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15 Smart and Funny Tips for Life

15 Funny Tips for an Easier Life

Do you have any advice for how to make the day a little easier — even a little better? Here are 15 teeny tips for big impact, pulled from our archives…

1. Entertain without losing your mind. “Two things to do before you have people over: 1) Make sure the powder room’s trash can is empty. 2) Shove all clutter and paperwork in a closet or in the basement or in the bathtub without organizing or putting a single thing in its proper place. Seriously! Busy, happy houses are messy!” — Jenny

2. Apply a real-life Instagram filter. “You know when you do your makeup for a night out and you’re like, something is just NOT working here? Whenever that happens I know I need an extra smidge of a glowy (not glittery!) luminizer. Just smudge it on your fingertips and tap your fingers lightly above your eyebrow arch, on your temple down to the very top of your cheekbones, and on your cupids bow. Job done.” — Gemma

3. Repeat after me: Your spouse is not the enemy. “A very useful phrase to repeat whenever you start to ask why your baby is doing something confusing and unpredictable: ‘Babies be babies.’ (I think I’ll put this on a needlepoint pillow if I have another child.) And a very useful phrase to repeat when you find yourself turning to your spouse blamefully: Your spouse is not the enemy. The baby is the enemy.” — Emily

4. Give yourself a break. “It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.” – Anonymous

5. Don’t forget the relish. “Add a thin layer of sweet relish into a grilled cheese while it’s still hot. Most people swear by mustard, but relish is the business. The smell conjures up a grilled cheeseburger with a pickle on the side, and the tangy vinegar of the relish helps to balance all that rich, ooey-gooey cheese and butter. Try this trick with other sandwiches, too: turkey and Swiss, a croque-monsieur, Brie and ham, a meatball sub, tuna salad, and so on.” — Posie

6. Wear socks on the plane. “I swear by compression socks if I’ll be in the air for more than four hours. I discovered them when I had to fly to my brother’s wedding late into my second pregnancy — I didn’t wear them, and by the time I got to my destination, my legs had swelled to twice their normal size! It was so uncomfortable. My doctor suggested I pick up a pair of compression socks and wear them on the red-eye flight home, and I could not believe what a difference it made. I had zero swelling but also tons of energy! I didn’t even feel like I needed a nap after flying all night.” — Kendra

7. Trick your mind into sleeping. “My dad, who is a champion sleeper, once taught me a great trick: Pretend that you’re going to fall through the bed. It makes you realize how tensed up your body is and helps you relax.” — Joanna

8. Ask other moms when you forgot the sunblock on the sunniest day of the year. “I’ve been endlessly humbled how generous moms will be to other moms if asked nicely. Motherhood is a powerful shared experience. I was recently traveling alone with my son, overwhelmed, carrying a 50lb toddler on my shoulders and two heavy bags. Just when I was at the edge of my endurance, a mom came up to me and said, ‘How can I help.’ I almost burst into tears and handed her one of the bags. Even if you’re having an off day, some mother somewhere remembered to pack the snack, the water and the wipes.” — Abby

9. Love yourself now, not just later. “Now, when I look back at photos, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I was so pretty in that picture, what was I thinking?’ I think a lot of people feel like that in retrospect. Everyone has something wonderful about them, and it’s a shame not to realize that. Later, when you’re 64, you look back and think, ‘Wow, I was such a dynamic person and so kind, and that was so attractive.'” — Jean

10. Don’t sweat the details. “Here’s the thing with dating: They either like you, or they don’t, so just be yourself.” — Lucy

11. Wear the shoes you really like. “If you dab some chapstick on the back of your heels (or wherever you usually get blisters from shoes), it forms a shield, reducing friction altogether. There’s a Foot Anti-Blister Balm available, but I’ve found that a tube of Burt’s Bees works wonders and lasts for hours.” – Stella

12. Travel with a uniform. “I was a totally haphazard, stuff-a-million-things-into-a-bag-at-the-last-minute kind of packer, but now I like to leave head space for enjoying the adventure. So, for trips, everything I pack is navy blue. I have two pairs of pants, a skirt and cotton shirt — ALL navy blue. Monochromatic dressing is an easy way to be both comfortable and pulled together.” — Brooke

13. Switch your hair part up. “People part their hair on auto-pilot, but if you’ve been doing it the same way for years, changing your part can update your whole look. Round faces benefit from a style that elongates the face, so try a middle part. Squarer faces, or women with strong jaw lines, look great with a deep side part, which softens their angles. And anyone lucky enough to have an oval face can experiment with either part.” — Vanessa

14. Solve the annoyances you’ve been putting off. “Invest in a good, easy-to-empty bin for your kitchen. A bad bin makes life difficult at least three times a week. And life is too short to be muttering and spluttering to yourself in anger three times a week.” — Dolly

15. Remember, everyone is human. “The realization that something genuinely awful could happen to me, that it could happen to anyone, was the most humbling part of my cancer diagnosis: I’m not the exception to the rule that bad things happen. The silver lining was how it made me feel connected to people around me. Once you let your guard down, you start noticing humility everywhere. I felt like I figured out the secret to the universe: everyone is trying so hard to keep it together. Suddenly, I felt tremendous compassion. That became an entry point into discovering how fragile and beautiful everyone’s life is.” — Kate

We’re taking this next week off from posting, as some of us will be traveling and some will be working ahead on posts like beauty uniforms, personal essays and, of course, Motherhood Around the World. We’re excited to resume posting on Tuesday, September 4th. Thank you so much, as always, for being here.

(Illustration by Kate Pugsley.)

  1. Lisa G says...

    Before I go to sleep at night, I always mentally list three things I was grateful for in the day. It can be the smallest thing or most random detail ( enjoying my morning tea, wearing a nice outfit, hearing my favourite song on the radio). After doing this practice, I learned not to sweat the small stuff, be more present in my life, and that “there’s always something good in everyday”. It really helps cultivate more gratitude in your life and a positive, healthier mindset.

  2. Katie says...

    A little thing that changed my life? I quit looking for parking. I just take the first spot in the vicinity, pretty much. I grew up walking a half mile to/from the bus stop, so that’s my measure. Is it within a half mile? That’s a 7 minute walk. I can handle that.

  3. Marta says...

    YOU are ALL wonderfull…

  4. Renz says...

    Wow

  5. Nicole says...

    By the way, it isn’t just Moms who will help. I am not a Mother but I try to lend a hand when I can. I’ve helped carry strollers up or down stairs and helped move heavy grocery bags on the bus. While waiting in the TSA pre-check line for an early morning flight earlier this year a young mother in front of me struggled to get her stroller collapsed and up on the belt while a line of passengers waited behind her. I rushed ahead and said “how can I help?” as soon as I did a man stepped forward also “I’m a Dad, let me help”- she thrust the baby into my arms (which surprised me) and she and the Dad collapsed the stroller, got it on the belt, and I handed the baby back to her to go through the scanner. He and I helped her get the stroller back up (under less pressure) on the other side. She was young and clearly overwhelmed (I mean I’m a stranger and she had me hold her baby) but she was so grateful. And I got to hold an adorable smiley sweet smelling baby first thing in the morning. I’m glad that I broadcast helpful Auntie vibes.

