My original introduction for this post said something about it being Monday and a good time for a What I’m Loving post. Shortly after typing those words our internet went out. So, three days later, our internet is fixed, and I’m catching up on emails, messages, and blogging. A little behind, but all the “unplugged” time just meant more time for baking cookies and cleaning/decluttering my kids’ rooms (again).
I’ve been wanting to share a new What I’m Loving post for a while now, and since reading Kristi’s post last week about what’s making her happy right now, I decided this is the week to take a few minutes to share what is making our life easier, tastier, prettier, and funner.
Ready? I hope so, because this is meant to be fun. Grab your coffee and let’s get started.
As always, please join in the fun by sharing a few of your recent favorites in the comments.
What I’m Loving… Edition 5
For My Kids:
Keeping the toddler busy.
I could write a whole post on these, and maybe I will, but recently I’ve had a lot of success keeping my daughter occupied during homeschool. It makes such a difference. My eldest is learning to read and it takes all of our attention to get through some of the lessons. Which isn’t easy when the younger kids “need” you every few minutes.
Salt boxes, a water table, and dried beans have all been wonderful at entertaining my two-year-old (and often my four-year-old too). The clean up is minimal, but even if it wasn’t, it would be worth it since it keeps her busy for an hour or more.
All the cuteness right here. Seeing my daughter taking care of her babies is one of the sweetest things. Seeing her wearing her babies takes that up a hundred times. So.Tender.
You can expect a simple tutorial soon.
I’m fairly certain I’m late to this train, but I’m glad I’m finally on board. I am no pro at make-up, but since I made the switch recently to tinted moisturizer, people keep telling me how well I look. Which makes me think that I must have looked really washed out and well-overdo for a change. My make-up routine is still super simple, but better.
Hitting Goodwill gold.
A week or two ago the kids and I made a Goodwill run because I wanted to check for jeans for my boys. Because I can’t ever find pants for them when I need them. Hashtag, life with boys.
Two hours later, we emerged from the store with a CART FULL. Clothes for all four kids (including new baby), a terrarium, roller skates, homeschool supplies, shoes, and more.
In Our Home:
New LEGO plan.
Part of me thinks that I need to come to terms with the fact that keeping the house neat and tidy is going to be a struggle for the next decade or so. But I’m not ready to concede defeat just yet.
A big factor in the constant struggle is the fact that LEGOs can be found EVERYWHERE. A small pile on my kitchen island. A lone brick on the floor next to the couch. A mini figure battle waged on the table in the living room. LEGO weapons in the hall, heads in the bathroom… I even found a LEGO under my pillow in the middle of the night last week.
Yesterday I decided to implement a new plan. The main bin of LEGOs is in my boys’ room and usually the LEGOs are spread out across their floor. We’ve tried organizing the LEGOs, but the effort just isn’t worth it at my boys’ ages (5 & 4). So yesterday I cleaned up their room, took out any and all unnecessary toys and furniture, moved the main LEGO table so that it’s not the first thing you see when you walk into the room, and instituted a new rule: all LEGOs must stay in their bedroom.
I’m hoping the changes will help them cleanup more easily. And if I find stray LEGOs in the rest of the house, they’ve been informed that they must complete a chore to get them back. I will let you know how it goes.
My fireside seat.
This one is simple, but I super love it. When it’s cold outside and there’s a fire going in the fireplace, my favorite place to sit is in front of the fire. My couch may feel a little neglected, but there’s nothing cozier than feeling the warmth of the flames and reading by firelight.
Problem is, sitting on the floor isn’t as much fun as it was when I was a kid. Now there’s backache and sciatic nerve issues to content with. Not to mention a growing baby belly.
This little chair has been a lifesaver, though. I can sit in it and recline, taking the pressure off my back. I use it all the time to write for the blog, read to the kids, or to have a snack.
On the table:
The Homemade Kitchen.
Alana Chernila’s new cookbook is just as good, if not better as her first. If you are at all interested in cooking real food at home and/or learning to make more of your own ingredients, it is an incredible resource to have on hand. She has sections and notes on how to cook just about anything from various beans, to grains, to vegetables. She’s also included a lot of tips on shopping for good ingredients, balanced with an understanding that finding them and paying for them isn’t always possible.
I’ve been enjoying reading her stories and recipes by the fire (see above point) and tried her roasted salmon dish this week. Even with my freezer burnt salmon, the recipe and sauce was a winner.
Seriously. Get it. Gift it. You won’t regret it.
In the evenings, after bedtime when we won’t have to share it, my husband makes stovetop popcorn for us. Delicious and simple. He’s changed up our routine of regular salt and butter, to using a spice blend on the popped corn.
It’s amazing, but if you’re anything like me you’ll need a big drink to counter the spice.
Peanut butter M&M cookies.
I love cookies. I love making them with my kids. Letting them lick the batter. Enjoying them warm out of the oven with a glass of milk. Starting the day with a cookie. Sneaking them in the middle of the night. Really, what’s not to love?
She gets it.
I plan to share this recipe ASAP. Because, YUM.
What We’re Reading:
I’m adding a new section this time about the books we are reading at home. Here’s hoping it helps me to stick to my goal of reading more this year and that it gives you a few new ideas for books to check out. (Pun intended).
Hubby’s Family Read Aloud: The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare
Mama’s Family Read Aloud: The Long Winter (Little House), Laura Ingalls Wilders
Homeschool Read Aloud: Insect Invaders (Magic School Bus Chapter Book)
Audiobook: Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary
Me: Home Education, Charlotte Mason
Hubby: What Trout Want: The Educated Trout and Other Myths, Bob Wyatt
How is your new year going?
What has made your life easier/tastier/funner recently? I’d love to know!
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