A Few Of My Favorite Things {August 2019}

posted by Andrea | 08/1/2019

It’s August! 

Only a couple more weeks of summer vacation for our family — and then it’s back to school again for another 9 months! 

Although the kids are excited for school (2nd grade, Kindergarten, and preschool) and it will be nice to get back into more of daily routine again, having everyone home for the summer is pretty high up there on my list of “favorite things”! 

I’m sharing a few more of my favorite things in today’s post! 

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.

Neutrogena Sunscreen for Super Sensitive Skin

Two years ago, we had our family’s very first encounter with any type of allergic reaction — and of course, we were gone on vacation! 

We were on spring break in Florida and James’ entire face swelled up after putting traditional sunscreen on him the very first day. When he woke up the next morning, we could hardly see his eyes! 

Thankfully, after finding the Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen, we’ve been able to apply sunscreen to James’ sensitive skin without any reactions. 

For the record, I have tried several different sunscreens on him over the years (just in small sections) and he’s always gotten some type of rash from them. 

So far, the Neutrogena is the only one that works for James! 

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RuffleButts Onesie Swim Suits

On my word — the RuffleButts onesie swim suits are officially the COOLEST baby swimsuit I’ve ever seen — and they are also cute (or maybe it’s just my model!) 

They are SO easy to get on and off, thanks to the zipper up the back and the snaps on the bottom. 

They make poolside diaper changes a breeze because you can simply unsnap the bottom and don’t have to take the entire suit off. 

Add in the fact that they are long sleeve with a built-in 50+ sun protection, and they are the best baby swim suits around! 

I totally wish I would have found these suits before my FOURTH baby! 

 

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Galvanized Bins

I was lucky enough to score 2 galvanized drink buckets for $4 each on clearance earlier this summer — and we’ve already gotten so much use out of them! 

NOTE: Here’s a link to similar styles on Amazon. Also, the glass water dispenser was a thrift store find… but here are similar styles online

I love how rustic they look, as well as the fact that they stack nicely for storage. 

I try not to amass too many entertaining pieces, but considering how often we have people over (especially when we’re outside) these galvanized bins have really come in handy. 

I’ve thought about looking for more to use as flower planters (poking drain holes in the bottom) but so far, I haven’t found any for reasonable prices! 

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Lifetime Foldable Picnic Tables

Earlier this spring, Dave and I FINALLY found the exact picnic tables we have been looking to buy, ever since we renovated our deck (5 years ago!) so of course, we bought 2 of them! 

NOTE: Our tables were from Costco for $150, but here is something similar on Amazon

They look like wood, but they are not wood. They are light-weight, easy to clean, AND THEY FOLD DOWN FLAT for easy storage! 

We currently keep one table set up on our deck, and the other one folded down in our outbuilding. 

It only takes a minute to quickly set it up, and we use that one when we eat out by the pool and swing set area. 

And when we have lots of people over, we put both tables together! 

These picnic tables have gotten SO much use already, just this spring and summer — they were definitely a quality purchase!

Thanks Costco! 

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Countertop Fruit Stand

This is another Costco purchase — and another item I have been looking to buy for many years already. 

I wanted a 2-tiered stand that was lightweight but sturdy and could corral fruit, veggies, or other items I wanted to leave sitting out on the counter without them rolling around, or smashing other fruits and veggies on the bottom of a large bowl. 

I’ve even been using this stand to “hide” some of my sourdough starters! 

I found this specific item at Costco (here’s a similar one online) I love that each level can rotate independently, making it super easy to grab the fruit or veggie I want.

Plus, I think it looks really nice sitting out! 

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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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23 comments

  1. Connie

    08/31/2019

    I had a reaction to sunscreen a good number of years back when we were in Hawaii Rash everywhere it touched. Turned out to be Avobenzone, which is common in the majority of sunscreens. I only use mineral blocks now. Some good ones are made by Pacifica, Alba Botanical, and Bare Republic and are available at Target (do you have Target where you live?) as well as other places.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh my — thanks for sharing what worked (and didn’t work) for you! And yes, we have a Target store very close to us!

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  2. JJ

    08/04/2019

    There were galvanized tubs on clearance at our Walmart. They are clearing things out for fall stuff, since our local schools are starting back this week. But it may be that way at others! I love how you put juice in them!!!

    How do you handle trash when you host outdoors? Any fly deterrents/mosquito deterrents that you’ve found to be successful? Flies and mosquitoes are awful this time of year down south, so we normally just eat indoors–then go outside! Thanks!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I guess we just deal with the bugs for a bit (and empty the trash cans regularly).
    It’s also not as hot here as it is down south!

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  3. Christine Meurer

    08/01/2019

    Ok, that RuffleButts swimsuit makes me wish for a girl!! (After 5 boys, poor thing. Haha) So cute.

