favorite products

UPPAbaby VISTA Grows With Your Family

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

Friends, I feel like I have been driving a stroller for over a decade (oh wait I have). I actually love having a stroller and cry thinking about the day I will have to hold my own water bottle and purse again. So, when we decided to adopt, I knew we needed a new stroller to fit our current needs but there are a lot of options out there so what should I get?

Even though we don’t have an infant, we still have two toddlers. Quite frankly, my arms are not strong enough to carry them everywhere. So, I asked around for stroller recommendations. My sister (a new mom) could not stop raving about her UPPAbaby. She always has the BEST recommendations and sure enough, after I did some more research on my own, she wasn’t the only one who LOVES UPPAbaby. They get great reviews and I now know why!

When UPPAbaby heard we were adopting Quincy, they graciously provided us with a VISTA stroller with RumbleSeat and the accompanying upper and lower adapter so that we would be ready to stroll when Quincy came home. I love that UPPAbaby helps all families grow!

UPPABaby VISTA Stroller SPF 50 Sunshade

Here is what I was looking for when it came to a stroller –

  • The stroller has to be able to hold two growing toddlers. The UPPAbaby VISTA’smain seat can accommodate a child up to 50 lbs and the RumbleSeat holds a child up to 35 lbs.
  • It must serve as both a single and double stroller. The UPPAbaby VISTAcan be configured with the RumbleSeat so that it seats two children or the RumbleSeat can be removed easily to make it a single stroller. The stroller will also fold close in both the single & double stroller configuration which is a huge BONUS.
  • The stroller must have a large basket. They went above and beyond with this. The storage basket is HUGE. I took it to the pool the other day and my large pool bag slipped right in.
  • The stroller needs to be easy to maneuver and stow away easily. The UPPAbaby VISTA’swheels are large enough to glide along smoothly and t’s easy to push. I can collapse the stroller easily and it stands up on its own when closed.

UPPABaby VISTA stroller

UPPABaby VISTA large basket

Here are a few more features, we love –

  • Telescoping Handlebar.I am 12 inches shorter than my husband so we love the one-button telescoping handlebar accommodates both our heights!
  • Extra Sun Protection. Both the toddler seat and RumbleSeat canopy have an additional pop-out UPF 50+ sunshade that provides great protection from the sun.
  • Canopy Window. There’s a fabric opening on the canopy that can be rolled back to reveal a mesh “window” so you can see and talk to your toddler while strolling. It also provides additional ventilation.
  • Many Seat Configurations.The seats can be configured in different ways based on your need. They can both face forward, both face backward or one of each. We recently went to an amusement park and our son took a nap in the stroller so I turned the seat around and reclined it flat so I could see him while he napped.
  • One Step Stroller Brake. In order to lock and unlock the brake for the stroller, you simply press the brake pad with one foot. It’s even flip-flop friendly :).
  • Travel Protection. The UPPAbaby travel bag protects your UPPAbaby VISTA. Simply, register the bag online and the UPPAbaby TravelSafe program will cover any damage incurred to your UPPAbaby VISTAduring air travel. My sister’s bag was damaged during air travel and they replaced it for free!
  • Sleek Design. The UPPAbaby VISTAis a beautiful stroller from the leather handlebar details to the luxurious fabric.
  • Built To Last. The UPPAbaby VISTAstroller is meant to grow and change with your family.

UPPABaby VISTA Stroller with RumbleSeat

UPPAbaby Grows With Your Family

The UPPABaby VISTAalso comes with the Bassinet so this stroller can literally be configured to grow and change with your family from birth until toddlerhood. We just ordered the UPPAbaby VISTA PiggyBack Ride-Along Boardfor Lucy. There are times she doesn’t always need a dedicated seat but still might need to hitch a ride, she can hop on when she needs a break.

UppaBaby VISTA single stroller

It’s Worth the Investment

Strollers are an investment and if you are like me, you will be using them for a decade or more so you want to get one you love and one that will stand the test of time. We have been so happy with the UPPAbaby VISTA! If you have any questions, please comment below. You can also find all the UPPAbaby products here. Do you have an UPPAbabystroller? Who else loves being able to stow so much in a stroller?

