Archives For Favorite Things

Happy Friday!

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? It’s been overcast and rainy (with some thunderstorms) here the past couple of days, and the forecast is saying it’ll be much of the same over the weekend. I’m hoping it will clear up some so we can go to the pool and Farmer’s Market tomorrow. Even if it does rain, I’m just excited to spend lots of time together as a family. Weekends are my favorite now!

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Here are a few of my favorite finds from across internet this week…

Hope you have an amazing weekend, my friend!

Pregnancy is amazing! But it does come with it’s own set of challenges as well. Thankfully, I have found quite a few things that have really helped with these challenges. I’m hesitant to call anything “must haves”, because I could probably survive without them if I had to. However, these are definitely some of my favorite things that have really helped me during pregnancy.

I always love hearing from others what items have helped them during pregnancy, so I thought I would share my list with you! Some of these items I’ve used during all of my pregnancies, and some are brand new. Hope you find this helpful!

Here are 8 of my Favorite Things for Pregnancy:

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  1. Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins - I wasn’t able to swallow pills until I was 15 years old…apparently I have a very good gag reflex. Even now, I have difficulty swallowing large pills (especially if they have DHA in them and taste like fish. Blech!). This is where the gummy vitamins come in! I love these things. I discovered them when I was pregnant with Liam, and I’ve never turned back since. (Note: they do not contain iron or calcium, so you will want to take a separate supplement for those).
  2. Blanqi Maternity Support - Oh my word, I love this thing! This is a new purchase and I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, but it has been a lifesaver. Since I have been having quite a few early contractions this pregnancy, my doctor suggested getting a maternity support belt. I did my research, and most of the maternity supports out there look like torture devices. Except for this one. It is so comfortable, and it helps in many ways! It lifts up my belly so that it doesn’t feel so heavy, eases back and hip pain, and minimizes round ligament pain as well. It is well worth the investment!
  3. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter - My skin tends to get really dry and itchy during pregnancy, and this lotion helps tremendously with this. It’s also supposed to help prevent stretch marks (and minimize the appearance of existing ones), so that’s cool too. Oh, and it smells yummy, which is a plus!
  4. My Pregnancy BabyCenter App - I’ve tried several pregnancy apps, and I keep going back to this one. It has lots of useful information in it, and it helps you track your baby’s weekly progress. And…it’s free! (They also have the app available for Android)
  5. Leachco Preggle Body Pillow - I am naturally a back sleeper, so when I first got pregnant and had to switch to sleeping on my side, it was troublesome indeed. My hips started hurting and I kept accidentally rolling over onto my back in the night. It was no bueno. But then I discovered this pregnancy body pillow, and it has helped so very much! There are several different kinds of pregnancy pillows out there, but I really like this one, especially since it allows me to use my normal pillow to lay my head on. So comfy!
  6. Giant Tumbler - I drink a lot of water. A lot. And whenever I’m pregnant, I drink even more. It is a hassle to refill a normal sized cup a gazillion times a day, so I prefer to have a large (or preferably, giant) tumbler with me wherever you go. Hydration during pregnancy is so important, and having a large tumbler around helps ensure that I get the water I need. I don’t have this venti Starbucks tumbler, but I would love to add it to my collection. (Sidenote: besides getting to bring our precious Gideon home from the hospital, I am also greatly looking forward to bringing home one of those awesome, very large, hospital cups! I used the one I got when I had Liam so much that it wore out. I’m pretty pumped to get a new one! Haha.)
  7. Vitamin Organizer - Have you ever heard of a thing called “pregnancy brain”? It’s a real thing, I promise. (For example, yesterday I almost put the glass cleaner in the fridge. Yikes.) To help with my pregnancy forgetfulness, I got this vitamin organizer. I felt old getting it, but it is very helpful indeed. I like this one specifically, because it has four different time slots in each day case. That way, if you have to take different supplements or medication at different times during the day (such as taking your calcium and iron at different times), you will remember when. Genius! I also really like the pretty colors this case comes in.
  8. Amazon Mom - Amazon is amazing! You can find pretty much anything on there, not just books! And when you sign up for Amazon Mom (it’s FREE!), you get a free 3-month trial of Amazon Prime that includes free 2-day shipping! You also get discounts off of diapers and other baby items. Plus, if you create a baby registry through them (which is what we’ve used), you receive a 15% discount off of anything in your registry the month before your baby is due. This was SO helpful when we had Liam, and I plan on getting a lot of the things we need for Gideon this way too. I highly recommend it!

