Nine Things That Make My Life a (Lil) Better

No Reason Party, anyone?

Nine Things That Make My Life a (Lil) Better
Photo by Madison Oren / Unsplash

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A couple of times a year, I like to share an eclectic mix of things that are making my life a lil’ better. None of these recommendations will fix the incredible systemic challenges caregivers face, but they may bring you a lil joy or give you some fresh ideas to break out of whatever rut you may be in. As always, nothing on this list is sponsored or offered to me for free, so you know my recommendations are 100% genuine.

Dazzling Eyes: I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes (I think it's genetic) but until I tried First Aid Eye Duty Brightening Eye Cream I was pretty sure nothing would help except undereye concealer. This cream immediately lightens and brightens in a way I did not think was an actual thing, and it works so well that sometimes I don’t feel like I even need concealer at all. One .5 oz jar has lasted about 8 months with regular use.

Taking My Son to Barbie: Dr. Liz and I were recently talking to a friend with a girl the same age as our oldest sons, and she described the experience of taking her to see Barbie. (I'd seen it a few weeks before and loved it, of course.) I felt like a dim light bulb for not realizing taking my son to see it could be a wonderful empowering feminist moment in my parenting journey. So Dr. Liz and I took our three third grade boys, who were lured by the promise of getting to see their first PG-13 movie and they all LOVED it. Asher told me he thought it was about how men try to control women in the real world, and  independently suggested he thought it related to banning abortion. #lifemade. Feminist cultural moments aren't just for girls, y'all!

Nothing Is Better Than Sleep: This summer we had a rough patch with dropping naps, transitioning to big kid beds, and different sleep needs for our toddler twins. This meant a lot of hellish bedtimes and brutal early morning wakeups. After much consideration, I hired Little Dipper Wellness for a sleep consultation, and after the first session, I got extremely good advice that transformed our lives for the better.  Life is so much easier when you are well-rested!

Bingeing Podcasts: I ended up trying out a paid package of ad-free podcasts called The Binge, in order to hear the final episodes of The Pill Plot, which was about what it took to bring the abortion pill to America. Since then, I’ve enjoyed several shows ad-free in the package, that is full of great reporting and storytelling, like Cameleon: The Hollywood Con Queen, Power: The Maxwells and I’m currently listening to Broken: Jeffrey Epstein. The Just Enough Family is also in the package, which is a great listen. Worth the $4.99 IMO.  

Somebody, Somewhere: I loved this gentle, funny and moving show on HBO Max about grief, adult friendships, complex sibling relationships, and even eldercare in a small town in Kansas. It feels unlike any other show on television.

The No Reason Party: I did not have a particularly exciting summer and parenting the toddler twins is A LOT, so in mid-August I decided to treat myself to a night at my dear friend Jane’s Airbnb and hosted a child-free and man-free pool party. We made Frosé and Margaritas with Jane’s adult slushy maker, and we ate tacos. We swam in the pool, we laughed and talked about the congressional hearing about aliens, and everyone left by 10:45pm and then I slept until 9am and the whole thing was so great. I deserved this party for no reason.

The Right Jacket: I’ve been searching for a new leather or faux leather jacket since my beloved faux black leather jacket, I found randomly at Nordstrom 4 years ago and I’ve worn ragged, started flaking. I am amped about my affordable motorcycle jacket at Quince, which is higher quality than my original and a deal at $149. I’ll be sporting it at events in NYC, Boston and LA this fall!

The Best Urgent Care: This is a triangle region-specific recommendation. At 9:30pm one August evening, it was clear that one of my twins needed to be seen by a doctor for breathing problems. (He’s fine now.) The nurse at the nurseline tipped me off to going to UNC Rex near Raleigh which has a pediatric urgent care open until midnight (!) rather than going to the ER. (Urban nighttime ERs are no fun, as I’ve learned from personal experience) The staff was SO nice, they saw us before we could even sit down in the waiting room, and immediately presented us with a nebulizer and a fully charged iPad with kids' programming loaded up. We were out of there in under an hour and a half. They get 10 stars and I’m definitely going there for my off-hours pediatric situations in the future.

Period Panacea: One thing I can say for certain is that we live in an era of truly abundant menstrual product choices. I have tried out a few different types of cups, and I was skeptical of disks at first because I thought they’d be messy and hard to get in and out but I’m now a devotee. Everyone’s body is different, but I’m really liking the Flex reusable disk, which leaks less than any other products I’ve tried. You can also try their disposable version first before committing to the reusable.

For this week’s members-only thread, inspired by my “No Reason” party, I want to know, what’s the best thing you’ve done for yourself lately? I’d love to hear the large and small ways you are treating yourself right. If you want in on this fun, become a member of the Double Shift. It starts at $7/mo and keeps the lights on here at Double Shift headquarters, aka, the shed in my backyard.


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