A Few of My Favorite Things {March 2015}

posted by Andrea | 03/3/2015

favorite things 3-15

Here are a few of my favorite things for the month of March (seriously, how is it March already!) 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.

Jumbo Non-Stick Slotted Spatula

non stick spatula

When I was registering for wedding gifts “way back when”, I remember getting hung up on all the kitchen gadgets and utensils. There were SO many to choose from — so I just picked a few basics and excitedly waited for the gifts to start coming in!

Well, right off the bat, I got a whole set of non-stick utensils that were NOT on my registry. They were a no-name-brand set that felt a little flimsy compared to the much nicer Calphalon utensils I had registered for.

I’ll be honest, I gave the whole set away about a month after our wedding because it was all duplicates of nicer, higher quality utensils I also received. HOWEVER, at the last minute, I decided to keep the jumbo slotted spatula that came with that cheaper set because I didn’t have one like it — and I figured it might be useful.

Well, almost 9 years later, I can honestly say that I use that spatula at least 2-3 times a week (often more). It’s almost always in the dishwasher, and sometimes, I take it out and wash it by hand because I want to use it before the dishwasher runs.

THAT’S how much I love this spatula! 

It’s the absolute perfect spatula for flipping pancakes, french toast, and omelettes (all of which we eat regularly). Also, it’s only around $5 on Amazon.com!

jumbo spatula

(a picture of how it compares to my other spatulas)

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The Jesus Storybook Children’s Bible

Jesus Storybook Bible

We’ve had The Jesus Storybook Bible for about 2 years now, but Nora is finally to the point where she is really excited about reading it, where she remembers the details of the stories, and where she can start putting different aspects of the stories together and realizing the meaning behind some of the more “vague” stories and parables.

However, even though Nora wasn’t getting much out of these Bible stories in the beginning, Dave and I both agreed that WE were actually looking at these simple, well-known Bible stories in a new way after reading this author’s interpretation.

I think we got 4 or 5 Children’s Bibles when Nora was born (this book was not one of them) and we were dissatisfied with all of them for various reasons. After numerous recommendations from friends and family members, I purchased this one from Amazon, and we’ve been more than impressed with it ever since.

EVERY day, Nora begs us to “read more stories from the Bible Book” — to the point where I’m certain we’ve read the whole thing through numerous times.

I think this book would be an amazing baby gift (or baptism gift) or even a birthday gift for any young child. I think it would even be appropriate for young readers as they could read it themselves.

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No-Show Socks

no show socks

Now that spring is just around the corner (wishful thinking, maybe) and we’re gearing up for a trip to Florida in a few weeks, I’ve been trying on my spring and summer clothes to see what will (and will not) work with my growing bump 🙂

I also ordered a couple new pairs of no-show socks to wear with flats and my Sketchers Go Walk shoes (for the record, I usually wear my Go Walk shoes without socks, but sometimes socks just feel better!)

As I mentioned last week, I usually buy all our socks from the local dollar store (they have an awesome selection).  However,  thanks to a freebie Kohl’s coupon, I ordered 4 pairs of no show socks from Kohls.com for free!

I love that these super-low socks REALLY don’t show with shoes, which means I can have the comfort and warmth of socks without the tacky look!

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Gummy Prenatal Vitamins

prenatal vitamins

I’ve never been good at swallowing pills (I literally chewed all pills until high school!)

Thankfully, I’ve rarely ever had to take medications of any sort — until I was pregnant with Nora. For MONTHS I struggled to swallow the massive prenatal vitamins, gagging every single time, even though I was plugging my nose and drinking tons of water.

In fact, I couldn’t even take the pills in the morning because otherwise I would throw up. So I’d wait until right before I went to bed, and I would literally dread taking my pill all evening long.

I know, kind of dramatic — but I really REALLY hate swallowing pills!

Thankfully, after about 5 months, I realized I could buy gummy prenatal vitamins that tasted exactly like gummy bears and (according to my doctor) were just as good as the ones I was trying to swallow each night.

So although I could get the prescription prenatal for free through our insurance, I paid for the gummy ones, and they have been worth every penny (and you know how frugal I am!)

My grocery store regularly has them on sale BOGO, so I stock up every time (it ends up being about $9 for 3 months worth of vitamins). I realize that the cost of 4 years worth of gummy vitamins (with several more months ahead of me) adds up… but like I said above, as a very frugal person, I honestly think this is a totally worth-while expense!

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Wool Dryer Balls

dryer balls

Although I have a bunch of tested “natural” ways to reduce static cling, my favorite method for the last couple of years is using wool dryer balls — mostly because it’s the easiest and requires NO extra work on my part 🙂

I started using the wool dryer balls about 18 months ago and have been using them ever since. Not only do they help with static cling, they also help my clothes dry faster and seem to make towels and blankets “fluffier” because they bounce around in the dryer.