So, there you have it…8 of my favorite things for pregnancy. If you’re a mom or mom-to-be…what are your favorites? Please share in the comments below!

One of the things I enjoy most about being a mom is the opportunity to teach our son, Liam, all sorts of different things. It is so much fun to see him discover the world! My absolute favorite thing to teach him is how much God loves him. Liam is still young, only 19 months old, but from the very beginning we wanted to point him toward Jesus and let him know how very loved he is. (And I can’t wait to do the same with this new baby!)

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

We pray with Liam at meals and bed time and if he is hurt or scared. It’s amazing how quickly he has picked this up! Yesterday, I set down his lunch in front of him and forgot to pray with him. He quickly said, “Mama!” and held out his hand to me, I grabbed it, and he bowed his head to pray. It completely melted my heart!

A few weeks ago, we started researching different Bible storybooks that we could get to read to him (reading books is one of his favorite things to do). We went to Lifeway to look at all the different ones they had in store there, and then went online to read reviews. We finally decided on the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook by Sarah Young. Sarah is the author of Jesus Calling and Jesus Today, which are both great devotionals, so I was excited to give this one a try.

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We’ve had it for about a week now, and absolutely love it! The stories are brief (perfect for kiddos), fun, and well written and the illustrations are beautiful. My favorite part about this book is the short devotional that is at the end of each story that contains a scripture and then a paragraph written to the child from Jesus’ perspective (in true Jesus Calling fashion). It is beautiful and often ministers to me as well. Liam loves this book! At least a few times a day, he will bring it over to me, climb up into my lap, and ask me to read him a story. I couldn’t be happier about this. He also loves flipping through the pages himself (he especially enjoys looking at the Noah’s ark illustrations and pointing out all the different animals).

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[Haha, I realize this may seem like a sales pitch...it's not! I'm not getting paid to review this book or anything. We just love this so much, that I thought I would share with you.]

Are there any books or other resources that have helped you teach your children about Jesus? I would love to hear!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my playlist of songs that I turn on when I need to be encouraged. Those songs have helped me through a lot! But sometimes, you just need FUN music.

When I need to brighten my day a little bit, I will often turn on our Disney Pandora Station. I am a huge fan of musicals and also a big fan of Disney, so this is perfect for me. Liam loves it too! This is the music that we will dance around the living room to together. It is always upbeat, and is sure to put a smile on our faces. This station is filled with old classics that I grew up with, and many new favorites. I love introducing Liam to this music. When he’s not dancing to the music, he will often play along on his drums, piano, or ukulele. Not gonna lie though, I definitely listen to this music when he’s sleeping too. (Often singing along at the top of my lungs) No shame! :)

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Since this music has brought so much joy to my life, I wanted to share it with you! You can listen my Disney Pandora Station (and add it to your own list of stations, if you want) by clicking HERE.

Hope this music brings some joy to your day!

I’d love to hear…what’s your favorite brighten-up-my-day music? Or, if you’re a parent, what’s you’re favorite music to listen to with your kiddos?

I love music. Music has a way of setting the mood and changing the atmosphere for any day. When I began to think of music that way, I realized how powerful it can be.

When you’re having a bad day, it can be tempting to listen to music that matches your mood. But man, what a difference it can make when you choose to listen to music that encourages and lifts you up.

This is one thing I put into practice last year that really helped me. I enjoy listening to music on any day, but when I’m going through a hard time, I feel like it is almost vital to my survival (that may be putting it a little dramatically, but I think you know what I’m trying to say).