  6. The tip that truly resonated with me was love yourself now and not later. As a college student I think that one is truly important. At school it is easy to forget to love yourself, whether it be social pressures or just lack of time. It is important to focus on yourself at times and not wait till you’re out of school.

  7. Clare says...

    Such a wonderful post, so chockful of lovely tips.

    No. 4 really resonates with me. I agree, it can be difficult to remember that we are more than the image staring back at us in the mirror. I’m a painter by profession, and years ago I had the impulse to tape a particular photo up on my studio wall. It is me at about six years old, sitting on a couch with my mom, my grandmother and my great grandmother. I have such a look of quiet joy on my young face. No posing, no broad camera grin … just a sweet, unselfconscious sparkle that reminds me of who I am at my very best. Unquestionably loved, and loving … and surrounded by the amazing women who gave me that gift.

  8. Breanne says...

    Thank you for this post full of little wisdoms.

  9. CJ says...

    #3 is so true. Babies be Babies! Anyone know where to get a Babies Be Babies cross-stitch? I have a baby shower coming up this fall and this would be a perfect gift. Way more helpful long term than a pack of onesies. I didn’t see anything on Etsy.

  10. Marie says...

    1. Leave a lint roller next to the toilet.
    2. When you’re doing your business, roll the lint roller on the floor around the toilet.
    3. Say goodbye forever to a hairy bathroom floor.

    [Mic drop, moonwalk exit.]

    • Em says...

      Oh my gosh, this is so gross, and so needed. It’s like you saw into my bathroom this morning. Thank you!

    • Ro says...

      I have really long hair and my boyfriend is just about the hairiest dude on the planet, so our bathroom floor constantly looks like a shag rug. A lint roller sounds like a good solution :)

    • Anna says...

      Lol love it!

  11. Loesie says...

    Re:trash cans, I store new clean trash bags underneath the bag being used, in the trash can. Makes taking out and changing the bags so much easier!

    I quit drinking soda on a regular basis about 10 years ago. Now I only drink tea, juice or lemonade without bubbles (and coconut milk 😊). This decision has saved me sooooooo many stomachaches! No drinks with bubbles for me!

    I almost never wear make up.
    I think that’s a personal decision for everyone; for me it just doesn’t work.
    I don’t have the time for it in the morning and I don’t feel the need to create time for it either. I like the way I am without makeup just fine.
    I do, however, put on either Burt’s Bees or a subtle lip gloss every day. Fancy enough for me. But again, that’s everyone’s own personal decision.

    • Sasha L says...

      Loesie, you ARE fine without makeup ❤️
      Me too. $$ and time to be spent on things more meaningful to me, like vacation and sleep specifically. It’s an outward expression of my inner goal to just be myself and be ok with that. Gretchen Rubin has the wonderful life rule Be Gretchen, just a mantra to remind ourselves that we are unique and lovely and enough and what works for others doesn’t have to be for us. No makeup is a simple way I can just be myself.

  12. AC says...

    This may not be novel, but my cleaning motto is “centralize the mess!” I move EVERYTHING that needs to be put away to the dining room table then take items to their destination from there so I’m only making one trip to the bathroom, kids room, etc. An added perk is that my house feels instantly cleaner when the mess is only in one place!

    • Esvee says...

      This is brilliant!

    • Bren says...

      YES! I do this too! The dining room table is the catch all for everything!

    • Heather says...

      This is brilliant! I do something similar but with LAUNDRY! I take the clean clothes into my bedroom to fold them, on my bed, so that they HAVE to go away into the drawers/closet. No more stacks on (or just left in) the dryer, nor in the laundry basket!

  13. JB says...

    Hehehe I went travelling round-the-world for a year at 22 and every day i legit wore a black tshirt and jeans/jeanshorts NON STOP. (I had 4-5 of the same t-shirts that I kept washing btw….and a limited no of dresses for going out at night). It is funny looking back at the photos….black shirt at machu picchu, black shirt at taj mahal, black shirt at siem reap etc. But now, 10 years later whenever I see those photos of me in that trusty uniform I’m transported to THAT year and THAT experience immediately and it always makes me smile.
    …Oh and it saved a heap of room in my backpack!!

    • lo says...

      love the uniform idea!
      Alice Gregory had a post on J.Crew’s blog all about the that idea, but that post seems to have vanished :(

    • Lisa says...

      Lol, I had a similar experience when traveling – I had 2 outfits for “going out” and one of them was a dress I had never worn (bad, bad decision) so I ended up wearing the same dress on every party/dinner that requires something more fancy than the usual backpacker outfit. Travelled with a friend who did the same, so every party picture of us looks to be taken the same night. I was several nights during 8 months..

  14. I LOVE this post. So many wonderful things to keep in mind to enjoy life more. I like the one about falling asleep. Sometimes my mind runs a million directions at night and I know I’m tense when I lay down. Will have to try! :)

  15. Nade says...

    The picture to this piece is so cute! Please more

  16. Alex says...

    It’s a beautiful post. It was a pleasure to read it first thing in the morning.

  17. Jennie says...

    I like to keep very calm, but like everyone I do have the “OMG what am I going to do about THIS!?!?!” moments at work when a large problem rears it’s screaming monster-head. When that happened the other day, I took a deep breath and said in my head, “You know, you have all the tools necessary to solve this problem. You have options.” Then I started seeing solutions, scenarios, people I could talk to to get advice. It got me out of that frozen, oh !(#( state.

  18. Kalli says...

    Hey, that’s my exact trash can. I do love it. Closes silently and contains smelly food scents well.

  19. Amy says...

    Fantastic comments from everyone! For me 2 things are key (though you’ve all added loads to my list):
    1. Show up. Strong relationships are based on being there. Special occasions, cups of coffee, helping people move. Whatever it is, be there for when the memories are made. I was the polar opposite of this in my youth (social anxiety, low self-esteem etc) but one day I realised it wasn’t about me necessarily having a good time (though obviously there are times where it’s best to put yourself first and that’s up to everyone to decide for themselves) just about showing people I cared. That I wanted to be part of their life and wanted them in mine. It slowly got easier and now I’m the one who, when we all want to sit on the couch and eat Cheetos, reminds everyone how fun it’ll be when we get there!

    2. If you do show up, be all in. I spent too much of my 20s wanting to be elsewhere and I might as well have been. Now if I’m going to a party/work/hobbies/ whatever I am there and not thinking about where else I’d rather be. Life is everything you do and you can learn from every situation and every person. If I’m hanging out with my nieces and nephews I want to be crawling on the floor making elephant noises, not waiting for a WhatsApp. I want to give people my full attention and not for one second have them think there’s someone I’d rather be with.

    • Judy says...

      I love this – it really resonates with me. Also I’m having difficulty with a friend who never ‘shows up’… this reaffirms my belief that, even if it’s difficult, sometimes you just have to.

    • Monica B. says...

