When I first was thinking about blogging, I researched and read other people’s advice about having blog post stored up for months at a time, so that is what I did. One of the first one’s that I wrote was one like this. I didn’t publish it right away and I looked back and realized I published it almost 2 years ago! A lot has changed in my life so I thought I would revamp it and see what my top 10 favorite things are to help my day go smoother. You can read my old post here. This was when I had lots of little ones running around. I still have lots of them running around but they are not so little. These are in no particular order.
A rubber broom you say?? Okay where I first saw these was at a friend’s home that did hair. She used them in her salon and I thought they were the neatest things ever. When we moved to our current home, the majority of the home is hardwood floors and tile. We sweep a lot. It seems that much of the tiny dust and dirt doesn’t always get picked up by the regular bristle broom. For Christmas I put this on my list and I am so thankful I got it. It sweeps up most everything that is on the floor. It is a little heavier then a regular broom so you have to get used to that—not a lot but just different. You can sweep across your rugs and it removes all dirt and hair and then if it sticks to the bristles you can just pull them off. It goes over water easily without streaking it across the rest of your floor. My floors are a lot cleaner because of this broom. It does not sweep dirt up into a dustpan easily so I would suggest getting a small hand broom for that. The handle is telescopic so it works for taller people as well. The head is about 12 inches wide. I would suggest looking at the wider head one—it cost about $30, that will be on my next list. This one is sufficient because I didn’t want to spend all that money for something I wasn’t sure I would love but I know now that I would get the larger head because we have much floor space to sweep. You can get it from Amazon, by clicking the title. I don’t have affiliates just want you to know where you can buy it.
2. pepper spray
I have a fear. Yes a real fear of dogs. I don’t really like any of them, even little ones. We have a retriever/shepherd/collie mix and I have grown to love her, but it was hard at first. She has been around for about 12 years now and I hope she lasts forever because I don’t think I would acclimate to a new dog well at all. I was attacked by a dog when I was younger, not once but twice. So when I hear a dog barking or running at me or my children, it sets off a “freak” alarm inside of me. One of my favorite things to do is go walking up the mountain. I love getting out in the mornings and taking a twenty minute walk back and forth in front of my home. But during the day if I see a stray mountain dog run by, it makes me second guess going out the next morning. I tried taking my dog, but she walks one time up the mountain and then stops when I try and take her back up again—getting old:) My husband bought me pepper spray and guess what??? I take it every time I go out alone in the mornings and when we go walking just the children and I. Solves all my fears of being attacked by some stray dog. Simple, pepper spray. Mine can hook on my key chain but I usually hold it in hand while walking. Keep away from children!
3. ear buds
I used to look at my teenage children while they walked around the house with their ear buds on and think, why do they want to “shut out the world.” I have come to appreciate “shutting out the world.” I don’t do it all the time, once in a while I wish for ear plugs:) I love to listen to sermons or music in the mornings while everyone is asleep and sometimes I listen when falling asleep. Ear buds make this possible. I can focus and listen deeply without disturbing the rest of the family. I bought a pair from Amazon (click here) and they lasted me a whole year. The only reason I got another pair was because I had a child chew, yes you read that correctly, chew off my ear piece. Gross I know?!?!?
4. 32 gallon trash can
This is still one of my favorite things that help my day. We go through LOTS of trash. I would say an entire can almost each day. I tried using a “regular” sized can when we first moved here and it was not cutting it. I quickly ditched that idea and went back to what I know, my LARGE kitchen trash can. Love it. The lid closes tightly so no smells and it works!
5. coffee pot
Last time, my favorite thing was an electric water kettle. I used to drink instant coffee. Once you get used to something it doesn’t really taste bad at all. Then last year my husband said, “honey, I am moving you up to regular coffee!” At first I was like, aghhh one more appliance that I don’t really need and it took some getting used to. But I have grown to LOVE my coffee pot. It is nothing fancy, just one from Walmart but it does the job. I fill it up completely the night before and set it to come on early. I love waking up the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Plus if I don’t get up for whatever reason and my husband and son do, there is already coffee waiting for them to grab while going out the door.
