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Here's a roundup of some of the things I've bought online this month. Some of the things I have shared in stories and many of you have asked, and others are thing I think might be useful!
1. With all the extra screen time lately, I got these blue light glasses to help Caleb and his tired eyes.
2. I have been packing lunch for Caleb and this morning I started packing Chloe's, too. I love using these Bentgo Boxes because it lets me give them a good variety of things - I have one great eater and one picky one. The great eater gets foods from most of the food groups. The picky ones gets a variety of things I think she may eat.
3. Cables everywhere drive me bananas, and this sticks to the underside of a desk or table to hang headphones.
4. How gross and grimy do bottle brushes get? This Teal Trunk Bottle Brush is silicone and bends just right to get into all those crevices of water bottles and baby bottles.
5. This Amazon Basics device holder is perfect for adjusting and holding phones and tablets. Plus, it's super portable!
6. Okay, so targeted ads get me, too. In this case it was this Summersalt Swimsuit. It kept popping up on my Facebook and Instagram, and when I saw this black and white one, I couldn't resist. I hadn't bought really nice, high quality (read: expensive lol) swimsuit in a while. I think the price on this is reasonable and the compression on the suit is great. Get $10 off your purchase with them by shopping with this link.
7. Chloe got a new swimsuit too. She's had several from Rufflebutts before, but this rainbow striped one is just too cute!
8. I also got the kids these Yeti Ramblers. They're pricey, but all their other water bottles don't really keep their water cold and have a pretty short lifespan. These can also be washed in the dishwasher, which isn't the case for many kids water bottles! It's a little hard for Chloe to open the top, but we practiced with her and she's a pro now. I also love how easy it is to carry with the handle.
That's all for today, I'll have more for you soon!
This is uncharted territory for a lot of us, but we are all making it work however we can. Caleb is on day 4 of virtual learning, and already I have found a few things that have worked and others that haven't. This is by no means smooth sailing, but every day has been a little better, and Caleb's school was so well-prepared for this. His teacher has been a rockstar, too.
I know that I am extremely fortunate in that I have the flexibility to work at whatever time I need to, but I also have Chloe to worry about and keep entertained, and I do want Caleb to learn to be more independent when it comes to virtual learning. After all, I would not be sitting next to him in the classroom, would I?
His teacher sent home a few tips that were really useful, and there were a few other things I implemented that just made sense for us here at home.
I'm trying to keep those last few in mind myself. It's not easy, but I keep reminding myself that we are all going through something similar. Deep breaths and lots of prayers! You've got this!
Want to get more tips and real-life advice from a mom in the trenches? Make sure you're following me on Instagram and Facebook! You can also subscribe to my newsletter, and browse some of my freebies and some of my favorites.
P.S. Wash your hands, wear your mask, increase your vitamin intake, and get active yourself. Because once we do get back to semi-normal living, you're going to want to be doing all those things.
A couple weeks ago, Eddie sent me a link to this recipe from the New York Times Cooking site, and it immediately called our attention for the combination of flavors. I made it that night, and since then, we've had it another 3 times - totaling four times in three weeks! Honestly, it's THAT good.
The first time we had it we made it exactly like in the recipe, served over orzo for a complete meal. Twice we have had it as a side with some steaks, and once I doubled the broccolini and we just had it as a light dinner. It's got all these delicious summer flavors, and since it's a sheet pan meal, it makes for easy cleanup. It also makes for good leftovers - just heat it up in the oven (we use a toaster oven because it's easier).
It's a great dish for when you have company or when you have to take a side dish somewhere - you can prep it beforehand and just toss it in the oven 25 minutes before it's time to eat (it's best to eat the feta right out of the oven or it does get a little chewy as it cools). Plus, it's so colorful - it looks beautiful!
Let me know if you try it and how you like it!
The Giver of Stars is set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.
Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.
The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the women, a group of unlikely companions, all deemed misfits in different ways, banded together a formed a sisterhood. It's a beautiful story of what happens when we support the women around us, and it really shows the power of kindness and friendship.
The beginning of the book was a tiny bit slow for me - there was a lot of backstory and there are a lot of characters. But I have enjoyed a few of Moyes's books already and I like her style of writing. Once the story picked up, I had a hard time putting it down, and found myself reading well into the night. Towards the end, I found myself weepy at a few points, and the ending is an ending that brings hope.
I also had no idea about the Packhorse Librarians and Eleanor Roosevelt's initiative to bring books to some of the more remote areas of the country. So historical fiction wins for me yet again!
Get the book.
Can you believe that the last time I went to a nail salon was in February? I wasn't a regular at the nail salon, and I have spent most of my life doing my nails myself. I did enjoy visiting the salon from time to time as a little treat, but the truth is that I have been doing my own nails since I was in middle School, and over the years, I've gotten pretty good at it if I do say so myself.
I started out doing my own nails in middle school because attending a Catholic school, part of our uniform rules were that we weren't allowed to wear nail polish. But as a pre-teen, I of course wanted my nails done on the weekends. My parents wouldn't pay for me to get my nails done, especially since I would do them Friday afternoon and had to take the nail polish off again on Sunday night. The compromise was that I figured out how to do them myself.
Since then, I just continued doing them myself because it seemed easier than having a standing appointment each week or having to figure out when it was convenient to get to the salon. As a recovering nail biter (I was chronically bad about this when I was in elementary school, to the point where my dad would pay me for every day I didn't bite my nails!), I have also found that if my nails are done, I am much less likely to pick at them and bite them. I still succumb when under a lot of stress or anxiety, but it's a huge help to have them looking nice.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about doing my own nails, and even how to make them last longer. My nails typically make it to day 6 or 7 before starting to chip. Recently, Olive & June sent me a kit and I am kind of obsessed with their polishes, which are 7-free, and the whole kit. If your problem is keeping your hands steady while you paint, their Poppy tool is really helpful! They have a really great series on Instagram, called the Mani Bootcamp, and they share how you can get the perfect manicure at home.
Here are 5 things I do to make my manicure last:
And there you have it!
Also - nail polish can go bad. You can use a polish thinner to help the consistency, but if a bottle is too old, the paint is less likely to last on your manicure.
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