A Few Of My Favorite Things {October 2018}

posted by Andrea | 10/1/2018

Fall is (and always has been) my favorite season of the year. 

Maybe it’s because we live in Michigan and the colors are GORGEOUS, or maybe it’s because Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, or maybe it’s because I really enjoy the crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and chilly nights.

Whatever the case, I have to agree with Anne of Green Gables when she says, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 

Well said, Anne!

Happy October to you all!

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.

9″ x 6.5″ Small Glass Baking Dishes

Several months ago, I found 2 matching 9″ x 6.5″ glass baking dishes at our local thrift store for $1 each. I bought them because I had recently broken one of my other baking dishes, but also because smaller-sized pans are really useful for splitting a meal in half (one for the freezer, one for dinner) since our family can’t often eat more than half a traditional casserole or pasta dish with all the side dishes we have with our meals.

I can’t find the exact pan anywhere on Amazon or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but the brand name is Marinex and they sell similar pans on Amazon.

However, they are THE PERFECT SIZE for so many of the foods I make for our family! 

It holds exactly half the amount of a 9″ x 13″ pan (the 11″ x 7″ is bigger, and the 8″ x 8″ isn’t the same shape) so this size has really worked well for cutting traditional 9″ x 13″ recipes in half.

I’m SO glad I found these little gems at our local thrift store — hopefully I won’t break them, as I have no idea where to go to buy another pan this size!

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Automatic Payments and Deposits For Everything and Anything!

As I’ve mentioned before, Dave and I try to automate as much of our financial life as possible — everything from our paychecks automatically depositing into our bank accounts, to all our utilities bills being automatically charged to our credit cards, and our credit card balance being automatically deducted from our bank accounts.

All our investing is also done completely automatically without any thought or effort on our part.

Even our tithe to our church, giving to various other charitable organizations, our Christian school tuition payments, AND monthly transfers to our kids’ bank accounts are all automatically deducted from our bank account every month! 

I realize this system might not work for everyone (or might not be possible depending on what organizations and businesses you give and get money from) but if you have the option to automate anything in your financial world, I would highly recommend doing so — even if it’s a little bit of hassle or rigmarole up front.

The amount of time and energy this automation saves me is unreal — not to mention the fact that I NEVER have to worry about missing a payment, losing a check before I deposit it, forgetting to move money into our investments, or procrastinating on the giving amounts Dave and I have committed to this year.

Ahhhh…. that’s me breathing a sigh of relief with so many less things to think about, worry about, and remember every month!

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Double Shopping Carts

Remember way back at the beginning of the year when I started my Aldi shopping experiment?

Well, now that Clara is much older (I still can’t believe she’s ONE!) and Simon is in preschool 2 mornings a week, it has been SO nice to run errands with ‘only’ 2 kids during the time Simon and Nora are both in school.

My favorite destinations are Meijer, Aldi, and Costco — and as many of you know, Aldi and Costco have the famous DOUBLE shopping carts that fit 2 little butts up front, so I can squeeze both James and Clara into the front of the cart and walk as quickly as I can push with tons of room left for groceries in the back of the cart.

James wouldn’t let me take his picture at Aldi the other day — but you can see the empty spot next to Clara — perfect for his skinny little booty!

Even though I still love Meijer (especially now that one is just a mile from my house) the double shopping carts and crazy-speedy checkout lanes at Aldi and Costco are enough of a perk to claim some of my grocery dollars every month!

If you have little kids, you MUST try these double carts! 

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Big White Fluffy Robe

Right before Nora was born, I bought myself a super nice, full-length, fluffy bath robe (white, of course) so I’d have something to keep me extra warm after a hot shower, lounge around in during the day, and put on over my PJ’s in the middle of the night (little did I know how much use I’d get out of it at night!)

Dave has a “matching” navy blue robe, and we both wear them regularly all fall, winter, and spring — especially in the mornings when the house is still a little chilly! Our robes have 2 really big pockets in the front — perfect for carrying a phone, burp cloth, bottle, pacifier, or whatever else I need in the middle of the night!

The robes are SO soft yet and have held up marvelously over the past 7 years of daily wear, and too many washes to count — definitely worth our investment of roughly $30 a pop (we purchased them from Target, but here is a VERY similar robe on Amazon).

We hang our robes on hooks  inside our closet doors (see them there on the back of the left door?) so they are quick and easy to grab, but never really get in the way.

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Praise Baby DVDs and CDs

Back when Nora was a baby, I found a handful of Praise Baby DVDs and CDs at a local garage sale. I bought them hoping they might work as a distraction from whatever she was crying about that day… and to my surprise, they worked!

We listened to them in the car, we watched them on repeat at home, and since they are actual Christian worship songs, I didn’t feel like I was going insane listening to little baby music for hours upon hours each day!

Since then, all of our children have continued to enjoy the Praise Baby collection — AND they now know so many great hymns and worship songs by heart.

If you have kids that enjoy listening to music or watching TV (a.k.a. every child) but you don’t necessarily want to listen to “The Wheels On The Bus” or “Shake My Sillies Out” every day, the Praise Baby collection is worth the investment (especially if you find them for $1 at garage sales!)

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That’s all for me this month.

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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8 comments

  1. Elizabeth Dilts

    10/02/2018

    We love our Slugs and Bugs CDs! Randall Goodgame is a great singer/songwriter and my boys love his music. We also bought the Adventure in Odyssey Bible stories pack off of Amazon; 12 CDs altogether and just Bible adventure stories! I love that they can listen over and over and not get bored of them. Oh and then that would make my 6 CD player in the car a favorite thing so I don’t have to change out CD’s on the road!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ll have to look into the Slugs and Bugs CD’s — never heard of them before! My kids do not seem to like Adventures in Odyssey yet. I always listened to those growing up, but so far, the kids say they are “too scary” for them!

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  2. Chris

    10/02/2018

    Steve Green used to have a kids tape (or more ?) that has songs with Scriptures. I thought it was really neat, because the kids are learning Bible verses while singing.

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  3. Hannah Beth Reid

    10/01/2018

    Yes, yes, yes to automated bank deposits and payments! With each successive child (we have 4 currently) we have automated more and more because our brains can handle fewer deadlines!
    I love double carts! And I’ve found my children enjoy the company. Each time a baby gets old enough to ride sitting up, the sibling they join is so excited! As has been the sibling who is “demoted” to walking because they feel grown up.
    And it is funny how shopping and running errands with only two children can feel like a vacation after being used to four, but I completely agree!
    The possibilities for those half-sized casserole dishes seem endless. I’d never heard of them before.
    I always enjoy your favorite things posts…thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Hannah!
    The casserole dishes have honestly been SO helpful in the kitchen (just used both of them again last night)!
    And yes, more children = less brain power to remember things. 🙂

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  4. Sarah

    10/01/2018

    LOVE ALDI. My 2yo twins fit side by side, it’s soooo nice.

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  5. Bonnie'sMama

    10/01/2018

    I first learned about PraiseBaby from you, Andrea. My smaller children love them. As a musician and music teacher, I think they are better quality music and use better vocal technique than most kids’ music. And I love the gentle hymns and worship songs. I’m always looking for ways to teach my kids good music.

    My two year old gets them mixed up with our favorite bbq sauce and calls them Baby Ray’s!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh good — glad you like those CD’s and DVD’s too!
    And SO funny about Baby Ray’s! I laughed out loud when I read that this morning! 🙂

    [Reply]