posted in: Life, Life’s Lessons 109 comments

Last week, I wrote a post with a bunch of advice, starting with Don’t. 

So here’s a list of Do’s, all derived from personal experience.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Do wash your hands after going to the bathroom.

Do eat ice cream for dinner once in a while. 

Do kiss your husband/ wife/ partner.

Do get a dog/ cat. Pets are awesome.

Do something new once a month. 

Do smile at your neighbor. 

Do wear that sparkly top for no reason.

Do spend that extra 5 minutes in the shower. As long as no one is in danger, do it. Do it for you.

Do drink good coffee.

Do read at least one classic. Take your pick. But read at least one.

Do something nice for yourself.

Do admit when you’re wrong.

Do what makes you feel good.

Do listen to your mother.

Do call your parents.

Do thank your children’s teachers.

Do ugly cry when you have to.

Do watch Downton Abbey. Don’t argue with me. 

Do take a break from social media at least once a week. 

Do get into the picture.

Do watch a movie by yourself, at least once in your lifetime.

Do order the fries on the side. 

Do change your hair color at least once.

Do own at least one pair of really good jeans.

Do invest in a good bra (if you wear one).

Do wear a bra if you don’t.

Do be yourself.

Do be kind whenever possible. It is always possible (said a wise Tibetan monk).

Do live a little.

What do you want to add to this list? My list of ‘Don’ts’ is on Scary Mommy!

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • July 31, 2013 vanita

    Love this list Alison. “Do wear a bra if you don’t” totally cracked me up. And I’ve been taking breaks from social media at least twice a week, aren’t you proud of me? πŸ˜€
    vanita recently wrote…Make Them Love Your BlogMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I am totally proud of you!

  • July 31, 2013 Kim

    Yes to kindness for others and ourselves – so important.
    And movies and hair colour and ice cream for dinner make life more fun, don`t they? πŸ™‚
    Kim recently wrote…Someone Else, Not MeMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Life is short, may as well enjoy it!

  • July 31, 2013 Allie

    Do I really have to admit when I’m wrong? And YES do get in that picture! Great lists. I read both:-)
    Do take time to be alone when you can.
    Allie recently wrote…FITNESS QUESTIONS ANSWERED! A QuestionnaireMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Allie! And I second the alone time!

  • July 31, 2013 tracy

    I don’t wear a bra…be my friend still??? xo
    tracy recently wrote…Marathon ParentingMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      You? Yes. Always. xo

  • July 31, 2013 Ilene

    I nodded the entire way though this post! I don’t even know what to talk about in the comments since I agree with this entire list! Good Coffee – yes! Do something new – yes! Social media breaks – yes! And on and on…
    Ilene recently wrote…My Aha Moment from #BlogHer’13: Thank You Sheryl SandbergMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Hah! I like when people agree with me. πŸ™‚

  • July 31, 2013 Jennifer

    I LOVED this list! I cracked up close to the end with the one about the bra…DO wear a bra, Lol. Thanks for sharing this Alison πŸ™‚
    Jennifer recently wrote…How to Make a Picture FrameMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Never underestimate the power of a good bra. πŸ˜‰

  • July 31, 2013 Christopher D Drew

    All good advice, I probably won’t wear a sparkly top mind you.
    Christopher D Drew recently wrote…Reasons My Two Year Old Won’t Go To SleepMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      You know, Christopher, you’d be surprised at what a little sparkle can do for your day. πŸ™‚

  • July 31, 2013 Nicole

    Do love this list! Check! Love the advice to get into the picture! Love all of the things in this list. I’d add ‘Do something that scares you.’ I have never changed my hair color though. Actually, that kind of scares me, so I could cross off two items at once!
    Nicole recently wrote…Marathon Update: FIRST to the FinishMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Yes! DO IT!