Last year I put together a playlist of songs that really spoke to me. I almost felt like they were written just for me and what I was going through. On those days that I felt like I didn’t have the strength to go on, I would turn on this music and it would encourage and fill me with life again.

So, I wanted to share this playlist with you! Whether you’re having a great day or a not-so-great one, I hope that these songs encourage you and brings joy to your day.

[If for some reason you're not able to see the playlist above, you can access it by clicking on this link.]

If you love any of these songs, you can find them all on either iTunes or Amazon. I encourage you to go and support the artists listed!

Now, I would LOVE to hear…what are your favorite songs that encourage you?

I have to warn you that my nerdy side is going to be widely exposed in this post (although not entirely, because I will refrain from going into great detail of my love of Star Wars and Star Trek today). But this is a place of honesty and transparency, so here I am…nerdiness and all!

I mentioned earlier that I absolutely love this time of year and the newness and fullness of potential it brings. And I also love getting organized and preparing myself for the best year yet. That means a lot of things (and I won’t mention all of them now), BUT for me it does include fun organizational tools.

So that is what I’m sharing with you today! Here are some of my favorite tools for an organized year:

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1. An amazing planner. For the past couple of years, I have tried going all-digital and using only my iPhone and Google Calendar for my planner needs. And as wonderful as these tools are, the lack of paper in my life proved to be an epic fail. I do much better when I can physically write something down and cross things off my to-do list. It makes my heart leap with joy! My incredible husband got me The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley for Christmas, and I think all our neighbors heard me squeal for joy when I opened it. That man of mine, he knows the way to my heart. This planner is everything I ever wanted in a planner, and it has helped me so much already this week. (Emily has one last shipment of planners going out at the end of this month, so if you’re going to get one, order fast). Of course, you don’t have to have this specific planner to have an organized year. But I encourage you to get one that makes you happy when you see it and that works for all your needs.

2. Goal Setting. The past week I have been reading and working through Lara Casey’s Goal Setting steps. Go read her posts on Goal setting! Go do it! It’s inspiring and amazing. Lara is one of my favorite people on the internet, she is always so life-giving and full of inspiration.

3. Power Sheets by Lara CaseyThese sheets are designed to help you work towards your goals this year and to purposefully live the life you’ve dreamed of. I ordered mine at the beginning of this week with some birthday money, and I am so excited to get them in the mail! She is shipping this set on January 9th, so you can still order some to receive soon. Lara also makes them available throughout the year at different times, so stay tuned, if you don’t get them before this shipment. I’ll keep you posted on how I use them!

4. Pencil Pouch. I like having little pouches to contain all my pens and doodads. I picked out this one from Amazon, and I’m excited to get it in the mail soon!

5. White-Out Correction TapeI am kind of a perfectionist at times, so I like to have some correction tape on hand in case I mess something up. This comes in handy, so I don’t have to scribble things out.

6. Washi TapeSometimes you just need pretty washi tape to decorate your planner or tape little reminders or lists into it. I am a fan of this variety of colors (and the price tag isn’t bad either!).

7. Pens and more pensI am a fan of pens. The Sharpie pens are my absolute favorite, and Jonathan always gets me some for Christmas (I sure do love that man). I also wanted some colored pens specifically in kelly green and teal colors, so I am trying out these Uni-ball gel pens. I’ve read good reviews on them, and am excited to give them a try.

8. Paper ClipsBecause you’ll never know when you’ll need to clip something (a list, a reminder, a photo, etc.) to your planner. And GOLD paper clips just make everything prettier and more exciting.

9. Post-it NotesPost-it notes have been some of my dearest friends throughout the years. I love writing scriptures, to-do lists, reminders, love notes, recipes, etc. on them. I need more Post-it Notes in my life. And the fact that these come in pretty neon colors makes it even better.

So, there you have it! A few of my favorite tools for an organized year.

Now, I would love to hear, what are your favorite organizational tools? Do you have a favorite planner, pen, or something I didn’t mention? Please do share in the comments below.

Happy Organizing, my friend!