It’s My Birthday…Let’s Celebrate

I turn 30 today! Another decade crossed off and I feel vulnerable about it. Turning 30 isn’t the issue, what bothers me is how much more frequent comparing myself to others has become in the past few months. Sweet-Rice-1Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief for Vogue, is known to have wrote that by the time a woman is 30, they should have a signature scent and haircut. I read that about 15 years ago and thought that my signature smell would be Chanel and haircut would be long layers with beautiful waves (not curls, which I have) that would flow effortlessly in the wind. Well, my life doesn’t resemble much of that fantasy. I don’t have a signature smell and my dream of long luscious hair is no longer a desire.Sweet-Rice-1Throughout this past year I have strived to rid my life of excess. My husband and I decided that I would work full time for a year on Mary Lee Kitchen, this was simultaneously happening while he was going back to graduate school full-time. Our income decreased significantly and we had to pay close attention to the things we really needed vs. wanted. I switched to making my own shampoo and laundry detergent, face-wash/moisturizer is now coconut oil, and the scent that I wear is either an essential oil or a perfume that I’ve owned for a decade.

Sweet-Rice-Balls-2Making these changes was in part due to finances, but also because I wanted to find a balance between what society tells me I should have and the sustainable practices I support. As a woman who has wrestled with trying to find my place in the world for the majority of my life, this year has been significant.Sweet-Rice-Balls-3And this also applies to my food choices. Alongside my desire for Chanel scented clothes and long flowing locks is my hope for eating meals at high-end restaurants and drinking high-priced cocktails. Think Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex in the City”. This fantasy was crushed after my food allergies became my reality. Restaurants became my nemesis instead of my happy place and cocktails are now equated with a costly stomach ache.

Understand that I write the former paragraph not to complain about my life, but to show how I had certain desires, but had to wrestle with letting them go. My friends and family can tell you that the tears I’ve cried this year and the complaints I’ve made have been pretty immense, and I don’t think they are over just because my birthday is here. I’m learning to be open to myself and to what I stand for. Open to finding balance, and to letting go of the fantasy of being someone else.Sweet-Rice-6The way I smell or my haircut will not define me.

I’m excited for the new possibilities of life and don’t know what my next phase will be. For now, I’m going to celebrate who I am today, not who I thought I was going to become. Now, let’s make some sweet rice balls filled with fig!


Sweet Rice + Fig Balls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
  • 1 C. Cooked Basmati Rice (follow directions on pkg.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • ½ Whole Milk
  • 2 C. Chopped Figs
  • ¼ C. Sugar
  1. Combine Milk and Rice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add honey.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 5 min.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to ball the rice.
  5. Place all of them in the freezer for 30 min.
  6. Place chopped figs and sugar in another sauce pan on high.
  7. Stir until thickened and smoothed. 10 min.
  8. Turn the rice ball over so the flat side is showing. With a spoon, or large syringe, scoop out crevice and fill with fig jam.
  9. Refrigerate for 5 min.
  10. Add extra syrup on top before serving.


By | 2015-08-23T08:54:58-08:00 August 23rd, 2015|Categories: Blog, Corn Free, Gluten Free, Recipes|Tags: , , |3 Comments

About the Author:

A native Texan who, after being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac Disease in her mid-twenties, wanted to help others who drastically had to change their diets later in life. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, where she operates Mary Lee Kitchen.


  1. Paddy Collier August 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    What an honest and thoughtful blog. Also, the site is well done and professional and the recipes are intriguing, to say the least. Wishing growth of your company and blessings for success.

  2. Paddy Collier August 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Also, a very joyous birthday to you.

  3. Mary Collier August 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Happy birthday and your comments are heartfelt and an expression of faith, trust and walking in the pathway God has called you. For such a time as this – to be 30 years of age and already have this wisdom – now own it and go forth!! Love you, Momma

Leave A Comment

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.