Sweet 16 Again!

Turning back the hands of time could, yes, the operative word, be one of the coolest things…kind of like Michael J. Fox in ‘Back to the Future’!  While sometime in the future that very well could be possible, right now all we have for ‘turning back’ those hands of time is what I call wisdom

Ally’s Kitchen is more than just food and cooking…it’s hanging out in the heart of the home and sharing.  Let’s do something fun for others!

This ‘Sweet 16’ post is dedicated to continually seeking out the wisdom of those who come to Ally’s Kitchen.  I think that over time, there will be a landfill of great advice, stories, information, and ideas deposited right here on this page!  Who knows?  Maybe those who are in the throes of their sweet sixteen years of life, teenagers, can benefit from something you say…well, maybe!  The first step is gathering and posting here.  Maybe some teenager, or a parent, will use this forum to get through a tough period.  We’re planing seeds that just might  impact a kids who are in these tumultuous, albeit wonderous, years of their lives!

Alright!  Let’s get your ‘2 cents’ worth’ in here!  Post your thoughts to the following…don’t forget to add some info on yourself!  And, thanks ever sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much…you’re affecting humanity!

1.  At your age now, IF you can turn back the hands of time and talk to your 16 year-old self, what piece of advice would you give yourself? 

2.  Include a brief blurb as to who you are…i.e., “Tom Cruise/Actor”  “Annabelle/Mom of 22” “Tom Dooley/Hangin’ Down my Head”  “Wilma Flintstone/Wife of Fred”

3. Include the address (http://www.blahblah blah  any website or blog you may have!

4.  Would love to have your picture, too, from those Sweet 16 days…I gotta figure out how to do this on my website! 

5. YES!  You can post more than once…I mean you probably have a LOT of advice to give and the world needs to hear from you!



  1. Dear Beth,
    I know it sucks that you can’t get a driver’s licence like all your friends are doing, but it IS for your own safety, and for the safety of others.
    Your Epilepsy should not define you, you are still the girl who rides horses,races horses and bikes (for fun) and you are still the same person you were before all of this happened.
    Yes people are going to freak out when you have a seizure, heck that is normal, BUT , and this is a big one….someday you will be counselling parents and children alike who are in the same shoes you are now. One day you will watch them struggle like you have and be able to say “i understand”. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now but you are going to have a fantastic life!

    In a few months you will meet the father of your children, yes you get to have kids, you will get to have 2 wonderful amazing sons who will make you proud even while they are driving you nuts.

    So slow down honey, and take a deep breath, this too shall pass and you will get to be “just like everyone else” and more!!!

    • Beth…I’ve got tears in my eyes…yes, I have family w/epilepsy, too, and I hear everything you’re saying. What a beautiful and inspirational message for anyone who feels the screams of ‘being different’ as a teenager b/c of some type of health problem–thank you for sharing this poignant emotion…you are a hero, and I know those that you counsel know that you’ve walked in their shoes…xox Ally

  2. I recently wrote a blog post on this topic. I was always so concerned about how I looked and so self-conscious I would never wear a bikini. Now that I just turned 40 and have given birth 5 times, wearing a bikini isn’t going to happen. Wish I would have taken advantage of it when I had the body for it! 🙂
    Carrie/writer/author/blogger/photographer/mom of five
    Blogs: Adventures in Motherhood (www.carriemotherhood.blogspot.com)
    Chicago Foodie Sisters (www.chicagofoodiesisters.blogspot.com)
    Midwest Family Traveler (www.midwestfamilytraveler.blogspot.com)


    • Carrie!! OMG, I can identify w/precisely what you’re saying…always thought my ‘butt’ was big, big thighs…only to know that now it’s in vogue thanks to Kim Kardashian! One thing I share w/young women, bright and beautiful like you…look at your gorgeous neck and your uppse arms everyday, stroke them, love them…wear sleeveless dresses, etc…one day gravity will set in, and you’ll wonder what happened! Thank you so much for sharing!! xo Ally 🙂

  3. If I could go back and tell my 16 year old self a few things or to any 16 year old now, it would be this:

    Don’t give two thoughts to what other people think of you, especially the ones who tease and make fun of you. Don’t let anyone walk all over you. You are not a doormat.

    Appreciate your true friends. Don’t take your family for granted. They are the only ones who will truly have your back.

    Finally, don’t try to grow up too fast. Enjoy your childhood, it goes by in the blink of an eye!

