5 Things I Learned in June

5 things June

Each and every summer, I’m surprised by things that I’ve learned from previous summers but forgotten. September through May has a way of giving me amnesia. And then June rolls around, shaking her head and saying “Silly girl, this happens every summer. You should take notes.”

Dear June, this is me, taking notes. Please remind me twelve months from now that I wrote it down.

The What We Learned posts are hosted by Emily Freeman as a “monthly community link-up to share the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred, or small.”

Mine is usually just ridiculous.

In no particular order, here are 5 things I’ve learned in June.

1. Summer spotlights my introversion like nothing else.

I have a dear friend who actually has more energy for those in her household when she’s actively engaged with others outside of her family on a regular basis, something that confounds me. I can’t tell you how jealous I am of her extroverted ways.

The relational energy required of me by the four people I live with seems to drain all the relational energy I have. Not because they’re crazy people but because my social reserves run low.

On the two occasions I’ve been with other women over the summer, I feel inexplicably tired. As in, I can barely keep my eyes open. The entire next day I’m in a fog. It’s terribly inconvenient. Because I love my friends and my community and I feel like I just waved goodbye to everyone until the end of August.

I remind myself that I’ve only got 4 summers left with my oldest. Four. I could cry. The relational energy that summer mothering requires of me is embarrassing, but I know it’s effort well spent. These are my main people. I just need some breaks here and there to stay the summer course.


2. I stay up too late in the summer.

I go to bed early during the school year. When the kids are gone during the day, I get a break from talking and being a referee and answering questions about sharks and listening to so many words. But during the summer, I’ve noticed that I stay up late just for the quiet and solitude. As summer bounds along, I find myself feeling lethargic and unmotivated.

My husband told me this morning that staying up late might be why I’m so tired. #genius


3. I’m a fan of the capsule wardrobe.

The capsule is nothing new. I’m just late to the party. Simplifying is something that’s become increasingly appealing to me as I get older and long to streamline pretty much everything about my life.

One’s closet is a pretty non-threatening place to start.

I followed the capsule advice from un-fancy. Here are the basics:



I even used her free wardrobe planner. It’s been about six weeks now and the whole experiment has been a game-changer in all the best ways.

I’m sure this will be a post in and of itself at some point but for now, let me just toss out a few lessons I’ve learned.

Fewer options = faster decisions.

Fewer pieces = more creativity.

Less = more. More time, more money, more simplicity.

I know, I’m such an unlikely convert because clothes are my jam. But here’s the thing — outfit-making is still way fun and I’ve tried combos I never would’ve considered since I have fewer items overall.


4. I tend to trade one obsession for another. In this case, clothes for make-up.

You might think I’ve gone all minimalist since I’m doing the capsule and all. But I just swap addictions. I may not be thrifting and shopping like I used to but I’ve fallen in love again with make-up.

It all started with a scheduled makeover at the Bobbi Brown make-up counter for my birthday.

I’ve had a girl crush on Bobbi since she started doing makeovers on the Today Show years ago. I might even want to be her.


But Bobbi’s products are spendy and I couldn’t even go there. {Even if I have watched all of her online makeup lessons instead of doing important things like humanitarian work and laundry.}

I’m in my 40s now. The days of getting by with mascara and tinted lip balm when I’m in a hurry are long gone. It’s time to bring out the big guns.

I’ll always be the sort of gal who prefers a more natural look. But as I get older, things like primer and legit concealer and products with coverage and staying power become your best friends.

Even though I only bought three items from the Bobbi counter, I learned so many useful techniques from Kimberly, my makeup artist. Techniques I can apply no matter what products I’m using.


I’m such a dork. Could my grin be any cheesier?

Getting ready has become fun again. I highly recommend a free makeup lesson. It’s one of the best ways I’ve ever treated myself and now I want to go back and take all my friends. {But not this summer. See #1.}

If you’re curious about the products I got for my birthday, here you go: creamy concealer, creamy concealer kit {Bobbi calls these products the “secret of the universe” and that’s no joke.} And because it’s summer, bronzing powder. All of her products are amazing and I want them.


5. I cut carbs. I feel better. I want cake.

I don’t do diets or food trends. I’m about eating when you’re hungry, eating mostly real food, and enjoying all things in moderation. I’ve never focused on protein because I don’t really enjoy many high-protein foods. I’ve always been a gal who loves her healthy-ish carbs and healthy-ish foods, even if I did reach for candy too often. Until recently, I could rationalize my imperfect, healthy-ish ways.