      Amy, I love your “keys”! You just gave me valuable insight – I see clearly why I’ve felt like a misfit – I am that one. And I too faced that wanting to be somewhere else other than where I was in the moment! What a wonderful friend you are! Thank you for the gift of clarity!

    • Samantha says...

      Thank you so much for this! I have been battling with social anxiety lately and you’ve helped me look at things in a different way. Much love.

    • Claire says...

      So so good! I am going to share this with my 17 year old son, who is a senior in high school. Thank you, Amy!

    • CS says...

      Wow – Thank you for this. I am actually goimg to copy it down so I can remember it.

    • M says...

      Amy, this is great!! Gold really, cause I didnt realise how true this is untill you wrote it down.
      So true that once you are somewhere, stop thinking about where else you could be/want to be. I am thinking about all the times i was at a dinner/party/any kind of other social thing wishing to be somewhere else while there are actually always interesting people present.
      Thanks!

  20. Natalie says...

    Three ideas that I have been studying the past two years and helped me live in a way that feels freeing:

    1: viewing my menstrual cycle as something that takes me through all four seasons every month! Day one is the first day of bleeding and represents winter when we need warmth, rest and nourishment, the day you stop bleeding is the spring which brings new hope and optimism, around day 14 is the inner summer when the world is in full blossom and we crave connection, and get sh*t done:) and finally the premenstrual week is the inner autumn, a time of truth telling, purging, prioritizing. Life changing! I am trying to learn how to work with my cycle (see Claire Baker’s work for more:)

    2: as a mother I can strive for a flexible family rhythm with my children based on the seasons as well. All our routines or rhythms center around meal times and sleep so that they and I know what to expect each day (see wholefamilyrhythms for more)

    3: embracing intuitive eating and a health at every size approach to movement and cooking

    Together these approaches help me feel more in tune with my body and my true desires

    • Amanda says...

      I do these exact same things too! It’s so reassuring to know that someone else goes with the rhythm of their cycles too. 😊

    • Rebecca says...

      You’re speaking my love languages!!!! All those points are exactly what I’m focusing on right now too. Hope you’re enjoying the journey as much as i am. x

  21. Flo says...

    I am at a very sensitive point in my life right now, so all these phrases brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for letting us see how simple and good things really are.
    Can’t wait for the next posts!

    Love from Chile.

    • Claire says...

      Peace and wellness to you, Flo!

  22. Courtney says...

    My tip is that we run the dishwasher every night. Even if it’s half full. Even if there are 10 things in it. We will need that dirty sippy cup or whatever it is tomorrow. It seemed wasteful at first but our water bill didn’t change. Every morning, I empty it and then that way, when I get home from work to make dinner, I have an empty dishwasher and no dishes. Also, there isn’t this stuffing-the-dishwasher-to-try-to-fit-everything game and then when the dishwasher is running, having dishes pile in the sink. It stopped the cycle.

    • Ivy says...

      I do this too! Makes life just a smidge easier.

    • Emma Bee says...

      This right here is the key for us! Our whole day falls apart if we don’t start the day with an empty dishwasher.

    • Stephanie says...

      Yes!

    • Bren says...

      YES! We figured this out once we had our second child and there is no more yelling across the house, “ARE THE DISHES CLEAN OR DIRTY?” because we always know based on the time of day! It really is life changing haha.

  23. dana says...

    can anyone recommend any other favorite blogs, aside from this lovely one? i’m a loyal COJ reader and i get antsy when they take vacations or don’t post as frequently as I require (kidding, kind of). i think i need to branch out. i’m bored over here!! thanks!

    • Megan Lec says...

      It’s very different, but I love Style By Emily Henderson. It’s mostly an interior design blog, but I love her voice and she is relatable in a Joanna kind of way. They are on a semi break, but you can stretch through the archives until Jo is back :)

    • Sasha L says...

      I like Molly Yeh, design sponge, Joy the Baker, reading my tea leaves. Would love to see others’ suggestions too!

    • Rhonda P. says...

      Love Taza! In fact, I always wish Jo and Naomi would do some sort of collab. Their audiences (and overall vision) seem miles apart, but I’d love to see what a partnership would look like.

      I always think it’s funny that they both inhabit the same city, because their content is so different. Oh, well! The world is big :)

      I also like Oh Happy Day (although, the content is sparse lately), DesignLoveFest, DesignSponge, and….the Strategist!!! OMG that last one isn’t a blog, but I LOVE IT.

    • Louisa says...

      How funny – I also love Style by Emily Henderson and cannot figure out why. I read it every day – I’m not at all into design, her life is pretty unrelatable, etc., but here I am, watching her design her mountain cabin and her Portland flip, obsessed with tile choice and her fireplace surround. ?!

    • Claire says...

      Thanks for asking this question. I love seeing what others suggest. I look at a couple cooking blogs – Alexandra Cooks and Smitten Kitchen, and occasionally I read Dooce. The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) is wonderful, very funny and real, and sometimes the comments from her readers are hilarious too. I sometimes also read the On Being blog (Krista Tippett).

    • Erin says...

      I adore Go Fug Yourself. And I wish someone would write a new version of The Toast — I miss it so much!

    • Stephanie says...

      The Spoiled Home Instagram feed. They have a blog too but their stories on Instagram always always make me smile. Two beautiful women run it.

    • emma says...

      Lol, I’m an Emily fan too… but haven’t been reading it as religiously lately… I know she made some changes and isn’t quite as involved and I’m finding it less interesting (either that or I’m not actively designing my house atm the way I was last year). HOWEVER, she is also on break this week! NOOOO!
      When I lived a more corporate life, I enjoyed corporette as well, but haven’t been following it as closely either.

    • Em says...

      I need other reading material, too! I hate to admit to my “Bachelor”/”Bachelorette”/”Bachelor in Paradise” addiction, but Lincee Ray’s recaps at I Hate Green Beans make my Tuesdays!

    • Yulia says...

      There’s a wonderful blog called “Small Things,” written by a lovely, charming woman named Ginny. She has a ton of kids, home schools, posts frequently, has great photos, and she keeps it real. Our lives couldn’t be more different but I find her inspiring.

      https://www.gsheller.com

    • Bethany says...

      Reading My Tea Leaves, Chris Loves Julia, Yellow Brick Home…

  24. This is the kind of stuff I come here for. <3

  25. Lauren E. says...

    Why did #4 make me totally break down in tears? For some reason my husband has been KILLING it with the one liners lately and last night as I was crying with screaming laughter I thought, “I must look insane right now” and he said, “You’re so pretty.” And I kinda thought, Wow, maybe this is me at my prettiest. When he’s made me really really really happy. It’s a powerful thought.

  26. Sasha L says...

    Work on being beautiful. Every day. On the inside.

    If we spent as much time worrying about kindness, work ethic, character, as we do shiny hair, cute tops, the right shoes…… When you feel beautiful on the inside all of that outside stuff just matters a lot less.

