Archive of ‘favorite things’ category

Friday Favorites

Alright.  The election is days away.  Headlines are cray. And there are a whole heckofalot of worrisome things we could chat about today.

Sure, we could do that.  But it’s Friday!  So, let’s pretend to be naive and blissfully unaware for a hot sec and talk about some favorite things, shall we?

This is Us

img_1839If you’re living under a rock and have yet to hear of this show, I’m going to need you to remedy that situation.  Stat.  Oh my goodness, it’s fantastic.  When I initially learned that much of the storyline would revolve around transracial adoption, I was nervously holding my breath as I waited to see how it would be handled.  Y’all, it’s been beautiful.  Real and raw and hard-hitting and justgowatchitnow.

No, really.


Our Venus Flytrap

img_1972People.  This $4 plant- effectively the newest member of our family- has brought our crew an inordinate amount of entertainment over the past week.  I’ve been found scouring dark corners of our house and mossy patches of our yard in attempts to find tiny crawling creatures for our plant.  My kids have stood quietly for whole MINUTES at a time (a notable feat indeed), watching and waiting for the plant to eat unsuspecting insects.  Coolest.  Ever.  (Says the self-proclaimed science nerd.)

There’s no telling how long this lil guy will survive because this self-proclaimed science nerd also happens to be a self-proclaimed plant murderer.  But we’ll enjoy him while he lasts.

Lip gloss


As a 33 year old woman, I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I have never- not ever– not on my wedding day or any other day of my existence- worn lipstick.  In fact, it was not long ago that I retired my multi-pack-of-Lipsmackers buying habit.  Because, the way I see it, if I have the choice between my lips tasting like Dr. Pepper and my lips tasting like… lips… I choose Dr. Pepper.

But I’m a grown-up now.  And, thanks to a recentish gift from my sister, I have now graduated to this fancy-sounding “rose salve.”  It claims to be “all-purpose,” but that makes me a little nervous, so I just use it on my lips.  And love it a lot.  Because if you can’t smell/taste like Dr. Pepper, then I suppose roses are another acceptable option.


If you have ever been a dinner guest at our home, there’s a very high likelihood that we’ve fed you Mexican.  And, if we’ve ever fed you Mexican in our home, there’s a 100% chance that we’ve served you this salsa.  It’s cheap, easy, and a staple in our fridge.

Listen, I know when you hear the name “Pioneer Woman,” your brain doesn’t necessarily doesn’t necessarily jump to “authentic Mexican food”, but I’ve served this to my Mexican friends on a number of occasions (because, again, if you come over, just go ‘head and expect tacos), and they approve.


There are people in this world who make meticulous scrapbooks to document the lives of their children.  People who make the effort to design beautiful yearly photo books.  And people who… don’t.  People like me.  People like this lady.  Oh my gosh, I feel so validated by this lady.

Anyway, Chatbooks are, hands down, the easiest solution to bridge my “wanna have my pictures printed/organized/beautified” desire and my “but just CAN’T GET MY JUNK TOGETHER” reality.  It’s just EIGHT BUCKS for a 60-page photo book, and there’s next-to-zero effort required on your part.  You should totally check them out.  And, if you want to use my fancy Chatbooks link, I wouldn’t hate it.  You’d get your first book free, and I’d get credits toward free books.  Either way, though.  Trust me on this one.img_2031

Happy Friday, friends!!

Friday Favorites: Kid Edition

Once upon a time (as in, ONE TIME), I decided to get all fancy and jump on the Friday Favorites bandwagon.  Well, I’m back.  Because friends let friends know things.  And I have some things you should know about:

THE water bottle.  

Specifically, the Avex Kids Autoseal Freeride Water Bottle.  For years, I have been on the prowl for the perfect kid water bottle.  One that doesn’t have extraneous pieces, is completely leak-proof, holds plenty of water, and is durable.  I thought I’d spend my life searching in vain until I discovered this brand.  We’ve had these over a year, and they have quickly outperformed our beloved Nalgenes and Contigos.  You’re welcome.


The PediaCast podcast.  

Okay.  I could get on my “Oh my gosh, you guys!  I know your Facebook mom groups can diagnose allllll of the ailments, but you know another person who may be able to help you out?  Oh, that’s right!  Your pediatrician!” soapbox.  That’s a soapbox I have REALLY BIG FEELINGS about.  But I’ll restrain myself.  Instead, I’ll send you onto this fantastic podcast that I’ve been loving for a while now.  It’s all evidence-based insight into some of the big issues and questions in the realm of pediatrics.  Check ’em all out, but I especially appreciated two of the most recent episodes on vaccinations.  (Spoiler alert: THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY.  We- your friendly pediatric healthcare providers- are actually not involved in some covert operation to get rich off of your kid’s shots.  I know this may come as a surprise for some, but we do indeed believe in science.  We value modern medicine.  Know that vaccines save lives.  And want your kid and others to stay healthy.  That’s all.  The end.)  (I really tried to restrain myself.  Really really tried.  xoxo.)


Jen Wilkin teaching me how to parent.  

Alright.  So, you took my advice and listened to PediaCast.  You heard the evidence.  You got your kid vaccinated.  You’re feeling pretty good about yourself.  And then, suddenly your kid turns two and becomes a crazyperson and you don’t even know WHAT TO DO.  No worries.  Gotcha covered.  One of my favorites, Jen Wilkin, led a parenting class along with her husband a few years ago.  And y’all, it’s SO good.  Super practical and Christ-centered.  You can listen to the sessions here.  My only regret is that I didn’t get my hands on these years ago.

Target’s Cat & Jack line.  

Confession: one of my (many) great flaws in life is my love for overpriced kid clothes.  Interestingly, I hate to shop for myself.  Hate. It.  But, put me in a room filled with smocking and appliques and monograms?  The struggle is real.  So, when I can find kids’ clothes that are SO CHEAP that my kids and I both love, it’s a victory.  Enter Cat & Jack, Target’s new kid’s line.  They even make little girl’s jeans that are so soft and comfy that Mary Grace is willing to wear them.  And that says a heckofalot coming from the kid who won’t let anything “not comfy” come near her body.  Clearly, I just needed a little more fuel for my Target Love Affair.  Clearly.


I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God.

After a friend mentioned this book a while back, I hopped on Amazon right away to order one for our family.  We’re always on the lookout for solid resources that can help us teach our kids the Bible, and this is a good one.  There are PLENTY of books out there that kindly inform my darling children that they are precious.  Wonderfully made.  Loved by God.  We have tons of ’em.  But what I love about this particular book is that Diane Stortz shifts the focus away from US and back to GOD.  She hits on 40 names and attributes of the Lord while teaching through scripture.  We read this on a daily(ish) basis- typically once my kids are already restrained in their seatbelts in the mornings.  Because, y’all.  These kids may be precious and wonderfully made, but having a kid belted into a seat can be a beautiful thing.