Thank you to UPPAbabyfor providing us with the UPPAbaby VISTA stroller,RumbleSeat, VISTA Lower adapter and VISTA upper adapter. All opinions on this product are my own!

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Favorite Finds Spring 2019

I can’t believe we are a week into April already.  This year is going fast and shaping up to get crazier as we get closer to leaving for China (I just got happy butterflies typing that).  There have been several products I have been loving lately and I haven’t done a Friday favorites post all year (shake my head) so today I am going to recap some of my favorite finds from the first quarter of 2019.

 

 

Favorite Beauty Products

Smashbox Liquid Lipstick

My sister introduced me to Sephora (read all of the insider tips here) and so when I was in need of a new lip color I knew they would be able to help me.  I wanted it to go on like lipgloss but to be matte and not flake off or wear off. This liquid lipstick delivered!  I got the color babe alert.

Natural Deodorant

About a year ago I switched to natural deodorant after reading about all the nasty ingredients found in regular.  I was skeptical because I wore men’s deodorant because women’s didn’t work for me.  Have I lost you yet ;)?  I got the Lavanila brand deodorant. in my Influenster box about 8 months ago and thought I would give it a whirl since I hadn’t found a natural alternative I loved.

I love it.  It didn’t make me rash out and I love the smell!  Now, I will say I missed a major step in my transition so I started to smell a bit.  After some research, I found it’s good to detox so I ordered this from Amazon and made myself a pit paste and let it sit based on the directions.  It’s been easy breezy ever since.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

You are probably sick of me talking about training my hair to go longer between washes but you guys I am up to going 4 days between.  This is from a girl who used to wash her hair every single day. You can read more about my top hair tips here.  One of the ways I have been able to stop washing my hair every day has been dry shampoo.  My favorite is Batiste. 

 

 

Favorite Fashion Finds

Utility Coat

I love this jacket.  I have had to stop myself from wearing it all the time.  It looks cute over a crewneck sweater or a silk blouse.   It’s a lighter material and has cuffed sleeves.  I did size up so I had more room for layers!

Loft Polkadot Tank

Speaking of pieces to wear with my utility coat, Loft is my go-to for cute feminine tanks I can layer with a cardigan or coat.  I fell in love with this navy polka dot tank with a delicate ruffle on the shoulder and lace detail.  It’s cute as a layer now and will be darling paired with my white jeans later this spring.

Amazon Swimsuit

Before Arizona, I was on the hunt for one more swimsuit.  I purchased this swimsuit two years ago from Amazon and it’s held up great.  I love reading the Amazon reviews because generally, they will pinpoint what size I need based on real women reviews.  I sized up per the instructions and I love the full coverage on the backside with the playful one shoulder ruffle and of course, I got this swimsuit in navy!  They have tons of colors and it’s under $30.  It’s washed up great too!

Sandals

I kept seeing the platform white sole pop up everywhere for spring sandals so I was excited to find this pair at Target. to try.  I love them.  They give me a little bit of height without being a heel and a wedge plus the blush/nude color goes with everything. I have worn them with a dress and with my jeans!  I tried them out traveling home from Az and they got two thumbs up!

 

 

Favorite Book Finds

Non-Fiction Favorite – Eat Cake, Be Brave by Melissa Radke

This book is about owning who you are and surviving some of the worst possible things life can throw at you from marital problems, infertility, adoption, and self-doubt.  Melissa is so funny and relatable.  I laughed, I cried and I seriously wanted to be her friend.  As an aside, their family is going to have their own reality series on the USA channel.  It looks FUNNY!

Fiction Favorite – Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I know I am late to the game but everyone should read this book.  It’s about a little boy named Auggie with a facial deformity.  The book recounts his first year in public school.  It again made me laugh, cry and my momma bear came out too!  It would be a good book to read with your older elementary kids too.  The takeaway was “always be kinder than necessary.”

