Happy Birthday to me! I feel like I’m thr …. Thirty. I’m 30! And I’m celebrating with White Chocolate Rosewater Buttercream Cupcakes.
But before I share this fabulous recipe, I have some wisdom to impart on my readers ….
Once upon a time, when I was about 15 years old, I started a “Before I’m 30 List.” What is this magical list you may ask? It’s all the things I wanted to do or experience or accomplish before I turned 30. Some things were clearly written by 15 year old me. Others, I just didn’t get around to doing. Maybe it was timing, maybe it was my life path, who knows. I did get through about 50% of my line items – not bad for someone who’s really good at starting projects and not so good at follow-through.
At the time, 30 seemed forever and a half away. I thought I’d have my life together by now. I thought 30 was when I got “old” and was no longer allowed to be irresponsible or lazy or selfish for that matter. But as the years crept closer and closer to 30, I realized that at 30 I did not accomplish everything I thought I would; that 30 is just a number and has no bearing on my maturity or my selflessness or level of accountability or responsibility. Thirty is just that… a number closer to 100 (to which age I hope I will live) and it doesn’t mean anything more. Being an adult is arbitrary. There’s no manual, there’s no guidebook, there are no directions. There’s just trial by fire and learning from life experiences. I don’t have all the answers, but I have learned some pretty important lessons during my 30 years.
- Life will never go according to your perfect little plan. Even if you wrote it up, checked all the boxes, revised and re-wrote some elements, life throws some major curveballs and you have to believe that even if things don’t play out according to your plan, there’s a bigger, better plan waiting ahead.
- There’s a difference between being nice and being a doormat. Don’t be a doormat.
- Be nice – because the world needs it. Humanity needs it. And if not for any other reason than to be able to live with the adult you’ve become.
- Give to give, not to receive. There is an inexplicable joy that comes with giving and not expecting anything in return.
- Be a good hostess. Now, I’m not saying you have to have the dinner party thing down (because those are hard). You should, however, be able to host a group of people at your home and have them walk away feeling like you were an exceptional hostess, and that they had a good time. That’s a skill you will use for life.
- Always send a thank you note. Handwritten notes may have gone out of style, but saying thank you hasn’t. A quick text expressing your gratitude is the very least you can do. It makes you a more genuine person. If you so wish, you can hand write a note and mail it, or hand deliver.
- Work really hard … and reward yourself. With sweets, or shopping, or bread…
- You can’t measure happiness based on the number on your scale. Dieting sucks. And exercise sucks, for that matter. I will never be a skinny girl and I have accepted the fact that my life will be a constant battle to fight for or against eating the bread. So find happiness elsewhere and EAT THE BREAD.
- Family comes first. No one in the world will ever be there for you unconditionally like your family. They are tied to you through bonds that are stronger than any other relationship. They are the first to celebrate your successes, and the only ones you want to know about your failures, because they will stand by you.
- Solicit advice. From the people you trust, whose opinions you care about the most. They usually have a perspective you hadn’t thought about before.
- Never sacrifice who you are, just to be accepted. The people you want in your life are the ones who love you for who you are, not the person you try to be for them. You were raised with standards and morals. Don’t sacrifice those for anyone.
- When you go to a restaurant, order something you can’t make at home. Try something new off the menu. You’ll become much more cultured. The same can’t be said as a food blogger, because I can make everything, right? Just kidding. Trying new things at restaurants from a young age helped me understand and love food.
- Save Money! Save Money! Save Money! I know it’s so hard, especially when after taxes your paycheck has practically diminished. Start with your 401k (if your company offers you a match on your contribution, you have no excuse). Set up a savings account in your name. This is money you never touch, except when you’re ready to buy a house or a car, or need it for a real emergency. The only money movement is IN to the account, never out. It’s impossible to “save” in your checking account. Trust me. Save Money!!
- Keep up with current world events. Whether you spend the first hour of your day scanning the headlines, get news alerts during the day via the AP and CNN apps, watch the news at the gym, or wind down with a tablet copy of the newspaper, you have to know what’s going on in the world. Things are happening locally, domestically and internationally that you need to know about. You don’t live in a vacuum. Be aware of the political climate, trending videos, the latest happenings … you’ll have a lot more to talk about than the weather.
