Another month gone, another month of favorites! When September first comes around, I start to celebrate Fall. With Fall comes a new set of favorite items that are making me smile this month. Enjoy the following list and let me know if any of them are your September Favorites as well!
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This month is a little light on favorites since I wasn't making a lot of purchases while I have been focusing on starting my family photography business. In line with the global climate (literally), I have also been trying to be more eco-friendly. Some of the products featured in this post will be some of the items I have been using to reduce my carbon footprint, so that you can do the same!
One product that I have been using for a while is compostable trash bags for Lydia's diaper pail. When she was first born, we were just using plastic grocery bags and stocking up when we went to a grocery store or box store that used plastic bags. This was beginning to feel extremely wasteful since the pail bag was getting changed about every other day. At the time we were using a diaper that was partially compostable (Naty diapers, still my favorite diaper!) but while I am still building up my business we have had to switch to a more budget friendly diaper.
We feel so much better about using compostable bags because then at least the bag can break down so that the material inside can also potentially break down faster. These bags can also be used for your actual compost, or you could use them at the grocery store for produce if your local grocery store does not offer compostable produce bags (our local Trader Joe's now only carries compostable bags, so go Trader Joe's!).
The bags we use also take forever to go through, in a good way! I bought 100 bags shortly after Lydia was born and it took me about a year to buy another set of them. They also used to be more flimsy and would get moist (I'm sorry!! I know it's the worst word ever!!), but they must have changed the bags because they are much more sturdy now.
Since doing the Whole30, we drank a lot of seltzer. Like... a lot of seltzer. And instead of drinking my seltzer from a can like a savage, I would put it in a mason jar with some ice and a straw.
But not just any straw... a silicone straw!! The straws that I got came from a super cute little shop in both Portsmouth, NH and Portland, ME called Gus & Ruby. One of my best friends works there and told me about these super cute silicone straws that they had, so of course, I bought some.
I really have enjoyed using my silicone straws because it does make me feel better about getting an iced drink, and the straws I got can be used for either hot or cold beverages. They are also great because Lydia loves drinking out of our straws and I try to always have one on hand in my diaper bag for when we are out so she can have a sip of my water, lemonade, iced tea, etc. Whenever she sees us using a straw she gets very excited.
I couldn't find the exact straws that I bought, but here is a link to some on Amazon that looked comparable.
An item that I bought recently in my quest to replace all single use products in my home was the reusable Q-tip. I saw these on my Instagram feed (follow me @thebeadedsheep if you aren't already!) and had never thought about a reusable Q-tip before, but it made a lot of sense.
Right off the bat, I started looking online and found a pair that I liked because not only does it have a Q-tip for your ears, but it also has a second one more geared for makeup touch ups. As someone who only uses mascara, you would think I would know how to apply it without getting it all over my lips, but alas, not all dreams come true. Every day I use a Q-tip to touch up and wipe mascara off of my eyelid so that I don't look like I got attacked by a Sharpie.
So far, this little dude is doing its job and I am enjoying not having to use so many Q-tips to be decent. I also love that they come in a cute little travel case, so that they are easy to take with me when I am going places. If you have not gotten on the reusable Q-tip train, hop on board!
Lastly on my eco-friendly tour, is where I have been sending all of my clothes and bags and shoes on my KonMari journey, which is ThredUP!I have been sending them boxes of goodies as I clean out our home so that a.) these things are no longer in my possession, b.) they no longer take up a ton of room in my house, c.) I can get credit/money from the clothes I sell to either cash in or use to buy other clothes.
If I am honest, I have never been much of a second-hand clothes consumer. Growing up, it was not something that I heard about very often and in middle/high school it was not yet deemed "cool" to go thrifting. People these days are super thrifty and create the most unique outfits with their second-hand finds.
This year I am trying to make a more conscious effort to buy clothes second-hand from ThredUP, especially with the money I have earned! I just placed my first order today for a long sleeve top and a chambray button up that I am so excited to receive. During my order I was also able to request a few of their Clean Out kits as well, which will be helpful as I continue to go through things.
The second category of items is which books have been my favorites this past month. Both of the books that I enjoyed and finished in September, I have written reviews for!
