A Few of My Favorite Things {July 2013}

posted by Andrea | 07/2/2013

favorite things july

The start of July always makes me feel like summer is rushing away. Even though Dave has only been home from school for 3 of his 11 summer vacation weeks, I still consider July the “half-way point” of summer… which makes me feel like time is just going too fast!

We’ll be spending time later this week celebrating 4th of July with family and friends, and then we’re gearing up for a week at the cottage with Dave’s family. But first, I’m sharing a few more of my favorite things with you (click here to see more of my favorite things).

DISCLOSURE: None of these products are sponsored in any way; however, some of the links below are affiliate links — which means I may get a VERY small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase through my links. However, I hope you know that I’m only promoting the products below because I use them EVERY SINGLE DAY in my own home and life! Read my full disclosure policy for more information.

GLAD Press N’ Seal Wrap

press n seal

If you’ve ever been frustrated with plastic wrap that doesn’t stick — or sticks too much — you definitely need to make the switch to the Press N’ Seal wrap. I use this every day in many different ways — obviously to cover food dishes and plates, but also to line my paint trays, wrap paint brushes, and many other random things all over our house.

It sticks amazingly with just a little bit of firm pressure and (at least in my experience) it can be used over and over again without getting ruined or getting jumbled up into a sticky balled mess (can you tell I absolutely hate traditional plastic wrap?)

 

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

magic erasers

I was first introduced to the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers when we purchased our first house 7 years ago. The kitchen counters were very light colored Formica and had plenty of dark stains. We tried all sorts of cleaning products to get the stains out and nothing worked. Then I tried the magic eraser — and like magic, the stains disappeared!

Since then, I’ve always had a handfull of these magic sponges in and around our house. I’ve used them for cleaning tough stains in the kitchen and bathroom, I’ve used them to instantly remove pencil, crayon, and other scuff marks from our walls, I’ve used them to scrub dirty tile grout, stained rubber, dirty shoe soles, and the list could go on.

Basically any time I can’t figure out how to clean something, I turn to my Magic Erasers and they usually do the trick.

Oh, and did you know that they also make a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Mop? Yup — you can clean up some really big messes with this handy tool!

mr clean mop

 

Knock-Out Rose Bushes

I shared the picture above on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago — and everyone who commented mentioned how low maintenance these rose bushes are… and how awesome the blooms are. They’ve already been blooming for the last month, and I’m told they will basically continue to bloom until late fall.

I’m so excited we were able to incorporate 12 of these fabulous Knock-Out rose bushes into the landscaping around our house and garage. I have a feeling I’ll end up planting more along the sides of our yard next summer. They are just so colorful.

If you love roses but don’t necessarily love all the maintenance involved, these might be the plant for you!

 

Styrene Mounted Photos

family photo

OK, so this is kind of a weird one — but ever since I had our family photos and Nora’s one-year photos matted on Styrene board, I’ve been hooked.

First of all, if you have no idea what Styrene is, it’s basically a 1/8″ thick sturdy cardboard-like material that your photos are mounted on. This makes the photos firm and it eliminates the need for glass in your picture frames — thus, there is never any glare on your pictures!

It is a little more expensive to get photos matted on Styrene board, but if you like hunting for bargain frames, you’ll notice that you can save a TON if you find frames with no glass. Just this fall I found a huge 24″ x 36″ frame with no glass for only $9 at Hobby Lobby. I paid a little extra for our family pictures to be put on Styrene board… and it’s now an awesome focal point on the wall above our couch!

If you’re interested, I found this online company who will mount any photo on Styrene, foam core, or mat board for a really reasonable price.

I don’t print a ton of pictures, but any time I print an 8″x10″ or larger photo, I always go with the Styrene.

 

Nora’s Inflatable Bath Tub

bathtub

We currently have 3 bathrooms in our house, but none of them have bathtubs. We had one with a tub when we moved in — but since we weren’t planning to have kids any time soon, we busted it out to make room for our walk-in shower. Approximately 1 month after we removed the bathtub, I found out I was pregnant :)

We have plans to put in a new shower and bathtub in the upstairs bathroom — but that currently isn’t in the works. So, ever since Nora was born, we’ve been using a small portable bathtub that can either sit on the counter or on the floor of one of our showers.

We started with the traditional infant bathtub that we borrowed from a friend, but once Nora could almost sit up on her own (I think around 5 months) we switched to our beloved (and super inexpensive) inflatable bathtub.

Nora LOVES her tub, and even though she’s almost too big for it, she still eagerly anticipates bath time every single night. She loves splashing and playing with her “guck” (duck) and “bubus” (bubbles) and I’m honestly not sure what we’re going to do in a few more months once she is majorly too big for this tiny tub.

The best part about this tub is it’s super lightweight, really easy to store, and really easy to travel with. Dave and I have been very impressed with this tub, and we’re on the look-out for a larger size. Leave a comment if you know where we can find one!

 

That’s all for me this month.

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

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23 comments

  1. Paulette

    07/02/2013

    Andrea, love your posts on your favorite things. First, if you say they work, they do. Second, it’s amazing to me that you find so many unusual things to use. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  2. Jane

    07/02/2013

    Have you used Magic Erasers on painted surfaces? I haven’t tried them on walls. (I find that our walls with darker color pain can even be wiped with water and a cotton cloth without streaks being created) I do love the Magic Erasers in the tub. They seem to be the only thing that removes soap scum. I use sponges and scrub brushes and never seem to remove the grime, but the Eraser does wonders!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Jane — painted walls are probably the #1 place we use our Magic Erasers… but all our walls are very light/neutral colors.

