Non-Toy Gift Ideas

The first snow is on the ground here in Indiana and something about looking outside and seeing a fresh coat of white puts me in a festive mood. I love this time of year – cozy nights snuggled under blankets, candles burning, gathering with friends and family for a meal. I love the holiday seasons!

With every holiday season comes the inevitable gift-giving. My children are lucky to have grandparents, great-grandparerents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who love them and want to give them gifts. Every year around this time, I start getting asked what is on their Christmas list and every year, I struggle to come up with enough things to go around. On the one hand, I love that others want to show love to my children in this way. On the other, I don’t want our family to just accumulate stuff for the sake of getting gifts. I want our gifts to be meaningful, special, and not just clutter-creating.

LJ’s Christmas list does have some toys on it. I get it, I totally like gifting fun items! Who just wants to gift things like socks all the time? But that doesn’t mean that ALL his presents need to be toys. Currently, his list has practical things, experience gifts and consumable products. And yes, we did include a few books and specific toys he’ll love.  That’s completely okay! I’m not trying to be a grinch here. Just trying to keep what comes into our house a little more well-rounded.

Today I thought I’d share some ideas of what I’ve put on LJ and Vi’s Christmas lists. I want to be clear that if you’re all about giving toys for Christmas and want to go that route with all their presents – go for it! I’m not judging anyone for requesting or gifting toys. I just prefer to have a wider variety of gifts and avoid adding lots of clutter to my house. I’m sharing what we’re asking for this year in case anyone else out there is looking for ideas for gifts to ask for that aren’t toys.

Practical Gifts

I know my kiddos are still really little and don’t care so much about getting “fun” gifts, so I loaded up their lists with things that they need for the coming year. This includes things like snow pants, snow boots, and socks. I also put practical things on LJ’s list that are a little more fun like this Paw Patrol potty (he needs one for potty training and he LOVES Paw Patrol so this will be fun for him haha) and a backpack. Since she will only be 4 months old and we already have plenty of age-appropriate toys for her, Vi’s list is almost exclusively practical with things like clothing, a swimsuit for summer, a mirror for the car, bathtub spout cover, diapers and wipes.

Meaningful experiences

LJ adores his grandparents and loves to spend time with them. And on the flip side, they love spending time with him! This makes experience gifts an easy thing to ask for. I love the idea of experience gifts because they keep on giving – they are exciting to get, fun to look forward to, enjoyable in the moment, and afterwards they become fond memories to cherish. I let our loved ones know if they want to give an experience gift, such as a zoo pass, they are welcome to join our family when we use it or they can even take our children on a special date without us and experience it together. Justin and I did this several years ago for our niece and nephew; we bought them passes to a local children’s museum and then took them ourselves. We don’t get to see them as often as we would like so it was a special day just us four and we made some great memories and had so much fun!

Here are some ideas of experience gifts I have requested for my kids (or may ask for one day):

Zoo Pass

Whether it’s a day pass or a full membership, this is an experience gift that appeals to children of many ages. LJ absolutely loves going to the zoo, and we are lucky to live close to a great children’s zoo where he can not only see many different animals, but he can feed giraffes, ride a train, and brush goats (or kiss like he’s doing in the picture – haha! So sweet and so gross). The zoo is always a hit!

Day at a Children’s Museum

We have a science museum nearby. My parents live near a living history museum and my in-laws live near a children’s discovery museum. We all live in vastly different sized towns and cities so just because you live in a small town doesn’t mean there isn’t an option for you within driving distance. Maybe there is something 5 minutes away and this experience gift takes an afternoon. Maybe you have to drive an hour and it becomes more of an all-day trip. Maybe the museum is geared towards something specific, like art or science, or maybe it is more of a play museum. Or maybe it’s not a museum at all – for my nephew’s 7th birthday instead of getting him a physical gift, we bought tickets for our families to go to a trampoline park (highly recommend!) Whether it’s a hands-on museum or an indoor waterpark, there are memories to be made. 🙂

