8 Things I Learned in February

learned feb

It’s time to share the things we’ve learned this month. 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 8 things I’ve learned in February.


1. Twitter is made for award shows.

I didn’t laugh much at the Oscar jokes this year. But that’s okay. The funny folks on Twitter more than made up for it.

This tweet with Jesus-y Jared Leto in the haloed background of Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech — totally wins for Best Oscar Tweet. Laughed till I cried.

leto arquette pic


2. Panera’s Soba Noodle Bowl is late-winter’s comfort food for the body and soul. I want to marry it.

Soba Noodle Bowl with Chicken


3. The divine nectar that is Lyle’s Golden Syrup



Where has this been all my life?

A friend gave me a loaf of homemade bread last week and a tin of Lyle’s. I cannot accurately describe its deliciousness, only that I toasted 6 slices of bread, slathered them with butter and Lyle’s, and woke up in Heaven surrounded by baby angels.

Lyle’s hails from England and originated in 1881. You can drizzle it on bread, waffles, pancakes, ice-cream…or swirl it into your tea or coffee. The web-site has loads of recipes and ideas. It can be found in some grocery stores or, again, you can shop like a lazy person and order from amazon. And wow, that totally sounded like a commercial.

Though I love the aesthetics of the tin, I think I’ll order my next batch in the squeezable bottles. I’m a tad messy with my confections.


4. The discovery of Neutrogena Hand Cream

{Because my hands turn into those of an iguana’s by this point in the winter.}

I actually consulted Google to find the best product and this came up.


Google doesn’t lie. It is the BEST HAND CREAM EVER. At first it feels almost like an ointment and then it turns into a magical potion from a fairy godmother. Get thee to your favorite drugstore. Or you can grab a 2-pack from amazon and give one to a friend.

5. I have a new favorite drink at Starbucks.


The flat white, with one sugar. Perfection.

6. How to shred a lot of chicken in 30 seconds


One of the best kitchen tips ever from a friend of mine. Toss your cooked chicken {whether it’s been marinating in the crock pot or baked in the oven} into your Kitchen Aid and let it do all the hard work for you.

7. Meaningful work goes a long way in pulling oneself out of a funk.

Yesterday I opened the Real Pretty Shop for its third sale.

shop button 300

Just the day before, I was struggling to find the meaning of life. Not really but it’s been a pressure cooker of a Jan / Feb and the shop has been on hold. On Wednesday I’d had enough of my funk and finally said to myself, Girl…have an extra cup of coffee today and let’s do this.

I was buzzing the rest of the day. And not just from extra Starbucks. I’m prone to discount the joy and fulfillment that bubbles up when I’m engaged in work that’s creative and meaningful to me. Getting the sale ready felt like project therapy.

There’s been plenty of work over these many months, work that has seemed fruitless and draining and still has us scratching our heads. While there are seasons when the non-essentials have to be shelved because real life yells for all hands on deck, I’m reminded not to neglect my favorite work, even if it shows us in smaller and sparser doses.

8. Sleep deprivation makes you dumb.

Which is why I only learned 8 things this month. At the rate I’m going, I will already have forgotten them by next month.

Names I totally know, easy-to-spell words, everyday terms — they are all dead to me.

I can’t remember if I’ve filled out forms or recall where I’ve put, well, anything. I bought a thousand pound bag of chicken at Costco when I already had a thousand pound bag in the freezer. I locked my keys in my van a week ago and left a child at church on Sunday. {Though I wasn’t totally to blame for that one.}

I go to bed early and nap when necessary. Still, when your racing mind keeps the Zzzzs at bay and the Zzzzs that do come are less than quality, you feel your mentally capacity slipping. And by slipping I mean falling off a cliff.

I pray that normal sleep patterns and quantities will one day be mine again. But until then, my apologies for the poor spelling and not remembering your name. Send grace and Starbucks.

Love, Marian

What did you learn this month? 


Favorite February Posts

“He leads me beside streams of toilet waters.”

When Hope Dissolves into Disappointment and Comes Back to Life as Trust

The Real Pretty Shop Opens for its 3rd Sale

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  1. Susanna says

    I just finished my first ever flat white, with one sugar like you recommended. I’m not a syrupy drink kind of girl… I’m more likely in a shop to order a regular coffee with cream.This was a perfect “fancy drink” for me. Thanks!

  2. says

    girl, you are so hard on yourself. I love you. Remember Isaiah 30:15— in repentance and rest is you salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.

    Things I learned in February:
    God is infinitely better than I can ever think he is.
    Having my Christmas tree up in almost March aint a big deal

  3. says

    Flat white with one sugar is my new favorite, too! I can’t get it every time because it costs twice as much as my Pikes Place/Caffe Verona – but it is such a smooth treat! Did you partake in the Stabucks Date Night on Feb 13? I did! A flat white and chocolate croissant for $5. Heaven.
    Thanks for sharing your learned things!

  4. says

    I have been wanting to try the soba noodle bowl but wondered what the broth is (I don’t do beef broth) because it sounds so good. My daughter also loves the Neutrogena hand cream and the chicken shredding – genius! Visiting from chatting at the sky today.

  5. says

    Oooh! I haven’t tried the Flat White but I’ve heard great things! And I didn’t get to watch the Oscar’s live but Twitter made me feel like I was there! SO great.

  6. says

    That tweet = belly laugh. That definitely just made my day. Also, Lack of Sleep totally makes me dumb, amen and amen. I am glad you listed these things. I also appreciated that you said that a lot of the time you discredit the joy that comes when you are pursuing something that means something to you. I am that same way! Glad I’m not alone.

  7. says

    Such a fun post.
    I had seen the Jared Leto reference but not that caption…hilarious!
    So glad to know that the Panera bowl is a must try…you never know, it looks so good on the
    commercials. Thanks for being our tester 😉
    And Lyle’s…oh my!
    Thank you.

  8. says

    I enjoyed your list. I can totally relate to #8 and the sleep depravation. When I am low on sleep or have been sick, my brain glitches making it hard to put coherent sentences together. The Panera dish sounds yummy. I am putting it on my list of things to try next time I am in the states.


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