A Few of My Favorite Things {April 2013}

posted by Andrea | 04/2/2013

favorite things 4-13

Last month, I started a new “Favorite Things” monthly post series and received a lot of positive feedback. So I’m back again with the 2nd installment… and a few 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.

Umbrella Stroller Organizer

stroller organizer1

Now that Nora is older, we use our umbrella stroller a lot. It’s so much easier to transport than a larger, bulkier travel system. We keep our umbrella stroller in the back of our car all the time and haul it out as needed.

The only thing I didn’t like about using the umbrella stroller is that it didn’t have any type of cup holder or organizing tray.

However, I came across the Infantino Umbrella Stroller Organizer and my “problems” were solved!

stroller organizer

This adjustable organizer will supposedly fit any umbrella stroller and has compartments for 2 water bottles plus snacks, a cell phone, and more. It’s really easy to install, and it looks fabulous with our bright orange Chicco umbrella stroller (we purchased our stroller for $20 via Craigslist!) Plus, you do NOT need to remove it when you fold up your stroller. The flexible fabric just folds right up with the stroller.


Kuhn Rikon Paring Knives

My Kuhn Rikon Paring Knives are some of my favorite knives — not only because they function really well, but also because they come in these fabulously bright colors.

kuhn rikon knives

I’ve been using these paring knives on a daily basis (and washing them in the dishwasher ALL the time) for over 6 years and they are still super sharp. They are very light weight and have a comfortable grip, plus they all come with a matching blade cover for safety.

Kuhn Rikon has a huge selection of other knives as well — and they all come in these lovely colors! They have zebra printed knives, polka-dot knives, and even a watermelon knife that looks like a watermelon!

The Kuhn Rikon knives are a fabulous example of “form meets function” in the kitchen — and they are extremely affordable (2 knives for $18 on Amazon.com!)

pairing knives

If you’ve never heard of Kuhn Rikon before, definitely check out their website — they have all sorts of cool kitchen tools and gadgets (and they are all really pretty too!)


Free Printable Alphabet Flash Cards

Even though Nora is not quite old enough to understand the alphabet, I’m ready whenever she is with these super cute (and totally free) flashcards.

I printed them on card stock several months ago and I think I’ll laminate them before we actually start using them.

I don’t see these exact flash cards available any more, but Mr. Printables has loads of other extremely cute flash cards available to download and print — all for free!

My Water Bottle

If you’ve seen any pictures of me here on my blog, you’ve probably noticed that my pink water bottle is ALWAYS right next to me. If you see me driving, it’s ALWAYS in my cup holder. And if I’m out and about, it’s ALWAYS in my bag.

water bottle

I love this water bottle!

It’s the Aladdin One-Handed Water Bottle — the only water bottle I’ve ever had that is fully operational with one hand (which is really nice when you’re carrying a baby with the other hand!) When you squeeze the button on the back of the top, it automatically opens the drinking spout and lets water out. When you release the button, the flap closes and it doesn’t spill.

I’ve been using the exact same water bottle every single day for almost 3 years and it’s still in perfect condition.

A few more things I love about this water bottle…

  • IT. DOES. NOT. SPILL…. ever!
  • It’s basically indestructible despite being dropped over and over again
  • It’s dishwasher safe
  • It holds a lot of water (24 fluid ounces)
  • The bottom is clear and the top comes in a variety of bright colors
  • It has a “loop” on the top that you can use to connect it to a back pack or carry it around with your finger
  • It easily fits into most vehicle cup holders


I’ve given this water bottle as gifts numerous times, and every single time the recipient always raves about how much they love it. The only negative quality I can even think of is that it’s a bit heavy when it’s totally full of water — but that’s mostly because it holds so much water. The bottle itself is relatively light weight.


Nora’s Highchair

We absolutely love, love, LOVE our Eddie Bauer Wooden Highchair — and so does Nora!

They are pretty expensive, but we found our’s on Craigslist (of course we did) for only $25 and it’s in fabulous condition. I almost always see these on Craigslist too, so definitely look there first!

