26 Things I Loved When I Was 26

Well, on Sunday I turn 27. Truth be told, getting older doesn’t bother me one bit. Each year, it just feels like the next right thing. I’m excited for 27 and whatever shenanigans it will bring along. Today, I’m sharing 26 things I loved as a 26 year-old, and tomorrow, I’ll share 26 moments and experiences that made this past year special. (These posts are inspired in part by Elise, who always shares these kinds of round-ups as her birthday approaches.)

1. Cold brewed iced coffee…over lots of ice, with half-and-half, preferably in a mason jar with a stainless steel straw. (How snobbish do I sound right now?)

2. Trader Joe’s.  Fresh flowers, peanut butter cups, cookie butter, pretzel rolls, cooked sausages, cold brew coffee concentrate, frozen orange chicken, cheap organic produce…yes please, to all of the above. Can’t wait for TJ’s to open in GR this fall.

3. Donuts. I mean, was there a point in my life during which I did NOT love donuts? Of course not. But then I discovered Donut King, and it was all over.

4. My Toms. I left the navy blue pair I had for years in Malawi. Then I got a black pair and a cute floral pair as gifts this past Christmas, and now I have a Toms tan line.


5. ThredUp. I used ThredUp to help me clear out my closet, and I earned more than $200 from the clothes I turned in. It’s so easy and so awesome.

6. Podcasts. This obsession started a long time ago with “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!”, and then Serial happened. The rest is history. 

7. Fixer Upper. Yup. I love Chip & Jo.

8. iMessage. For some reason, it took me years to set this up on my laptop. It changes the texting game, and now I’m way less likely to let several days go by without responding to your text.

9. My journaling Bible. I can’t remember when I started using this, exactly, but my journaling Bible changed my Scripture reading and quiet times for the better. I love it.


10. Morning pages. This is a creative practice recommended by Julia Cameron (and then a million people since her). I don’t write morning pages every day, but when I do, my days start creatively and with a clear head. It’s the best.

11. Southwest Airlines. Now, I haven’t had a perfect experience with Southwest (including delays and long lines and typical airport issues), but anytime I fly another airline, I think, “I should just stick with Southwest.” This is especially true now, because they fly in and out of Grand Rapids.

12. My only successful Craigslist find to date: a $10 midcentury-modern desk.

13. Grilled cheese sandwiches on the panini press. A simple, go-to, comforting dinner. 

14. S’mores frappuccinos. I almost wish that these never existed, but wouldn’t that be sad?

15. My globe with the signatures of friends. Our friends Courtney & Andrew threw us a going-away party before we left Orlando, and Courtney asked everyone to sign a globe for us. It sits in my dining room now, and it just reminds me of what wonderful community we have in Orlando.

16. My new washer and dryer. My parents bought us a new washer & dryer as a graduation/moving gift. Before that, we just had whatever old W&D came with the apartment we lived in. Our new one almost makes laundry enjoyable. (Almost.)

17. Following painters, art journalers, and calligraphers on Instagram. A few weeks ago, The Nester wrote a post about being “selfish” with Instagram by only filling it with accounts that truly inspire her. Following artists on Instagram just fills my feed with so much pretty and is my go-to now that Pinterest is getting more spammy and overcrowded.

18. The adirondack chairs on our porch. I’ve already waxed poetic about how much I love my porch, and these chairs are just perfect.


19. My Rodan & Fields sunscreen. I am trying to be better about wearing sunscreen every day, and I love my R&F sunscreen because it doesn’t smell bad, isn’t greasy, and doesn’t make me look pasty. It almost makes me WANT to put sunscreen on every day.

summer essentials 2

20. Sharpie pens. Small but simple pleasures, right?

21. Baskets from Ross & TJ Maxx. I always love the giant baskets Target sells but can never justify the price. And then I discovered how cheap baskets are at Ross & TJ Maxx. We have a huge one in our living room corralling Ian’s toys now.

22. Prenatal yoga. This is a new one for me. I just started going a few weeks go, but I love it. It’s a great blend of relaxation and a work-out, which is helpful for someone like me who hates exercising.

23. The pulled pork sandwich (with the homemade pickles) from Chicago q BBQ. Seriously. I think this was the best thing I ate all year.


24. Chick-fil-A. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. (Also, a lot of these are food-related, aren’t they? Oh well.)

25. Power Sheets. I keep meaning to write a blog post about how these are changing my life: helping me set goals and actually keep them, helping me develop more self-discipline, and helping me clarify what it is I actually want out of life. They are so valuable.

26. Poetry. At the beginning of 2015, I decided to start a “poem a day” challenge. We’re halfway through the year, and while I haven’t read a poem every day, I’ve read more than I have in years, and it is something I look forward to every day.

There you have it!

2 thoughts on “26 Things I Loved When I Was 26

  1. What are morning pages? New blog post!

  2. Google it! Explanations and resources abound. 🙂

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