Friday Favorites #6

Happy March 1st! Hope you’ve had a good week. We just got a fresh blanket of snow this morning, so that’s kinda pretty to see outside my window. Here are a few things that I’ve been loving this week, one that’s actually been a longtime favorite.

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1. Giant Food Store Balloons: Now, I make no claims that every balloon you get from Giant will be this awesome, so don’t hold me to it. But these plain old latex balloons that I got for Andie’s birthday party on Sunday are still floating up at the ceiling, a good 5 days later. I don’t know if it’s a fluke or if they’re doing something different or using a different kind of balloon. I’m certainly no balloon expert, I just know that when I’ve gotten balloons like this in the past, they’ve only stayed afloat for maybe a day or two. Each morning this week, I’ve come downstairs expecting them to be on the floor, but they’re all still hanging out up at the ceiling. And they have provided so much entertainment for the girls, well actually the whole family. :) Matt has even started doing science experiments to see what he can hang from them and still have them stay afloat. So if you need balloons, I would highly recommend these.

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2. Puzzles: This week, someone gave Matt a huge pile of puzzles that she was trying to get rid of and told him we could keep whichever ones we wanted and to just donate the rest. So I picked out 10 of my favorites that looked fairly easy. And by easy, one of them said for ages 7+ and the rest are like ages 10+ and 14+. I figured Ellie might be a little young yet for most of them since I know 5-year-olds don’t usually have a huge attention span for this sort of thing. But as soon as she saw them, she started begging to work on them. So a couple days this week, we’ve spent our evenings working on a few of these puzzles. With a toddler around, I knew it would be tricky to keep her from getting the pieces, so once we start on a puzzle, we pretty much don’t stop until it’s done, since I know we can’t just leave it sitting out on the table for days at a time. And I’ve been amazed how well Ellie’s done with them. I’ll tell her to find a specific piece with certain colors on it, and next thing I know, she’s got it. This 300 piece lion puzzle that says for ages 14+ was the 3rd one we did, and it only took us 2 1/2 hours. I mean, that’s a really long time when you’re talking about a 5 year old, but I thought that was a pretty quick time to get this whole thing done. Anyway, just thought this would be a good one to share, since this is something that parents and kids can enjoy working on together.

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3. Blendtec Blender: This last favorite is nothing new to our home. In fact, I forget exactly when we got it, but I’m pretty sure it was within a year of us getting married, so that’s been at least 7 or 8 years. One thing you have to know about me is that before I make any decently big purchases, and even some little purchases, I tend to research them to death before I make a decision. Which means reading tons of Amazon reviews and comparing different options. When we decided we wanted a blender, I knew I wanted something that would blend whatever we put in it, from ice, to fresh greens, to frozen fruit. I figured I’d rather spend more to get something that was going to last a long time than get something cheap that we’d have to replace every couple of years if we used it a lot. And I can confidently say we made a good decision. While this is one of the pricier options out there, I’ve never regretted going with this kind. Ever since we got it those 7 or 8 years ago, we’ve used it at least a few times a week, mostly for healthy smoothies, but also to make delicious soups. I love that it actually doesn’t have any sharp blades, so it’s really safe to use and clean. And that is probably my favorite feature, how wonderfully easy it is to clean. You literally just rinse the jar out with water, and then every once in a while, wash it with soap and water. But there’s nothing else you need to take apart and no blades that will dull over time. This is a definite winner in my book.