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35 Great Things About Turning 35

The prime of life starts at 35! It's the best-kept secret from younger people, but your 35th birthday is a major cause for celebration. For mine, I have made my own listicle of 35 reasons why experts agree that 35 is the best age to be: You get to say, "I'm 35." The number 35 carries so much more gravitas than 30, but you're only a few years older. At 34, I've started fudging my age--by adding a year. People automatically take me seriously, and if they don't, at least they tell me I look young for my age. (Eye roll, hair toss, "whatever.")    35-year-olds DGAF. Inner chill reaches new heights at 35. Despite its #2 status on this list, it's the #1 response I hear about what's best about hitting 35. My gorgeous friend Nerlie was beautiful and resilient and wise beyond her years in high school, but now, at age 35, she gets to fully enjoy being herself on her own terms. She writes,  "I've survived so much that I don't

Crack the Nutshell; Enter the Lime Tree

illustration of Allerleirauh by Arthur Rackham This blog is named after the magic nutshell found in the German tale of Allerleirauh. According to some sources, it was given to her by a fairy godmother; in other versions of the tale, it is just something she has--no explanation given. Inside the magic nutshell are feminine objects of supernatural beauty--ball gowns that shine like celestial bodies, golden jewelry and tools designed to make clothing. In some versions, Allerleirauh's father has given her these things as incestuous wedding gifts--in the first version recorded by the Grimm brothers, it was her fiancee in another kingdom. In every version and variant, she uses these items to control her own fate. I love the magic nutshell because of all the symbolic power it holds in its small, simple form. It symbolizes femaleness, fertility, and the seed of life. The meat inside is precious food. Crack the shell in half, and you see a heart inside. Take off the green hull,