26. 25 + 1. 21 + 5. 26.

…And here we are. In celebration of my 26 candles, here are 26 semi-useful things I’ve learned in my first 26 years on earth.

  1. If you have a random, last-minute, or otherwise unexpected opportunity to do something cool or crazy, you should probably take it.
  2. A hair straightener doubles as an iron in a pinch.
  3. Between coupon codes, promotions, markdowns, and negotiating, you should almost never pay full price for anything.
  4. Consciously putting your shoulders down physically makes you relax and de-stress in two seconds. We scrunch when we’re tense!
  5. Oversharing is unattractive. Don’t turn important parts of your life into entertainment for your acquaintances. Keep some things to yourself.
  6. Alum cures canker sores.
  7. Take lots of pictures, but don’t get so caught up in taking said pictures that you miss out on actually living your life.
  8. Designer jeans are notoriously stretchy, so if they feel just a LITTLE too tight in the dressing room, they’ll be perfect after you wear them for a few hours IRL.
  9. Really think before dying your hair any shade of red, because getting red dye OUT of your hair is a lengthy, expensive, and/or potentially damaging process.
  10. The best pet stain/odor removing products aren’t the heavy-duty chemical cleaning ones, but the ones that contain natural enzymes.
  11. Work for free? Yeah…I don’t do that anymore.
  12. It’s never a bad idea to make a list of things that make you laugh. I have two mini-notebooks for this purpose–one filled with inside jokes/shared experiences that one of my best friends and I have collaborated on, and the other containing “Dad-isms” and other particularly entertaining quotes from my papa.
  13. Worrying is basically pointless, so no matter how freaked out you are about something, try to indulge in that habit as minimally as possible.
  14. Accepting someone as they are and for who they are does not mean that you are required to have or maintain a relationship with said person.
  15. Nice–or at the very least, PLEASANT–should be your default. You can always get stern/serious/unfriendly if you need to, and being able to be mean in a nice way is actually a pretty valuable life skill.
  16. Blonde is my happy color. Yes, happy colors are a thing.
  17. D.mannose powder helps to prevent UTIs.
  18. Writing a thank you note is never a bad idea.
  19. If your workout feels like torture, you probably aren’t going to stick with it. Doing things you hate really isn’t sustainable.
  20. Carrie and Big do NOT have an ideal relationship, and Carrie is kind of a train-wreck in general. Re-watch SATC now that you’re older and see for yourself.
  21. There’s a reason that stuff from Forever 21 and H&M is so cheap: It’s generally crap. You get what you pay for.
  22. If you see something in a store that looks like it could be cute but you’re not sure if it’s your style/if you could pull it off, try it on! Sometimes the weirdest pieces of clothing look the best once they’re actually ON a body.
  23. Keeping your mouth SHUT in questionable situations generally tends not to backfire.
  24. It is sometimes completely okay to stay within your comfort zone. Trust your gut.
  25. Sometimes seemingly-stupid things are actually popular for good reason. Read/watch/listen to these things and decide for yourself whether or not you like them AFTER doing so.
  26. Being cold is actually awful, and shivering is universally not cute. Wear the jacket/tights/gloves.

Here’s to 26!



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