Our Five Ring Circus: A Few of My Favorite Things

Monday, July 12, 2021

A Few of My Favorite Things

Big Family Blog

Happy Monday! Can you believe we're already almost two weeks into July? Every year, time goes by more quickly! It has been a while since I shared a few of my favorite things, so I figured it was time to jump back in!

We are over one month into summer break, and thoroughly enjoying a more relaxed routine. Don't get me wrong - my kids still want driven everywhere, Liam had a week of summer school, Lily has tumbling, and Liam is taking swim lessons. BUT...we are staying up late and sleeping in most days, which is awesome after 9 months of really early wakeups, and constantly being on the go. Summer is DEFINITELY one of my favorite things!

Over the past few weeks, I discovered a few items to add to my rapidly growing list of favorite things. From apps to travel blankets to everything in between, I've got it covered! Here's what made my Love List in June...

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Extra Soft Poncho Travel Blanket

We are officially in the season of day trips and road trips! My husband likes to keep our SUV at a deep freezer temperature, so even though we have individual air control, our car is still frigid. We combat this by always having backup hoodies and blankets stored on hand. 

MasterManner gifted me an amazing Poncho Travel Blanket, and it's truly my newest favorite thing! It's super soft, and it stores away in a convenient travel pouch. The best thing, however, is that it slips over my neck like a poncho, which means it stays put and allows my to have my hands free without sacrificing warmth. I absolutely love it, and I use it way more than I thought I would!

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Poncho Travel Blanket

Folding Stationary Bike

I definitely prefer to exercise outdoors, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Kids, weather, or other commitments can get in the way of my preferred workout routine. Although I already fit in yoga and toning/strength training at home, I wanted something different that I could do for cardio that I would actually use.

I'm not much of an indoor cycling person - or a cycling person at all - but my husband wanted a cheap stationary bike so he could fit in workouts. With 5 kids, we don't have much extra space, so I wanted something that wouldn't take up much room. We ended up getting an inexpensive folding stationary bike, and I actually use it on the days I miss my outdoor workout! 

I can easily wheel it into any room in my house, and when I'm done, I can simply fold it and store it out of the way. It has built in weights, so I can get in a little arm workout while I'm cycling, too. Right now, I use it while I binge watch shows with my girls. My workout is over before I know it! (As you can see, it doubles as a chair, too!)

folding stationary bike

LG Instaview Refrigerator

I'm going to be honest...my husband and I use furniture and appliances until we can't use it anymore! Kids can be BRUTAL with these things, so we don't quite see the point in replacing things until it's necessary. Our fridge was from BEFORE we had kids (our oldest is 16 1/2), and although it still worked, some of the drawers had cracked or broken. When our garage fridge (I think that might be a regional thing, but it's necessary for big families) broke, it was the push we needed to replace our main fridge.

So off we went to Lowe's, and my husband quickly fell in love with the LG Instaview line. We have two, let's say, CURIOUS kids, so we knew a pull out freezer drawer would encourage climbing, and a water dispenser would be unnecessary. We ended up choosing the large stainless steel side-by-side version with the Instaview door, and it's perfect for our big family!

We moved our old fridge down to the garage, so we still have extra storage, but our new fridge is so much bigger. There's plenty of room for the ridiculous amount of groceries we buy each week. Thankfully, the knocking on the Instaview door to turn on the lights is no longer a constant urge, but we are definitely loving storing our drinks in that convenient door!

LG Instaview Refrigerator

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LG Instaview

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Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox

Speaking of replacing things, it was time for a new sandbox! The one we had was from when Dylan was a baby. I just wanted something small for our little kids, because they never really SIT in sandboxes...instead, they prefer to play from beside it. The Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox was the perfect choice for our boys!

Even Liam, whose preferred method of outdoor play is physical, really seems to enjoy it! Coen plays with it almost every day, so it was well worth the $40. I love how the lid comes off and doubles as a ramp for the included construction truck!

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We Want A Dog by Lo Cole

We are a family of readers, so we fill our home with books! I'm always on the lookout for new books for my kids, so I was excited when Sourcebooks gifted us one of their newest titles. This funny rhyming book is filled with bold black, white, and red illustrations, and it's such a fun read! My boys ESPECIALLY loved the part where a dog pees on a Christmas Tree! It's perfect for dog-loving kids, but it has a fun twist on the last page!

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We Want A Dog by Lo Cole

Summer Morning Skincare Routine

I wear SPF year round, but in the Summer, I try to give my skincare routine an SPF boost! I have been using these COOLA products for weeks, and I love them. Here's my simple Summer Morning Skincare Routine:

1. I don't wash my face with cleanser in the morning, but I do simply rinse, then pat dry. 

2. I use the 70% Organic, SPF 50 Refreshing Water Cream, which provides a broad spectrum SPF. It's light, absorbs quickly, and smells amazing!

3. I then use the Day SPF 30 Eye Cream which is part of the COOLA Eye Cream Duo. ( I obviously use the night cream in the evening, before bed!)

It's that simple! 

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TickiT LED Light Panel

Although pricey, this has been on our want list for years. When the price on the TickiT LED Light Panel came down on Amazon, I jumped on it! It's just such a fun, unique item for learning and sensory play, and there's so much you can do with it! 

My favorite tip: Buy those gel clings that you can get for $1, and use them on the light panel. Target always has tic tac toe gel clings, and they are a lot of fun for older kids!

Light panel sensory play

LEMYKA Calming Cream and Hydrating Cream

Lexie has been dealing with eczema since she was a toddler. It gets really bad in the winter, but she deals with it year round. Sometimes it's so bad, that it makes her miserable. We try not to use prescription creams unless absolutely necessary. Instead, we prefer a more natural solution, but it isn't always easy to find something that works!

That's where LEMYKA comes in! We were introduced to Lemyka Calming Cream and Lemyka Hydrating Cream, and it helped Lexie so much! It's a bit expensive, but it's well worth it. The only dry skin I ever suffer from is on my fingertips in the winter, so I can't wait to try these products on myself!

LEMYKA Naturals

I'm all for proof, so I took some before and after photos to share! 

This is 1 hour after applying the calming cream to the eczema on Lexie's arms.

Eczema products

And this is the following morning after applying the hydrating cream on an extra dry, itchy spot on her hand. 

Natural Eczema Solutions

Crochet Swing

We filled our home with awesome indoor swings and cool chairs for our kids, but what about me?!? When I spotted this crochet indoor/outdoor swing in the Aldi Aisle of Shame, I knew it had to come home with me. It wasn't long until my kids took it over...

Aldi AOS

And finally...

Voila Al Artist App

This app was all the rage last month, and we're still having fun with it! I mean, I think our cartoon family is pretty darn cute! (Lily looks just like Rapunzel, and Coen with the binky resembles Boss Baby!)

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Down syndrome

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Favorite Apps

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On that note, we are gearing up for a busy week ahead! Grant has to go into the office most days this week, our puppy is getting spayed and microchipped, Lily has tumbling, Liam has swim lessons, and we have dozens of things in between. Hopefully I can find time to relax in my crochet swing, with a good book...wishful thinking!

A Few of My Favorite Things Blog

What are some of your new favorite things? 

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