How are you guys this morning? We’ve had a good week over here and filled our days with some outside playtime with a couple of very close friends as well as adventure walks around the neighborhood, home organization projects (hooray for laundry room cabinet cleaning!) and even a little ant farm shenanigans (more on that below). We also had a brief reprieve from temperatures in the mid-90s with some cooler temps in the mid-80s (yes, that qualifies as “cool” these days) which was a welcomed treat on the weather front!
(Collapsible wagon found here. It’s one of our best finds of the summer and we use it to store toys in our garage, take the boys on walks, cart heavy loads to and from the beach/boat, etc.)
As for the weekend ahead, we have another model rocket launch planned for Saturday morning and our fingers are crossed this one is a success. I also have a virtual baby shower on the agenda but other than that, our weekend is wide open. I’m hoping to find some time to tackle washing baby clothes, packing up some of Ryder’s clothes that are too small and all that other fun nesting stuff that seems to be surfacing in the back of my mind over here now that we’re almost a month out from our little one’s due date. It feels like crunch time for sure!
I hope you all have a great weekend!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Bissell Little Green Machine (Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner)
I saw @TheMamaNotes post about the Bissell Little Green Machine on Instagram and instantly ordered it because I’ve been in the market for something similar for months. With two kids and a dog running all over our house, it’s impossible to keep every square inch of carpet or upholstery clean and a machine that could remove tough stains sounded like a dream. You guys, this thing is magical!!! There were some horrible stains all over our upstairs carpet that traditional removal techniques from carpet cleaning spray bottles never removed that this thing sucked up and eliminated in a flash! (It even removed the stain on our carpet from a baby food pouch that had beets in it that has been on the carpet for at least 9 months.) Here’s a before/after shot of a stain…
(Sorry to be gross but for my fellow pet owners who might want specifics to see how this machine works, the stain was a little bit of vomit/bile from Sadie that set in our carpet for who knows how long before I discovered it.)
To use the machine, you simply fill one side of the machine with warm water and the spot and stain solution, spray the stain to treat it and use the little vacuum scrubber to suck it up and out of the carpet or upholstery. I’m kind of addicted to using it right now and am so happy with the results. Our upstairs carpet was to the point that I figured we’d have to replace it eventually and this machine is bringing it back to life!
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
I bought Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o as a birthday present for Chase after seeing it pop up on a number of recommended books lists featuring Black children as the main character. The story is about a little girl whose skin is darker than her sister’s skin, her parents’ skin and the skin of the other children at her school. She is called a myriad of mean nicknames and longs for lighter skin. Only after a magical journey with Day and Night does she see her true beauty and understand her importance and uniqueness in this world.
Chase loved the story and it also provided a great outlet for us to discuss the fact that some people are mean to others simply because of their skin color. While Chase naturally enjoyed Sulwe for the story and the gorgeous pictures, I also appreciated the fact that several times after we’ve finished the book, we’ve had discussions about skin color and racism and our role in not only being kind to others who look different from us but standing to those who are being mean and/or involving a grown up when we notice it happening.
Just a friendly reminder: You may always find more of our continually-updated favorite children’s books in my Amazon shop!
Latest Thrive Market Haul
It’s been a hot second since I’ve highlighted my latest Thrive Market haul on the blog and since a delivery arrived this week, I figured I’d give it a shout out in today’s post since it included a bunch of our tried-and-true favorites and some new-to-me finds. Here’s a rundown of what I ordered:
- Canned Pureed Sweet Potato (for all the healthy sweet potato muffins!)
- Jovial Einkorn Flour (love einkorn flour, as it’s the only wheat never hybridized and is easier to digest — read more about it here)
- Coconut Aminos (the Thrive Market brand is a personal favorite and more affordable than most grocery store finds)
- Crofter’s Strawberry Jelly
- MegaFood Prenatal Vitamins
- Date Sugar
- Beanfields Nacho Tortilla Chips (a new find and I’ve already polished off half of the bag myself)
- The New Primal Snack Mates Turkey Sticks (both boys are obsessed and they’re a great on-the-go protein-packed snack)
- Simple Mills Pizza Dough Mix
- Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers (we go through a ridiculous amount of these in our house)
- Simple Mills Pancake Mix
- Wild Planet Wild Sardines
- Crown Prince Smoked Oysters in Olive Oil
- Marinated Artichokes
- Love Beets Organic Cooked Beets
- Apple Cider Vinegar
I’m already kicking myself for leaving a few things out of my order so another Thrive Market delivery will be coming our way soon! Also, in case you’re interested in Thrive Market, my affiliate link will get you 25% off your first order. We’ve been Thrive fans in our house for years and I never hesitate to renew my membership because the prices are affordable (and often significantly lower than local grocery stores) and the assortment of healthy food and clean products is fantastic. And for any parents/caregivers of little ones out there, here’s a post with some of my favorite Thrive Market Healthy Kid Snacks!
Chase’s Ant Farm
Talk about a mega hit birthday gift! My mother-in-law sent Chase his very first ant farm for his fifth birthday and, after waiting about a week, two small tubes of ants arrived in the mail (complete with a queen!) and our ant farm fun began! Assembling the ant farm was simple and to say this thing has been a slam dunk for our insect-loving boy would be a serious understatement. He checks on the ants a million times a day, enthusiastically reports on their tunnel progress and loves feeding them tiny pieces of fruit. Ryan laughed out loud the morning after Chase got the ant farm because he happened to be checking on Chase on his monitor and saw the moment Chase rolled over in the morning and said all of two seconds passed from the moment his eyes opened and the moment he dashed out of bed over to his dresser to check on his ants. He’s all-in on his ant farm fun and his enthusiasm is contagious because he has ALL of us into them, too!
The team behind Plant-Based Juniors did it again! A while back, I shared a little bit about Plant-Based Juniors: First Bites, an Ebook created by two registered dietitians for those looking to introduce solids to their little ones in a healthy way. One of my blogging friends, Whitney, is one of the dietitians behind Plant-Based Juinors and is a self-proclaimed “science and research junkie” who adheres to a predominantly plant-based diet. After the birth of her son, she teamed up with Alex, a fellow registered dietitian and mother, to launch Plant-Based Juniors in an effort to share evidence-based nutrition advice to empower parents to make the best nutrition decisions for their families. Together, Whitney and Alex first created the Plant-Based Juniors: First Bites Ebook and I thought it was such a helpful resource. It is packed with information and I love the science-based approach to feeding babies, as well as the visual guides that make it easy to see what bites of real food for little ones should look like at such a young age. The picture tutorials were truly SO helpful, especially if you’re a visual person and want to see a simple photo of what bites of real food should look like for babies of a certain age.
Fast forward more than a year and now they’re launching Plant-Based Juniors’ Batch Cook Ebook! Whitney sent a copy my way early last week and, true to form, it’s absolutely gorgeous, easy to read and understand and incredibly helpful. This Ebook focuses on deliciously nutritious, easy-to-make healthy plant based staple recipes that can then be repurposed into two or three additional dishes. (For example, you’ll make a big batch of Eggplant Italian Meatballs that can then be used in the following three recipes: Meatball Pita Pizzas, Spaghetti and Meatballs and Pesto Polenta Bowls.) As someone who swears by meal prep and batch cooking, this whole concept is right up my alley and I’ve loved having some new recipes to try!
Total Body BOSU Workout (A three round, 27-minute total body workout!)
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa (A warm and comforting dish begging to be topped with fresh berries or your favorite chopped nuts!)
Question of the Day
What is something that made you smile this week?