#5Faves: Ever

Maybe not, like, everrrr, but I had to do something every so slightly epic-ish for my very last 5Faves. Did you read on Monday? Ashley will be taking over while I take a step back in the blogging world to pursue other endeavors of the creative variety.

So, here she be.

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Konmari: My house is still crazy awesome put together after Mike and I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Still. And sometimes we just look around the house and smile at how clean it is. Do yourself a favor.

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Seamly: After we completed Konmari, I decided to take a hard look at my wardrobe. Instead of buying a ton of cheap t-shirts each and every season, I wanted to fill my wardrobe with just a few well-made, classic pieces that withstand time. On top of that, I wanted items that were either made in America or made in an ethical manner. Hello, Seamly.

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Embroidery Ring: Esmerelda is making me one of these beauties, and I CANNOT wait to wear it each and every day. It’s already my favorite.

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Kindle Paperwhite: I am fairly certain I have mentioned this is many previous 5Faves. And Kindle lover or not, you can’t deny that owning one of these babies enables you to read so many more books. I do. I really do. If you’re thinking about buying one for the Christmas season, also consider buying it through this link. It would help me and my fam out with our Christmas shopping too.

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Hoover Carpet Cleaner: I might have asked for one of these for my 30th birthday. And I got one. And I spent said birthday cleaning my carpets, and it made me happy. So there’s that.

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What are your favorite things ever? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Mini-Vacay

I’m taking a mini vacation from 5 Faves this week, but I will be back next Wednesday for one final 5 Faves before I pass the torch to Ashley from Big White Farmhouse.

Yup.

I’m on to greener pastures, my fave-lettes. And Ashley is going to take mucho bueno care of you.

So, link up your faves here this week, watch for one last Call Her Happy 5 Faves next week, and head on over to Ashley’s place after that!

Muah!

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#5Faves: from Aldi

psst! Super secret announcement at the bottom of this post. But first…

The first time I walked into an Aldi, I spun around and walked right out. I called Mike and was like, “Um. Nope. Not a place where we are going to cut the budget.”

Looking back, I was probably put off by the lack of grocery store foo foo: free XL corralled carts, baggers for my groceries, limitless options for every item on my list, aisles and aisles to walk through browsing and label reading.

And then I realized how much I was missing out on. Much missing out. So, grab a quarter and your own shopping bags, and check out my 5Fave (among many) things about Aldi.

 

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Prices: Let’s start with the obvious. I can go into Aldi and do my “big trip” once every two weeks and walk out around $100…for a family of five. That’s including meats, snacks and other big ticket items including some organic. That same trip at our other grocery store? $230.

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Options: There are few. And we live in a world where this is looked down upon, but how many minutes have you wasted staring at the bread isle at the grocery store thinking, “Why are there so many different loaves of bread???” I want 100% whole wheat bread and there is one option, so I buy it. And it’s like that for everything. So my trip takes me about 30 minutes to go up and down the five aisles and check out.

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Clancy’s: This is Aldi’s snack brand, and they are hands down the best snacks you’ve munched. Chips, pretzels, anything they make. Buy it. You will never be disappointed in a Clancy product.

 

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Trader Joe’s: Did you know Aldi is owned by Trader Joes? And their products are of similar quality – I’m serious.

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Efficiency and Improvement: They are constantly figuring out ways to cut costs and pass the savings on to us. They also recently removed tons of food additives from every product in their store. Stuff like MSG, hydrogenated oils and synthetic colors. Poof. Gone. I like a company that puts it’s people first.

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Ready for the super secret announcement? My book is ready for preorder! You can find it in my Etsy shop, and it will be ready to ship in 3-4 weeks. All preorders will be able to take advantage of the reduced price, so grab yours now!

And, watch for a post coming soon announcing preorders to the rest of the folk. You just get first dibs on the hot tips. muah!

30 Days to Calm: Create Your Own Anxiety Toolbox

Link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Things I Learned from Konmari

 

For my 30th birthday coming up, I told Mike I wanted only one thing: for us both to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and to implement it. So, this past weekend, we enlisted my rents to corral the kidlets while we Komaried our house. And, we didn’t just pick and choose items. We.cleaned.out. It’s, like, spartan in here. And I love it. LOVE it. Here’s why:

5 Things I Learned from Konmari

© ronstik / Dollar Photo Club

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We only have what we use. There aren’t tons of other objects and whatnots cluttering up the house. If it’s in our house, we use it. If we didn’t use it, it went away. Now the house looks fresh and picked up all day long. There is no more scrambling at the end of the day to get toys put away or to shove items back into closets only to be pulled out the next morning. Everything has a home either in our home or at Goodwill.

