Things We're Loving Lately: February 2019


I have gotten some really great recommendations from blog friends, so I thought I'd share some of the things we are loving these days! Not just kid stuff ;) *there are some affiliate links and referral codes in this post. Thanks for supporting this tiny habit of mine!


Right around Christmas, R started asking to play games. She'd never seemed interested before, and then all of the sudden all she wanted to do was play a game. I went through our game box and found this Blink card game, which is technically supposed to be a speed game for adults, but I adapted it for playing with R, and she loves it! The whole point is to match colors, shapes, and number together, and it's honestly a fantastic game for learning.

I bought her Go Fish for Christmas, and that's been a hit also. This is the specific set I got her. The cards in this deck are large and shaped like fish, which I think adds to the fun. (Although please note that the colors are unusual. When we play, we just go by blue, green, pink, etc. At some point I'll teach her "turquoise" ha.)

We got this when R was a baby, and she loved it. Now 3.5 years later it's in awesome shape and used almost daily by J. This is my must-have toy recommendation for all moms, I think. It's been a good one for us!

My in-laws got us this set of blocks for Christmas two years ago, and to be completely honest we only built half the set because we didn't want to be overrun with blocks. But the kids love building towers and playing with these blocks nearly every day. They hold up pretty well too when the kids stand on them!

When building, we also love mega bloks. Maybe one day we will graduate to the classic tiny Legos, but for now these have worked so well. Both the kids from a young age have enjoyed playing with these, and they haven't cracked or broken even when hurled across the room. 

Hide 'n Side Tunnel - My brother and SIL got this for the kids for Christmas, and it's so fun. It folds up easily inside the bag for easy storing and pops right out for some tunnel fun! Well, mostly fun unless they both start crawling in at either end and get feisty when they meet in the middle ;)

R and I love Fancy Nancy! These books are so fun, and her family is lovely. R is really into all things princesses and pink right now, so these are in constant reading rotation at bedtime.

This is my actual favorite book to read the kids right now. They love it too, but it's for real my favorite. The rhyme is cute, and it has these really awesome areas to touch that are different from the typical touch-and-feel book out there. There is also a monster edition. And... oh my gosh while writing this I discovered there is a shark version and a spider version! NEED THEM ALL. Although if there's a snake version I will pass, thank you.


--So, of course you all know I regularly make muffins to freeze for the kids for breakfast. In case you've never seen it, here is a post with a few favorites. I posted this list in 2016 and still make all of these! I actually just made the sweet potato muffins over the weekend.

--Hello Fresh. For the past 4 months or so, we've been getting a box of Hello Fresh once a month. The box comes at the end of each month with 2 meals to feed 4 people. I still don't think Hello Fresh is at all a budget-friendly option if you're going to get it regularly, but in this season of life, it's been great for us.

All the recipes we've gotten have been easy to make and taste delicious. There have, of course, been one or two here and there that take slightly longer than the recipe said or aren't totally love for us, but we've never had a bad one, and overall we've been super happy with our subscription. Getting just one box a month is a nice break for grocery shopping and meal planning, and Jordan and I generally each take one meal to make, which is nice for me!

If you'd like to try it out, even just one time and then cancel after the first box, you can use my referral code to get $40 off your first delivery. We recently had a friend get a box on our recommendation, and they loved it!

--Groceries with Ibotta
I used to use Ibotta all the time, and then I forgot about it, and now I'm back on the train! This is an app where you can save money on groceries (along with other things) just by uploading a photo of your receipt and getting actual cash back, which you can transfer to PayPal or use to buy gift cards through the app! It's really easy to use; it's just a matter of me actually remembering to upload the receipt and add the coupons. Use my referral code to get a welcome bonus up to $20!


Maybe I should write an entire post about my various photo album and scrapbooking attempts. Let me know if that would be something you'd like. 

I have used Shutterfly for making my online photo books for years and years, but at the end of 2018 I decided I wanted to branch out.

I made a very simple photo book with some England pictures from Artifact Uprising (pictured on the left above). I think they are having a President's weekend sale of 10% through today (Tuesday); look for a code on their site.

I also created 3 Chatbooks: 2 with over 150 photos each from Instagram (on the right above) and 1 with almost 300 England photos (below). I love how they turned out and how easy they were to put together. I'm used to spending hours and hours on Shutterfly books, so it was nice to put together some photo books a bit quicker. You can use my referral code to get $10 off your first Chatbooks order. I will also say that I had an issue with my third Chatbooks, and their customer service is amazing. Super impressed with the quality of their CS, and I love the books I made.

