Share the Love

Every once in a while, I like to round up a bunch of things we’re enjoying around here to share with all of you! (And affiliate links are included for your convenience!) I love it when other people share lists like this, so I’m passing on the favour.:) Here’s my list of things we’re currently enjoying:

Swiffer sheets for dusting.

I learned this tip from one of my very favourite podcasts, “The Lazy Genius” – she’s funny, smart, practical, and her name is Kendra, so you can’t go wrong! Every single episode has some awesome tip for cleaning or grocery shopping or something practical, and she lives up to her slogan: “Helping you be a genius about the things that matter, and lazy about the things that don’t.” She is so smart and intentional!

Anyway, she shared in an episode that Swiffer sheets normally used for mops actually make incredible dusting cloths – better than microfiber cloths or, whatever else you use.

I had bought a box of those sheets from Costco for our little Swiffer vacuum, but we don’t use it that often, so the box was lasting forever. I decided to give her tip a try, and could not believe how well it worked!! Kendra was right. Even if you don’t have any other Swiffer products, get those sheets! They actually make me WANT to dust, and I have never liked dusting. But suddenly I’m dusting EVERYTHING, and it is so satisfying.

*Another tip from Kendra – dust the toilet before you clean it – it’s so much easier to clean if you don’t have to keep wiping around all the soggy dust particles. Why have I not thought of this before??!!

She has podcast episodes on a ton of great topics – right now I’ve downloaded episodes about keeping the car clean, spring cleaning, and dealing with sickness, on my podcast app. I’ve also enjoyed her episode on cleaning out the fridge, making lunch, creating your own marinades…. So many good ones to enjoy! Check her out here!

FREE video series: Grocery Savings Made Simple

So by now, probably everyone who has ever read my blog knows how much I love the online course “Grocery Budget Bootcamp”. Tiffany from the blog “Don’t Waste the Crumbs” will be offering it again this year in a couple of weeks, but she’s also sharing a FREE three-part video series, starting this week, called “Grocery Savings Made Simple”. I always find her budget and grocery tips super helpful and practical, so I’m a fan of any series she puts out!

Head over here to sign up for her free course, or over here for Grocery Budget Bootcamp!

The Final Table

While we’re talking about food, I have to share that Ben and I got hooked on a cooking show on Netflix this winter, much to our surprise!! I would never have thought that possible, but this was such a good one! We’d watch it when our kids were in bed, but they’d always ask about it in the morning, and got so interested, they started watching it on their own!

Amazing chefs from all over the world teamed up against each other, and whoever made the “worst” dish was eliminated (but seriously, even the worst dishes looked amazing!). Each episode featured food from a different country, which was really interesting, and things got very intense as the chefs had to make dishes they’d never tasted before, during a tight time limit. It was fascinating to watch them perform under pressure, and inspiring to see the dedication to their craft. It made us want to learn how to cook really well!

 

 

 

 

 

Essentialism

I haven’t finished reading this book yet, but I’m really enjoying it! It’s about doing less, so that you can do things better. It’s making me examine what I’m saying yes or no to, and given me the courage to cut some things from my life that were taking up energy I really wanted to spend elsewhere.

 

He writes about how most people choose to keep many things going at the same time, but nothing moves along very quickly, because all things have to be kept moving. Instead, we can choose what is most important, and go really, really far with that one thing instead of a little way with many things.

I’m inspired to be much more intentional, fully present, and committed to the few things I choose to spend my time on. It’s very freeing, and I love the picture he paints of intentional living.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

I heard about blue light blocking glasses years ago, and always thought they sounded like a good idea, but never got around to buying any until this winter.

My naturopath discovered that I’m getting far too much blue light, which surprised me, because I don’t spend a lot of time in front of computer or TV screens. But what he explained was that a lack of sunshine during the winter, along with too much artificial light of any kind, can lead to an imbalance.

He asked me to pick up a pair of blue light blocking glasses, so we ordered a couple of pairs from Amazon, and for $20, it’s a quick fix. Immediately, we noticed a big improvement in our sleep (and I had thought I was sleeping well before already!)