 

One more thing…

Did you know Simple Purposeful Living has products?  Our spring launch is April 22nd and our shop will close on April 28th for the SUMMER!   If you dread what’s for dinner or your weeknight’s are so busy, you think it only leaves time for fast food – I can help you master meal planning to make fast food at home and know what’s for dinner!

Sign-up here so you won’t miss all the spring launch details and get a free printable with 50 meal ideas to get you started!

 

Whooooo there you have it…

My favorite finds from the first quarter of 2019.  Since I waited so long I had some time to think hard and these things are seriously making my heart sing.  I want to go give them a hug and let them know the joy they are sparking in my life right now ;)!  So, now tell me what’s one thing you can not stop telling everyone about? Have you tried natural deodorant?  What good book have you just read?  Sharing is caring, tell me in the comments.

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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Linking up with Becky and Andrea – check out her blog!

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How To Host a Favorite Things Party + $10 Favorite Products

This week I went to a favorite things party for the Des Moines Moms Blog contributors.  We did it last year too and it was such a hit we did it again.  Every time I go I leave thinking I want to host one.  Not only do you get some great recommendations, but you also get to know each other better based on what they pick and their explanation.  Plus who doesn’t love a reason to get together with girlfriends?

How to host a favorite things party

So, how do you throw a favorite things party?

We were each asked to bring 3  of the same favorite thing.  It had to be wrapped and $10 or less.  The price point is at the discretion of the host but $10 was perfect.  Some people brought multiple little things that added up to $10.  Then, when we arrived we each wrote our name on a piece of paper 3 times and put it in a bowl.

One person started in the group and drew 3 names out of the bowl and then gifted their favorite thing to those people.  The person who gifted the item then explained why they loved it so much.  People gifted beauty products, home gadgets, accessories, home decor items, and food.  One gal makes her own vanilla (which takes a year to cure) and gifted that, how cool it that?

Now, don’t you want to host a favorite things party?  Me too!  Gather your friends, some food and your favorite things and get a date on the calendar!

And now since it’s Friday I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things under $10 in case you want a few new recommendations that don’t break the bank!

Favorite Products Under $10

Felt-tip Pens

My favorite pens in the world as the  Paper Mate Flair Pens.  Not only do they come in lots of fun colors but they write like a felt tip pen.  I haven’t met a teacher that doesn’t love them.

Earrings

Who doesn’t love a simple pair of earrings?  Target has some cute ones right now for under $8.  I also love buying extra earring backs because I am always losing the backs in the carpet.  I gifted this pair and I gifted this pair as my favorite thing.

Dry Shampoo

All the praise hands for dry shampoo. I have tried several and I keep coming back to the budget-friendly Batiste brand.  I love the bare kind because there is no fragrance and it goes on light. You can find it here.

Facial Razor

Let’s face it, we all can be hairy in places we don’t want to be especially as we age.  Someone recommended theseTinkle Facial Razors and I love them.  They are perfect for sculpting your brows or taking care of a stray facial hair (don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about).

Devotional

One of my favorite devotionals of 2018 was 100 Days to Brave.  If you are wanting to be braver and step into your God-given purpose, this little book will encourage you to be brave.  It has a scripture verse and accompanying daily message written by Annie F. Downs.

Gel Top Coat

What did we do before gel manicures?  Well I know I never painted my nails because they chipped instantly.  I love this Gel Top Coat because I can apply it over any nail polish and I don’t instantly get chips.  It doesn’t last as long as a professional manicure but the price is amazing.

Stainless Steel Tumbler

I drink hot coffee!  Said no mom ever UNTIL stainless steel mugs entered the scene.  You can take it with you or just around the house and keep your coffee hot for hours.  Hooray! I like this  Stainless Steel Tumbler.

Fancy Soap

So I love little luxuries like fancier soap for dishes and hand washing.  My two favorite brands are Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Soaps & Cleaner and J R Watkins.  Mrs. Meyer’s has seasonal scents for the holiday and we are partial to Iowa Pine, it smells like a tree farm.  I love gifting hand soap and a cute dish towel to friends as hostess gifts. It’s both cute and purposeful ;).