I also just recently printed 100+ photos from Persnickety Prints. I had uploaded everything to Shutterfly and was about to place my order, but they were going to charge me almost as much to ship my photos as it cost for the photos themselves! I was like, no thank you, and I ended up using the code "welcome" for free shipping off my first order at Persnickety Prints and got the exact same order I was going to get at Shutterfly for cheaper! Plus I think the quality is going to be a lot better.

Now I want to know! What is something you've been loving lately?

Kaity B. said...

I used Chatbooks for my Christmas cards this year and loved them! Great quality and so much cheaper than the other big sites.

Amie said...

Just good old Amazon! haha Thanks for the ideas on kid stuff, I think I am going to purchase that Go Fish set. :)

Sarah said...

i love ibotta too!! and they just added aldi so i'm pumped for that 10 cent any item bonus. lol lol lol.

Natalie M said...

My MIL got the dinosaur and monster book for Parker for Christmas and they are his FAVORITES! I read them 2x each every night. Looks like I'm going to have to get the other ones now.

Natalie M said...

They also have a dragon one!

AnneMarie said...

Thank you so much for the photo recommendations! I've only ever used Shutterfly (and Wal-Mart, in a pinch) for photo books, but these other sights look great. I wish I would have jumped on the photo book train years ago-I used to scrapbook (not the "tidy" scrapbooking, but more messy and jumbled because I did not have the patience for tidiness!) and while it was fun, it was so expensive and took so much time. Photo books work so much better for me :)

Anonymous said...

I have used Shutterfly/Snapfish and have found that the coloring is off and sometimes the picture looks blurry, even though the image actually is not. I have been using Persnickety Prints for the past couple of years and I also think their quality is great. Their customer service is awesome too, I have had them call and clarify when my special instructions weren’t clear or I couldn’t have things as I requested them.

The Lady Okie said...

Whaaaaat? They added Aldi? I didn't know that. So exciting!

The Lady Okie said...

Good to know! I agree, I am not always super happy with Shutterfly's coloring on the photos I get printed. It's better than Walgreens (which I use in a pinch and never really like), but I know there is better out there, and also Shutterfly's shipping charges are ridiculous.

Jen said...

I have been loving Amazon lately! They have been coming through for me in a pinch and it has been so darn helpful!

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

Yay for photo books! It is fun to try new places to print at. Yes to Ibotta! I don't shop at Walmart a lot but to redeem Walmart receipts through Ibotta all you have to do is scan the bottom of your receipt. It is so easy.

Audrey said...

Those photo books are really lovely. We had those cardboard-like building blocks when I was a kid and they held up SO well! We even passed them on to my cousins! Were you the one to recommend the river stones a while back? I bought them for my niece (who is on the autism spectrum) and nephew for their combined birthdays and they were a HIT. Thank you!!

Rach said...

I love posts like these! I had no idea that there was a Shark version of the "Never Touch A ___" books! The Dinosaur and Monster ones are favorites over here. :) I have a friend who is super into sharks so I'm pretty sure her kiddo needs the Never Touch a Shark book. :)

Maria said...

We got deal on those cardboard building blocks ($10) and after we put them together I was 90% sure that I was going to donate them because they take up so much space...but seeing that R is still playing with them (and mastering them), I feel like the are worth hanging on to.

Playing games! I can't wait. If R loves cards games, then I highly recommend Slamwich. It's a fun matching game and comes in a tin lunchbox! I used to play with my little cousin and never got sick of it.

Rachel said...

I love real printed photos in books! I've done it a couple times here but I'm not a huge fan of the quality of Malaysia's version of online ordering photobooks. Next time somebody's going to visit us, I should probably plan ahead and make and order a book or two!

Carolann @ Finding Ithaka said...

I think that you have a great balance with the Hello Fresh box! You don't have to do it every week but it's a nice treat once a month. We just ordered a CSA box and it will get here on Sunday. It tells you what you are getting in advance, so Nick and I sat down and did two weeks of meal planning from the ingredients we're getting! It seems like an easy and cheaper way to get groceries and meal plan.We will still have to buy some stuff from the grocery store but I think getting certain things will make it easier for us to narrow down what to make. Sometimes the less options the better.

Annie said...

I'm curious to check out the chatbooks - because every photo book I've made seems to take me FOREVER. We've been really into games at our house - these two are awesome - Fat Brain Toys Ladybug's Garden Memory Game and HABA My Very First Games - First Orchard. Both are great fun for toddlers and parents! And I've been impressed with the quality of the game and the pieces.