Today is my 26th birthday. Ah! Such a weird feeling getting older. 26 is not as exciting as my 16th, 18th, or 21st birthday, that is for sure. But, I guess it shouldn’t be, right? I mean at the time, those were all BIG deals… 16 – got my driver’s license (and dream car!), 18 – went off to college/officially could go see rated R movies solo, and 21 – could legally drink alcohol, woo!
At least at 25 you are a quarter-century old. But 26, you’re weird. But to make you cooler, I’ve decided to share 26 things I’ve learned. Oh, and a delicious Gluten-Free, Triple Layer, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe.
I know, what a surprise, a 26 year old that doesn’t know it all.
But, these are items that I’ve gathered from my own personal life experiences and the wonderful friends, family, and mentors that are apart of my life. As you read these items, please feel free to tweet me or share one thing you have learned. Maybe some advice or blessing you would like to pass along. Let me know on twitter @Jamiedanno or on my Facebook page and use the hashtag #26things. *not in any particular order of importance or significance.
1. Always be courteous and kind to others. There is never any excuse for being rude or inconsiderate to those around you. The only exception I guess would be if you are being harmed.
2. Laughter is the cure of everything.
3. Ladies, if you need vent don’t unload on your boyfriend or significant other. This is why we have moms, sisters, girlfriends, hair-dresser, etc, but men, they just don’t get it. Unless he’s gay. Then, vent away! ha-ha
4. Travel as often as possible. Money spent on experiences instead of material things will make you much more “rich”.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
6. Work hard until the very end.
7. Listen to what others have to say – keep an open mind. We are all different for a reason.
8. Pay yourself. Financially invest in yourself through a savings account, IRA, etc. and take care of yourself. If this means treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure once in awhile or taking up a new hobby – if you’re not taking care of you, then you are no good to anyone else. 9. Get an animal. Dog, cat, bird, chicken… They will understand you better than anyone and love you more than you will ever know.
10. Work on your judgements. Being judgmental is human nature. But, restrict your judgments… who are we to judge or know what someone else is going through.
11. Listen. This goes with #10. Truly listen to your family, friends and colleagues. As a culture and society, we need to be better listeners and communicators.
12. Practice love. I don’t mean go out and buy your spouse the new watch they’ve been eyeing. But, show the ones you love by being there to support them.
13. Get moving. In whatever way you enjoy, walking, running, dancing – however you can– just move!
14. Live sustainably. Put only good products onto and into your body. We only have one life, one mind, and one body – take care of it.
15. Do what you love. Figure out how you can make money by doing whatever it is you love. If you’re going to be working for most of your life, you better enjoy everyday!
16. Build relationships. Whether in your professional life or personal life, building lasting relationships is one of your strongest assets to being successful.
17. Do many things and connect the dots. The people that are most successful are the ones that have many projects going on at once. And, they remain successful by connecting each of those projects. If you can figure out how to do this, you will not only leverage your networks but you will see significant ROI.
18. Find many mentors. Find someone or a couple of individuals who you admire and learn from them.
19. Learn how to take criticism. Never be too high and mighty to hear how you can be better. We are never too old or knowledgeable to stop learning from others.
20. Everything in moderation. Food, alcohol, shopping, money… it is about enjoying ourselves but never taking more than we need.
21. Be proud of your accomplishments. It easy to think about what we haven’t achieved and to compare ourselves to others. But, everyone has a different journey – be proud of yours!
22. Live in the moment. Stop living in tomorrow or the “I’ll be happy when.” Life is constantly changing, you don’t want miss out on what is going on right now.
23. Make change. Are you unhappy? Do you hate your job? Do you not enjoy your partner anymore, or do you need to be healthier? Make it happen! Why live a life you aren’t loving each and everyday? Sure, we all go through bad days… but if you go more than one day of feeling “this” unhappiness, don’t put yourself through that, make change happen.
24. Take risks. Whatever degree it is, this goes with #23. Sometimes we have to take a risk to make change. Do you think the successes and geniuses of the world had it all figured out? Nope! And neither do any of us. But we will never get closer to knowing until we try.
25. Don’t live outside your means. Are you a billionaire? Oh, you’re not? Then don’t be spending like you are. Save your money and invest it – you will have plenty of time to enjoy doing big things.
26. Embrace failure. Failing does not define you. It is what you learn from that failure and what you do next with it that matters. Messing up and making mistakes builds character (and often the best ideas!). So, fail… and fail a lot! Then, pick yourself back up and do bigger and better!
For the top and bottom layers, use this recipe (and double it).
Directions for assembling the cake:
1. Put one chocolate cake on the bottom, add some of the raspberry filling on top of it. ** You can also pipe your favorite frosting around the top of the cake and fill the center with raspberry filling.
2. For the center layer, place the cheesecake on top of the raspberry filling.
3. Repeat step 1: add some of the raspberry filling on top of it. ** You can also pipe your favorite frosting around the top of the cake and fill the center with raspberry filling.
4. Lay the second chocolate cake on top of the cheesecake. Then using a frosting spatula, smooth the sides of the cheesecake in an upward motion. You are using the extra cheesecake coming out of the 2nd layer as an outer cheesecake frosting. Gently turn your plate as you smooth the cheesecake around the cake.
5. Top cake with frosting, chocolate shavings or remaining raspberry filling and fresh raspberries.
Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- 3 cups of raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut full fat milk
- 1/2 tablespoons of honey
- 3 meyer lemons, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by rubbing a little coconut oil around the pan (slides and bottom), then cover the bottom with parchment paper so that it is locked into the pan. Trim the edges sticking out to form the round base.
- Drain cashews and gently dab dry with a paper towel.
- Place cashews and coconut oil in processor and mix until creamy.
- Next, place cashew mixture and mix in coconut milk, honey, lemon juice and salt.
- Pour mixture on top of parchment paper and put in the refrigerator to set over night.
- The next day, slowly unlock the springform pan, and using the edge of the parchment paper, pull lift away from the bottom of the springform pan.
- Once you are ready to assemble the layers of your cake, you will carefully flip the cheesecake on top of the bottom layer and slowly remove the piece of parchment paper.
- This layer can be made two to three days ahead of time.
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4 cups of raspberries, washed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- pinch of salt
- Bring raspberries, honey and lemon juice, zest and salt to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
- Simmer, mash and stir raspberries for about 20 minutes until it sticks to a spoon.
- Let the sauce cool for about 15- 20 minutes before using.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, you may add water to it.