The Everyday puts the extra into ordinary on toilet paper, life & everything in between
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is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization."
- Harriet Beecher Stowe
Now you get an apartment and learn how to scrub the toilet bowl, that’s what. Welcome to adulthood!
- Sponges. You need these. You’ll need a lot more over the course of your life. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
- Natural dish soap in Valencia orange. Get used to doing a lot of these too.
- Unless you have a dishwasher, you lucky dog. So you’ll need dishwashing liquid. Lemon Cascade is a favorite.
- High octane all-purpose cleaner. For everything from exploding pasta sauce to uncouth roommates.
- You get to clean your own floors now. But you don’t have a curfew. Trade-off.
- Clean the toilet bowl regularly. Seriously.
- Original windex – it’s a mirror must.
- Scrubbing bubbles get your shower the cleanest with the least amount of work. You’re welcome.
- Disinfecting wipes. Keep these under the sink to give your sink and toilet cover surfaces a quick wipe. It keeps the bathroom feeling clean and takes about four seconds.
- Charmin ultra-soft toilet paper. This is the good stuff. You deserve it for keeping that toilet bowl clean.
- Bounty is the lumberjack of paper towels.
- Laundry is another thing to be doing regularly. We like Tide.
- Bounce fabric softener, fresh linen scent.
Congratulations! You’re now a fully-functioning adult! Just don’t forget those taxes.
Final exams are over. Fours years worth of memories are packed away in your car as you and your friends spread out on the front lawn one last time. In a day or so, you’ll be on your way home – going your separate ways – as you start the first summer of your kinda-adult life.
Unless you managed to snag a job by graduation, you’ll probably spend several long hours pouring over applications, tweaking your resume, and perhaps dealing with the trials and tribulations that come with moving back home. So how do you spend your time, especially if your friends have quickly grown into their new post-college lives?
- Internship: While there is some debate over the viability of working for free, an internship can help build your resume – especially if you’ve never held down a job before. And, if you’re struggling with what you’d like to do professionally, an internship can help expose you to different industries.
- Go to Meetups: It’s not unusual for even the best of friendships to crack under the pressure of post-college life, so it’s helpful to create new friendships as well. Additionally, you may find that you have less in common with your college friends and going to Meetups can help you explore new interests.
- Start a Blog: Whether or not you’re working, having a blog helps you build a network of likeminded people and it can actually be an excellent way to show your expertise in an area – which is helpful if you’re job hunting in a specific niche.
- Relax! : You’ve just spent four years (or maybe more!) staying up late to study for exams, writing ten page papers, and just generally working. Even though there’s a certain push to start working, making money and being “productive”, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying this new chapter of your life. You’ll be spending the rest of your life working – so take the time to lay out in the sun, travel abroad or couch surf with friends. Don’t rush into anything, because it’ll certainly be there when you get back from wherever you’re coming from.
Mothers’ Day – a holiday made official thanks to President Wilson in 1914 – was initially created by Anna Jarvis as a way to honor one’s mother with a simple carnation, a note or a day off. Since its inception, Mothers’ Day has escalated into a full blown affair full of bouquets, elegant dinners and cards that play songs when you open them. There’s no denying the commercialization of the holiday – but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful or fun!
So – what can you do for (or with) your mother (or even grandmother, aunt, sister – whoever is a mom this year) this Mother’s Day?
- A spa day: These make great gifts because they’re so popular, it’s not hard to do a bit of shopping to find a great package deal (especially for Mothers’ Day).
- Day Trip: This can include anything like a tour of the city (even if you’ve lived in a place your whole life, there are places you may never have been before), or a horseback ride in the park, going museum hopping (many museums also have a pay what you can scale – which means more trips in one day) or even a day in the park. The list is pretty endless!
- Arts and Crafts: Do you know how to knit, sew or crochet? Perhaps sending over a new kindle cover you made will make her day, or a new dress for the coming summer months?
But what if you don’t live in the same town as your mom – how do you show your appreciation and love then?
- A card : particularly if it’s one you’ve made yourself. All the more personal.
- A letter sent a few days prior : it’s a great touch when compared to the ease of technology, and it’s just as thoughtful because it’s another thing you can personalize.
- A phone call : having a heart to heart can be a fulfilling experience as you tell your mom how much you love her, and is priceless.
The opportunities know no bounds because any time we take out to show our moms we love them is time well spent, and worthwhile in a million different ways. Even just saying, “I love and appreciate you Mom” can be worth more than a thousand carnations!
You’ll have enough to think about on your road trip – like how much farther through Louisiana you can make it without stopping for gas and where on this vast green planet is a cup of coffee – without worrying about things like sunscreen. So I’ve prepared your perfect road trip list, complete with music.