Inexpensive local experiences

Experience gifts don’t have to be expensive. Just think about what your child loves doing and try to create a special experience around it. Maybe the gift is a movie night at grandma’s with a new DVD or Redbox/Netflix/Amazon Prime/etc. movie, popped popcorn, and your child’s favorite splurge candy. Maybe there’s a local farm you can visit and explore together. If you live near a town with minor league teams, you can often find inexpensive tickets to a game. If your child loves to help in the kitchen, perhaps a gift of baking (gifting ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and then spending the afternoon baking together) is something he or she would enjoy. My nephew loves Legos, and if we buy him a set, Justin helps him put it together and this has become a special ‘thing’ they now do. There are a lot of options out there for things to do that don’t cost a ton but will provide lots of fun!

Consumable Gifts

A consumable gift is something that can be used up. It’s no secret that I am pretty minimal-ish and don’t like clutter. A gift that can get used up is perfect for creating fun memories without a ton of long-lasting clutter! LJ is starting to really enjoy doing little art projects at home so we put things like stickers and crayons (I love these!) on his list this year and I know he will be so excited to receive them.

Examples of consumable gifts:

-bubbles

-stickers/sticker books

-crayons, markers, colored pencils

-coloring books/activity books

-sidewalk chalk

-fingerpaint

-bath bombs in fun colors

I also love consumable gifts because they often inspire creativity and play in ways that conventional toys don’t. Win win!

And in addition to all those ideas, we did put a few toys and books on LJ’s Christmas list, although I try to be intentional about the toys I do ask for (I’ll share more about that next week). I’m not about restricting toys, just about finding balance. 🙂

Do you have any other ideas for non-toy gift ideas? Or toys that are definitely worth asking for? I’d love to hear them!

 

 

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween!

Historically, Halloween is a time I go all out. I loved coming up with costumes and especially themed costumes. Ever since Justin and I have been together, I’ve tried to do a couples costume and then once LJ came along, we did a family costume. I had originally hoped to do a family costume again this year, but with 2 under 2, it’s been a bit hectic around here and coming up with and executing a family costume just wasn’t a top priority.

So instead of a family costume, I kept things relatively simple. For Vi, I found a 0-3 month unicorn “costume” (it’s just a headband and tutu) at a consignment store for a couple bucks and decided that was good enough for an infant who a) doesn’t care about this holiday b) will likely sleep through the whole thing and c) depending on weather, may be too bundled up for anyone to see what she’s wearing anyways.

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For LJ, I went with his interests and what I already had. Someone gifted us an 18-month engineer costume about a year ago and I’ve been saving it for Halloween. LJ is currently obsessed with trains so he’ll be a train engineer (provided the outfit fits – I actually haven’t tried it on him yet – eek!). Then yesterday during naptime I fashioned a Thomas the Tank Engine costume based loosely on something I found on Pinterest.

Look, the key here for me was to shoot for “adequate at best.” I’m not trying to win a costume contest or get a thousand likes on social media. I’m just trying to come up with a cute idea that my son will love and may or may not decide he’s in the mood to wear. I mean, he is a toddler. I found a DIY Thomas costume that had an internal contraption for storing candy so when you trick or treat, the candy goes through the steam pipe and gets stored inside the costume. Look, maybe that mama has an engineering degree or just really loves intricate costumes. Good for her! I’m happy if she’s happy. But I’m not using that as my measuring stick for success.

There are a ton of ideas for how to make a Thomas costume on Pinterest and the end results are all more impressive than mine, so I’m not going to give you a step by step. All I did was take a Pampers diaper box and cut the top flaps to the general shape of the train. When I cut out the bottom flaps, I used the extra cardboard and duct-taped the pieces to the top flap to fashion the back of the train. I had a red box from Aldi that I cut into the shape of the front grill (do trains have grills? I don’t even know that that is called) and I cut circles out for the wheels and taped them to the inside of the box.