Micro-Fiber Dish Mat

Last but not least, something purposeful!  I have a dishwasher but there are always dishes to be washed by hand.  I love my countertop micro-fiber drying mat.  I store it under the sink when I am not drying dishes!  You can find one like mine here.

A Favorite Things Party + A List of Favorite Things Under $10

So, there you have it a great list of favorites all under $10 and a fun way to gather together your friends or neighbors.  So, what are your must-have items under $10? Make sure to share in the comments!

You Might Also Like

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Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Email Subscription

 

Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

This post contains affiliate links

October 2018 Favorite 10

Oh my word, I can’t believe it’s October 26th, I spent yesterday with a group of MOPS moms in Fort Dodge, Iowa and today I am with another group of MOPS moms.  Both days, I am sharing about how to cultivate a heart of gratitude.  You can read a blog post on the subject here.  I just love speaking with women, it truly is one of my favorite things to do.  If you need a speaker, you know where to find me.  I am booking for January and February now!

Since it’s the end of the month though I wanted to share with you a few things I have been loving in the month of October.  Per usual, it’s a mod podge of apps, books, products, podcasts, and more.  I always love a good recommendation and you have said you do too!  So, let’s get to My October Favorite 10!

1. Simple Purposeful Living Shop

You read that correctly!  Simple Purposeful Living is launching 2 signature products.  My email list is going to get a sneak peek today so if you aren’t on the list, there’s still time to sign up!  After listening to so many of you and pain points in your life we developed two tools we hope will help you to be more purposeful and make your life more simple!

The products launch for pre-order on November 14th, with guaranteed delivery before Christmas!  I will be sharing more on Instagram, Facebook, the blog and of course my email newsletter.  Sign-up today!

2. Land of Mae Doll

You might have seen yesterday on Instagram, we received a very special gift.  A handmade, personalized doll for our son.  We still haven’t been matched and we covet your prayers we do before December.  We also gave a little hint about his name.  Many of you caught it :).  See the post here.

3. Halloween Activities

This weekend we are carving pumpkins! We always share the pumpkin parable (read about it here) and the kids like to use the power drill to help in the carving.  We also like to read the book, Pumpkin Parable.  We also plan to boo our neighbors which is a perfect way to complete this week’s Simple Purposeful Living kindness challenge – a random act of kindness.  You can read more about boo-ing people here, it’s a good thing I promise ;)!

4. Favorite Worship Songs

I cannot stop listening to What a Beautiful Name, It Is Well, I Am Who You Say I Am and Reckless Love.  They all have such amazing lyrics and just singing along and meditating on the words helps me to right my attitude and place my focus back on Jesus.  What songs are you loving right now?

5. Egg Nog

My husband LOVES eggnog and when he saw it was back on store shelves, he not so subtly hinted I should get some.  It’s a weekly grocery staple from now until Christmas.  My favorite way to drink it is as a creamer in my coffee. You don’t need much and it’s so delicious!  Any other eggnog lovers out there?

6. Thieves Household Cleaner & Laundry Detergent

I have been using the Thieves household cleaner for about a year.  It lasts forever so even though it seems expensive on the onset, I still have a 1/3 bottle left after a year and I use it for every surface of my home!  I just got the laundry detergent after I heard it is amazing just like the cleaner.  You barely need any soap and it smells so good!  Click here to take a look at the products.

7. Crystal Paine Show Podcast

I love Crystal from The Money Saving Mom and Your Blogging Mentor.  She has a new podcast.  She covers a range of topics and I just love listening to her as I drive my kids to all their millions of activities!

8. Everybody Always by Bob Goff

I downloaded the audiobook and listened to it on the way to Pittsburgh for the Steelers game.  I seriously had to rewind about a hundred times and write down quotes.  I wish I had gotten it in print because there were just so many good takeaways about loving people really well. (Find the book here)   Here are a few of my favorites —

Instead of telling people what Jesus meant they just loved people the way he did.

We are all rough drafts of the people we are becoming.

The sad fact is many of us have lost our way helping people find theirs.

9. Healed Sneakers

I posted this picture and y’all went nuts over my favorite healed sneaker.  I just checked and they are on sale.  I love the neutral color and they are so cute and comfy!

