My Five Favorites (January 2018)


Happy middle of January to you! Another month, another favorites post! This month’s favorites (like previous posts) are a little of this and that. I love sharing the things I am currently enjoying in the hopes of perhaps introducing you to something new!

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links. Thank you for supporting the blog!)

Bolero Facial Wipes

I like to use facial wipes to remove my makeup each evening. I have tried a variety of wipes over the years. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on these types of products, so I was so excited when I found the Bolero brand at the Dollar Tree. Each season brings new “flavors”, and I am currently loving the Lemon Verbena & Mint and the Argan & Shea Butter. These products can sell for up to $11, so if you see them at the Dollar Tree, buy them!


Suave Leave-In Conditioning Cream

I read a very positive review of this cream in a magazine and decided to give it a try. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about leave-in cream, but I have loved how this product works in my hair. I use just about a quarter-size amount, comb through the end of my hair (avoiding the roots), and usually rinse just a bit. My hair is definitely smoother and softer after using, so I am sticking with this product!

MIRA Water Bottle

My fifth grade daughter was in need of a new water bottle. My kids have always loved the camelBaks, but she was looking for a different style of bottle without a straw. I decided to buy her this MIRA water bottle for Christmas. She loves the design! It definitely keeps her water very cold all day, and it is easy to clean! I’m thinking about getting one for myself in the hopes of encouraging myself to drink more water!

Walking at Home


Walking is definitely my favorite form of exercise because it’s simple and fun! You can walk alone or with a group. You can walk in silence or listen to music or a podcast. In the winter there are many days when walking outside is not so easy, so I have been walking at home! Leslie Sansone has a program you can find on YouTube with a wide variety of “walks”. Pick a video and start walking. I have been very grateful for indoor walks this winter!



(Recent thredUP purchase. You can check out this video to see me wearing it!)

If you have been around this blog for even a small amount of time then you know I love second-hand shopping. Online second-hand shopping is my absolute favorite. I have been shopping from thredUP for several years, so it needed to make it onto my favorites list one of these times. First time customers can get a $10 credit towards their first purchase! If you want to know more about thredUP and why you should purchase your second-hand items from them, you can check out this post.

To find more of my past favorites, click here!

What about you? What have you been loving? Drop some of your favorites in the comments below!!

Until next time,


Continue reading “My Five Favorites (January 2018)”

My Top 4 Reads of 2017

I’m a little disappointed to say I did not read as much as I hoped in 2017. Fortunately, the books I did read this past year were all quite good, so I wanted to share my top 4 reads of 2017. It was a little hard to choose my favorites, but like last year, I picked 2 non-fiction and 2 fiction!

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links. Thank you for supporting the blog!)


The Magnolia Story (audio) by Chip and Joanna Gaines 

My husband and I have watched several seasons of Fixer Upper (Chip and Joanna’s show). We have always enjoyed the two of them and the work they do, so I was very interested in hearing their story. They both narrate (which is why I would recommend the audio), and share their individual backgrounds, early marriage, and journey to the life they now live. My husband and I listened together and enjoyed “getting to know” this unique and creative couple.


The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd

I included the Magic of Motherhood in my October favorites. It is a collection of essays from about a dozen moms. The stories span the range of topics from infant loss to infertility to everyday mom-life. I found myself drawn into each story, nodding my heading in agreement with shared experiences and being stretched by stories I have never known. It really is the perfect book to read and give as a gift.


  Wolf Hollow (audio) by Lauren Wolk

I loved, loved, loved this book. It also just might be my favorite audio I have ever listened to (and I have listened to a lot of audio). It’s a story about a 12 year old girl living in Pennsylvania (in post WWII times). It is a beautiful and bittersweet story about family, friendship, bullying, and overcoming difficult trials.



       Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

I tried to break away from another Lauren Wolk for my second favorite, but when an author is good, she’s good! I decided to read (not listen to) this book and was drawn in right away. Wolk truly is a beautiful story teller and invites us into the world of 12 year old Crow,whose desire to know more about her past results in discoveries that shape a page-turning story.

