Just like with my reading tastes, what I am listening to has changed a bit over the last few weeks. I have found that my ability to focus has shifted with my podcasts and I am seeing that I either need some small helpful bits of information, relatable banter, some inspiring messages, or maybe a quick distraction.
Fitting in Podcast Listening…
Previously podcasts made up a good part of my workday whether it was when I was editing on the computer or during my commute. Photos above are back in the “good old days”.
Now that I don’t have either of those things, both my amount of time and attention to detail has changed. I am now listening while quickly getting ready for the day, while I am doing tasks around the house, on a walk to the mailbox…and sometimes when I just need to block out the decibel level from the kids.
Hello and happy Thursday! Today looks like another beautiful Vermont June day. Yesterday the sun was shining and the kids were happy to be at the pool and I was working on this post(yes it took me multiple days…ha!) from a table nearby in the shade.
The day before the kids had swim practice and it was pouring and freezing. Weather in New England is never very predictable but we do try to soak it all in, even if it means swimming in the rain!
Favorites by Category & Theme
I have been doing some reflecting on my most loved things lately and I thought it would fun to start regularly share some of my current favorites…each time with a different category and theme. I talk about some of these types of things on my Currently Loving posts and thought it would be a fun addition to my regular posts.
Along with Day In The Life posts, I love seeing regular everyday items that people use and love. There is something so interesting to me about practical items that people use and enjoy all the time. Do you like this kind of thing too?!
These Are Some of my Favorite Things…Summer Edition!
When thinking about the things I use the most this time of year, it was super easy to come up with a list. I am very routine oriented and there is nothing that makes me happier than structure and knowing what to expect!
I am the person who parks in the same parking spots, uses the same mug for my morning coffee(with a stainless steel straw) and don’t you dare try and make me stand in a different place of the barre studio!!! So needless to say, this list is somewhat practical but all of these things have stood the test of time which I think is very important when making a suggestion. I hope you enjoy seeing some of my very favorite things…summer edition style!
If you don’t have plastic Birkenstocks yet, how are you even surviving summer? Summer in Vermont is very unpredictable, it will be beautiful and sunny and an hour later it will be pouring rain. Sometimes it is hot and sometimes it is freezing! I have a few go-to summer shoes but my rubber Birkenstocks are my number one pick.
They are so comfortable (I love the molded footbed for arch support) and are awesome because they can get super wet (unlike the regular Birkenstocks) so they make the perfect pool, beach or just regular life shoe. I am a size 8.5 in women’s shoes and I get the 39 and it fits perfectly.
I love that I have more time with my kids this summer, but they are also LOUD!! Whether they are happy, unhappy, excited or mad, it all is a rather high noise level and most of the time that is totally fine, but everyone has a limit. 😉
I have flexibility with my job and do most of my work on the day I have a babysitter or early in the morning before they wake up, but sometimes it doesn’t all get done and life overlaps. I was hesitant to buy wireless headphones for a long time, and a lot of it had to do with the price point. I wasn’t sure if I would love them and it seemed like a big commitment. I read review after review and finally bit the bullet last fall and ordered these.
Under $40, impressive sound quality and easy to use and charge!
They were under $40 which seemed reasonable and seemed easy enough to use…which was also something I was worried about as someone who struggles with new technology…
6+ months later I am so pleased with them! I use them to listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I am working or even cleaning the house. They charge easily by plugging them into my computer (or a USB charger), are super comfortable and the sound quality is amazing. And back to the kid’s noise levels, sometimes I just wear them as noise canceling headphones and they do a great job with that too!
I talked about my love for UV sun-shirts back in April and my fondness for them is still going strong. I have worn them swimming in the ocean, at the pool, on the baseball field and while picking strawberries last weekend. I am ALL about sun protection and this top is super comfortable, fitted without being too snug and very lightweight. I am a size 8-10 in US women’s sizing and I ordered a large for reference.
We bought our Sport-Brella two summers ago and it was life changing! We store it on our boat so we have it with us when we go to the beach. This umbrella is amazing because it can be used standing upright like a regular beach umbrella or down on one side as pictured, more like a half tent. We would have loved having this with young babies but we still get so much use out of it now. It is so nice to have a shady spot that is also super easy to set up and disassemble.
To make it even easier to set up and even more secure, we have thisscrew-in sand anchor and it is the best little accessory!