Also, where are you going? Can I come?
- Simple cleansing facial wipes for freshening up on long hauls.
- Method All-Purpose cleaning and disinfecting wipes in lemon verbena because you never know what you’ll find out there.
- Keep these in the car for sketchy bathrooms (or no bathrooms).
- Neutrogena intense hand cream for hands that go lizard in the sun.
- Coppertone spray sunscreen because you feel like you’re inside, but you’re still going to get burned, especially as you swing past the Grand Canyon.
- 5-Hour Energy for when the sign says “Ten zillion miles to the next coffee.”
- Nature Valley dark chocolate and nut trail mix bars because they’re delicious.
- Sparkling Asian Pear Ginger Kombucha – you’ll never want to stop at Starbucks again with this in your car.
- Houdini – Foster the People
- Second Song – TV on the Radio
- The Modern Leper – Frightened Rabbit
- Pickup Truck – Kings of Leon
- Permalight – Rogue Wave
- Sleepyhead – Passion Pit
- Burn it All Down – VHS or Beta
- Mouthful of Diamonds – Phantogram
- 40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Stop before you get tired, watch out for cops, take lots of pictures, and have fun.
I was very little when my mother broke the news to me: One day I’d grow up and leave her and my dad. I’d move out of the house and no longer live with them. It was a horrifying prospect, and even her assurance that when the time came, I would be happy to do so in order to become a mommy myself, was no consolation. Even so, the day arrived when her prediction came true. With my first Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve thought back over the years and considered which parts of my mother’s parenting I will incorporate into raising my child.
- Do the holidays, and do them big.
The Decembers of my childhood came with a Nat King Cole/Manheim Steamroller soundtrack and the ubiquitous aroma of fresh evergreen. (Because, let’s face it, fake trees cannot compete.) Each night ended with a Christmas story and a mug of hot cocoa. Every Easter incited the hunt for a well-hidden, copiously stuffed basket, a tradition that did not end until the impending arrival of my son, wherein I enjoyed my final basket (filled with the fruity candies I craved) as a married, pregnant, thirty-year-old. Halloween meant a hand-sewn costume of our choosing, whether it was the silver-threaded cape of a fairy princess, a teenybopper’s poodle skirt, or the pantaloons of a prairie girl. Every opportunity to infuse our lives with holiday oomph was taken to the fullest, and because of it, I have no shortage of magical memories.
- Don’t let it rattle you.
My mother is unflinchingly even-keeled. It takes a lot to ruffle her feathers, which would create some mystery as to why I am the polar opposite, except I have only to look as far as my dad for explanation on where my streaks of what we’ll call “enthusiasm” come from. The value of inheriting this quality of hers is not lost on me. My mom is able to see the positives in almost everything. Labeling unforeseen circumstances “adventures,” she’s able to shrug off the very things that create mountains of anxiety in me. So in the effort to see that my son inherits more of the easy-peasy genes than say, the wound-tighter-than-a-spring kind, it’s my mission to take more emotional cues from her.
- Show kindness to all of God’s creatures.
It’s not hard to trace the root of my heart for animals. Growing up, it was unacceptable—and unconscionable—to pass up a stray dog on the side of the road, or any animal in need, for that matter. From the neighbor’s schnauzer who unwittingly stumbled upon antifreeze, to water left out for a toad stuck in our garage during a heat wave, my mother was never short on mercy for any creature, big or small. It was a lesson in compassion, starting with the humblest four-legged animals, that would teach me to have greater mercy on the two-legged variety as an adult.
- Put a little thought into a lot of things.
Whether it was a note tucked in with my sandwich at lunch time or a book about something that interested me (from ages 12-16 this comprised only one topic: The Beatles), my mother was (and still is) constant at demonstrating her thought for her children. Moving into a new apartment produced such practical but overlooked items as a fly swatter, step stool and lifetime supply of trash bags. Packing for a trip meant gifts of travel toilet paper, beach totes and reading material for the plane. And it was impossible to return from a visit to my parents’ house without a collection of items she’d been saving for me: a pair of angora socks, a bottle of hand lotion, a newspaper clipping about someone I’d gone to school with. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how much more difficult—and meaningful—it is to think of others not during life’s obvious occasions, but, simply, for no reason at all.
As I reflect on my experiences as a child, at what I learned and how I’ve been shaped by the lessons imparted to me, I am grateful to my mom for an entirely new, second reason. Not only for teaching me the things she did when I was so little and in need of the right kinds of lessons—but for giving me so many to pull from, now that it’s my turn to do the teaching.