Things I’m loving lately

Oh, hello there!  Just popping in to tell you about a few things I’m loving lately.  I’d love to promise I’ll be back regularly, but I usually fail when I say that.  Life is busy, and I find myself putting so much time into Columbus on the Cheap, that I struggle to justify writing over here.  It’s silly, because while COTC provides income, this space brings me more joy – and its a great way to save memories.  And I’ve talked about how obsessed I am with recording memories.

Speaking of which, I’ve been doing a great job at sorting photos to (someday) put into albums.  In a world where people no longer print many photos, I actually print too many.  I loved flipping through photo albums as a child, and I want my kids to be able to do the same.  The difference is, is that when I was growing up, photos were typically only reserved for special occasions because you had to buy the film AND pay for it to be developed.  I print so many that I worry they’ll be less special, so I’m trying to really only plan to include the really good ones in the albums, and keep the rest in storage boxes.  As such, as I print photos, I’m trying to be more picky about what to print.  It’s just hard because my kids are the most adorable things ever (says every mother), and so many photos have a distinct memory attached to them for me.

But back to my favorites, here are a few things I’m loving lately….

  • Free People Beach Cocoon

I’ve loved this shirt for so long, even though I just bought it.  One of my good friends has had it for years and we have a photo of her wearing it on our fridge, and every time I’ve looked at it for the past 3 years, I’ve wanted it.  I feel like I remember her saying she got it at Marshall’s, so I never thought to ask her what brand it was so I could look it up (because sometimes those are discontinued styles or hard to find brands).   I finally determined that it’s the Free People Beach Cocoon.  Months ago, Costco had it online for $29 and I was so excited. You guys know how I love buying my clothes from Costco.  I kept meaning to text my friend to ask about sizing, and I forgot…so i totally missed out on getting it there and I’m still kicking myself.  Costco has such easy returns that it was stupid I didn’t just order it.  Well, in the last several months, every single fashion blogger in the world has picked this up as a must-have (Kelley had it first though!). Nordstrom has it, and at the regular price of $76, its way more than I’d ever pay for a shirt.  Anyway, it finally went on sale at Nordstrom for around $44, and I decided I was willing to pay that, even though its probably more than I’ve ever paid for a shirt.  I got the gray and loooove it, so it was worth it. It’s comfy and drapey, and I love the neckline, which can apparently double as a hood if needed.  Reviews were all over the place for sizing, but it only comes in 2 sizes – XS/S and M/L.  I typically would buy a Large, so I went with the L/XL and while it’s a little wide, it’s the look its supposed to be.  So I’d say it’s true to size.  It’s not too wide to leave untucked, or I can half tuck.  It’s a little too short for leggings, but I like it with skinny jeans.  If you see me somewhere out of the house not wearing workout clothes, I’m probably wearing this.  It’s still on sale, but goes in and out of stock constantly (thanks to fashion bloggers constantly suggesting it), and the available colors change often.  I got it in green too, because I love it that much – even for $40+. There are knock-offs on Amazon (here and here), but the reviews are all over the place, so I haven’t ordered one.

  • Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Jeggings

I still loooove my Democracy jeans, but I’ve been grabbing these Old Navy Jeggings regularly to wear lately after my sister told me I had to buy them.  They have a stretchy wide flat waistband (like maternity jeans!), but they stay up.  I can wear them twice before washing, and I love how there’s no button at the waistband sticking out under my shirts.  Democracy jeans only come in limited colors/washes, so I love that the Solstice color (Golden Gate is shown above so you can see the waistband) and I also got the black ones because I didn’t have any black jeans.  Summer loves the deconstructed ones, but I don’t like giant holes in my knees and the pair I received were too deconstructed (plus my kids pick at frays on my jeans and would have eventually torn the frays into holes). I haven’t jumped on the colored jeans bandwagon bc they always make my butt look big, but I may try the Olive ones at some point.  Here are all of the colors.  I actually wore the Solstice ones with my Free People Beach Cocoon shirt today to bowling with Jenson’s preschool.