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    Andrea Reply:

    it is SOOOOOO cute!

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  4. Vickie

    08/01/2019

    Another kind of random question. I know you have the mud room for all shoes etc to go, which I love by the way, so I am curious how you keep dirt and grime from building up on the shelves and in corners. Also same thing for the wonderful bench storage. We live in rural NC. Lots of grass and sand. Even with concrete walk and parking area I feel like I constantly sweep/swifter or cleaning.

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    Andrea Reply:

    sorry I didn’t see this until now Vickie — it got caught in my spam comments!
    Anyway, in regards to the mudroom — I have no special secret, it’s just a very dirty room! There is dirt and grim that DOES build up on the shelves — I eventually vacuum in the closet and wipe it down a few times a year (It’s actually on my list for this week)!

    I do sweep the mudroom a couple times a week (and shake out the rugs). I always have a HUGE pile of dirt, grass, sand, etc. It makes me SO happy that most of the junk stays in the mudroom and doesn’t enter the rest of our house.

    Maybe this is a good idea for an upcoming post! Thanks!

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  5. jo

    08/01/2019

    Hi Andrea,

    I love these posts so much. Changing the subject – I would be really glad – as someone reading from the UK – if you could do a little but about the school system in the US – What age is a child at Kindergarten etc – what age do they have to go to school etc. What age is 1st grade/2nd grade etc. In the UK we have preschool up until the year they turn 5 and then they start reception class, year 1, year 2 etc

    Thank you for your writing x

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jo!
    In general, Kindergarten is ages 5 or 6
    1st grade is age 6 or 7
    2nd grade is age 7 or 8
    etc. etc.

    They can go to preschool at age 3 already — with separate preschool classes for 3 year olds and 4 year olds.

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    Kate Reply:

    I’m sure the laws vary state by state, but in IL the cut off date is September 1. So whatever age a child is on that date, determines what grade they are in. So a child who is 5 by September 1 would be in kindergarten. If they are 3 years old by that date, they could start their first year of preschool; 4 years old would be their 2nd year of preschool. Preschool is optional but most parents do at least the 4-year old preschool. Sometimes parents of kids with birthdays very close to the cut off date with “hold them back” and wait to start the next year. Hope that makes sense!

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  6. Jen

    08/01/2019

    I use galvanized tubs all the time! Try Tractor Supply or someplace similar. They may have them! Can I ask where you got the galvanized ice bucket? I love it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, Tractor Supply has EVERYTHING I love. I told Dave that if he ever wants to buy me something to go to Tractor Supply!
    I got our bins from the clearance section at Meijer for less than $5! The ice bin was there on the clearance section too!

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  7. Calliope

    08/01/2019

    Hi! My son is allergic to sunscreen. And as it turned out to chemical sunscreen. So now he can use only mineral. We have tried lots but the ones that work well while being cheap are from The Ordinary and Avene.
    I loved your table from that first post about it and I am searching everywhere here for something similar! No luck so far…!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I think it might be the chemical sunscreen that’s the issue for James too!
    Our table was from Costco, but it’s the Lifetime brand — so you might have luck finding it other places if you search for that brand?

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    Tara Dukes Reply:

    Just noticed that you mentioned only mineral sunscreen works for your little one. I have done quit a bit of research chemical vs mineral sunscreen and I am convinced that mineral sunscreen is the way to go. Most chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients such as oxybenzone which are known to disrupt hormones and cause allergic reactions among other health risks. They are also can leech off the body and damage marine habitats and other ecosystems. Hawaii has recently banned these ingredients from sunscreen because they found it was killing the coral reef. I wanted to mention that Beautycounter offers a great mineral sunscreen in a mist, so it is really easy to apply to kids. Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Tammy

    08/01/2019

    Love the fruit stand! Side note on that Simply Lemonade -best lemonade ever!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Tammy! And yes, that IS good lemonade!

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  9. Jamie W

    08/01/2019

    My 4-year-old is allergic to something in traditional sunscreen also. We have tried a couple of different brands and nothing has worked so far. We live in FL and she swims a lot so going without sunscreen isn’t the solution but it is what we have been doing because her reaction is so bad. We will definitely be giving the Neutrogena a try! Thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hopefully the sunscreen works for you too!

    [Reply]

  10. Meghan

    08/01/2019

    I’ve been reminiscing about how when I was a kid in the 80s EVERYONE had picnic tables. Now the trend is fancy, expensive patio furniture. Love your updated, splinter-free tables! So simple in a good way. Our patio furniture is 15 years old and not looking great but I’m refusing to buy new. . .

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, our kids think the picnic table is SOOOOO cool! And it’s much less expensive than some of the fancier patio sets. I’m so happy we made this purchase!

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