28 Things You Didn’t Know About Me + a 30 Before 30 Update

BP. sandals, heeled sandals, brown block heel

It’s my birthdayyyyy!!!

Before you ask what I’m doing to celebrate: I’m checking myself into Hiatus Spa this morning for a morning of pampering. And then I have lunch with Christina of Fashion & Frills at my favorite next-to-campus spot (Dive) so I can get my favorite wrap (their ahi tuna wrap – so good!). And then class + post-class drinks with friends at Tipsy Alchemist!

To celebrate my birthday, I thought it might be fun for me to share 28 things you didn’t know about me (well, unless you’re my parents… and then you def know everything).

Because I’m turning 28 today. In case you didn’t know. (Fact #1 perhaps?)

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What I’m Wearing:

Dress: 1901 /Bag: Furla / Shoes: BP. / Earrings: Sugarfix by BaubleBar, c/o / Nail Polish: Essie, c/o, Essie, c/o

For my 28 things you didn’t know about me, I decided to do one per year. Before you’re like “umm duh I figured that out already, Amanda,” don’t be a butthead.

Each item on my list of 28 things you didn’t know about me corresponds to a year of my life. In case that’s confusing AF, basically thing #7 is from when I was 7, thing number 22 is from when I was 22, etc. Not too challenging, right?

28 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

1: I was born in Washington, D.C. – we lived in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. I remember nothing. But I bet you didn’t know I wasn’t born in Texas!

2: At age two, I broke both of my arms at the same time. I couldn’t figure out how to get off of a bunkbed so I decided to Superman it. Related fun fact: I can’t fly.

3: We moved to Austin when I was three years old. For some weird reason, our family videos from that year all have me standing in fireplaces (and apparently enjoying it?)

4: I solely wore Disney princess costumes 24/7 for almost an entire year of my life (circa age four). Every photo from this time has me either wearing a Disney princess costume or a Disney-branded princess-themed pajama set (or day wear). I was very brand-loyal.

5: When my parents threw parties when I was little, I would [try to] insist on doing a formal send-off (of myself) and sing “So long, farewell” from The Sound of Music. Which – by the way – has been my favorite movie for literally my entire life.

6: The only time I have ever been to Vegas was as a child. My parents and our friends bought into the “Vegas is a family-friendly destination” marketing scheme of the mid-90s. And immediately regretted their decision. In case you didn’t know: Vegas really isn’t a family-friendly destination.

7: This one isn’t really unique to age 7 as much as it is a recurring theme throughout my childhood. At one time or another as a kid, I was enrolled in jazz, hiphop, ballet, tap, tennis, golf, softball, and I’m sure at least 3+ others. Each one ended with me being told some version of the phrase “you are a danger to yourself and others”. Apparently my lack of coordination isn’t a new thing.

8: At age eight, I went to my first-ever concert. My best friend, Perri, and I (and our darling – and super patient – dads) saw the Spice Girls on tour in Dallas. For the record, her ring tone on my phone is stillWannabe.

9: When I was in elementary school, I got weirdly into Greek mythology. And I mean weirdly into it to an absurd degree. For my ninth birthday, my paternal grandparents bought me legit almanacs of Greek mythology. And I was ecstatic. For the record: these books were not solely made for children. And Greek mythology is a bit effed up. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, go Google Leda and the Swan. Or Cronus. It’s some dark stuff.

10: I started going to sleep-away camp the summer after fourth grade. For two years, I went to Echo Hill (for one month each) before transferring to Blue Star in North Carolina for the next five years. I never really got homesick – almost every single summer, I would attempt to convince my parents to let me stay for another month!

11: When I was in middle school, I had my first “boyfriend”. And then I broke up with him the night before Valentine’s Day (we dated for less than a week) because I didn’t want to deal with getting him a card. Pretty sure I dumped him via AOL Instant Messenger. Kid me was brutal.

12: I had a Harry Potter-themed Bat Mitzvah. It was amazing. Yes, I peaked young.

13: My middle school did Les Miserables as the school musical when I was in seventh grade. Because that’s appropriate. I got a bit carried away during one of the ensemble numbers (“Master of the House“) and threw my goblet and whacked the director in the head on opening night.

14: I got really into hoop earrings in high school. Some of the earrings were larger than bangles. It was an unfortunate time.

15: The first time I ever drove a car, I was wearing a teal Juicy suit, wedge sandals, and a Tiffany heart necklace. I remember the whole look vividly. Unfortunately.