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I painted the train blue (I just got a color sample jar from Lowe’s in Sherwin Williams Georgian Blue) and used red masking tape, yellow washi tape, and black construction paper to decorate the sides to look like Thomas. Justin printed out a Thomas face, and I just used construction paper to form a circle around his face which I taped to the front of the box. I wrapped half a paper towel roll in black construction paper and taped it on top and voila!

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It took me about 2 hours (not counting the dry time) and cost about $10 for materials. I’m happy with it and LJ is thrilled. Well, thrilled with the box, we’ll see if he actually wants to wear it tonight  (I do still have to attach some straps today).

I’d love to have a picture of my kids in their costumes to post here, and I give mad props to all the mamas who have already wrangled their kids into costumes to take photos before Halloween. For me, I’m pretty sure I’ve only got one shot to get LJ into his costume so I’m waiting for the main event tonight. So I’ll just leave you with some costumes from years past. Enjoy!

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2010: Katy Perry
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2012: Haymitch & Effie from The Hunger Games
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2013: Little Bo Peep & her sheep (and bumblebee)
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2014: Progressive Flo & Jake from State Farm
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2015: Abby from NCIS
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2016: Nick & Jess from New Girl
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2017: Backstreet Boy & Brittney Spears (BABY one more time!)
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2018: Pooh, Tigger, and Rabbit

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

 

Let’s Look: Favorite Fall Recipes

Today I’m linking up once again with Shay and Erika for their monthly “Let’s Look” post and today is all about fall recipes which is perfect because it is FINALLY is starting to feel like fall around here! 

A quick recap of our recent fall fun before I share my favorite recipes: Justin and I took the kids to a fall festival at a dairy farm in our area on Saturday and it was a blast! The weather was a little cooler and I was feeling ALL the fall things. Hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkins galore!

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It was so much fun to get to experience the festival with LJ: he absolutely LOVED it!

He played in a giant bin of corn, which just cracked me up. I mean, does it get any more Midwestern than that?

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We also got to see how their cows were milked, pet a baby calf, and take a ride on a train pulled by a tractor through a corn maze. I think LJ’s favorite part was getting to play on the giant jump pad – he wants to do everything he sees the big kids doing and he had so much fun running from end to end and getting bounced around (I love the progression of pictures haha!) It was SUCH a fun fall day!

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Alright, now on to fall recipes! Now I’m not one to go crazy over pumpkin spice everything as soon as the temperatures drop, but I do get excited for a few things every fall. My absolute favorites are:

THESE BARS from Sally’s Baking Addition. They’re called Apple Butterscotch Magic Bars and they really do feel like fall magic. I am not a coconut fan so I leave out the shredded coconut and they are still so delicious!

THESE COOKIES from Dear Crissy are the perfect pumpkin cookie. I love making these for a party because otherwise I end up eating them all myself. If you prefer a cream cheese frosting, these cookies from Cooking Classy are also very good.

And as for Halloween festivities, I wrote a blog post several years ago about simple Halloween treats for procrastinators (basically, a few festive and easy treats you can whip up quickly). These are sweet and simple additions to a Halloween party!Final Treat Collage

What are your favorite recipes for fall?

 

Final Baby Prep

10 days.

I can officially count down the days until baby comes on my fingers. Ahh!!

The nice thing about having to schedule a repeat c-section is that even if baby does decide to come early, there is a definite eviction date. Baby will no longer be in my belly after August 23 – I am just so excited to meet this little one!

I’ve shared before that it took quite a while for my nesting urges to kick in this time, but once they did, they really did. In the last two weeks, Justin and I have worked to transform an old dresser, paint the walls, set up a crib, and get some semblance of a nursery together. Whew! Now that we have the hospital bags ready and a little nursery, I feel as prepared as I can be for baby to arrive!

