{August} Favorites: Things That Make My Life Easier

August Favorites at lifeyourway.net

I’ve seen a few “favorites” series popping up in the blogosphere recently, but it wasn’t until a few readers specifically mentioned in our recent survey that they’d like to hear about cool products I discover that I even thought about doing one myself. We try not to buy a lot of stuff, so I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough to make a monthly post, but it turns out many of my favorites are oldies but goodies, so it might work after all!

Here’s my list for August:

1. Magazine Editorial Notebook from Invitel.us

Every time I post a picture on Instagram or the blog that includes my planner, I get a ton of questions about where I got it, so it seemed like a good place to start this month. I love all of Invite.l’s planners, and I used the Daily Planner faithfully for 18 months or so, but when I recently rediscovered the power of a handwritten to-do list, I pulled this one out of my stash to try, and I’m really enjoying it.

The Magazine Editorial Notebook is great for to-do list making, scrapbooking or just journaling, and it works for both the creative part of my brain that doesn’t want to be limited to a straight list and the type-A part that thinks everything should have boundaries and lines! I’ve still got my eye on the Timeless Story Weekly planner to try at some point, but for now, I’m really happy with how this one’s working for me!

2. Apple Slices with {Lots of} Cinnamon

My favorite snack right now is thin apple slices topped with lots and lots of cinnamon. It’s the perfect light-but-delicious, healthy-but-sweet treat in the evenings after the girls are in bed, and we buy bags and bags of apples every week, so it’s the one snack we almost always have on hand!

3. Addition Wrap-Up Keys from Learning Wrap-Up

Jennifer at Ohio Valley Homeschool and I have been commiserating about our struggles to get our girls to really master their math facts, and after she discovered these fun Wrap-Up Keys, she shared it with me. I actually have a vague memory of using something like this in elementary school, and it’s a fun way to assign math facts practice to the girls as part of their daily school work. I especially like that they can practice without me since we enjoy math fact games but find them pretty time consuming! My hope is that we’ll have their addition facts mastered within a month or so with some regular practice with these keys, and then we can move on to subtraction. There’s also multiplication, division, states & capitals, and a variety of other wrap-up keys available!

4. Autoseal 24-Ounce Water Bottle from Contigo

I used my glass water bottle from Starbucks for many, many months before I finally admitted that a 12-ounce water bottle was making it hard for me to drink enough water because it needed to be refilled constantly. My husband actually uses a Contigo AUTOSEAL Water Bottle we received for review that he loves, and so earlier this summer I bought myself one as well, and I’ve been using it faithfully ever since.

I love that it holds 24 ounces of water, that it doesn’t spill even when it gets knocked over or thrown in a bag upside down (although I’m careful not to push my luck with that one!), that it has an easy-to-carry handle and is comfortable to hold. I’ve even debated getting a second one so I can always have a full bottle waiting for me, but for now I’m just sticking to one!

5. Natural Oxy Stain Remover from Seventh Generation

I’ve always thought as oxy stain removers as a laundry product, but last month we discovered that the Natural Oxy Stain Remover also does a great job of removing iron stains from our dishes, fixtures, etc. We have really poor quality well water with tons of minerals in it, and despite our many attempts to filter the water, we still end up with a rusty tint on pretty much everything, even our dishes.

Sean just happened to spot it in the cleaning bin last month and decided to try it on the dishes, and we were so excited to see how quickly it removed all traces of the iron. He’s been rotating dishes to scrub them clean a few at a time, and it’s nice to have like-new dishes once again! We’ve also used it on both our porcelain and stainless steel sinks as well as in the shower upstairs, and it works just as well every time!

6. Noise-Isolating Earphones from Ultimate Ears

This was another review item that I didn’t use for more than a year after I received them, but now I keep them with me wherever I go. These noise-isolating earbuds are inexpensive, comfortable (with interchangeable ear cushions so you can use the ones that fit your ears the best) and really do block out most background noise whether I’m working at home or at a coffee shop. I’m not particularly picky about music quality, so I can’t say for sure how “good” these are, but the music comes out crisp and clear, which is good enough for me!

What products have you discovered that make your life easier?