10. Marco Polo App

It’s my new favorite way to keep in touch with friends near and far.  My bestie and I are in a very busy season of life and we can’t spend hours each week with one another as we have in the past.  This app allows us to leave video messages to one another and then respond when we can.  I talk to my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and friends using it every single week.  Bonus, it’s free!  Have you tried it out yet?

BEST OF SPL – October Blog Posts

This month I especially loved sharing about how we can be more grateful.  You can read that post here.  I also loved helping you all overcome feeling unlikely and pursue your purpose.  You can read that post here.  The simple chicken tortilla soup recipe is always a hit and so yummy. You can pin that recipe here.  Speaking of which, do you follow Simple Purposeful Living on Pinterest?  You should here.  Finally, we loved having the girls shared bedroom finished.  Read that post here.

 

So, there you have it some of my favorite things from the month of October.  I also have lots of favorite memories too so you better believe I will be back next Wednesday to share our October life lately recap!  Until then, have a great weekend and get out there and do a random act of kindness!  Don’t forget to comment and tell me something you are loving in October!

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with AndreaBecky

 

 

10 Beauty Must Haves

When it comes to beauty, I have never felt confident in my skills.  I have always played it safe but much like everything else in my life, when I turned 30, I threw caution to the wind and started trying new products because why not?  I have found most of my beloved products by word of mouth recommendations because I don’t want to waste my time or money.  Who does?  So, I thought I would share with you my 10 beauty must-haves in case you need a good recommendation to add to your beauty repertoire!

10 Beauty Must Haves

beauty products on counter

1 – Skin Care

I have used Rodan & Fields Redefine for the last few years and it really has kept my face looking more youthful and vibrant.  Something happened when I turned 30, I suddenly noticed wrinkles so I had to up my skincare game.  In an effort to save a little money, I stretch my order out to every 4 months (instead of the auto-replenish date of 2 months).

I just bought Mary Kay eye makeup remover after asking my Instagram tribe what they would recommend and it was a landslide, so many people recommended Mary Kay!  In the interim, you all reminded me to use coconut oil as my makeup remover as well!

Kiehls Youth Dose Eye Treatment was gifted to me by Influenster but I have been using the product every day to help the fine lines around my eyes from all that smiling I like to do.  It also is tinted so it acts as a subtle concealer as well.  I use it both day and night.

2 – L’oreal Lumi Glotion

I just added this to my routine after a friendly and helpful Target Beauty employee told me it would give me a more dewy look.  I love the subtle glow it gives my skin.  It has no SPF so I put it on top of my AM moisturizing lotion.

3 – Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

I use a pea-size amount of this product and mix it with a pea-size amount of the glotion for my foundation.  It goes on light and smooth with built-in SPF.

4 – Tarte Shape Tape

This product was recommended to me by several fellow bloggers.  I was hesitant to spend so much money on a product and use it when I want full coverage concealer for blemishes, red spots and under the eyes.  It works great!

5 – Blush & Highlighter

I use the Elf Highlighter along my cheekbones before applying my blush.  I am currently using this blush.

6 – Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Loose Powder Foundation

I use this after applying my foundation before the highlighter and blush.  I like the way it gives me a matte, breathable and natural finish.

7 – Eye Shadow Palette

I am not too picky on brand, I am pickier on color.  I currently love the warmer golden hues for summer!

8 & 9 – Neutrogena Eye Liner & Neutrogena Hydro Boost Waterproof Mascara

I love the eyeliner and most days just use it on my top lid but occasionally I will go halfway across my bottom lid.  I usually use a grey or brown-black color since I have a fair complexion!  I like the mascara shown as well as the Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara but I just asked for recommendations on non-waterproof kind since I find waterproof to be so harsh on the eye for everyday use.  I just ordered some from Mary Kay, I will keep you posted.

10 – Brushes & A Tinkle

I love the Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target.  They are great quality for the price and hold up really well.  The bristles don’t shed and they apply the makeup well.  I also love my tinkle for those little facial hairs you just want to take care of the older we get.  If you buy anything after reading this post, buy a tinkle!

