What I Learned This Winter
1. I don't like audiobooks.
I know you're about to fire off that one audiobook that will change my mind, and I'm pretty sure I already tried listening to it. If Rosamund Pike reading one of my favorites Pride and Prejudice can't do it, nothing can. Even sped up, it's too slow. I'll listen to podcasts with my ears and read books with my eyes. If I'm ever on a long road trip, I'll reconsider.
2. Oliver Hudson is Kate Hudson's brother.
No idea. Like, no idea.
Also I stopped watching Nashville a couple of seasons ago, but I want to extend my kindest thoughts and prayers to you fans at this difficult time.
3. You can delete a bunch of photos from your phone with a single drag of your finger.
My son is either a budding photographer or has a tic because my phone is often filled with hundreds of shots of the same train. I used to open my photo app, hit select, and then individually tap each photo I needed to delete. No more, my friends. You can drag your finger and across and down the photos to select them all at once, and if there's a random one you want to keep, just unselect it before deleting the bunch. Phone tricks are so fun to discover, even if I'm the last one who knows.
4. Spinach is better in smoothies than in salads.
During the month of January, I committed to having one green smoothie a day. No dieting or crazy exercise plans because ew, but after hanging out at Simple Green Smoothies for awhile, I realized that their approach is so lovely and Lazy Genius. You don't have to be a genius about dieting; just have one green smoothie a day. That's it. And doggoneit if January wasn't one of my best months in recent memory. I felt great, had that allusive energy that health nut moms talk about, and because I committed to one a day, if I made it to the end of the day without having had one, sometimes it'd be a sweet treat at night. Shockingly, it was lovely. The recipe formula is simple, they're super sweet and easy to drink (especially with a Vitamix or high-powered blender), and I'm getting vegetables without having to cook them.
This is their master recipe formula; give it a try, and let me know how it goes!
5. ... except when there's goat cheese.
Spinach salads feel grimy, right? But I had all this spinach in my house from the green smoothie experiment, so I started having salads at lunch like a real grownup. Umm, goat cheese is the Beyonce of cheeses. My favorite salad is spinach, ALL THE GOAT CHEESE, roasted beets, walnuts, grilled chicken, and a balsamic dressing. It's magical, and I feel like I should wear high heels after.
(I do not wear high heels after. High heels are scary, and my husband is only three inches taller than I am. #flatlife)
6. Fixing my lunch matters.
The days I had my salad waiting for me in the fridge were my favorite days. I have such a small lunch window because of the whole Tiny Baby situation, so I rarely have time to fix something yummy and also eat it. It's one or the other... except when I fix my lunch in the morning or the night before when I'm fixing everyone else's. It's my new normal because it's so worth it.
7. I can't exercise without music.
I barely exercise at all, but I realize I jump higher and hit harder if Bruno Mars is thumping in my ears. I recently had to stop going to my beloved kickboxing class, so I'm relying on music to keep me moving at home. I made a playlist on Spotify and upgraded to Premium because I only want what I want quit giving me stupid songs I didn't ask for, Spotify!
And in case you were wondering, I stopped going to kickboxing because the class times keep me from either family dinner or reading Harry Potter to my son before bed. Missing either isn't fun in the long run and made me a little sad, so we'll save kickboxing for a later time in my life. Sad face. But also family face.
8. Easy food is life-changing.
I can't get over how many of you made the Change Your Life Chicken. Almost 100 of you contacted me in some form to say you made it (sometimes more than once!), loved it, and have added it into your meal rotation. That. Makes. Me. So. Happy. And inspired... I'm going to totally give you guys more meal ideas like that. Seeing you so happy makes me feel like Oprah giving everyone a chicken.
9. Aldi sells delightful chocolate.
German chocolate is a real thing, and Aldi really carries it... for cheap. The dark chocolate mint bars have been my savior in these dairy-free days. They're smooth, individually wrapped like a chocolate present, and the perfect end to the day. Or the middle of the day. Or anything.
10. Getting ice cream in the mail is the best kind of mail.
Jeni's had a flash sale last week, and a friend and I shared the shipping and bought some. When that box hit my front porch, I giggled. I'd like to giggle like that again some day soon. But Jeni's ice cream cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, and every flavor I've ever made has been phenomenal. And the method is super easy! No eggs! It's magic. If you love ice cream and have any interest in trying your hand at making it, this book is the only one you need.
Interested in seeing what a whole mess of other people learned? Head over to the always lovely Emily P. Freeman's space to see everyone else's lists.