Every other Friday, I share a list of my favorite things that I typically compile from the past two weeks. I simply flag products or recipes or activities that I’ve loved during the past couple weeks and share.
K I D S
Vacation Bible School
Though I alluded to just how much VBS wore me out in my 34 week update, my kids went through a bit of VBS withdrawl after the week was over. They had such an amazing week singing, learning, crafting and playing with their friends for five straight days. I’m so grateful for the amazing production that my church puts on every summer, with more than 800 kids and volunteers coming together for one week to spread the message of Jesus.
Friends with Pools
Now that VBS is over, I feel like our lazy summer can begin. And by lazy, I mean quite the opposite because of my Rowdy boys. Maybe less scheduled is a better description. But at any rate, we are loving having friends with pool access. I don’t feel comfortable taking my kids down to the lake a) because of their ages and the 3 to 1 ratio of adults to kids, and b) because I’m super pregnant and my reflexes continue to slow. But pools are wonderful because they are a smaller confined spaced where I can see all my kids at once, they are shallower than the lake and the water is clear! This week, we’ve met friends at their pools twice and it’s been great. My Rowdy boys wear themselves out for a few hours, and my tiny girl simply splashes around, going from float to float in her chosen bathing suit of the day.
I don’t usually buy the kids toys except for holidays or birthdays, but I made an exception with this one. I bought a LilleBaby Carrier when Scarlett was born even though I already had an Ergo. The LilleBaby Carrier was made of mesh, allowing it to breathe more her first summer when we were outside a lot with the boys. So when I came across a LilleBaby Doll Carrier, I knew I had to get it so that Scarlett could babywear her dolls as I am babywearing our new baby.
B A B Y
Now that we are home for good after traveling the first few weeks of summer break, nesting has really set in. I’m currently working on setting up the nursery, and just got this diaper caddy organizer in this week. I’m trying not to spend a lot of money on this fourth baby, but this caddy was only $12 and even once he’s older, it seemed like a great organizer to throw in the minivan.
Amazon Warehouse Deals
So I had heard about Amazon Warehouse Deals, but I could never really think of a consistent way to capitalize on them until it was time to start buying diapers again. Basically, the item is “like new” but the packaging has been damaged so Amazon will not sell it under normal listings. When I was searching for newborn diapers, there was an option to buy a box as a Warehouse Deal, so I jumped on it and saved 20%. When the box arrived, the diapers and plastic covering around the diapers were completely intact. But one side of the larger box was ripped off and taped back on, so that’s why it was a Warehouse Deal.
M A M A
Last Getaway before Baby
Last weekend, we had a last little getaway near Atlanta before baby makes his appearance. We celebrated good friends at a wedding Friday night and stayed in a nice hotel with an amazing breakfast the next morning. Then I dropped by a long-time friend’s baby shower and we finished the trip by seeing one of our best friend’s new baby. Though the Atlanta traffic drove me a bit crazy (so glad to be out of that mess), it was so nice to be able to check off seeing friends before we are more homebound.
I feel like I’ve been waiting all summer for some slow mornings, but we finally had a couple this past week. I had to document this one moment at 6:30 a.m. when my kids were all playing peacefully together for a while. Some days, I feel like all I do is referee and discipline. A slower morning gave me a chance to get a lot done around the house without feeling rushed to get out the door.
R E C I P E S // F O O D
I saw a friend rave about this a couple weeks ago and finally got around to trying it this week. It was great and super easy. Plus, what Mama doesn’t love only having to use one pan to cook. Clean up was a breeze. Top with fresh tomatoes and avocado and it’s amazing!
I discovered coconut butter years ago at Whole Foods, but since we learned about Beau’s food allergies, I’ve bought it regularly for the past three years. There are several brands available, but Nutiva is my favorite and I typically buy it off Amazon because it offers the best price. I will say that Nikki’s has some amazing flavored coconut butters that I’ve ordered in the past if you’re for something different.
My kids will eat a spoonful of it after dinner if they are craving a dessert. But I also use in in baking. I’ve made this Flourless Chocolate Torte using coconut butter for years, and I also use it to help firm up dairy-free frosting. During my pregnancy with Scarlett, I would mix a spoonful of coconut butter with a spoonful of peanut or almond butter and sprinkle some Enjoy Life chips on top. So good!
While we’re on the coconut train, coconut aminos is a product I’ve purchased for years. I first learned about it 10 years ago when we launched a CrossFit gym and were learning about paleo cooking. It’s a great replacement for soy sauce, but sweeter like teriyaki sauce. And since Beau is allergic to soy, we use it a lot and can churn through a bottle a month.
It’s great as a substitute for soy sauce on meals such as chicken fried cauliflower rice. But it’s also my go-to for marinating chicken for the grill. And it seems like we grill chicken in the warmer months about once every week. I simple season my chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then douse with juice from a lime and coconut aminos. I try to prep it in the morning so it can marinate all day, and it always tastes amazing. I also use a similar approach for marinating pork tenderloin and it’s always delicious.
M I S C E L L A N E O U S
Organic Bug Spray
Summer mosquitoes in Georgia are a huge nuisance, as I’m sure they are in most other states, too. I’ve tried countless kid-safe deet-free bug repellent products over the years. But I found this set on sale for $10 at Costco a few weeks ago and decided to give it a shot. Though I feel like mosquitoes are just starting to ramp up, so far this product has worked for us. I sat outside early evening last week and sprayed myself with this spray. I noticed several mosquitoes flying around but didn’t get a single bite. This.never.happens. So to me, that was enough to make me a user of this product for the summer. I love that it’s made of three essential oils and is safe for my kids.
I got this hand vacuum for Christmas and it’s been wonderful the past 6 months. Not only does it make clean-up easy, but it’s much easier than sweeping when I want my kids to help in clean-up chores. If they make a mess, the simply grab this vacuum and clean up the floor. Even though I still sweep our kitchen floor, instead of using a dustpan, I use this to vacuum up the trash now that I’m pregnant. It just seems easier and doesn’t require me to bend over as far! We store this on it’s charging base so it’s always ready to go.
See my past Friday Faves.
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