  27. Becky says...

    We are pretty clean as it is but before any trip we do a deep clean of our tiny house. Clutter properly put away. Clean bathroom. Clean kitchen. Empty the fridge, purchase something easy to make for a late arrival home (pasta or something frozen). Vacuum. And do all laundry. We break it up over the 7 days prior to our trip. When we come home we are so glad to be there!

    • CB says...

      I am obsessed with cleaning before any trip but I love the way you break it down by the days leading up to it! Instead of the last 4 hours before bedtime the night before…

    • Sasha L says...

      Same. It’s horrible to come home to messes and a joy to walk into a tidy house.

    • Alexandra says...

      Yes! This year for the first time, I had the cleaning lady come on the morning of our return from vacation, and it was so refreshing to come home to a clean place with freshly changed sheets (normally I do this myself, but I asked her to do it). Extended the vacation until the loads of laundry after vacation were ready to be folded and put away …

    • Meg says...

      My mother used to start in the back of the house and lock us out of every room as she went – fresh sheets, mopped floors, the works! On the night before a trip we’d be down to one bathroom and the living room. We would all sleep in sleeping bags in the family room and before we left we’d just roll up our bags and she’d follow us with the vacuum on our way out. HAHA! It sounds so insane to say that now but as a kid it actually made the build up to a trip kind of fun (family sleep over!) and it was so glorious to come home to our spotless welcoming nest.

  28. Lauren says...

    I recently asked several mom’s for sunscreen after forgetting to pack any for my daughter. A few moms didn’t have any but it was ultimately easy to ask and have them say no (or, “I forgot it too!!”). I finally found two moms who had some and it was great – we sunscreened our daughter, and I chatted with a bunch of moms and just generally felt a part of a large group of moms trying to keep it together and happy to help another mom out!! !

  29. J says...

    I like this list! But I did want to note —I like all face shapes. It seems so odd to me to “rank” face shapes. Like “those lucky people with oval faces.” What? Why? Who’s rules are you playing by? Sounds like you’re worshipping some made up beauty standards to me.

    I kind of object to beauty tips that are all about making you look *different* from how you look. I have a very strong, angular face — and I’m cool with it. I don’t need to “soften” it. I once got hit on by a guy at a bar who said “You have a great jaw line.” Hahaha. Will never forget that bc hey, he was right. It was definitely a custom-made pick up line. :)

    • K says...

      I might be misunderstanding it, but I thought oval-faced people were referred to as “lucky” simply because any hair part (side or center) suits their face shape :-)

      Having read your comment though, I now see it from your perspective as well… Ah well. In the spirit of what you said – all faces are good faces, and people should part their hair however they please!

    • Sadie says...

      Love this. I have a strong pear shape and all the tips or pear-shaped dressing are for “camouflaging” or “balancing” my lower body. One day I saw someone who was just owning her wide hips and thighs and I thought she looked amazing, and thought, “this is bullshit.” In the immortal words of Lesley Kinzel, “if you think I am going to waste one second […] worrying about whether the colorblocking on my suit is going to trick people into believing I’m shaped like Gisele Bundchen, then think again.”

      I wish beauty writers would think harder about the language they use. Give tips, make observations– don’t diagnose “mistakes.” I am sure the word “mistake” is a great click-driver, but it’s also, you know… poison.

  30. Katherine says...

    I adore relish on grilled cheese! I read the original article when I was living in London and in my final weeks of my 3rd trimester. There was a phenomenal sourdough bakery and cheesemonger on the local high street, and I made it my mission to walk for bread and cheese, as many times as possible before that baby arrived. It was the only time I’ve had relish grilled cheese sandwiches, but will add this back in next chance I get. Thanks for taking me back!

  31. M says...

    I have a tattoo with the Thai language word น้ำใจ or “nam jai” which translates into water from the heart and has a deep meaning for Thai people, something like being generous and kind without expecting anything in return. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how living in Asia has changed my views on trusting others to be kind without “having to”.
    On the train home yesterday there was a local woman with a toddler screaming his head off. She tried calming him down unsuccessfully until resorting to playing “the wheels on the bus” on her phone without headphones, I braced myself for people around us giving looks of disapproval but instead the crowd of local people started singing “the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round” in broken English the middle of a full train.
    That moment made my heart swell with gratefulness to be living and raising half Asian kids in a place where I truly believe people chose kindness over disregard.

    • Claire says...

      thanks for sharing this!

    • Rebekah says...

      This made me tear up. I have been that person on an airplane, fully exhausting myself trying to keep my child (that wasn’t even misbehaving!) quiet for 8 hours and making an obvious effort while still getting dirty looks. I wish everyone had this kind of compassion!

    • Hilde says...

      Ok I would probably start crying with relief if I was that mother! What an amazing trainload of people. I, too, have been that mom trying to keep my kid quiet and entertained on a long plane ride, and I’ve even been told by the flight attendant that maybe we should turn off the Puffin Rock episodes on the ipad in respect for my follow passengers, which I was playing at minimum volume lol. Personally, I’d rather listen to Puffin Rock than a screaming baby!

    • Adrienne says...

      This is awesome! Made me tear up! Thank you for sharing.

  32. Dana says...

    If you live with a busy person, take notes on your phone with questions you have for them as you think of it, then ask when is a good time during the week to have a quick meeting and go through the questions. Keeps me from bombarding my husband with questions while he is working or running from one thing to the next, and keeps me from getting frustrated that he’s rushing me or not focused on what I’m saying :p

    • Kamaile says...

      I love this idea. I agree that asking “is this a good time and if not let me know when is” works great in all my relationships. Along those same lines, my therapist shared with that when someone is sharing someone with you and not asking for your opinion to ask are you venting or do you want my feedback? Sometimes just listening is a gift but other times we do want to share. The key is does the other person want it? Maybe they are just working it out by talking to you.

  33. Sarah says...

    I’ve never commented on a blog before, but I wanted to say that I love your Motherhood Around the World Series. It is so beautifully written and is such a beautiful idea to share what humanity looks like in different places. I think the series is particularly brilliant because in a time where society is constantly trying to define “us” vs. “them”, the series shows that it can be “us” AND “them.” Different, but the same. All that is to say, keep up the wonderful writing – you ladies rock!

  34. Such simple advice that goes a long way. While I am not a mom yet, lots of these are still useful, as I work full-time, a new business with my husband and a blog keeps me plenty of busy.

    One Tip for packing. I always bring tights (for the plane, back-up PJs or pants) and a large scarf (blanket for a plane, beach blanket, scarf, or beach cover-up).

  35. Liz says...

    I am a nurse, and years ago on a particularly busy shift when I was beyond rattled, a colleague told me told me to go to coffee. As I protested, she promised to cover my patients and gave me the best piece of advice ever, “sometimes when you’re so busy, you think you will never get through, the best thing you can do is go to break.” I embrace that advice and even more joyfully pay it forward whenever I can.

    • Laura says...

      I love this! There is a definite culture of martyrdom among nurses where we get a twisted sense of pride from not taking a break. In an attempt to break this cycle I always tell new nurses, “if you can’t find 15 minutes in a 12 hour shift to take a quick break, you need to work on your time-management skills.” Your patients will survive, the work will get done, and everyone benefits from you taking a breather.