The balls just stay in the dryer at all times, they don’t require any maintenance, and they are literally reusable forever (or until you lose them!)

You can add essential oils to them for smell, but I don’t ever bother with this as it’s just one extra step.

wool dryer balls

Another perk is that it’s apparently really fun for little kids to dig through piles of clean laundry to find the stray laundry balls 🙂

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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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31 comments

  1. Amanda M

    03/10/2015

    I have a question about the dryer balls. I have looked on Amazon and in the comments here and this maybe a dumb question. But how many do you use per load all of them?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you put them all in the dryer all the time. i have 6 and just leave them all in the dryer.

    [Reply]

  2. Jenn S.

    03/04/2015

    While I enjoy dryer sheets, my husband is sometimes overwhelmed with fragrances, so I was looking into alternatives. I’m really glad to see your glowing review of the wool dryer balls! I came across them a while ago and thought they might be a solution for us!

    We currently live in an apartment that doesn’t have on-site laundry (so we have to haul our stuff to the laundromat – ugh!) so while I don’t think it is the answer for us yet, it sure as heck will be once we buy a house and have our own washer and dryer. I’d buy them now but I fear losing them in a laundromat.

    In the meantime, I may buy a set for my mom! She’ll love that they’re reusable.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Jenn — these dryer balls would be great for anyone who doesn’t like strong scents. And I’m sure you already know this, but they do make unscented dryer sheets if that would be easier for your laundromat days 🙂

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  3. Kathy

    03/04/2015

    I felt for you when I read that huge challenging day you wrote about (and of course laughed as well because we can all relate to any one of those scenarios as well) and well, if you don’t laugh then you just have to cry. I ordered a book from the uk book depository called “Confident Parents Remarkable Kids” by Bonnie Harris. I have only read two chapters and the index and I say invest in this book as it is very enlightening. My kids are 11 and 9 however currently reading about a 4 year old tantrum so it’s about all ages and gosh it makes a lot of sense. I tried a little situation out myself tonight and it totally worked and I would invest in this book. It’s along the lines that as parents we want our kids to do what we want when we want and the kids want to do what they want when they want so it clashes. Their outward expression/tantrum is the indication as to how they are feeling on the inside. I’m really excited to be reading this book and it looks like there is a way to handle things so that both parties are happy. The sensory issues aside Nora (and coming up the back straights Simon) all have those toddler tantrums out of frustration with communication and wanting what they want when they want. Anyway totally recommend it as their are 8 principles to be followed everything you need to know. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane (ps I’m just a Mum that bought the book and think it is going to be a great resource.)

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  4. Patty

    03/03/2015

    I love your favorite things posts! Where did you get your dryer balls? I have seen them on Amazon, but wondered if you bought them locally (I live in West Michigan as well).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Patty. My dryer balls were from LaundryTree.com — but that website and business is no longer running so you can’t purchase anything from them. They were not local though — so Amazon is probably your best bet (either that or Target maybe!)

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  5. Kristen

    03/03/2015

    I love the dryer balls too but I actually made some. There are tons of tutorials on Pinterest and I had 4 of them done in no time, all while watching tv! I used a coupon and got my yarn for about $8 total so I figured that was a pretty good bargain. I think they’d make great homemade gifts for Christmas or housewarming. 🙂 I don’t always use EO on them but I do enjoy the smell.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    interesting! I’m not on Pinterest much, and I don’t knit — but good to know for other readers. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  6. Lori

    03/03/2015

    Andrea

    Was wondering how your simplified wardrobe was going? I know you are pregnant now, but wondered how you were liking it and finding that you had enough pieces to mix and match?
    Or getting bored with it? Also any new recipes you are excited to try for spring/ summer? Still look forward to your posts everyday and anxious to hear how your trip goes! Have fun!

    Lori

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    Also saw they have “Jesus Storybook Bible” on dads as well.

    [Reply]

    Lori Reply:

    DVDs sorry

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I was so SO confused for a second, until I saw your 2nd comment 🙂 I was trying to think “what on earth would a storybook Bible for dads be about?” Thanks for clarifying!!

    And also, wow — we definitely need to get the DVD because my Nora just LOVES watching tv, especially if she already knows the stories! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Lori — thanks for asking!
    The wardrobe is going fine. I honestly wear kind of the same things ALL the time anyway so since I’m home all day and no one new really sees me, I don’t tend to get board with my clothing choices 🙂 However, if I had to look different every day, I’d probably want a little more variety.

    That said, I have borrowed several maternity items from friends again, so I do sort of feel like I have a partially new wardrobe for the next few months — and that’s kind of fun!

    As for the recipes, I do have a really simple Lemonade Scone recipe sent in from a reader that I’m going to try. If I love it and it’s super easy, I’ll be posting that in the next month or so!!