Both Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea are considered children’s books. I believe that children’s fiction novels are some of the best books you can read!

What about you? Do you enjoy non-fiction or fiction? What were some of your top reads in 2017?

Until next time,

Continue reading “My Top 4 Reads of 2017”

7 (More) Things I Do to Make My Life a Little Easier

7 Things I do the Make My Life a Little Easier

About a year and a half ago I shared 7 Things I Do to Make My Life a Little Easier. It was a fun post to write and to share with all of you. Well, I’m back with 7 more things! Why? I love to make things easier when and where I can!

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links. Thank you for supporting the blog!)

1. I grocery shop one time per week. In my last “easier life” post I mentioned that grocery shopping online definitely makes my life a little easier. I also find that shopping just once a week (aka: ordering groceries once a week) makes my life a little easier. I don’t have to make multiple trips to the store, and I have what I need for the entire week.

2. I plan simple meals. While we are in the category of groceries, I find that planning simple meals makes things a whole lot easier. A meal doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. If you love making elaborate meals, go for it; but don’t let the need to make something super special keep you from feeding your family healthy meals each night. Simple is possible! Check out my prior meal planning posts to learn more!


3. I order the majority of our clothes online. If you have been around this blog for even a little while now then you know I am a fan of online shopping. I especially love shopping for my kids’ clothes online, and I find a lot of great deals at The Children’s Place. I tend to order many of my clothes from thredUP, a great online, second-hand store. I do enjoy frequenting some of our local thrift and consignment shops, but I avoid the mall like nothing else. Online shopping is the right choice for me right now. When shopping online don’t forget about Ebates. Who doesn’t want to get cash back on purchases?!

4. I do one load of laundry a day. There are countless laundry schedules you could follow. I find that doing a load a day keeps the pile in control. I don’t have to spend a whole day being a slave to my washer and dryer, and I keep the process flowing the entire week.

5. I have water proof mattress pads on my kids’ beds. Were you expecting to find this on my list? It really does make things easier. We recently bought 3 new twin mattresses for a great price, and I want to keep them protected. These pads keep me from having to spend time scrubbing a mattress that gets wet or dirty from water spills or other “accidents”.


6. I prep school lunches the night before. Anything you can do the night before a new day will save you time and your sanity the next morning. I like to make my children’s lunches while I prep dinner. Sometimes in the morning I have to assemble a few last things, but completing most of the process the night before makes for a much smoother start to the day.

7. I keep running lists. Lists (in general) are super helpful, and I like to keep running lists of several things including: clothing items I need to buy, books I want to read, and blog posts I want to write. I find that keeping these lists frees up mental space and makes so many future tasks easier.


I hope you found a little inspiration and encouragement from today’s post!

What about you? What do you do to make your life a little easier? I would love to hear your ideas, so drop them in the comments below!

Until next time,

Continue reading “7 (More) Things I Do to Make My Life a Little Easier”

Wrinkles, Holey Shirts, and the Small Things in Life

So thankful for the opportunity to once again share my words over on Her View from Home

There was a time in my life when small things would really get me down. I would see a small problem, and it would nag at me. As the nagging continued, the problem would slowly get bigger. Before I knew it, I was frustrated and miserable because of what was once the smallest little annoyance. I had quickly let a little problem get out of control, and it had gotten the best of me.

I don’t want the small things to get me down anymore. The more I travel through life, the more I am (slowly) learning to let go. I’m learning to embrace what once tripped me up.

For more about the small things (including wrinkles and holey shirts), click the link to read the full article at Her View From Home.

Why I’m Embracing My Wrinkles

Thanks for all your support!

Until next time,


Continue reading “Wrinkles, Holey Shirts, and the Small Things in Life”

Ordering Groceries Online with Peapod Saves Me Time & Money


Tonight I walked into a grocery store for the first time in a couple weeks. In the last several months I have only been in a grocery store a handful of times.


I’m ordering my groceries online with Peapod.

