A Few of My Favorite Things {October, 2017}

posted by Andrea | 10/2/2017
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Fall is (and always has been) my most favorite season — seriously, if you live in West Michigan, you most likely understand why.

It’s gorgeous here in the fall, and since October is the first full month of fall, it’s one of my favorite months of the year. It’s still warm enough to be outside with the kids for extended amounts of time — and sometimes still warm enough to have the windows open during the day. The nights get nice a cool, there’s rarely ever sticky humidity, and almost never any snow!

We’re into our school routine but don’t have the crazy busy rush of the holiday season yet — and of course, the colors are GORGEOUS!

Another one of my favorite things is the fact that I’m no longer pregnant!! 

In case you missed the big announcement last week, baby Clara Jo joined our family on Monday night. She’s one week old already… and oh so loved!!

Here are a few more of my favorite things!

DISCLOSURE: None of these products are sponsored; however, some of the links below are affiliate links — which means that at no cost to you, I may get a small commission. Please know that I use these products daily in my own home and life. Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

Electronic Foot File:

I probably should have put this on my list in the spring — BEFORE everyone wore sandals all summer long, but better late than never, I guess (plus, all the Australian readers can benefit from this now!)

Anyway, after being totally fed up with my rough, dry heels, I finally broke down and purchased an electronic foot file at the recommendation of one of my sisters.

I was fairly skeptical at first, but after diligent and continuous use over the summer, I can honestly say my feet have never been smoother or softer.

I use my foot file after I get out of the shower — usually 3 times a week, and it only takes a few minutes. Then I put good foot cream on before I go to bed to “lock in” the moisture.

I wish I had before and after pictures to share, but I honestly didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. I have a feeling I’ll keep using the foot file all winter long, even though my feet won’t be nearly as dry as they are in the summer.

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Video Monitor:

If you would have asked me about a video monitor back when I was pregnant with Nora, I would have laughed and said, “we definitely don’t need to waste money on something like that.” And honestly, a video monitor is NOT a necessity for having a baby.

However, 6 years later, I can say with confidence (and a little humility) that our AngelCare video monitors are one of my favorite things. They give me so much peace of mind because I can actually SEE my kids, they save me countless trips upstairs because I can talk to the boys through the monitor, and they make it a lot easier to let my baby cry for just a little bit because I can see they are OK and might be able to soothe themselves back to sleep.

Thankfully, video monitors are becoming much more affordable (and readily available on Craigslist) so it might be more feasible for more parents to have one!

Tin Star Night Lights:

Many, MANY years ago, I found these adorable tin star night lights in the clearance bin at Lowes’ for $0.50 each. I immediately snatched up the 3 remaining night lights and have been enjoying them ever since.

We currently have one in the nursery (which I’m sharing more pictures of later this week), one in our bathroom, and one in the hallway upstairs (and I’m honestly tempted to buy a couple more from Amazon!)

They are the perfect “look” for our farmhouse, and they cast just enough light to see what you’re doing without being too bright.

For the $1.50 investment, I sure have gotten a lot of happiness out of my tin star night lights!

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Extraordinary Mom’s Podcasts:

I don’t listen to all that many podcasts, but I’ve come across a BUNCH of really great ones at ExtraOrdinaryMomsPodcast.com

There are hundreds of podcasts in the archives, so there’s most likely something that pertains to everyone — and from what I can tell, they are all free.

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Self-Printing Photos at the Grocery Store:

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not big on printing pictures because I’d rather just keep everything digital if possible. Our whole family enjoys the digital albums I make for our family and our kids each year, and I’d much rather spend time and money printing the books versus loose pictures that I don’t know what to do with after a few months or a year.

That said, when Nora came home with her school picture order form a few weeks ago, I was honestly shocked at how pricey it was going to be JUST to get enough wallet pictures for her to trade with her classmates.

Yes, we can afford it, and I don’t mind giving a local photographer some business, but in my experience with school pictures, they never really turn out that great — so why would I want to pay a ridiculous amount of money for not-so-great pictures of my kid!

Anyway, I checked out the photo printing options for our local grocery store (Meijer, for anyone interested) and realized they sell 8″ x 10″ sheets of wallets (16 per sheet) for less than $3 a sheet. I promptly took a few pictures of all 3 kids, edited them, uploaded them to Meijer’s website, and picked them up later that day when I was out running a couple errands.

It cost me right around $10 for ALL the pictures for Nora and a handful for Simon and James so they could have fun “trading” with cousins, neighbors, etc.

The pictures turned out great and I saved a bunch of money in the process!

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That’s all for me this month.

Make sure you check out my previous month’s favorite things — and feel free to share some of YOUR favorite things in the comments below.

