Focusing on the good things in life can be one of the best ways to stay positive and grateful! I love stopping to think about what is making life easier, tastier, prettier, and funner!
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It’s time for one of my favorite kinds of posts! I get to sit and think about what I’m loving and then share it all with you. (Honestly, after a somewhat long week, this has been a great exercise this morning!).
I’m just going to jump right in because I’m also loving showers these days and my window is closing in. You mamas of little ones know just what I mean.
Before I tell you what is making our lives easier/tastier/prettier/funner, I have a favor to ask. If you find yourself cheering any of these on, share this post with your peeps because chances are, they need it too. AND, I absolutely love it when you tag me on social media, so be sure to say hi and let me know what you’re loving these days.
Thanks so much!
What I’m Loving :: Edition 13
MY ESSENTIAL SPRING WARDROBE
Spring and summer get hot here in North Carolina. Hot and humid. We’ve already seen temperatures in the mid 80’s in the past couple of weeks.
Once the temp rises, you will be able to find me in shorts just about all day everyday. I don’t do hot very well.
I needed some new shorts and my husband suggested that I try looking at Academy sporting goods first. Definitely not my usual stop for clothes, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Academy has lots of shorts in all kinds of colors and styles at great prices (each was between $12-$15).
I picked up some turquoise shorts, olive green cargo type shorts, and a pair of gym shorts with pockets (the best kind). I hope to go back for a couple more pairs soon.
This is going to sound like the opposite of what I just said, but lightweight sweatshirts and long-sleeve t-shirts are also essential in the spring and summer. I love having a long-sleeve option to layer with shorts for cooler mornings and indoors cool with a/c.
I’m really loving my new shirt from Grins & Grace (left), and my new sweatshirt from Little Mama Shirt Shop (right).
GROVE BUBBLE UP BRUSH AND BOTTLE BRUSH
You may already know this, but we do not own a dishwasher.
Yes, you read that right. I wash A LOT of dishes by hand. Most of the time, I don’t mind. It actually gives me a break because washing dishes is a solo activity and I use the time to listen to books or podcasts.
But because I wash so many dishes everyday, I am a little particular about what I use. My favorite dish soaps are the Mrs. Meyers soaps, and this month I have been trying out the new bubble up brush from Grove’s new spring collection.
I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, but I can honestly say that after using it daily for a month, I love it and can highly recommend it. This and my Grove bottle brush make me happy. #itsthelittlethings
You can sign up for Grove and get a bubble-up brush, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, and more for free when you spend $20 on other products (there’s so much to choose from!).
For My Kids
WE MET ONE OF MY BIGGEST GOALS FOR THIS HOMESCHOOL YEAR!
This homeschool year has been much more irregular than I would prefer thanks to a couple very busy toddlers, but one of my goals for the year was for my middle son to learn to read. I felt like if we could just accomplish this, our year would not be a bust.
(Of course, it’s not a bust either way. Our kids are always learning. Don’t call the school police on me).
In the past couple of months, everything is beginning to click for my son and he is starting to read. Teaching kids to read is probably one of the most trying and yet most fulfilling things we do as homeschool moms.
It’s an amazing transition to see your children go from not reading to reading. Two down, three more to go!
FUN IN THE SUN
More time outside, for myself and for my kids alone, is absolutely making life easier and funner!
My kids are so much happier when they get free time outdoors. And I am so much happier when they are outside for part of the day too! 😉
Thankfully, our backyard is awesome for free play. My boys have even built a shelter and are busying themselves on all kinds of projects.
We are also getting out to parks and the zoo and whatnot as much as we can too. It’s my favorite part of spring and summer!
THESE TWO STROLLERS ARE THE BEST!
With five kids eight and under, you can imagine that we have had plenty of opportunities to use strollers over the years. We have owned a variety of both single and double strollers, from travel systems, to ten-dollar umbrella strollers, to a few different double strollers.
I can honestly say that the strollers we own and use now are hands-down my favorite. They are both compact in our trunk, easy to maneuver and push (even by our older kids), and very importantly, they both provide a ample amount of storage space.
