Thursday, April 28, 2022

13 Of My Current Favorite Things

Life doesn't slow down. In fact, it gets crazier as time goes on. We've had a crazy, rough patch lately that has kept me from doing, well, many things. Including writing, sharing, and creating. It can be a soul killer, so I carved out some time (and by that I mean I did without some sleep for a night) to balance myself a bit. I figured I'd better share some things that we've been loving the last several weeks.

1.) We love Beaverdale Confections, but they outdid themselves with our Easter purchases. I got each mini a chocolate egg filled with candy for a grand total of $31. I can't get over how amazing these were! I didn't even worry about any other candies because these eggs had it covered. It wasn't a ton of candy, but the perfect amount for the minis.

2.) With three kids to feed, clothe, and shelter, I'm constantly on the lookout for deals. I've bought quite a few pieces of their wardrobes from Amazon Essentials clothing line and I am quite impressed! The mini's winter puffer jackets are comparable to Old Navy or Gap's (maybe even a slightly better quality) for a fraction of the cost. We were so impressed with the coats that we bought spring jackets, running shorts, and sweatpants for their Easter baskets. All pieces seem to be holding up well and my thirteen year old tells me the running shorts are the most comfortable shorts he owns. Even if these clothing pieces don't last long, I won't fret about it because the price can't be beat.

3.) I'm obsessed with herbal teas. Teavana is my new favorite with Peach Tranquility, Jade Citrus Mint, and Apple Cider teas being my favorite. I would gladly head to Starbucks each and every day for these teas, but I've also found the containers at Target and have my cupboard stocked with my three favorite flavors. For this week, at least.

4.) Our family are huge Lego fans (my husband and children freak out over the sets and put them together, while I enjoy a quiet household) and the boys are Harry Potter fans. They love the Harry Potter Lego book sets and are out to collect them all. New sets went on sale at the beginning of the month and oddly enough, we don't have them all. Yet.

5.) On my Bucket List this year: go to a Lumineers concert. Getting crossed off this fall: the Lumineers Brightside tour at Wrigley Field. I am so ridiculously excited, as are the minis who requested to go too.

6.) Gosh, we've eaten some FANTASTIC food this month. On the list: Parlor (the buffalo cauliflower and Proud Mary pizza were the stand outs), Michael's Pizza (the margherita pizza is our go-to), Tasty Tacos (for catering we got all original flour tacos, but the bean and cheese flour taco is my go-to along with flour chips, guacamole, and hot sauce), Palmer's boxed lunches (I don't particularly enjoy deli meat, but I get the Market Turkey every time and it's stellar), and Christopher's Take n' Bake (the chicken parmigiana will forever be my favorite).

7.) I love a good podcast....when I don't have anything to do. I find myself distracted if I have a podcast going while I'm writing, so I only listen to them while I walk the dog, exercise, or just looking to wind down. My currents listens are Welcome To Our Show, Tape Notes, and The Daily.

8.) We also love a good game. Card games are easy to take with us wherever we go. We currently bring Exploding Kittens, I Should Have Known That, Just One, and Scattergories just about everywhere. No one can say no to a good board or card game.

9.) Fidget toys are the "it" toys. My children will die if they ever read that I used that expression, but I did because it's true. There's all kinds of fidget and sensory toys, but I carefully pick out what I get. My latest sensory toy was Pop Fidget Sensory Blocks. These take some concentration to build and can also be used for the mindless, 'pop, pop, pop' the kids like to do. I can easily put these down in front of kids ages 4+ and have them completely occupied and engrossed for a while. 

10.) During our Civil Rights Trail road trip, the minis and I were looking for something a tad lighter after some heavy days learning. Since we were in Birmingham, we chose the nearby Oak Mountain State Park. We fell in love with the extensive trail system and all that the park had to offer. We would easily go back to Alabama just to visit that park. 

11.) The youngest mini is currently on the fourth book of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book series. She's loved them so much that we began visiting the sites the family once lived. Our first visit was to Burr Oak, Iowa to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and the Masters Hotel. I can't say the boys are thrilled about our visits, but they go along with them. It helps a lot that we've visited Living History Farms since the minis were young, so they can identify what life was like in the time period.

12.) We did this at Howell's in May 2020 and it was a highlight! We were gone traveling much of last year's goat cuddling season, but I highly recommend you give it a try. I called it goat therapy because there's no way to be unhappy when you have little goats climbing all over you!

13.) I completed dry January with no issues and even made it through February. Of course, April brought many family gatherings which found us sitting around with drinks in our hands. Seltzers are a favorite of mine and I love these even more because they're from local Iowa breweries! Big Grove and Toppling and Goliath will get a good chunk of money from me during this summer seltzer season.