10 Things I’ve Learned: Aggie
Hey everyone! We’re back with our 10 Things I’ve Learned series after two weeks off. (Sorry about the delay. We’ve been working on some mega technical changes behind the scenes with this site, but it should be running smoothly now and showing up in your feed. Whew!)
But our guest poster today hails from the blogosphere and (where I’d love to be right now) the sunny shores of Florida — meet Aggie!
Chances are that if you’ve searched for a recipe online, you’ve come across Aggie’s delicious food blog, Aggie’s Kitchen, where she has been blogging now for nearly six years. Yes, six years is an eternity in blogland, and there are hundreds of scrumptious recipes and healthy living tips on her site to prove it. I especially love her Italian dishes, many of which she learned growing up in an Italian home with parents who ran an Italian restaurant for years and year. (Check out her Italian Style Stir-Fry, Perfectly Baked Italian Herb French Fries, and Ricotta and Spinach Fritters, to name a few…)
Beyond the blog, though, Aggie is a proud wife and mama to three sweet kiddos. (Yes, that cute little monkey in the middle just arrived 6 months ago, and gives the greatest smiles on Instagram!) And somehow she also still manages to take time to be a great encourager to so many bloggers as well. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard bloggers comment about how grateful they are for Aggie and the faithful friend and supporter that she has been over the years. And even though I have yet to actually meet her in person (which needs to happen soon, Aggie!), I can say without a doubt that her kindness has made my life all the better as well.
So without further ado, here is Aggie sharing 10 things that she has learned.
1. The kid turned out fine.
The best mom advice was given to me by my son’s preschool teacher when he was 3 and my daughter was just 6 months old. I was worrying about him not being potty trained yet and she reassured me that “no kid goes to kindergarten in diapers”. Yes. Yes, indeed she was right. We all need been-there-done-that mothers and friends to tell us this at least once in motherhood.
2. Always wear sunscreen.
When I turned 30 (8 years ago) I made this a rule for myself. The younger version of myself laid out sunscreen free for hours on the beach (eek!), I cringe to think of the damage it did to my skin. Now I slather moisturizer with sunscreen on my face every single morning, and I try not to wear less than 50 spf on the beach or at the pool, along with a visor to protect my face. I live in Florida where the sun shines hard 95% of the time so I have become a little obsessed about protecting my skin, especially as I get older!
3. The people you surround yourself with are more important than you think.
You ever walk away from spending time with someone feeling just eh and a little down about yourself? Compare that with how you feel when you walk away from someone who encourages, is positive and excited about life and fills up your tank. It’s a no-brainer. Life is too short to waste not feeling great with the people you spend your time with.
4. Always smile at strangers.
I tend to be a smiley person. It makes me feel good. Most of the time whoever I smile at smiles back so it’s always a win-win.
5. Be spontaneous.
One thing I’ve learned as a mom is that routine is a good and needed thing to keep life running smoothly. It can also make life a little…routine (translate: boring). I can not handle following a mom-schedule every single day so I’ve been known to make a u-turn to grab some fro-yo on the way home from school, pack up our beach bags and coolers in 20 minutes on a Saturday morning when “working around the house” was the only thing on the agenda or surprise my grandparents (who live an hour away) for lunch on a day the kids are off school. This is the mom version of being spontaneous so just humor me if you will. Spontaneity comes in all shapes and sizes – I say, just go for it!
(I would think selling your house and moving to a new house 2 weeks before your 3rd baby is due might fall under the spontaneous category as well.)
6. Avocados do not make you fat.
It’s the chips that do.
7. Unplugging is good for the mind, body and soul.
Oh, we are so plugged in these days!! Even when we try not to be. It’s so hard with our phones always attached to our bodies and in front of our faces. I can always tell when I need a technology or social media break when I’m spending less time reading real books or magazines, feeling like a scatterbrain daily or finding myself mindlessly checking my phone for updates just to zone out or be nosy. I try to unplug as often as I can. Usually all it takes is plugging my phone or laptop into a charger in another room or taking social media apps off my phone (don’t laugh, but I install and delete social media apps off my phone weekly. You may think I am crazy but it works for me!). These breaks can be as short as an evening or as long as a weekend or even a season (giving up Facebook for Lent last year turned into a 9 month break).
8. Enjoy a glass of wine with lunch when you can.
Because why not?! My 83 year old Italian grandpa taught me this (it’s in our culture) and I trust that he’s on to something.
(Disclaimer: Be assured that I am not drinking it up daily at home with my 6 month old. Just sayin…)
9. Blowing bubbles always make me happy.
You just can’t help but feel instant relaxation while blowing bubbles, with or without little ones. Probably more fun with little ones though.
10. Give yourself grace.
Because sometimes you just really need it.