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12 Things We Learned This Month That Could Literally Change Our Lives For The Better

Hi, world, I'm Megan, and I'm part of the lifestyle and trending news team here at BuzzFeed. We're a group of about a dozen people living all over the US who spend our days scouring the internet for tips, trends, and viral stories about health and wellness, cooking and food, finances and parenting, and so much more.

I love being on this team because it means I'm always learning new tips, tricks, and information that I can apply in my actual life. This month, I asked the members of my team to share their favorite things they've learned in the last month, and there's so much good stuff. Here's what we learned in January 2024:

1.Hannah Loewentheil shared what she's learned so far as a first-time mom to a 6-month-old baby, Ellie, and she beautifully captured the joys and struggles of parenthood with refreshing honesty and a whole lot of love. If you have a baby who doesn't want to sleep, like, ever, you'll definitely want to check out what Hannah's learned about "wake windows."

Hannah's baby, Ellie, asleep in her bassinet

2.I rounded up 22 frugal tips for 2024, and it was a great reminder to shop around once a year for the best rates on regular monthly expenses like auto insurance, cellphone plans, and internet service. It might not be the most thrilling way to spend an afternoon, but locking in lower rates now could save you hundreds over the course of 2024!

A woman going over her finances at home

3.If you've ever had a friendship breakup that hurt you on a really deep level (haven't we all?), you'll want to check out this post by Raven Ishak. Raven interviewed experts who shared seven tips for healing after a friend moves on — including how you might want to change up your social media activity.

A depressed young man looking at his phone in bed

4.Ross Yoder rounded up 21 cooking "cheat codes" that people say make it so much easier to serve up a delicious dish, and he's personally hooked on one of them.

A person peeling a piece of ginger

5.Reese Witherspoon took some heat online after sharing how she likes to eat a little snow now and then, as a treat. Claudia Santos investigated and found out how you, too, can enjoy some sweet, sweet snow the safe way.

Reese eating snow

6.Claudia also rounded up some lesser-known cooking hacks that take flavors to the next level. She says one tip in particular is so simple, but it still makes chocolaty treats taste extra scrumptious.

Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies

7.How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? Mine was to read more books, and I've already finished two so far this year — largely thanks to the tips I got when I asked three of my favorite BookTokers for their best bookish advice.

Mr Johnson from Abbott Elementary reading a book with his feet up on a desk

8.Hair oiling is far from a new practice. It's common among communities of color and is thought to have originated in India centuries ago. However, it's gained more popularity in recent months thanks to TikToks promising better scalp health, smoother tresses, and fuller hair. Fabiana Buontempo got some expert insights on the practice and gave oiling a try herself.

The author showing a before and after of her scalp

9.Recently, a woman went viral after mold lurking inside her reusable water bottle made her sick, and it unlocked a new fear for many of us. Fabiana talked with Dr. Jessica Peatross, an internist and functional medicine practitioner, to get tips on how to prevent mold buildup in your water bottle and some info about what mold sickness looks and feels like.

A woman drinking out of a reusable water bottle

10.Dannica Ramirez reached out to a woman who went viral for sharing the astronomical costs she was quoted when she sought eldercare for an aging parent. Tiffany Stuart, 42, says she was told that care for a parent in New York City would cost $8,000 a month. Who can afford that??

Tiffany saying I called an eldercare facility to find out pricing for one of my parents and they said $8,000 a month

11.It seemed as if the whole internet was buzzing about kids and tweens swarming Sephora stores, so I talked to triple board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mamina Turegano about what kinds of products are actually safe for kids to use. She says most kids are just fine with a basic cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF, and she shared some more guidance about ingredients to avoid.

Shoppers approaching a Sephora store in a mall

12.Speaking of skincare, Alana Valko talked to medical aesthetician Tegan DeLuc about how overly complicated skincare routines can actually do more harm than good — especially if you're combining strong active ingredients that can irritate your skin when used together.

bottles of skincare serums