Lifetime of Lessons Learnt

If you’re reading this… thanks already 

Another year has come and gone. Since the age of about.. hmm… 21… I’ve stopped being “EXCITED” about my birthday. I mean, the birth-DAY itself is always great, but the birth YEAR, the growing AGE, has become more daunting. And yes, I am turning a whopping 27-years old today and I already feel this way. I’m doomed. 


As someone with a never-ending GOAL list, birthdays have started to serve as a reminder of all the shit I still want to do with my life, and the fact that I now have 1 less year to do it all. As a woman who needs to ensure that my bucket-list is fine-tuned and checked-off, this unsettling feeling sets in each year my clock ticks forward. The sand is running through the hour-glass and I need to get things done. LIKE NOW. Panic. 

But WHY must a birthday serve as a reminder of all the things I HAVEN’T yet done? (make a million dollars, volunteer in Africa, have a baby, write a book… you get my point). My BIRTHDAY instead, should be a day of reflection for all the cool shit I HAVE done (bought a house, travelled to 10+ countries, started a business, married the man of my dreams… you get my point) and it should certainly serve as a reminder of all the lessons I’ve learnt thus far. 

So today, this blog is for ME and my birthday-sanity. Below you will find a compilation of 27 random things I’ve learnt (some inspirational, some matter-of-fact) over the course of MY 27 years of Earth. 

Creating this list was humorous, cathartic, and quite fun. I really do suggest trying this for yourself. Maybe, my 27 years on Earth can provide you a couple laughs or maybe a little direction. If one of these resonates with you, let me knew ow. I’d love to hear. 

In NO specific order, here we go…

1. Give your YES power and learn to say NO gracefully. Slow down your “yes” and commit when you know you will follow through (see: Health: Requires small bites) 

2. You can buy all the expensive hair and makeup products you want, but if you don’t have the talent or skill, you won’t look as good as when the professionals take over and do it for you. Please, pay the professionals. 

3. 2+2=4… so does 3+1… if your way isn’t working, it might not be the ONLY WAY- take a new approach. 

4. Do the little things for yourself- wear matching bras and panties, paint your toe-nails, deep condition your hair. The shit no one else might notice but YOU notice, it gives you a different type of ora and energy. Do it for YOU. 

5. People who PAY … PAY ATTENTION! Do others  a favour and require them to invest in themselves (AKA: just cause you own a service based business does not mean you should do things for free).  

6. Bringing value to people and how you TREAT people is the greatest currency their is. Spread that shit like wild-fire. It WILL come back in some form: karma or cash, both are great. 

7. A good hair straightener is worth $300- I still have mine from 2013. Good hair extensions are also worth the investment- otherwise bald spots and greasy Barbie hair becomes much more likely. 

8. If you don’t put enough water in the pot, your ichiban, your macaroni, your noodles, they will stick to the bottom of the pot, and they will burn, and your pot will be garbage, and your fire alarm will sound and your house will smoke. I’ve done this more times than I can count. 

9. Keeping your eyes and ears open… and your mouth and legs closed, is a good way to make it though post secondary school. 

10. Study ahead of time. Do not cram for the exam. If you want to truly learn a topic or specific material- don’t just memorize overnight. Apply it. Research it. YouTube it. LEARN IT. Attend the class. Ask the questions. Hearing the “same thing” in multiple ways allows information to CLICK. 

11. Coffee is the nectar of the GODS. It doesn’t need cream and sugar bullshit either. It will help you get through University. 

12. Travel: the only thing you spend money on that makes you RICHER. Save, save, save and see the world. You will never come home from a trip and wish you didn’t go. So, just GO. Make it happen. 

13. Don’t buy on impulse, especially when your purchase is thousands of dollars. Don’t put rims on a vehicle that are worth more than the vehicle. 

14. Food restriction makes ordinary things appear a lot better than they really are. Ex: My previous obsession with peanut butter. How the hell could 1 girl eat a jar of PB? A girl that tells herself she can’t have more than 15g/day or PB- THATS WHO. 

15. As your age increases, you are much more likely to fall asleep during a movie, and cry during a movie, or a reality TV show.. you’re really just more likely to sleep and cry in general. 

16. If you want to own your day, you must own your morning. A solid morning routine is critical to daily happiness. 5-8 min can make or break your day. 1 less snooze button does a lot for a girl. Try it. 