 

 

Because we were so impressed with the difference they make, we ordered enough for the whole family! Kaylia has always taken a very long time to fall asleep, but when she wears her glasses in the evenings, she falls asleep about an hour earlier.

Apparently the health benefits go far beyond good sleep – hormones, circulation, even weight gain can be affected by what kind of light is hitting your eyes, so getting outside more, plus protecting your eyes from artificial light can impact your health in significant ways. Getting healthier from wearing a cheap pair of glasses sounds like an easy win to me! I’m in.

These are the glasses Anika and I ordered, and here are the adorable kids glasses we got for Kaylia and Everett.

To read more about why blue light blocking glasses are good to wear, head over here.

Life Church Series on Habits

I listened to this message series recently, and it was really good. I love anything that has to do with habits, and I especially liked hearing a church address the topic.

Craig Groeschel does such an amazing job of sharing practical ways to build habits in our lives, and addressing how much we as Christians need strong habits to grow in our relationship with God.

I read somewhere recently that teaching our kids spiritual disciplines and strong Christian habits will carry them through the times when they don’t feel very spiritual. Habits can be what ties us to Jesus even during times when he feels far away, and takes the focus off of emotions so our actions can be deeply rooted in our spiritual practices.

I love that idea, so this series seems like an important one to me.

That’s it for today! But I’d love to hear about anything you’re enjoying right now! Any good books or podcasts or recipes or clothes or ANYTHING you’re loving that you’d like to pass on? Share the love!:)

Around Here Right Now

It’s a rainy, cold afternoon while I’m writing this, and we’re all cozy inside. Ben’s making apple crisp, and we’re hoping for snow. He made the mistake of telling Everett we’d go to the cabin when the snow melts – he meant in spring, but Everett is just pumped, because the first snowfall is disappearing, so he’s ready to pack up and go to the lake. We’ve been trying to explain the situation to him, but it’s not making any sense to him, so it would simplify our lives quite a bit if we’d just get more snow!;)

I always have a running list of things our family is currently enjoying, and when it gets long enough, I do one of these posts to share our favourites with you! (Affiliate links are included for your convenience) This month’s offerings are about as random as they get, so hopefully there’s a little something for everyone!:)

What We’re Watching: Timeless

Ben and I have really been enjoying this show on Netflix for the last couple of months. Sadly, there’s only one season, and the show was cancelled in spring, but fans raised such an uproar that season two will be filmed in 2018!

The story line involves a stolen time machine, and the bad guys are trying to go back in time to change American history, so the good guys have to take the backup time machine to chase after them, and do whatever they can to ensure history stays the same. Every episode covers a different event in history, from Lincoln’s assassination to the first landing on the moon to the Lone Ranger to the Hindenberg disaster. Because something always goes wrong, and small details of history end up changing in each episode, it’s making us look up these different historical events to brush up on the details. There is some violence, but for the most part, we’ve been impressed with how clean the show is.

Also, if Lucy could please just shave her head and make me a wig with her hair, it would pretty much be my dream come true. I think I commented on her great hair almost every single episode, and Ben was wondering what was up with this hair obsession.

But now we’re finished season one, and I’m sad, and it’s a long time until season two comes out!

What We’re Learning: Historical Fiction

Speaking of history, Anika has been lost in library books for the last week. She came across a historical fiction series called “The Royal Diaries” at the library which includes many of the famous princesses from a wide range of time periods. There are 23 books in the series, and she’s enjoyed every one she’s read. My favourite thing about it, besides just seeing her enjoy good stories, is that it’s reinforcing everything she’s learned in history.When Anika talks about her favourite characters in history, and gets excited about books which shed more light on the background and context to these stories, it makes me happy to see how learning can be fun, and come naturally and enjoyably, instead of just being about dry textbooks.

What We’re Eating: Stir-fry That’s not Stir-fry

I love eating stir-fry, but I don’t like making it. Does anyone else out there feel that way?! I like meals I can stick in the oven and forget about while I clean up the kitchen. While browsing Pinterest for some meal planning inspiration this month, I came across this delicious-looking picture:

source

I suddenly thought, “Why on earth have I been dealing with a frying pan?!” I love roasted vegetables, so I’ve ditched the stir-fry, and do this instead. Easiest meal ever – I get out all the veggies that need to be used up in the fridge, chop them up, spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzle avocado oil over everything, and stick it in the oven.