6. hand sanitizer
This made the list again. I don’t know how I would live without this stuff. I know there are speculations that it probably does not work but at least in my mind, I feel that it gets rid of germs. We have a large gallon sized container sitting on our kitchen counter. When people come in, I find them using it without even thinking:) I keep one in my van and as soon as we leave a store and get inside, you hear,”pass back the hand cleaner.” I have bought travel sized ones for all my girls this year. They have upgraded to carrying purses everywhere they go so now they can keep some on hand. I keep one in my purse as well. We usually skip washing hands in the public bathrooms and just use this. I used to do the little ones hands before meals as it was easier then actually going to the bathroom and washing everyone’s hands. But now that my children are all somewhat self sufficient, I can send them to the bathroom to wash their hands and they do a good job most of the time.
I have never owned a pair of sunglasses that I regularly used in my entire life. Since moving here it is sunny. Stats show that it is sunshine 218 days out of the year. I don’t know if being up in the mountains makes it brighter, or maybe I am just getting older…..could be. But I have come to use my sunglasses almost every time we go out. I keep them in my van and normally put them on right away. I like Walmart brand—they work. I have only busted one pair, when I took my nice fall on the waterfalls. I think they saved my eyes from getting hit. Keeping them in my purse was not a good option, they got crushed, so I keep them on the phone holder and then I know where they are at all of the time.
Anyone that has moved to a new place knows how frustrating it can be to try and find where you are going. I use my GPS on my phone almost every time we go out. I am not a great directional remember person. My daughter Jadyn who is 10 is so good. She is like Mom, we need to turn here. She remembers way better than I do. I remember back in the day before cell phones, when my husband and I went on a trip to Cedar Point and then ended up on the other side of Michigan without even knowing where we were at. All we had were checks and we were running out of gas(in those days out of town checks were not accepted). Thank goodness for modern technology. Love knowing where I am going when I am out. Once in a great while when we hit some remote spot, it will not work. Then panic sets in:) Amazing how we rely on these things. Thank the Lord for them:)
9. My blates
Whats a blate you say? Well that is my made-up-version. I don’t know what the correct word is but they are like a plate plus a bowl so we called them blates. I bought these back in Michigan at an Amish store. If anyone knows where to find these online, please give me the link. I love these. They are made from melamine so that they will not break easily. Our entire dinner wear set is made from it as well. I got them at Walmart, and they don’t break. I love them. But these bowls are my absolute favorite. They work for cereal, for soups, and for meals. The food doesn’t slide off them when handing them to a young child, like a plate would. They are perfect. We probably use these for most every meal in our home.
10. portable speaker
When we moved down south, I learned real quick that the Christian music that I used to listen to was not the popular kind down here. We used to have a radio station Power 88.3 that did a great job of introducing new Christian music to a wide audience. I realize how great of a ministry that the station was. When we are driving now, we find ourselves flipping through the stations to try and find something to listen to. Where for years I never once had to turn the station. Just a different culture. It is one we have grown to appreciate, but I still have my favorite music I like to hear. This speaker has solved the problem. I have a huge music list on my phone that I add to frequently and I hook this speaker up through blue tooth and I am able to listen just as we used to via the radio. It costs about $20 on Amazon and works great. It is loud, we take it in the car and can hear it very well. I bought one for all of my older children and husband to use. We love them. Also, the girls listen to audio books on my laptop from the library and I can hook it up for better listening. It doesn’t have blue tooth on my lap top so that is a plus that you can still hard wire it. You can hook it up to tablets for listening to movies while driving as well. A great inexpensive way to hear all of your devices better.
My list has changed much over the years. I still love my coffee from Starbucks, but we don’t frequent it as much. Once I got my HE washer and dryer, I thought I would never go back to a regular sized one again. When we moved here we put that in storage and use the washer/dryer that came with the house. It is not HE but it means smaller loads. I think you just get used to what you have and make it work. I still use scissors at almost every meal. But most of my children can cut their own foods if needed. We don’t use the steam mop anymore, not good for wood floors. My children don’t write on the walls as much anymore. A box of Magic Erasers will last a whole year now. My children can handle chores with just a list now. Life changes and things change. This is my list of what makes my life easier. How about you? Any things that make your life easier?
Be blessed as you enjoy using things that make life easier.