17. If your hair is bleach blond and you THINK you want it chocolate brown. Do NOT box-dye it in one day. If your hair is dark brown, and you THINK you want it bleach blonde- do NOT box-dye it in one day. Also, purple streaks in bleach blond hair WILL cause your entire head to go light pink. (Refer to: pay professionals) 

18. If you’re in a relationship with red flags popping up over and over and you keep sailing on by pretending nothing is going on, one day it will pop up and slap you in the face with a 2×4. Recognize red flags when the red flags show themselves. If others who care about you are stressing their concern for you, it’s cause they see the flags you are ignoring. Take notes. 

19. Do NOT fire-back email. If you’re worked up when you read something- mark it as unread and sit on it. If you are still worked up when you come back to it- mark it as unread and sit on it. If you cannot possibly email someone back without shivering in your seat, please call them or ask them for coffee and explain yourself verbally. 

20. Laser hair removal on your hoo-ha and laser eye surgery are both 110% worth the money. 

21. 2-3 phenomenal friendships in life are worth more than hundreds of fakes. It is always better to have a 4 quarters than 100 pennies. When it comes to friendships, QUALITY > QUANTITY wins. 

22. Short term pain often results in LONG term gain. Whether that means volunteering for the summer to spruce up your resume, or working for $7.10/hr for 4 years in a research position to learn valuable lessons in science so you can apply your knowledge and open your own company. Sacrifices work if you do. 

23. Do NOT lie about doing community service hours. They WILL find out and they WILL then assign you the SHITTIEST job they can find.. truly the SHITTIEST (Ex. Cleaning port-a-potties at the local Whoop-Up day fair). Barf. 

24. Take swimming lessons seriously. If you get to level six and you fail twice, GO BACK and keep trying, there is a reason you failed… it’s ‘cause you suck at swimming. Don’t be 27 and wish you could swim lanes with your friends but you now are just a master doggy-paddle/egg beater. 

25. Yoga is good for you. Body, mind and soul. Don’t avoid stretching and working on your flexibility. It IS part of being “fit” and the lack of mobility will come to haunt you. I’m JUST learning this now. 

26. It is impossible to be angry AND grateful at the same time. Gratitude is the simplest way to bring your happiness back to par. A shift in perspective sets the mind at ease. 

27. Live OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. The voice in your head is an asshole. Your brain is there is protect you, and therefore, will always try to find comfort. Test yourself, push yourself, life outside of the boundaries you’ve set for yourself is where progress is made. Want to learn a new language? An instrument? A skill? You CAN DO IT!


Well folks, that’s a wrap. I am off to explore Vatican City/ “The Vatican” in Rome (there isn’t a much holy-er way to spend my birthday than with the Pope).

If one of these lessons resonated with you, drop me a comment and let me know. If you have a valuable lesson YOU have learnt, drop me a comment and let me know. I want to learn from YOU too!

If you’re ready to follow along and find out what the hell I manage to learn this year… put your email in the box below and let’s stay acquainted!

Ciao Bella’s!


7 responses to “Lifetime of Lessons Learnt”

  1. Happy Birthday you Beautiful Beast you! Hope you have a fantastic day and an even better year!! ❤


  2. Crystal Arnold Avatar
    Crystal Arnold

    Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAUTIFUL!!!! I hope you have a day as wonderful as you are.

    Soooooo many resonate with me! One thing I have learned in life is that it’s never too late to say no. I got married because I thought it was too late to back out. It wasn’t. I was just too scared to hurt feelings. In the end, it was much worse. Follow your gut. It’s usually right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday Have a Great day Carole


  4. Amazing read Ashlyn!!! I could not stop reading and wanted more … I think one day you will have a book!!! No joke!!! Thank you for my healthy living style when I came to you years ago I did not know where to begin and thought I could not do it !!! You encouraged and changed my mindset – yup those weights scared the shit outta me when a girl hated them I believed in your process then and still do!!! Never give up … You are an amazing person Mrs Gunderson!!!!


    1. Thank you for the beautiful comment! I am so proud and happy to hear you’ve had a mindset shift when it comes to fitness, just remember: I’m always here for a conversation or an ass-kicking if you need one!

      I would absolutely love to write a book… one day! I will set that goal once I am confident I will follow through (LOL). I think this is a great place to start!

      I appreciate you following along! More to come, I promise!


  5. Your blog definitely has my attention; and from what I have read it feels like you have to loads more to come, so bring it on!
    Congratulations on the wedding, a belated happy birthday and enjoy the rest of your trip.


    1. Thank you for following along! Certainly more to come!


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