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I kept the nursery preparations very simple for baby #2 for three big reasons. First, we kept LJ in a bassinet in our room for the first 8 weeks and plan to do the same with this baby. Because of this, the nursery really isn’t going to get used for the first two months of baby’s life. Second, since we did not find out the gender, I didn’t want to do too much decorating in advance. Once baby comes, I’ll be able to customize it a little better and actually hang things on the wall. And third, all baby NEEDS right away is a source of food and a place to sleep. Once we had that covered, I decided not to stress too much about anything else.

Today I thought I’d just share a little glimpse into what we did for the simplified nursery.

Enjoy!

Baby #2’s Simplified Nursery

So up until about two weeks ago, the nursery still looked like this:

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Brown walls, random furniture, and an air mattress because we had been using it as an extra guest bedroom. It doesn’t exactly scream “welcome, baby!” does it? I had at least started to sort some of our newborn clothes though 😉

My #1 goal was to lighten up the room. I wanted something bright and airy, so after we primed the walls, for the first time in my life chose to paint walls white. Normally I’m not a fan of white walls, but since we didn’t know the gender, I decided to go this route this time. Eventually, I plan to make the wall behind the crib an accent wall of some kind. For now, simple, crisp, clean white will do.

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Next, I wanted to create a cute little dresser for the wall on the opposite side of the room to give a little color to the room. I found this fairly ugly dresser for $10 on Craigslist and knew I could transform it to just what I wanted. I enlisted Justin’s help (I was more of the visionary, he was more of the laborer ha!) and I’m so happy with how it turned out! We sanded it down, primed, two coats of paint (Sherwin Williams Green Tartan), and added some new hardware. Then Justin used dowel rods to create legs and give it a bit more height. I also had him add a stained board to the front because the piece of plywood that was there was very flimsy and cheap. Plus, I thought it gave a little more character. I love it now!

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Dresser: $10

New hardware: $18 total (including tax and shipping)

Paint: $13

Wood + dowel: $7

We had the primer, stain, and brushes already. So the total cost of this dresser was right under $50 total. Win!

A friend had an extra crib but it did not have the ability to adjust mattress height for a baby, so we put that crib in LJ’s room and moved his crib to the baby’s room. Another friend is done having babies and was ready to part with her glider. I added a simple piece of artwork that was previously in LJ’s nursery, hung blackout curtains in a shade of minty green that will complement pink or blue, and brought in our trusty sound machine and salt lamp for once baby is ready to sleep in the nursery. And done!

It’s definitely very simple, but I’m so happy we decided to freshen up the room and I cannot wait to see our little one in it so soon!

Things I Love: TV Shows!

Good morning!

Once again, I’m joining Erika and Shay for their monthly “Let’s Look” link-up (except because of my 37 week, super preggo brain, I cannot for the life of me keep my dates/days of the week straight and I accidentally planned this post a week in advance – the actual link up is NEXT week but since this post was ready to go, I went ahead and published early). Today’s topic is a great one: favorite binge shows! This reminds me of the blog post I did a while back on my favorite podcasts – just a fun little post about what I’m loving.

Justin and I don’t watch a lot of regular TV, but we do enjoy hanging out on the couch and re-watching our favorite shows on Netflix. Over the years, there are some shows we just keep coming back to. You’ll notice all my favorites are comedies; I think if I’m going to binge-watch a show, it needs to be something light, happy, and fun. It’s hard for me to binge-watch things that are more intense, although I will say some of my favorite shows that I’m not binge-watching but currently love are dramas (looking at you This is Us and A Million Little Things). 

Alright, let’s look at my favorite binge shows!

My Favorite Binge-Worthy Shows

Psych

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Not just my favorite binge-worthy show, but my favorite show. Period. I started watching Psych when it first aired on USA way back in high school and immediately loved it. It is hilarious, witty, and super clever. There are tons of fun pop culture (particularly 80’s) references, hidden pineapples that pop up at funny times, running jokes, sarcastic banter – it is just top notch. This is the only show collection that I own on DVD and I will periodically just decide it’s time to re-watch the episodes. I love, love, LOVE Psych!

