Visits with the Family (AKA Free Babysitters)
I love my extended family, but I also enjoy where we live. I often am happy to live some distance away from them (sorry guys!), but whenever we visit family, I am amazed at how much I can get done. For instance, I am writing this post on a family vacation, as I have the time to breathe and others are around to make sure my son isn’t eating a rock or sticking a random metal object into an outlet. I am so psyched now for a trip to visit the family, that I go so far as to bring a book to read. And I actually started reading one this week! The point – if you have family nearby and they are willing to help out with the kids, appreciate that, even if it comes with some un-asked-for input on your parenting style. If you don’t live near family, stock up your Kindle before visiting. Maybe you’ll actually get some time to read something other than the back of your kid’s cereal box.
Ok, so when I got these, it was the first time I have ever purchased anything via a Facebook-sponsored ad. But I am really digging these Sudara pants for around the house. They have an elastic waist with drawstrings, so I can even wear them pregnant. I ordered the capris since I am 5’ 1” and they don’t drag on the ground; I usually have to hem up my pants. They are cute and comfy, and although the price tag is a bit high, they support women in developing countries so they have that feel-good element to them. They even come in a cute bag made of the same material. I haven’t figured out what to do with those bags yet, but they are stocked away for a possible DIY project or instant fancy wrapping at the holidays.
Brother sewing machines
In preparation for our vacation (see ‘visits with the family,’ above), I ordered a sewing machine to store at my husband’s family’s vacation home. I love that Brother has good sewing machines in the $100 – $150 range, which don’t weigh a ton. I ordered the middle-of-the-road Brother Project Runway 50 stitch machine and thanks to Amazon, it was waiting for me when I arrived. I figured that even if I am only here once a year, it will more than pay for itself over the course of the next 20 years. I have gotten more done in four days of sewing than I would usually accomplish in a month or more back home. The quilt I am working on (a gift for a friend) may actually be done before Christmas. If you are the crafty type, I highly recommend bringing a project along for the ride. In this case, we were flying, so buying one was the easier (yet more expensive) choice.
As an alternative, you could buy a used machine at your destination or even do a quilting (or other type of craft) class at your destination, where they provide the machine or other supplies.
Alex and Ani
So my sister got me an Alex and Ani bracelet last year for Christmas, but I had never been in one of their stores. While on vacation, I finally set foot in one. Although it had a very minimalist look (which to me usually equates to expensive), I was surprised to find reasonable prices. I was told by a sales woman that their bracelets are meant to be ‘layered.’ So, at about $30 a pop, I guess that could get pricey. But thanks to my sister and my purchase during my own visit, I have two to ‘layer.’ And I was extra excited to find that they had an Air Force bracelet (which I have been unable to find at other major jewelry chains). I will happily wear them together now. That is all.