The two books that I enjoyed and was able to finished during the month of September were An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. You can read my review for that book in this blog post! The second one was The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, which I just finished last week and wrote about here.
Everything But the Kitchen Sink
The rest of the items on my favorites list are a mish-mash of things that don't really go together, so they go into this "everything but the kitchen sink" category.
One item that I purchased in September that was exciting and a great purchase for my business was business cards. I went through Moo because I have gotten business cards from there before, like when I was graduating from college and wanted to look professional. Moo has super cute cards and fun styles that make your business cards stand out. I went with a larger rectangle for my cards and had a picture of Lydia put on the back, as well as my contact information for my business.
Moo business cards feel like they are higher quality, since they use really lovely paper to make their cards. I find that whenever I use these cards and give them to someone, I get a compliment on how nice they are. They also come in a super sleek black box, which makes them look extremely professional when you pull them out of your bag. Definitely check out Moo if you are looking to make yourself some new business cards!
Recently, as I have started listening to more podcasts, I have started walking almost everyday so that I can listen to a podcast. It helps me get exercise since I am out for over an hour usually, it gets Lydia outside, and we get to see a lot of fun wildlife.
Just yesterday I was out walking with her when a few hundred yards away down the road a coyote crossed the street in front of us! First off, I don't like coyotes because they freak me out, but it was still really cool to see one that close. Last week, when I was walking there were turkeys in front of me on the road when I heard rustling in the trees behind me and turned to see two deer run across the road.
Any-who! The shoes that I wear on my walks are my Xero Shoes. I love these sneakers because they are minimalistic sneakers with no fancy padding, cushioning, springs in the heel, etc. They are just a little bit of rubber with a covering and I can't rave about them enough.
I got into wearing Xero Shoes because of Aaron reading Born to Run, then purchasing his first pair of Xero Shoes sandals for running. I soon followed his footsteps (haha, yes that was on purpose) and bought my own pair of running sandals. I know that you think I am crazy, but I have not had a shin splint since. After playing lacrosse and agonizing over shin splints, running in sandals to simulate barefoot running is what did the trick.
The Xero Shoes sneakers are extremely lightweight and comfortable, and unlike other sneakers I have worn, I could wear these all day. My feet feel like they can breath and move in these shoes and walking long distances is not an issue for me in these shoes.
I highly recommend taking a look at them if you ever have problems with your feet, shins, hips, and/or back while running or walking. These shoes have truly made outdoor activities more enjoyable for me and I cannot say enough good about them!
My last item to share is one that I have been using more for Lydia to make her smoothies. I have been using her Baby Bullet to make yummy smoothies in the morning as a way to sneak vegetables into her diet. She used to at least try vegetables, but now she just straight up doesn't want them. So being a sneaky mother is what I have to resort to!
The way that I sneak them in is by using the pureed pouches of baby food with vegetables in them and squeezing them into a smoothie mix. It is super easy to do, and all you have to do to the smoothie to make it not green is add blueberries! The blueberries will give it a nice purple/pink hue that disguises the fact that you are the smartest mother ever and can actually trick your kids into eating vegetables!
Lydia loves to drink her smoothie with a different kind of reusable straw than what I mentioned earlier, because they before-mentioned straws aren't the best for thick smoothies. Instead, we use bamboo straws with her little cup to give her a smoothies (supervised, of course).
The Baby Bullet has been a great tool for making her smoothies because the blender is smaller and more realistic for how much a little one can have. Even with the smaller blender, I can usually make Lydia two servings of smoothie from one batch with the Baby Bullet. I do find that it blends the fruits and fixings together really well and makes it a smoother texture so that Lydia will actually drink it.
What is great is that it also comes with a few storage containers and a freezer tray, so you can make a smoothie and freeze it into little popsicles! The storage containers were also great when Lydia was just starting to eat solids and couldn't eat much, so the small containers were the perfect portion. It may seem like a silly item to get, but I have really enjoyed using my Baby Bullet to puree food and make smoothies for Lydia.
Well, there you have it! September's favorites! Have you tried any of the mentioned products? Do you think that you are going to try any of them? Which ones seemed interesting to you? Leave a comment below with your favorite!