10 Things I Learned in January
1. Meg Ryan's son was in The Hunger Games.
His name is Jack Quaid (son of Dennis), and he played Marvel from District One. And Meg Ryan is his mom. Why that strikes me as totally bizarre I have no idea, but it does. Acting families are just so fascinating.
2. Sometimes you have to plan a family road trip to know you don't actually want to take one.
I have a sickness called Plan Things So Far In Advance That the Plans Become Irrelevant, and it struck during North Carolina's snowstorm that had us stuck in the house for four days. I decided to plan the route of our family road trip... that's happening in no less than seven years because that's a total normal timeframe to plan something. Eye roll emoji.
Road trips are expensive, especially when you don't camp. And I don't. camp. After Sharpie-ing the route on an excessively giant map of the West Coast and tallying up mileage and lodging fees, we realized that this would be the only vacation we could afford for the next fifteen years. Epic as it might be, we don't care that much, so a handful of smaller vacations it is!
Too bad I spent excessive Leslie Knope hours preparing for something we're never going to do. Please tell me you've done that, too.
3. Reading terrible stories about hiking makes me kind of want to do it?
Let's recap: I DON'T CAMP. I don't even really like nature in huge doses. Too many bugs, not enough television. And yet ever since I started Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I have this weird desire to hike an epic trail. That's the sign of a good storyteller; apparently Cheryl talking about coyotes and dozens of broken blisters and toenails falling off makes me think I could do this Pacific Crest Trail thing, too.
Spoiler: I cannot.
4. I'm obsessed with little girl clothes.
I have two boys, and all I need to dress them is three pants, six shirts, and a lot of stain fighting detergent. But now that I have a little girl coming? I have a problem. I'm OBSESSED with little girl clothes. My head wants to dress her like a little boho actress baby, but my wallet can only afford poor theater stagehand baby.
Until I found thredUP. thredUP is an online consignment store for women and kids, full of quality brands at great prices. You can search by item, size, color, price point, style... anything really. I always search kid items under $5 to start and find great deals on babyGAP, Boden, United Colors of Benetton, and tons of other brands I'm not cool enough to know. Slash Annie already has the best wardrobe in our house, and she's not even born yet.
Want a no-strings-attached $20 to spend at thredUP? That's not a joke. Click this link, and you get $20 to spend. It's a not subscription thing where you have to cancel something or a pricing scam where you only get the $20 if you spend a thousand first. Nope. Just a crisp $20 to buy stuff for you or your kids, and then you can walk away. Even though you probably won't because it's a such a great resource. It's like a consignment sale without all the angry moms pushing you over with their giant strollers. You can buy clothes for your kids for the same price while watching Downton in your pajamas! I mean, people, I just changed your life. Again, here's where you can get your free $20.
P.S. When you spend your $20, I get a kickback, so thank you. The fun part? Once you make a purchase, you can give away $20, too, and get your own kickback. That's how much thredUP believes in their product; they know that giving money away is worth it to make sure people know about them.
5. You guys really love learning about The Bullet Journal.
Anybody started one yet? This organization system is my favorite of all time, and a ton of you have read and shared this post, easily the most popular on this site to date. If you haven't yet heard about The Bullet Journal, this is the post I wish had been written when I first started mine.
6. There are non-Prince-Harry hot royal guys you didn't know about.
Louis Spencer is Princess Diana's nephew. Yes, please. He could play Brad Pitt's younger brother, right? Of course he could.
And James William Middleton is Kate and Pippa's brother.
Sure, James isn't royal, but if your sister is Princess Kate, it totally counts. I mean, COME ON, right?! Mega hotness let's all live in England.
7. Facebook friends have a lot to say about coffee.
I had my first cup of coffee when I was 23. I had my second cup when I was 25. Clearly, I'm not a coffee-every-morning person. However, children and anticipated sleepless nights due to more children have made it more of a thing in recent years. But after I brewed my own and it tasted like garbage, I realized that my beans were three years old, my grinder always smelled like cumin since it's a spice grinder and not a coffee grinder, and maybe I have the wrong coffeemaker?
So a couple of weeks ago, I reached out to Facebook, asking the best and easiest way to get a solid cup of coffee at home. People. OH MY WORD. They came out in droves. Folks are super passionate about their coffee preferences. Slash it was adorable how the sweet single people said that my best bet was a maker that could have coffee ready in less than five minutes after you grind the beans, press them through the thing, rinse the seven working parts, and then wave incense over the mug and perform a Native American blessing. I have two little boys and a soon-to-be baby on my hip at all times. I'm lucky if I have five seconds. But you're seriously so cute.
Here's what I did do (in case you need a coffee plan, too). I already have a tiny coffeemaker that's perfect for us since I'm the only one who drinks coffee. I'm still using that, but I got a burr mill grinder (this one has been fantastic, and it's not terribly loud either!) and bought locally roasted beans. People? It's the tastiest cup of coffee ever. And it's in my house and doesn't cost a million Starbucks dollars. I grind beans at night and have the pot ready to go for the morning, or I just make it when I need it. Either way, it's awesome. I'm a 2/3 coffee, 1/3 hot whole milk, and a pour of maple syrup person. Stellar cup, y'all.
8. I'm Cool & Brilliant.
Specifically, I'm an apple-shaped, traditional/modern, clear winter Cool & Brilliant.
Do you like personality tests because it's nice to fit into a category? Here's how you do it for your clothes and colors. Cardigan Empire has broken down our body shapes, colors, and styles to help us find the best clothes just for us. And it's so fly. These are my colors.
She's broken us down into five shapes, five styles, and four seasons of color, each with several variations within them. You can start to find your own colors here, and then you can click on any of the different breakdowns in the sidebar. I have this screenshot of my colors on my phone whenever I go shopping. It's the best cheat sheet to choose what she calls my "kind" colors. Don't you love that? Choose colors that are kind to you and your skin.
9. StitchFix has maternity clothes.
Based on this list, one would think January has been the month of shopping? I never shop, so this is weird. BUT this month, I did discover that my beloved StitchFix (which I do only on occasion unless I have referral dollars) now has maternity clothes! Stop the world. They sent me five just-my-style items, and even though only one of them fit perfectly (I'm an oddly shaped pregnant lady), it was such a blast to get something a little extra special. I wear my StitchFix shirt all the time.
Never tried it? It's like having a personal shopper mail you clothes you love. Sure, the prices are higher than Target, but so is the style level. And once you do it once, you get a referral link that gifts you with referral bucks every time a friend or mother-in-law uses your link to try StitchFix for themselves! It really is so much fun to do whether you keep anything or not (even though you almost always keep at least one of the five things). Head over to see if you want to try it out for yourself!
10. My football team might win the Super Bowl.
Y'all. My Carolina Panthers are in the Super Bowl. Do you hear me screaming? Because I'm totally screaming. I love this team, I love my state, and I love football. Those of you who live in areas that have had professional sports teams since the dawn of time, I envy you. We've had our football team for only 20 years which is like five minutes in football time, so this is seriously the coolest, most unlikely thing ever. And we're not playing because of a fluke either. We're the best team in the NFC (remember our little football tutorial?) with an MVP-caliber quarterback, a Pro Bowl defense, and the hottest tight end in the league! Sorry I'll stop. It's just... y'all. I'm. So. EXCITED.
This month, after watching the Panthers in the playoffs, I learned that we have what it takes to win. Like, legitimately. So if you hear piercing cries coming from the east coast next week, no need to panic. It's only me... and my entire state. #keeppounding
Head over to Emily's site to see what she learned this month as well as tons of other lists. It's such a fun way to spend a Friday morning.