Throughout the year, bloggers (myself included) often share gift guides. I tend to like these guides because they give me ideas; introduce me to new brands & products; and frankly, I’m a voyeur — I love to see what other people are buying. However, gift guides often give me pause for a couple of reasons. First, does the blogger only want me to buy an item because she is going to make a commission off of the sale? And second, in the age of Pinterest & Etsy, just because a blogger “loves” an item doesn’t mean that she has ever actually used it or even seen it in-person.

That said, I’ve started a new series called, Things We Love (and USE). The emphasis being that these are things that we both love and actually use on a regular basis. Here are a few things that are currently making our lives a little bit easier, comfier, and more beautiful.


Things We Love & Use

1. Conductor Carl Train Set — Roman received this beautiful wooden train set from my parents for Christmas. He had been playing with a similar, smaller set at their house for awhile and we couldn’t wait to get him his very own. I really love wooden toys. There is something classic and timeless about them. I also like that most of them don’t make noise, unlike most of the plastic ones. (I’m sure all parents can feel me on that one.)

The set is well-made, Roman loves to play with it — usually with a little help from me, as there are a lot of pieces — and it’s definitely something that he will grow with for years to come.

2. Tom’s Natural Deodorant, Lavender — This list just wouldn’t be complete without me sharing at least one lavender product, right? Oh how I love this beautiful scent. More importantly, I love Tom’s products. If you’re not familiar, you can read all about them here, but simply-put, Tom’s is an earth-friendly, animal-friendly, people-friendly company. Their stewardship model is a beautiful thing.

I absolutely love the scent of this deodorant. It goes on smooth and clear and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I use it every day and especially appreciate the fact that I can use it while pregnant with no worries.

The one drawback is that it does need to be re-applied about halfway through the day and it’s not the best choice for heavy activity/sweating. If I know I’ve got a super-active day lined up, I use this deodorant which is crazy effective against sweat & odor, but I don’t love it nearly as much.

3. Amazon Mom — I signed up for Amazon Mom (which is effectively the same thing as Amazon Prime) a few months before Roman was born. So I’ve been an active user for about two years now. And, I can honestly say, that it was the smartest thing that I did for myself as a new mom.

With Amazon Mom, you get free, two-day shipping on tens of thousands of products. This is pretty much invaluable when you are stuck at home with a newborn and continues to be priceless for a mom like me who simply doesn’t get out much. Amazon has everything from diapers, to pajamas, to groceries. I’ve used Amazon to do 90% of my Christmas shopping for the last two years, too. I can’t even explain how many times it has saved my butt.

Included in your Prime membership you get access to the entire collection of Amazon Prime streaming videos, Prime Music, the Kindle Lender’s Library, and Prime Photos. It’s such a great program. I’ll never be without it again.

4. Strawberry Fraise Lip Balm — I’ve been using this tin of lip balm for two years now. (Yes, it’s lasted me that long!) It goes on clear and makes your lips shiny. You can add it on top of any colour or wear it on its own for a natural look. It smells and tastes divine and it’s made with natural beeswax.

All of these things are great, but my favourite thing about this balm is what it does for my lips. If my lips are even the slightest bit dry or chapped, I can put a little bit of this balm on in the morning and I am set for the entire day. Recently, the dry winter air dried my lips out, causing me to wake up a few mornings with cracked, painful lips. I used the balm one time and the problem was completely fixed.

5. Softspots Aadi Bootie — It was sometime in late October when I was struck by an awful feeling of frumpy-ness. I didn’t look pregnant, I just looked like I had gained weight. I hated my clothes, my hair, my changing body. I went to a party one day where I was surrounded by beautiful, well-dressed, put-together women and it pushed my hormonal self over the edge. I came home and cried hysterically to M.

In hindsight, it was quite embarrassing. Still, I made a decision that day to fix the big things that were bothering me. I got an amazing haircut and a new pair of shoes that I absolutely loved and could wear through the autumn & winter. The shoes were these Aadi booties. I am always hesitant about buying shoes because I am picky, and as a new mom, comfort is absolutely key for me. (Hats off to you mamas in stilettos, but that will never be me — at least until both of my babes are walking on their own!)

Gratefully, these boots have turned out to be the best investment that I’ve made in recent times. They are sturdy enough for the harsh winter weather around here, but the little bit of a heel makes me feel beautiful & put-together on even my frumpiest days. Best of all, they are super comfortable. They come in three colours/styles — red suede, brown leather, & black leather. I have the brown leather, but if money weren’t an issue, I’d love to get the red ones, too.


I hope that you enjoyed this edition of Things We Love (and USE). Feel free to let me know if you’ve got questions about any of the items I’ve mentioned here. I’d love to hear about the things that you are using and loving at the moment. Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Things We Love and USE // 02”

  1. I love this series! We have a wooden train set for our boys as well and Asher has just recently discovered it. I found it at a church rummage sale for 5 dollars years ago and it is beautiful!

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