 

I linked all my favorite products for you here –

So, there you have it my tried and true 10 beauty must-haves.  I like to keep it nice and simple with a clean, natural look most of the time.  It usually takes me less than 10 minutes to do my skincare and makeup routine.  What about you?  I don’t use anything for my eyebrows, do you?   What are your beauty favorites?  If you blogged, make sure to link-up!  I can’t wait to get more beauty recommendations from you, sound off in the comments.

You might also like –

How I Organize My Bathroom Drawers & Cabinets

10 Sephora Tips and Tricks

6 Simple Ways to Drink More Water

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Email Subscription

 

Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

**This post contains affiliate links**


Must Have Baby Items

Why am I talking about must have baby stuff?  Well, my sister is making me an Auntie #allthepraisehands.  She asked me what I would recommend she add to her registry.  I remember being so overwhelmed at the sheer amount of options for diapers let alone everything else.  So, of course, I was happy to help.
So I compiled a list for her and thought it would be fun to share with you too because you want to buy right the first time (unlike my 8 stroller purchases, yes 8).  These items are ones I would buy over and over again, tell everyone about and buy for others because they saved my sanity and they have worked hard for our family.

Must-Have Baby Stuff

 

1.  Diaper Bag

My favorite is the Petunia Pickle Bottom Sashay Satchel.  It is both a throw over your shoulder bag or backpack.  It’s not too bulky and has side pockets for your sippy cups or bottles.  It also can be affixed to a stroller with these clips.  It has tons of interior pockets and comes with the diaper changing pad and wipes case.  I still have mine and use it for all of our trips.

2.  Baby Carrier

I had a baby Bjorn with my first two kids and it worked fine but I bought a used Ergo carrier with Lucy.  We still use the carrier and now Lucy rides on the back.  We use it when we go hiking as a family, walking to and from football games or boarding an airplane when carrying her in our arms is impractical.  It has an infant insert for those days when baby just wants to be close but you need to get something done.

3.  Infant Carseat

We loved the Chicco key fit 30.  We had one with our oldest two kids but it expired before Lucy was born.  We checked out lots of other options but we loved it so we bought it again. It’s easy to install in seconds, has a nice large sunshade and easily clicks into place.  It holds children up to 30 lbs and has an adaptor to be used with our City Select stroller.

4.  Baby Toys

Our favorite baby toy brand is O Ball.  Our babies loved the little openings they could grasp with their tiny hands.  There are lots of options and they make great baby gifts.  This one, this one and this one were fan favorites.  I saved them for guests.  Our kids all time favorite toy is the ball popper.  Our kids would still play with this if its out.  It’s currently expensive for some reason but this one  would be a close comparison.

5.  Baby Essentials

Pacifiers — We used Avent pacifiers with our son and Mam brand with our daughters.  We loved them both.  The Mam brand are slightly less expensive and a bit easier to find at stores if you need to replace them in pinch (it happens). Just remember pacifiers do have sizes so make sure you get the correct size when you are purchasing them.

Sippy Cups —  Sippy cups can come with so many parts that are hard to take apart and attract mold.  These First Years sippy cups are our favorite because they have no removable parts (you will appreciate that I promise).  Each of our kids has one of these water bottles now and I just wash it daily.

Diaper Cream —  Just get Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.  It’s the best, it’s creamy, it protects and heals.  Just don’t leave it in your diaper bag when traveling because they will confiscate it at security.  #truestory

Diapers —  Hands down our favorite diapers are from Aldi.  I tried them all.  When my babies were brand new, I used Pamper’s Swaddlers and then switched to Aldi Brand and love them.  They are about $12 for a big box which is a 1/3 of of the cost.  We also use the Aldi wipes!

6.  Stroller

Oh my goodness do I have stroller regret.  8 Strollers later I wish someone had told me about our City Select Stroller from the start.  If you think you are having more than one child, get a stroller that can convert into a double stroller.

You might have sticker shock at the cost but trust me you will save money if you just buy one stroller that can do all the things as opposed to having a single stroller, double stroller, sit n’stand stroller and the list goes on and on.