  • July 31, 2013 Carolyn Y

    This was as great as your don’t list.
    This whole summer has been a break from social-media. Unintended, but it happened. I can’t seem to find the time to be online.
    Carolyn Y recently wrote…Drinkable Green SmoothieMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I take that it’s been a great summer then!

  • July 31, 2013 Lady Jennie

    I LOVE your lists – even the don’t one. They inspire me.

    Sparkly top – got to find my sparkly top.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Trolls AnonymousMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      YES! Do!

  • July 31, 2013 Jeanne

    When I do admit when I’m wrong, it thrills my husband to no end! Let’s just say he makes the most of it. I’ve never been to a movie by myself… I just think it’s strange but my husband does it all the time!
    Jeanne recently wrote…Something’s Come Over MeMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Try it once!

  • July 31, 2013 Greta

    I DO do so many of these things, and my life is definitely better for it! Great list, I love it. Good coffee, good jeans, good TV.

    I’ve mentioned this to you before, and need to take my own advice again….Do keep a small bag of dark chocolate in the freezer, just for you. πŸ™‚
    Greta recently wrote…Sharing the Day. #iPPPMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh honey, I do hide chocolate from everyone else. πŸ˜‰

  • August 1, 2013 Kenya G. Johnson

    Love the bra ones! Yesterday someone talked me out of wanting a dog. You made me change my mind. That was easy. πŸ˜‰
    Kenya G. Johnson recently wrote…Communicating Instinctively: It’s a thing…My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Dogs are amazing, they become part of the family. So much love.

  • August 1, 2013 Tamara

    I kept nodding my head in solidarity with you. I lost count of how many I feel strongly about. Very much. I have never seen Downton Abbey but maybe I can convince my husband to watch it with me. If it’s not sci-fi or action or something terrible, he’s generally not interested. And I don’t have a pet but it is on my “To DO” list.
    Tamara recently wrote…How To Photograph Children And Moose, But Not Together!My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh Tamara, you MUST watch Downton Abbey. Even by yourself. It’s absolutely worth it.

  • August 1, 2013 Stacey

    Love your list of do’s! I definitely won’t argue with you about Downton Abbey! I agree with everything you mentioned πŸ˜‰
    Stacey recently wrote…What I’m Into: July 2013My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I like people who agree with me. πŸ™‚

  • August 1, 2013 Kerstin

    We just got back from camping and one of the first things I did was come to your blog to see your newest post. Glad I did πŸ™‚
    Great list and I like “do” much more than “don’t” – there usually is a way to say it all with do, yes?
    I do lots of those things and have lots more planned πŸ™‚
    Also – we did just get a dog and yes, pets are great!

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I love your dog updates!

  • August 1, 2013 My Inner Chick

    I totally LOooooooVE your dos!

    “”Do watch Downton Abbey. Don’t argue with me””

    I would also add “”DO watch “Call the Midwife””” I am ob-freaking-sessed.

    xxx LOVE.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…1159 DaysMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Ooh, I need to check that out! xoxo

  • August 1, 2013 Janice

    I love these. A few faves: “Do listen to your mother,” “Do watch Downton Abbey,” and “Do watch a movie by yourself…” I watch Korean Dramas by myself. Does that count? And I love Downton Abbey, but I admit I’ve only watched the first 2 episodes. Must find more time to continue. Listen to my mommy. Yes ma’am!
    Janice recently wrote…A Different Kind of LifeMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I’m sort of jealous that you’ve only watched 2 episodes of Downton Abbey, because it means you have so many more awesome episodes to watch!

  • August 1, 2013 Leslie

    It’s so sad how neighbors don’t even seem to smile at each other anymore. I knew everyone in my neighborhood growing up, and wish it was the same way with my kids. The social media statement for me should be more β€œDo post to social media at least once a week”! Yes also to Downton Abbey and being kind!
    Leslie recently wrote…{Weigh In Wednesday} Week 30My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      You must be the exception to the rule with social media πŸ˜‰

  • August 1, 2013 Stevie

    Woo-hoo! I am MUCH better at this list than the don’t list. Except Downton Abbey. Which keeps coming up so I think the Universe is trying to tell me something. I have had brown hair (natural), jet black hair, red hair, and once I was even blonde. Yeah, it was kind of weird.
    Stevie recently wrote…Guest Post: The Silent IsleMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I think pictures of said hair colors need to be shared. πŸ˜‰
      YES, watch Downton Abbey!