  36. Stephanie says...

    Numbers 4 and 8: wiping the tears from my cheeks.

  37. Hannah says...

    I’m not a fan of “the baby is the enemy”, even though I get the sentiment behind it. One of the BEST things I heard about parenting was from a friend who’s son was developmentally delayed. She told me that she secretly celebrated the “bad” things he did as a toddler, because even those were milestones! I think of this often as I have 4 boys. It puts so much in perspective, especially with babies and toddlers, and helps me roll with the punches better. “Even the bad things are milestones!”

    • Amy says...

      Agreed. The baby is just….the baby. I’m a fan of not demonizing your husband OR the baby.

    • Eliza says...

      I agree, although I do like the part that says “the husband is not the enemy!” and I need to use that part of mantra a lot more…when a diaper is being changed slower than I would do it or we miscommunicate what’s allowed or not allowed and then get frustrated with each other. We are on the same team!

    • Meg says...

      Your comment about your friend is true in the most lovely and heartbreaking way.

      My brother has autism and when my mother realized he had lied to her for the first time I remember her just bursting in to tears. Lying is a sign social awareness because it demonstrates your cognizance (and hopeful manipulation!) of what the other person will think. She was SO SO HAPPY and called my dad immediately to tell him the awesome news. Never was a mother ever so happy to be lied to :)

    • Simone says...

      Yes, agree.

  38. Elle says...

    I’ve started creating a list on Sunday evenings: three I’m grateful for, three intentions for the week, and three simple pleasures for the week. The pleasures are anything from a new recipe I’m excited to try, a book I’m reading, or the sunflowers that are blooming on my commute. I’ve found it’s a wonderful way to prep for the week ahead and gives me peace of mind.

    • Christina says...

      I love this!

    • Juyoung Shin says...

      I love your Sunday lists! I think I’m going to incorporate them into my Sunday journaling.

  39. Ann says...

    Same here. Reading before teaching a bunch of 5th graders, and I’ve got to get it together before they walk in the door. I’ve been nervous to get back into swimming, at 30, because of my thighs, but I am going to read this before stepping out there and teaching the swim team a thing or two about the butterfly.

    • Stephanie Frederickson says...

      Your 30 year old thighs are perfect. (Says the 45 year old.) get out there and swim! ❤️

  40. Molly says...

    We always say “babies gonna baby.” And for toddlers, “we do not negotiate with terrorists.”

    • Sarah says...

      Haha!

  41. Nina says...

    These were lovely, thank you. Have a happy week off! You’ll all be missed. xo

  42. Erica says...

    Helpful list! I’m a perfectionist, which can be paralyzing. So, one of my mantras is: Do it badly. It’s really worked to take the pressure off and just get things done. I don’t even remember where I learned that phrase, maybe on CoJ?! XO

    • Sarah says...

      Fellow perfectionist here, currently procrastinating the job search (what if I never find the “right one”?). This was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you! <3

    • Samantha says...

      I had been do anxious about starting working on my career (law) full time. What gives me hope is my bosses phrase “I don’t mind if you fail the first or the second time, as long as you learn from that and get it right”. It’s the best thing I’ve heard a boss say ever. It has helped with my anxiety, knowing that they won’t fire me over one mistake, and I can apply it to other situations in life. I mean, is it even realistic to expect to do everything righ the first time around? Of course not.

  43. Here’s my tip (for the older ladies; I know you’re out there). Have your eyelids changed slightly? Like now they’re lower or something weird. If you’ve sworn off eyeshadow like I did – Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion. Prime with that magic and anything you put on it will not budge. Also, Lisa Eldridge videos on Youtube. Yes, youngsters, this will happen to you too.

    • Leslie says...

      Ooh…I need this! Thank you!

  44. Rachel says...

    We serve only veggies during the hour right before dinner and IT’S SAVING MY SANITY. That way I don’t absentmindedly let the kids fill up on crackers while I’m cooking. Way less whining. And not only do they maintain a healthy appetite for the main course, they also eat and appreciate veggies more!

    • Leslie says...

      I want to try this!!

    • Caitlin says...

      My mom did this growing up and we loved it! It’s something I hope to continue with my baby as he grows up. We would snack on whatever raw veggies were hanging out in the fridge while we chatted and watched or helped her cook. Now we all love vegetables, and my family can still demolish a veggie tray with the best of them!

    • Bren says...

      Yes I do this too! It’s all about the options and the choice of “dip”. I’ll say, do you want peppers OR carrots ORRRRR cucumbers?!?! And do you want ranch ORRRR ketchup?! Sometimes they whine anyway but the other day they ate a ton of peppers and cucumbers and then I felt way less stressed about if they had a healthy dinner or not!

  45. Ali G says...

    On the cleaning thing – I’ve finally stopped killing myself to clean for other people. I will clean the house Friday so Hubs and I can enjoy it for the long weekend. But now a days when we have people over, I will just straighten up and sweep/vacuum the floors and that is it (well I’ll clean the toilets too). Having people over is messy! I can’t clean for them and after them – it’s too much.
    If someone is staying over, I will clean the guest room and the bathroom they use, but the rest of the house gets a superficial brush up.

  46. Amanda says...

    Re parts, I have a friend who loves to say “Change your part; change your life!” It really does make such a big difference.

    And my own tip for making life easier: about a year and a half ago, I made a rule that I will commit to a maximum of one social engagement per weekend. I’m very busy during the week with work, commute, and life stuff, that my weekends are my only real opportunity for the “fun stuff.” But cramming in too much just wound up being stressful. I still needed to do laundry and go to the grocery store and I was getting resentful of my plans taking away my opportunity to just relax and read a book or do my nails. Now it might be longer in between visits with friends, but I really enjoy that time AND I get to recharge in other ways. It’s not always 100% possible — weddings, birthdays, and friends from out of town are always worth squeezing in. But just having that rule and telling my friends about it made a huge difference.

  47. Claire says...

    Lately I am finding that my day is easier and nicer when I begin it by reading poetry first thing in the morning, before I look at or listen to anything else. It has made a striking difference in my perspective and outlook.

  48. Renee says...

    I’m not sure how accurate “They either like you, or they don’t, so just be yourself” is anymore. Yes, always be yourself, but this turn of phrase doesn’t really take ghosting into account. The reality is someone can like you, until they don’t anymore. Everyday there are people being ‘left on read’ when they were texting back and forth the day before. Sure the answer is they didn’t like you for you after all (and ultimately they aren’t the right person for you) but at some point they were interested. Anyway, if anyone is giving this advice to single women in their twenties, maybe just think twice.

    • Anu says...

      No, actually I think it’s the perfect advice to give women in their twenties. I would have saved so much time and mental anguish if I’d stopped worrying about guys ghosting me. Maybe they liked me in some superficial way, but the fact that they ghosted meant they didn’t care in the deep, real way that matters. When I met my future husband, it really was very simple. We both liked each other, we made it clear, there were no games.

