Sometimes The World Makes Me So Sad

I’ve been glued to the news all morning following the horrific school shooting in Connecticut. My heart is just broken for the families of the victims. As of now 18 little kids dead and a total of 27. It just is unfathomable.

I do want to share my birthday festivities with you all, but that seems rather trivial with everything else going on. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes. Every single happy birthday I received made my smile a little bigger and my day a little brighter. It was a wonderful day.

But then a day like today happens and the world we live in just makes me so sad.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you and yours stay safe and sound. Go and hug your family and friends.

As Prince Charles said on Twitter “Dear America, please sort out your gun laws. This is getting absolutely ridiculous.”

Enough is enough.

JessicaDecember 14, 2012 - 3:05 pm

It’s just heartbreaking. I don’t understand how this can continue to happen.

nicole marieDecember 16, 2012 - 1:30 pm

agreed. something needs to change. now.


Today I am 30.


This morning I tried to get Kevin to take pictures of me before I went to work, so that I could post some on my little blog and be like “this is what 30 looks like, yo!” However, I hated ALL of the pictures Kevin took. I was getting annoyed and instead of accepting that perhaps this was my fault, perhaps I am just not that good at standing in model like positions, I snapped at him and said “maybe you should take a photography class.” Yeah… not my finest moment. I blame it on my hunger.

So instead, you get a picture of me eating a ham and cheese croissant in my office.

This is what 30 looks like, yo!

(I often say “yo” at the end of sentences and then laugh hysterically like I am the funniest person in the world.)

(and FYI my mouth is closed because I am mid-bite. Classy I am.)

Shockingly, so far 30 doesn’t look that different than 29.

But seriously, how do all your fashion bloggers do it? How do you stand there and pose in your outfit and not look completely awkward? I’m in awe of you.

Anyway, today is my birthday and so far it’s been wonderful.

My best friend Katie is flying in today just to spend tonight with me, then flying back home tomorrow, and then one of my other best friends is flying in this weekend for my birthday party. My mom is taking me to lunch today, and I’m meeting some friends for drinks tonight.

How lucky am I? I feel so blessed to have so many great people in my life. My friends are just amazing.

Happy Birthday to me!

(and happy 12.12.12 to you! this is the last consecutive day in our lifetime!)

MichelleDecember 12, 2012 - 11:20 am

30 and gorgeous!!!! Happy birthday!!!! :) :)


ritaDecember 12, 2012 - 11:24 am

happy happy day!

kate @ undeniable styleDecember 12, 2012 - 11:25 am

you’re too cute. happy birthday! welcome to the 30 club! xox.

BriDecember 12, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Happy Birthday yo! I hope it’s fantastic! and those are some pretty awesome bff’s, flying in for just one night?! nice!

nancy @ adore to adornDecember 12, 2012 - 1:03 pm

Hope you have a fab one.
You my dear do not look like you are 30 and you’re mighty beautiful!
Haha…and I blame hunger too whenever I snap. Poor husband. They can be so patient. Once, I actually warned about my potential mood swing…he said “let’s go get you something quick.” And…so it is.

rebeccaDecember 12, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Happy happy birthday gorgeous! You and that croissant are making 30 look amazing already =) I hope you enjoy every second of your day and get totally and completely spoiled!

JessicaDecember 12, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Happy Birthday to you! 30 looks amazing on you!

Erin @ Empirically ErinDecember 14, 2012 - 7:52 am

Happy birthday to you!! I hope you had a great day!! You definitely looked beautiful!

Aspiring KennedyDecember 19, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Congratulations on the big 3-0! I’ve often wondered if fashion bloggers are just blessed with friends willing to take hundreds of pictures of them modeling their latest outfits. Sometimes they’ve said that they take their tripod out into their driveway, but I think that might look more strange to people driving by!

Vegas Bound! | SpillerenaMay 25, 2013 - 9:17 am

[...] am old now, and my pool attire now consists of a large loose coverup, a huge sun hat, a good book, and lots of [...]

Happy Birthday To Me! | SpillerenaDecember 12, 2013 - 9:27 am

[…] past year has just flown by. It honestly feels like yesterday that I wrote these posts on turning 30, and yet here it is already a full year later. It’s crazy to […]

Advice To My Younger Self

Good advice for everyone irregardless of age!
Print by Teo Zirinis and available at Society6


A while ago I heard about some middle-aged bloggers who were giving advice to their 20 year old self. I might not be middle-aged, but with my 30th birthday a mere one day away (!!!), I can’t help but think about everything I’ve learned over this past decade of life. Your twenties are all about growth and exploration and change and progress. You learn who you are and what you want to get out of this one life of yours.

And so I got to thinking. If given the chance, what advice would I give my 20-year-old self?

Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom I came up with:

  • That pixie cut you are considering getting? Don’t do it. It’s the worst haircut you will ever get and it will take years to grow out. Bad move.
  • Stop over-analyzing and worrying about every little thing. There are some things that are out of your control and worrying about them won’t help anything. Life has a way of working out, even if you don’t understand it at the time.
  • Be nicer to your Mom. As dysfunctional and crazy as your relationship may be, she is the only one you’ve got and she loves you more than anything in the world. (note to present self – you should heed this advice as well!)
  • The things that have scared you the most have generally ended up being the best things you’ve ever done. Trust your instincts, and don’t let fear hold you back.

But really, thinking back to what my 20-year-old self would have liked to hear the most, the advice that I would have appreciated more than all the others? Well, it would be this:

  • Stop freaking out being a virgin. IT’S OKAY. You will not die alone as a sexless virgin spinster living with your mother, and though it might feel like it, you are you are not the oldest virgin in the world. Before college is over you will fall in love with someone great, and you will have sex, and it will be great! Stop freaking out. In ten years from now, the age you lost your virginity really won’t be a big deal. Trust me.
    (ohhhh look at me, talking about sex on my blog…I feel like I just crossed a blog line…)

Do you have any little pearls of wisdom you’d like to give your younger self, if you had the chance? Please leave a comment and let me know… regardless of your age I’m really curious!

Me at 20 (possibly 19).
Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking with those crispy curls either.
JustineDecember 11, 2012 - 8:56 am

Ha, I love all of these. Happy {almost} Birthday!

Sharon GreenthalDecember 11, 2012 - 9:29 am

I love reading this and knowing that our bloghop inspired you to look back on being 20. All of your words of advice are so wise! Thanks so much for linking back to my post.

Erin @ Empirically ErinDecember 11, 2012 - 4:08 pm

Lol I did a post like this too. The 20′s are so interesting/difficult at times. I so wish I had the advice of my older self… :)

Aspiring KennedyDecember 11, 2012 - 6:00 pm

Yes, advice against experimental hairstyles should be a must. I still have trust issues when searching for someone to cut my hair.

JessicaDecember 11, 2012 - 7:05 pm

Ok, no pixie cuts. But are bangs ok?!

Along the same lines, I’d add- Trust your gut! And don’t be a lemming.

StephanieDecember 12, 2012 - 6:09 am

Great advice! I would definitely warn my 20-yr old self against a few haircuts and some fashion choices. Crispy curls were popular 10 years ago. My college roommate had curly hair and used some kind of gel stuff to make them a little crisp. I remember being so jealous she could do that!

BBDecember 12, 2012 - 6:50 am

Happy Birthday! I like this – especially the one about fear and not letting it hold you back. You are so right! I didn’t do the advice to my younger self, but on my birthday this year I compiled a list of things that I have learned in my {short} time of life. One of the things I posted was about fear as well!

jeanDecember 12, 2012 - 11:04 am

i want to see that curly hair do make a come back in your 30′s! haha love it!

Say Yes!


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The other day I read an article titled “18 Things You Should Say Yes To,” which is, well, a list of 18 things that you should say yes instead of no to. I have mentioned before that I’m working on saying “no” less often, and while my goal isn’t necessarily to say no less often to invitations or events (I have a hard time turning down invitations, if anything), there are certainly times I find that my immediate response is NO.

Obviously, it is not realistic to say yes to everything (which is something I frequently have to remind myself, especially during the holidays), but as the article states “the sometimes overwhelming pace of modern life can make it tempting to operate in a default no mode. No to weeknight plans, no to the spontaneous drink or coffee with a friend, no situations or projects that are challenging but might ultimately help us grow. When you say yes to something — even when it can be time-consuming or intimidating or difficult — you open yourself up to a payoff that can make you question how you even thought about saying no.”

Though the list is rather juvenile it still made me smile, so I thought I’d share it here.

Say Yes to…

1. A day spent in your pajamas. Um, I have no problem saying yes to this. In fact, I probably say yes a bit too often. I can be quite a sloth. I’m very skilled in the art of doing nothing.

2. “Friday Night Lights.” Or “The Wire.” Or “Breaking Bad.” The article suggests any show that you have heard great things about but that you don’t feel like you have the time to commit to watching, and to that I say HELL YES! I have yet to find a show I love more than the phenomenal Friday Night Lights, and it is worth watching every single minute of it. I still miss Coach and Tami. And Saracen. And Riggins…oh, how I miss Riggins! According to the article, you deserve it, and you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty about spending a whole day watching back to back episodes. I’m sure others would beg to differ, but hey, I’ll take it!

3. That salted caramel ice cream sundae. Life is short, eat dessert first. That’s my motto and I’m sticking to it.

4. Some help. As the Beatles said, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

5. A party where you won’t know many people. I despise standing around awkwardly and engaging in random small talk with strangers, desperately hoping that someone will talk to me and make me feel like less of a loner, so this is tough for me. But, the article says bring a friend at least stop by. You never know whom you might meet and where life can take you.

