If we go lightly here, my Weekly Favorite Finds this week are what I’ll be wearing on my body, my feet and my face, and all the fun things the kids and I will tote to say all the oooos and ahhhhs to all the beautiful fireworks, outdoors, from a safe social distance next weekend.

And then reality hits me again, and so I’m currently working on plan B, for where the same me, in that same outfit, with those same items toted, will be taking those same three sweet kids for some fresh air, and to sit together and celebrate just being together, in our own little way, sans public giant fireworks and to maybe have a conversation about why we aren’t seeing them next weekend.

Weekly Favorite Finds: Organized For Outings & Ready To Go

This post is less about in the house/home and the should and will we see fireworks, and more about how this masked mom, safely, with three kids in tow, steps away from the house. It’s about the things and the tricks that make that easier to do, and how we stay organized so that it’s not a production to even just get out the door. And it’s about a few things that have become our family favorites over the past few months—because sometimes the littlest things lend to the best memories together, and well, sometimes some things are just more practical than others, especially now.

1 Jumpsuit | 2 Cotton Masks | 3 Large Tote | 4 Belt Bag | 5 Summer Shoes

6 Sippy Cups | 7 Personal Popcorn | 8 Mosquito Zapper | 9 Turkish Towels

10 Thule Tote | 11 Wagon | 12 Rocking Chair

1 Jumpsuit | This is my one and done right now, and the easiest purchase I’ve made in a long time given it’s price point of under $30. It doesn’t need to last forever, and I don’t expect it to. I just need to pull me together enough, through summer 2020. It replaced one I wore for years until I wore out, the cost of which…add a zero. There are no zeroes here these days, just this inexpensive hero of a jumpsuit, available in many size and color options.

2 Cotton Masks | Anyone else dealing with Maskne? How??? How on earth at this age am I simultaneously battling acne and wrinkles? Relatively speaking, it’s a teeny tiny problem, but yes, I feel better, when my face isn’t broken out from mask wearing. So I’ve recently ordered a decent selection of cotton masks to better manage the heat and maskne, and my 8-year-old who is more mask compliant when they are super-soft.

3 Large Tote | I think my kids love this more than I do, because they appreciate that they can find their stuff in mom’s tote more easily when they can see it. And it coordinates with my shoes and belt bag and has a hint of color pop. Yes, dark green is color pop in my world these days.

4 Belt Bag | Another of my favorite recent budget-friendly finds. One of my daughters has been wearing my belt bag from college. Another has been wearing my running belt as a fashion statement across her body. And my two other current favorites in my own closet are leather. So I justified this $20 spend because belt bags have obviously been a long love of mine, and I can’t very well put my license credit card and keys in that open tote and hope for the best…nope, they stay on me, and in this.

5 Summer Shoes | Color me a Happy Camper in these. For as long as I’ve loved belt bags, have I also been a Birkenstock fan. My knees…well, I’ve invested quite a bit of time and money in physical therapy for my knees over the past few years and my PT, says those Birkenstocks that I love dearly, are not helping the torn meniscus, IT Band syndrome, arthritic situation AT ALL. Yet I can’t bring myself to wear only sneakers all the time when it’s getting so hot. So while these are decidedly not a budget-friendly purchase, they are far less expensive than physical therapy, and have the extra support that these old knees need right now. And they are fun, and putting a little pep in my step. And they’ll last. Campers do that.

6 Sippy Cups | Masks require straws. First of all, is anyone else so thirsty just from wearing the mask? If we don’t use straws, it’s hard to rehydrate. I have a giant YETI with a straw lid that I love, but getting the kids outfitted in multiple straw-lid-sippy cups was going to be a budget breaker if we went that route. So these are the BPA free, blah blah blah that we’ve recently stocked-up on.

7 Personal Popcorn | Homemade popcorn seasoned any way you like is a snack favorite around here, and these self-serve containers make it super-easy to prepare and tote. And they come as a 2 pack. And are silicone and food safe.

8 Mosquito Zapper | OK, fine, it’s technically not a zapper, it is a repeller. I just like the word zapper better. None of us like the Mosquitoes but they LOVE my littlest, and of course she’s also the one who has giant allergic reactions to them. So now this guy comes with us and helps fend them off. He’s easy and battery-operated.

9 Turkish Towels | Turkish towels are another tried and true family favorite. I love Linum if you are shopping for a brand, but we’ve also tried so many others over the years and the differences are minimal. I love these best right now for both their extra size, and also for the pattern of their stripes and coloring. And as far as Turkish Towels go, they are a great price point.