    • Candice…great advice to self and to ourselves at this point in our lives, too…your last sentences makes me think of an old song called ‘Toyland’…go to You Tube, search for it…I know you’ll enjoy and relate…thank you for sharing your sage words xoxo Ally

  4. Rebecca Walker

    Hi Becky–
    First, congratulations on spotting and making the best and longest-lasting friendship you will have in your life. This girl that you never get tired of talking to and listening to, and with whom you can laugh until you cry over stupid things that hardly anyone else thinks is funny will still be your friend in 33 years. One of the best things you will ever luck into.
    Second, don’t worry that boys right now don’t seem to think you’re special or ever ask you out. Some day it won’t matter that much, and it’s probably just because your Dad is the principal anyway.
    Third, start now actually thinking about who you are and who you want to grow into. Be brave and daring–you know you have it in you–and then, when you have kids of your own who are 17 (I know, wacky thought), you might not still be trying to figure it out.
    Last–and I think you already know it–you are lucky to have the family you have. Yes, there are and will be differences and issues, some big and some bigger, but always these will be the people who come back together for you and for each other. Enjoy your parents now while they’re young and vital (trust me, they ARE still young), because someday you will watch up close as they age and discover a depth of heartbreak that doesn’t even occur to you now.
    Live every day now for the laughter and the fun you can make. Think brave thoughts and make brave plans and live bravely even when you’re uncertain. The worst thing that can happen is that you not try at all.

    • Rebecca Rebecca…your words resonate so much w/me and echo my sentiments that I would write to my 16 y/o self…be brave and daring, two words that help take us so far in life, two words that are oftentimes not in the vocabulary of 16 y/olds b/c of that infinite need to ‘fit in’…to ‘be accepted’…to be ‘cool’…thank you for sharing your beautiful words of wisdom. I cherish them, and much more, YOU…xo Ally

  5. Dear 16 year old self,
    You are a lucky girl..you don’t appreciate how fortunate you are to have the parents God gave you. What role models they are, please try harder to follow their example. They love you more than you will ever realize. They only want what is best for you. Someday, you will cherish your brothers and your sister as if they are beautiful, precious pearls. You love them now, but you will love them more as you grow older.
    Your actions of today will affect your future…some in good ways, others not so good. Remember, you are not the only person in the world….others are watching you, some don’t like what they see. It’s not all about you! Your friends now, will be your true friends for life. They know and love you for who you are and what you are to become. Somehow, they see beyond the flesh and see what is truly inside….because inside is that which is beautiful in you.
    Your life will become hard, your heart will be broken beyond your wildest imagination, but because you have parents who have taught you to love and trust God, you can go on with Him holding you up and giving you the strength to put one foot in front of the other. All this will be possible for you because you have a firm foundation upon which you now don’t appreciate, but you will…..”When Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need.”*
    Your life experiences and your parents will help you to become a strong woman. You can’t begin to think about what/who you will be when you are an adult…you live in a world of your own. There will come a day when everyone else is more important than you. That will be a good day. You will realize that you are but a mere speck on the planet, but you are important to others, even though you are still but a small speck.
    You will love as you never think you will love. Your family will bring you such joy….you don’t even think of that, but it will happen.
    Don’t look for love so hard, it will happen when the time is right.
    And finally, be good to yourself, don’t ever stop singing, listen to your parents and wait for true love……
    *Corrie ten Boom – Dutch Christian-Holocaust Survivor

    • Gena…I’m speechless…the words that you have written ring so true for me…as I read them, I am gently reminded in your loving voice that we all need to listen and seek these reminders…thank you, my friend, for sharing…this is a treasure for me…hugs and love, Alice

  6. Hey Ally! I was poking around your page and found this section and so many things ran through my head of what I couldve said to myself at the ripe ol age of 16. Im a mom of 4, career bound but focused on cooking, and divorced but happy. Here is what I would say:

    Dear Machelle,
    Sloooooow down! Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Life is already written, and these experiences aren’t going anywhere. They will still be there when you are old enough and ready to experience them. Think about what you do before you do it. Choose your friends wisely. Stand up for who you are and what you believe in, don’t be such a push over at this age. Concentrate on your school work, put some effort into it. If you do you won’t have to struggle as hard in later years I promise! Talk to the elders in your family and really Listen to their stories, one day they wont be around to remind you of the “Good ol days”, you could’ve learned so much from them. Most of all, Love yourself and know your worth being loved ten times more in return. I love you, and guess what? You still turned out to be a great woman.

    33yo Machelle 🙂

    • Machelle…I literally have huge crocodile tears in my eyes…I am not kidding. Your words have struck me like a ton of bricks b/c they are so very powerful and based in experience. You have a tough road to hoe, but you are committed. My mom was widowed at the tender age of 37, there were 4 of us kids ages 8-14, she was a h.s. drop out, Croatian (w/biases and prejudices towards certain ethnicities of that era), and we were living in the hollers of WV…I know how very hard she sacrificed, worked and gave up for us. She pounded into us education education education–our ticket to a better life. She, like you, was a culinary master and a Martha Stewart of the 50s, just no opportunity. So when you give this advice, it’s like hearing her voice…she was full of piss and vinegar and immense wisdom and intellect…thank you for sharing from your precious heart…xoxox Ally 🙂 PS…Excuse the weeepiness! 🙂

  7. I would say to my 16 year old self..Everything you do today will be who you are in the future,career,children,life in general.So think before doing.
    I told this to my now 21 year old,and she listened,she is going to school,and is determined to finish,go Meghan!!! I never went an wish I had.

