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My Favorite Things: Costco edition

After attempting to buck the trend for (too) long, we joined Costco a little over a year ago.

That being said, the closet one to us is about 45 minutes away, so I only find myself there about once a month, sometimes less.

When I do go, I always look for my favorite staples and leave just a little wiggle room for impulse buys.  They always seem to get me with their clothing, of all things.  I’ve gotten workout gear that I love for both N and me, pajamas for the girls, and even a pair of Hunter boots.  Around Christmas time, I found a few great deals on toys for the girls and made a mental note about their American Girl discounted gift cards.  And don’t you just love their double-sided “sister carts” as my girls call them?

These are my favorite buys, in no particular order:

-Kirkland baby wipes.  These are THE BEST baby wipes I’ve ever used.  I like them because they are so big and textured.

-While I’m over in the paper goods, I always stock up on whatever is in low supply at our house: paper towels, napkins, foil, ziplocks, etc. the Kirkland brand is great!

-Nuts.  We eat a lot of nuts in our house and they have bulk bags for great prices.  I also love their dried fruit selection and prices for a boost to make trail mix

-Chicken packs, so much cheaper than the grocery store and high quality too.  We buy all of our beef and pork from local farmers but I have had their steaks (delicious) and salmon (so good) too

-Their Gluten free flour blend is great and much cheaper than our grocery store

-Frozen blueberries, we go through this whole 3lb bag in a month.  We add blueberries to our oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, and anything else we can think of

-Cheerios (finally gluten free!) and steel cut oats.  The oats are such a good price and the container lasts us about a month, depending on how “into” oatmeal we are that month

-peanut butter, I love their natural peanut butter and we go through both jars in about a month.

-Kerrygold butter, this is my favorite butter and I love buying it in bulk here

-Tomato paste, we use this for so many things, especially homemade pasta sauce and pizza sauce. I love having a large supply on hand

-coconut oil, this is THE BEST place to buy coconut oil in bulk and it is great.  We use it for cooking, baking, and sauteing (great butter replacement for MG)

-Maple syrup, another great bulk item and I love the consistency and quality of it.

(A lot of those things mentioned above are organic too, if you’re into that sort of thing)

No sponsorship here, just passing on a few tips for a place I’ve grown to love.

We are cold and wet over here, though the blizzard they called for (in our area at least) was a big flop.  It’s supposed to be really warm again Sunday and I’ve got some new fabric and monogramming to tide me over until then.

-smk

 

2015 Favorite Things

Typing out a Favorite Things list is not something new for me, see for example: (2014, 2013, 2012)  So in the spirit of tradition, I present to you (in no particular order), my favorite things from 2015:

My Steam Mop: I put this purchase off for (too many) years, hearing negative reviews of people spending a lot of money only to end up with lemons.  Finally,  one day on a (perhaps nesting inspired) whim, I threw out my old, broken mop and ordered this one.  For what it’s worth, it does get pretty good reviews on Amazon and if my review adds any weight to your decision, I love it.  Over the years I’ve been gradually switching my family away from as many chemical cleaners as possible and so this received extra points for killing germs simply with steam.  The only thing I would change about it is the cord, which is too short, difficult to roll up, and just overall annoying.  Other than that, it won me over. The proof is in the filthy mop head I throw in the wash each week.

steam mop

(pic via Amazon)

Amazon Prime Photo: This is a free cloud storage app for all of your photos and videos for Prime members.  So far I am loving it.  It takes up little space on my phone and I’ve had a better success rate with it than iCloud.  Get yours in the app store.

prime

(pic via lightandmatter.org)

Unisom: I think this little OTC sleep aid has earned its rightful spot on my 2015 favorite things list.  During the first tri, my morning sickness raged the worst at night and 1/2-1 blue tab helped me to sleep it off successfuly.  Those of you who need something during the day, talk to your Dr. about Diclegis.

unisom

(pic via unisom.com)

Digize: I wouldn’t consider myself fully on the essential oils bandwagon, yet, but if there is a problem that I am reluctant to treat with medicine or something that doesn’t necessarily call for medicine, I am willing to give them a trial run.  If I could chose only one oil to have in my cabinet, this one would be it.  Stomach bugs terrify me. I used this on the girls every time they complained of any kind of stomach trouble, and each time I felt like it worked (placebo, maybe, but it gave me peace of mind that I was doing something)

digize

(pic via youngliving.com)

Sewing Machine: I would probably characterize 2015 as the year I finally learned my way around my sewing machine.  Early 2015, I replaced my first sewing machine with my current one and have been so very happy.  Right now sewing has become my creative outlet.  When the mornings are busy, stressful, or even just boring, I dream about my afternoon sewing projects and what new things I can create.  It gives me a creative purpose and a way to express myself that is extremely satisfying.  2015 was not a friend to my serger, BUT, as of just recently I think we’ve made up.  And I’m hoping it lasts.  I also added a Scan N Cut to my creative mine, but truthfully, I haven’t been as happy with it as I imagined (perhaps most of this is the fault of the user).  I hope to be re-inspired by it this year.

