Friday Favorites

Since everyone’s at home and some are running out of things to do, I thought I’d share a few of my simple favorite things. I’m aware that some are outdated… okay most (oldies but goodies) and if you’re really bored maybe you’ve already watched/read them, but I’m just sharing in case there might be some you missed 😉

Movies:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)
  • Murder Mystery (Netflix)
  • Tombstone
  • Giant
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Almost Famous
  • The Martian
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • It’s Complicated
  • Because I Said So

Movies for the Whole Family:

  • Togo (Disney+)
  • Three Men and a Baby
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • The Newsies
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • White Fang
  • Dolittle (the new one!)
  • Turner & Hooch
  • Rookie of the Year
  • The Pacifier
  • The Parent Trap (the original)
  • BIG

TV Shows:

  • The Office (hands down, favorite show)
  • New Girl
  • Seinfeld
  • American Housewife (not a reality show)
  • Fraiser
  • Gossip Girl
  • Younger
  • Downton Abbey
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Cheers

Books: On the more “serious” side

  • A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (one of my favorite books)
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
  • An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers (a sequel to the above)
  • John by Cynthia Lennon
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
  • The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Books: More on the Lighthearted Side

  • The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
  • Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
  • A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
  • The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Un-Honeymooners by Christina Lauren
  • The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  • And it goes without saying…the Harry Potter series ⚡️

Books: For the Little Ones

  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr.Suess
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • Springtime Babies by Dana Smith (Little Golden book)
  • Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • The B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstein

Activities with (younger) Kiddos:

  • Chalk
  • Scavenger Hunt (even if it has to be indoors!)
  • I Spy… (this can be absolutely anywhere!)
  • Simple Magic Tricks
  • Make Playdough together
  • Let them help make breakfast/lunch/supper
  • Have them draw something for each letter of the alphabet
  • Have coke floats
  • Build a fort
  • Start a Prayer/Gratitude Journal
  • Make Fossils (using salt dough and nature)
  • Write letters to family and friends

There you have it, a few things maybe you hadn’t thought of lately. Hope this can help at least one person out! 🙂

What are some of your favorites to watch/read?

*ASpottedHeart

Why You Should Be Reading Christina Lauren.

Who is Christina Lauren? This is the same question I was asking myself a few months ago when my sister told me I needed to read the book The Unhoneymooners written by Christina Lauren.

Christina Lauren isn’t actually one person, it’s two! Writers, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings are two friends that decided to try to write together. This concept to me is a little mind blowing, I can’t even begin to imagine trying to write a story, let alone, books, with another person. To have the same writing voice, and vision, and thought process would be so difficult. But these two awesome ladies make it work, and make it work well!

I love to read and I’m finally getting back into the swing of regularly reading. I’ve always considered myself someone that keeps up with the latest literary writers and up and coming books. This one I’d definitely never heard of though. My sister is the queen of giving any good book cover a chance. (We both really prefer good ol “rom-com” books) I remember her telling me this is her favorite book cover, so I thought I’d better give it a shot.

I hadn’t read in ages and really wanted to get into a good book. So I downloaded (I know some of you are cringing) The Unhoneymooners on my Kindle and started reading. I was immediately drawn into the story. The Unhoneymooners is a story about the unluckiest girl, who has always been a bit in the shadows of her luckiest twin sister. Her fate starts to change when she goes on a fake honeymoon with her sworn enemy. What I loved most about this book was it’s humor! It had me rolling in spots, and cringing in others. What I really appreciated about the book was it had a few different layers to unfold to get the whole story. I loved this book! It kept me on my toes never wanting to put it down. It’s hilarious, it’s steamy, and it’s just a good story! Loving this led me to wanting to read more by this dynamic duo.

So, next up, Twice In A Blue Moon. I’ll admit, once I find a really good book I’m a little hesitant to get too enthusiastic about the author and so I read a second book with caution. When I started this one out, I was a little worried. It was slow starting and the characters just didn’t seem as good as the characters in The Unhoneymooners. With that said, once I reached a certain point in the book (one that wasn’t too far in) it was hard to put it down! It’s a story of a young love affair, the only catch is the girl is the daughter of the most famous actor in the world…but he has nothing to do with her. This story takes twists and turns I didn’t see coming, a really well told story when it’s all said and done. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another, and I was not disappointed!