    • You are so right about how all of these things follow us in life regardless how large or small, so make prudent good choices, which Meghan has, and thank the Lord that she listened…even at 21 some (including me at that age!) think they know it all…wjy not enroll in a course, Lynn, and give it a try! It’s never too late…thanks so much for your sage advice!! xoxo Ally

  8. Advice to myself at 16″

    Life isn’t always going to be what you planned, but it will be what GOD planned. The parties and friends you think you might miss out on, will be well worth missing when you are living your dream as a doctor and they are not. Because life may not go as planned does not and never could make you a failure. You are loved, you are strong, and you are one of a kind. Enjoy being ALL those things. Learn NOW, to forgive, you will need to do alot of it in your life. Most of all, know what a priceless gift it is to love, and be loved.

    • OH my, Chris, I think I need to publish this…it is published! No truer words and what wisdom…I esp like the note about the parties, etc. It reminds me of when my middle son graduated from h.s., he had a appointment to West Point, there was a big after party going on some where ‘that everyone was going to’ and we knew littl’ or no adult supervision…he said, ‘…but ‘everyone’ is going…’ To which I said “…but ‘everyone’ does not have an appointment to WP and one miss step as a result of this party could change the course of your life…’ I didn’t say no you can’t go…he opted not to, and the rest is history…grad from WP, CAPT in Army, law school, etc. Thank you for your thoughts…love it! xoxo Ally

  9. Wow ..how true these comments are..I totally agree with them all but Suzie you sure hit home <3

    • M.J…I feel like I have a treasure chest on this page and look forward to more and more foodies/everyone posting!! I can relate to all of this incredible advice!! xoxo Ally 🙂

  10. Suzie Waclawski

    Boy would I have a lot to say like make wise choices, love your family they are all you have, get an education before children so much easier to do, find your passion and follow it! I would have still had my children but later on, I would still have an education but I would have gone further. But most of all I would have told me to really love myself, so I could love others later.

    • OMG, Suie…this is such sage and deeply moving advice…I read it and just kinda got littl’ goosebumps on me as I could sense your passion and your depth of conviction…thank you sooooooooooooo very much…I am deeply honored you have shared this w/me and whomever comes to Ally’s Kitchen…and thank you for all of your support for my endeavors!! Hugs and love, Ally xoxox

  11. Wonderful post Sweet Ally! I will get back..when I have more time, and comment on the questions. I am sharing this with my fb pages…This is just perfect! <3 and hUgs!

  12. I’m going to have to think about this one! 🙂 Love the idea! I’ll be back.


  13. What you have to say is important . Ally I have to say that one of your comments should be Ramsey “How do ya like me now”!!

    • LOL, Linda! You are toooooo hilarious! Thanks for that vote of confidence I really appreciate that you think it’s impt, too! And I love having you here at AK! 🙂

  14. Ally, what a marvelous idea.

    Advise to my 16 year old self? Stop, look around you and just breathe, then take a step back and breathe some more. We’re always in such a hurry to grow up, go out and explore the world but oh how I wish I had explored my grandma’s kitchen and her time just a little more. I see so many people post about learning to cook at so and so’s knee and I had the opportunity but I didn’t seize it. And all the simpler things in life. take the time to enjoy them. High School football games, going to the beach with friends, even my first job at the local pizza place. Enjoy those moments.
    Oh and don’t lose touch with the girl/boy you were when you grow up, it’s part of what makes you who you will be, along with the people you surround yourself with.
    Boy, didn’t realize how much I would want to tell my 16 year old self. This also makes me want to write a letter to each of my girls, giving them some of this advice so when they are that same know-it-all girl that won’t listen to what mama has to say, I can hand them this letter and say “just go read this.”
    Thanks for this post, now off to write to my girls, hugs!

    • Joan…what wonderful advice…I, too, wish I’d not been ‘in such a hurry’ w/life ignoring things that would mean much more to me later in life…I still find myself doing this, but at least I’m aware of it and do try to smell the roses…I think writing a letter to your girls would be a gift they would treasure…even though they probably won’t fully digest it, just imagine how they would feel 20 years from now…what I wouldn’t give to have a hand written letter from my dear Mom about life and her pearls of wisdom…thanks soooooo very much for sharing and writing…remember, you can always come back w/more!! xoxo Ally

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.