So, it’s December. Doesn’t that just blow you away? How is it already December!?!?! And to top it off, Christmas is less than a week away! For me, the year kinda ends at Christmas. We don’t do much for New Years. Okay, we don’t do anything at all for New Years, except buy new calendars.
We do take Christmas through the first of the year off of school as our break week each year. Well, technically this will be our first year only taking the week off because every other year we have taken the entire month of December off. This is also the first year of us schooling four days per week instead of five. Let me tell you, that makes such a difference!! I don’t feel overwhelmed or frazzled at the end of each week, and the kids hardly ever get burned out. But I digress, this is about 10 things that rocked my world this year.
Why 10? Well, it’s a nice round, comfortable number. And when I was thinking things over, 10 was how many I came up with. So it worked out nicely.
Oh, and just FYI, these are in no determinate order. Simply random. 🙂
Top 10 Finds In 2017 – 10 Things I Didn’t Know I Needed In My Life
#1 Floradix Iron Supplement
I’ve never really taken supplements in my life. But when I was pregnant with my youngest son, I was flat out exhausted for the first four months of pregnancy. Then a wise friend told me about Floradix Iron. So what does Floradix do? I don’t know about the science behind it, but I do know that without it I walk around in a fog most of my days. I wake up tired and am more likely to be grumpy. But when I remember to take 10ml twice a day, I wake up with a bounce in my step! I’m ready to start the day! It’s amazing the difference a little iron and B vitamins can do. Also, I’m pretty sure it helps me stay healthy when the kids get sick.
#2 Jamie Balmet Podcasts
This year I stumbled upon Jamie Balmet and her blog, Young Wife’s Guide. Where has this been all my married life??? Her podcasts are so encouraging and inspirational! She’s got over 100 in her archives now and they’re all wonderful. Overwhelmed? Feeling unappreciated? Need help meal planning or finding a cleaning routine? Need to inspire your husband? Jamie Balmet has you covered. Seriously, if you aren’t listening, you’re missing out!
#3 Teaching From Rest
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie is hands down the second best homeschooling book I’ve ever read. The first being For the Children’s Sake. Teaching from Rest gives your mama heart peace about teaching your children at home. It helps you stay calm when the days have gone awry (which they often do). If I could recommend only one book to a new homeschooling mother, it would be this one. I’m looking forward to her new book, The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids, which comes out in March 2018.
#4 Channie’s Pages
A few months ago some Crew members were given a chance to review Channie’s Handwriting Workbooks. Thankfully, I was among them. These workbooks have found a permanent place in our homeschool and are one of my most used go-to school supplies. I am still amazed at how much these simple pages have helped my children write neater. If you haven’t heard of Channie’s, be sure to check them out!
#5 Organized Life Planner
If you love planners, but always find yourself searching for one that fits your needs a little bit better . . . If you’ve got at least three notebooks going at the same time, to hold all of your lists and reminders . . . If you’re overwhelmed by all the things you have to do and need a tool that will help you keep your thoughts straight . . . You need The Organized Life Planner.
I’ve had more planners than I can remember over the years. But this one . . . this one right here trumps them all! The Organized Life Planner fits everything in my life into one beautiful planner. Household chores, shopping, habits, daily/weekly/monthly tasks, family calendar, everything! I even have room to write down the schoolwork we do each day. I absolutely love it.
#6 Watercolors & How to Draw Books
So, since discovering Read Aloud Revival (Also created by Sarah Mackenzie), I’ve been able to establish a daily read-aloud time. Oh, it was rough at first, but we eventually discovered a rhythm (and the kids finally realized that I wasn’t going to quit 😉 ) One of the hardest things for me in the process was figuring out what on earth these kids could do to busy their hands while I read. After much trial and error, watercolors and drawing books are by far two of their favorite activities. These are the watercolors we use — > here. 24 different colors for just under $3.00? Yes, please!
There are many different how to draw books out there. Some we’ve liked and others caused so much frustration that they had to be thrown out. Our most used ones are done by Barbara Soloff Levy. As of right now all of her drawing books range from $3 to $5.
Our favorites include:
- How to Draw People
- How to Draw Animals
- How to Draw Faces
- How to Draw Flowers
- How to Draw Dinosaurs
- How to Draw Planes, Trains, and Boats
- How to Draw Insects
#7 My Instant Pot
Most people have heard of the Instant Pot. It’s a delightful machine that cooks my frozen chicken in 12 minutes. Need I say more?
#8 O’Keefe’s Hand Cream
Every year for as long as I can remember, my Jules gets such dry hands that they crack. It’s terribly bothersome for her. We’ve tried all kinds of lotions, balms, ointments, even prescriptions stuff. Nothing has ever helped her. That is until a friend of mine pointed us to O’Keefe’s Working Hands Hand Cream. O’Keefe’s has cured her hands of the rough, scaly, dry skin that has plagued her for months at a time for years now. It’s REALLY good stuff.
#9 The Traveler’s Notebook
The Traveler’s Notebook is a relatively new thing for me. It is, however, something I found indispensable once in my possession. It’s beautiful, functional, and fits in my purse. Yes, I love it.
#10 Stop Scrolling Newsfeed for Facebook Chrome Extention
Okay, so last but certainly not least is this new (to me) extension I found for Chrome. I mostly use Facebook for my groups. I’m not big on scrolling my feed, BUT when I see my friends faces on the page, I get sucked in! And before I know it, I’ve wasted half an hour or more scrolling Facebook! Stop Scrolling Newsfeed for Facebook Chrome Extention has put an end to that.