sewing

(pic via thegraphicfairy.com)

Clarisonic: I actually purchased this facial brush a few years ago, but found it irritated my skin and put it away after a few uses.  I was re-inspired to use it  again several months ago and brushed past my irritation to really smooth skin. Now I use it religiously, morning and night, and love the results.  I only wish I had gotten the hang of it sooner.

clarisonic

(pic via Amazon)

Kindle: I was gifted a hand-me-down Kindle late last summer and fell in love.  I don’t know why I dragged my feet on them for so long.  The best part is the instant gratification of checking out ebooks from the library, especially when they are the hard to come across tangible ones.

kindle

(pic via Amazon)

Looking back on the past two years,  I wrote my list with a heavy focus on the arts: music, literature, and theater.  I read a ton of books this year, but I decided I can’t highly, highly recommend any of them for various reasons.  However, if you need a light beach read, I’m your gal.

Our movie selection was limited, and we decided we were okay with that this year too.  I think we’ve discovered that we are more documentary/shorter shows and less 2-3 hour movie types in this stage of life.

My music selections didn’t really change, well at all, since last year.  I still listen to podcasts when I exercise, clean, and sew, but with a few exceptions, those are roughly unchanged since last year as well.

As far as favorite experiences of 2015, topping the list would be the (unexpected) magic of Disneyland and N and I’s anniversary trip to LA.  The older I get, the more I find what they say is true: you won’t remember what presents you received, but your memories of experiences will always stay with you.

More experiencing and less gifting in 2016,

-smk

My Favorite Things (2013 Edition)

Thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites from 2013:

Music: No surprise John Mayer wins this one with his 2013 release of Wildfire.  Close second?  Elizabeth Mitchell’s toddler songs.  Such is my life right now

Book: Wool.  I love a good Dystopian novel.  This one got me through many a late night nursing session last summer.  Haven’t touched a real book (or digital for that matter) since then.  Such is my life right now.

Experience: Aside from Bea being born (of course), definitely our family trip to Cincinnati.  Such a sweet time in our lives and full of feel-good memories.  Cincinnati will probably be an annual trip now, thanks in part to the Ikea there.  Such is my life right now.

Food:  I had really good intentions to re-read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions this year.  (I’ve already forgotten how to make homemade kombucha and prepare liver {kidding})…but such is my life right now.   My favorite  would probably have to lie with all of the food that was made FOR me because that always tastes better anyway 🙂

Discovery:  The Food Truck.  We are starting to learn the way of the locals here and have discovered an underground current of free produce.  You just show up, collect your goods, and donate a few dollars or whatever you feel it’s worth (best part: money goes to support a local charity).  I’ve had so much fun creating meals/snacks/baby food out of what surprises come out of that bin.

photo19

Close second?  The indoor track.  The fact that they let you bring strollers and trikes in has completely revolutionized my life.  (such is my life right now)

 

Project: I had so much fun with my sewing machine this year.  From monogramming blankets and onesies for Bea, to MG’s quilt, to some Christmas outfits for the girls.  My craftsmanship could use a bit of improvement but the desire is definitely there….such is my life right now 🙂

 

Time to make some new favorites in 2014!

photo20

 

My Favorite

Thanksgiving (and the four weeks following) is my favorite holiday.

Why?  It kicks off with a to-die-for meal, it is highlighted my MG’s birthday (which is always shortly thereafter), and is culminated by Christmas and all of the festivity in between.

And to be honest, no other holiday really stands a chance because you still have to work through them and I pessimistically find most of them to be overrated……..so take my praise for what you will :).  (and Christmas is great but I always get a little sad when it is over because January is right around the corner.  And speaking of sad, let’s not even talk about New Year’s…….)

Thanksgiving is a time for stories.  I (loosely) consider myself a story-teller and I love to reflect on the joy the LORD has brought into our lives every year.  It is a moment of defined peace and remembrance.

They say having a baby and moving are two of the three most stressful life events one can endure.  Yet, aside from a few intense moments, this year has felt decidedly peaceful.  I like to attribute that to God gently working His plan for our lives.

 

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you the things I’m thankful for this year:

-MG & Bea (of course).  My hear is bursting with joy for them

-N.  Shared joy multiplies itself tenfold.  So grateful to have him to share in and contribute to my joy.

 

-Our family. Many changes have come our way but our family is constant.  This year has taught me it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you have a pillow to lay your head on that is next to the ones you love.

-Our friends.  The new and the old.  The new friendships are exciting and encouraging.  The old are familiar and comfortable.  We are blessed to have both in a particularly tumultuous year.

 

Well thanksgiving lists don’t get much more cliche than that….but it had to be written.  Girls, I hope you are reading this some day after I am gone.  My hope is that you feel my love for you through my writings, but even more importantly, Jesus’s.  I hope you know you are the reason I write.  Love,

 

P.S. Taking some time off for all of the celebration/bucket listing.  Will be back to share about MG’s birthday next week!