    • Jackie Korey says...

      i disagree with this. if they ghosted you, they didn’t like you, plain and simple. you deserve better! I am in my mid twenties and dated a ton on apps. I was ghosted constantly. i once dated a guy for three months, we agreed to be exclusive and a week later he ghosted me. he just “didn’t like me enough”. let it be known I always questioned being myself around him i.e wasn’t myself.

      a few months after I met a guy. i was 100% myself around them. and he just liked me for me.

      point of this is it really is that simple- if they ghosted you these just didn’t like you enough to value you to begin with.

    • Claire says...

      I think the term “ghosting” is just a modern cyber version of a type of bad behavior that has been around forever. Even Jane Austen novels have a version of it – a friendship or romantic interest that seems promising until the louse turns cold and distant, or disappears completely. But no matter what you call it, it sucks and it hurts, and people who like and respect you don’t do it. (FWIW- I am nowhere near my twenties and I recently had a friend do this to me. She is no longer my friend and I am ok with that.)

    • Andreia says...

      This is exactly my case.
      Been waiting for this someone who’ve been so fun to be with today and then no calls or even text the next day. Not even a thank you for the food I brought him. 😔

    • Christine Schwalm Design says...

      One of the best pieces of dating advice I got was: “When he likes you, you’ll know. When he doesn’t, you’ll be confused.” Helped me tremendously. And I had to constantly remind myself when I got ghosted after what I thought was a perfectly lovely date that I shouldn’t take it too personally because the guy barely knew me!

    • Claire says...

      Oh, I just thought of something related to this topic. I have a friend who I thought was kind of ghosting me, because she quit responding to my text messages. I recently reconnected with her and as it turns out she had been dealing with breast cancer. So I guess you just don’t always know what the circumstances are. You can think it’s ghosting, but sometimes it’s completely different than that- life circumstances can derail text messaging as a form of meaningful communications. So from now on I will check in before drawing conclusions, or at least be willing to grant people some space and grace.

    • Renee says...

      Quite honestly laughing to myself that both of the women who think this is the perfect advice also mentioned their partners.

      “if they ghosted you these just didn’t like you enough to value you to begin with.” Obviously, but at the end of the day it’s impossible to tell this from the onset, which is why it stings so much when you actually liked someone.

      “Maybe they liked me in some superficial way, but the fact that they ghosted meant they didn’t care in the deep, real way that matters. ” OBVIOUSLY. So once again, “at the end of the day it’s impossible to tell this from the onset, which is why it stings so much when you actually liked someone. ”

      Being that you are both in relationships, you are both looking at ghosting in hindsight, which is 20/20. Single people are not, it’s actively happening to them. I do appreciate the commenter who offered, “when he likes you, you’ll know. When he doesn’t, you’ll be confused.” That’s much more helpful.

  49. Marissa says...

    Re: #1: Yes, to the trashcan, but no to the mess hiding. It feels like sweeping dirt under the rug.

    Being judged sucks, but I try not to feel ashamed of messes which I’ve been trying to nip in the bud by simply putting things back right away (easier when kids are older) and getting rid of excessive possessions. “Please excuse the mess” is honest and keeps it real, which works for me. I suppose it works best in casual situations and not if you’re hosting a big crowd. I’m okay with not having an instagram-ready home while entertaining, however much I admire them.

    • Hilde says...

      Also #1 just made me think of being in a bathroom with an empty trashcan, only to turn around and find a bunch of random stuff floating in the bathtub haha.

  50. Anna says...

    Similarly to “the Baby is the enemy” is my grandmother’s phrase “it’s hard being little” when ever there are tears or a difficult moment that phrase does wonders on understanding that yes. It is hard being little :)

    • Bethaney says...

      Ha! I say this to my new parents on their new baby not wanting to sleep or nurse or just being generally out of sorts, “It’s hard being born!”. And it is!

    • Amanda says...

      love this!

    • bron says...

      That is very wise and true. And prompts kindness and patience. Perfect!

  51. Johanna says...

    “Sometimes good enough is good enough” is how I grant myself grace.

    Plus, a pr of socks and a bottle of windex = a quick way to “mop” before guests. I run about the kitchen and spray the spots and sticky areas and then rub with my toes, then put on clean socks when done.

    • Claire says...

      As a related approach, I find telling myself something is “better than it was,” helps me move on from a task that doesn’t need all of my physical and mental energy.

    • Claire says...

      omg this is hilarious….such a picture in my head!

    • Trixie says...

      Seriously. This is my all-time favourite comment!! Solid gold advice on both counts!!!

    • Lana says...

      Johanna!!! You’re brilliant! Wish you were my neighbor! I’m going to use this one!

    • Emma says...

      This is THE best of the best advice!!

    • Dorza says...

      Microfiber cleaning slippers! They are the best.

  52. Marlena says...

    My mom tip – If in doubt, put your kid in water. Screaming child? Bathtime! Dirty child? Bathtime! Sad child? Bathtime! Angry child? Bathtime! Bathtime! Bathtime! Even if that “bath” is just the sink water running over their toes or the hose turned on in the yard, there is something about water that can take a child from 90 to 0 in just a few minutes. :)

    • Charlotte K says...

      I was that kid that screamed at the thought of water anywhere near me. Still NOT a fan (though I do shower regularly, and sometimes….I even enjoy it. But not every time)

    • Meg says...

      This!!!

      We say ‘just add water’ for our baby. Drink, splash, play, bath…we’re all about the water.

  53. Nicole says...

    YES to the kitchen bin! I think I read a post about making your life easier on this same blog and I remember just closing my laptop and leaving for the store to go get a trash can that would simplify my life. It really does help.
    Also, I always recommend getting a roomba. I know they’re very pricey (I had to save for months to get one!) but I no longer stress as much as I used to about dog hair and dust. I’m not proud of it, but I had at least two tantrums last year because I would spend the entire weekend cleaning and by Monday, the house looked like a mess! How does my guy still see me with the same eyes?, I will never understand.

    • andrea says...

      I loved our second hand Roomba. One of our cats did not and would throw toys in its path until it shut down. We eventually gave up when the motor burned out.

    • Sasha says...

      My birthday is coming up, and also my due date soon after. I flat out asked my husband for a roomba, since once the baby comes I don’t think we will vacuum for the next two years.

    • nadine says...

      Hahaha Andrea, i’m picturing the cat. He/She must be smart ;)

  54. Cynthia says...

    Had to laugh at #1. I did that while preparing for a large messy (lobster fundraiser) party. Unfortunately, I had to take my husband to the ER before the guests had finished eating. My daughter and guests cleaned up for me but had to call me to locate more empty trash bags since they had searched everywhere in the house with no luck.

    • Katherine says...

      Ha! I had a similar thing at my in laws. They were selling their house, had gone overseas to visit my sister in law and the house was being shown while they were away. We got to town to stay with them before they got back. They had packed things up so the house looked really beautiful but we couldn’t find anything!! The dish drainer was in the fridge, the iron was in the garage, we never ever found the clothes pegs…

  55. Mims says...

    Oh my goodness! Words matter, and the baby is not the enemy. I know it sounds funny to say, but repeating it might make you believe it on some sub conscious level. The poor baby is not the fault. My mantra for those days was a simple “this too shall pass”. it is very powerful.