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23 comments

  1. Rhonda

    10/04/2017

    I have wanted that Amope ever since I first saw it advertised on TV! I have the same issue with my feet. Maybe this year Andrea, maybe this year… 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it could always be a stocking stuffer 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. JJ

    10/02/2017

    Those nightlights look perfect! I LOVE the pics of your kiddos-so cute!!! And I was so excited to see your post!!! For all of my babies, I have used a Kindle for music to put them to sleep when babies, specifically Baby Einstein Lullaby. When they get around 1 or 2, we use Scout or Violet from Leapfrog. It has a 5 min, 10 min, or 15 min setting. My kids like it because it says,” Goodnight, {{child’s name}}!” Then it plays the music

    [Reply]

  3. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    10/02/2017

    Andrea,

    Congratulations on not being pregnant anymore and for having such an adorable baby! Our church is always full of young children, and they are truly gifts from God.

    The tin star night light is my favorite of what you mentioned (second only after Clara Jo). 🙂

    One of my favorite things for this month since is breast cancer awareness month is Aloe Ever Shield, a non-toxic natural deodorant my husband and I use.

    [Reply]

  4. Nichelle Diaz

    10/02/2017

    Congrats on the new addition to the family! ❤ Oh my gosh!! I miss fall in Michigan (from the Traverse City area currently living in NW Oklahoma)!!! The cool crisp air, BEAUTIFUL fall foliage, fresh pumpkin and apple treats, and mostly fresh apple cider from local farmers ()

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I can believe it! Traverse City is THE place to be in the Fall — I can only imagine how much different Oklahoma is!

    [Reply]

  5. Emily

    10/02/2017

    Love, love, love the swarm of kiddos around little Clara! What a sweetie! 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Kelly

    10/02/2017

    If your school uses Lifetouch for pictures, there is an option to buy single sheets rather than a package. It is a bit hard to find the option on the website. I think I found it in the gift section. My kids have never asked to trade pictures with their friends, so I haven’t bothered with wallets. I do however buy an 8×10 of each of them every year. They each have their own book that I slide the pics into. It is fun to look back at them over the years. My oldest is 15 now. Some of the pictures that I like the best are the awful ones:)

    [Reply]

  7. Chris

    10/02/2017

    I love how you mention the happiness brought to you because of your $1.50 nightlight. I have said to my husband many times, “This is the best 89 cents I ever spent”, when I use my back scratcher. LOL

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! We have lots of little purchases that have made me so happy over the years — definitely worth those teeny tiny “splurges”!

    [Reply]

  8. Avia

    10/02/2017

    Congrats on your sweet girl. I’m sure her siblings are having a great time getting to know her. I’ve listened and enjoyed a few of the Extraordinary Mom’s podcasts. I’ll have to check out your foot file as I have terribly dry feet. Enjoy your sweet baby!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Avia!

    [Reply]

  9. Mara Yager

    10/02/2017

    LOVE seeing the pics of sweet Clara, she is gorgeous! Congratulations! And, I have been wanting a foot file but skeptical if it would even make a difference, thanks so much for the tip! Can’t wait to see nursery pictures, hope everything is going well at home for you all!

    [Reply]

  10. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life

    10/02/2017

    LOVE fall in West Michigan! It’s my favorite too!

    We’ve been doing house projects and had to buy some tools and we got the Ryobi ones that can all share a battery. We’re loving that because everything is cordless and it’s so easy to switch tools without figuring out which battery matches each tool.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I’ve heard very good things about the Ryobi tools — there are SO many of them too!

    [Reply]

  11. Michelle

    10/02/2017

    I love these posts. I can’t believe you posted anything a week after your baby came though! I love the picture of the kids with Clara, so cute. I can’t live without my Amope either. I finish mine off with a little tallow. It’s the only thing that seems to work out here in the desert.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Don’t be too impressed — I had the whole post written weeks ago. I just added the bit about Clara last night 🙂

    [Reply]

  12. DeeDee

    10/02/2017

    Oh my God is she beautiful, Andrea! Congrats

    [Reply]

  13. Amy

    10/02/2017

    Hi Andrea, love your blog. I have a recommendation for a great foot cream that I have used. It’s called Udderly Smooth Extra Care 20. I buy it from Amazon. I use it & put on socks like you described. With regular use, it really keeps my feet soft & smooth.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Amy — is it in a container that has cow print on it?
    We’ve used this for our hands before… maybe I’ll have to start putting it on my feet too!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Yes, it does have a cow print. That brand has several different lotions. I like the Extra Care 20 because it has 20% urea. I tried it because I previously used a 40% urea prescription lotion from a dermatologist with good results. This works really well & is less expensive.

    [Reply]

  14. Jen T

    10/02/2017

    I have to laugh about trading photos. When my daughter was a HS freshman, I said something about getting pics to write on and give to her friends. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, “WHY would I do that?” Which, honestly, with social media, I guess makes sense.

    I was sad to see that neither of my kids (two different HS) signed yearbooks, though…not even senior year for my daughter this past May ☹️

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh that is a little sad — we always loved the yearbook signing parties. But yes, with social media, that might all be a thing of the past now.

    [Reply]