Give me ALL the skorts. As someone with a more, umm, curvy figure, I know the struggles of trying to wear dresses or shirts when it is hot and sweaty out…ugh the thigh rubbing! If you don’t know this struggle, consider yourself lucky! And if you do, welcome to the club! There are many amazing options now and skorts are one of them. I have two skorts from Athleta and they are wonderful!! I have this one in grey and they also have it black. It is currently on sale and in stock in all sizes! I ordered a large for reference.
A few years ago I learned about the wonders of foot peels. If you haven’t heard about these before there are tons of articles sharing informative reviews (and very detailed photos like this one HERE). While you may think it is gross, they really work!! I have used a few different kinds and they all work the same, these are just the most cost-effective ones I have found and the foot booties are super easy to use. To make this even easier I put a pair of socks on over them while I do the peel so I can continue on with life as usual in the evening time.
I could go on and on about sun protection all day long. You will never find me out in the sun without a hat on, but it is hard to find ones that don’t make you even sweat even more. We have a few of these hats and they fit our whole family with just a quick tightening (or loosening) of the velcro in the back. They really do what they claim and they are breathable and dry super quickly, which makes them great for when we are at the pool or on the boat.
Face sunscreen always seems like a tricky thing to find, both for myself and for the kids. For me, I want to be able to put it on first thing under my makeup and not have it feel sticky or greasy. For the kids, I want it to stay on when they are in and all of the water all day and also not cause a huge fuss when we have to reapply it several times a day.
Both of these do the trick and are a go-to in my shopping cart. The Elta Md sunscreen has been a favorite of mine for years. As someone with sensitive and acne prone skin(you can read more about that HERE) I needed something that worked but that was also not irritating or super greasy. This goes on super easily just like a face lotion and I love the pump style bottle.
The Babo Botanicals face stick has been awesome for the kids and I love that it is easy to apply (no tears!) whether we are putting it on them or they are doing it themselves. It has great coverage but also rubs in really well. Highly recommend!
I talked more about my favorite body sunscreen in my Currently Loving post last week but we are obsessed with The Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen Pump. It may seem ginormous but it’s awesome and lasts a long time, even when you are using it daily. It is super easy to rub in too which we are always a fan of.
This is more of a year-round obsession but I have been so impressed with this Lavish Lash eyelash and brow serum. I have been using it since last fall to grow back in the outer parts of my eyebrows which were the result of years of serious overplucking. I started using it on my lashes too and after a couple of weeks, there was a noticeable difference!
A bottle lasts a couple months of daily use and hasn’t been irritating at all. I tend to wear less makeup in the summer, and don’t wear mascara every day, and I love how this has not only lengthened my lashes but also made them fuller.
One of the best parts about summer is that we don’t have to leave the house until almost an hour later than during the school year. This means there are a few bookworms in our house that have been staying up later and reading and these clip-on book lights are amazing! You can adjust the brightness of the light and you charge them by plugging them into your computer or USB port. They are also great for travel!
When it comes to footwear for our kids, we are in the less is more category. They have Bogs boots for fall, winter & spring, sneakers year round and Natives for summer. The kids have had these since they were toddlers and they are THE BEST!
We have always called them “racing shoes” because when our older son was little he thought they made him go SUPER FAST. 🙂 They are the best summer shoes, not just for going in the water. They are super easy to clean, we just toss them in the laundry and are so great for quick on and off. Unless we are doing a lot of walking, these are the only shoes they wear all summer.
I use my Scout bags/organizers all the time. They are structured so they stand upright and don’t lose their shape, which can happen with a lot of tote bags. They are also great because you can wipe them down(so I don’t stress about them getting a little dirty/setting them down outside) they zip closed, they have a reasonable price point and they also have the cutest patterns.
After years of having a diaper bag, it feels nice to be able to still have a lot of storage but also just have it look like a regular bag. Now to be fair, I think diaper bags have come along way in 9 years, so that is what I am comparing it to, ha!
I have the Daytripper Tote that I use as a summer purse/”catch-all” and we have the Weekender Tote that is perfect for a beach/pool trip or a night away. Although our kids are older now, we still carry around a ton of stuff. These bags are so versatile and I love that there are so many size options. I use my daytripper bag every single day, and I have a second one that I use for a work/gym bag as well.
We have the Junque Trunk in the bag of my car and it is amazing! I use the bottom if it to store things we use frequently but not all the time (waterproof blanket, Crazy Creek chair for sports games, and reusable shopping bags) and then when I get groceries, it is a great place to store them on the way home os they don’t tip over or spill.
Finally, the Packing Heat Makeup Bag is amazing! It is a perfect size and I love that it has the interior side pocket that I use for makeup brushes. It is super easy to wash out if anything spills and after a couple of years of daily use, it still looks brand new.