    • Marissa says...

      Agreed!

    • Sarah F. says...

      Absolutely! Words are very powerful. “This too shall pass” has been my mantra all five years of motherhood! Love it… and it’s truth. Both the bad AND the beautiful will pass very quickly in the end…

    • Emily says...

      Yes! Or I love what a commenter said above of “It’s hard being little”

    • Amanda says...

      100 percent. A motto that I used (and still do with toddler and young child!) is that baby is not giving you a hard time. Baby is having a hard time. The empathy switch.

    • Becky says...

      There’s a little bit of humor in it. A baby comes in and totally turns your life upside down (but in a good way of course). I worked for a family once that didnt believe in negotiating with their kids (thank the Lord), their motto, “I dont negotiate with terrorists” 😂 just to clarify, these were very hands on parents. They love those kiddos.

    • Jenny L says...

      So agree with this! That phrase made me cringe. My best friend always said about her baby, “He has only been on this planet four months so he has a lot to figure out.” I always thought that was a humorous and insightful way to think about the frustrating stages a baby goes through.

    • Angela says...

      I see both sides to this! I will say when I was a first time mom deep in the pit of cluster feeding and sleeplessness, hearing, “this to shall pass” was really invalidating. I think that phrase becomes a lot more applicable once you are able to live though a few seasons for yourself!

    • Nicole Holman says...

      Agreed! That was the only rule on here that didn’t sit well with me. Like, people talk about wanting babies and tell me one day I’ll (obviously) want to have children but then I read things like that all the time! Which is it, do you love babies or not? Because there seems to be a lot of sentiments such as “the baby is the enemy” going around.

  56. Marlena says...

    #9 is something I have said for a long time, and it’s my go-to when any of my girlfriends start bashing themselves and need a check. It is a FACT that we will look back on photos of ourselves in 10, 20, 30 years and think ‘Wow! I was HOT.’ or ‘I looked so fresh and vibrant!’ So… if we are going to say it in the future, we might as well start saying it now!

    Also, #7… how does one become a Champion Sleeper, exactly? Is there a certification program or something because SIGN ME UP! I am so down to have people remember me in the future as a sleeping PRO.

  57. Emma says...

    #10 changed my whole attitude about dating when I read it here before! Gave me the guts to make what felt like bold moves when I met the person who is now my partner.

    On scheduling/planning — leave one day per week with no big plans, no meetings, no deadlines. Ideally two or three days and front load the week’s tasks so the “things that come up” don’t set you behind a week. Also, whenever possible, schedule meetings first thing in the morning. You have no excuse for a late start and can’t dwell on it all day.

    • Pru says...

      I agree. I keep Mondays completely free of anything personal so that I can get a grip on the week. Also, at work I won’t leave if I have more than 50 emails. A note on my desk says ‘complete yesterday before you start today’ and this helps keep me on track.

  58. Carrie says...

    My simple life mantra:

    If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it.
    -Chinese Proverb

    Don’t know why but that has always really resonated with me.

  59. Candice says...

    I completely relate to the idea of moms helping each other out. I had an incredibly tough delivery and had post partum preeclampsia, along with a temporary nerve damage in my left arm. Needless to say, I wasn’t quite myself in the weeks after giving birth—the weakest I had ever felt, with just one good arm, and struggling with breastfeeding while feeling sometimes like a failure for supplementing. I resolved to be nice to any mildly chubby and slow woman at the salsa bar from then on out because of a particularly heavy, impatient sigh I received at one of those while I painstakingly spooned salsa into TINY cups one-handed and in a complete daze. You just never know what’s happened to someone and your need to get salsa quickly doesn’t override the fact that they suffered a nightmare of a birth and wonder if they’ll ever be able to feed their child the way they planned. Or really anything else, honestly. It’s just salsa. There’s PLENTY.

    • Leslie says...

      This is the best. I hope you have fully recovered!

  60. Katie says...

    1. Pack a portable phone charger whenever you leave the house. Even if you charged your phone, someone else is always in need too.

    2. When you spot a couple taking a selfie, offer to take the photo for them. Takes about 20 seconds of your time and can really make their day!

    3. I read somewhere ‘stay humble, stay curious’ and it’s the best mantra I’ve found so far.

    • andrea says...

      I always offer to take full family photos. I like to think that I am putting Moms back into the family record, one matriarch at a time.

  61. Heather G says...

    “Even if you’re having an off day, some mother somewhere remembered to pack the snack, the water and the wipes.”

    Love this…we mamas have to help each other! And I’ve definitely been both the sharer and sharee of sunscreen…no one wants those little ones to get a sunburn.

  62. Liz says...

    1) For my professional life: ALWAYS – proofread one more time. Once you think you’re done and have proof read enough, then do your “one more time” read. Better yet, go for a walk, get a cup of coffee, and then do that “one more time” read. No reason to undermine your own credibility through small/silly errors. As a lawyer, it’s my job to not have those.

    2) For dog-mamas: Get one of those soft shell holders for poop bags that attached to the leash so you can keep it stocked and ready to go! Nothing worse than running around trying to find some dang poop bags while you’re dog is squealing because he needs to go out asap!

    3)If possible, try to squeeze in your work out during your lunch break! Frees up so much time and makes your afternoon feel so much more awake. Also, no one cares as much as you think they’d might if you’re a little sweaty when you get back.

    4) Always keep a couple of old (but clean) towels in your trunk, they will get used. Your dog decide to roll around in a pile o’ mud? You can towel ’em off and you can put a clean barrier between ’em and your clean(ish) car seat. Impromptu picnic? Sit on a towel! Get caught in the rain without an umbrella? Spill your morning coffee? A towel will help.

    • Nicole says...

      Yes to #1! I’m a neuropsychologist, with lots of lengthy reports. I know my writing well enough that it’s easy to miss typos–it all looks so familiar! Taking a break before editing gives me just enough space to see the silly stuff I might otherwise miss.

    • Hanna says...

      Always know where your towel is!

      These are all great tips. Thanks. :-)

    • Taking a break when proofreading is a great tip! The best tip I picked up as a writing major was to read your work backwards one sentence at a time. You’re much more likely to catch errors if you read a sentence out of context, because you know what you meant to say in context and your brain is likely to read what you meant instead of what you actually wrote.

    • Samantha says...

      I also read that changing the font to one you dislike will make it easier to spot mistakes :)

  63. michaela says...

    The travel uniform tip is great, and also it’s making me giggle at the idea of looking back at your vacation photos and seeing yourself in essentially the same outfit in every picture—like a cartoon character!

  64. Lee says...

    When you see a gift you know is perfect for some one add it to a Pintrest board (this way you have the link). Mine is called “Glorious gifts to give” and I add to it as things pop up. Some items are perfect for certain events (housewarming, new baby) and some for certain people.
    Now, when an occasion rolls around all I have to do is pull up that board and make the purchase! I always seems to stumble upon the perfect thing at the wrong time of year but this has saved me hours of trolling the internet for the perfect gift in a last minute frenzy!

