Life Lessons [Part II]

  • Give cooked red onion a try.
  • Look out the window.
  • Do everything in your power to increase the number of spaces between “emotional” and “shopping”.
  • Don’t mistake people for projects.
  • Taste buds change.
  • Let your tea cool.
  • Pick fresh flowers for your desk.

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  • “No” is a complete sentence.
  • Buy the expensive frozen berries. Most grocery store brand “mixed” variety packs will defrost into a texture-less lump [that’s about as appetizing as it sounds] later on.
  • Walk more.
  • Lucky for us all, there is an “edit, undo” button in life. It’s called “I’m sorry.”
  • Make a reservation…unless you’re one of those precious people thrilled to see a jam-packed restaurant for the owner’s [and the economy’s] sake.
  • Break your routine [like clockwork every Sunday].
  • Re-read James and the Giant Peach, Blueberries for Sal, and Corduroy.
  • Don’t discriminate, especially when it comes to chocolate.

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  • Don’t lose yourself when you find somebody.
  • Take pity on the retail salesperson stuck under fluorescent lights [and her manager’s scrutiny] all day long and don’t trash the dressing room.
  • If you work from home, change out of the clothes you slept in by 9am. Bra on by noon!
  • Eating anything straight from its bag is a potentially hazardous situation. Once you’ve acknowledged this, then proceed A) with caution, or B) with wild abandon.
  • Your sheets and towels really should be stuffed into your laundry basket much more frequently than they are.
  • Stack your salad.
  • Happiness is still homemade.
  • Always scan the front page of the newspaper; you’ll save yourself from floundering when the topic changes from hors d’oeuvres to current events.

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  • Drink more water.
  • Three skills to master: sewing on a button, changing a flat tire, and poaching an egg [the whirlpool way, to wrap the white around the yolk].
  • Double-check that there isn’t an offer code floating around freely on the Internet before you submit an online order.
  • When someone is crying, sometimes the kindest thing you can do is pretend not to notice.
  • Chapstick is one of those things: the second you stop carrying it around, you’ll desperately need it.
  • Have a stash of extra quarters within reach of the driver’s seat in your car.
  • Love without terms and conditions.
  • Rock-hard avocados belong in paper bags with bananas. Don’t ask questions; make guacamole.

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  • An onlooker shouldn’t have to question whether you’re on a date with your boyfriend or your iPhone.
  • Resist on the way down.
  • Do what’s most important first thing in the morning.
  • Wearing a blazer is Step One to “Faking it ‘til you make it.”
  • Be stingy with third chances.
  • Use coconut oil for cooking and reserve [raw] olive oil for garnishing.
  • Stuff on toast = sheer brilliance.

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  • Say exactly what you mean, at least 80% of the time.
  • Put quinoa in your granola and pearled barley in your oats.
  • Leave big shoes to fill.
  • Nothing good happens after 2 am.
  • Take comfort in the fact that nearly every day, you’ll be able to say “Another day has passed and I didn’t use Algebra or Calculus once.”
  • The most confident of women are those who are happy in their own skin.
  • Spoon + peanut butter + chocolate chips.

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  • Hold your ground without being close-minded, dismissive, and/or haughty.
  • Slow down [unless you’re doing speed work or circuits].
  • Always make more frosting than you need. Experienced bakers know all about emergency cement.
  • When it comes to clothes, structure is forgiving.
  • Thank your parents for all the pictures they took of you growing up.
  • Before you buy something with horizontal stripes, send a picture to someone you count on to tell you the things you don’t want to hear.
  • Brine your pork in a salty cayenne pepper bath. It’s not a bath you or I would like, but an hour underwater makes for the juiciest chops around.

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  • High-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets really are everything they’re cracked up to be. Also, if the words “Egyptian cotton” inspire you to break out in song, you may want to give your DVD player a break from Uptown Girls.
  • The second Sunday in May ought to ring a bell for you.
  • There’s nothing quite like laughing until your stomach feels sore.
  • Just about everything is more important than being right.
  • You don’t need an ice cream maker to make ice cream [I know. I know!!]
  • It’s a tall order…but be diligent about changing your razor.
  • Every once in awhile, trade the vegetable peeler for its more sophisticated sibling. Julienned zucchini strips taste totally different than zucchini coins.

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  • Load your own dishes into the dishwasher.
  • Chin up [as many times as you can without assistance, and then 2 more sets of 5 to 6 reps with help].
  • If you’re the youngest in your family, know that someday you’ll miss being squished in the middle seat with no legroom to speak of.
  • Not optional: stretching post-workout. Optional: foam rolling.
  • Up for debate: re-gifting.
  • What you say is not as important as how you say it.
  • Buy batteries whenever they’re on sale.
  • When faced with an open jar of Nutella, there’s nothing to do but give the calorie police the night off.

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  • Know better: Muscle doesn’t turn to fat if you stop working out.
  • Shock your green beans and your asparagus in ice water to stop them from cooking post-cooking.
  • Get to know yourself. When you’re feeling cloudy with a chance of rain, be able to identify at least 5 things that will brighten your extended outlook.
  • Pack light [applicable to everything minus clothes, shoes, books, food, and money].
  • One key ingredient to happiness: gratitude.
  • If you want to experience Christmas every month for 12 months, subscribe to a year of “Cooking Light”.
  • Caramelize onions. And bananas & grapefruits. And Brussels sprouts & butternut squashes. And salmon and pork. And walnuts & pecans. And pretty much anything else you can think of.


  • Avoid burnout.
  • If you’re utterly hopeless at directions [even with a folded map, a printout from MapQuest, and a fancy GPS]…you’re not alone.
  • If you’re unforgivably bad with names…work on that. Nobody likes to feel forgettable.
  • Not all scars are visible.
  • Don’t wait until you have a cold to appreciate your usual health.
  • If nothing else, wash your potatoes [they’re one of the dirty dozen].
  • Bake something [you love] for somebody [who will never know you snuck a sample or two].

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  • Use the nice soap.
  • Do your own research.
  • When you see a recipe for a single-serving soft pretzel and an individual molten fudge brownie, hit print immediately.
  • When it comes to plants, too much attention is just as lethal as too little.
  • Acquire the ability to sparkle without any glittery metallic in sight.
  • The best bet for ending on a high note = flourless dark chocolate cake.

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See also: Part I


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