A Few of My Favorite Things {September 2017}

posted by Andrea | 09/1/2017
Print pageEmail page

Since my due date is September 18(ish), I think I can officially say that it’s “Baby Month” here in the Dekker house!! Even with my history of going almost 2 weeks late, I really don’t think there’s any way my doctors would let me go until October… at least I hope not!

I’m honestly trying to soak up these last couple weeks of being pregnant — not because I just love feeling huge and uncomfortable so much, but because there’s a decent chance these will be the last moments of my life I’ll ever be pregnant. I’m not sad or emotional about it (at least not right now!) but I do think there will come a time when I think “I wish I could feel a baby move inside me again” so I’m trying to enjoy all her moving (one of my favorite parts of being pregnant) instead of bemoaning the fact that it keeps me awake A LOT at night!

With that said, 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.

Fabric Shower Curtain:

Up until about 3 months ago, I had always used a vinyl or plastic shower curtain — replacing it every few months (or whenever it got gross). I know you can technically scrub them down and reuse them, but I never felt like scrubbing them down, and they were so cheap that I just tossed them.

I had been interested in trying a fabric shower curtain for several years already — I liked the look and the feel much better than the plastic curtains, and they could simply be tossed in the washing machine when they got dirty.

The only issue was I could only find fabric shower curtains that were 72″ tall (usually 52″ or 72″ wide), and our master shower needed a curtain that was 84″ tall, but only about 30″ wide.

So I kept using the extra long plastic curtains I found at our grocery store… until I finally decided to simply “alter” a fabric curtain to fit our shower.

Back in May, I purchased a really nice fabric shower curtain, cut it in half, and sewed panels of extra fabric to the bottom of the curtain to create a layered effect that made the curtain 84″ long.

I love the look and I love how easy it is to keep clean!

NOTE: I have since found a fabric curtain on Amazon that is 84″ long 🙂

.

Stow ‘n go Seats in our Van:

One of the main requirements when we searched for a minivan a couple years ago was that it have stow ‘n go seats so we could easily fold seats down into the floor when we weren’t using them.

Some of our friends (all of whom drive SUV’s) thought we were nuts for having that as a main requirement — but Dave and I have never regretted that decision because our stow ‘n go seats are absolutely AMAZING.

Since we purchased the van, we have kept the driver’s-side bucket seat “stowed” to make it SUPER easy for all the kids to get in and out of the van — and extremely convenient for Dave and I to climb into the van to buckle car seats.

Not to mention we have a massive amount of floor space for groceries, bikes, scooters, my latest Craigslist find, or even to change a diaper!

And if we “stow” all the seats, I can easily fit large furniture items in our van (we hardly even want a truck anymore!)

I think the extra space in our van is the one thing Dave and I are both sad about now that we’ll be adding a 4th carseat in a couple weeks. Since we can’t fit 3 carseats in the back, we’ll need to use both bucket seats for the next several years.

At least Nora can get herself buckled in and usually helps with Simon too 🙂

.

Pregnancy Support Belt:

After 3 pregnancies, I finally broke down and purchased a Pregnancy Support Belt this time around.

There are claims that these types of belts will prevent stretch marks, varicose veins, and diastasis recti, but I’m not super optimistic about any of that. I just wanted something to alleviate some of my lower back pain and “lift” my big belly up a bit!

This support belt does that for roughly $15 — and for that, I am very grateful!

It’s pretty comfy to wear, you usually can’t tell I’m wearing it (even under tighter shirts), and it honestly doesn’t make me extra hot.

I don’t wear it all the time — usually for a few hours in the morning and then again for a few hours in the afternoon. I try to wear it if I know I’ll be moving around a lot, lifting or bending a lot, or just on my feet a lot.

Definitely a good buy, and something I’ll pass along to my sisters once I’m finished being pregnant!

.

Store-Bought Brownie Mixes:

I know, this is a weird one — and I promise, it’s not a pregnancy craving!

I grew up on boxed brownie mixes, and I honestly almost never make brownies from scratch (even though I really enjoy baking). It’s just SOOOOOOO easy to add an egg, water, and oil (and usually a handful of chocolate chips). I can have the brownies ready for the oven before it even finishes preheating — and they always taste so delicious.

Perfectly done, chewy with a crunchy “crusts” around the outside, and easily customizable with a few extra ingredients.

Add in chocolate chunks, peanut butter, M&M’s, a layer of caramel, cream cheese, or place flattened cookie dough on top of the brownie mix for an extra special treat — and then, of course, there’s always frosting!

I do make a lot of things from scratch, but “semi-homemade” brownies are much preferred over homemade in our house!

Oh, and I’m not brand loyal — whatever is on sale works for me!

.

Packaging Tape Dispenser:

I get a lot of packages — partially because I order a lot online, but also because bloggers often get LOTS of packages!

This also means I send a lot of packages in return, and I need a way to securely close those packages.

