I used to do a Favorite Things post pretty regularly, back in the day when I actually blogged regularly. But I have slacked off. So now I've got a couple of things I've been holding on to for months now; it's high time I gave them their due:
1) "Inspire For Women" Yurbuds, earbuds. I don't know about you, but i have a hard time keeping earbuds in my ears when I exercise. Are my ear holes abnormally small? I have no idea. But most earbuds fall out all the time. Or my ears ache wearing them because they're wedged in there so hard. And working out with big giant DJ style earphones? Not an option for me. So when my husband bought some Yurbuds and showed me that they're guaranteed not to fall out AND that they make them in women's sizes, I had to try. And they are brilliant! I can run on the treadmill, sprint up and down stairs, lift weights, whatever and they don't fall out. They're comfy, too. And since the soft rubber piece goes over the entire earbud speaker, it funnels all the sound right into your ear. GREAT sound, and a lot of the peripheral sound is drowned out. And of course, they come in 5-6 great colors. I chose the aqua (the ones I have have an aqua cord too, not just the bud piece). HIGHLY recommended. I found them at Target for $29.99.
2) The Do Dots chore system. I picked this baby up at a Christmas boutique fair in November. I had been looking for some way of organizing family night (a weekly event Mormons do where the whole family gets together for singing, games, a short lesson or spiritual thought, and a treat, and each person gets to rotate being in charge of each element weekly). I saw a lady selling a complete chore/behavior/family night chart and I had to stop and check it out. I had previously bought several chore chart things online--stars, magnets, white boards, etc--to try to make my kids get more chores done, do homework, and highlight positive behaviors, but none of them seemed to work well. Until I tried this. It is a wonderful system for up to 6 kids (or adults) to have a daily way to see what their chores are, their homework, their practice time, etc. It also has a weekly goal and progress area, in case there's something more long term they need to be working on. It has a service area, so kids can take note of kind things they did during the day, and it has a family night area with assigned parts that can be rotated. The whole thing is based, first, on completing daily level 1 requirements in order to earn privileges (friends, screens, phone, etc.) The second part is a rewards system using tickets. The tickets get cashed in weekly at the family store (ours is called T Mart). I go to the dollar store or Target's dollar bins every so often and stock up on small toys, candy, and other things my kids like, as well as making reward coupons for a date night, a trip to the toy store, an extra story at bedtime, etc. My kids LOVE earning tickets and getting to shop with them. And I love the simplicity of having the whole system already designed, with all kinds of support built in for the various resistance you might get. It took my kids a few weeks to get in the hang of it, but now they regularly "get to level 2" which is where they put their face magnet once they've completed all their daily chores etc. The whole system was $69, and worth every penny. If you're looking for a way to motivate your kids, teach them to be in charge of their own life, and make it all easier on you...this is the system for you! Once you purchase it, you can watch all the training videos on their website to show you exactly how to implement the system. I can't recommend it highly enough.
3) I have a sweet tooth, in case you don't know. And although this is only a local favorite thing, I have just discovered Cake Bites from The Sweet Tooth Fairy bakery. They are TO DIE FOR. Denser and moister than regular cake or cupcakes, and half a dozen lets you try a bunch of different flavors w/o having to eat 6 whole cupcakes! If you live in Utah, please do yourself the favor of finding the nearest Sweet Tooth Fairy and indulging in a few cake bites. My favorites? The Red Velvet and the Salted Caramel. YUM!
Well, that is all I can think of right now. Maybe in another 6 months I'll come up with a few more favorite things to share. I'm not Oprah, jeez!