Save Time


Last year I shared 7 things I do to make my life a little easier, and ordering groceries online was on the top of that list. Ordering groceries from the comfort of home is truly a game-changer. I save so much time each week by simply adding our needed items to the online cart. In fact, I usually begin by simply filling my cart with all the items I purchased the previous week. I do that with a simple click of a button, and then I adjust my cart as needed.

Save Money

Twenty dollar bills isolated against white background.

Not only do I save time by ordering my groceries online, I also save money. I am not tempted by every tasty item or once-in-a-lifetime sale. I stick to my list and buy what we need. I have stayed below my grocery budget for the last several months by staying out of the store. I even included ordering groceries from Peapod in my favorites post last month for this very reason.

A Few More Tips & Tidbits

~You can always pick up your groceries instead of having them delivered. You don’t tip at pick up, but do consider tipping your driver!

~Peapod does accept manufacter coupons. Just hand them to your driver!

~While handing him or her your coupons, also pass them your old Peapod grocery bags. They recycle them for you!

If you are looking to make your life a little easier and if you are looking to save time and money, then I suggest ordering your groceries online. A number of major grocery stores offer this service, so check to see what your local store offers!

If you live near a Stop & Shop, then check out Peapod! First time customers can receive $20 off their order.

What about you? Have you ever ordered your groceries online? Share your experiences below! I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Continue reading “Ordering Groceries Online with Peapod Saves Me Time & Money”

Gift Guide for Kids: 10 Ideas Under $50

Gift Guide for Kids_ 10 Ideas Under $50

I am sure there are many of you who are done with your Christmas shopping. For those of you who are still looking, here is my 2017 gift guide for kids! All these items can be found on Amazon for quick shipping and easy returns!

I hope you see something your child will enjoy!!

Happy shopping!!

(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

1) Who Was book series   

My children have enjoyed many books in this series. They are informative and well-written. There are so many choices that you are bound to find a good pick for your child! And don’t forget that they have the Who Is, What Was  and What Is books, as well.

If you have a middle grade reader, consider Wolf Hollow or Beyond the Bright Sea both by Lauren Wolk. These are even great books for adults. I just recently read both!

2) Connect 4  

Who doesn’t love a good, classic game?! This is one my kids have and enjoy playing!! Adults can get in on the fun, too! If you already have Connect 4, consider Guess Who?. That is probably one of my favorite games from my childhood and Amazon sells the retro version!!

3) Art Set

I included an art set in last year’s post, too. It’s a great option for so many kids! Don’t forget to grab a sketch pad to complete the gift.

4) Razor scooter

If you’re looking for a gift your children can enjoy outside, consider a Razor Scooter. There are lots of color and style options from which to choose.

5) Snap Circuits Jr.

My son has and enjoys Snap Circuits Jr. This is a 30 piece set that brings out the young scientist in your child! For more of a challenge, try out Snap Circuits with 60 pieces.

6) Brain Flakes

This is a toy that all 3 of my kids (ages 4, 8 & 11) enjoy. These colorful interlocking pieces allow for endless creativity!

7) Play tent

We have a few play tents that have been given as gifts over the years. Right now my girls have one set up in their bedroom. They add a little flare to any room and provide opportunity for lots of imaginative play!

8) LEGO City Town Bus Station

Any LEGO fans in your life?  A building kit is always a nice option, and my children have received a few over the years. This bus station stood out to me, but you can find the kit that catches your eye.

9) Floor puzzle

Melissa and Doug offer many floor puzzles that are colorful and detailed! It’s a fun gift to give a family with young children because they can all work on it together. For more of a challenge, check out this one with 100 pieces.

10) Melissa and Doug Imaginative Play Sets

Melissa and Doug sell endless toys and art activities. They have many play sets that spark imagination and creativity like this ice cream set.

What about you? What did you get the children in your life this year? I would love to hear from you, so drop me a comment below!

Until next time,

Continue reading “Gift Guide for Kids: 10 Ideas Under $50”