A Few Of My Favorite Things {April 2018}

posted by Andrea | 04/2/2018
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It’s officially Spring Break for both Dave and Nora — and, as you’ll read below, Spring Break is most definitely one of my Favorite Things!

Today, I’m sharing a handful of other favorites… all of which someone in our household has used and enjoyed in the last 24-hours!

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.

Also, check out my Amazon Market for all my favorite things.

Contigo Water Bottles

For the last 6-8 years, Dave and I used an Aladdin One-Handed water bottle. We both really loved that water bottle — it truly is spill-proof, leak-proof, and so easy to use.

However, we were ready for a change, and for a water bottle with a spout that’s easier to clean.

So a few months ago, I found a 3-pack of Contigo AutoSpout water bottles at Costco for the same price as ONE Aladdin water bottle, and I snatched them up. (Note: the Amazon price is much higher than the Costco price).

I also got a 3-pack of the kids Contigo water bottles too (again, much cheaper at Costco than on Amazon.)

Everyone in our family loves their new water bottles, and since I am constantly asked about what water bottles we use, I figured it was finally time to share them on my Favorite Things list!

I think my favorite thing about the kid’s water bottles is the little carrying hook that makes it super easy for small fingers to carry the water bottle around.

The adult water bottles also have the carrying hook that opens up so it can attach to the strap of a bag, which is a nice feature in my opinion!

They are dishwasher safe and very easy to clean — although we only ever put water in them, so it might be a different story if you’re putting milk or juice in them.

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High-Waist Pants

I might be showing my age with this one — or maybe the fact that I’ve birthed 4 babies — either way, I will no longer wear “low-waist” pants of any type or size.

I got hooked on high-waist pants 2 years ago when I purchased my high-waist swim suit bottom (they are amazing!) and realized how much more comfortable and flattering high-waist pants are for me.

Thankfully, the high-waist is in style right now, so there’s a huge variety of colors and sizes of high-waste pants to chose from these days. My favorite brands are American Eagle (they have a super-high-waist option), Ann Taylor, and Faded Glory (a Walmart brand, I believe) — all of which I’ve been able to find used from ThredUp, Swap, and our local thrift store for a fraction of the price!

I just got these cute high-waist floral pants (pictured below) last week for $1 at our local thrift store. They are originally from Old Navy, and will be perfect for spring (obviously, I pull my shirt down for normal wear!)

Let’s hope high-waist pants are a trend that sticks around for a bit!

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Single Serving Hummus and Guacamole

Dave and I really like guacamole with tortilla chips and hummus with raw veggies; however, I really do NOT like how quickly it goes bad if we open a large container and keep the leftovers in the fridge.

I was excited when I found another good Costco deal — single serving size containers of guacamole and hummus, ready to go whenever we want a snack or a simple side dish.

One container is the perfect size for one person, so we no longer waste even one drop of delicious hummus or guacamole!

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100 Day Online Organizing Course

Back in December, I promoted Lisa’s 100 Day Organizing Course, and I’ve heard from several of you who signed up and LOVED the program.

I’ve also gone through the program myself (mainly just to see what it’s like) and I’m SO impressed with the quality and thoroughness of every single detail.

Everyday is a new email with new links, blog posts, podcasts, videos, tips, tools, etc. all related to one specific area of our home. Lisa not only tells you what to do, she also shows you how she does it in her own home and life, and provides invaluable tips and resources to help you finally get your entire home decluttered and more organized in 100 days.

Registration is now open for the next session, but only through April 3 (TOMORROW)!

If you’d love to get your house in shape but just don’t know where to start, this course is the perfect fit for you!

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MAM Rubber Teethers

Since Clara has always been a finger sucker, we haven’t had the need for our beloved MAM pacifiers (our home is now pacifier free — yippee!)

However, Clara absolutely LOVES her new MAM Rubber Theether (a.k.a. “Clara’s bee”, as it’s known around our house!) I gave it to her a couple months ago, and she has hardly put it down since!

It’s so soft and rubbery (obviously!) It must feel really good on her gums because she gnaws on it constantly — perfect for her TWO little teeth that are coming in.

