Friends! I love these little "friendsheep." Made out of organic wool, these little cuties have cut down on drying time (I can shave at least 10 minutes off a cycle and lower it from high to medium at the same time, saving energy and being a little gentler on our clothes). You can also buy them with stars or penguins on them instead of sheep (and other brands make them as well). Plus, if I add a few drops of essential oil to each little ball (I've been using my lavender essential oil), they leave our clothes (and our tiny bathroom, where the laundry and dryer are) smelling great - no need for fabric softener.
Just wanted to share my little eco-friendly dryer trick. Have you used dryer balls? Do you have a special laundry trick? Please share in the comments!
As our little ones grow, I've been thinking more about what will be the traditions and rituals that help provide structure and stability to our lives. I think back on my childhood and the rituals that marked it; a lot revolve around the holidays (and, apparently, food). The lamb with mint jelly my mom would make for Passover; my aunt Jill's "better than Robert Redford" dessert at Thanksgiving; breakfast burritos on the beach with my sister the day after Thanksgiving; going to Disneyland on my birthday (perks of growing up in Southern California!).
I had resolved awhile ago to start up on the natural deodorant (and felt subsequently quite guilty when pregnant and nursing and still hadn't made a switch and came upon some horrid parenting web site that took it as a given that no mother would subject her baby to the horrors of second-hand antiperspirants! Whoops.).
Well, after a few fits and starts, I think I'm firmly in the natural deodorant camp now. Of course, with so many more options available now, and everyone's body chemistry apparently adjusting to natural deodorants differently, I had to test out a few before finding one that would stick.
Yesterday was J's birthday. Every year, we do a mix of something-old/something-new.
Hello, my loves! Hope you all had a happy and relaxing weekend. Every weekend should be a three-day weekend, don't you think?
Highlights of this one included an impromptu visit from a dear friend from California, picking up nursery hand-me-downs from good friends (and getting to spend some quality time with their adorable baby in the process), and a long-overdue haircut for me.
I am so so excited to be pregnant, but I can't deny it's been taking a toll on me (and my back, and my feet, and my ability to sleep . . .). Plus, work has been busy and stressful, and it was time for some pampering. So I used the gift certificate J got me for my birthday and took myself to the Scott J. Aveda salon for a little me time.
*Blog more. It's been shameful, I know. With some good reasons, but not all, but one reason - technological difficulties - is being solved because J's buying me a new laptop! Since my old Mac has just about given up doing anything besides spinning wheel of death.
Last weekend was Labor Day, and the City totally emptied out. At first I was a little wistful we hadn't made plans to go anywhere, but it turns out we didn't have to leave the confines of the urban jungle to find a little breathing room and some natural respite.
What I'm saying is, the nice thing about staying home when everyone else goes on vacay, is that you get the best spots of the City to yourself. Which for us, meant a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Lake Tahoe was absolutely gorgeous (some more pics up on my insta, including really awesome huevos rancheros) and Denver was fun, but now I have a cold and it's back to business. J is doing laundry and unclogging the shower drain (it is ALWAYS clogged) and all sorts of useful things and I am . . . blogging. But! I am trying to get more productive via technology, and felt some sense of accomplishment after using the following apps, so wanted to share:
1) Duolingo. No surprise here - I think this is the most popular language-learning app out there. I've been working on improving up my Spanish - not quite able to communicate with Spanish-speaking clients sans interpreter, but hopefully one day.
2) Glow. I learned about it through a post on A Practical Wedding, and it is a great app for tracking your health and holding yourself accountable. I was surprised to see how much alcohol I was actually drinking each week (what seemed like just a little here and there was really adding up), and felt proud every time I logged another workout session.
3) Mint. It's about time! I should have started some kind of budget ages ago, but better late than never, right? Mint syncs with all your bank and credit card accounts for you, so you can easily see how much money you have and how much you're spending, and make adjustments. Hopefully the fear of going in the red on every category will keep me in line because I need to get on top of mi dinero.
4) Songza. My favorite music-playing app - ok, maybe this doesn't directly make me productive, but a well-curated playlist to pump up my workout or keep me focused when working is much appreciated, and I never tire of my favorite playlists, or the endless choices on offer - like having my own personal soundtrack producer on call.
So those are my top hits. After spending a few minutes getting my finances, health, and mad language skillz in order, I feel much better - (almost) enough to forget about this rotten cold. Meanwhile, J's glad I'm using my phone for something other than playing mindless games and instagramming.
So, readers, what apps help you get stuff done?