16: Summer after my sophomore year of high school, I did a school-sponsored study abroad in Salamanca, Spain. At this point, I had been taking Spanish for five years. At the end of the summer, my teacher turned to me and told me that he would pass me if and only if I dropped Spanish as an elective. Until I went to Cuba and Spain last year, I hadn’t spoken any Spanish in 10 years. My Spanish-speaking skills hadn’t improved.

17: I knew I wanted to go into engineering at a pretty young age. Sophomore year of high school, I took Chemistry and Physics so I could take Robotics and Computer Science my junior year of high school. In Robotics, I made a robot that could corral cows for my final project.

18: My family went on a big trip to celebrate my high school graduation, my sister’s middle school graduation, my dad’s 50th birthday, and my parents’ 25th anniversary when I was 18. While celebrating my dad’s birthday in Reims, France (in the Champagne region), we bought some Champagne that would peak in 10 years. Aka around my 28th birthday. At first, we were calling it “Amanda’s wedding Champagne”. Then, it became “Amanda’s engagement Champagne”. Well, it’s been 10 years, the Champagne is peaking, and today’s my 28th birthday… I guess we’re now calling it “Amanda’s graduation Champagne” (#single).

19: Every year, Cornell has an end-of-the-year celebration called Slope Day. My freshman year, I was over at one of the fraternities for the festivities and one of my friends in the fraternity made me a flower crown. About an hour or so later, I noticed that my eyes and neck were itchy. I had forgotten that the pollen season in New York is later than it is in Texas, and I had no business wearing a flower crown as I am horribly allergic to all types of pollen. I ended up listening to the concert (The Pussycat Dolls) from my freshman dorm with a face the size of a basketball. For the record, I was totally fine – I just looked like Quasimodo for a day.

20: My sophomore year, I lived underground. Not kidding: I lived in a basement room. My only view of the outside world was a window that looked out on bushes. So, I developed a rule: if the snow piles up past my window, I don’t leave my house. Well, Ithaca saw several feet of snow and my roommates and I legitimately got snowed in. For two weeks. We ended up calling in fraternity pledges to shovel us out since our landlord wouldn’t pay to have the pathway or driveway cleared.

21: Summer after my junior year, I lived in Manhattan. For the last month or so of my internship, I lived with one of my closest friends. Every weekend morning, we’d go to the bodega down the block to get 2x bagels with lox (one for brunch, one for linner) and then we’d settle in and watch hours of Toddlers & Tiaras. Obviously we both made a lot of friends that summer.

22: As our big family trip in 2012, we went on safari in Tanzania. While I loved our guide and the people we met and I took some great photos, it was during this trip that I realized a crucial detail about myself: I am not an animal person.

23: I was laid off from my first job out of college. I had been working for a semiconductor company in Austin before my job was eliminated. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If I’d never been laid off, I never would’ve relocated to Dallas for my next job… and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else!

24: Age 24 took me to two of my favorite destinations of all time: Israel and Napa. I was actually in Israel while the country was at war, and it’s still one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken.

25: October of 2015 kicked off a yearly tradition of throwing a Halloween party (I had done this in high school and college but had taken off two years after moving to Dallas). My family and friends all now know me for my love of Halloween. This year, I desperately want to host a Disney-themed Halloween party… who’s in?

26: In May of 2016, my friend and I somehow convinced our moms to do a mother-daughter weekend in Disney World. My mother still hasn’t forgiven me.

27: 27 brought me on my first-ever trip to Asia (t0 Seoul and Shanghai) and on a three-week-long adventure around Europe with one of my best friends, Brad. Somehow, even after three weeks, Brad and I didn’t get sick of each other. That’s making this list because honestly – I’m still shocked.

28: I’ve been 28 for less than twenty minutes at the time I’m writing this post. I have no clue what to say in regards to things you don’t know about me from age 28 aside from one: I hate olives. Not really a new development, but it needed restating.

30 Before 30 Update

The past few months have been pretty slow in terms of 30 Before 30 development. In fact, I’ve really only made quantifiable progress on one item on my list:

22. See 30 Operas

I’m now at 25 operas. I saw three this quarter… meaning I’m still on track to have this knocked out by this time next year! Especially if I continue on my current trajectory: 8 operas per year. That’s a lotta opera.

While I’m only sharing progress on one item from my 30 Before 30 list, I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming next Monday. So make sure you pop by the blog to read all about it. I’m seriously so excited to share this with y’all… it’s been killing me keeping quiet!

Until then, I have a few fun posts coming your way, so make sure you check back here on Wednesday for this week’s Blogging Basics! I’ll be talking all things photography… so get excited.