A Few of My Favorite Things {October 2014}

posted by Andrea | 10/1/2014

favorite-things-october

Here are a few of my favorite things for the month of October… and as always, be sure to check out some of my favorite things from past months.

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

Clear Sock-Drawer Organizers

sock drawer organizers

When it comes to finding free organizing containers, I consider myself somewhat of a “self-taught expert”! When I used to organize for people in their homes, I could almost always repurpose something they weren’t using in their home into a useful organizing tool to solve one of their clutter dilemmas.

I’ve done the same thing in my own home (and shared some of those ideas here on my blog). However, I’m also always on the look-out for frugal organizing containers that have multiple uses and don’t take up much space.

Needless to say, these clear sock-drawer organizers are some of my all-time favorite super frugal organizing tools.

Obviously, they work well to organize adult socks, underwear, tank tops, etc. but they also work fabulously for baby and toddler clothing like small pairs of pants, tights, shorts, etc.

Right now, they are about $10 for a pack of 6 different-sized organizers that you can mix-and-match to fit the size or your drawer. The best part is… they fold completely flat when you’re not using them!

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Disposable Gloves

disposable gloves

I’m not a germ-a-phobe by any means… but for the most part, I really don’t like getting my hands dirty 🙂

As you’ve probably read in previous “Favorite Things” posts, I wear these gardening gloves when I’m doing anything outside and these rubber gloves when I’m washing dishes or scrubbing anything really dirty.

I’ve come to terms with poopy diaper changes and gross potty-training clean-ups; but touching raw meat (especially ground beef and chicken) is a different story. I almost always wear some type of disposable gloves as I just don’t like the feel of the meat on my hands, not to mention I’m often going between raw meet and baby bottles so by wearing the gloves, I feel like I can more easily get away with doing  quick handwash versus scrubbing vigorously to remove all the gross meat juice.

I also wear disposable gloves whenever I do any type of staining or painting project — for the obvious reason that I don’t get any paint or stain on my hands.

I personally prefer powder-free disposable gloves — but there are tons of options if you’re allergic to latex, if you like the powder, if you need food-safe gloves, or just want something different.

Either way, I can usually get a box of 100 or 200 gloves for $6 – $9 and that is TOTALLY worth it for me!

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Boba 4G Baby Carrier

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When I found out I was pregnant with Nora, a bunch of my friends offered me advice on the “best” baby carrier to buy.  At the time, I thought baby-wearing was only for hippies (sorry, but it’s true) so I never even bothered to take any of their advice or register for any baby carrier.

As many of you know, it did not take long after Nora was born for desperation to trump my pride — and I eagerly borrowed a Moby Wrap from a friend at church. The next week, I found a brand new Moby Wrap (still in the packaging) for $5 from a neighbor’s garage sale and I snatched it up!

I wore Nora around everywhere to keep her from screaming all day long.

moby wrap

HOWEVER, I never really loved the Moby wrap. It was great for when they were tiny, but as they grew, it always felt like it was stretching out and I had to constantly tighten it every 15-20 minutes. Plus, the fabric always seemed complicated to me — and Dave told me (quite emphatically) that he would never be caught dead wearing a Moby Wrap in public 🙂

I still have the Moby Wrap as it is really nice for tiny babies; but I was eager to look for something different with baby #2.

After trying out MANY different baby-wearing devices (mostly borrowing them from friends for a week or two) I now exclusively use the Boba 4G carrier.

It is SOOOOOO comfortable for both me and Simon, it is extremely versatile and “customizable” for different size adults, babies, and children, and it works with infants from 5 pounds up to 45 pound toddlers (yes, I’ve carried Nora around on my back with this carrier too!)

Although it’s not the cheapest option around, the $125 Amazon price tag definitely isn’t the most expensive either. I have to acknowledge the fact that I did get my Boba for free via a blog giveaway before Simon was born — but I really, truly have tested out at least 8 different carriers over the past 6 months just to see if I would find anything I liked better (and Boba has NO idea I’m bragging about them right now).

I can assure you that I haven’t  found any other carrier that I’ve liked even half as much as I love the Boba. I’ve recommended it to family and friends — and I’ve even let 2 different blog readers who live in the area come and “test” mine out before they purchased their own!

One cost-saving tip: if you will NOT be using this for tiny infants, you could purchase the Boba Air instead. It’s about half the price as it doesn’t come with the infant insert or have as many “bells and whistles” but it’s still an awesome carrier that’s really compact for storage and travel purposes.

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Dramm Rain Wand

watering wand

We have a couple “spray nozzles” for car-washing or other cleaning purposes, but when it comes to watering plants, I LOVE my Dramm Rain Wand. The long “arm” makes it perfect for reaching hanging baskets or all the way to the back of a planting bed. Plus, the flow of water is SO soft — it really is just like a gentle rain. It never harms the plants or blows the petals of delicate flowers, yet it quickly soaks them with water so you won’t be watering all day.

I was actually in middle school the very first time I used a rain wand. My neighbor had asked me to water her flowers while she was gone on vacation, and she left her rain wand out for me next to the hose. I was initialy a bit confused, but the miniute I got everything hooked up and was watering, I was completely “sold” on this extremely useful watering tool.

