Lemon Stripes Birthday

Tomorrow I’m turning 31, and so much has changed since my 30th birthday. I remember writing out my list of things that I learned in my 20s for last year’s birthday post but I feel like in the last year I’ve learned more than I learned in the entire decade before it. It’s kind of an anticlimactic birthday, you know? With 30, it was like hitting a milestone but now I’m realizing that I’m truly in my 30s… or pushing 40 as my sister likes to joke.

And while a few more wrinkles have magically appeared on my face, I feel physically better than I have in years so pretty sure this decade is going to work out in my favor despite it’s rocky start. While I was 30 I went through a whole lot. I don’t think I need to get into all of that again but feel free to read more here if you missed it the first time around.

When I was in the middle of the depths of it all earlier this year, multiple people told me that I was going through everything “for a reason.” I wanted to punch them all in the face. But now, I actually kind of get it. I went through hell and back so that I could work on myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to get to a place of emotional stability that I didn’t think I’d ever reach in life, especially this far in.

My anxiety levels are lower than they’ve been probably in my entire life, I feel closer to my husband, and I’m treating my body like the temple that it is (cheesy I know I know). I’m hoping that tomorrow is the best birthday ever although it will be hard to beat last year’s trip to Sicily!

I told Anel that I want to create my perfect day so we’re starting with a SoulCycle class in Greenwich with Conor followed by brunch at The Granola Bar followed by a massage. Then we’re heading to the city to meet some friends for dinner and drinks and then staying overnight so that I can fly to Los Angeles first thing on Sunday morning to celebrate some more with my mom. I’m so excited for the low key celebration which is exactly what I wanted.

But before all the fun starts, here are four lessons that I’ve learned in the last year. Also how cute are these birthday photos? Love my new party dress which is a contender for Saturday night (scroll down to see the back which is even better than the front)!

Disco Ball Cup

Dress / Sandals / Confetti Pop and Disco ball c/o Packed Party

4 lessons I’ve learned in my 30s 

1. Your health and wellness always comes first. I always thought I could do it all but this year I quickly learned that doing it all can take a serious toll. Ask for help when you need it and create habits that make your mind and body happier and healthier whether that means working out, therapy, or just relaxing once in a while.

2. Comparison is the thief of joy. I originally referenced this Mark Twain quote this week when talking about finances but it applies to so many areas of life- Pregnancy, getting married, or whatever you’re going through at a particular moment. It’s also good to remember that you never really know what anyone else is going through behind closed doors so don’t jump to the conclusion that

3. Be present. This probably sounds so obvious and basic but it took me 31 years to really figure out what it meant. I have a tendency to be working on one project but thinking exclusively about the million other things I have to do. I never realized how much more effective (and less stressed) I can be when I focus on the task at hand 100% and complete it before moving on to the next. It also applies to non-work situations like going for a hike with Anel and Boots without worrying about my freaking Snapchat story or enjoying a date night without thinking about the work waiting for me when I get home.

4. Practice Self Love. We’re usually our own biggest critics, I certainly know that I am. While it’s easy to self-deprecate, trying to practice self love can make a gigantic difference. When I miscarried for the second time last year, I spent months blaming myself for the loss. Whenever those thoughts pop back up, I remember all the wonderful things that I did to prepare my body for the pregnancy and try to remember that it wasn’t my fault. Sometimes it’s not always easy to do this for myself which is why I enlisted Anel to join me in a nightly practice of stating what we’re grateful about in each other just before bed. Hearing him sing my praises even in a small way, makes me remember all the good that I do on a daily basis.

So off I go to enjoy my last day of being 30. Have a great weekend!

Cooling Off on the Docks

Julia Dzafic in navy and white

Confetti Push Pop

Party in the Back

Preppy Party Dress

Lemon Stripes in a Elizabeth McKay dress

Photos by Stephanie Elliot Photography.

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  1. Sarah Gouin said:

    Happy birthday – have a wonderful time!

    7.8.16 · Reply
  2. Monica {Cake & Lilies} said:

    Happy Birthday, Julia!! Have a great one 🙂

    7.8.16 · Reply
  3. Angela Scibilia said:

    Happy Early Birthday! Enjoy your day!


    7.8.16 · Reply
  4. Meghan Donovan said:

    I’m not even a month into 31 but it’s already been one of the best years to me I’m quite sure. I have no doubt 31 will be the best year yet for you as well! XO

    7.8.16 · Reply
    • Julia Dzafic said:

      31 club FTW!!!

      7.8.16 · Reply
  5. Caitlin said:

    Happy early birthday! Have an awesome, indulgent weekend!

    7.8.16 · Reply
  6. Maggie said:

    I hope you have the most wonderful birthday Julia!

    -Maggie http://www.thatgirlmags.com

    7.8.16 · Reply
  7. Kalina Popova said:

    I love this! Happy birthday! Have a wonderful day (:


    7.8.16 · Reply
  8. Rosa Fairfield said:

    Happy Birthday! Really nice images. I loved reading out what you have learnt, everything does happen for a reason and it is nice it be able to find positives when things go wrong.


    7.9.16 · Reply
  9. Katie said:

    Happy Birthday Julia!


    7.10.16 · Reply
  10. kottavio said:

    Happy belated birthday! As a small addition to your point about self love, it can even be as small as not saying some of the negative things young women seem to perpetuate among each other nowadays as go-tos: “Ugh, I look terrible.” or “I’m so dumb, I forgot my sunglasses.” It’s become commonplace for us to put ourselves down. I truly believe little things like that add up. We are smart and good looking people, and need to remind ourselves every once in a while! lol

    7.12.16 · Reply