I told you there would be some practical items on here and these definitely fit into that category. When you can’t wear a skort, these are a great alternative! 😉 I don’t like to wear dresses that much, but when I do, these Skimmies slip shorts are awesome to wear underneath and provide the perfect defense again the dreaded “thigh rub”…
They are long enough that they don’t show when you wear a shorter dress but long enough so that they don’t ride up. I am in a wedding in a couple of weeks and you better believe I will be wearing these! They have the benefits of Spanx without the super amount of compression which often isn’t necessary or comfortable.
I have to finish this list off with my favorite thing probably ever. I love drinking water, I love having a lot of it and I love drinking with a straw. I don’t go anywhere without a water bottle and I am not joking.
A few months ago I found one of these tumblers on the clearance rack at Target because the packing was damaged, and I knew it was a sign. I probably didn’t need any more tumblers or water bottles, but it was just too good of a deal to pass up. I have not gone a day without using it! They are amazing for water but you can also use them for ice coffee/tea, or even a cocktail.
You can use it with the lid and straw or without. I love the style of the straw because unlike most stainless steel ones, it has a silicone piece in the middle so it bends! I knew I had to share this in my favorites list and even better, these colors (along with grey if you are boring) are 20% off right now! Enjoy!!!
Alright, I hope you enjoyed this collection of my tried and true summer favorites. Do you have anything you would add to yours? I would love to hear!!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale. This helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you so much.
Good morning! How is your week going? We are in our second to last week of school for the boys and life feels very full right now. This time of the year has many highs and it also is quite hectic. The days are long with late evening baseball games and the kids full of energy and excitement about all the fun end of the school year activities.
It is a great time of year but also hard to find that feeling of balance. Work demands and everything else that comes along with “adulthood” does not just pause when family life becomes more demanding, and it is something we are constantly trying to juggle.
There is also this frantic pace to finish “all the things” on my end before the kids are home for summer. While we do have some summer childcare, it is quite minimal, so anything that isn’t super urgent (work obligations) gets pushed to the side until school starts again.
While the kids have been in school for a while now, this is only my 2nd summer of juggling work and the kids during summer vacation and it is definitely a work in progress. From my conversations with other parents, no matter how you swing it, it is a stressful season in many ways. It is helpful to know we are not alone and like most things, it will all work out. I tend to get the most apprehension about things BEFORE they happen because I start thinking about it too much. It is good to plan, but not to overthink every possible scenario…which is easier said than done! I do know that once we make the transition we will find our groove and like all Vermont summers, it will fly by. <3
While there is a lot of talk of summer, we have yet to see much summer weather around here. Usually by the time June come around it is warmer, but this year has been interesting. I shouldn’t complain because it was snowing in Quebec this week, but it has been unusually cold here. Vermonters don’t have their heat on in June, mostly out of principle, so my blanket has come in handy this week at work and at the kid’s baseball games.
And the best part about it is it stuffs into this little bag, just like a sleeping bag, and it is super light and easy to keep in the back of your car. I think it is a camping blanket, but as someone who doesn’t do a lot of camping, I can see many other great uses for it! I wore it wrapped around my legs like a burrito the other night and it kept me toasty warm.
I know I know, I need to stop talking about Chernobyl on HBO, but it really is that good. Lucas and finished the fifth and final episode in the docu-drama miniseries last night. It came out on Monday night, but there is no way I could stay up late enough to watch something that comes on at 9pm, ha! So anyway, we finished it last night and it was just amazingly well done. If you haven’t watched yet, you need to add it to your list.
I love a good tinted lip balm and a few months ago I tried the sample version of Lipstick Queen in the color Frog Prince. It is green in the tube, but it changes to a lovely shade of pinkish red (maybe a bit of coral?), depending on your pH and skin tone.
It is the perfect pop of color and moisture and I have found myself reaching for it over my previously preferred Burts Bees tinted lip balm so I thought I should share! I did try the Hello Sailor shade as well which is more of a plum color and it was a bit too purple on me for my pale skin tone but I have heard great reviews about that one as well.
I am off to grab the kids at school and then we are headed to a baseball playoff game this evening. I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday!
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a more hectic Saturday with the opening day of Little League yesterday which included a parade, team photos, and two baseball games. I love watching the kids play sports, especially one that they love so much but it was a long day for everyone.