Friends

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I couldn’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve watched Friends. One of my college roommates owned the entire collection on DVD and during my senior year I made it through the entire series in order. I’m pretty sure that’s the only time I’ve watched it all start to finish, but I have seen every episode multiple times over the years, either from being aired on TV or re-watching on Netflix. There are some episodes that make me laugh every single time (gosh – the one with the trivia game is just GOLD) and this is a show I can always rely on if I just need a little something on in the background. When Justin was working a lot of night shifts and I was home alone at night, this is the show I would watch; it’s just fun and happy!

The Office

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This is a favorite of both Justin and mine. We LOVE binge-watching The Office! We just think this brand of humor is hilarious and even though we’ve seen every episode before, we still crack up over Michael’s lines or Jim and Dwight’s antics. I will say, we don’t care for the later seasons as much (I mean, once there’s no Steve Carell, the dynamic totally changed!) but I could re-watch the first several seasons absolutely anytime I need a good laugh.

New Girl

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Justin and I are currently binge-watching New Girl again (yep, we’ve already seen the whole series) and this is another favorite. Oh gosh . . . this show just cracks me up. I particularly love the characters of Schmidt and Winston. They have some amazing lines and the dynamics on the show are just hilarious. It’s been a great way to unwind in the evenings lately before going to bed.

Parks & Recreation

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Parks & Rec is another show I’ve binged watched through a couple times and it’s just SO funny. If you haven’t seen it before, I will say that it takes a little while to really love. The first season is okay but they start absolutely killing it from the second season on. Just look online for some hilarious memes about this show and you will crack up! The characters are all portrayed so perfectly and it’s just a highly entertaining show that I quote all the time.

Honorable Mentions

Gilmore Girls

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Fast-talking, sarcastic, witty – this show is another great one! I’m not really sure how to explain why it’s in the honorable mentions category other than to say, it’s a show that I’d watch again if it was already playing, but I don’t really seek it out or choose to watch it again. I enjoy it and think it’s funny, but I just prefer others more. Does that make sense?

How I Met Your Mother

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This show is filled with so many hilarious lines! It’s only on my honorable mentions list and not the main list because I’ve truthfully only binged-watched it one time; however, if it was on Netflix again, I’m sure I would re-watch episodes. I think this show is not only funny but actually really clever and has some awesome story arcs that cross over multiple seasons. You don’t even realize some things are significant until multiple seasons later and I love that!

Poldark

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Hooray – a drama finally made my list! Poldark is a bit of a dark horse for binge-watching, but Justin and I did binge-watch the first couple seasons at one point. Here’s the thing though: this show can be intense. I get super invested in the characters and they don’t always live or have happy situations. It’s difficult for me to watch multiple episodes at a time when some of the story lines are unpleasant (I don’t want to spoil anything, but one in particular in Season 3 was just hard to watch episode after episode) but this show is one that we do enjoy picking up every now and then.

Whew – this made me want to grab a yummy snack and plop on the couch to re-watch some great episodes of my favorite shows! What is on your list of favorite shows to binge?

 

 

 

Nontoxic Cleaners that Simplify My Life

Yesterday, I was spraying down my kitchen counters with an all-purpose cleaner and LJ wanted to help. He grabbed the spray bottle to spray and then wanted to help me wipe down the surfaces. I did not hesitate to allow him to help, because I was using this cleaner which is plant-based, natural, and safe. Obviously, I’m not going to let him just straight up drink the cleaner or use it unsupervised or anything, but it gives me SUCH peace of mind that if something should happen and he does ingest a little or get it on his skin, it’ll be okay.

This got me thinking about all the nontoxic products I use for cleaning around my house and how much they simplify my life by not only working to keep my house clean, but giving me peace of mind in knowing LJ isn’t surrounded by harmful chemicals on every surface. So today I thought I’d just share a few of my favorite cleaning products that I use! I make exactly $0 with posts like this. No affiliate links, nothing sponsored. Just things I use and genuinely love. If you’re looking for ways to reduce chemical use in your home, I hope you find something here that’s helpful!

