Favorite Things // v. 3

1. Audio Books

I have read a ton over the past couple years, but lately I’ve been listening to audio books more than regular books, and it’s nice to be able to listen while I get other things done.

2. Wearable breast pumps.

This one is super specific, but where I’m at right now. I’m exclusivly pumping for Ollie, we just couldn’t get him to latch without much pain, and my husband and sister convinced me to buy the Willow Go pump, it’s without cords, and has a battery, and it’s been life changing. I can move around the house, pump in the car, jump up to wipe little bums, and am not tied to the couch for 4+ hours a day.

3. Bible 180 Challenge Journal by Hallie Leigning

It’s a Bible reading journal, to accompany her Read the Bible in 180 days Plan. It seemed a little overwhelming at first, to read the whole Bible in just 6 months, but I’m 19 days in, and finding it really manageable, and super interesting to read the Bible chronologically. The journal just makes in easy to jot down some takeaways and thoughts from the daily reading, and I think it will be super cool to look back at what I was learning/noticing throughout the whole Bible.

4. Doing my nails.

I haven’t kept up with doing my nails in months, but it’s always been something I enjoyed, helps me feel put together. I put on a sticker manicure this week, and it’s just made me feel elegant. I think I am going to give press on nails another try.

5. Super skinny, super high rise jeans.

I walked into Old Navy and the sales lady asked if I needed help, and I asked for the most high rise jeans she had. After lamenting to my sister that I now need jeans that go up past my belly button, I have worn them out several times, and they are amazing. They stay put, don’t gape, and I’m not hiking them back up all day long.

6. Playing games with my kids.

They are just starting to be ready to play games, and we are having fun learning go fish and slap jack. Their attention spans last about 3 minutes, but we have a lot of fun!

7. Less toys.

We are moving soon, so I’m slowly packing, and this week I packed up half the kids toys, and it’s been a game changer. There is far less clutter scattered across the house, and the kids don’t seem to even miss them. I think we will downsize, and set up a toy rotation system to help us keep less toys on the floor!

8. Batching food for lunch.

I made a huge batch of quinoa and egg rolls in a bowl on Monday, and it’s been so nice to have it to grab every day. Would love suggestions for other batch meal ideas!

9. Flannel shirts.

I’ve been influenced by my little sisters styles, and I am loving flannel with leggings and with jeans. It looks cute, and is super practical for pumping!

What are some things you’ve been loving lately?

Love,

Becca

Best Books of 2022

Picture of my kiddos reading! I am thrilled that they seem to love reading books as much as I do! Hoping that continues as they learn to read! ❤️

I have loved to read since I was a very small child, (I have vivid memories of hiding a flashlight and huddling under the blankets late into the night reading!) and I am thankful that that has continued into my adult life/mamahood.

This year I read more than I have since I was a teenager. My kids settled into a amazing routine earlier in the year, napping at the same time, and I ended up with a solid hour to read in the afternoon. And I finally came to terms with audio books, and felt line I can count them as reading, so I was able to add the time during my running to read.

I got the through 164 books, about half of them reading and half on audio, and while I won’t make you slog through all of those titles, I went through the list and picked the ones that stood out to me particularly as favorites from this year!

A man called Ove– by Fredrick Backman

I loved this book. Ove is a older man with literally nothing to live for anymore. The book jumps back and forth from the present, where Ove just wants to die, and his pesky neighbors keep interfering with their constant problems, and glimpses into Ove’s past. I know the premise of the story is odd, a man just trying to die, but it ended up perfectly. I made my husband watch the movie with me and he loved it too. We are excited about the new adaption coming out in just a couple weeks starring Tom Hanks!

The Astronots Wife– by Stacey Morgan

This was such a interesting memoir exploring the authors life while her husband was away in space for 9 months. I really enjoyed her story, and her wisdom about the things she learned in a difficult season.

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island– by Colleen Oakley

The ending was hilarious. The whole book was an interesting mystery, a compulsive read. I wanted to know what happened, and by the time I got to the end, it was nothing like what I thought, which is always a fun surprise!

The Diamond Eye– by Kate Quinn

I loved her first book, the Rose Code, and this second one didn’t disappoint! It follows the story of Mila Pavlochenko, Lady Death, one of 2000 women snipers in the Soviet Army. She was credited with 309 kills, and eventually came to the US as a spokesperson, becoming friends with Eleanor Roosevelt. It was a facinatings story, and very well written.

M is for Mama by Abby Halberstadt

This was a really encouraging book for moms, and I would highly recommend. I am planning to read it again in 2023.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

This book probably isn’t for everyone, but I love stories about other worlds/dimensions within our world, with a touch of magic and fantasy, but with lots of realism, and this book checked all those boxes. It was a interesting story, a compelling mystery and I really enjoyed!

Cultish by Amanda Montell

This book was facinating. I read it really fast I needed to get it back to the library, and I want to get it again to read a little more slowly. She explores the language behind cults, from famous cults like Jonestown, to MLMs like Lularoe, to soul cycle, it was facinating to see the similarities between the way they use language and words to draw people in and keep them hooked in the craziness that is cults.

It’s interesting because we all assume we wouldn’t fall prey to the woo of a cult, but Ms Montell examines the way that leadership is able to resonate with people with the compelling phrases and idioms, and explores the similarities between religious cults, and workout fanatics who take over peoples lives.