It is a quick season that is jam-packed but I always miss it once it is over. We are in a league that is made up of a few different smaller towns so we always meet new friends. It also feels fun to be a “part” of a team without the stress of actually having to play the game…I always liked being on a team just for the camaraderie but not really the sport playing part…such an athlete over here! 😉
Yesterday we had a lazy day around the house. We had friends over in the morning and the kids played outside with the neighbors in the afternoon and I read on the porch, I would call that a win!
My Rothy’s!! I don’t know what took me so long to try them, but when a friend sent me a link for $20 off my first order, I had to try them! I love having ballet flats to wear in the spring but I have a hard time finding any that are comfortable and durable! Rothy’s are washable and lucky for me, I was able to put them to the day the very first day when I was wearing them and also cooking dinner. Let me tell you, they were a breeze to throw in the wash the grease stain came right out! And they still look just as good as the day they arrived.
They are super comfortable and fit true to size for me but I have heard some people think they run a tiny bit small so keep that in mind. I am an 8.5 and that is what I ordered. I chose The Flat in the charcoal color but I was also tempted by The Loafer style, particularly in the Safari print. Have you tried these?? If you would like $20 off your order you can use my referral link HERE.
Currently listening to…
I have been loving the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast by Laura Tremaine. I especially loved her episode about skincare with Jamie Golden. I shared about my skincare routine back in December and while I still use all of those items…I have added in a few more as I have learned more about skincare and anti-aging routines.
I have been using Differin Gel. Yup, I am in my mid-30s and I still have acne, specifically hormonal acne. While I have gotten it pretty under control there were still a couple popping up every month that were mostly annoying more than anything but sometimes could actually be quite painful.
After reading hundreds of reviews online I decided to go for it a few months ago, and I have been so impressed! My skin is used to a retinol cream which helps your skin cells “turnover” so that might have helped but basically Differin causes a similar effect..resulting in clearer pores from the inside out. I only use a tiny amount and just put it on my T-zone and chin because I found it was causing my nose, specifically underneath it to get super dried out. So far so good!
To help retain moisture, Niacinamide has been a game changer! If you want to hear exactly how it works, Jamie explained it SO well in the above podcast episode in a super easy to understand manner…but this is what it is known for:
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide works with the natural substances in skin to visually refine large pores, fine lines + wrinkles, promote even skin tone and replenish its moisture barrier to help hold onto hydration.
Especially because I have been using something in my routine that is drying, moisturizing effectively has been SO important.
Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed because while I love skincare I feel like a real rookie and this episode was the first time it all really made sense to me and didn’t sound like a foreign language when she was explaining it! I have been adding a few drops to my current face lotion (Countermatch lotion) and it has been a great addition.
Finally, I have been learning more about chemical exfoliates which sound scary but they are actually way less irritating than physical exfoliants. While I think there is a place for both, I am so happy to know about something that works so well without being so abrasive. I have been applying this with my (clean) fingertips or using a reusable face pad like these below…
We have been counting down the days until Chernobyl on HBO is released and tonight is the night! I obviously cannot stay up until 10pm so we will probably watch it tomorrow but we have heard great things.
What’s new with you? Do you have anything you are currently loving? I would love to hear! Have a great Monday. <3
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it supports this blog at no cost to you.
Hello! Do you notice anything different around here?! I feel like I have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with having Coffee Talk Tuesday. Absolutely NO ONE cares what day I post this, but I work best by external motivators so having a day I do things keeps me accountable.
Do you have a day of the week that always feels more frantic than the others? Tuesday is that for me. It is a shorter school day which means everything else is crammed into fewer hours and this blog, as much as I love, doesn’t always end up being my top priority. And I love sharing what I am currently loving, so I am devoting an entirely new day to it!
I often end up starting these posts (or any posts on here) and needing to come back to finish it later. I have this fantasy of writing pre-scheduled posts but I don’t know… I could do that with reviews and but I really like the journaling in real time aspect of blogging like this. Maybe it is because I was a “blogger” 10 years ago too and that is how it was done! I miss those days, times were so simple. 😉
Do you still read a lot of blogs? I still follow a ton on “Bloglovin” which I don’t think is entirely user-friendly but I like that it lets me know when blogs I follow are updated. I miss Google Reader and I was so sad when they shut it down because I haven’t found anything that compares…it was the best!
Alright, enough of that…on to what I am currently up to this week…
First, I need to give a shout out to the 24/7 chat support at WordPress! As I have been working on making this blog more user-friendly, content heavy and sometimes just more pleasing to the eye, I have had A LOT of questions. They are so helpful! It’s so nice to have immediate help even at 5 in the morning…So if you have a WordPress blog and have no idea what you are doing too…check out the help section!
