What I Learned This Fall
I'm joining my girl Emily P. Freeman to share all the things I learned this fall season. Let the list commence!
1. Shirley Maclaine and Warren Beatty are brother and sister!
I pride myself on knowing obscure Hollywood connections, so I'll chalk this one up to not being old enough? But OHMYGOSH DID Y'ALL KNOW THIS??? Blew my mind.
2. I can live without dairy and not commit murder.
Baby Annie becomes Gassy Baby Annie Who Won't Sleep Because of Pain when I consume dairy, so about six weeks into her little life, I gave it up cold turkey. Or cold dairy. Mmm, milk. She is now over seven months old, so I've gone SIX MONTHS without milk, cheese, Oreo milkshakes... all the dairy things, you guys! And I can't believe it, but it eventually became okay. I've become a fan of almond milk, I've gotten really good at coconut curries, and Ben and Jerry's dairy-free frozen dessert (because they can't call it ice cream, I guess?) is actually pretty good.
In fact (TMI coming), over Thanksgiving, I decided to throw caution to the wind and consume all the foods like my body used to. So. Much. Butter. And for at least six hours later? So much diarrhea. Real talk, y'all, my body is NOT a fan of dairy anymore. I'm currently trying to reconcile this with my veins previously being filled with butter, but we'll figure it out.
3. You're not supposed to wash your hair every day.
You know that show Bunheads? I could've started my own spinoff called Greaseheads. My hair requires copious amounts of shampoo every day to not look like a dirty mop. But my sister who worked in a couple of salons and knows all things hair told me a few months ago that she washes her hair maybe once a week... which is weird because her hair always looks awesome. What sorcery is this! The word is out that washing your hair only every few days is better in the long run because your hair can enjoy its natural oils or some nonsense that makes no sense.
But I tried it. I got a shower cap (water doesn't like three day-old hair), dry shampoo (Batiste is my favorite), and a few more bobby pins for unruly days, and doggoneit, y'all. I wash my hair every three or four days. And it's FANTASTIC. My hair looks fine (I've never been great at styling, especially since I have short hair), but if you've been around here awhile and have an excellent memory of my neuroses, you might recall that I hate getting wet and think showers are an epic waste of time. I'm halfway to not showering every day! It's magical!
If you want to try, don't start going four days. Things will get tragic super fast. Start with every other day and let your hair get used to producing its own oils again. Then after a week or two, add another non-washing day to the rotation. And dry shampoo on your roots is your best friend amen.
4. Winona Ryder is only one year older than Gabrielle Union.
They're both beautiful, and they both look great (even though I hate that phrase because what's our baseline here and also who cares??). This has nothing to do with how old they look. But would ANY OF YOU have believed that they're only ONE YEAR APART? Maybe it's because Winona has been on our radar so long, and it feels like Gabrielle Union was playing a high school cheerleader in Bring It On just a few years ago. But, y'all... she was 28 when she was in that movie. For the LOVE.
The two have the same birthday, so when Popsugar filled my Instagram feed with both of their pictures and said Winona was 45 and Gabrielle was 44, I literally said out loud to no one, "Somebody's about to get fired for not fact-checking." Then I fact-checked it myself, and OHMYGOSH. My mind tends to be blown over decidedly unimportant things, but this was one of them.
5. Zappos is amazing.
Y'all probably know this, but I had never bought from them until this season. I wanted some Chucks, ordered the ones I thought I wanted, received them and didn't like the color in real life, returned them so easily to get the color I did like, got the new pair, wore them around for one day, had intense foot and leg pain because apparently my feet turned all Old Lady on me overnight and can't wear Chucks, contacted Zappos again to see if they'd take back the shoes even though I'd already worn them out, and they told me to GIVE THEM TO SOMEBODY WHO NEEDED SHOES THAT IT WAS COOL AND THEY DIDN'T CHARGE ME. I've heard that Zappos is known for their customer service, but I discovered that in spades. I heart Zappos forever and ever amen.
6. I'm hardcore Team Jess.
I wrote a Gilmore Guide for bingers, I rehashed all the things with Tsh on her podcast, and I watched the Gilmore Girls revival with low expectations and sky-high excitement. It did not disappoint, and even though it was slow in places and a little whatevs, Fall was SUCH A PAYOFF. I need a place to put all my feelings because oh my gosh. But what did I learn? I was already Team Jess, and now I'm the campaign manager to convince anyone who is otherwise. Team Jess 4EVAH.
7. Hamilton is one of the few things in life that lives up to the hype.
Lebron James. Seasonal Reese's peanut butter cups. Hamilton. End of list.
It took me months to take the time to listen, and I wasn't going to until I watched the documentary about the making of the show on PBS. I was hooked. Yes, you all were right. It's amazing.
P.S. My two favorite songs are "Wait For It" and "Right Hand Man." As you were.
8. Target has a beauty box.
Like Birchbox or Ipsy or the dozens of other subscription beauty boxes, Target has one! But it's not a subscription which is nice since you don't have to commit, but it also sells out quickly so it's easy to miss. But they list the items so you can decide if you want it before you buy, and all the items can be purchased at Target! One of my least favorite things about Birchbox et cetera is that I fall in love with products that cost a million dollars and have to stop using what I love or become very poor. This way, if I like something, I know it won't put me in debt since Target it full of reasonably priced Regular Person items. Yessssss.
9. Stickers make my Bullet Journal happy.
I'm the biggest cheerleader for a simple Bullet Journal. (My BuJo guide is my most popular post by a mile, so if you've ever wanted to get a taste, check it out here.) So many journals are decorated and hand-lettered to the nines, but that's not my skill set. But it's fun when things look at least a little pretty.
Enter stickers! I found these simple letter stickers, and they make everything more beautiful without taking an hour. They've made my process so much better, and I love logging my life even more. If you're not artistic but still want the tiniest bit of flair, stickers are the way to go.
10. My Lily Jade bag continues to be worth every penny.
I started using this bag in the spring, but it's had its greatest test this fall with two kids in school and one always on my hip/chest. I wrote about the bag here, and if you think your life could change because of a purse (high claim, but it's true), I'm hosting a Lily Jade giveaway on Instagram until December 4th. Go enter!
11. Cookbooks on the Kindle are awesome.
It makes no sense in my analog brain to have a cookbook where I can't flip the pages. Still, I bought How to Cook Everything Fast (one of my favorite dinner books) on Kindle when it was on sale for two bucks, and I'm obsessed with digital cookbooks now. Kindle allows you to highlight passages in multiple colors, so I "flip through" a book and highlight the recipes in different colors based on what they're for, i.e. blue is family meals, yellow is party foods, pink is for holidays, etc. I can search within each color and by ingredient, and I can make notes on the highlighted recipes we've tried. It's my new favorite way to consume recipes. Give me all the Kindle cookbooks.
12. Christmas music is magical.
This feels like more of a winter thing to learn, but when listening to Christmas music became legal last week, I was transported again - like I am every year - by how awesome the options are. There are Christmas albums for every musical taste under the sun, and I've had All the Emotions in just a few days of listening to my favorites. And I'm always up for new suggestions, so throw them in the comments if you have a can't-miss Christmas album!
And if you want a detailed roundup of my top 20 favorite Christmas albums (many of which are vastly under the radar), enter your email below, and I'll send you the list. It's categorized by what you're doing when you listen because, come on, we can't wash dishes in December without a Washing Dishes in December playlist.