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Mandy Moore's Road to Love & Success Wasn't Always Easy

Kristyn Burtt is an LA-based entertainment reporter who has covered everything from 'Dancing With the Stars' to the Oscars. If she’s not on the red carpet, she’s at home in yoga pants watching Netflix and eating potato chips.

This interview makes us love her more, if that's even possible

Mandy Moore has had a ride over the last year few people will experience in their entire lifetimes. With the wild success of This Is Us also came an engagement to Dawes musician, Taylor Goldsmith. The happiness she exudes in her career and her personal life is palpable. Moore has a lot to be grateful for with her love life and career dovetailing in an arc of success, but she certainly doesn’t take it for granted.

More: Mandy Moore’s This Is Us Family Is Beyond Excited About Her Engagement

“[I am grateful for] health and happiness for the people in my life that I love. I have been doing this for 18 years since I was 15. We all have career and personal ebbs and flows, and I feel this wave that I’ve found at this point in my life, I am able to really reflect on what I’ve been through,” she explained to SheKnows at the Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred by American Express event last week. “I have this awareness that I didn’t have as a younger person — being engaged and having this job that I love so much. I love the people that I get to work with. It’s across the board; there’s a lot to appreciate.”

Moore first came to prominence in the entertainment industry with her 1999 hit single, “Candy.” She also dabbled in acting around the same time with turns in The Princess Diaries and A Walk to Remember. After so many years under her belt, Moore has a lot of advice for her younger self.

“The fearlessness to say no sometimes is an important one,” she said. “I am a people-pleaser, and as a younger person, I was always OK to say yes to jobs I didn’t want to do — not in a way that was detrimental to myself, but it set up a bad pattern for me.”

More: Prepare Yourself: Mandy Moore Is Releasing New Music

Moore never really found herself in trouble as a teen star, but she was almost too disciplined in her younger days. She feels like she missed out on a few experiences as a result.

“On the flip side, I found it was easy to say no to other things. I remember traveling around the world and being like an old grandma already. I remember saying no to experiences like exploring a city or going to dinner and pushing my bedtime a little later or trying a new restaurant with people I was working with in Prague,” Moore shared. “I was so laser-focused on waking up and doing the job, so I would tell myself to relax and have a little bit more fun. I skipped out on a portion of my life where I look back and think it’s a little too late to do anything crazy.”

She is hoping to act a little crazy and cross off a longtime bucket list item in 2018.

“I have always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. If I don’t plan it now, it’s never going to happen,” Moore said. “I just have to have it on the books. A dear friend is going to do it with me during my hiatus before I start shooting the next season."

Moore hasn’t been in a rush to plan her wedding just yet because she’s really enjoying the journey she’s been on. Her path over the last decade had a lot of highs and lows that included her first marriage to musician Ryan Adams. While she doesn’t outright name him, it’s clear there were a lot of lessons learned in that relationship.

“I wouldn’t have been ready for this relationship [with Goldsmith] at any other point in my life until recently. I had a lot of work to do on myself. It sounds so self-help-y and silver lining, but I had to go through particular experiences to get myself here,” Moore thoughtfully explained. “I don’t regret anything. I would do things exactly the same way. It’s all a lesson and there were beautiful moments in it, but I had to go through this crazy trail to find my way to where I am now.”

The couple is in the midst of renovating their new Los Angeles home, which is taking a lot longer than expected. However, she’s enjoying the process.

“It feels like a very adult house, which I’m excited about. I bought a house when I was 18 and I decorated it so shabby chic. It was like pink velvet threw up all over the house,” Moore laughed. “So I am excited about putting it together with Taylor and discovering where we want to hang our pictures.”

The delay in the house renovations also means she won’t be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. They are headed to her future mother-in-law’s house.

More: Mandy Moore's Parents Aren't So Sure About Her This Is Us Character

“It’s a Friendsgiving where it’s potluck and people come for a drink and then go eat dinner somewhere else. Then they might come back and have pie,” she said. “My mother-in-law is in charge of the turkey and I will make a carb like a potato or something and pie. I will also curate the music list. Next year, I will throw the gauntlet down when we’re in our new house.”

And even though she prefers “apple and pumpkin pie and a good cheese board” to turkey, most of her Thanksgiving will be about taking a pause and really being appreciative of all of her blessings.

“What I love about Thanksgiving is that moment in time when the meal stops and everyone goes around the table and talks about the year in review — everything that they are grateful for,” Moore summed up. “I don’t think there’s enough of that real talk and vulnerability in day-to-day life, and I love that’s what this holiday engenders. It encourages people to talk about what they are appreciative of.”

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