It’s super easy to simply wipe clean (I also use the MAM pacifier wipes I mentioned last month). Just note, the directions say to boil the teether for 5 minutes before using it the first time.

If you’re looking for a fun, colorful item to toss in with a baby gift, or something new for your own baby, I would highly recommend these theethers — they are the most favorite teether I’ve ever used for any of my kids so far!

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BONUS Favorite Thing: Spring Break At Home

Last Friday was Dave and Nora’s first official day of Spring Break — and boy am I SOOOOOOO thankful we aren’t traveling anywhere this year!

As many of you know, I’m not a big traveler (even before kids), and now, with 4 kids and all the literal baggage that comes with them for any sort of outing, trip, vacation, etc. it’s just not worth it for our family to travel right now.

Dave and I DO have a ton of fun things planned for our kids this week though!

We already went to a local Easter Egg hunt, visited a park, attended a fun gender reveal party for relatives, and had a family movie night.

This coming week, we have plans to stay in a local hotel for 1 night so the kids can enjoy the pool (Clara and I will come home to sleep as the hotel is less than 2 miles from our house!). We’re also going bowling with friends, heading to Rebounderz (trampolines) for a morning of jumping fun, checking out the butterfly exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens, and even going out to eat a couple of times.

The kids will be so excited!

Dave and I also have several of our own to-do’s to tackle over break, and I scheduled 8 different appointments for this week (dentist, doctor, physical therapy, haircut, etc.)

So yes, it will be a FULL (but hopefully very FUN) week!

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Because of everything we have going on this week, I made the executive decision to take the rest of the week off from blogging!

I’ll be back next week with a peek into our Spring Break week, a look at our upcoming bathroom renovation, a new recipe using zucchini noodles, and a couple more thought-provoking posts!

Until then, we’ll be bowling, bouncing, swimming, jumping, climbing, and strolling all over town with all 4 kids (seriously, I never would have thought I had it in me!)

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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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Filed under: LifeMy Favorite Things

 
 

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31 comments

  1. Shirley

    04/03/2018

    Hi Andrea,
    I trust your opinion. Is the 100 day program really worth the money?
    It’s a lot of money to invest in.

    Thanks,
    Shirley

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Shirley,
    Honestly, her program is SO well done. There is tons of information (presented in a very organized manor — not overwhelming at all) and Lisa does a fantastic job. The planner is amazing, and the videos and podcasts are so fun to listen to.
    I’m almost positive she has a money-back guarantee — she is very accommodating and wouldn’t want you to have paid for something you don’t absolutely love. I’ve had several readers sign up for her program and they all rave about it for months afterward!

    [Reply]

  2. Christine

    04/02/2018

    I just bought my first pair of high rise jeans from Old Navy, and they’re amazing! I’m 9 weeks postpartum with baby number five, and they feel so much better than the low rise jeans I was wearing. Those really dug into my diastasis recti, but these go above it so it feels so much better!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — congrats to you! And yes, the high waist are SO much more comfortable!

    [Reply]

  3. Liane

    04/02/2018

    None of us eat hummus because we dislike garbanzos intensely. BUT we love guacamole. We live in California where a lot of avocados are grown – big fat yummy ones! But the weather has not been good for them this season and they are small and hard and from far away places so we’ve been buying those little packets too. I just have one warning. READ THE LABELS. Once I bought the hot by accident. It was very hot. ♨️

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sad news about the avocado crop this year — probably means they will be extra expensive here in Michigan!
    And yes, definitely read the labels! I almost bought the hot last week, but noticed before I got to the checkout lane!

    [Reply]

  4. Mara Beard

    04/02/2018

    LOVE reading these, have a fun break!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Mara — we’ll try to have lots of fun!

    [Reply]

  5. Avia

    04/02/2018

    Amen on the high-waist pants!!!

    [Reply]

  6. Veronica

    04/02/2018

    Enjoy your spring break, Dekker family!! We were just in Michigan for our spring break and visited Meijer Gardens with the kiddos! We looooved it! Our favorites were definitely the butterfly exhibit and the sculptures! We can’t wait to visit again!

