A Few of My Favorite Things {June 2019}

posted by Andrea | 06/3/2019
 

Summer break is officially here! 

Dave is completely finished with his school year, his classroom is cleaned out, and all his grades are entered — this is the earliest he has ever been done with school for the year, so it’s fun to start summer break a little earlier this year. Of course, that means he’ll be going back to school earlier in August, but we’re not worrying about that just yet! 

For now, we’re looking forward to hanging out at home for the next 10+ weeks… that’s one of my favorite things for sure!

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.

Asparagus Ferns

I recently shared a picture of one of my many asparagus ferns on the blog, and several of you questioned what type of plant it was! 

This got me thinking about my favorite ferns — and I realized I’ve never officially shared them with you! 

I have shared our Boston Ferns on my list (and I still love Boston Ferns) but over the last 5 years or so, I’ve found myself gravitating more towards Asparagus Ferns for around our home. 

They are SO cool looking — and in my opinion, they are much more “forgiving” then Boston Ferns (a.k.a. you can really neglect them without too many consequences!) 

I would caution you on bringing them inside though… as they have thousands of teeny, tiny “leaves” that like to drop (especially if they are a little dry). These ferns are perfect for on the porch, on the deck, hanging from a shepherds crook, etc. but I personally wouldn’t want them IN my house. 

Just for fun, here’s a picture of Nora (age 20 months) wearing her monkey shirt and sitting by a Boston Fern on our old deck… and a picture of Clara (age 20 months) wearing the same shirt and sitting by an Asparagus Fern on our new deck!

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2-Sided Cleaning Brush for Cake Decorating Tips

Yes, that IS the technical name for this tool (just kidding)! 

Seriously, I’m not really sure what to call it, but I use it ALL the time —  not necessarily for cake decorating purposes, but for cleaning out silicone straws and the mouth pieces of water bottles. 

The bristly side is the PERFECT size to fit down a straw or into the tiny holes in the mouth pieces of our kid’s water bottles, and the brush side is fantastic for getting down into the tiny groves of some of the spill-proof inserts on our sippy cups. 

For roughly $2 (on Amazon), I’m positive this tool will have useful applications in and around almost every kitchen! I know I use mine several times a week (and it’s still going strong after 12+ years!) 

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Full-Zip Hoodie from Eddie Bauer

Last spring, I got a gift card to Eddie Bauer, and while I do love almost all their clothes, I never actually shop there because it’s really expensive. 

I’ve been fortunate to find TONS of awesome Eddie Bauer items at our local thrift store, but up until that point, the only “new” Eddie Bauer item I purchased was my winter coat (which should also be a favorite thing as I LOVE it!) 

Anyway, one of the things I purchased with my gift card was the Full-Zip Hoodie — and I instantly fell in love with it. You’ve probably noticed me wearing it in MANY pictures over the last year! 

Well, a couple months ago, I randomly got a $20 Eddie Bauer “gift” sent to my email, so I logged back onto their website and searched the clearance section.

Much to my surprise, the same full-zip hoodie (in a different color) was listed in the clearance section!!! I ended up purchasing it for only $15 out of pocket — thanks to the clearance deals, plus an extra 50% off code, plus my $20 gift card — so now I have TWO fabulous hoodies to rotate between!

I love that this hoodie is light-weight, but still warm. It’s also more fitted, so not as bulky. And it’s LOOOOONG! It fully covers my super long torso, and goes even longer in the back so I feel like I could actually wear it with leggings if I wanted to. 

It’s so comfortable and stretchy… and it washes up really well (I put it in the dryer with no issues). 

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Already Shelled Pistachio Nuts

Our family really loves pistachio nuts (even Clara) but I really do NOT love shelling them all. 

Last year, we discovered the fabulousness of already shelled pistachio nuts (thanks Costco) and we’ve never looked back! 

Now I can quickly add a few to lunches, serve up a handful with some grapes or apples as a quick snack, and munch on them myself without spending 10 extra minutes shelling them all! 

It’s a small thing, but a big time and sanity-saver for me right now! 

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A Changing Table

tour Clara’s nursery

Back when I was pregnant with Nora, SO many people told me not to bother buying a changing table because I’d most likely never use it. 

At the time, I was painting an old dresser to use as a make-shift changing table for our soon-to-be nursery… so I figured that even if we never used it as a changing table, I could still use it for storage somewhere in our home. 

Well… I’ve changed thousands of diapers over the past 8 years and if I had to estimate, I’d say 99% of all those diapers were changed ON A CHANGING TABLE! 

tour Simon’s nursery

I personally strongly dislike crouching down to change a diaper on the floor, and it grosses me out to change them on a bed or the couch. A changing table always felt like the cleanest, easiest, option for me (and for Dave) — especially since all the diapers, wipes, powder, cream, etc. etc. were all right there, ready to go. 

Yes, our kids were sometimes squirmy, but they eventually grew out of that phase! 

They even got to the point where they would poop, run to their room, stand by the changing table, and shout for us to come change their diaper (Clara is just starting to do this at 20 months!) 

tour Nora’s nursery

I’m hoping that we will be done with changing tables forever within the next 6-8 months (CRAZY!!)… but since I’ve always just used basic dressers for our changing tables, I will easily be able to repurpose them throughout our home! 

tour James’ nursery

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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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18 comments

  1. Patti

    06/06/2019

    Be careful with asparagus ferns because the ones that I had were filled with big thorns. Would hate for a toddler to fall into one and get hurt.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    on my — I’ve never had one with thorns. Ours are always VERY soft — the kids love touching them!