  • August 1, 2013 Kimber

    Love it! And totally agree! The only thing I don’t on your list is the dog/cat I think. It doesn’t really fit our lifestyle at the moment πŸ™
    Kimber recently wrote…{Free Printable} Don’t Forget Dry Erase ListMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      It doesn’t fit with ours either – but it’s definitely on our must-do once we move into a house.

  • Can I add one?
    Do take a nap.
    Love this!
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…The good wife, who makes Slut SpaghettiMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Yes! How could I even forget that?

  • August 1, 2013 sarah reinhart

    The one I have to do more is DO wear a sparkly top for no reason. So bad about that! I read once somewhere that you should wear all the clothes in your closet. Because! Why else do you own them? Sounds logical to me… Love your lists πŸ™‚
    sarah reinhart recently wrote…The Reinharts in the DellMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      That’s a good one! I’m guilty, I haven’t worn quite a lot of stuff in my closet. I guess a spring cleaning is required soon. πŸ™‚

  • August 1, 2013 Blond Duck

    DO dance! Do twirl! And DO eat pie! πŸ™‚
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Alice Says….My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Oh, good ones!

  • August 1, 2013 Robin

    Another really good one.
    Robin recently wrote…Getting CommittedMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • August 1, 2013 Leah Davidson

    Love this list. A reminder to do all the little things, which are the most important. I have one to add to the list that I started to try to do daily and it really has made such a change in my life: Do watch the sunset. Stop and appreciate the beauty everyday. Look at the amazing colours in the sky. I have “forced” my kids to watch the sunset for a few years now and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to get a text from my son, with a picture of the sunset saying “Did you see this one Mom? It was amazing”! Learning to appreciate the simple beauties. I also force everyone to get up really early at least one morning on vacations to watch the sunrise. Spectacular:)
    Leah Davidson recently wrote…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Leah, I love that, it is awesome! I’m glad you have something so beautiful to share with your children forever.

  • August 1, 2013 Carrie

    Wow. I didn’t think you could do better than the “Don’t” list.

    This is it.

    I gotta admit though. A little guilt set in. I agree with 100% of what you say to do. But do I actually take the time? No. Which is sad.

    But thank you. Now, I’m going to make myself do what feels good, eat ice cream for dinner, get me a really good pair of jeans, stay in the shower a little longer, and call the folks a little more often.

    And much more. For me.

    Amazing how it’s so easy to do so much for so many others, but cut myself short and cut my time short.

    Thank you…this is fab!
    Carrie recently wrote…Crickets and pigs and horses and chickens and I guess a jackass if you include me.My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Carrie, we often neglect ourselves, putting others above ourselves all the time. It makes me happy that this list has inspired you to start being good to YOU. xo

  • August 2, 2013 Jin Ai

    These are great “Do”s. I wanted to colour my hair dark blue at one point in time. Probably not a good idea now that I’m pregnant, but one can still hope!

    And the bra advice? Spot on. πŸ™‚
    Jin Ai recently wrote…Good ol’ regular dirt and muckMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      There still time, after the baby’s born!

  • August 2, 2013 Natalie

    I just love you. THE END!
    Natalie recently wrote…Til the Sun Goes DownMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Aw thanks Natalie! I love you too!

  • August 2, 2013 Jessica

    I love this! I didn’t get a chance to read your list of “don’ts” so I’m off to do that now.

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Jessica!