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We were forced to confront our pasts, presents and futures. We couldn’t just hang on to things because we used to like them. We got rid of items that we thought we should save, but they just reminded us of times in our lives we’d rather forget. We had to look at what we use and need NOW. And we got rid of things that we might use someday.

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Speaking of someday: by getting rid of all of the “someday” items, other people will be able to use those items right now. Why would we hang on to a huge bunk bed set for years when our kids aren’t ready for them yet? Someone else’s kids could be sleeping in it. And, when the time comes, I’m sure we will find more bunk beds. People love giving those away.

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It’s kinda scary letting go of something you might need later. What a waste of money, right? But, if I give up my attachment to material items, I am saying, “Lord, I trust you with my future. I will not keep more than I need right now because I know you will provide when the time comes.”

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Less.To.Clean. So much less. I hated having things in my house that I had to clean and which also brought me no joy. Talk about a total downer. Less stuff equal less time dusting and washing and wiping and fixing.

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We are still tallying the number of bags we donated to Goodwill. And the total is not in yet for the cash money from items sold. But, I can tell you this: the count is currently around 60-70 garbage bags donated or in the trash. That is not including large items like tents, skis, bikes, strollers, etc. And it’s not including any of the items we are selling. Our entire garage is packed to the brim with just the “to be sold” items at the moment.

That might give you an idea of how much we purged. And I know you can do it too. It is liberating because it’s not just a deep cleaning, it’s a lifestyle change.

I could type out pages and pages about our experience, tips for doing it with a family, and ways to confront common problems, but you can find that stuff all over the web. I’m just going to tell you to read the book, pick a weekend, and do it right.

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Would you ever Konmari your home? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: non-material gifts

 

Remember how I said we were going to Konmari our house? Still on. Like this:

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And, in the wake of Konmari, my birthday sits. The big 3-0. Actually, I asked Mike if we could Konmari our house. Instead of receiving in celebration of my third decade, I want to give it all away.

But, what if you want to give someone a gift, but they don’t want more stuff? Here is what I would want:

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Carpet Cleaning: Did I mention I was turning 30? We have a little postage stamp piece of carpet in our living room, but oh my. Oh my. Does it ever gather the grime. I would love a gift certificate for a nice carpet cleaning. I feel like I should just stop here. Everyone has left, yes?

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Dinner and a Date: I always love going out to eat. I never do not like going out to eat. So, if you send me on my way to grab some pho with my bae, we’re alright.

 

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Replace Something: I could really use a new set of flour sack towels or dutch oven. How much do you hate me right now?

 

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Consumables: Anything that I can eat or use up…anything that goes away. Chocolate, fancy soap, flowers, et cet errrr ahhhh.

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Amazon Gift Cards: What would I buy on Amazon, you ask? Books for my Kindle…which I love…because it’s a ton of books without the shelf space. Kindle haters gonna hate.

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What are your non-material gift? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Kickstarter Campaigns

My very first experience with crowdfunding was with the site DonorsChoose.org. It’s an easy-to-use site where you can donate money to teachers and their classrooms.

My first year teaching high school English, I didn’t even have an overhead projector. So, I applied for a campaign on the site, and wouldn’t you know? Enough people backed that small potatoes drive, and I had me the newest out-of-date technology on the block.

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It seems people do want to be philanthropic, but they are also concerned about what their money is being used for. They also want to see their dollars making an actual, tangible, immediate difference. Sites like Donors Choose or, what I’m here fave-ing today, Kickstarter, enable people to have that power.

Here are five of my favorite recent (9.15.15) Kickstarter campaigns:

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PhotoPop! Box: A one-time box with all of the tools you need to create drool-worthy images for your brand or shop. Images are the best way to show off your product, and this box makes sure you have the best.

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Preserve History: “We have the unique opportunity to be able to tell children what it was like to live without all this tech straight from the mouths of those that lived it.  This is a generation of children who play outside less than 1 hour / day, compared to the 3+ hours of our elders.  I believe the narratives of our elders are a critical step in ensuring an understanding of where we’ve been.”