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating might be the funniest book I’ve ever read. It had me literally laughing out loud throughout the book. It’s a book about two people who have a strange past history that meet again once they’re older and fall into becoming best friends. I couldn’t get enough of this book. I really love the characters in this one! It’s pretty steamy in places, and made me blush a few times, but the story itself is just as good as those rom-coms we all like to watch. I’d love to see this one turned into a movie.

So if I haven’t convinced you with these three book recommendations, then maybe we just aren’t the same kind of people?! Haha! But really, I can’t wait for their new book Honey-Don’t List to come out in March. Until then, who are you reading?

The Unhoneymooners 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Twice In A Blue Moon 🌝🌝🌝🌝

Josh & Hazel… 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thanks for stopping by!

*ASpottedHeart

Movie Review: Togo

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’ve got a heart for all animals, but I’m particular soft on the K-9 variety. I’m always pretty leery of movies about dogs because my heart can hardly handle any kind of heartbreak over one. Dogs resonate so deeply in my soul that to see harm to one is painful for me. With that said, when I signed up for Disney+, Togo was the first thing I saw when signing on. Growing up I can’t even tell you how many times I watched movies like White Fang, Iron Will, and Balto. When I saw what this movie was about, I knew it was one I was willing to watch, and am I ever glad that I did!

Togo was the real-life, lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala. The movie is based on a true story about the 1925 diphtheria serum sled-run to Nome, Alaska. Growing up all I ever knew about it was what I’d learned and read about Balto, the sled dog. Though Balto was an incredible dog, Togo was unbelievable. When diphtheria threatened a small Alaskan village, their children especially, Seppala decided to make a sled run for the serum. In -30 temperature. The wind caused for a windchill of -85…I can’t even begin to imagine. They were one of 20 mushers (and over 100 dogs) that were part of the relay for the medicine. Why Togo stands out is he lead his pack for over 250 miles, while the other dogs averaged 30-40 miles. It’s a story of courage, loyalty, and the heart of a dog. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you tear up, and it’ll make you want to hug your furry friends tight. It’s an incredible story! Thank you Disney for putting this story out there, it’s a story worth being told.

The real Togo and Seppala

I definitely give it 5 popcorns!

🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

*ASpottedHeart

Spring Vision

Y’all I love Spring! I feel like I say that about every season, and while I do love Fall and Winter, I do NOT love Summer, so I appreciate Spring, though it’s usually fleeting. I love planting flowers, and Spring showers. Not to mention just about my favorite holiday, Easter, is always in the Spring. And I just love the way Spring makes me feel (not counting the dad-gum allergies, that feeling I do not appreciate.) Maybe it’s because my precious baby boy was born in Spring, or because I married my Love in the Spring, whatever it is, it makes me feel warm.

Here’s a mood/vision/ inspiration board/post. ☺️ Hope you enjoy!

Hope it’s starting to green up to Spring wherever you are! What are your favorite parts of Spring? What do you find inspiring this time of year?

*ASpottedHeart

Splish-Splash: Bathtime Favorites

Most every kid loves bath time! So today I thought I’d share some of Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s favorite simple, bath toys and a few bath products we love. So let’s get to it!

Lots of Links

My little bear loves these! There’s 24 in a pack so we have some for the bathtub, some in our diaper bag, and some attached to our carseat. He loves pulling them apart and trying to attach them to whatever he can. Great, simple toy in and out of the bath.

Bath Book

As I’ve mentioned before Little Bear loves books, so it’s only natural he enjoys a good ABC book while in the tub. ☺️ I couldn’t find his exact alphabet book, but these look pretty cute. It’s small enough he can easily hold it in the bath, it has a squeaker, and sticks to the tile in the tub. It’s a winner for our bath time!

Swimming Penguin

This little guy is so stinkin’ cute!! You wind up his little fins and away he goes, swimming through the bath water. LCC loves to watch him swim around… he also likes to see him fly, and throws him out of the bathtub *sigh* but either way he has fun with him.

Stackable Cups

Do you even have a kid if you don’t have these?! Bratcher has loved these from the beginning! You can’t tell from the photo, but each cup has holes in the bottom so that make them perfect for the bath. These are hands down some of his favorite toys in and out of the bath.

Natural Bath Sponge

My friend, The Chanhandle, told me about these sea sponges that are especially for babies. You guys, they are so soft and gentle. Little Bear loves to play with his as well. I definitely recommend getting this brand because I also got One Cute Cowboy and I some that were a different brand, and they’re way too thick and don’t get near as soft as this one does. So not only is it good to scrub your little one down with, it’s also a great toy.