- Try new things. Even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s food or new experiences, you won’t know whether you like or dislike something until you’ve given it a try.
- Travel as often as you can. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored.
- Without good health nothing else matters. It’s 2017, we’re in an era of prevention. You have no excuse. Get your regular checkups in.
- Life is not fair. We’ve heard it a million times. But it is the truth. Life is unfair, it’s unequal and just because something should be a certain way, doesn’t mean it is. At 30, I have definitely felt the impact of this statement.
- Adversity builds character. That’s a direct quote from my mother. If everything was easy, you wouldn’t be the strong independent person you are today. You might think that a bad hour/day/week/month is the end of the world. That there’s no way out. But you’re wrong. Because the time will pass, and you’ll find that when you have no other choice but to be strong in the face of adversity … you are way, way stronger than you ever thought you were. Trust me on this one.
- It’s okay to cry. Sometimes, the only logical response to a very stressful situation is to cry, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just don’t do it in front of everyone at work. If you have to cry at work, take it to the bathroom, your car, or down the block, and then pull yourself back together.
- Every office is dysfunctional in its own way. I’ve held a number of positions with various organizations. I’ve found that each of those offices was dysfunctional in its own way. At each site, everyone thought they worked at the most dysfunctional place of work … but I’ve come to learn that no office is perfect, and you need to find work that you love to do to overlook some of the “dysfunctional-ness.”
- Do not underestimate the power of positive thinking. Positive thoughts, bring about positive outcomes… for the most part. Stay strong and Stay positive!
- Distance yourself from negative people. You’re going to have people in your life who are negative about everything. They always have something mean to say, and never seem to be genuinely happy for you. You don’t need those kind of people in your life. They will bring you down.
- Just because you’re a functioning adult, does not mean you actually know what you’re doing. How many times have you looked at adults throughout your lifetime and thought, “shouldn’t they know what they’re doing?” The answer is they don’t. At best, we fake it ’til we make it. Especially that first month at a new job. I know you know what I’m talking about …
- Make your bed every morning. Making my bed makes me feel like I have my life together. It only takes a couple extra minutes to fold your covers back up, but it will make you way more productive. There are studies that prove this.
- Buy formal dresses when they’re on sale. You may not need it for a few months, but when that last minute event comes up, you’ll have a dress (at a fraction of the price). You’ll have also significantly reduced the chances that someone else will be wearing your dress too.
- Moisturize every day. Your skin will thank you later. My beauty regimen consists of a cleanser and moisturizer, with a scrub once a week and a mild face peel 1-2 times a month.
- Do Adult Things. Get your oil changed regularly, wash your car and keep it clean, pay your bills on time (auto-pay!), get your taxes filed, go for regular health checks (SEE #NUMBER 17). By 30, you should be able to do these basic adult things.
- You can’t judge a fish by its ability to fly. More accurately, Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” You are a unique individual with unique qualities. You may excel at something that others don’t or vice versa. Do not, under any circumstance, allow someone to make you believe you are not good enough.
- Love is inescapable. Love is beautiful. Love is hard. Love comes in so many forms. It’s intense, it’s heartbreaking, it’s passionate, it’s hard to define, and yet so easy to feel. You can’t escape falling in love, no matter how hard you try. Fall in love and live in the moment. I truly believe that you fall in love multiple times in a lifetime. It’s worth savoring it every time.
Here’s to another 30 years … I might have some more wisdom to impart, that is, if I’m still doing this blogging thing at 60. For now, let’s celebrate with these White Chocolate Rosewater Buttercream Cupcakes!
- 1 package White Cake Mix
- 1 White chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups White Chocolate Chips
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 4 cups Confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons Rose Water
- 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
- Food coloring, for the pink color
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips
- Pour the batter into the cupcake liner, making sure to inly fill 3/4 way up
- Bake for 25-30 minutes
- remove from oven and cool all the way before frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and Crisco until fluffy (you can also use a hand mixer)
- Add the rosewater and beat until mixed
- Add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time and beat until light and fluffy
- Using the instruction on your food dye, add the food coloring to the frosting, then beat for 30 seconds.