this week I turned 30!

When I was a freshman in college the movie 13 going on 30 came out. I remember watching that movie and thinking "thirty, flirty and thriving" seemed so far away. That feeling changed little by little as I continued through college and graduate school, moving through my 20s. I started to feel closer to 30 but no nearer to being flirty or thriving. The hardest birthday of my 20s was definitely turning 25 - I had just moved to Indianapolis for my first job and didn't feel confident in my ability to be an adult yet. I felt far away from home and lonely but all of a sudden closer to 30 than ever before. There were many tears shed the week I turned 25, but since that birthday I'm happy to say there haven't been many more! 

After twelve years of thinking about the day I'd turn 30, this past Monday it finally came. I'll admit, it's a little weird to type those words! As this milestone approached I began to notice how many lists exist that outline all the things women should accomplish by the time they turn 30. We should have a skincare routine, a professional wardrobe, and a life savings plan. We should be married (or close to it), have a lengthy travel bucket list, and have healthy fitness habits in place. We should have mastered a variety of life skills including but not limited to: changing a flat tire, administering CPR, knowing how to tie a neck tie, properly folding a fitted sheet, being comfortable saying "no" at work, have a signature dish, cocktail, scent and lip color, and know how to successfully prepare eggs two different ways - and that list isn't even close to half of what I found! 

Search Pinterest for "turning 30" and a plethora of articles appear listing these items and many more. I don't know about you but that seems like a lot to have accomplished in 30 years. I'd love to know who decided that women need to accomplish all of those things! These last couple of months, as I inched closer to 30, I spent time reflecting on these lists, remembering my commitment to subjective perfection and have come to realize that a list of "shoulds" has no place in my life at 30. 

  A chocolate cake with "Happy Birthday" lovingly written on it by Kurt, and three candles, one for each decade of my life!

A chocolate cake with "Happy Birthday" lovingly written on it by Kurt, and three candles, one for each decade of my life!

When I came to that realization the pressure of turning 30 lifted away and I was left with happiness about having the chance to turn another year older. That happiness was reflected in how I chose to celebrate my birthday too - it was a day of some of my favorite things with my favorite person! 

Originally, Kurt had wanted to find a way to have my two closest friends visit us here in Tallahassee to celebrate with me. But schedules prevented that from happening, so we knew it was going to be a day for just us. Then the plan was to go to the beach for the day! But on Saturday, our dog Sydney took a tumble while running after a ball and we didn't feel comfortable leaving her home alone on a leg that she couldn't put weight on. So a Sunday at home started by a Bellini in the morning with breakfast, homemade steak tacos and Moscow Mules in the afternoon, a chocolate cake for two after dinner, and the Master's on TV all day long. It made for a perfect 30th birthday celebration. 

Want to know Kurt's recipe for perfectly grilled steak tacos? Well you're in luck because he's included it below! 

  Kurt prepared steak tacos with all the fixin's! We also had chicken salad and potato salad that we ended up saving for a later dinner in celebration of Master's Sunday.

Kurt prepared steak tacos with all the fixin's! We also had chicken salad and potato salad that we ended up saving for a later dinner in celebration of Master's Sunday.

  This little beach-side charcoal grill came in handy for grilling on our apartment patio!

This little beach-side charcoal grill came in handy for grilling on our apartment patio!

  I like my steak tacos with arugula, avocado and a little bit of fresh lime juice - so delicious!

I like my steak tacos with arugula, avocado and a little bit of fresh lime juice - so delicious!


Kurt's recipe for perfect grilled steak tacos!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. steak (not too lean), tenderized

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp. cracked red pepper flake

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Taco toppings: 

  • Tortillas (we like corn and wheat flour tortillas for taste and strength!)

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 2 cups arugula

  • Salsa verde

  • Lime wedges

 

Instructions: 

  1. Cut the steak into 1/2 in. x 4 in. strips

  2. Marinate the steak in the mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, red pepper flakes and chili powder by placing everything in sealed plastic bags. You should do this for at least 60 minutes, but the longer the better!

  3. Using a charcoal or gas grill (or grill pan on your stove top) lay each strip of marinated steak onto the grill rack, being sure to not crowd them too much. Cook in batches if necessary.

  4. Turn the steak pieces after 3-4 minutes. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Remove each piece when it's done to your liking.

  5. After all of the steak pieces have cooked, warm up your tortillas on the hot grill.

  6. Assemble your perfect steak taco using your desired combination of toppings!


Overall, I'm looking forward to what 30 will bring me. I have a feeling it's going to be a year of happiness and simplicity, which would reflect just how it was started! 

What milestones are you looking forward to reaching in this year? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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wedding d.i.y.: the music

wedding d.i.y.: the music

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