After a whole month off, I have a few more “favorite things” to share with you for September!! (click here to see more of my favorite things).
DISCLOSURE: None of these products are sponsored in any way; however, some of the links below are affiliate links — which means I may get a VERY small percentage of the sale if you make a purchase through my links. However, I’m only promoting the products below because I use them EVERY SINGLE DAY in my own home and life! Read my full disclosure policy for more information.
Blackout Cellular Window Treatments
When we finished renovating our main floor bedrooms and bathrooms two years ago, we went almost a month with absolutely no window treatments. Then Dave gave me an ultimatum and said we needed something ASAP; otherwise he was hanging towels in front of the windows 🙂
Since I loved the painted woodwork around our windows, I didn’t think it made sense to spend money on curtains that would just cover up all that beautiful wood. I also don’t like the “bulk” the curtains bring to smaller bedrooms like ours.
As always I knew what I wanted — white, cordless, blackout shades — but I wasn’t sure I wanted to pay the price. However, I bit the bullet and purchased these shades from Home Depot… and I’ve never, ever regretted that purchase.
They almost invisibly blend in with the white woodwork when raised (see left picture below), and when pulled down, they create pitch black darkness in the middle of a sunny afternoon. I don’t think I need to tell you how lovely this is for nap time 🙂
There are no unsightly (or dangerous) cords hanging all over the place and no poles to twist the blinds open or close — just a single button to press when you want to raise the blinds (they lower just by pulling them down).
Honestly, this is one of my most favorite “home decor” purchases ever and we will most definitely be putting these blackout cellular window treatments in all the upstairs bedrooms too.
Dish Drying Mats
Since we have a single-bowl farmhouse sink (which I’ve always wanted and totally love), we need an alternate method for drying our hand-washed dishes. This was an extremely small issue to work around — especially since our old sink was so small that we regularly had to put the hand-washed dishes on the counter anyway.
We used to lay the wet dishes on towels, but since towels aren’t super thick or absorbent, we were going through lots and lots of towels each week — and you all know that I don’t like making any more laundry than necessary 🙂
So, a couple years ago (even before our farmhouse sink) I found some jumbo dish drying mats at Bed Bath and Beyond — and decided they were worth using a $5 off coupon. We have 2 of the XL tan colored mats and use them multiple times each week for laying out dishes to dry (we always let the dishes air dry).
Not only does the super thick, super absorbent pad wick moisture away from the dishes, the mat itself also drys extremely fast after we put the dishes away. We store our mats folded up underneath our sink and wash them about once a month.
You can read about the other products I use to keep our farmhouse sink (and our dishes) clean and protected here.
PerfectCLEAN Microfiber Dish Cloths
Along with the dish drying mats listed above, we recently (about 3 months ago) made the switch from my homemade knitted dish cloths to microfiber dish cloths. But not just any microfiber dish cloths — the PerfectCLEAN All-Purpose Wipers.
These are by far the BEST microfiber cloths I’ve ever used — and no, they don’t “stick” to your skin or feel rough like some of the cloths I’ve used in the past. They are SOOOOOO soft and super-duper absorbent. They are actually kind of high-tech — you can read about the science behind the Perfect Clean cloths here.
To paraphrase slightly from their website:
PerfectCLEAN cloths are snag-free, lint-free, and the only product patented with “built-in antimicrobial protection.” The microscopic triangular fibers are capable of “trapping and removing” 99.99% of bacteria from hard surfaces (without chemicals).
We have 2 of the 12″ x 12″ 5-packs. We use the gray 5-pack for wiping Nora’s face and hands after meals, and then the colored 5-pack for dishes and kitchen cleanup. I get 2 new cloths out every morning and put the used ones in the wash.
Even though they are colored, they are still 100% bleachable (which is important to me for rags). I usually bleach one load of whites in the middle of the week and another load on the weekend, so we always have plenty of clean cloths available.
I’m not a huge fan of annuals — because they only last for a few months here in Michigan. They feel like a waste of money for me — especially since I’m so good at finding free or really inexpensive perennials that will come back year after year after year.
However, I absolutely LOVE Boston Ferns.
It’s a weakness — and I think they just scream “country farmhouse!”
So every year, I wait for a local (and very large) greenhouse to have their annual clearance sale (it starts already at the end of June) and I stock up on Boston Ferns for $2.99 a piece. Then I hang them all over our back entry way, I put them in pots and planters by our bright red Adirondack chairs, and I place them anywhere else I think needs a little pop of green.
You can’t have too many Boston Ferns if you ask me 🙂
Then, towards the end of October, I’ll post them on Craigslist for $3 a piece (because I don’t like live plants inside — it’s too much hassle and mess for me). I get all my money back and the new owners are thrilled with the humongous Boston Ferns they get for only $3.
Don’t they look lovely?
Echo Interchangeable Lawn Tools
Ok, so this is actually Dave’s “baby” but I love it too because it’s majorly space-saving (and cost-saving) versus buying and storing multiple different yard tools.
The Echo brand was one of the first (at least that I know of) to come out with a single power shaft that is interchangeable with a variety of attachment tools. Now there are several other “competitors” — all of which I’m sure do a fabulous job. However, we’ve only used the Echo products, and we can attest to the fact that they are really nice.
We have the power shaft, the blower, the weed whipper, and the edger — but there are SO many more attachments we could get if we want to. The next one we’re thinking about getting is the chain saw attachment because we’ve had to borrow my dad’s chain saw several times in the last year.
Oh, and if you notice in the picture above, the attachments have a removable hook on the end which makes it really easy to hang them (especially with our new garage storage system).
These Echo products should be available at most Home Depot stores — and I’m guessing they might even be on sale this time of year!
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!