Puracy Laundry Stain Remover

As much as I love nontoxic cleaning products, I have been very hesitant over the years to try natural stain removers. When a piece of clothing gets stained, I want that stain to really be gone and I worried that by trying natural removers, I’d be wasting lots of money on products that just didn’t work as well as conventional products at removing stains. Enter Puracy. I heard about this brand through Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers (been following her blog for years!) and when she raved about how it cleaned a huge blueberry mess off her baby’s bib, I figured it could handle all the toddler stains I have too. You guys, I LOVE this stuff! It’s a free & clear formula composed of plant-based cleaners and it actually WORKS. Check this out:

I mean, all that ketchup was GONE. Hooray! I will say, the one thing that you have to keep in mind here is the longer this remover sits on a stain, the better it works. So when the ketchup fiasco happened, I stripped LJ down and immediately took the outfit to the laundry, sprayed Puracy on, and rubbed it in. I let it set until the next time I did laundry (which I think was the next morning) and the stain was gone. I don’t think it works quite as well if you just spray Puracy on a several-days-old stain and dump it straight in the wash. It needs time to set. Just an FYI!

Norwex Laundry Detergent

I have tried many a free and clear laundry detergent over the years and this one is my favorite for a few reasons. There are no dyes, fragrances, or other yucky stuff, one bag lasts a long time (like, over 8 months for me!) and most importantly, it works! My clothes come out nice and clean and I love that it is safe for the whole family. I use it even on the clothes that my brand-new, fresh-out-of-the-womb babies wear and don’t buy a special “baby” detergent.

I also love this product because I really try to reduce our plastic use as much as possible, and liquid laundry detergent comes in big, thick plastic containers that are difficult to recycle (and sometimes things like the tops aren’t recyclable at all). So I love that this is a powder that comes in a small bag that lasts so long – it just feels like it helps reduce wasted plastic. Love this stuff!

Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls

These balls work as a natural fabric softener and about 2 years ago I started using them in place of dryer sheets. Two years in and they are still effective! I just keep them in the dryer at all times so they’re ready to go and it’s a step I don’t have to worry about. Every once in a great while, I might add a drop or two of essential oil to the ball to add the faintest hint of a scent, but I typically just throw in my clothes and hit start! Easy, effective, and eco-friendly.

Norwex Window Cloth

I love using this window cloth for all my mirrors and windows. You just spray water on the surface and wipe it with the cloth – it is quick and effective and doesn’t leave streaks. I used this for a while, and then I used Windex on a mirror at my last house and was shocked by how streaky it looked using the “traditional” cleaner. Now I stick solely to this cloth!

Better Life Brand

I saw this brand on Shark Tank several years ago and was sold when the founder used the cleaner to wipe up raw chicken (and tested the surface to prove the product actually did clean it up!) and then proceeded to showcase its safety by SPRAYING IT IN HIS MOUTH. Yes. That happened. A cleaner that works that effectively and is safe for humans to ingest? Sign. Me. Up.

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Pictured with my trusty Norwex window cloth – these are my everyday cleaning staples!

 

This brand is my absolute go-to for daily cleaning. I use their dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, kitchen + bath scrubber, floor cleaner, all-purpose wipes, stainless steel polish…I love them all! You can read more about how I use them in the post I did on my cleaning routine (fine that here). I love, love, LOVE this brand and highly recommend it!

All these products have made my life simpler because I don’t have to think twice about their safety and efficacy. They reduce decision fatigue and keep my house nice and clean. Win win!

What nontoxic products do you swear by in your home? I’d love to hear your favorites!

 

“19 for 19” Update

Somehow it’s already mid-July and I’m feeling that sense of “where the heck is summer going!?” It feels like we had to wait so long for it to arrive (our spring was long, cold, and very wet) so I’m trying to soak up as much of the warm weather and sunshine as possible!

