{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Advice to my niece on her 7th birthday.

Never call anyone stupid. You'll forget that you said it, but they never will.

Don't try so hard to grow up so fast. The makeup can wait. Wear braids and bows and pigtails as long as you can get away with them.

Learn how to accept the word no. Learn when it's appropriate to say it too.

Play fair, and share all your toys.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. They are interesting and exceptional people with many valuable traits to pass down.

Use your brain, your talents and your manners.

Expend your energy engaging in all the verbs that make childhood delicious--skip, bounce, sing, jump, spin, and twirl. Do them all as often as possible.

Don't waste your energy comparing yourself to others too much. Instead of wishing to be more like them, find gratitude in the joys of being you.

Ask your dad to teach you to play guitar. Not only will you have a great time together, but one day when you're grown and someone asks how long you've been playing, you'll be able to say, "Since I was seven," and you will feel like a total bad-ass.

Always lobby for the window seat. There's a lot of good stuff in this world to see.

Don't let pretty be the only word people think of when describing you. You are smart and kind and wonderful. Live in a way that makes everyone notice those things.

Play all you want with Barbie. Just don't expect to grow up to have waist-length platinum hair, a disproportionately tiny waist or permanently pointed toes.

Don't talk to strangers...unless they're Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber...or whoever 7-year-olds are into.

Dream really, really big. Like, Texas-big.

Turn off the TV. Power down the computer. Ask a friend to go out and play. Ride bikes. Build forts. Pet  animals. Count stars.

Keep a journal. I wrote one when I was your age, and you have no idea how happy it makes me to read it as an adult.

Don't be in a rush to shave your legs. It's not as glamorous as it looks.

If a pony ride is available, take it.

Listen closely to your parents, your teachers and your elders. Tune out bullies, whiners and pessimists.

Don't fight your mother on the sunscreen. You'll thank her later.


  1. That is quite possibly the best list of advice for a little girl. And I laughed and reminisced over every single one of those things - because they really do happen to us all. Love it!! ~Megan
    I've been trying to learn the guitar since I was seven - because my dad played and it's my fondest memory of him. :)

  2. Love all your advice for her!!! Perfect!!!

  3. I LOVE this so much! I am totally reading it to Hannah when she gets home from school! :) What wonderful advice!

  4. Ah such great advice, going to pass this onto my niece..who is eight, but same idea! :)

  5. I love this...she's one lucky girl to have you in her life!

  6. So great!! I'm sure she'll treasure this note when she looks back all grown up.

  7. Wonderful, wise advice. She's a lucky little girl. :)
    - Caroline

  8. Lovely. It almost made me tear up! I have a 9 year old niece, and I want to do something similar for her now. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers last week. They mean more to me than I can express. I hope you have a blessed week, my friend.

  9. Good advice for any age! Time for me to remember to journal! - Lynnee

  10. Agreed with Lynnee -- good advice for any girl, at any age!

  11. such great advice! i agree with everything you said.....she's very luck to have a sweet auntie like you! xo