Kids are out of school, the sun is up, temperatures are high, and we've already had our first hurricane scare - summer is officially here. June was a busy month, and I hit a new parenting milestone - my first month ever with all three kids home ALL the time. It's super scary, super rewarding, and super crazy, but that's just the way it goes these days. Hopefully, you're off to a great summer and enjoy this month's favorites list!
Painting with water is a daily activity around our house. I give each kid a cup of water, a $0.99 paint brush and let them have at it. Sometimes they'll splash each other, sometimes they quietly paint the brick to watch it change colors, and every time they fight over who gets which cup, but it’s still good clean fun. As much as I’m grateful for the DVD player in my van, I wanted to find an alternative to 100% TV time on road trips, and the “Travel Doodle” is my solution. I have one for each kid, and, so far, the worst thing that can happen is we lose a pen to an over-zealous painter, but we have back-ups! This way I feel a smudge less guilty on road trips, and the kids can take their favorite activity out on the open road.
Erin Condren Life Planner “ECLP"
Be still my ever loving planning heart! Every year in June, Erin Condren releases their new Life Planner, and this one takes the cake! I prefer a more simple layout, while still fun, so the neutral scheme is perfect. However, my most favorite new feature is the brand new paper 118 gsm weight paper (I’m a paper snob), which feels luxurious to write on, but also wears well throughout the year, which is important when you think about how often you turn those pages. There is a multitude of options when you go to build your own, and I highly recommend this planner to any and everyone. Whether you’re 16 or 60, everyone has things to keep track of, and you might as well have a little fun doing it!
Talk about a new fan favorite! I discovered the brand, Ultra Violet Kids, at a shop in Graham, TX (Grass Stains) last Spring Break while we were visiting family. I’d been dying to pop-in, and when I got the chance, I went straight to the kid's section. Not only are the patterns vibrant and playful, but they are light as a feather. We live in a HOT climate, and Charlotte only wants to wear dresses. After feeling these, I knew it would be perfect for playing outside in those blazing summer days. With that said, I have put this dress to the test regarding durability, and I’m impressed. I throw it in the machine once a week to wash it, hang it up to dry and, ta-da! I’ll admit that I steam it (along with most of her wardrobe) for good measure, but it launders very well. Charlotte loves wearing it, loves twirling in it, and it’s currently on sale for $32 - win/win!
We always say that if we win the lottery, we’re moving to a small town and opening up a no-kill dog shelter/rescue group… we’re those people. Since Mike and I got married, we’ve owned five dogs and had a few dozen fosters pups as well. With all that puppy love we’ve tested out just about every squeaky toy, dog bowl, leash, collar, and harness on the market, and we’ve developed some well-researched opinions. It’s frustrating to watch your pet chase their bowl around the kitchen while eating, and, inevitably, one of our kids is going to step in it, slip, fall down, and start crying - enter Bowlmates. This bowl comes in two parts - the glass insert, for easy cleaning, and the non-slip base. Not only is it incredibly functional, but it’s also great-looking. There are tons of different base options to suit your fancy, and it’s worth noting that these glass inserts are highly durable. Cheers pups!
If you have access to Sirius XM, check out Garth Brooks’ channel 55. My father-in-law first turned me onto it, and it’s been in my top five presets ever since. The station either plays Garth Brooks or his favorite songs, so it ends up sounding like a well-curated mixtape from the last sixty years. For whatever reason, I’ve done a lot of reflecting over the last month, more so than usual and when this song came on the other day, my ears perked up. I started thinking about all the things high school and college age Jordan used to pray for (good grades, boyfriends, girlfriends…) and thought “MAN am I glad none of that came true!” Right after feeling like I dodged a bullet, I started to ponder the petitions I’ve had over the last year or two that didn’t come to fruition. I don’t have the hindsight to see God’s goodness in those unanswered prayers yet, but it feels good just to know it’s there.