    [Reply]

  7. amber

    03/03/2015

    We received The Jesus Storybook Bible for our children’s dedication. They love it and so do we. It has helped me understand the stories in a different way.

    Need to check out those dryer balls for sure.

    Be blessed!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    EVERY single adult I know who reads that Bible to their kids says they have gotten so much out of it too — and Dave and I would also agree. It’s amazing!

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  8. Susanne

    03/03/2015

    We love The Jesus Storybook Bible too!

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  9. Linda

    03/03/2015

    Wow! I am really curious about the dryer balls. They had good reviews on Amazon. I will have to order some. Thanks for posting. I love learning about products to make my life easier.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve been really happy with our dryer balls for the last couple of years and it’s nice not to ever need to remember (or pay for) dryer sheets!

    [Reply]

  10. Liane

    03/03/2015

    I highly recommend avoiding folic acid and taking folate instead. It’s probably not available in a gummy bear formula however. I have first hand professional experience with spinach bifida babies and the reason they suffer is due to folate deficiency. Folic acid is not natural in food and our bodies need to attempt to convert it to folate. I am going to post some links here but I suggest to all my moms (I’m retired now but worked as a certified nurse midwife for many years, and I have a degree in biochemistry so I am not talking from a holistic radical hippy viewpoint but rather a seasoned health care educator and baby catcher) they spend the extra money on folate and avoid synthetic vitamins. All pregnant moms these days avoid alcohol, NSAIDs, tobacco and caffeine but too few avoid synthetic vitamins. It is hard to find the source of a lot of these chemicals and they may be coming out of China. We are all naive to think that the same people who put lead in children’s vinyl lunch box and melamin in pet food are going to have a higher standard for vitamin ingredients. Labels are not required by law to reveal the source of an ingredient but companies with integrity will do so.
    http://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid
    http://wellnessmama.com/12543/folic-acid-vs-folate/
    http://www.thankyourbody.com/folate-vs-folic-acid-for-pregnancy/
    I know you guys eat lots of fresh green veggies but often the body just cannot get all the folate out of the foods. Plus you would need to eat dark green leafies at every meal.

    Re: spatula. I have the once second from the left. I love it because it has that serrated edge. Great for cutting after lifting. I decided to not replace my Teflon after it peeled and flaked off my Calphalon skillets. Bed Bath and Beyond replaced them free with stainless. But metal still is hard on metal so I am looking for a super duper flexible turner. I will check that on out. Cooked fish is so fragile!

    My stupid dryer can barely get stuff dry. I complained to Sears. They say it’s fine. Said newer dryers don’t waste as much gas as old ones. So to avoid global warming I have to dry stuff 2x as long. But the good news is we have no static cling at all.

    [Reply]

    Trish Reply:

    My DIL had trouble with their dryer. Even purchased a new one. Same long dry cycle. Had a pro clean their long dryer vent run and got tons of lint out. Runs perfect if they have it cleaned ever year!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Trish, that’s what I was thinking too — have the vent checked for lint. It’s amazing how fast the link builds up!

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    Liane Reply:

    Since I have about 3 ft of hard flue instead of the flex stuff it’s really easy to shove the leaf blower in the hole

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  11. susie

    03/03/2015

    I get scared to bring the gummy prenatal into my house because if one of the little decides to eat a bunch, they will have to get their stomach pumped out because all the iron can be fatal. I am sure you will keep them out of reach, but I get to worried because my kids are monkeys!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    my prenatals don’t have iron in them — and I figure the kids could just as easily get into “non-gummy” prenatals as well. They also have a child-proof cap on them, so I’ve never been too worried about it… but that’s just me 🙂

    [Reply]

  12. lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife

    03/03/2015

    We also have that Bible and really love it. Our church gives it as a gift for the baby dedication. Whenever we read the story of David I cry. But then I cry when I read it out of my Bible too. Just a perfect reminder that God is SO MUCH BIGGER than anything we will ever face. Amen.

    [Reply]

  13. Susan

    03/03/2015

    we also love the Jesus Storybook Bible. This author has a couple other great kid devotional books, and we also have audio and video versions of the JSB. So worthwhile for the whole family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I didn’t know there was an audio version — we might need to look into that!

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    Jenn Reply:

    David Suchet reads the audio; it’s simply marvelous! My kids fall asleep every night listening, and when my youngest wakes in the night crying, “More Jesus”, it makes it a little easier to deal with

    [Reply]

  14. Anna

    03/03/2015

    My toddler also loves to read his “Bible book”, I’m going to have to check this one out. I love the gummy prenatals, I always got choked on the huge pills but then my doctor told me these were perfectly fine. I wish my kroger had these BOGO, but I’m ok with paying for them too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I noticed that Amazon.com has them cheaper than our grocery store — so you might wnat to check that out (the amazon link should be right in the post!)

    [Reply]