    [Reply]

    Jane Reply:

    Thanks Andrea! I realized my comment had some typos in it. I meant to say that I can’t even wipe our walls with water because it leaves streak marks on them – these are painted with darker colors. If I try the eraser on the dark walls, I’ll let you know how it works.

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    Ann Reply:

    I used it on my light yellow wall and it took the marks off as well as the paint! I have not had positive experiences with these and painted surfaces.

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    Danielle Reply:

    I worked in a lab that developed interior paint. One of the tests we did was take a brush and a machine would rub it over the paint until the paint was gone and keep track of how many swipes it took. In order to make a demo they could do in stores, we also did this with a magic eraser. I do not remember the number of swipes but it definitely removes the paint pretty quickly. I would definitely recommend using this as little as possible on paint.

    [Reply]

  3. Audrey

    07/02/2013

    Is this one bigger than the one you have??? It is supposed to be big enough for a two year old.
    http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/40845-ocean-friends-snug-tub.html

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Audrey, I think that one might be about 5″ wider and 7″ longer… and I have a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card (and coupons!)

    [Reply]

    Julia Reply:

    I see a similar one on amazon, not sure how the sizes compare

    http://www.amazon.com/Kel-Gar-Snug-Tub-Ocean-Friends/dp/B002TNBIEI/ref=pd_sbs_ba_5

    [Reply]

  4. stephanie

    07/02/2013

    Have you ever noticed a sticky residue left on your dishes from using the press n seal wrap? I sent my husband to work with a platter of food, wrapped with the press n seal, and now I can’t get the sticky-ness off my platter! Ugh. (I suppose I should try the magic eraser on it!?)

    [Reply]

    Mama Murrey Reply:

    Try Goo-Gone. It’s great stuff for all kinds of stickiness.

    [Reply]

  5. Georgia Gal

    07/02/2013

    Magic erasers are a must have with children! I try to have them on stock at all times, they are the best! I use them on wall, doorways, doors, tables, and more.

    A lot of people here in the south have knock-out rose bushes. They are so easy to grow and add beauty and color to any yard. Thanks for sharing your favorite things, it’s always neat to learn about new products that others enjoy. Hope your day is wonderful~

    [Reply]

  6. Amy

    07/02/2013

    The styrene looks really nice! What about fading? Is there a coating on the picture that helps prevent that? It really looks much nicer that way:)

    [Reply]

  7. Karen D.

    07/02/2013

    Oooh – I might have to get that tub. My 5 month old is starting to sit up and is getting frustrated with her current tub. But our bathtub seems way too big for her still. That blow up tub seems like a perfect solution. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  8. Melanie

    07/02/2013

    When I lived in a dorm room I used a Rubbermaid tub in my shower. I got the widest the shower walls would allow. Not cute. Not collapsible. But it can be re-purposed once bathing days have passed.

    [Reply]

  9. ANna Marie

    07/02/2013

    when our first child was small we didn’t have a tub either- we used a square wallpaper plastic tub in the bottom of the shower – worked great- I think that was before they had the inflatable ones (30 yeas ago)

    [Reply]

  10. Amanda

    07/02/2013

    We have a similar tub, but it is shaped like a rubber duck (including having a head). Our 18mo old loves it and still has some room to grow. We actually use it in our tub, less water to fill, more control for us, and bless worries about him banging himself on a faucet or the tub itself. I bought ours on Amazon.

    I’m also a lover of the press n seal!

    I also wanted to tell you that I bought the water bottle you posted a few months ago (I’m actually drinking from it now!). I really like it, so thanks for the suggestion!

    [Reply]

  11. Victoria

    07/02/2013

    We have that exact same inflatable tube that we used for our son and now use for our daughter. I love it because we are in similar situation and don’t have a tube on our main floor, so this is an easy way to give the baby a bath without having to lug all the way up the stairs, especially when we have a blowout situation! :)
    I also love the artwork on your wall. I will definitely be checking that out!

    [Reply]

  12. Julie

    07/02/2013

    Oh and Amazon! They have toddler tubs too. Good Luck on your tub hunt :)

    [Reply]

  13. Bianca

    07/04/2013

    I love love love love Magic Erasers. I did not know they had a mop and need to get ASAP. I have 3 small kids so I have them on stock at all times. One time at the store I put about 20 in my cart as I was going to do some heavy duty cleaning: kids handprints, coloring, etc on the walls, floors, etc. This lady said “they work?” I said, “My favorite product. Try it you will love it.” Yes, I have used on walls too with no paint coming off. It does depend on the walls/paint as the house I have now I can’t use on the walls. I love to use in my bathtub as I can feel the scum coming off and then I go back and clean and scrub with bathroom cleaner. Great for a quick clean. I have company coming over tomorrow and I just got home from a 5 day vacation so I’m going to run these Magic Erasers inside the refrigerator and a couple of other places.

    [Reply]

  14. shelly

    07/05/2013

    We LOVE our Primo Eurobath tub. This was recommended to us by several friends and we are so glad that we chose it :)
    We used it with our daughter until she was 3 years old and are now using with our baby boy.

    http://www.toysrus.com/buy/toddlers-kids/bathing/bath-tubs/eurobath-kit-in-white-340w-2404856

    [Reply]

  15. Emily

    07/16/2013

    Ah, lining paint trays with press’n’seal – what a genius idea! I’m totally stealing that one! We can’t get Glad products here in the UK, but we bring some back whenever we go to visit my husband’s family in the States.

    [Reply]

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