Our stroller has a glider board that we still use for older kids to stand behind and ride.  We also love the Britax stroller caddy and  these stroller hooks.

7.  Zippered Pajamas

When you have an infant you will be changing their diaper at all hours of the day.  You will be tired and you will mess up snaps on the pajamas #ithappenedtome.  Zippered pajamas are a must for sleep-deprived diaper changing sessions.  Just skip the snapped pajamas!

8.  Rock N’Play

The Rock N’Play is hands down my FAVORITE baby product of all time.  We had babies with reflux and they slept in this for both naps and bedtime until around 4 months old.  It kept them elevated and snuggled in which my babies loved.  The newer models now provide vibration and soothing noises.  It’s portable and lightweight so you can move it around the house or take on trips.  You need one.  

9.  A comfy Glider Recliner

From feeding sessions to story time, you need a comfy, cozy chair for your nursery.  Keep it neutral and you can move it to another part of your house when your child gets older.  We still have ours in our 2 year old daughter’s room and use it daily for before nap and bedtime reading sessions.  We got ours at a local furniture store but they have lots of options online like this one and this one.

 

So there you have it, my all-time must-have baby stuff.  Share this with those that are in the middle of creating a registry along with your favorites.  I can be overwhelming to pick the right things for your precious baby but a good, tried and true recommendation goes a long way!

 

 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simply purposeful life!
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How to Host a Favorite Things Party + Favorite Things Under $10

This week I went to a favorite things party for the Des Moines Moms Blog contributors.  We did it last year too and it was such a hit we did it again.  Every time I go I leave thinking I want to host one.  Not only do you get some great recommendations, but you also get to know each other better based on what they pick and their explanation.  Plus who doesn’t love a reason to get together with girlfriends?

How to host a favorite things party

So, how do you throw a favorite things party?

We were each asked to bring 3  of the same favorite thing.  It had to be wrapped and $10 or less.  The price point is at the discretion of the host but $10 was perfect.  Some people brought multiple little things that added up to $10.  Then, when we arrived we each wrote our name on a piece of paper 3 times and put it in a bowl.

One person started in the group and drew 3 names out of the bowl and then gifted their favorite thing to those people.  The person who gifted the item then explained why they loved it so much.  People gifted beauty products, home gadgets, accessories, home decor items, and food.  One gal makes her own vanilla (which takes a year to cure) and gifted that, how cool it that?

Now, don’t you want to host a favorite things party?  Me too!  Gather your friends, some food and your favorite things and get a date on the calendar!

And now since it’s Friday I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things under $10 in case you want a few new recommendations that don’t break the bank!

Favorite Products Under $10

Felt-tip Pens

My favorite pens in the world as the  Paper Mate Flair Pens.  Not only do they come in lots of fun colors but they write like a felt tip pen.  I haven’t met a teacher that doesn’t love them.

Earrings

Who doesn’t love a simple pair of earrings?  Target has some cute ones right now for under $8.  I also love buying extra earring backs because I am always losing the backs in the carpet.  I gifted this pair and I gifted this pair as my favorite thing.

Dry Shampoo

All the praise hands for dry shampoo. I have tried several and I keep coming back to the budget-friendly Batiste brand.  I love the bare kind because there is no fragrance and it goes on light. You can find it here.

Facial Razor

Let’s face it, we all can be hairy in places we don’t want to be especially as we age.  Someone recommended theseTinkle Facial Razors and I love them.  They are perfect for sculpting your brows or taking care of a stray facial hair (don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about).

Devotional

One of my favorite devotionals of 2018 was 100 Days to Brave.  If you are wanting to be braver and step into your God-given purpose, this little book will encourage you to be brave.  It has a scripture verse and accompanying daily message written by Annie F. Downs.

Gel Top Coat

What did we do before gel manicures?  Well I know I never painted my nails because they chipped instantly.  I love this Gel Top Coat because I can apply it over any nail polish and I don’t instantly get chips.  It doesn’t last as long as a professional manicure but the price is amazing.

