Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Favorites

July has proven to be a crazy-busy, HOT, exhausting month for our family! I say it every year, but I just can't wrap my mind around how many things we have to do over the summer, and how extremely fast it all goes! It's been tough to find very many "me" moments, but on the few occasions that I have, here are the things I've loved!

A Beautiful Mess &
Rhonna Designs Apps

If you guys don't already have these, what are you waiting for?! I believe they are only $.99 and $1.99 (respectively), and they are worth every penny! Both apps come with adorable doodles, fonts, graphics, frames, and effects that you can use to make Instagram a ton of fun! I'm telling you, these apps are my favorite "fun" apps - and not just for now, but of all time! It took me a bit longer to get the hang of the Rhonna Designs app, mostly because it is so chock full of things to play with (I still can't remember what is where, and I don't know how I could ever use everything there is to use because you get SO MUCH!). And my one complaint about the RD app is that it doesn't automatically save your finished product to your camera roll the way A Beautiful Mess does, and that sometimes leads to me losing a pretty image I love (as far as being able to upload it to a photo hosting site). Both of them are crazy fun, very versatile, and make pictures look oh-so-cute!

Sally Hansen Dry Kwik
I've been meaning to write an official review on this, and I will eventually, so I'll just be brief. I've used other products before, but this one actually delivers! It absolutely gets your nails DRY in a few minutes. Like, can go to bed and not wake up with the print of your sheets on your nails, dry! Or throw some nail polish on your toes before walking out the door without smudging them. Or actually have time to let your nails dry before your kids start touching them, or getting their peanut butter sandwiches all over them, or asking you to wipe their bums! It's a total must-have for a busy mom, and I believe I only paid about $4 for it. My sole complaint is that if you put it on too soon, you can end up with bubbles in your polish, and sometimes I'm in SUCH a rush to get my nails dry that I end up with a whole bunch. Plus, this isn't a top coat, so you have to wait until you can rub in the excess (it's mineral oil based) before you can add a top coat (if you want to). Still well worth it for the money if you ask me, and I've used it A LOT this month!

Oh, I love a good Craigslist deal! I love a good deal, period, but the great thing about Craigslist is that in comparison to a thrift store, you can search for exactly what you want instead of physically searching all over for it, and unlike a garage sale, you can check out the merchandise and negotiate prices without the awkwardness of being face-to-face with the person selling their second-hand stuff. This month alone, I've gotten an Eddie Bauer high chair for $30, a Fisher Price art easel for $5, a dinning room table set that seats six for $100, a kid's elephant shaped humidifier for $5, and clothes for both the new baby & my pregnancy for crazy cheap! Next on the wish list? Sturdy side tables that I can paint a pretty color to add some life to my living room!

Every year, we take the kids to u-pick farms for a bunch of different fresh produce. Every summer we go after Strawberries & Blueberries, and in the fall it's Apples and Pumpkins. We hope to add Raspberries to the list this year, too! But my favorite of them all is the Blueberries. There is such an incredible difference between fresh-picked local Blueberries, and the ones you buy in the little plastic pints in the grocery store. The flavor is completely different! They last a bit longer than the fresh-picked Strawberries, and they are as great (if not better!) for snacking as they are for yummy recipes. My first born LOVES blueberries, too, so we both get a lot of enjoyment out of the picking and eating experience of blueberries! This year we picked 8+ pounds of these babies (er, probably more, because a lot of them went home in my son's belly...), and we have been totally enjoying them! The other day, I made homemade Blueberry Crumb Muffins that are just to die for (I think it's the sour cream!), and just snacking on them fresh has been so delish! Next on the baking agenda is Lemon Blueberry Quick Bread and Blueberry Smoothies!

Bikini So Teeny by Essie
There are A LOT of gorgeous summer colors by Essie, but Bikini so Teeny is the color I keep grabbing for this July! It's such a pretty, light blue with a hint of sparkle to it. I think it'll be a very pretty winter color, too! The coral color pictured with it is Tart Deco, which is another fav of mine this summer, and it looks great with a bright pink.

$.17 Notebooks, and ALL THE OFFICE SUPPLIES
I don't know what it is, but there is just something about office supplies! Notebooks, packs of paper, new packages of pens and Sharpies, highlighters, new crayons, new markers, labels, laminating sheets, binders, folders, paper punches, washi tapes, stickers, planners of all guys, I LOVE OFFICE SUPPLIES. When I was in school, I went NUTS on this stuff. If you want to really rewind, I was kind of a Lisa Frank fanatic. But in my college days, specifically, I would over-indulge on every color of highlighter in production, as well as every color Sharpie in existence (I mean really, what is there to do with a blue so light it doesn't show up on anything?). I bought a new planner every semester, even if the previous one wasn't totally full. I just LOVE this stuff! I have a whole lot of spiral notebooks in this house - on bookshelves, on my night stand, full ones packed away in boxes - and each one is filled with something different. Many of them are haphazard collections of things. On a recent trip to Walmart (an act of desperation, we don't visit Walmart otherwise), my husband found a display of $.17 notebooks, and he grabbed one for me. To me, getting a fresh notebook is like Carrie Bradshaw getting a new pair of shoes! I started writing in it that very night - lists, ideas, quotes, plans - and then I took a package of labels and used them to make page tabs. I've been carrying this thing around for a couple weeks now, jotting things down in it and making new tabs as I go. Who would have thought that seventeen cents could bring a gal so much happiness?

Tastefully Simple's Raspberry Jalapeno Sauce
I hosted a Tastefully Simple party in June, and one of the things I had on my wish list was their Raspberry Jalapeno Sauce. There's this Raspberry salsa I get from the farm stand where we go apple picking every year that I am CRAZY about, so I figured I would love this just as much. When I sampled it at the party, it was love at first bite! I ordered a jar, and it is FABULOUS! I've used it as a dip for almost anything you can imagine (chips, bread, pretzels, soft pretzels, chicken), but my favorite thing to do with it is add it to sandwiches! I know this might sound a little crazy, and my husband thinks I'm totally weird for it, but I love making grilled cheese with it! It adds a super great flavor to plain old grilled cheese - you've got to give it a try!

What were your favorite things this July?

1 comment:

  1. I think my boyfriend would like that sauce. He loves anything jalapeno!

    Amanda Rose