10 Thule Tote | A few of my friends have noted over the years that I’m a good packer. I appreciate that. It takes work. I don’t forget much (lists), I’m a single adult who can seemingly get the car packed without too much fuss (organization, planning and time management) and they say that everything looks so nice (this matters not at all.) These Thule totes are part of how we do that. The items they contain, live in them on storage shelves in closets in my home and especially in my basement, and rather than having to find the lifejackets, flashlights, tree straps, camping tools, etc,. I just pull the Thule that has the things from the basement and put it in the car or the wagon, or the whatever is going to move them. Voila. Right now, we have a Thule that has all the things above in it. It’s our socially distanced gather Thule. It has our folding chairs, Turkish towels, the bug zapper, the sippy cups and the popcorn things in it (and some bug spray and hand sanitizer too.) It lives by the back door of the house, in the kitchen and if we aren’t going far, we grab what we need. If we’re going for a walk or to a local park or to socially distance visit friends outdoors on driveways, patios, or on small quiet city streets, we drop the whole thing in the wagon and wheel it with us. And if we’re going for a hike somewhere or to the beach, the wagon (folded), goes into the Thule and, into the car, and then off to wherever we’re going. Make sense? No getting ready…we just are ready. Because it takes enough time just to get the kids in masks and fill the water bottles and have everyone use the bathroom before we leave.

11 Wagon | I’m on my second wagon, and it’s this one because a friend borrowed my first wagon and loved it so much it’s still with them, and I’m OK with that. I went with bigger wheels + better steering for my new one. But yes, this is how I tote the Thules, and wallpaper, rug and wood samples, and occasionally a small child too.

12 Folding Portable Rocking Chair | I wanted one for myself. But the red one sold out. The grey one, the girls decided would be their gift to their brother for his birthday and EVERYONE LOVED it so much, that now we have a full family set of them. They are easy, light and so comfy. And who doesn’t prefer rocking to sitting still?


Currently Wishing For A Set Of These
Black-Owned Business Spotlight — Lolly Lolly

So apparently due to high demand, this ceramicist is navigating next steps. Good for you Lalese; take your time, we aren’t going anywhere other than back to you when you are ready. I subscribed to her newslist so that I’ll know when dreams can come true and I can drink from one of her beautiful mugs. You can too. For now, we’ll just ooo and ahh over her mugs rather than fireworks because they are so beautiful they bring my heart the same kind of joy. And there are 100 of them in that specific project. So yes, kinda like a big fireworks display of ceramics.


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Here’s to a weekend of looking ahead to next weekend whatever that might bring, and to enjoying the moments of today, because here’s where we are now.
xoxo,
A

PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distraction via pretty visuals. xo, A

5 COMMENTS

  1. Shoot, are Birkenstocks not a good option for bad knees? I’ve also got a torn meniscus (amongst other problems) and have had years of physical therapy. I was thinking the Birk was a good summer shoe, once broken in….I’m with you that athletic shoes are too hot!

    • Autumn: I am not an MD, nor a PT, nor any anything expert…I’m just going on 46, a resentfully retired ish runner (due only to one too many injuries,) on a machine instead of pavement, and feeling blessed that I can even walk, which a year ago was an extreme challenge. My PT yelled at me and said you are done with your Birks. You need support…the loose heel isn’t helping you. I own more Birkenstocks than I’m willing to admit to. And I love them. I have retired my 4″ heels, and all heels for that matter, I usually wear kicks, it’s my way, but when I need to slip something on, rather than flip flops, or open toed flimsy shoes with no support, yes, it’s usually a Birkenstock. The thing is, I live in the city, and I walk. Even on a slow day, many, many miles. Apparently, many miles in Birks, is not recommended for these old knees. I need ankle support too. So I’m trying the ones I posted. I haven’t tossed my Birks. I love my Birks. And they get me a few blocks and back, etc. But if I’m going out for the day, well, Hana’s voice plays in my mind when I choose carefully what I put on my feet. How’s that for a love my Birks, But answer? Birks are better than MOST other options, but if you are going to walk miles and miles, not in sneakers, and have knees already in trouble…then yes, there are wiser options. xoxo A

  2. I appreciate hearing your perspective. I haven’t been able to wear heels of any kind since my first injury a decade ago and overall I find shoes a struggle. What my feet like isn’t necessarily what my knees like and visa versa. Birks > flip flops is definitely a true statement though! I’m glad to hear that walking is more doable for you now. And a good PT is someone to be cherished 🙂

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