6. Vacation days. Yet another thing I have no problem saying yes to. The reason I work is so I can take vacation. I’m always boggled by people who have a huge build up of vacation days. That’s never happened to me. I’m consistently verging on the red.

7. A long phone call with your friend who lives far away. This is something I need to work on. New years resolution 2013.

8. New technology. I don’t think bloggers have a problem with this, but I would certainly like to be better at some things. Photoshop. Illustrator. Finally learning to use my camera. 

9. Your naturally wavy hair. My “naturally wavy hair” is straight as can be with random sections of fizz. Not my best look. I’ll be passing on that. 

10. An electronic diet. Earlier in the year Kevin and I tried to institute a “no TV Tuesday” rule in our house. But instead of watching TV we basically just sat on our computers. I think I need to step it up a notch and institute a “no technology Tuesday.” I spend way too much time attached to devices.

11. A completely unnecessary but completely awesome outfit. A few years ago I was in Miami and I saw a dress in a window and became entranced. It was like I was under a spell. I walked in, pointed at the dress, and then handed my credit card over. It was ridiculously expensive, and to this day it is still the the most money I’ve ever spent on a cocktail dress. I was unemployed and in grad school so I shouldn’t have been spending money on something so frivolous, but you know what? I felt fantastic in it, and I was going through a phase where I’d been feeling the opposite of fantastic. I wore it that night and felt amazing. It was completely unnecessary but completely worth it. 

12. Tahitian dance lessons. Or yoga. Or Zumba. Or African dance. Basically something that is out of your element. I’m quite certain it is not possible for my hips to move anything close to this, but I’m willing to try. After all, I did take African dance in college, so I can’t be that bad…anyone want to join?

13. Romance. Single or taken, a little romance is always a good thing.

 14. Britney Spears, the karaoke version. Much to the dismay of those around me, I always say yes to Karaoke (though Britney Spears not so much). 

15. Lunch away from your desk. I go crazy if I sit inside all day so I usually step out, even if it’s not long. Fresh air is vital to productivity.

16. An uncluttered inbox. Oh god. I can’t even imagine. My inbox is a disaster.

17. Dinner with an older person in your life. I don’t really have a lot of older people in my life, but this is a good reminder to prioritize those I do have.

18. The idea that things are going to work out. I really truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I try my best to trust that things will work out. It’s a much better way of living life than being constantly worried and anxious. Easier said than done, but I try my best. 

And there you have it.  Number seven and number ten are the two that resonated most deeply with me.

What do you think? Is there anything on the list you’d like to say yes to more often?

JessicaDecember 10, 2012 - 7:13 am

I’d say #5 would be the hardest for me. I have a hard time talking to people I don’t know. I constantly doubt myself and think I look like an idiot, so I really try to avoid those situations. I’ll work on it.

I’m always down to saying yes to dessert and new tv shows- those would be easy!

LaurenDecember 10, 2012 - 7:50 am

#6 and #15… I need to stop working so much!! I need a vacay!
I loves this post Serena! So fun!

nancy @ adore to adornDecember 10, 2012 - 10:30 am

I would love to say yes to so many items on your list! Some I already say yes to far too often (uhm…#3 and variations of #3) and others I need to incorporate more (#5, 7, 16 and 18).
Plus, being positive really reflects in life. Or so it seems!

nicole marieDecember 10, 2012 - 12:07 pm

these are all so great. have you watched homeland? 2 days and on episode 5… holy moly so good!

ritaDecember 10, 2012 - 8:27 pm

i love this post! i need to learn to say yes to help and to embrace my curls, also! like you, i always say yes to vacations, dessert, and lunch! :)

StephanieDecember 12, 2012 - 6:23 am

That last one is a biggie for me. I stress so much about things (perfect example: I’ve woken up around 4:30am two of the last three days because of stress) and yet I know things will work out eventually. I just can’t seem to really accept that and let things happen naturally, though.

And definitely yes to all those tv shows you mentioned! FNL was one of my all-time fave shows. We just started Breaking Bad a few weeks ago and are almost finished with season 3. It’s fantastic. Def a must-see show!

Wine + Friends = Happy Heart


So very true.

I am thankful for so many things in my life, but good wine and good friends are two things at the very top of my list. Last night I went to my friend Andrea’s art show, and I was able to indulge in both.

It was wonderful.

Happy Friday!

May your weekend involve good wine and exquisite friends!


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ReneeDecember 8, 2012 - 12:33 am

And those are two of my absolute favorite things! Both at the same time equals an amazing time usually.

P.S. San Fran is in my top fives of favorite cities and the view from your house is amazing. Officially jealous! :)

JessicaDecember 8, 2012 - 11:57 am

I feel the same way! Cheers to the weekend!

nicole marieDecember 9, 2012 - 8:18 am

my favorite things! wine and friends!!