I found it fascinating and have continued to think about it.

Taste: my life through food by Stanley Tucci

I loved this book so much! I really love good food memoirs, books about chefs, or home cooks, descriptions about food. All of it. Stanley Tucci’s book about the food in his life, and growing up in a Italian family was delightful! I am also enjoying his show about Italian cuisine on Discovery+.

I would love to hear about some of your favorite reads from the year!

With love,

-Becca

Favorite things // v. 2

1. Hapiu rain suits for toddlers!

These are game changers for getting outside with toddlers, especially living in the PNW, where it rains at least 5+ months of the year. They’re awesome even on days it isn’t raining, keeping clothes safe from mud! It’s taken the excuse of bad weather away, so we are getting out every day!

2. Pretty coffee mugs.

I’ve replaced a few coffee mugs we had that were chipped/cracked, and it’s made me pretty happy! Theyre bright and happy, and this is my favorite shape for a coffee mug! Oversized, but still feels great in your hand! (This one is cute, and these ones are so pretty!)

3. Hand cream and mosturizer.

I know, a little weird. But I haven’t used either of those things much before. But this winter my skin has been so dry and looking awful. (My hands looked so old.) so I grabbed a big bottle of lotion at Costco, and it’s made a huge difference in how my skin looks and feels. I’m hooked. But I am looking for a more nontoxic option and very open to suggestions! (I would love to hear your favorite brands in a comment!)

At the zoo! 😊

4. Reading actual books.

When I was nannying before I had kids, I got into the habit of reading books in the Libby app on my iPad. And I love it! I don’t have to run another errand to pick up books, or get them back on time. We also live in a very tiny apartment, it’s been helpful to not have a ton of books to store. (I can’t wait to have a bigger space so that we can have our books out of storage, though!) But I have pulled out a couple books that were gifts, and it has been really nice to have the physical books. I really missed it. So hoping to read a better mix of both physical and ebooks this year.

5. Lists I can check off

I know goals, or New Years resolutions aren’t for everyone. I thrive with clear goals, to-do lists, progress checklists, etc. so I love the opportunity to set new (attainable) goals for myself, and see progress as I work towards them. At the beginning of January I made a progress chart with 52 weeks for my goal of running 15 miles a week, and it’s very exciting to fill my milage at the end of the week. It’s small, but helps my mindset and productivity!

6. Decluttering and organizing.

I started picking one space every day to declutter or organize the week after Christmas and it made a huge difference! It was so nice to clear out some clutter, clean little used spaces out, and just refresh our home. I’m trying to keep up with picking 2 or 3 spaces a week, to keep on top of it, and it’s been a huge help! Visual clutter stresses me out, so staying on top of keeping our surfaces and storage is key to less stress and a happier mama!

7. Paring down Instagram

Social media was becoming overwhelming. So I started unfollowing a bunch of accounts that I was no longer interested in, and making space for the people I actually wanted to see in my feed. It’s been a lot quieter, and I’m enjoying the app much more now instead of endlessly scrolling past stuff I honestly don’t care about!

8. Easy dinners

I’ve been trying to find a few simple dinners that are easy for busy days, and my favorite right now is rotisserie chicken (I grab a couple every time we go to Costco, debone them, and throw it in the freezer chopped so it’s easy to grab.) and a bag of prepared veggies/noodles/teriyaki sauce. (Our Fred Meyer has this in the bagged salad aisle. It’s quick, relatively healthy, and takes about 20 minutes to cook up.

What are some things you’ve been loving lately?

Current Favorite Children’s Books

I love books. I’ve always been a avid reader, and continue to make time to read, even as a busy mom, (Once I’m done typing this post, I am going to read a bit while the kiddos nap! A book I’ve been waiting for on hold at the library finally came in!)

So it stands to reason that we also love children’s books, and have amassed a little library! I’m always looking for new books to add! These are some of our current favorites!

Lost and Found- by Oliver Jeffers

A boy finds a penguin, and sets off to take him home to the South Pole ! On the way they become fast friends. The story is really sweet, and the artwork is adorable!

Cuddle bug – by Nicola Edwards

This one is a very favorite! The rhyme is so sweet, and endearing, and my kids love the cute cutouts! A perfect bed time story!

Toot- by Leslie Patricelli

This little book explains certain bodily functions, and always makes my 2 year old and husband giggle. Okay fine, it make us all laugh! This isn’t my kind of humor at all, but I knew they would appreciate it, and it’s become a favorite as it always brings hilarity!

The Going to Bed Book- by Sandra Boynton

Her artwork is so cute! And the stories are nonsensical and perfect for bedtime! A group of animals gets ready for bed!

I Am a Big Brother- by Caroline Jayne Church

A new baby arrives, and big brother learns all about how to help out with everything Baby needs! We bought this before our daughter was born, and it’s been a fun book to read as our son learned about being a big brother himself!

Little Blue Truck – by Alice Schertle

We love little Blue! The artwork is so fun, and the stories are wonderful, and sweet! Usually there’s a good lesson woven in, and little blue truck is so kind! A great read with littles!

We also love the Block Books! (We have found them at Costco.) they are so informative and so fun! The Alphabet one is our favorite right now, it’s perfect as a tool to help learn the alphabet!

What are some of your family’s favorite children’s books?

With love,

Becca