    Love your favorites this month! My 3 year old loves those Costco hummus cups so much that when I give him one he asks for a spoon so he can eat it like applesauce, lol! I also love to put them my oldest’s lunch box school. Yummy!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    believe it or not, this will be Dave and my very first time visiting the Fredrick Meijer Gardens — isn’t that crazy. I’ve lived here for 32 years and have never gone! I think the kids will love it — I just hope they aren’t scared of the butterflies!

    [Reply]

  7. Kim

    04/02/2018

    Good for you! Enjoy your week off.

    [Reply]

  8. Summer

    04/02/2018

    If you make homemade guacamole, you just leave the guacamole pit in the mix after it’s made & it will last for several more days. Just remove it to eat and then put it back in. It won’t oxidize this way.

    I also freeze avocados. I cut them, squirt with some lemon juice and put the pit back in and place into a baggie without air. They are fine for guacamole, or into a recipe, I haven’t eaten just one plain this way.

    [Reply]

    Brittany Reply:

    Great tip! Frozen avocado is also great in smoothies! I cut the avocado in half, then cut each half into 4–one cut across the middle and one down the center. Scoop out with a spoon, pop them in a freezer bag, and you’re good to go (for smoothies, at least)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hmmm…. I never considered avocados for smoothies, but I bed they would make them really creamy. I might have to give this a try — see if the kids notice 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Summer — I did know the tip about leaving the pit in, but even when I do that (and tightly seal it with plastic wrap) it seems that the guacamole goes brown within 36 hours. I’ll keep your freezer tip in mind though!

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    Have you tried a little lime/lemon juice in your guac? Then put plastic wrap tight to it to keep it fresh, ours didn’t brown at all when we’ve made it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I always add lime juice and cover with plastic wrap. I JUST made some for dinner tonight, added lime juice, kept the pits in, pushed plastic wrap directly over the surface of the quacamole AND covered the entire bowl in more plastic wrap. We’ll see how long it lasts 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. DeeDee

    04/02/2018

    Andrea, hope you have a fun spring break and find time to rest too! My son was off for Spring Break a couple weeks ago and it was glorious. Although I spent most of the time cooking and prepping Weight Watchers meals, but I can not cook for a quite a few dinners and that’s my break!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks DeeDee! I was just telling Dave, “we have so much fun stuff planned, I hope we don’t tired ourselves out!” Glad you got a lot of cooking done — that always feels great to know food is prepared and ready to go!

    [Reply]

  10. JoAnn C.

    04/02/2018

    Lately I’ve been using Hummus to make egg salad in place of mayonnaise. What a game changer! It’s creamy, delicious and a bit healthier. Hope you have a wonderful and fun week.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hmmm… I might have to give this a try. We’re not big egg salad eaters over here, but we do love chicken salad. I wonder if it would be a good swap for the mayo in that recipe??

    [Reply]

  11. Sherry

    04/02/2018

    Sounds like a fun week! Enjoy and I will look forward to you posting next week!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sherry!

    [Reply]

  12. Alissa

    04/02/2018

    Contigo Water Bottles for the win! I just got one in the last month or so and I love it! I think mine is slightly bigger and it has a lock option. I did get mine on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MVODH4Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) but I am going to check at Costco next time and get a few extras. Thanks for sharing your favorite things – it is one of MY favorite things. Enjoy your week!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, that water bottle is a little bigger than ours — but we do have a lock on ours too (definitely a good feature!)

    [Reply]

  13. Chris

    04/02/2018

    I enjoy your “favorites” posts, but when I scroll down and see baby – that is such a sweet thing and brings a smile to my face. Then I continue on, and you are taking spring break! I wish you the greatest, most relaxing fun time (and all your family!).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Chris!

    [Reply]

  14. Elizabeth

    04/02/2018

    Amen on the high waisted jeans!! have a wonderful week!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Friend!
    And yes, I just got a pair of the super high-waste jeggings from American Eagle and they are SO comfortable. They never slide down and are super soft and stretchy!

    [Reply]

  15. Gail

    04/02/2018

    Have fun!

    [Reply]