. Don’t rush to get married. Don’t rush to buy a house. And don’t rush to start a family. Mr. Right will come when he’s supposed to. Save so you have enough cushion when you buy your 1st home. And kids? They can wait! Be carefree. Travel. Be with your friends. Make memories that will make you reflect on that time in your life as a good decade!
READER QUESTION: “Out of everything you blog about which is your favorite category?” Ooh this a good one. Going into year 3 of blogging and it’s clear I’ve shared A LOT of content. I absolutely LOVE to share fashion and that will always stay at the forefront of HOLB but I have loved branching out into home and travel content this year. If I’m given an opportunity in a niche outside what I blog day to day I will never not jump at the opportunity to create content about it. It keeps my wheels spinning and gives me the chance to share new and exciting things with you all!
READER QUESTION: “How has your relationship with your Mom changed now that you are 40?” If you are new around here then you should know that my Mama is seriously my best friend. God blessed me when he made her my mommy. We are still as close as we’ve always been but the dynamic has definitely shifted as Summer has gotten older. She takes Summer for us a lot and has such a bond with her and it just warms my heart to see how close the 2 of them are. I know Summer feels all the feels because that’s how my Mom always made me feel.
My mother also came on board with HOLB this past year and has started doing some work for me. She tries so hard and wants nothing more than to see this blog continue to blossom and I want nothing more than to make her proud. No matter how old you are — we always want to make the parentals proud. We worked together in insurance for 15 years so it’s nice to be working together again but in my own business. We fight of course but at the end of the day there is no one I can trust more than her!
READER QUESTION: “What’s your nationality?” Are you Italian?” Only Italian by marriage! I’m actually Japanese, Polish and Slovak. Crazy mix right? Erik is 100% Italian though and never was he more disappointed in me than the time I wanted to make Sunday “gravy” and season it with soy sauce. He never let me try to cook again. What can I say. Growing up with a Japanese mother — she puts soy sauce on everything!
READER QUESTION: “What’s one thing that feels good about turning 40?” Probably just knowing that I’m entering this milestone loving what I get to do everyday and never being more proud of my hard work and the happiness of my family. If you would have told me at my 30th birthday that I would be sitting here with a successful blog that started from nothing and a dynamite 7 year old by the time I was 40 I would have said you are crazy! And this is where I will end this post. I just love knowing I’m exactly where I want to be in life right now.