It was one of the first purchase I made when Dave and I moved into our first house — and our rain wand is still going strong today!

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Toaster Oven

toaster oven

We got this toaster oven (also pictured above) as a Christmas gift from my parents several years ago — and we use it ALLLLL the time (often once a day or more).

I’ve used it for everything from chicken nuggets, french fries, and garlic bread to mini batches of cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls and biscuits. I’ve even made small dishes of various casseroles and stews in our toaster oven!

Obviously, it might not be as useful for someone with a very large family — but our tiny toaster oven has saved us on many hot summer days when we don’t feel like heating up our house even more with the full-size oven and we just can’t do one more slow cooker meal.

Oh, and remember our kitchen renovation 2 summers ago? Yeah, our toaster oven saved us from SO much fast food!

It’s definitely one of my top favorite kitchen small appliances!

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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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11 comments

  1. Tara

    10/02/2014

    Oh man we love our toaster oven too. It sees action almost every meal.

    We have a Boba too! Something to note is that it is particularly more useful for daddys who have a larger frame or broad shoulders. My husband is half Samoan and has really broad shoulders. I took him to a baby boutique and had him try on Ergos and Becos and all sorts of carriers. The Boba was the ONLY ONE in the store that would fit him. I came home and found one online for cheaper than the boutique price and we’ve never regretted it.

    The Boba we have never used an insert for newborns, just folded up from the bottom and worked perfectly for us. Can’t remember if ours is a 4G or the generation before that. Our little guy is 2 now and still loves it. It’s the only way I can go to the farmers market or grocery store without causing mass chaos! LOL

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  2. Amanda

    10/02/2014

    I get my gloves from Amazon… it became apparent that I needed to have some around when I was dealing w/ a ton of hot peppers and my hands burned for about 6hrs after!!

    I’m about to have baby #2 – I got a Moby from a friend that I’m excited to try when this new baby is tiny. I never did well w/ our infant carrier last time (another brand). We have an Ergo, which is great because our almost 3yo still is within the weight limits, so my husband has carried him on hikes and stuff in it. I purposefully got an Ergo in a solid neutral color (ours is chocolate brown), because I wanted it to be something I knew he’d be comfortable wearing too. My husband actually has spent more time wearing our oldest than I did, because I’ve got some old sports injuries, and carrying the extra weight for long periods just aggravates them. I love a man with a baby carrier 🙂

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  3. Ruth

    10/01/2014

    That carrier looks great. The one I have used for all 3 of my boys is the Ergo….looks fairly similar to the one you use.

    http://store.ergobaby.com/

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  4. Jane

    10/01/2014

    I am also from west Michigan. I was wondering where you get the gloves. I’ve looked at Meijer but all I have seen is small bags of 8-10 gloves. We make your jalepeno poppers weekly and always use gloves. Having a nice big box like that would be great.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Jane! we get our gloves from Home Depot or Lowes. You can almost always find big boxes. If not there, try Menards!

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    Jane Reply:

    I’m sure my husband won’t mind a trip to one of those stores 🙂
    Thanks!

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  5. Nicole

    10/01/2014

    I’m a mom of four and also love the Boba 4g. Before you have your next little one you should check out the wraps sold by Boba. I believe they were formerly called sleepy wraps (back long ago when I bought mine). They have the same concept as a moby, but are much stretchier and super comfortable. With the moby I always felt like I had to guess how much space I needed to leave for the baby. With the boba wrap you can tie it tightly to yourself before you leave for a store and then put the baby in when you get there, no extra adjustment needed. It stretches to fit perfectly! I love your favorite things posts and look forward to them each month!

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  6. Jen

    10/01/2014

    My husband and I have a constant battle over the toaster oven. I cannot stand anything extra on my kitchen counters. He wants to use the toaster over ALL. THE. TIME. We have compromised by putting it away each time but he hates it and it’s a constant source of tension! HAHA Do you leave yours on the counter or store it away?

    Also, a few months ago-maybe March??- you listed the Physician’s Formula bronzer as one of your favorite things. I have always been hesitant to try bronzer fearing that it would make me look orange as I have pretty fair skin! After several months of searching locally with no luck, I finally broke down and ordered the bronzer from Amazon, and I LOVE IT!! Oh my goodness! It really does make a huge difference. I don’t wear much makeup so this is huge for me but I really love it! Thanks for sharing! These (and the recipes which I always vote for more of!) are my favorite posts!

    Thanks Andrea!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Jen,
    No, we do not keep the toaster oven on our counter (I hate stuff on my counter). We put it away after every use — not idea, I suppose but better than looking at it all the time 🙂

    And yay for the Physician’s Formula bronzer! I literally only wear mascara and that every day (even for a wedding or family pictures) and it lasts FOREVER. I’ve been using the same “container” for years (at least 4 years) and there is still well over half left!

    Oh, and there will be another recipe post tomorrow!

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  7. Katie

    10/01/2014

    I’m so glad you love your Boba and got over your “baby wearing is for hippies” impression! Babies want to be held and wearing them safely and ergonomically is a great way to keep them happy and get stuff done as a busy mom.

    I always love these posts – keep them coming!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — thanks Katie!

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