Life Lessons [Part VI]

  • Resist the urge to add letters to a BLT.
  • Don’t spend your life kissing the boys sitting next to the boys you should be kissing.
  • Taxes are kind of horrifying.
  • Put the kitchen sponge in the dishwasher every once in awhile.
  • Making friends was a lot easier when you could just ask to trade snacks.


  • Aggressive use of brown butter is allowed and encouraged.
  • Make a point to keep making new foods. New friends, too, but new foods will do in a pinch.
  • Give yourself credit for trying.
  • Some recipes are more like recommendations for life. Bookmark those ones!
  • You won’t regret tucking a wedge of fancy cheese in your purse. Right next to your ‘emergency’ chocolate.


  • Memorize all the moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  • Time will go by very quickly in rent checks.
  • Pull-ups are the worst. Chin-ups aren’t nearly as bad.
  • Never ignore the itchy wool sweater feeling.
  • To eat: the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar. To read: anything but the ingredient list.


  • You can have it all, but not all at once.
  • Technically speaking, keeping in touch is not something you can do from a distance.
  • Sleep with the windows open as often as you can.
  • Regretting what might have been is just as crippling as regretting what was.
  • Never let an heirloom tomato go to waste.


  • It’s very difficult to be edited. This falls under the category of ‘Things Not To Take Personally.’
  • Multiple recipe failures in a row might make you feel like you’re a gigantic fraud and you really can’t make anything. This happens to everyone who likes to cook.
  • Remember that sunrises are free.
  • Aioli and mayonnaise are not the same things — but for goodness’ sake, pick your battles!
  • Weekend plans should include bacon.


  • Don’t set yourself up to depend on someone else financially. Joy the Baker says it’s not a smart independent lady move.
  • It’s in your best interest to bake cookies for your super the weekend you move in.
  • The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
  • Erase the word ‘decadent’ from your vocabulary. We’re here to celebrate food, not hate ourselves for loving it.
  • Trade your white jeans (that only look good for the first 15 minutes) for stretchy yoga pants and go make something pumpkin-flavored. It’s that time!


  • Don’t look down while you’re waiting for the subway.
  • It may also be best not to look too closely in the machines when you’re at the laundromat.
  • Let the guy behind the cheese counter choose your cheese for the week. Trust!
  • Think very carefully before you decide to turn your hobby into a job.
  • Donuts are not as scary as you think they are.


  • Nothing will wear you out quite like caring about people.
  • It’s time to retire that sweatshirt you wear. You know the one.
  • Bite off more than you can chew.
  • Don’t believe what they say: you can get a hangover from drinking one beer.
  • Eat something pretty on a day with too much ugly. It helps.


  • A cake without frosting is not a cake.
  • Unfortunately, Saturday mornings won’t ever last forever.
  • Clean sheets are one of life’s little pleasures.
  • It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.
  • Carbs are a beautiful thing.


  • Learn to make a soup that makes you feel like swan diving into your stockpot.
  • You’ll never feel 100% ready.
  • Try not to talk in half-truths.
  • There will be frustratingly long periods of ‘not yet’ — particularly in your early twenties.
  • Grill while you can.


  • Dinner doesn’t always have to look like dinner.
  • This ‘guard your heart’ business? It’s a cop-out. Also a somewhat necessary survival tactic.
  • Dried mango just might be in the same league as fresh mango.
  • Be with someone who sees all of your shortcomings as places to pour their love into.
  • Freeze wild blueberries on a baking sheet first so they don’t all stick together.


  • If you live alone, buy a radio and listen to it often.
  • Avoid trying to operate on less than 5% brainpower. Go to sleep.
  • It won’t kill you to eat the rind on the last piece of cheese.
  • Sunday morning is just not the time for oatmeal.
  • Learn to make something your grandma makes.


  • If you kiss someone and you don’t get a little taste of the future, gently extract yourself.
  • Affogato > espresso
  • ‘I love you’ isn’t a substitute for ‘I’m sorry.’ Don’t use it like a Band-Aid.
  • Remember what it felt like to ride on your dad’s shoulders.
  • There is so much more to life than worrying about how much you like cookies.


  • If it feels like you’re trying too hard, you probably should stop whatever it is you’re doing. Note: while this does apply to 90% of things ex-boyfriend related, it doesn’t apply at the gym.
  • Do things ‘just because.’
  • If you only write for yourself, you don’t need to leave out the parts that people would probably skip.
  • There will always be mean girls.
  • A plum + an apricot = a pluot. And the happiest marriage there ever was.


  • Things they don’t tell you: starting from scratch is only easy in the kitchen.
  • It’s very nice to be around people who make feel like you’re constantly in your best outfit — even when you’re in your in-for-the-night clothes.
  • Don’t let the world make you hard.
  • If you’re going to make grilled cheese, buttering your bread is a non-negotiable.
  • Get behind something you can feel proud of.


  • Undercook brownies, just a little bit.
  • When it’s time to wait, wait.
  • Have a few personal policies. Be willing to re-evaluate them as you go.
  • Read this when you feel a little heartbroken.
  • This isn’t the only way to make hummus, but it probably should be.


  • Be nice to your neighbors. Maybe they’ll let you borrow some baking soda to make the aforementioned hummus.
  • There’s a faster way to halve cherry tomatoes.
  • It’s worth reading the comments other people have left on online recipes.
  • If one of your life goals involves becoming suspiciously slender, gently give yourself a ‘D.’
  • Pie-making is friend-making.


  • Bookmark something that makes you a little misty-eyed.
  • Don’t ever throw away a rotting banana. Bananas basically exist for banana bread.
  • Date one person at a time.
  • A gym membership is money well spent.
  • Skip those sad, single serving, microwavable mug cakes on Pinterest. Make a big cake, invite your least judgmental friends over, and pass out some forks.


  • Before you move somewhere, really think about what you want your ‘outside’ to look like.
  • Look at old pictures.
  • Feeling someone falling in love with you is different than falling in love.
  • There are still so many risks worth taking.
  • Sometimes you have to hear good advice more than once.

See Life Lessons Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV, and Part V.


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