We use each of these strollers for different things and at different times, but I’m not ready to part with either one just yet. If you are in the market for a GREAT stroller, I highly recommend these.
Chicco Liteway Compact-Fold Aluminum Stroller
Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite Stroller
I just discovered these recently, and I’m so happy I did! I originally bought them for my baby, but all my kids are excited to use them.
The silicon lids stretch over kids’ cups, jars, glasses, etc. They are easy to clean, and are great for carrying with you to use while you are out and about.
For Our Home
If you have followed me on social media for a while, you may already know this, but I have vacillated back and forth about whether or not to invest in a handheld vacuum for years. YEARS.
I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t pick. Or even decide if I wanted one.
I finally took the plunge and ordered this HoLife handheld vacuum last month. I wanted a vacuum that would hold a charge for long enough to clean something, that wouldn’t get clogged easily, that would have a powerful suction, and that would generally be easy enough for any of us to use.
I’ve been very happy with this little vacuum!
After breaking about three different electric pencil sharpeners, we ordered a manual pencil sharpener from Amazon. It works so well, and will last for YEARS.
Plus, it’s screwed onto our bookshelf, so there’s no losing it either. Every homeschool family, or any family who uses pencils, should have a reliable pencil sharpener!
On the Table
RAMEN NOODLES IN THE INSTANT POT
I have been making these ramen noodles as an afternoon snack many days and loving how delicious and filling it is. My oldest usually asks me to share them, which is just fine for me.
Make your own chicken stock and these ramen noodles will be almost as inexpensive as the unhealthy version!
COOKING FROM THESE COOKBOOKS AND LOVING IT!
I received a new cookbook in the mail last week and I’m so excited to dig through the recipes. I already made the herbed crescent rolls for Easter dinner, and I have several other flagged and ready.
Chances are good that you’ve already heard of Jill Winger from Prairie Homestead, but if you haven’t you should definitely check her out. She’s a wealth of knowledge about many things and her new cookbook, The Prairie Homestead Cookbook, is sure to impress.
About a month ago MY cookbook came in the mail too. Having all my recipes in cookbook form in my hands is amazing and I CAN’T WAIT until you can have it in your hands too. (Just a few short weeks away!).
I have been cooking from my cookbook multiple times a week and every time I do, even more excitement overwhelms me. Y’all. The recipes are not only tasty, they are easy enough to do on a weeknight when you’ve just finished school lessons at 5:30 and you don’t feel like cooking at all but you are committed to not buying dinner out again for another night this week. #knowwhatImean??
Get more details and preorder here!
What We’re Reading
Dad’s family read-aloud: Father and I Were Ranchers, the first book in the Little Britches Series. (The Little Britches series is included in so many lists of great read-alouds, and has been compared to a boys’ Little House series).
Homeschool read-aloud: I am kind of in between read alouds, but I started reading The Dangerous Journey again for the umpteenth time. (More about favorite Pilgrim’s Progress books here)
Audiobook: The Ramona Quimby series. My kids LOVE it.
Me: I just finished Educated on Audible. I was captivated by the story and really enjoyed listening to it while I worked on different things. I am also reading New Morning Mercies, The Road Back to You, and No Longer Little. I am listening to For the Children’s Sake again on Audible too.
Husband: A Scottish Christian Heritage, Iain Murray
8 Year Old: The Ranger’s Apprentice series. My son is flying through this series and loving them! The series came recommended by a man in our church and I’m so thankful to have found another series my son is excited about.
7 Year Old: Biscuit books. Like I mentioned, my 7-year old is just starting to read and these Biscuit books are his current favorite. Next up will be getting him started with Magic Tree House books.
You are a great person with awesome ideas. You manage to inspire me quite often and thank you for that! Good luck in the new year!
Susan - Mom of two children says
I’ve been following you for a while and I like what you do. Thank you. I’m definitely a fan of yours.
Hi Lisa, Totaly agree about kids having the most fun being outdoors. Also, the time spent off the electronic devices helps the family getting closer also. We have 2 girls and we spend a lot of time camping or hiking. Learning new skills, enjoying each other company and lots of fresh air is the winning recipe for the happy family.