A Few of My Favorite Things – April 2018

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I was looking forward to the warmer days in April, but instead here in Illinois we’ve had cold, dreary days to start off April. I am sick of winter hats, gloves and coats laying around my house. I’m ready for spring jackets, playing outside and opening windows.

At this rate, I’m a little worried that we might skip over spring weather and go right to summer. With April comes another installment of my favorite things.  All items I have used, continue to use and have gifted to others.

Munchkin Miracle 360 degree sippy cup

We are past the stage of needing sippy cups ourselves, but we had a lot of years to use them. We tried so many different sippy cups, and I was disappointed in all of them. It seemed that my girls could get any sippy cup to leak. A leaky sippy cup can be so frustrating and annoying.

It wasn’t until our second daughter that we discovered the Munchkin Miracle 360. I only wish we had known about them sooner. These cups were easy to clean (a rarity with sippy cups) and leak proof. They now come with a handle for the littlest of sippy cup users, but when we got them, they didn’t have that (or we didn’t know it was an option). The handle is removable so the cup can transition with your child as their hands grow and fine motor skills improve.


Clorox Wipes

I know there is a huge movement toward green cleaners and making our cleaners out of essential oils. But, in my book, nothing compares to a little Clorox. I LOVE the smell of Clorox. To me, the smell of Clorox indicates clean and fresh.

The best part about Clorox wipes is how easy they are to use. In fact, they are so easy that even my children like to help clean up with them. We keep a container of Clorox wipes in the bathroom, the hall closet and the office. One quick wipe and you can clean up in under 30 seconds.

A Clorox wipe is great for quick cleaning the bathroom sink. No more messy toothpaste all over the bathroom sink and countertop. I also love to take a Clorox wipe to the door handles and light switches once a week. You better believe there are a lot of germs on those surfaces throughout our house. There is a reason classroom teachers now ask for Clorox wipes on their supply lists every year. They are a great way to clean classroom desks and surfaces.

Be sure to watch for coupons and gift card deals at Target. I stock up when there is a deal.


Book “Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”

In the name of being completely transparent, I have never read this book in its entirety – mainly because I am far from retirement. However, several years ago, I came upon this book on Amazon when I was searching for a retirement gift for my father. The book content looked good, the reviews were great, and the price was reasonable. When the book arrived, I peeked through a few chapters before I gave it away.

My dad started reading it right away and was laughing out loud. He LOVED the book. He loved it so much that he started reading parts of it out loud to everyone in the room.  It is not your usual retirement book. It doesn’t talk about how much to save, healthcare or other boring topics. Instead, it talks about the other part of retirement: the what are you going to do with your life and time part. It talks about your dreams, goals, etc.

Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, to give to someone in the months leading up to their retirement. After my dad gave such a glowing review of the book, I have given it as a retirement gift at least four more times and recommended it to others several times. I have not yet heard a bad review.

If you or someone you know is going to retire, consider this book as a gift. I’ve given it to my daughter’s teacher who was retiring, my parents, my in-laws, and friends. Considering how and when to retire is not just about finances. There is so much more that goes into the decision to retire, and this book helps people make a successful transition into their next stage of life.


Kirkland Stretch-tite Plastic Food Wrap

It’s true one of my favorite things is plastic wrap from Costco. A friend recommended it to me a couple of years ago, and I am so glad she introduced me to it. I have only had to buy one box because the Costco size has lasted us over a year.

If you use plastic wrap in your house, you need to get this kind. No more losing the end or dropping the roll as you try to tear it. This plastic wrap comes with a cutter that you simply slide across the box. You easily pull out the amount of plastic you need and then slide the cutter across. It is amazing and simple to use.


Perler beads

If you have children and haven’t used Perler beads, you are missing out. These beads can be picked up online or in any big box or craft store. They are not expensive and provide hours, literal hours, of entertainment. You can purchase different Perler bead pegboards or use the simple square one.

Children (and adults) can be as creative as they want to be.Many of the packages come with ideas, but you can also find endless ideas on line. My daughter, Cassidy, is always checking out ideas on Youtube. She has made hundreds of creations over the years but never seems to get bored.

I love that the beads and molds are reasonably priced, and they allow the girls to exercise their creativity. Additionally, there is ample opportunity to work on finger dexterity and color identification and sorting with the younger kids. There are also larger beads for the younger kids.

When the creations are completed you need to iron them to finish them. I recommend ironing both sides for a better look, but ask your artist what they prefer.

(caution: there may be times that a creation gets messed up. If this happens, be prepared for tears (yours or the child’s). It’s a great opportunity to learn the skill of deep breathing and calming down by walking away for a moment.)


Be sure to check out previous posts about my favorite things.

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