Again, enter the 40s. And I realized that my food choices were more -ish than healthy.

Between hormones and fatigue and being sidelined for 15 months with a back injury that keeps me from running, I’ve had to adopt a new game plan. So one day I talked to my sweet Pilates instructor at the Rec Center and, long story short, she got me started on an in-home strengthening program and eating plan. I’ve been doing it since May and you guys, I feel better. Like, a lot better. {Except for when I stay up too late. See #2.}

I don’t follow the plan perfectly but I’ve redefined it to work for me. Protein is my friend and most of my carbs now come from fruits and veggies and when I cheat with cake. Which I am suddenly obsessed with now that I can’t have it. Seriously, I think about cake all day long.


So there you go. Five things I learned in June.

What have YOU learned this summer? We can dish in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter. Or you can chime in with you own list and link up with Emily.


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  1. says

    I’m stopping by from the WIL link-up. I too have been feeling the sometimes-burden of my introversion this summer. I have to remind myself that sometimes being social is 100% worth it in the long run. I am so intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I read Marie Kondo’s book and have been purging my closet, but I’m not quite down to 37 items. I am a big fan of un-fancy and am sad that she is taking a blogging hiatus—she was my daily inspiration that I *could* attempt the whole capsule thing if I really decided to do it.

    • Marian says

      Kendra, thanks for stopping by! You’ve read Marie Kondo’s book too? I think I’m going to have to get it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing-ness about it. Also, I didn’t get my capsule down to 37 items yet. I’m probably at 50-ish. But I’m learning that I can do with even less. Baby steps, right?

  2. says

    Hi!! I LOVE the wardrobe capsule idea – I’m in considerable need of a closet purge (and, apparently, need to read this Marie Kondo book). I think I’ll do better with some limits.

    Also, you kind of look like Bobbi…though more gorgeous-er.

    Happy summering!

  3. says

    I’ve done the capsule wardrobe with my shoes – sort of :) I had a serious case of way tooooo many! next will be my clothes… and thanks for the reminder about going in for a makeup lesson! Basically, I’ve been doing my makeup the same for almost 20 years. I think it’s time for a refresher!

    • says

      Caroline, I give you permission to get yourself to the Bobbi counter for a makeup lesson. You’ll be so glad! Such a fun and needful experience for me.

  4. says

    The capsule wardrobe idea has had me intrigued for a long time, but I haven’t jumped on board yet. I’m currently in what will most likely be my last pregnancy, so maybe after I get back to my normal size I’ll give it a try. Last fall I cut way back on my carb intake (no desserts, minimal breads/starches) and I felt SO much better! My energy level was up and I even felt happier just knowing I was making healthier choices. It’s amazing to me how food affects our minds and bodies. Your makeup tip is a great idea! I haven’t had someone show me how to really do my makeup in almost 10 years. Thanks for sharing your list!

  5. says

    Great list…
    I too am dealing with a back injury (from a car accident) and it still sometimes amazes me what it affects…

    Thanks for turning me on to the capsule wardrobe. I love this idea!

  6. says

    As an introvert, I totally relate to summer. I have four kids 10 and under and the energy to engage them (even with a break here and there for myself) is exhausting. Add having to talk with other adults… part of me wants to, but I.just.cant.

    And yes, yes, yes, on the carbs vs. cake. We’ve been doing high protein, low carbs and gosh.be.darned if I don’t want cookies and chips. :) I’ve found on the days I work out (which are few and far between) I crave better food.

    • says

      Leighann, thanks for inspiring me to work out today. After a holiday weekend of cake, soda, chips, etc. I think I need to hit the reset button. : )

  7. says

    I began experimenting with the idea of the capsule wardrobe about two years ago when I started wearing “my same black dress”. Although I do not still wear the same dress everyday, I have noticed that it is my default setting when I’m stressed, anxious, or in a hurry because its something that I don’t have to think about. Its so easy to get ready to go out when you have a “go-to” piece. Anyway, just wanted to say that I LOVED your June lessons, but was a saddened to realize that I only have 5 summers left with my oldest!! Not sure I was quite ready to acknowledge that.


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