It’s finally March, which means spring is coming. What better way to celebrate spring than with a few of my favorite things. I never seem to have a shortage of items for this monthly article. In fact, in my office, I have a post-it, one of my former favorite things, (link) where I jot down ideas for future months. I’m not sure I’ll ever run out of ideas to share because I am constantly finding or remembering cool things that I love and haven’t shared with you yet.
So without further ado let’s get started:
As a water connoisseur, in fact, it’s all I really drink, I have tried many different types of water bottles over the years. I finally found one I really like. It is my second Contigo water bottle, but this one wins because it easily fits into the cup holder in my car. This water bottle goes everywhere with me. I love that it has the ounces on the side of the bottle so I can monitor how much I am drinking. While I drink primarily water every day, I don’t get enough of it, so monitoring my intake is important.
I love the flip cap so I can keep germs and food out of my water bottle, especially since I take it with me into elementary schools on a daily basis for work. There is a clip so you can attach it to a bag so you don’t even have to carry it. But the single best feature is that there is a simple button to push in order to release the water. This is important to me because it means that Amelia, who is 3, can’t drink out of it.
Yes, I love my kids, but I am not the kind of mother who loves to share her drinks with children who backwash. I am not interested in having any sort of floaties or food remnants sitting on the lip of my water bottle. She has not yet figured out how to push the button in. It is very easy for me to use, but not for her. But even when she can figure that out, there is a locking mechanism on the bottle that can prevent the button from being pushed in. Even more safety from my child and her germs! I’m certain that probably isn’t the reason for these features, but I think they are great for this reason. The water bottle is around $10 so the price point is perfect for this frugal mom.
This one wasn’t going to be on the list yet, but I figured it made sense since I was sharing my water bottle right now. A friend had these water bottles for her kids and I noticed them on a playdate a while back. I then was on the search for them and found them at a great price at Target. They can also be found sometimes at Costco and always at Amazon.
Be sure to check these out and pick up one or two for your kids before summer starts. We pack our water bottles for every outing and these are easy for the kids to open and close. My little one thinks it is so cool to have her own water bottle and open and close it for herself.
I had heard of Usborne Books and More before, but I had never really investigated the books they had to offer. My cousin became a consultant for them and knowing how my children and I love to read she asked if I would like to host a party. After some thought, I decided to give it a try, especially because it was a Facebook party, which meant it was easy to host. Seriously, the amount of work I had to put into the party was minimal, and the rewards were amazing. I would definitely say a great return on my investment, which you know I’m always paying attention to.
I would absolutely recommend hosting a party yourself. Even if you don’t have kids yourself, you can stock up on gifts for kids you know, grandkids, etc. I was AMAZED at all of the books they had and how unique the books were. As I watched the youtube videos that accompanied the online party my wishlist kept growing and growing. I will absolutely be turning to Usborne Books & More in the future for gifts for all of the children I know and to change up our own family library.
They have every kind of book for little kids to young adolescents, stories, activity books and educational materials. I am so excited for the girls to start to enjoy the books we ordered. A few I am saving for long car trips this summer and to entertain Amelia after she has her tonsil surgery next month.
Plain Greek Yogurt, Berries, and Vanilla Protein Powder (My go-to healthy snack or breakfast)
This has been one of my go-to snacks for well over a year. It’s filling, low in points (for those on Weight Watchers out there) and healthy. I recognize it is not for everyone. Some people cannot get over the plain greek yogurt part, but hear me out. The protein powder and berries add the flavor into the yogurt that plain greek yogurt is lacking.
The way I make it, the entire large bowl is 1 Weight Watchers Smart Point. I use a half a scoop of vanilla protein powder and whatever berries I happen to have on hand. Mango is also a delicious add-in. If you are worried about your sugar intake at all (and honestly we all should be- watch Fed UP, and you’ll never look at sugar the same again), then this is for you.
Regular yogurt and even flavored greek yogurts have A LOT of sugar. Healthy foods are lower in sugar and higher in protein so by using plain Greek yogurt I have 7 grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein. By adding a half scoop of protein powder I get the flavor and a bonus of 13 grams of protein. A great snack or breakfast by my standards.
Honestly, I cannot believe I haven’t shared this one before now. As some of you know I didn’t join the world of smartphones until November 2015. When I finally got one I was scared to death to take it anywhere because I am well known for dropping my phone. Seriously, I drop my phone all the time. I can be walking, carrying my phone and somehow it hits my leg wrong and I drop it.
This was the most expensive phone I had ever purchased by far (iPhone 6) and it looked so fragile. I wasn’t happy with the phone cases at Best Buy nor the prices of them. My awesome husband who knew a little more about phone cases did a bit of research for me and came upon the Ballistic Cell phone case. We ordered it immediately. I have had this case ever since and I could not be happier. When I drop my phone, because I still do often, it is completely safe. The Ballistic case is a little raised up on the sides of the face, which prevents it from landing on its face.
Also, I use a phone protecting sleeve (link) to the face of the phone. This protects it if something lands on its face. So far after 2+ years with the Ballistic Phone case and screen protector I have not had any issues (fingers crossed I haven’t jinxed myself).
I no longer need these in my house, but I highly recommend them if you have young children. We came across these at Baby’s ‘R Us back when Amelia was just a newborn and picked up a package. They can be purchased on Amazon a whole lot cheaper. There are so many options for the type of placemat: they can be fun or educational. The placemats have a sticky strip on each side so you just peel off the paper and stick them to the table.
These are perfect when dining out with children. You never know how clean those tables are and inevitably your child is going to probably be eating pieces of food off the table. With these placemats, you now have a clean surface to put their cut up food. Then when the meal is over you peel the placemat up and you have all their food mess folded up nicely inside. Simple clean-up. You can use these at home if you want, but we only used them when dining out.