  • Sand Volleyball
photo via Flannagan’s FB page

I feel like this is almost silly to state because most people who know me know that I play volleyball as much as I can (considering life with toddlers and having moved out of the city away from the leagues).  But I’ve only ever played sand volleyball when that was the only option (in the summer).  I usually just subbed and played in the spot of the person who was out on the team.  But lately…I started playing in a women’s 4’s indoor sand volleyball league, and I LOOOOVE it.  Flannagan’s (formerly home to terrible rec leagues/beer leagues, built an indoor fieldhouse with 6 courts and it’s awesome.  We had games when it was 10 degrees outside and were completely comfortable in there.  Defense is by far my strength, so now that I’m playing in the back spot (you don’t rotate in sand 2’s or 4’s), I feel like I’m at home.  I love the girls I’m playing with, and we went undefeated in our league.  We are playing in a tournament on Saturday, so I’m excited to see how we do.  I’ll play indoor again, but right now I’m happy here.  Of course, once the sand leagues move outdoors, I may have slightly less love for it….the wind, the sun, the rain, etc…were all things that made sand vb less desirable to me in the first place.  But if I’m being honest, my damaged elbow is on borrowed time, so I’ll play while I can, and stop when it’s done.

  • Black Mirror

I started watching this Netflix show after I kept seeing people recommend it.  It’s FAR outside my typical taste, as it’s pretty much within the sci-fi/futuristic/social media gone wrong genre – so much so that Lo already watched it without me because he didn’t think I’d ever want to watch it (he watches sci-fi on his own).  Each episode is separate, like a mini-move, and I’m really digging it.  Some episodes are slightly more sci-fi than I prefer, but I really love the more futuristic ones.

  • The Ordinary Skincare

I won’t go too into much detail about this skincare line right now, but I decided to try it around Christmas when I saw a FB friend/makeup artist post about it.  Basically, they are the same ingredients with high-end skincare, but at low prices.  Their mission is to bring integrity back to skincare; ie show that companies don’t need to rip people off for quality product.   There are tons of options (AHA/BHA hyaluronic acid, retinoid, Vitamin C, etc) mostly priced between $5-$15, and it took me some time to research to decide which formulas to try.  They are free of parabens, sulphates, and other gross things, and don’t test on animals. They also have very little, if any, scent.  I’ll talk more about what I’m using in another post (mostly the ones pictured above), but they do now offer a “The No-Brainer Set” that is simple option to get people started.  This set is a good anti-aging kit, with 3 products for $30.  I order from Deceim (they have a regimen guide to help you pick, plus they are very responsive in the reviews, so there’s a lot of info if you read those), but Sephora now carries a small part of the line too.

  • Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste

I received a tube of this to try out from BzzAgent and have been using it for several days.  I have some tooth sensitivity – apparently from normal age-related gum recession, etc. (because at 38 I’m getting closer to 50, and then your teeth fall out – inside joke).  It’s nothing serious, but a dental hygienist recommended switching brands of sensitivity toothpastes every couple of months, because your teeth get used to a formula (which I was starting already).  I’ve never tried this kind, and I love it already.  I haven’t noticed any sensitivity with cold water or ice cream (currently eating), and my teeth feel clean.  Win-win.

  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood

We have this book in a hardback collection of bedtime stories, and it’s one of Marlowe’s favorites right now (it was one of Jenson’s favorites a few months ago).  I love the flow of the book, and the kids love the repetitiveness. They often say the words along with me, and Marlowe likes pointing out the animals on each page.

  • Water Wow books

Marlowe LOOOOOVVVES to color – and she’s actually pretty neat for her age.  Except she also likes to color on her skin, clothing, sometimes the walls.  We only use washable markers and crayons these days and try to keep the coloring limited to at the kitchen table.  One thing that we like to have for her to use anywhere are these Water Wow books.  You fill the brush pen with water and the color appears when you color the page with it.  When it dries, it goes back to black and white – so totally reusable.  They both really like these, but Marlowe is SO into coloring that they are something I’d call a toddler lifesaver.  All kids who have come to our house have played with these too.  She eventually mashes up the brush too much, or they get misplaced, so I’ve bought more books just for the pen.  I typically buy them on Amazon – they are usually about $5 each, but I also have found them at TJ Maxx for $4-$5 each.  You’ll probably find them at any big box store too…I’ve just never looked. These are great for planes, car, or anywhere.

  • Hint of Spring

We had a hint or two of spring lately, and let me tell you…it felt good.  I know Ohioans complain about the weather all winter anyway, but this year it was brutal.  Lots of separate snowfalls, but too cold to even enjoy it with toddlers.  They don’t keep gloves on well – and most toddler gloves aren’t that waterproof, so I was always afraid to take the out when it was too cold.  We did get to build snowmen several times, sled in the yard, and make some snow angels, but I’m ready for warmth…and Zoo days…and buckling carseats without coats (its so much easier to tighten), and wearing my Tom’s.  Granted, it’s going to rain for the next 3 months, and then it’ll be blazing hot, but I just don’t want cold.

  • And these loves.

Just out exploring.

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