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GoBox: “GoBox is a fun and easy way to learn programming through a build-your-own robot kit with monthly robotics missions that are delivered right to your door!”

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The A to Z Guide to Jobs for Girls Board Book: “The A to Z Guide to Jobs For Girls is an adorably illustrated ABC Board Book for children featuring young women in different career roles such as Firefighter, Heavy Metal Guitarist, Librarian, and Quarterback!”

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30 Days to Calm: You knew this was coming, right? Well, I wrote a book, and I need to raise $700 by October 3rd in order to have it published. Wontcha consider donating or sharing my campaign all over social media?

What are your crowdfunding campaigns? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Posts About Anxiety

 

You may have heard (ha!) that I am publishing a journal this Fall. It’s all about anxiety and the best methods for coping. So, Imma make this week’s 5 Faves all about the struggle. Here are my favorite articles on anxiety and other mental illnesses.

And, consider helping the final stages of this project by funding (or sharing!) the Kickstarter.

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Do Catholics Have Crisis Pregnancies?

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Understanding Panic Attacks

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What It Feels Like When You’re Having an Anxiety Attack

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7 Tips to Tame Mental Clutter

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Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Blog Hop

What are your favorite blog posts about mental health? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  

Back the 30 Days to Calm Kickstarter

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#5Faves: Homeschool Preschool

What is preschool really? I mean, I don’t remember that being a thing when I was growing up. Now it’s like, 2yo preschool, 3yo preschool, 4yo preschool, pre-K, then kindergarten? Do they get some kind of tiny degree in potty mechanics after that?

Peer pressure yadda yadda, we jumped off that bridge with everyone else. But we’re doing it homeschool style this year, and here are some of our faves that we’re using.

 A few of my favorite resources to add to your homeschool room. Some see how we are doing a nature based homeschool preschool program along with some other simple additions. | homeschool inspiration | homeschool organization | preschool activities | preschool ideas

© jojoo64 / Dollar Photo Club

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A Child’s World: I decided that if I’m really going to do this, I’m going to need a curriculum for el primero rodeo. Could not love this one more. It’s all nature based, meaning the only materials we really need are things we can find outside (plus a few odds and ends that we have in house – I’ve never needed to make a special trip). Ipso Facto: I don’t need to plan ahead all that much.

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Preschool Math at Home: While there is math involved in the curriculum in each theme unit, Ellen wanted a bit more math, and who am I to deny that weird, weird child? This book has super simple lessons that you do each day. Each activity requires little to no prep and only takes about five minutes.

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Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Ellen also wants to learn to read. We’ve done a good chunk of this book so far. I don’t think she is *quite* ready for it, but I bet in about three or four months, it will be perfect-town.

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Spot It: We have the numbers and letters versions of this game. It worked wonders for letter and number recognition, and even though she knows them all now, Ellen still wants to play this daily.

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Wipe Clean First Pen Control: Follow the dotted lines with a dry erase marker. Wipe clean when done. Keep marker away from 2yo and his mustachio-prone scribbles. Bingo Bango.

 

Some links may be affiliate.

What are your fave homeschool resources? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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#5Faves: Netflix To-Dos

 

Netflix gave me a streaming device and asked for my thoughts in return. Here they be. All mine. All truth.

What do you do when you have lots to do? You just ignore that ish and watch Netflix. And these babies are on my to-do list. Let me know if you’ve seen them/if I should invest the six solid minutes I get each day when my house isn’t a legit whine-ery.

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Heart of Dixie: I like shows that are super sugary. I can’t just sit and watch TV; I have to be doing something else as well. I feel like I might be able to multi-task while watching this due to the sucrose. Maybe?

 

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The Cobbler: Did I just put an Adam Sandler movie on My List? Yes. It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s just all about the fact that I am not in middle school anymore. So, color me shocked when this looked tempting.

 

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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: Is this going to be scary? I am big baby, and Pretty Little Liars can only be watched when Mike is not not not on a work trip. But this is so tempting. I love mystery and red lipstick.

 

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The Paradise: I’ve heard some good stuff about this one. I love how beautiful the sets and cinematography look. That’s why I’m a sucker for Baz Luhrmann and Wes Anderson stuff.

 

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Welcome to Me: Love me some Kristen Wiig – particularly Penelope (tell me you love her the most too). So, I think I would like this. Tell me if you’ve seen it.

 

What’s on your Netflix to-do? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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