I am also loving all the sunshine this week, it truly makes such a big difference. We have had winter weather here since November and although it doesn’t look like spring quite yet, just having the longer days and some sunny days is so good for your soul and your mental health!
We have been watching the HBO documentary about Adnan Syed and it is totally making me want to listen to Serial again! It has been so long that is hard for me to remember all the details. Like a lot of people, it was the first podcast I ever listened to and it opened my eyes to a whole new world of content!
Well, I am not currently eating this but we have been on a poke bowl kick from The Scale lately and oh my gosh, it is just the best lunch ever! I have mine with salmon or tuna and Kristy likes chicken. We don’t get them a lot but is a fun lunch treat and is always so filling.
Today I had a mozzarella burrata ball, carrot sticks, and 4 thin mints, so you can’t win them all…but it was delicious!
Currently listening to…
I love listening to non-fiction on Audible and I am so excited to start this new book that was recommended by a reading friend. After being very disappointed by Girl, Stop Apologizing (review to come soon!),I am so excited to be moving on to something I think I will connect a lot more with.
Molly Millwood is a local psychologist and I am so looking forward to her conversation in To Have and to Hold regarding motherhood and marriage…As someone who struggled immensely during the transition to parenthood, I can so relate to how the addition of a small baby can rock your world in such a life-changing way.
“A clinical therapist’s exploration of the complexities of early motherhood, including its impact on a marriage, in a book that offers comfort, camaraderie, and practical guidance to new mothers.
When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for all that she would gain: an adorable baby boy, hard-won mothering skills, and a messy, chaotic, love-filled home. But she didn’t anticipate what she would lose: an identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of wellbeing. And just when she was feeling her most vulnerable, her happy marriage-long a bedrock of stability and comfort-seemed to shift in unexpected ways too, tinged by anger and resentment.
As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event-she was not broken, and neither was her marriage. But without the benefit of such a perspective, many of women she saw in treatment grappled with shame, self-doubt, and fear-all the while struggling to confide in, trust, or seek comfort in their partners.
In To Have and To Hold, Molly illuminates the ways in which motherhood impacts a woman emotionally, psychologically, physically, and professionally as well as how it impacts the stability and harmony of her relationship. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy comes thorny issues such as identity, control, autonomy, and dependency. And these issues are, most often, experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of complication, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time.
As Molly examines the inextricable link between women’s wellbeing as new mothers and the wellbeing of their relationships, she offers information and guidance to help readers reclaim their identities and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, rigorous research, and stories from Molly’s clinical practice, To Have and To Hold provides a lifeline to new mothers everywhere.”
That’s all for today! I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday. <3
Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start. We are currently experiencing a February thaw, which means that we are having some spring-like weather and also a lot of mud! The kids are loving the spring-like weather and it was nice to soak in some warm sunshine today because we know winter weather will be back soon.
What are you listening to?
I finished the Believed podcast this past weekend and it was incredible. It was heartbreaking but so inspiring at the same time. It was such a good reminder about why it is so important to share our stories, even when they are hard. It is an excellent example of the #metoo movement and the impact of just one person coming forward and the powerful effect that can have on other survivors and sharing their stories.
I also started Dr. Death this past week after so many recommendations. I wasn’t sure if it would be too “medical” for my taste but after the first episode, it really isn’t. It is so devastating that this actually happened because so many people have faith that the medical system would do the “right” thing and if you are into true crime series, I would definitely recommend it.
What are you watching?
We finished The Ted Bundy Tapes series last week on Netflix but we haven’t started anything yet else. Do you have any recommendations? I love documentaries the most!
What are you loving?
I am all about making life simple and I last year I learned about Peaceable Kingdom Valentines on Amazon. We used to DIY the kids valentines and it was fun but now that they have to write 20ish names on each of the card and envelopes, it became more of a fight than an actually enjoyable experience. So we compromise and we order premade valentines and they still write out the names for everyone, and everyone is much happier.
What are you wearing?
I wear tons of different workout tops (my Old Navy ones are my fav) but I am very picky about bottoms. I have three pairs of the Salutation tights from Athleta and there is seriously nothing better. They are a high rise (pulling them up all throughout class is the worst and these stay put) and they are the perfect “supportive” feeling while still be totally comfortable. I get them in the 7/8 length which is like a full-leg length on me (I am 5’4″ and tend to wear petite length pants in general). I have had to hem my workout pants from other places in the past so this is a total win for me!