Just a few things I love about this chair:

  • It looks REALLY nice with our other kitchen “furniture” and with our wood floors
  • It has a removable snack tray which makes cleaning really easy
  • It has a removable (and fully washable) fabric pad. We don’t use this any more but we did when she was smaller
  • It has support between the legs so she can’t slide through even if we don’t fully strap her in (you’d be surprised how many highchairs don’t have this)
  • It has a storage cubby on the back side for storing bibs and other baby kitchen items.
  • If we fully remove the tray (and unscrew the tray “glide”), the chair can pull all the way up to the table and function as a toddler chair
  • It’s SUPER easy to clean!

eddie bauer highchair


The only negative thing about this chair is that it doesn’t recline or fold up for easy storage. However neither of those things matter to us at this point. Also, if you want a chair like this that DOES recline, Eddie Bauer makes one!


Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Room Freshener

mrs. meyers

I love all things lemon — I also love all things “Mrs. Meyers”.

I’ve tried many different room fresheners and Dave and I both agree that the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena is our favorite. It just smells fresh — not like those stinky gas-station bathroom air fresheners or any of those other air fresheners that basically just make a bad smell worse.

We keep this in our bathrooms, but frequently use it in the kitchen, Nora’s nursery, or anywhere else we need a fresh burst of lemon scent.

Obviously, if you don’t share my enthusiastic love for lemons, this is not for you — but for everyone else, I’d highly recommend it 🙂


I have so many favorite things — but I’ll save the rest for future months.

What are some of your current “favorite things”?

Filed under: LifeMy Favorite Things

Leave a comment


  1. Mallory


    Thanks for the recommendation on the water bottle. I bought one for myself and I love it! Finally!! Now, what do you recommend for a kid water bottle? This one is just too big for my six and four year old – what do you use?



  2. Beth


    I wound up ordering 10 of the water bottles–thank you for letting me know about them! My kids do Tae Kwon Do, and when they have their gear on, water bottles can be tricky. This one-handed one is perfect for them. We loved them so much, we bought more for my husband, our music teacher, etc. 🙂 Keep the “favorite things” posts coming!


    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad you love them! I actually have 2 now, so when one is dirty, I don’t have to wait 🙂


  3. Beth


    I bought the Aladdin water bottle and I LOVEed it! The problem is that I dropped it and the whole bottom busted! I contacted them and they are sending me a new one. Has anyone else have this issue? It was only about a week and a half old, only hand washed and I dropped it on a laminate floor at hand level. ???


    Andrea Reply:

    That’s super weird Beth — I’m glad they are sending you a new bottle. I’ve dropped my water bottle HUNDREDS of times with not so much as a scratch. Nora has literally thrown my water bottle on our cement driveway and nothing happened. The only way I can imaging it would ever break is maybe if the bottle was filled with water, frozen, and then dropped?? Sorry for the trouble but glad you’re getting a new water bottle!


    Beth Reply:

    lol nope just plain water not frozen or even chilled. I stood there kinda in shock cause I have a glass water bottle with a silicon case around it and I dropped that on cement and it didn’t break. Either way if anyone does have issues with theirs talk to Aladdin’s customer service they were very nice and helpful about it. Thanks still for recommending it I really like it!


  4. Marilyn


    The thing I love about the Eddie Bauer highchair is the small footprint. I have a daycare in our home so it will be part of kitchen for many years and it was important that it not take up a lot of space. It is also very sturdy – 10 years and going strong!


  5. No Ordinary Favorites {April 2013} | No Ordinary Homestead


    […] was taking a few minutes to stalk one of my favorite blogs (mostly because I feel like Andrea and I are very similar in real life), and came across a new […]

  6. Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead


    I have one of those paring knives. They are AWESOME!

    BTW, did you know that you can use equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle as an ironing spray? Essential oils can be added if you’re not a fan of the vinegar smell (but it goes away quickly anyway.)


    Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead Reply:

    Ugh — my brain is so not focused today. Stupid cold I am fighting. I somehow read that you were using an ironing spray. At any rate, there are also great room sprays you can use that are natural and easy to make — and they will kill just about any unwanted scent in the room without leaving a heavy aroma. Here’s the one I use: http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/homemade-natural-spray-disinfectant/


  7. Elizabeth


    I love the umbrella stroller storage! Found walmart sells it for cheaper if anyone else is thinking of purchasing it: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Infantino-Stretch-Umbrella-Stroller-Parent-Console/19852754?_mm=


  8. Yvann


    I checked out the water bottle on your recommendation – but it’s not available in the UK! Fortunately there are some other Camelbak water bottles available so I’ll be trying one of those.


    Andrea Reply:

    Shoot — that’s a bummer. However I’ve used Camelbak water bottles in the past and they are nice too!


  9. Amanda


    I have one of those knives, and I love it! It is a great all purpose knife to have in my kitchen!

    My favorite thing is this Black and Decker one cup coffee maker. You use your own grounds and it has a reusable filter, so it’s way more economical than a keurig, and I think it makes a great cup of coffee. During the week, I’m the only one home to drink it, so it makes no sense to make a big pot (we have a larger coffee maker as well), so it’s perfect for me! It has a really small footprint in our kitchen, plus the machine itself was under $20.



  10. Luba


    One of my favorite things is Forever Living Aloe Berry Nectar. It is full of antioxidants and is healthy for my digestive tract. As for cleaning, my favorite thing is MPD (multi purpose detergent). It’s all natural, and I use it for many things: washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, washing the floors, cleaning the mirrors, and doing laundry!


  11. Living So Abundantly


    You inspired me to write a post about a few of my favorite things. 😉 I love your website and appreciate how you are so efficient and practical. Best wishes on the changes coming up! =)


  12. Nicole


    I just ordered the Aladdin One-Handed Water Bottle. I have been using the same Nalgene bottle for 6 years and the loop on the lid recently broke. My water bottle NEVER leaves my side, and your recommendation was the push I needed to get a new one!

    Also, I’ve been using the Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena countertop spray since my college roommate’s mom bought it for our apartment almost 10 years ago. Love that stuff!


  13. M


    The water bottle pictures made me laugh. I always have my water bottle next to me as well, but it’s high time for a new one. I’ve never heard of a one handed water bottle. Thanks for the recommendation!


  14. Paula


    Where do you purchase Mrs. Meyer’s products?


  15. Greta @ Project Momma


    I just shared some of my favorite things on my blog today. http://projectmomma.com/five-classic-gal-gifts/

    I absolutely LOVE the pouch for the umbrella stroller. GENIUS! I have also been shopping for a new water bottle. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  16. Laura


    A long-time lover of all things Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena, I ventured out on a limb and tried the Basil countertop spray and LOVED it. I also hosted a fun “Favorite Things” party (each guest brought 3 identical items under $10 and left the party with 3 different items) and received a Mrs. Meyers Geranium scented candle. I am convinced that all of their scents are wonderful.

    Other favorite things, because I love this topic: my griddle, Press n’ Seal, Oil of Olay Luscious Embrace Body Wash, Bounce Dryer Bar, Bath & Body Works ‘Into the Wild’ body spray, hydrangeas, Real Simple magazine, York peppermint patties, and Cadbury eggs.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your list of favorite things Laura! And yes, I have yet to come across a Mrs. Meyer’s scent that I don’t like 🙂


  17. Sherri


    I love the Mrs. Meyers Ironing Spray in the Lemon Verbena – it makes ironing (when I absolutely must…) a little easier!


    Amanda @ The Fun Mommy Reply:

    Sherri, where do you buy the ironing spray? I can’t seem to find it in stock anywhere-it sounds awesome and I want to try it! I hope it’s not discontinued.


  18. deborah


    I love reading about other people’s favorites. Those knives look super fun. I like bright colors. And I am going to be checking out the water bottle!

    The umbrella stroller organizer is the best idea ever! When my kiddos were little, that was always my gripe with the umbrella stroller. You just have to have a place on a stroller to put stuff!!!! 🙂 I liked to keep the umbrella stroller in our vehicle, so that it was available anytime we needed a stroller.