This month, ENERGY STAR is helping my family become more energy efficient. We are switching out the light bulbs in the rooms we use the most to ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs. Apparently, LEDs are a lot less expensive than the used to be, come in a variety of options and have much better quality of light than when you might have tried energy efficient lighting for the first time about ten years ago. 

But my biggest learning is that LED bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label can last for 22 years.

22 years???

In 22 years, Mazzy will be 27 and Harlow will be 24. I won’t even mention how old I will be because that’s terrifying, but let’s just say, I hope one of my girls is around to switch the lightbulb for me, lest I slip on the ladder and break my hip.

What will Mazzy and Harlow be up to in 22 years? Will they be saving the planet? Building their media empire? Bleeding us dry with Pinterest-worthy weddings?

Not still watching Frozen, I hope!!!

Being in your twenties is an interesting time. For me, it was the decade between being a student and being a mom, when I really had to figure out who I was as a person. My friends didn’t influence me as much as they once did and my kids weren’t there to steal my identity. Yet.

There are so many things I wish someone had told me about how to take advantage of my twenties, so I’m going to use this opportunity to impart some lessons learned.

Here are 22 things I want my daughters to know in 22 years:

1. Do not spend all your time looking for the man of your dreams. This was my mistake. I would have enjoyed my twenties so much more if I appreciated being single and doing whatever I wanted to do, even if there was no potential to meet boys.

2. Travel. See the world as much as your budget allows. Once you have kids, you ain’t going nowhere.

3. Don’t obsess about your weight. You’ve probably got my sweet tooth and ability to pack on the pounds, but you know when I got my skinniest? When I stopped being so extreme about what I allowed myself to eat. Try eating a chocolate chip cookie without pretending it’s your last. Then you are less likely to eat the whole box.

4. Unless your passion is making money, don’t let money guide your career choice. When you have a family, you will hate every second of your job if it’s about nothing more than a paycheck. The easiest path to work life balance is having your time at work and your me time be one and the same.

5. Wear sunscreen!!!! Don’t wait until you’re thirty-five to realize you should have been taking care of your skin all along.

6. Don’t waste time being friends with people who aren’t nice people. They might have been the cool kids in college or the most fun people to party with, but you aren’t winning any sort of contest because someone who doesn’t like many people wants to be your friend. They will suck your positive energy, steal your boyfriend and create unnecessary drama that you should have outgrown by now.

7. If you are ever wondering if a guy you are dating really likes you, he doesn’t. Get rid of him.

8. Floss. (I’m told. I’m still trying to learn this one.)

9. Your body is your body. If you have to go to extremes to change it, it won’t last and it will just take you longer to learn to love it.

10. If you are ever feeling lonely, call your sister. She comes from the same place and understands you better than anyone. If you want a shoulder to cry on or a person to brag to, call your mom. She wants to hear all news— good and bad.

11. If you are trying to find romance based on Hollywood movies, notice almost all rom coms end when the two people get together. Real relationships are about the ups and downs that happen after that.

12. Don’t look for yourself in male form. Your father and I are totally different but work well together. If we were interested in all the same things, we would drive each other crazy. If we brought all the same skills to the table, half the shit adults need to do would never get done.

13. If you want to have children and a career, find a man who likes to cook.

14. If you ever get laid off, know that you can bounce back from it in a big way. That’s what your mom did.

15. Live somewhere different for at least a year. Growing up in NYC is kind of a curse because so many people migrate here. I like to think it’s where I would have ended up anyway, but truthfully, my one regret is that I never really left home.

16. Pick up a newspaper every once in awhile. Or read the Times on your iPad. Or visualize it on your iHolograph 2000. Whatever. Just be informed.

17. No one feels like a grown-up. We are all kids in adult bodies.

18. Everybody thinks they have no idea what they are doing when they first start a real job. Some are just better at hiding it.

19. Don’t live with someone before you are ready because it makes sense financially. It’s really hard to break-up when you are sharing a bathroom.

20. Your two or three closest friends are really the only friends that matter.

21. Don’t feel pressure to have kids if you don’t want them. Having kids is life-changing and hard. Take that decision seriously and don’t just do it because that’s what everyone expects. Even if your mother keeps pestering you.

22. Contrary to everything you previously thought, your mom is pretty cool.

Did I forget anything? Probably. Who’s got something to add they want their kids to know in 22 years? If so, you could win a $250 gift card from Home Depot, and a pack of five ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs from Philips, which will save you about $400 in energy bills over their lifetime.


My only requirements for entry are as follows:

1) Share this post in some way (facebook, twitter, pinterest, snail mail, whatever)

2) Watch one of the ENERGY STAR videos at the bottom of this post

3) Leave your comment below about one thing you want your child to know in 22 years

You can see the full rules here.

I’ll be picking my favorite answer to take home the prize on October 13th when I show off “before and after” pictures of my brand new fixtures.

There are tons more LED lighting choices available than ever before, but remember you must make sure your bulb is ENERGY STAR certified to ensure the quality of the light matches the incandescent bulb you are replacing.

ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that has been helping businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency for the past 20 years. An ENERGY STAR label means the light has undergone rigorous testing and only the highest quality bulbs with the most energy-saving benefits make the cut.

Consider this: If every household switched just one bulb to an ENERGY STAR certified bulb, we would save enough energy to light two million homes for a whole year, save $460 million in annual energy costs and prevent six billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to that of 550,000 cars.

Now that’s something that could help your child’s future.

To learn more about ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs, click here.


This post was sponsored by Energy Star, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.