  • August 2, 2013 Leighann

    Yes! Do eat ice cream for dinner, and listen to your mother!!
    Leighann recently wrote…Starting VacationMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Ice cream for everyone!

  • August 2, 2013 Sandra

    I agreed with every single piece of advice! I’m most partial to the “ice cream for supper” one at the moment. I think I’ll go do that now πŸ™‚
    Sandra recently wrote…Bunny TaleMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Yay! Have fun. πŸ™‚

  • August 2, 2013 Nina

    LOVE THIS!!!! The quote is perfect and I love your examples of how to do just that.
    Nina recently wrote…Controlling My iPhone Time Once and For AllMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Nina!

  • August 2, 2013 Christine

    Those extra 5 minutes in the shower are pretty luxurious and wonderful. I’ve never watched Downton Abbey!
    Christine recently wrote…One Step Back. Two Steps Forward.My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Christine, if you listen to any one thing I say, it’s this: WATCH DOWNTON ABBEY. xo

  • August 3, 2013 Anna Urquhart

    I love this list–and I especially appreciated “Do own at least one pair of really good jeans.” These are what I call magic jeans. Jeans that make me feel oh-so-good about how I look, especially about how my ass looks. Every girl needs magic jeans. Great post!
    Anna Urquhart recently wrote…A Reay of SunlightMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Jeans that make your ass look good? It IS like magic.

  • August 3, 2013 Stephanie

    Oh, I love that! I found I was nodding even more vigorously by the end of the list. (You had me at ugly cry. I concur.) And the good jeans… and the french fries… I can’t wait to check out your Don’ts on Scary Mommy!
    Stephanie recently wrote…Why I Can’t Wait for the Next Blogging ConferenceMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I love when people agree with me! πŸ™‚

  • August 3, 2013 Julia

    I love the list. Do learn to cook at least one dish very well. Do enjoy lazy Sunday mornings
    Julia recently wrote…Potty On?My Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Yes and yes!!

  • August 3, 2013 Christy

    Love this list! Spending an extra five minutes in the shower feels so naughty but soooo luxurious at the same time!
    Do hold your partner’s hand.
    Do practice gratitude.
    Do become certified in CPR/Basic Life Saving skills
    Do take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass.
    Do buy the good olive oil, if you can.
    Do be authentic; you never know what will come out of opening yourself up to others.

    Have a good weekend πŸ™‚
    Christy recently wrote…Friday Gratitude: The July HighMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Christy, what a wonderful list!! Love it.

  • Do get in the picture…this is one I need to work on. I never get in the pic. Now we have all these pics with Sebastian and his dad but none of me and my son. I’m kind of afraid of having my picture taken. I need to work on this.
    Mary {My Life in Scotland} recently wrote…Phota Your MotaMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Mary, do it. Time waits for no man (woman). πŸ™‚

  • August 3, 2013 karen

    WOW…so love this list babe…a DO list…so positive and fun.
    Do ugly cry when you have to.
    Do get into the picture.
    Do wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
    Do smile at your neighbor.
    Do wear that sparkly top for no reason.
    all so great…
    karen recently wrote…DINOSAUR’S CONFESSIONSMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Than you, Karen!

  • August 3, 2013 Teresa

    Nice list. Owning a nice pair of jeans and doing something different each month will be making their way on to my “Do” list.
    Teresa recently wrote…Quick & Easy Strawberry ShortcakeMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad, Teresa!

  • August 3, 2013 Jennice

    I love this,list! #SITSsharefest
    Jennice recently wrote…Jamberry Nails:A ReviewMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Jennice!

  • August 3, 2013 Vicki M. Taylor

    What a great “Do” List. So many on there I already do, and that makes me very happy. I would add “do relax” and “do stay calm” and “do pray” to my personal list. Followed you from SITS Sharefest. Thanks for posting. Have a blessed day!
    Vicki M. Taylor recently wrote…Friday Five Minute Exercise – StressMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Those are great do’s, Vicki! Thanks for dropping by.

