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Seven Random Things I Like

It's been a while, so I'm going to link up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum  for 7 Quick Takes today! I present to you seven random things I like, and for which I am grateful today.

1. Lent! Time to repent! I do like Lent, and with a weird rib-area cartilage injury and a bad cold to set the pace, it's shaping up to be a really Lenty Lent. I'm using the Blessed is She Lenten journal for my daily prayer time and am trying...t r y i n g this 5-Minute sacrifice. I did fairly well at it Wednesday, and pretty crappy Thursday. So there you go. Onward and upward.

I will embarrassingly admit that it took me until my 35th year to realize that I don't have to read all the things on the interwebs, even if they are about a topic of interest to me. The webs are awash with posts about how to Lent, and but thank goodness I resisted the urge to click on all of them and just licked on this one by Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee. Of course you know I want to share everything she writes, but this was the perfect reminder about "doing" Lent. Go read it. So good.

2. Speaking of Lent, I found the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles Lent at Ephasus album on Spotify today! I love their Advent one, which I have on CD and on my phone (because I'm old, but not that old), and I'm pretty sure I'm going to listen to it as much as possible, because it's fantastic.

3. Inspired by my friends Kate and Brandi, who do awesome stuff like write their kids adorable notes for when they get home from school, I made a breakfast menu for the kids! I guess it was also inspired by this Lazy Genius Collective post to tackle something which makes me angry in the mornings. And that is a demanding crowd of three sounding like an entire high school football team shouting breakfast orders at me before I've had a drop of coffee.

I printed out pictures of things we typically have for breakfast and laminated them. Then I glued magnets on the backs and shoved them in a nearby drawer. It does require 16 seconds of forethought on my way to bed, but it has actually made a difference in our mornings! Don't see cereal bars? That means they are not an option today. Aside from trying to get them to understand why they don't need 4 waffles or all the cereals we have mixed together, it has reduced the level of crazy on school-day mornings to something more manageable. Go ahead and pin it. I'll wait. 
Bet you like my terrible penmanship!
4. We've had a few library wins lately. I'm so glad I signed up for the Read Aloud Revival monthly book lists. Between that and the list I had previously compiled from blog posts, friend recommendations, and Instagram, we are enjoying some great picture books. Here are a few recent favorites.

Grumpy Pants. The kids all rolled their eyes (or the toddler equivalent) when I checked that one out, but then they all loved it. They loved it so much they begged me to get it again a couple weeks later. It actually works to make them smile when they are grumpy. Thanks, Claire Messer. You're my favorite.

How Do Dinosaurs.... do anything. This great collection by Jane Yolen is a huge hit with all three. The toddler especially loves them. The illustrations are fantastic and there are a whole bunch, so we get a different one every week. However, the lesson in How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? was apparently lost on them.

One Potato, Two Potato. Recommended by Simcha Fisher, it did not disappoint. I thought it was funny that our toddler is the one who got most attached to this one. I suspect we'll check it out again. 

5. Grove Collaborative. It's basically a subscription service for home items. I've been using it for almost a year and I really like it. For one thing, I like getting mail. Any mail that's not total junk mail or unexpected bills is welcome here, especially when I'm in a season of culling the online shopping. Most importantly, though, I love not having to buy these things at the grocery store (or Walmart, if it comes to that) and drag them up to a third floor apartment whilst my toddler throws a hissy on the 3rd step from the bottom. I've been hesitant to mention this for a couple of reasons. It is sometimes touted as money-saving and I'm not sure it's actually saving me money. I haven't ever really kept track of how much my dish soap and laundry detergent before, and so I can neither confirm nor deny this claim. It's also likely I spend more because I try things I may not have picked up browsing Target. I like Mrs. Meyers dish and hand soaps, and especially the Seventh Generation all-purpose cleaner. I also order Method laundry soap and a few other random home and self-care items. I really like it, but it's certainly not for everyone. If you'd like to check it out, you and I both get $10 if you sign up using this link

6. 40 Bags in 40 Days. I am not doing the 40 bags challenge, per se. I attempted it last year and found it fruitful, but I was also preparing to put the house up for sale and move. What I am doing, though, is taking a closer look at things I walk by and look at on the daily. Yesterday I found a pair of shoes that I haven't worn in months, just taking up space on the rack right by our door which could much more efficiently house shoes we kick out of the way every day. Underneath, there was a pair I haven't worn regularly since my days of gainful employment, which was two years ago. I realized one of the three robes hanging in my bathroom never gets worn because it turns out I hate short robes. I have two infinity scarves that are the exact same color. And so on. It's a good practice for me to take a closer look at these things, since I'm not in a place where I'll be unpacking any of our stored items to go through right now. 

7. My 2017 reading is shaping up nicely. I'm 4/7 of the way through Harry Potter and really enjoying it. My favorite read so far is probably The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My only audiobook completed so far was her Anne of Green Gables performed by Rachel McAdams. I highly recommend it. Truly delightful! 

Happy Friday! No meat today, Catholics! 


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