Stainless Steel Tumbler

I drink hot coffee!  Said no mom ever UNTIL stainless steel mugs entered the scene.  You can take it with you or just around the house and keep your coffee hot for hours.  Hooray! I like this  Stainless Steel Tumbler.

Fancy Soap

So I love little luxuries like fancier soap for dishes and hand washing.  My two favorite brands are Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Soaps & Cleaner and J R Watkins.  Mrs. Meyer’s has seasonal scents for the holiday and we are partial to Iowa Pine, it smells like a tree farm.  I love gifting hand soap and a cute dish towel to friends as hostess gifts. It’s both cute and purposeful ;).

Micro-Fiber Dish Mat

Last but not least, something purposeful!  I have a dishwasher but there are always dishes to be washed by hand.  I love my countertop micro-fiber drying mat.  I store it under the sink when I am not drying dishes!  You can find one like mine here.

A Favorite Things Party + A List of Favorite Things Under $10

So, there you have it a great list of favorites all under $10 and a fun way to gather together your friends or neighbors.  So, what are your must-have items under $10? Make sure to share in the comments!

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Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

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Best Board Games for Families

Who doesn’t love playing a good game?  One of our favorite ways to spend time together as a family is playing board games.   I thought it would be fun to share our favorite board and card games to play since it’s always fun to add new games to the collection!  If you have a favorite game, please share in the comments.  You always have the best recommendations!  If you are looking for a birthday gift idea, games make great gifts!

 

If you are looking for a great game for preschool+, this is the game.  It comes with little pads that you step on when the prompted tells you to go to a specific item like an animal, color or shape.  Lucy loves to play with us too!  It doesn’t take too long either and it’s a great wiggle release!
 
2.  Snipe
 
The object of this game is to hide your opponent’s snipe creature and then be the first to find your snipe and return it to the nest. The creatures begin to chirp and then light up as time passes.  It can be played one on one or as teams and inside and outside.  This is a great party game and great for ages 2+.
We love Ticket to Ride, now there is a kid version.  Collect colored train cards and build to claim your route.  The first person to claim 6 routes win.  Solon loves to play this game.  Ages 6+.
Once again we love the adult version, Settlers of Catan.  In this version, you are earning commodities with the roll of a dice and then trading them in to build ships and lairs.  The first person to build all their lairs wins.
Are you sensing a theme?  We love Sequence but now there is Sequence for kids.  Collect cards and work to place your chips on the board.  When you get 4 in a row, you win!
6.  Memory
A great classic family game that never goes out of style.  If you have younger kids, you can modify by just pulling out 1/4 to 1/2 the matching cards.  You will be surprised how good your kids are at remembering!
Push the hot potato and then pass them either shouting the person’s name or in a circle.  The person holding the potato when it buzzes and they are out!
Spot It is a fast paced matching game. Place a circle card in the middle and then distribute the rest of the cards to the players.  Then each player flips a card and races to yell the matching animal their card has to the one in the middle. Play continues until a player runs out of all their cards.
10.  Old Maid
11.  Qwixx
A fun dice game where you are crossing off numbers and working to fill your card.  Kids young and old will like this fast paced fun game.
A pirate version of the classic crazy 8’s.  You can”t help but say “ARRRRGH!” when you play!
Each player gets a set of cards and they try to place them on their opponent’s area and then fill their opponent’s area with a moose.  The person with the most moose loses!
 
15.  Bellz
Take turns trying to grab your bells (of various sizes) with a magnet wand.  The first person to get them all wins.  You can’t grab any bell but your own so you have to be careful!  It’s harder than it looks.

Here are a few more favorites – 

Blokus

 

Labyrinth

 

Rivers, Roads, and Rails

Tenzies

 

Left, Center, Right

 

Pit

Qwirkle

Rack-O

 

Things

Games are a great family gift.  If you are traveling, some of these will fit right into your suitcase.  All these games are sure to create laughter, fun and some special family time with those you love.  What are your favorite kids’ games?

You might also like…

Best Family Board & Card Games

Book Series Like Harry Potter

Favorite Kids Toys

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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