& Friday Favorites | 3.10.2017

Hello! With any luck this post will find you well on your way to an enjoyable weekend, leaving the hustle and bustle of the work week behind. I put in my 20 hours of work away from home before my head hit the pillow at 2am Wednesday so now it’s the usual work of cooking, cleaning, and entertaining toddlers for me until Monday Tuesday (I just remembered I’m off Monday – woo hoooo!)

I’m attending a fundraiser tonight, a brunch/shopping get together tomorrow morning, and it seems like one of those weekends where Sunday will probably become a busy one too, though we do not currently have plans.

Anyway, it occurred to me last week that there are a number of items/products in our household that make my every day a little easier. So as the weekend approaches and you might set out to do some shopping or product searching of your own, I thought I’d share. I am an absolute sucker for product recommendations, reading through dozens and dozens of reviews before making purchases, so in the event that you might be in the market for one of my favorite things, here are my thoughts!

Shark Rocket TruePet – I pull this vacuum out of the closet at least once a day, sometimes more. It’s super lightweight, takes up very little storage space, and it is incredibly efficient. We have hardwood floors throughout our entire house (except the stairs to the basement), which means we have a lot of area rugs. This Shark easily transitions from the hard floor/low-pile rug setting for most of the house, to the high pile carpet setting for some of our rugs. But my ABSOLUTE favorite feature is the light on both the upper handheld part and the main vacuum base. We have a white, shedding dog, and our floors are light in color. His hair settles in the corners and on our baseboards and it can be difficult to see in regular lighting. But with that light, his hair doesn’t stand a chance! It also has a bunch of attachments (and a handy, hanging storage bag), most of which have gone unused for us, but a few that are super helpful for corners, carpeted stairs, etc. Added bonus: the boys LOVE when I vacuum.

We ordered ours from Amazon but I did see that a very similar model is $30 off on Costco.com right now.

nutpods – I discovered nutpods when I was attempting a Whole30 before the holidays. Even though I wasn’t suuuuuper successful with the Whole30, I have made some changes to my daily eats, and have eliminated a LOT of junk from my diet. I said see ya later to traditional coffee creamers a long time ago (with a few occasional exceptions) but this is by far the cleanest thing I’ve ever added to my coffee. Nutpods is dairy-free, paleo-friendly, soy-free, non-GMO… nothing but good stuff in here. If you like an ultra sweet cup of coffee, this is not for you. But if you want a perfectly satisfying cup of coffee without any added junk, give this a try!

I buy mine in the natural foods section at HyVee (buy it on Wellness Wednesday for 10% off!), but it’s also available at Whole Foods and you may even be able to find it at your local grocery store.

Nuby sippy cups – I can only assume that sippy cup companies advertise their “no leak” cups as such because they’ve never actually tested their own product. Amiright?! We’ve tried dozens and they all start out great but turn into Niagara Falls eventually.  So when we first discovered the Nuby cups with straws I thought we’d hit the jackpopt. But I hated cleaning and trying to keep track of the straws, so on a recent Target trip I found these and they are perfect. As long as the inner rubbery seal part of the lid is on correctly, they don’t leak a bit! We use these for our pre-bedtime, wind down “bottle”, then brush teeth, then put a little water in these for them to take to bed.

We also still really like these Munchkin Miracle 360 cups. Also found at Target, of course!

Ninja Blender System – Smoothies have always been a hit around here but since they boys been on a bit of an anti-vegetable kick lately, I’ve been making them almost daily and sneaking in cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, kale, etc. and they have no clue. The blades are super sharp and this thing has got some power! I’ve always dreamed of having a VitaMix but I really love this system.

We purchased ours at Costco last summer but it doesn’t appear they still carry that exact model. This one, from Target, is the exact model that we have.

& a follow. If the aforementioned Whole30/Paleo lifestyle is of interest to you, please click over to my friend Emily’s blog, Whole Life Handbook. You know what, even if it isn’t, take a look. At the very least, follow her on Instagram for some seriously drool-worthy food pics.

Alright, friends. I’m ready to start weekending! Tell me about your favorite products right now and have yourself a great weekend!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation and/or discounts for purchases as a result of clicking these links.*



& Friday thoughts. | 8.5.16

one. Two posts in two days. Who am I? Well, for the past two days I’m the mother of two toddlers that have decided they can, in fact, sleep through the night without being ready for the day before 5am (who are these tiny morning people and who hatched them?!) Alas, this also makes me a mother that is well-rested (relatively speaking) and has been making a little time for herself in the morning. And that time involves blogging!
two. Can we all just agree that mashing your banana or avocado is the more logical way to eat it on toast? 

