I’ve got a new list of (non-traditional) Favorite Things this month — including a fun giveaway!
After almost 8 years of sharing my favorite things month after month, I’m honestly struggling to come up with anything I haven’t already shared!
I dislike shopping, I have no thoughts on fashion or the latest trends, I thrive on routine and “sameness”, I declutter constantly, and once I find something I like, I stop looking for anything else.
I know that might sound boring to some, but to me, it sounds easy, simple, and practical!
My current list of Favorite Things includes:
- Early bedtimes
- Freshly washed flannel sheets
- Quiet morning hours to do whatever I want
- Slow weekends spent at home
- Daily and weekly routines that work really well for our family
- Gorgeous Fall colors
- 30-minute dinners
- Schools that are still open (for both Dave and the kids)
- Church programs that have started up again
- Good health
- Feeling content and fulfilled
- Empty drawers and closets with plenty of room to breathe
- Fresh baked goods
- Happy children who are growing more self-sufficient each day
- A quiet drive in the car
You get the idea… not much for a “Favorite Things List” though.
Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can sustain these posts, but I’ll finish out 2020 for sure.
NOTE: This content is not sponsored.
Our New Farmhouse Table
You guys — I’m so excited to finally have this table!
It’s been a long-time dream of mine to have a dining room table that comfortably seats 12-14 people with plenty of walking space around the table and chairs.
After 9 years of brainstorming ways to fit a giant table in our farmhouse, we finally did it!
Thanks to a bunch of extra time at home this past Spring, we started thinking outside the box for ways to make space for my dream table.
After 3 rounds of “musical rooms”, 3 days moving furniture, and 5 months waiting for my uncle to finish building our custom table, I can officially add it to my list of favorite things!
Here’s a quick recap of the process…
- Clara moved out of the nursery and upstairs to share a bedroom with Nora.
- Dave and I moved out of our Master Bedroom and into the former nursery (we’re still LOVING our tiny bedroom! )
- We then turned our former master bedroom into a super cozy farmhouse den.
- We “flip-flopped” the dining room and living room — giving us plenty of space for a 12-foot long table!
- I drew up a design and commissioned my uncle to build us the table.
Watch the transformation unfold…
Click the images below to watch the transformation of our spaces!
And now, here we are with a new hutch in the corner, new lanterns hanging from the ladder, and our brand new beautiful farmhouse table!
It’s official, we can’t ever move unless the new house has room for this beauty!
The extensions on each end are easily removable, so we only add them when we have larger groups of people.
The table is SOOOO heavy — it took 4 people to bring it into our house via the double doors in the office.
It’s certainly a solid piece that I hope will be in our home for many years to come.
Free Hot Lunch
One bonus of COVID (for our family) is that the government is subsidizing FREE hot lunch for every student for the entire school year!
Since our school is a private school, we don’t often get freebies from the government — so this was pretty exciting!
I’m thrilled to have a little break from packing multiple lunches every day… and the cost-saving on our grocery bill is noticeable as well.
Some might argue that the hot lunch menu doesn’t offer the most nutritious options… my counter-argument is that my children eat highly nutritious hot breakfasts packed with protein and whole grains every morning, and from-scratch dinners with loads of veggies at night. So one less-than-stellar meal a day isn’t going to hurt!
They do occasionally still ask to bring lunches from home, but for the most part, our Planet Boxes are living on the pantry shelf this year… and I’m not sad about that!
Related Reading: How Fun Lunches Simplify Our School Routine
I know, I know… most people dread Mondays… but for the first time in 9 years, Mondays mean several hours by myself AT HOME.
The older 3 are all in school on Mondays (James doesn’t go full time yet) and Clara goes to my sister’s house (just down the road) to play with her cousin.
So every Monday, from about 10:00 – 3:00, I have the house to myself to do whatever I want or need to do.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve stopped cleaning before or during the weekend, and instead, I do the bulk of my cleaning on Mondays — usually right away in the morning, before I bring Clara to my sister’s.
Then I use the rest of the day for blog work, baking, yard work, and various house projects.
This is the main reason I’ve scheduled my blog posts and emails for Tuesdays — because I know I’ll have plenty of time on Mondays to tie up any loose ends.
I love my children dearly, but it has been a LOOOOOOONG time since I’ve had a consistent string of hours “home alone”.
Wow, it’s fantastic!
Every Mother Diastasis Recti Program
I mentioned this program in an email a few weeks ago and got SO many questions that I figured I should share a bit more.
I first heard about the Every Mother core-strengthening workouts this summer, during my persistent research to find a solution for my Diastasis Recti (something I’ve struggled with since Simon was born, over 6 years ago) and my lower back pain (which I’ve struggled with since high school).
As with all new programs, books, and “gimmicks,” I was quite skeptical at first… but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.
After all, the program is less than $45 for 12 weeks (and that’s roughly what I pay for just one visit to the chiropractor).
So I signed up… and much to my surprise, my lower back pain was virtually gone after the first week! (No, I’m not exaggerating at all!)
That in itself was more than worth every penny I spent on the 12-week program.
However, since I started the program this summer, I’ve already “lost” 3 full inches around my waist (without losing a single pound) simply because my ab muscles are pulling back in and tightening up again.
My self-assessments indicates I went from slightly more than a 3-centimeter gap at the bellybutton to now, just under 2 centimeters. And my core truly does feel so much stronger.
I plan to continue for another 12-weeks (which will take me through the beginning of the New Year) to see what type of progress I can continue making.
Every Mother offers special programs for pregnant women, newly postpartum women, and even women who don’t have a clinical ab separation but just want to strengthen their core muscles in a safe and effective way.
If you have weak core muscles, if you have lower back pain, if you have Diastasis Recti, if you have a weak pelvic floor, I highly encourage you to check out the Every Mother programs. I’m beyond impressed (and I’ve tried many, many different programs over the last 6 years).
It’s much more cost-effective than therapy, chiropractic care, gym memberships, massages, or supplements… and the results are so much faster. Plus, you can do the 10 to 25-minute workouts in the comfort of your own home, whenever it works for you (I’m known to do mine in my PJs before the kids wake up!)
Related Reading: My Thoughts on Diastasis Recti – One Year After Therapy
Personal Planner (+ giveaway!)
Dave and I have used Personal Planners for years and years — I know so many of you use them now too!
I always order my new planners in October so I’m ready to go before the holiday rush. Dave orders his in July so he’s ready for another school year.
We’ve tried different sizes and styles over the years (read more in these posts) but we’re both back to the A5 size, which we like best.
If you’re in the market for a new planner use the discount code: HAPPYHOLIDAYS to get 15% off your entire order, now through January 31, 2021.
I also have one planner to give away… use the super simple entry form below!
Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years or older. Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 7 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. I was not compensated for this giveaway. All opinions are my own. Good luck!
That’s all for me this month.
View my previous months’ favorite things — and please share some of YOUR favorite things in the comments below!