    • Sasha says...

      I do this too! I keep a board called *gifts* and I pin things whenever I think of them, then when it’s a gift giving occasion I just scroll though. Otherwise I completely forget. I also keep a board for myself called *wishes*. Then when my dear husband asks what I’d like for my b day or mothers day etc, I just show him the board. It makes him so happy to know what I really want and relieved a lot of anxiety for him, and I can never think of a thing in the moment.

    • Molly K says...

      Yes, or even just a note in your phone. So when a moment of genius happens and you think of a gift idea for a specific person, you can write it down. It helps if you like to give thoughtful instead of generic gifts.

  65. Meg says...

    Emily’s comment on babies has stuck with me and come to mind so many times in those “who are these heathen children!?” moments. Thanks girl!

    Deciding I didn’t HAVE to fold laundry during a particularly difficult and stressful time changed by life. I made the decision to stop (guilt free!) for about 2 years and, go figure, no one died. It was the kindest thing I could have done for myself and I still employ the power of “purposeful underachieving” when necessary.

  66. Agnes says...

    These are so good. I loved no. 10 when I first read it here, and loved it again just now.

  67. Kathryn says...

    Store your riding boots with empty wine bottles inside (upside down) to help them keep their shape. I have muscular calves and I swear by this!

    • Kelly says...

      … and a great reason to empty a couple wine bottles, with friends! Thanks for sharing.

  68. Lora says...

    Oh, number four made me cry…

    • em says...

      me too. it was a nice reminder to be kind to yourself

  69. Sarah says...

    I was at the park on the first super sunny day of the spring and another mom came up and asked if I had any sunscreen. She told me that she figured out of any of the moms, I might have some since my kids are very fair! I had not yet stocked my stroller for the season, but that mom asked another mom and brought the tube she ended up finding back to me so I too could use it, too. Moms have each others’ backs!

  70. #4 got me crying at my desk. I had to pretend to sneeze to blow my nose very loudly without arising suspicion from my coworkers.

    • Same thing here! Reading this at work and trying to control tiny tears from my eyes LOL

  71. Abigail Ann Nittle says...

    PUH-LEASE do a beauty uniform profile on Claire Saffitz from Bon Appetit, my daughters and I love watching her cooking videos on YouTube and I think she has amazing style! (Also love her natural gray streaks, I am growing out my gray as well and she’s a huge inspiration in that area!)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      SHE IS AMAZING

    • Evelyn says...

      I saw her on the street a few weeks ago early in the morning (assume she lives in the neighborhood) and totally wanted to go up and fangirl. I held back, but barely.

    • Giulia says...

      Great idea!

    • Julie says...

      Love Claire so freakin’ much. All of her earrings!!

    • Sarah says...

      Yes please! I’m so sad she’s leaving Bon Appetit want to know more about her!

  72. Kay says...

    Half of the good life tips (Skin Food, meeting at the restaurant, slow parenting, etc.) I have, I picked up here at Cup of Jo. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you all deserve vacation and what not, but know my morning routine until September 4 will be less sparkly without you. Thanks for being a consistently awesome blog. And fellow readers, thanks for making this blog the one place where I enjoy, and don’t fear, reading the comments.

    • Em says...

      Hear, hear! xx

  73. Julie. says...

    These are great. I always chuckle when I read Jo’s tip about falling asleep. This does not work for me: “I’m going to fall through the bed?? Will I keep falling forever like one of those nightmares?” etc, it makes me tense up more. :P Taking a magnesium supplement has helped with my sleep as well as (mostly) giving up alcohol. Sleep is way better. Less 2:30 AM wake ups.

    • Kara says...

      100% agree on the alcohol tip! It makes me sleep so bad, and it’s just not worth the lost sleep these days.

  74. Mary says...

    Wow I needed these today. Thank you.

  75. JessicaD says...

    Re: #3 – it’s not just the baby, IT’S *ALL* OF THE KIDS! You + partner stick together! YOU ARE THE TEAM! THE KIDS ARE THE ENEMY! (Just kidding and don’t let them hear you, but this is what will keep you +partner from fighting, dissolve you both into laughter, and save your relationship!)

    • Kayla says...

      Yes!!

  76. Steph says...

    Work hard and be kind.

  77. Number 8 almost brought me to tears.

    When I know I have guests coming over, either for a party or a tour of my “Zero Waste” home, I burn sage or palo santo. No matter how messy my house may be, that transporting smell will be the first – and maybe only – thing my guests will notice and comment on. The ritual of burning the stick and walking around the house smudging it is also a perfect way for me to calm down and be grounded before the party.

  78. Caitlin says...

    #1 is my favorite! With a family of 6 we are usually the party and always seem to have people over. I typically run through the house with a hamper dumping everything I find in it. While going through my sons room yesterday I found one of these hampers. I donated/ threw everything in it away since I obviously hadn’t been missing any of the items for the last few months.

  79. Sara says...

    1) Keep an umbrella in the car.
    2) Each week, try to run a few errands on foot so you get vitamin D, fresh air, and exercise.
    3) For an easy salad: bagged lettuce, canned chickpeas or beans, whole cherry tomatoes, and bottled dressing. You can toss in whatever else you have on hand, like a hard-boiled egg, leftover grilled veggies, or olives.

  80. Yes to no. 9 and no. 15

  81. Love this post. To make my life easier – I listen to podcasts which have something I can learn from them – especially when I’m on the move travelling, I like learning and taking in new information, it makes life easier because I learn something new and I tend not to be as stressed out when I arrive at my destination!

    Rebecca

  82. Kate says...

    I remember reading that party-cleaning-empty-trashcan post when you first published it and I have done it ever since!! If we’re scrambling to get the house picked up because we’re hosting any size gathering, all I ask my husband to do is empty the trash, give the counters a quick wipe, and I feel good to go. I get so many good life tips from CoJ :)

  83. britt says...

    I don’t have a specific tip, but I’ve noticed that it makes life easier when, instead of putting something off, I think, “I need to be nice to future-me.” For example, making coffee the night before so all I have to do in the morning is push a button. It probably sounds silly (or really intuitive) but it helps in the moment!

    • Sally says...

      YES.
      I do a thing where if I really don’t feel like doing something, I tell myself “do it for future-me”. I’m all for doing MYSELF a favour! Then when I notice a few hours later that a thing has been done that was annoying me, I’m able to say “well done past-me!”
      Me, myself and I. We’re a team.

      #12 about packing a uniform is a trick I’ve got from here before, and I used it this summer for a week in Switzerland. I had four pairs of lightweight trousers and 5 plain coloured t-shirts. Despite what people think, you really DON’T need a fresh shirt for every single day. I mean, how dirty are you? I recycled a shirt for the two travelling days (hello air-con after all), and I was good to go!

    • m. says...

      I always pack lunch, lay out an outfit, and prep coffee for morning-me and yes, it absolutely changes the course of the day. Instead of running around crazy [and likely forgetting something causing MORE stress] my mornings are slower and more contemplative of the day to come.