And then I’m free to get the kitchen cleaned up before the meal, so afterwards, all we have to do is put our dishes in the dishwasher, and pack up the leftovers for lunch the next day. So easy, and very delicious!

What I’m Reading: The Whole-Brained Child

I’m slowly working my way through “The Whole-Brained Child”, and it’s really good! I don’t have tons of time for reading, but this book is a great fit, because the chapters are pretty short, and the principles are easy to apply. A friend recommended it to me, and her description had me intrigued. She said it was a book about helping your child learn how to deal with strong emotions, and bridging the gap between explosive emotions and logical thinking. Because children’s brains are not finished developing, it does not come naturally for them to think logically and use reason in the midst of an angry tantrum or hurt feelings. They get swept away in whatever emotion they are experiencing in the moment, and so this book provides helpful tools for connected the right and left sides of the brain, or the “upstairs/downstairs” parts of the brain, as they refer to it in the book, helping to bring about more balance and feelings of calm and control.

Even though I’m not very far into the book, I’m already helping it very helpful, and highly recommend it! While getting this blog post ready, I stumbled across this “Refrigerator Sheet” which summarizes some of the helpful points, in case you want to check out a bit of what it has to say!

What I’m Saving $ On: Restore

Last year, I shared about this fantastic product our family uses on a daily basis. It restores gut lining in a way that’s far superior to any kind of probiotics out there, because it doesn’t just put probiotics into your stomach, it actually helps your body to start producing them on it’s own. All of us noticed a dramatic improvement in our digestion when we started taking it, and our girls’ issues with gluten have improved to the point where they are able to enjoy gluten occasionally, although we don’t want their digestive systems to get out of balance again, so we make it more of a treat instead of the norm.

In the past, we ordered Restore from the Restore4Life website, which ended up costing $130 with exchange, tax, duty, and shipping. A bottle lasts for about 1 1/2 months for our family of five, so it’s pricey, but something we feel is important to keep taking.

This last month, I was extremely happy to find a site that sells it for only $100! I felt rich with my $30 savings, so I wanted to pass this info on to you, as I know some people have been ordering Restore since I shared about it on my blog last summer. You can get a 5% discount using this link.

If you’re interested in learning more about it, there are some great videos available here, as well as pictures of what cells look like before and after using Restore.

What We’re Anticipating: Mother Daughter Camp

I’m so excited to share that I’ll be speaking at Mother Daughter Camp at Red Rock Bible Camp in January! It’s been a long time since we’ve gone to camp in winter, and it’s such a great retreat, so I’m really glad to be part of it this year. I’m also very excited about the sessions I’ll be doing, and will have more to share here on my blog as I prepare for the retreat.

To find out more about Mother Daughter Camp, head over here.

What I’m Listening to: “Overwhelmed”

I listened to this fantastic podcast on the weekend. I was feeling discouraged on Saturday, because we’ve had a ton of sickness at our house, and I haven’t been feeling completely healthy for about two months now. My naturopath is trying to get me back on track, but in the meantime, I’ve been struggling to keep a good attitude at all times. I realize there are many, many people with bigger problems than mine, but I also know that wherever we’re at in the moment can feel huge and consuming.

This podcast was exactly what I needed – super encouraging, and such a gentle reminder that when we focus on Jesus, our circumstances might not change, but our perspective always does.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Podcast Favourites

 

This post is part of a series, sharing my favourite products and discoveries from this last year. (You can find the first post here.) If you have any favourite ideas to contribute, please feel free to comment. Anyone who comments during this series over the next two weeks will have their name entered in a draw for an Amazon gift card. Let us know what you’re loving!

