As a married mom of 3 girls, a small business owner, and the founder of a fitness movement that mentors more incredible girls than I can count, it's hard to find the time to break free from my normal routine to learn new things. So I challenged our Sweat Sisters to a month of schooling themselves daily. I'm not gonna front... it was a slightly selfish request because I didn't want to do it alone. But with a little time and the determination to improve ourselves, we all win! Once I opened my mind to actively acquiring new information, fun facts and ah-ha moments began popping up everywhere and I held on to them to share with my friends over dinner convos... because in the wise words of Snoop Dogg "ain't no fun if the homies can't have none." Maybe that's not the most positive reference, so here's a better one mentioned in this inspiring Terry Crews interview with Tim Ferriss (22:04-minute mark). Enough with all of the small talk... here's what I learned in 31 days.
1. There's no room for doubt.
Quick story: For the past 5 years, I've held on to an 11 inch MacBook Air (that I spilled a little water on - oops). I assumed that it would never work again, but on the first day of the month, I charged that baby up and IT TURNED ON!!! The keyboard is acting a little shady so I need to get it serviced but I learned that day that doubt can be removed by action.
2. Almonds are a member of the peach family.
After discovering that my 9-year-old is allergic to peaches (due to her birch pollen sensitivity), I began researching about Georgia's favorite fruit and discovered that it's cousins with the almond. Who knew!
3. Call your mom and dad.
BY THE TIME YOU LEAVE FOR COLLEGE OR GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, YOU’VE SPENT MORE THAN 80% OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS YOU WILL EVER SPEND WITH YOUR PARENTS BEFORE THEY DIE.
4. Hip Hop and Rap are not acronyms.
Rap is music. Hip Hop is the culture.
5. smtp is short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
I see this acronym often when I'm setting up email accounts on my laptop or iPhone and now I know what it means.
6. There are no small parts.
7. Never touch things twice
This helped me tremendously because touching things twice is a huge time-waster! Don’t save an email or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention you should act on it, delegate it, or delete it.
8. Six Month Passport Validity Rule
Some countries require that your passport be valid for more than 6 months before the expiration date. Here's the list and a video featuring one of my favorite food vloggers who learned the hard way:
9. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.
10. A players hire A+ players
If you haven't done so already, watch the video above! This will be my mantra as I expand the PGS Dream Team.
11. People are contagious.
We catch the emotions of others.
12. The best way to start a conversation is not "where are you from?"
TRY: "Are you working on anything exciting?" "Have any trips coming up?" OR "Anything good happen today?"
13. The hole in a pasta spoon measures one serving of spaghetti
None of my friends knew this one either!
14. The extra holes in Converse sneakers are not for ventilation.
But to give the shoe a tighter fit.
15. The expiration date on beauty products is listed on the back
Find the open makeup pot icon with a number and the letters m or y. M for month and Y for the year. (ex: 12m, 24m, 1y)
16. The color of a bread tag will tell you when it was delivered
17. A shrimp's heart is in his head
Why does this make me only a little less sad about eating shrimp :-/
18. Flaps on juice boxes are used to avoid spilling
Hold the flaps while sipping to avoid the annoying volcanic eruption that occurs when you foolishly squeezed the box in the center. Guilty!
19. Which side to pump the gas on
Avoid that awkward moment at BP when you confidently walk to the gas pump, realize the gas tank is on the opposite side, and then have to hop back in the car with your head down to turn the car around. Actually, you should save yourself the embarrassment and just find another gas station - lol. On a serious note, most car dashboards use an arrow next to the fuel symbol to tell you how to pull up to the pump. Take a look!
19. How to make a cordless lamp in a blackout
I've weathered through many sporadic loses of electricity in my lifetime. Now I know this little trick:
20. How to squeeze limes
I eat a lot of limes. Sometimes I squeeze them on sauteed peppers but mostly I muddle them in my drinks. Slice through the center just to the rind of the citrus fruit. When you go to squeeze it into a drink, the juice will follow a more stable trajectory.
21. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that will make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.
When we eat, our brain tells ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were in danger. This will help you stay calm - just remember to spit the gum out before your speech or you bungee jump - the reasons are pretty obvious.
22. Never put deep dishes of hot food in the fridge.
Let it get to room temperature or divide it into smaller portions and place it in shallow containers so it can cool quickly. Here's the scoop.
23. The best ways to clean your sponge (in order of effectiveness) are bleach, the microwave, the dishwasher, or vinegar.
Sponges are filled with bacteria and cleaning your dishes with a germy one is no Bueno. Here are the methods you can use to clean it.
24. How an igloo keeps you warm
My 9-year-old daughter's most recent project schooled me on this. I always wondered how this was possible but never took the time to get the answer until I was forced to research it.
25. Mariah Carey almost didn't record "All I Want For Christmas"
The song, which is more than two decades old and took 15 minutes to record, almost did not get recorded because Carey thought it was too early in her career to release a holiday song.
26. Boxing Day is a holiday after Christmas that has nothing to do with fist fighting.
Thanks to Twitter's trending topics, I now know this British holiday exists.
27. 1 woman in 8 will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
I just discovered that my grandmother, sister, and my mom all have enlarged thyroid glands and needed or need to get them surgically removed. I'll talk more about this on my personal blog Aeshia's Angels.
28. "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt"
30. The Rh blood group system (including the Rh factor) is the second most important blood group system, after the ABO blood group system
While spending the holiday break in Mexico, one of my green-eyed friends shared that she has an RH-negative blood type. I never heard of this blood type before so I began doing research on it. Rhesus (Rh) factor is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. If your blood has the protein, you're Rh positive. If your blood lacks the protein, you're Rh negative. Having a Rh-negative blood type is not an illness and usually does not affect your health. However, it can affect your pregnancy. Your pregnancy needs special care if you're Rh-negative and your baby's father is Rh positive. Do you know your blood type? Share it below!
31. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend.
Let them ask you questions about it. If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.
Never stop learning. Let's face it... now matter how long you've gone to school, it's impossible to know everything. There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. Not only is acquiring new information fun, but one of the best feelings in the world is teaching others what you've learned. Not only will it affect the person you're teaching, but also they, in turn, will teach others.