Thankfully, I purchased a packaging tape dispenser back when we first moved to our farmhouse — thinking I’d probably never have another use for it again after we moved. Little did I know I’d still be using the same tape gun on a weekly basis 7 years later!

Definitely a good use of my $6 or $8 — or whatever I paid for it back then!

.

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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: LifeMy Favorite Things

 
 

Leave a comment

17 comments

  1. lyss

    09/02/2017

    I love fabric shower curtains, too. I used to wash the cheap vinyl ones, but after a few washes they’d tear at the top. I always hated getting a new one, because they smell so bad for awhile! : (
    I get mine at Ross or TJMaxx for around $5. They’re just the standard size, though.

    [Reply]

  2. ShellyL

    09/01/2017

    I think I would like a fabric shower curtain, but I’ve always just thrown my plastic ones in the wash. Works perfectly with towels and bleach. You can even spin them on air dry in the dryer. It works. I also want to try a rounded shower curtain rod. They’re so neat in hotel rooms.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I love the rounded rods — we might get one of those in our upstairs bathroom once the kids are finished with the bath stage. Add it to your Christmas list this year 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    09/01/2017

    Those stow-n-go seats in your van sound so handy! My parents have to take seats out every time they have a big load, and it’s a pain.

    One of my favorite things would be my aloe lips lip balm. It’s perfect with this cooling down weather and also for late-summer bug bites. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. JJ

    09/01/2017

    Yes on the boxed brownie mixes! We have dairy allergies in our crew, but the Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge are dairy free. My campus mom from college told me about the Sam’s Club brand of brownie mixes with chocolate chips. I made them at her house for my boyfriend(now husband). He is not a man of many words but said, “These are the best brownies I’ve ever had. Better than my grandma’s!” Also my friend added applesauce instead of eggs, and wow! So if you have extra applesauce and are down an egg, that works, too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I knew the tip about applesauce/egg substitute — although it still boggles my mind that it works! So crazy!

    [Reply]

  5. Hannah Beth Reid

    09/01/2017

    I agree…van seats that fold in are wonderful! However, as we also have a fourth baby now, we don’t use the feature as often, but it is nice to know we can when we want to haul something large.
    Maternity support belts are surprisingly helpful and comfortable/not hot.
    Store bought brownie mixes for the win at our house too!!!

    [Reply]

  6. How Mama Saves

    09/01/2017

    Yes ma’am, on the brownie mix! I bake a lot from scratch and just today, I bought two boxes of brownie mix for 0.89 cents each! I buy them at Aldi and not only are they delicious, they’re simple and affordable too!

    And yes, stow n’ go seats are wonderful! We have them in our van too and when it comes to hauling and moving things, it’s super helpful and like having a truck!!

    Hope you have a lovely day and weekend!

    [Reply]

  7. Jamie Wright

    09/01/2017

    I like the look of a fabric shower curtain also and that is what we have now. But we have used the vinyl ones for years. I always threw mine in the wash just like a fabric one. In fact, I usually didn’t even take it off the plastic rings. Just tossed it all in and ran the washer like normal. Then just put back on the rod to dry.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good to know about the shower curtain — thanks Jamie!

    [Reply]

  8. Sam

    09/01/2017

    Any special tips for washing shower curtains?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well, any instructions will be on the package — but no, I just tossed it in with a bunch of bathroom towels and washed it with bleach.

    [Reply]

  9. Deb

    09/01/2017

    You should try the Ghiradelli boxed brownies. (very reasonable at Costco) They will convert you to being brand loyal! 😉 Last time I bought them, there were 6 pouches in a box for $9.99 and each pouch makes an 8×8, 9×9 or 11×7.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you know what, I bought a bunch of the Ghiradelli boxed brownies from Meijer about a month ago when they were on sale for $1 per pouch (same size pouches as Costco). We’ve heard so many people rave about them and thought we should try them since they were so on sale. I made one with chocolate chunks and one with chocolate frosting and interestingly enough, we were not impressed. I ended up just giving the other boxes to my sister who LOVES the Ghiradelli brownies.

    Maybe we’re weird and have a palate for lesser-quality foods 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Kimberley

    09/01/2017

    We love our mini van too! We have a 2014 town and country with stow and go and we see no use for a truck anymore! Others often make fun of us for having a mini van but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

    [Reply]

  11. Leah

    09/01/2017

    I have the same van as you and we are about to add baby #5 (due just two days after you). We really wanted to keep the van so we did an insane amount of research and discovered that the Diono R100 fit three across in the back row. I am thrilled! We now have 5 car seats in the van, but if you wanted to be able to still put your stow and go down you could put your three older kids across the back.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Congrats on baby #5 Leah — how exciting!!

    If we were having #5, we probably would have splurged on all new car seats so we could keep our van (I did know about the “skinniness” of the Diono R100) but buying all new car seats at this point wasn’t really something we wanted to do. Nora is in a booster and we’ll probably switch Simon soon too, so they can almost always buckle themselves in the back and then I can get James and the new baby in the 2 bucket seats.

    [Reply]