This was the year of the podcast for me. I’ve been enjoying them for awhile, but this year I started listening to them a lot more – while I’m making supper, cleaning bathrooms, or driving to appointments in the city. There are a few I listen to just for fun and interest sake during the day, and a bunch of church podcasts that I listen to after I do my devotions in the morning, while I’m exercising. It’s such a fantastic way to get my thoughts going in the direction I want them to for the rest of the day.

I use the app Podcast Addict, and at the beginning of the week, I look through all the new episodes from my favourite sources, and download any that sound interesting, so my listening material is ready to go anytime I’m driving somewhere by myself.

Here’s my list of favourites…

For Spiritual Growth:

Bridgetown Church – I have two churches! The one we go to each week, and then Bridgetown! I love, love, love the teaching on this podcast. The sermons are so good! This podcast has helped shape my thoughts on spending time with God and spiritual growth in significant ways this past year. I just finished the series on Prayer, which was fantastic, and before that, I really enjoyed the series “Dealing With Your Past”, “Silence and Solitude”, and “Practicing the Way”.

 

Life Church – I haven’t been listening to this one as much since discovering Bridgetown, but I still really like Craig Groesel’s teaching. “Words to Live By” was fantastic, as well as the “Making Change” series, starting with “Part 1 – Less is More“.

 

 

The Meeting House – Ben and I have been listening to Bruxy Cavey’s teaching for many years now, and I still love it as much as ever. It’s not as easy for me to listen to as Bridgetown or Life Church – I guess there are many different teaching styles, and this is just a bit of a heavier one, but still really good. I recently enjoyed the series called “Simple Minded”, starting with “Part 1 – the Brain That Wouldn’t Die“.

For Fun or Personal Growth:

Chris Loves Julia – This is my favourite podcast, by the couple who writes my favourite decorating blog! I love Julia’s decorating style, so I’ve been reading their blog for a couple of years, but I just started listening to their podcast this last winter, and it’s very funny and entertaining, plus I just love decorating stuff. It’s a fun one! I tried really hard to find a favourite episode, but couldn’t – they’re all interesting to me! I laugh every time. You could try the most recent one: Our Home’s Dirty Little Secrets and Living in the Path of Totality

 

Young House Love – This one’s also an entertaining decorating podcast, with interesting interviews, and I really like hearing about their favourite household finds and stuff they’re enjoying. I’ve listened to every episode, but of course some of my favourites involved decluttering, like Why We Got Rid of Half the Toys in Our House or When Someone You Love Gives You Something You Don’t

 

 

The Minimalists – My friend Natalie got me hooked on this one, when we were doing our decluttering challenge back in February, and it’s very motivating to listen to when I’m cleaning out closets and cupboards, because it just makes me want to get rid of stuff! I’m in the middle of listening to “Overwhelm“, and next up will be the “Shopping” episode!

 

 

Getting Things Done I already linked to this one when I shared about bullet journaling and being efficient about getting things done. The two episodes which got me hooked were Part 1 and Part 2 of David Allen’s Keynote in Milan.

 

 

 

Personality Hacker – This one covers a ton of information about personality type tools like Myers Briggs or the Enneagram. It’s been a huge source of personal growth in my life – I’ll be writing more about that another day, but for now I’ll just say that if you’ve ever wanted to know anything about Myers Briggs, this is a very educational podcost. My recent favourite is: “How to Get Out of a Bad Mood

 

The Road Back to You – This podcast focuses on the Enneagram tool, which I love. I don’t understand it as well as Myers Briggs yet, but I’ve found this podcast (and their book by the same name) incredibly beautiful and healing. It’s made me cry numerous times, because I feel so understood! Deep pain from the past is drawn to the surface and healed when I’m listening to this one! I love it. As far as which episodes to listen to, I would recommend finding out what enneagram type you are, and then listening to any episode that have to do with your type.

 

So much good stuff to listen to! I just love podcasts. I told Ben it’s my new secret dream to do a podcast with him, but he just looked at me blankly and wanted to know what we would talk about. I said I didn’t know, and he said that wouldn’t make a very good podcast, so I guess that’s the death of my dream!!

Do you listen to any podcasts? Share your favourites – I’m always interested in trying something new! Or tell me what kind of podcast Ben and I can do so my dream can live again!?!

Save

Save