I mean, the little banana and avocado slices are cute and all but those suckers are slippery and the last thing I want to do is pick up more food from the floor. I already pick up after two tiny humans that find it hilarious when they throw their food on the floor. So I’ll stick to my mashed food on toast, despite its lack of Instagram worthiness.

three. Let’s keep taking about food, huh? Somedays I don’t take a shower or even change out of my pajamas. There, I said it. And this may or may not have been the case on Wednesday. But if I can do just one productive thing with my day, aside from keeping the kids safe and fed, I call it a win. Wednesday this dinner was my win. Mostly local (cucumbers and tomatoes right from my own garden), deliciously prepared food that screams SUMMER. Technically I overcooked the fish but still…win.

four. One more about food. If you aren’t putting peanut butter in your scrambled eggs already, do it now! Seriously. The best combination. I put a little in the pan when they’re cooking, then add another scoop for eating. Nom.

five. Little toddler heads are like magnets for coffee and end table corners so we’ve temporarily eliminated both from our living room decor, which can be pretty annoying when you’re trying to veg out on the couch, right?! Like, how much work would it be to actually hold my coffee cup while I’m social media binging?? Luckily, I’m very innovative. 😉

six. Because if you know anything about me you know that I like odd numbers but not necessarily 3 and 5.

We made it over to Pope Farm Conservancy on the very last of Sunflower Days so the flowers were just past their peak, but still beautiful and plenty, providing great photo opportunities. It seems silly, going to visit nine acres of sunflowers, but it was actually a fun little family outing! 

and seven. Because if you know anything about me you know that I dislike even numbers far more than 3 or 5. 😉

No matter your political preference, this right here is downright adorable.


Happy weekending, friends! Oh, and GO TEAM USA! But I’ll also be keeping a close eye on the Australian men’s swim team because um, hi Rhys Howden.

& Friday thoughts | 1.15.16

Ninja Coffee Bar – Best new parent Christmas gift EVER. You can brew a single cup, half a pot, or a full pot of coffee. Classic brew, over ice brew, or specialty (espresso strength) brew. No little pods or filters. MILK FROTHER. Perfection. We have big, exciting plans this weekend to pretend we’re baristas and whip up some of the “fancy” drinks from the included recipe book.

Bridesmaiding – In 2011 we attended seven weddings, including our own. Between the two of us, we stood up in five of those weddings. It was a really fun, really expensive year. Since then we’ve had minimal weddings, but numerous baby showers. 2016 is shaping up to be another wedding-filled year for us. I am completely honored that a dear friend has asked me to be a part of her special day!

Dove Dry Sprays – Influenster* sent us his and hers dry antiperspirants to try. We love them. Honestly. The men’s spray has a nice, fresh smell that is cologne-like but not in an offensive way. Justin is allergic to many deodorants but hasn’t had any reactions to this and has said multiple times that he intends to buy it on his own. Major bonus that I love the smell of it too! While I really like the women’s spray, I probably won’t buy it until summertime when I’m more concientious about underarm clumps. Also because I’m perfectly happy with the current deodorant I use. Coincidentally, that is also Dove and receiving these sprays made me realize how loyal I’ve been to Dove products, completely unintentionally. Works for me though, because I also love their mission!

Making a Murderer – Whenever I watch I sort of get this this eerie feeling that I “know” these people, simply because it all takes place right here in Wisco. I do distinctly remember Teresa’s disappearance and subsequently, this trial, being all over the news. I can’t say that I think Steven Avery is an innocent man but I also cannot say that I would EVER trust the Manitowoc police force. Some seriously shady stuff went down there. I love to hate the phone calls in each episode. I literally cringe while listening. But you probably do too, right? Yeah? Yeah. Yeah. I laugh cry emojied at these tweets.


Cauliflower “rice” – I finally jumped on the bandwagon and gave this a try! 101% did not miss real rice at all. I essentially followed this recipe for the rice itself, but swapped traditional fried rice ingredients like peas and carrots, with zucchini and mushrooms (aka what I had in the fridge that was going to go bad soon). So good! What it lacks in the photogenic department, it certainly makes up for in taste!


And these two. My everyday favorites. Eating/wearing sweet potatoes.


*Influenster provided these products at no cost, but I’m receiving no compensation for reviewing them. Opinions are all mine, per usual. 🙂