Ten of My Favorite Things

As 2017 draws to a close I find myself evaluating my year and planning for the next.  As many others, I find myself wanting to incorporate new habits into my daily routines and use the fresh slate of a new calendar year as motivation.

As I look back on the year, I find myself appreciating some things that are a part of my life, and since it’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of favorite things post, I thought I’d share some of those with you!  So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite things… (Disclaimer – of COURSE my favorite favorite things are my family members — and you can’t have them — so the things on this list are some things that you too can enjoy)…

1. My planner

For several years now, I have made myself a paper planner.  I start with calendar pages generously provided by scatteredsquirrel.com.  (Check her out!)  I add my own weekly pages that I designed along with a “bill pay” page and some pages for notes, and I get them spiral bound.  My planner has served me equally well through being a working mom and being a stay and home mom.  As I sit here thinking of what to tell you about my planner, I realize I could discuss a lot about it, so I will probably go into more detail on my planner in another post in the near future.  For now it will suffice to say that my planner helps me keep my life in order.  (Yes, I still use iCal for the family calendar, but for me, nothing beats paper).

2. Shipt

Shipt is a grocery delivery service.  They use your local grocery store and personal shoppers.  I pay $15 a month for unlimited grocery deliveries.  I can go online to shipt.com or I can use their mobile app to do my shopping.  A shopper claims my order and shops for me.  If there are questions on an item, he or she will text me while they are shopping and I can reply with my preferences.  They shop for you, deliver, and will even bring your groceries straight into your kitchen.  Now, that is awesome!  Other than the obvious time-saving benefit, I like using Shipt, because it curbs impulse spending and allows me to stay in my warm cozy home.  I have had overall very positive experiences with most all of my shoppers, and the company’s customer service is top notch.  The company was just bought by Target in December, so I don’t know how that will affect things, but I hear Target Shipt shoppers may be a thing in the future.  What’s not to love?

3. Our Pact

Our Pact is a service I have installed on my kids’ phones that allows me control over their phone usage.  It doesn’t allow me to read their texts or snaps or anything like that, but it does allow me to control what apps they are using and what times they can use them.  I can shut their entire phone down with the touch of a button if needed.  I can control what hours they can use different apps.  I have a schedule set to their phones that turns off social media apps at a certain hour and back on in the morning.  It has options for screen time timers that would be helpful for younger children as well.  The cost for the family is $7/month.

4. The Skimm

The Skimm newsletter is an email I get daily during the week that provides me with just enough current event knowledge to make me feel like I know what’s going on in the world.  I am not overly political and I don’t really like to watch the news because it depresses me.  I find that TheSkimm covers most major events that I need to be aware of without having to wade through news sites or actually having to turn on the television.

5. Amazon Prime

I know this is nothing new, but Amazon Prime is the bomb.  I would say that 70-80 percent of my Christmas shopping this year was done through Amazon.  I love the convenience of free two day shipping – and sometimes lately, it’s even been SAME day or one day!  They even have a new two-hour service for certain grocery items.  With your Prime membership you get access to their streaming service for music and movies.  And with the addition of Alexa to our home, I find myself listening to Amazon playlists more than I ever have before.

6. Social Print Studio

If you follow me on Instagram you may have come across this gem:

I got those cool square prints from Social Print Studio.  They also have inexpensive photo stickers that you can make from your favorite Insta images and put in your planner… or whatever floats your boat.

7. Activity Tracker

I love the activity tracker on my Apple Watch, but you don’t have to have a fancy watch to make use of the activity tracker feature.  If you have an iphone, you can use the My Health app that comes with your phone to keep track of your daily steps.  Keeping track with my steps has become something I’ve been doing lately as I try to be more purposeful and intentional with the amount of activity I do each day.

8. Menu Board

Chalkboards are everywhere.  I made mine, but you can easily get your own at Hobby Lobby or any craft store.  I love using mine to display our weekly menu.  I know it sounds silly, but I do little things to “trick” myself into staying motivated.  Whenever I have our meal plan posted for all to see it makes me feel more accountable.  And while I’m at it, let me tell you how much I love my chalkboard markers.  They are lovely.

9. Podcasts

It took me a while to get on the podcast bandwagon, but I enjoy listening to them, especially in the car or when I’m walking.  My favorites are still the Popcast, What Should I Read Next, and Missed in History, but there are lots of great options out there for whatever you’re in the mood to listen to.

10. Essential Oils

I know, I know… it sounds hokey, and there may not be any merit to it.  However, I still like to walk into a room and smell oils diffusing.  My favorites are peppermint, lemon, and thieves.  I bought several of these diffusers online and the girls like to use them in their rooms as well.

So, those are currently some of my favorite things.  Maybe you learned about something new?  What are your favorite things lately?

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.
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