Morning, friends! Popping in today with some things I’m loving lately. Let’s get to it!
1. Back to school!
The kids are back at school as of two weeks ago and it’s soooo nice to be back in a consistent routine. This is also the first time I’ve had out of the house childcare for both kids for the majority of the day and it’s honestly working out so much better for all of us than in-home childcare was at this point. Win all around!
It took Wes about a week to settle back in to going to school after the summer break (he was at school in the spring for the first time, but his class was closed for summer and he’s too young for camp), but thankfully now he runs right in happily in the mornings. Yay!
The only downside is being back to packing snacks + now also lunches for both kids (Wes left before lunch in the spring, now he stays until early afternoon – right after nap). Matt and I never plan ahead the night before and then it’s a big rush in the mornings!
On that note – if you need some nut free preschool snack ideas, here’s a post from a couple years ago with a ton of throw together the morning of ideas that might be helpful: Healthy Packed Preschool Snack Ideas.
2. Our new kid’s picnic table
Last year at some point we were over at our friend Drew’s house, and noticed they had a really nice children’s size wood picnic table. I asked him where he got it, and he told me he made it himself and that he’d be happy to make us one, too!
He delivered it to us last week and we love it! So impressed he legit made this by hand.
It’s so perfect to have as an outdoor space for the kids to eat together and I love how sturdy it is.
We previously had a really flimsy and cheap table with 4 little chairs; the pro was it was really lightweight and small and easy to move around, but that also meant that half the time the kids would knock the table or chairs over (with themselves in them) while trying to sit down.
Attached benches and a table that doesn’t accidentally move around = major upgrade!
3. Ashwagandha (sponsored)
Have you heard of ashwagandha before? It’s an adaptogen known for its ability to support the body’s capacity to respond to stress, and helps promote a calm, relaxed state of mind.
I first started taking ashwagandha last year at the suggestion of an herbalist I worked with, and I’ve noticed a significant enough change in my baseline stress level to keep taking it.
This summer I upgraded from my original ashwagandha-only supplement to Ashwagandha Plus Calm & Focus from Life Extension, which has the addition of spearmint to promote focus and concentration (like caffeine but without the jitters).
I take it twice a day (morning and evening). I can take it with or without food and it doesn’t bother my stomach. I highly recommend giving it a shot if you could use a little more zen and focus in your life (but seriously, can’t we all?)!
They have a huge array of supplements available that are verified through independent lab testing and are constantly being refined in accordance with new clinical research developments. And on a practical level, their website is easy to use and you can set up auto shipments so you don’t have to remember to order a new bottle when your previous ones run out!
If you’re interested, use my code ANNE10 to get $10 off orders of $75 or more + free shipping over at LifeExtension.com.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
A friend who loves reading as much as I do recommended this podcast to me awhile ago and I’m obsessed, it’s so fun. I love their book clubs where they discuss books (half the time it’s ones I’ve read already – we seem to have similar taste in books), their author interviews, and last summer they had a fascinating “how a book gets made/published” series where they interviewed authors, agents, editors, etc.
One of my pipe dreams has always been to publish a book (not a cookbook, sorry friends, but rather a fiction novel – something along the lines of a coming of age romance or maybe even a thriller or a combination of the two?!) so the episodes were fascinating to me.
I’ve always loved reading and writing (makes sense I have a blog, right?) and as a kid I would sometimes start – but never finish – writing various thriller novels inspired by some of my favorite books at the time like those written by R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Alvin Schwartz, etc.
Did any of you read those books? I just had so much fun reading this post I found from another blogger called “Thriller Books I Loved as a Teen of the 90’s and 00’s” – what a trip down memory lane!
Speaking of reading, a few favorites I’ve read recently are (FYI these are Amazon affiliate links): Fourth Wing (ahhhh if you haven’t read this yet you have to it’s SO GOOD), Same Time Next Summer (loved this author’s interview on the Bad on Paper podcast recently), and The Once and Future Witches.
I’m currently reading A Million Junes, which is one of Emily Henry’s older young adult (YA) books. I love everything she writes and after reading all her newer adult romances, I started delving into some of her earlier books and have loved them, too! The Love That Split the World is another early YA book of hers that I read recently and really enjoyed.
Oh and yes, I’m 40 years old and sometimes I read YA novels. No shame.
5. Our kids got their first passports!
We are taking the kids on their first international trip around Christmastime this year with my family so we had to get them passports.
Wes’s passport photo is basically him about to cry because he was terrified of the whole random person taking a very specific photo of him thing. Poor guy!
Excited for adventures to come. Here they both are inspecting their new passport books with great interest.
I will leave you with one thing I’m NOT loving lately: this insanely hot weather. Fall, we are ready for you… please come?!
Have a nice weekend friends, and see you back here next week!