  • August 3, 2013 Tracie

    I love the do about wearing the sparkly top for no reason. I am that person who is always saving the fancy or nice shirt for special occasions that don’t come. It is time to make a Monday a special occasion, and just go for it.
    Tracie recently wrote…This Is How We Celebrate A DecadeMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Tracie,promise me you’ll do it. Then post a picture on Facebook. Please! πŸ™‚

  • August 3, 2013 Kari

    I love all of these! I can’t even pick a favorite because they are all so true! Visiting from SITS!
    Kari recently wrote…My 6 Year Blogiversary and GiveawayMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      Glad you liked them, Kari, thanks for visiting!

  • August 4, 2013 The Dose of Reality

    I LOVE this list!! It’s fantastic. I can’t decide which I love most, because I love them ALL!! I will say that, at 45, I only recently bought myself an expensive good bra. It’s outrageous it took me so long because it’s LIFE CHANGING. I do wear them all my waking moments, so why was I skimping??!! Hahaha. Wonderful post!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently wrote…Pinterest Nightmare #625: The HibermateMy Profile

    • August 4, 2013 Alison

      Yes, exactly! I’m glad you invested in one πŸ™‚

  • August 4, 2013 Mo at Mocadeaux

    Another great list! I love that you started it with “wash your hands after going to the bathroom.” Those signs in restaurant bathrooms that say “Employees must wash hands” make me want to take a sharpie and add “And so should everyone else!”

    One I would add to the list would be, “Do pay attention when your gut tells you something.Your intuition will rarely lead you astray.”
    Mo at Mocadeaux recently wrote…Napa Valley Wine TastingMy Profile

    • August 4, 2013 Alison

      That restaurant employees even have to be reminded to wash their hands, frightens me!
      I love you Do!

  • August 4, 2013 Robyn

    Do take naps!
    Robyn recently wrote…First Friday: YBR Proust, Other-RobynMy Profile

  • August 5, 2013 Vague

    Do get into the picture is hard for me…I’m always the one with the camera. πŸ˜€
    Vague recently wrote…Cranky and Caffeine WithdrawlMy Profile

    • August 5, 2013 Alison

      Same here! A few months ago, I did a 30-day self-portrait project, which made me get creative with getting into the shot. It was so fun, you should try it!

  • August 6, 2013 Arnebya

    I can’t get on board with the bra wearage, especially if it’s the weekend. I don’t need it. Trust me. Also, weep for me. And I always get the fries and eat them all.
    Arnebya recently wrote…TenMy Profile

    • August 6, 2013 Alison

      Even the non-ample need a good bra. Because it GIVES you bosom. Fries! I love fries. Maybe too much.

  • August 6, 2013 keely

    Do surround yourself with people who make you feel good about life. (Oh, wait, CHECK.)
    keely recently wrote…8 Things About Summertime Eating In Chicago.My Profile

    • August 6, 2013 Alison

      YES! We are so lucky, aren’t we?

  • August 7, 2013 Andrea

    I like that you’ve sanctioned my ice cream-for-dinner habit here. πŸ™‚
    Andrea recently wrote…A Post of Our Recent Family Vacation in 9 Pictures, Using Only 9 Words. Except My Words Are #prettylongbecauseIliketouselotsofwordsMy Profile

    • August 7, 2013 Alison

      I actually sanctioned my ice-cream-for-dinner habit πŸ˜‰

  • August 8, 2013 Kir

    all your DO’s are so GOOD and Right.
    Let’s DO more often.

    Kir recently wrote…Kirsten Goes to BlogHer’13My Profile

    • August 8, 2013 Alison

      We most certainly must. πŸ™‚ xo

  • August 8, 2013 Jessica

    I own several pairs of really good jeans. Absolutely a must do!
    Jessica recently wrote…The Troubles With MeMy Profile

    • August 8, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, I remember your penchant for good jeans. πŸ™‚

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