    [Reply]

    Liane Reply:

    I concur on the thorn issue. Also keep them container-planted. In some areas (like mine) they are on the banned list of invasive plants. After the very long drought of 7 yrs here a lot of people let everything die, especially lawns. Those asparagus ferns lived on merrily growing where nothing else would. My mother in law gave me a small pot and I guess some of those white underground bubble things escaped. There is not a corner of my yard they don’t live with the exception of the 50’x12’ concrete motorhome pad and a small patio just outside the door.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — I’ve only ever had asparagus ferns in pots on our porches — glad I didn’t plant them in the yard!

    [Reply]

  2. Michelle

    06/04/2019

    After growing up with the washer and dryer in the basement, I was elated when first floor laundry rooms became popular.

    Our home has first floor laundry and I use the top of the dryer as a changing station. There’s a cabinet above where we keep the supplies, it’s the perfect height, and the odors aren’t out in the main living area.

    It would have been great to have the changing tables in their rooms, however their dressers were the chest of drawers style and too tall for changing diapers.

    Those asparagus ferns are beautiful! And yay for already shelled pistachios. They’re my favorite nut.

    I absolutely love your “favorite things” posts and look forward to them each month.
    Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks michelle!

    [Reply]

  3. Lois

    06/03/2019

    Whenever I read about how glad you are to have Dave home early each day and home for the summer I think of all the military wives and children who don’t get to see their husbands and fathers for many months at a time. You can thank God that you and your children can see Dave each day.

    [Reply]

  4. JJ

    06/03/2019

    Love the gallery wall for Clara!!! And the comparison pic of the girls–precious!!! I will have to try the asparagus ferns(I kill plants regularly. Cacti, too. )!!! I need a new hoodie, too!!! Needed this post, haha!!! Where did you purchase your asparagus ferns? I can’t remember if it was you who posted or someone who told me Lowes and/or Home Depot will refund you for dead plants within a *?year?*. Have you done this/know about this or posted about this? I need all the help I can get.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks — that wall is still one of my favorite things in our house!

    And yes, Asparagus ferns are much harder to kill — give them a try! I get mine from CountrySide Greenhouse — never got them from Lowes or HD so I’m not sure on their return policy 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Meghan

    06/03/2019

    I would never buy shelled pistachios because I give pistachios (with the shell on) to my kids to keep them busy!
    Great post – I can’t keep Boston ferns alive so I’ll try an Asparagus fern. Thanks for the recommendation.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I love that your kids stay occupied by the pistachios! Your children are either a bit older than mine or very talented — the boys (and obviously Clara) can not get the shells off without making a HUUUUUUUGE mess!

    [Reply]

  6. jennifer

    06/03/2019

    Love your blog! Love these posts. I also love the changing table setup for my boys. I do keep supplies downstairs to change diapers (and my youngest son LOVES to be changed on the landing of the steps!) so I just keep an old pillowcase in the bathroom to put down on the carpet for this! (poor fourth child…) He is 28 months and using the potty sometimes before naps and when he wakes in the morning…I am so excited for our family to move beyond this phase as well (though I sometimes think of wanting a fifth child, I am mostly glad to get the baby gear OUT of my house as we finish with it!) Love Eddie Bauer! I love to shop at Swap.com and have gotten some Eddie Bauer finds there, though not like this hoodie!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jennifer! 🙂
    I have gotten MANY Eddie Bauer items from thrift stores — probably not super current styles, but basic items (tees, jeans) that still seem to work with current fashion trends!
    Yay for almost potty trained kids. I’ll get there soon enough!

    [Reply]

  7. Mary Ann

    06/03/2019

    I use a changing pad on a dresser too. We are older and crouching down kills our backs and knees so we love the changing table!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’m not even that old (at least not in my opinion!) and I don’t like to get down on the floor to change a diaper!

    [Reply]

  8. Kristen

    06/03/2019

    These are always some of my favorite posts you do! Thanks for the tip on the Eddie Bauer hoodie – I have the same problem finding things that are long enough for my long torso (and don’t shrink up when I wash them!). I would love to see a post on other finds like this if you have them. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristen! And yes the hoodie is fantastic!
    here’s another post I did about my favorite long-torso swimsuit options

    [Reply]

    Liane Reply:

    I’m a short person with a long torso. So glad longer clothes are more available now. If I get tall sizes sleeves are too long.

    Here’s my solution for shrinking 100% cotton knits. If you have a hand wash setting on your washer use it. Wet cotton gets pulled by the washer facilitated by the detergent. Then as it dries the fibers contract, shorter than they started. Never ever use a dryer. I have a folding rack — Andrea I think you have one like it in the basement — and I lay clothes over a couple rungs for support. I’ve also made a discovery — probably since I have no little kids smearing their hands, faces, etc on me my clothes get dirty in only one spot — the under arm area. Sometimes just running through a wash without soap is sufficient. I did not know that laundry detergent and spinning caused shrinking. I always thought it was heat.

    [Reply]