So, this is what 28 feels like. Sure, in most ways it feels exactly like 27 did yesterday, but there’s a promise in the air whispering, “this is going to be the best one yet.”
hells yeah

Can I get a hells yeah?!

Birthdays have become a time of heavy reflection for me. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I started this blog just five days after I turned 26 and even more to do with the fact that a new year brings a clean slate and a fresh start, if you let it – and I always do.

Today we’re celebrating with the little life tidbits I’ve picked up on along the way. They aren’t revolutionary by any means and I’m sure most of these will simply be reminders. But sometimes that’s all we really need, a small nudge.

These are the mantras I subscribe to, sprinkled with a few lessons in living a good life:

1. Life sans pop isn’t bad. You can do it and your body will thank you.

2. Be mindful of the company you keep. My first impression/gut instinct of someone is generally spot on. However, that’s not to say there aren’t a few that have surprised me (both good and bad).

3. A sweat session can cure, or at least lessen the blow, of most “bad days.”

But even if you haven’t had a bad day…

5. Taking care of your body is a non-negotiable. Trust me.

6. Waking up early is extremely rewarding. My best days are the ones that start slow, yet productive. Giving myself time to do a few things around the apartment before I head into work always makes me feel good about the day ahead.

7. Saving money is also extremely rewarding and oh so necessary for those times when life hands you lemons.

8. Even though it’s just Pete and I, the laundry is never-ending.

Which brings me to…

9. Find a partner who takes out the trash, unloads the dishwasher and starts the laundry without you having to ask more than once is much like finding a pot of gold.

10. It’s never, ever too early to start using eye cream.

11. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to grow out of my picky palate. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t keep trying new things!

12. Choose quality over quantity – it won’t let you down.

….and finally

13. In my early 20s, I nurtured (and I use that term lightly) the wrong type of relationships and completely neglected the one I have with myself – which just so happens to be the most important relationship of them all. This past year, I’ve learned to embrace alone time and I’ve come to realize that I’m someone who needs it in order to maintain some form of sanity in the chaos which I call life.

And there you have it. Twenty-seven years worth of bite-size pieces of advice. What am I missing? Everyone can teach us something and I’ve still got a whole lot of learning left to do.

Next week we (yes, you and me and all of our friends!) are celebrating 26 and Not Counting’s 2nd anniversary and I’m giddy with excitement. See you on Monday for some fun!

In the meantime, I’ll be documenting this weekend’s birthday festivities on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (jessicazimlich) and maybe even Facebook, too!


Photo via Glitter Guide


Join The Discussion

    1. Jennifer Doerr

      Happppppppppppppppy Birthday Jess!! Hope you have the best birthday weekend ever! 28 is going to be a good year!

  1. Juliet Oscar Yankee

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY girl! Let me take a second to say how much I love your words of wisdom and positivity. I love visiting your blog for advice and generally just amazing tips. I hope you have an absolutely amazing birthday filled with cake and balloons.

    Lots of hugs from London!

  2. Kacie Firkins

    Happy Birthday! Love this post and SUCH great advice! I turned 28 in April and have really found myself reflecting and thinking more and more about my future than I have in the past. Guess I’m growing up, wah!!


  3. AnnicaNicole

    Happy birthday girl! I hope you have a fabulous day and with the attitude you have I know this year is going to be a great one for you!

  4. Elana Lyn Gross

    This is beautifully written and I agree with every single thing. Happy Happy Happy Birthday!

  5. SarahLagen

    Happy Birthday girlfriend!! 27 is a great age and I know you are going to love it!! I love your life lessons/ mantras (#8 and 9 feel very fitting for me right now) Anyway…. I can’t wait for you to come visit and celebrate your bday in person next weekend!! Have fun tonight!! 🙂

  6. Michelle Crenshaw

    Happy Birthday my amazing, beautiful, and oldest daughter (how’d you get to be 28 so fast?, lol). As always I think you’re fantastic and extremely wise beyond your years. I hope you have a great day! Love and miss you. Have fun tonight with everyone. And, I want to hear all about it later. Love, Mom

  7. Ellie O'Brien

    H A P P Y H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y G I R L ! I hope today is filled with lots of love, laughter, and cake… duh!

  8. Kari Holtkamp

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you’re having a great day and have the best weekend! Keep the celebration going all week long:) You’ve learned great lessons–words to live by:)

  9. Silex in the City

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love the nuggets of wisdom in this post. I too get reflective as my birthday nears… Have I accomplished enough, am I on the right path, and on and on… Have fun with your birthday festivities!

  10. Hannah Suver

    Happy Birthday, Jess! Have an awesome birthday weekend! I loved #2 and #3 – the company you keep can affect your whole outlook on life & even though I never feel like going, workouts are the BEST on a bad day.

  11. Maya McDonald

    Happy happy birthday sweet thing! All your advice hits the nail on the head – I’m so lucky to know you and have you as a friend! xx

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  13. Meg - Life of Meg

    I absolutely love this and find you inspire me all the time. Wrote down a few little nuggets of wisdom that I need for my own life, and especially needed to hear today. Thank you! And yes, girl this is YOUR year! woo!

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