In January, I posted my list of goals for 2019 (find the original post here) and today I thought I’d just give a little update on how my list is coming along so far. Some of my goals were one-and-done things, while others are more ongoing. Some I’ve accomplished and some I have put zero effort into. We’ll see what the second half of the year holds for the list, but in the meantime, here’s how it’s going thus far:

My 19 for 2019

1- I didn’t initially share what this one was, but I’m ready to now. My #1 goal for 2019 was . . . BABY #2. Justin and I both felt very ready to expand our family and hoped to at least get pregnant in 2019, even if baby didn’t actually arrive until 2020. Now we’re just over 5 weeks away from meeting baby #2!

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2- Plan an adults-only trip for Justin and I – This one is completed! We planned and took an adults-only babymoon to the Bahamas and it was just what we needed. It was relaxing, fun, and just a wonderful vacation for us to reconnect and enjoy time together.

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3- Update instagram account and create Chatbook for LJ – Still working on this one. I have SO many pictures and it’s taking a while but I have put some work into this.

4- Select pictures for family photo albums – Zero progress on this one so far. I want to do one for each year of marriage and we’ve been married 6 years. It’s just a huge project and I have so many photos to sort through!

5- Plan out family photo albums – Again, zero progress. I can’t plan the albums until I have the photos selected, so hopefully I can get at least a little momentum on picking them out.

6- Create a master list of my top book recommendations – This one is done! I wrote a blog post about my top recommendations that you can find here. Now I just need to remember to periodically update it when I find new books I love!

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7- Replace our ugly brown recliner – Justin’s $20 brown recliner from college is still with us. Since we moved to a new house and had lots more space it didn’t feel like the right time to eliminate furniture. BUT it has been relegated to the basement for now so at least I don’t have to see it every day. 😉

8- Write and track our monthly spending budget – Justin and I did great with this for several months, but we’ve fallen off the wagon with this.

9- Send birthday cards – I’ve done okay with this one. I have sent many birthday cards, but my pregnancy brain has also caused a lot of them to be belated. So . . . I’m trying.

10- Find a local tailor – This one is also done! I found a local tailor that fixed my pile of clothes that needed attention – everything from pants that needed hemmed to clothing with holes to my bridesmaids dress for my sister’s wedding. Yay!

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11- Find a reliable, nearby babysitter -I would say this is partially done. We finally found a good babysitter at our last house, but then we moved. I have a lead on another babysitter but I have yet to use her. I actually plan to reach out this week so I’m hoping she’s a good one!

12- Have house siding washed -Done! Except we did it for our old house . . . and now our new house needs it too! We’ll probably wait to do the new house until next year but it did feel great to get our previous home look so clean!

13- Find comfortable black heels – Pregnancy is probably not the time to be searching for heels haha! I haven’t looked into this at all, so maybe after baby comes I’ll feel more inspired.

14 – Plan our will with an estate lawyer – Not done yet, but I’ve emailed a lawyer to get this process started so some progress has been made!

15- Invest in buying plastic alternatives – This one is ongoing, so it can’t really be “done” but I have bought stainless steel straws and another glass container to store and take along food. Progress!

16- Set up accounts for LJ’s future – We’ve set up his 529 plan! Whoo hoo!

17- Have budget meeting with Justin for each paycheck (roughly 2x/month) – Again, we did really well with this for several months but haven’t really kept this up lately. This check-in is good motivation to get back in the habit!

18- When buying clothing or shoes, look for fair trade, ethically made options – Honestly, I haven’t bought any shoes this year, and the clothes I’ve bought have all been maternity. While I haven’t necessarily bought fair-trade, I have bought a lot second-hand which is at least a very sustainable option and I’m happy about that!

19- Learn more about finances (401K, 403B, investments, etc.) – I’ve been doing this! Mostly by listening to various podcasts but there are also some books that I’ve read that have been helpful as well.

Overall, I’m pretty proud of how things are going with my list. If you made goals or resolutions for 2019, have you accomplished them? I’d love to hear!