I had always thought that at some point in life you get it. That there comes a time when life just sort of magically clicks and you make sense, the world makes sense, people make sense. I don’t know exactly when I thought this would happen but I do know that by the time I was 30 I thought I would have it all figured out.

Well here I am, 30 and often more confused then ever. But the difference between a confused 30 year and a confused, say, 20 year old is that now I simply don’t care. I don’t care that I don’t have it all figured out. In fact I’m thrilled that I don’t.

At this time in my life I feel more free to ask questions, to humbly acknowledge my misunderstandings and earnestly seek to find the answers, knowing full well that most likely they will just open up the flood gates to more questions.

It is an incredibly freeing time in my life where I sense the burden of self-consciousness slowly lifting and life’s subtleties filling me with an intoxicating joy. I’m okay with making a bit of a fool of myself for the sake of seeking answers, understanding something a little better, and for protecting my family and myself.

The mocking voices in my head are retreating to a dull whisper instead of a deafening roar. The space in which they used to inhabit fills with thoughts of thankfulness, abounding blessings and purpose.

I’m seeking adventure, owning up to what I feel called to in life, living and perusing life with an unashamed passion.

I eagerly await the coming years and the wisdom and memories they will produce.

Although there may be a few more fine lines on my face then there were before, this is the best time of my life. Goodbye 20’s. Hello 30.


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Mascarpone Ice Cream


Makes 3 cups

Although cake is what’s typically enjoyed on occassions such as birthdays, when given the choice I will always choose ice cream. And if said ice cream happens to be topped with a dark and bitter shot of espresso then what you have is one of my favorite desserts.

1 cup mascarpone

1 ½ cups milk

1/2 cup brown rice syurp

squeeze fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt


Whisk all the ingredients together. Churn in your favorite ice cream maker according to the directions.

Freeze until firm.

For an affogato simply pour a shot of freshly brewed espresso (or very strong coffee) over a scoop of the ice cream.

87 Responses to “Mascarpone Ice Cream Affogato”

  1. Andrea

    I will de-lurk to wish you a very happy birthday! I’ve been in my 30s for a couple of years and they have been the best, most settled, humble ones so far. And figuring out that mascarpone makes for an awesome ice-cream is a great way to start a new decade! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  2. Jana

    Happy # 30. I love reading your blog. As I have said before you are truly inspiring! I hope it’s a beautiful day for you..beautiful.

  3. Karen Rogers

    Beautiful post. So well written, such lovely photography. I am in awww…. Happy 30th, at 53 it’s best not to have it all figured out either!

  4. Jen

    Happy Birthday, Ashley! I turned 30 this summer…I think I’ve been stripped of my intent on knowing everything sometime after the birth of my first son… Which I agree, is quite freeing! 😉

  5. Anne

    Happy Birthday! I have found as I’ve gotten older (45 and getting better!) that things, life, and people (especially people) make less and less sense the more life experience I have, although my tolerance of the nonsensibleness of it all gets greater and greater, so it all balances out… 😉

  6. Daniela

    You wrote exactly what I feel. I always thought that by the time I would turn 30, I would have everything on track. I have a wonderful life, but I’m much more confused than I was in my 20s. Still enjoying the 30s!
    Happy birthday!

  7. Maureen

    How perfect is this? I made mascarpone yesterday and I have heaps left and I must use it or toss it. I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon.

    As for getting older, I’ve never worried about the calendar. In my head I’m about 20 and I’ve been 20 for a very long time. Although I DO put black cloth over my mirrors. :)

  8. corey @ learning patience

    Happy birthday….Im glad I am not one of those bloggers who envys other bloggers for their pictures…LOL Beautiful shots, always. I LOVE esspresso over ice cream (you forgot the Bailey’s!)
    xoxo from Trinidad

  9. Margaret Baron

    Ah 30 sounds pretty young to me how about 82 on April Fools day!! Oh and your card will be a little late.

  10. Cookie + Kate

    Happy birthday, Ashley! Lovely sentiments, photos and recipe, as always. I’m 26 now and hope that I’ll share your feelings about turning 30 when I get there.

  11. Squishy

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! What a lovely post to commemorate such a special day…thank you for allowing us to share it with you!!!

    The Squishy Monster ^.^

  12. Tracy

    Happy birthday! I’m closer to Hello 60 than Hello 50 (that ship has sailed). I find that it doesn’t bother me in the least – life is good!

  13. Melissa

    Happy Birthday! Looks like you are giving us a present with this Mascarpone ice cream. What a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Calantha @ piecurious

    Many people have told me that the thirties are the best years of your life, and I think it is exactly for the reasons you outlined above. You stop worrying about all of these little details – about “figuring it all out” – and you start living. I think that is actually what it means to figure it out. Life is but a series of events unfolding, sometimes without our control, and often in ways we could never expect. There are challenges, successes, disappointments, celebratory moments – and all of them involve living. Life is for it – living, that is. You can spend your whole life trying to “figure it out” only to realize that you’ve forgot to live it. It’s a pretty good idea to abandon that goal of figuring it out and choosing to live instead :)

  15. Krystal

    I just turned 30myself on 2/6 and feel about the same way that you described. I still remember seven years ago when I started my first “real” job thinking that by 30 I wanted to be a lot further along than where I am. And now that I’m here, I’m content. I’m not where I wanted to be, but I don’t deserve to be there yet. I think the longer you live, the more you realize you have a lot to learn, and the more patient you are to let life give you lessons. I”m happy to embrace 30 and looking forward to more patiently learning those lessons that live has to offer. Maybe I’ll get more out of them now :) (just don’t tell my mother I said that, okay?)

  16. Sarah

    Happy birthday! Your self-assuredness is making me want to skip this twenty-something business 😉 All of my friends in their 30s seem so happy. These years will be good, I know it, as will all the following ones—with time I think the discovery just gets to be greater.

    Affogato is one of my favorites, too. Sometimes I pour the teensiest bit of bourbon on there. Especially for a birthday :)

  17. heather

    i love all of your posts, and your words consistently ring true…but this post. THIS post resonated in a deep, deep place in my heart & spirit. you captured the joy of 30 in a way i could have never put into such eloquent, purposeful, meaningful words. i turned 32 in january, and i feel as grateful 2 years “in” as i did when the chapter opened on 30. happy, happy belated birthday, dear ashley.

  18. kale @ tastes good to me!

    This is exactly how one of my dearest friends, Lesley, explained it to me. I was worriedly going over some ill-advised thing I’d done or said and she just looked at me and said, “Kale, just hang in there. You’re in your twenties, when you care too much about what people think. Wait for your thirties. You’ll see it’s not worth all the worry.” Truth be told, knowing that in my twenties kind of jump-started the process. Not completely, of course, but I’m working on it. :)

  19. Julie

    Welcome to 30! Not that I’ve been there for awhile… I spent most of my 40th birthday, and most days since, in a mild panic – how can it be?! 40 is so grown up! I wish I had been where you are now (or what I see of you, of course!) and had such great perspective when I was 30. Love your post – am going to go re-read it now and feel better for it.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Paula – Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully the site isn’t too intimidating. :) That’s enough to make me look forward to my 40’s as I know I have much to learn.


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