Tubby Todd Body Wash

We absolutely love Tubby Todd! This stuff not only smells amazing, but is formulated with natural, plant based ingredients, free of toxins, parabens, artificial fragrance and color plus its animal cruelty free. It’s gentle enough for Little Bear’s skin, but still works well enough that even One Cute Cowboy and I like to use it! I’ve used several of their other products, and have loved every single one of them. The Dream Cream being our favorite go-to after bath lotion.

And last, but not least…

Classic Rubber Ducky

Couldn’t leave out a bath time staple, the rubber ducky. We never have bath time without it!

Those are our top bath picks! And of course we always sing Splish Splash at least once. 😉 I’ve linked everything else below!

Lots of Links • Bath Book • Munchkin Swimming Penguin •Stackable Cups •Sea Sponge •Tubby Todd •Classic Rubber Ducky

*ASpottedHeart

Wellness Roller

Y’all, this is the season to keep your immune system in tip-top shape! It makes me cringe to start hearing all the coughing and sniffling that starts happening this time of year. I literally wash my hands 50-60 times a day. I should really try to keep count one day and actually see. But honestly, I try to take so many precautions to keep my wellness up; I wash my hands, use my Thieves Hand Sanitizer when I’ve been in public places, at work I use only my pen, and I try my dangdest not to touch doorknobs, (I use my elbow or bum to push open or close doors.) But one of my biggest things I use to combat the nasties is being diligent about using my Wellness Roller.

It’s so simple, I roll it onto the bottoms of both feet before putting on my socks in the morning and just like that it’s boosting my immune system. One Cute Cowboy prefers to roll his on before bed—and sometimes we both roll it on morning and night! So I decided to share my wellness roller blend with all of my lovely followers! So here’s what I use, and why:

Thieves: So this one may be a little “on the nose” because of course our wellness roller is going to have Thieves, the mother of “wellness” oil! Thieves contains Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary Cineol. It’s an immune stimulant, a purifier,and can help reduce mental fatigue.

Frankincense: Easily one of my favorite oils. It’s known as an oil enhancer so any oil’s properties that are paired with Frankincense will be amplified. Seriously, how cool is that?! It also helps promote emotional balance, reduces stress (which is SO important to your immune system) and of course is another great immune stimulant.

Tea Tree: When I was pregnant with Little Bear, because I was so limited on what I could and couldn’t use to fight off the nasties, I’d roll this single oil on my feet each day. It’s a great antioxidant, expectorant, and it’s antiviral. An oil that, in my opinion, doesn’t get enough spotlight! I love this oil!

Copaiba: This is one I’ve really started using a lot the last 7-8 months. It’s a huge help with inflammation. And let’s face it inflammation isn’t good in your body for any reason. Boosts the Cardiovascular system and supports overall wellness in the body.

These are the main 4 I always use in my Wellness Roller, but sometimes I add one of these–

Eucalyptus Radiata: I loooovvveee the smell of this one and it’s almost always in my shower blends. It’s energizing, it’s huge in respiratory support, and helps with inflammation.

Lemon: I always have Lemon on hand! It’s a huge antioxidant, provides circulatory support and contains cleansing properties.

So I usually just kind of wing-it when it comes to how many drops of each oil I do, but here’s a round-about what it usually contains.

15 drops of Thieves

10 drops of Frankincense

10-15 drops of Tea Tree

10-15 drops of Copaiba

5-8 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata

10-15 drops of Lemon

Then I fill the rest of the roller up with a carrier oil like Young Living’s V-6 oil or coconut oil. For the bottle I usually recycle an old 15ml oil bottle and pop a roller ball on top and just like that it’s done! It literally takes 2 minutes to put together and lasts a month or more.

I’d love to answer any of your questions you might have about this blend or oils in general, so shoot me a message! I love to talk oils! Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

*Disclaimer* I’m a firm believe in oils and their healing properties but I’m most certainly not a doctor, I am not a homeopathic guru, I’m just sharing what’s worked for me and my family. I highly recommend consulting with a doctor before orally consuming any oil. Also, I don’t recommend using straight oil on the skin if you’ve never used that particular oil before. When using an oil for the first time I always recommend using it with a carrier oil like Coconut oil or any vegetable based oil, for it may show skin irritants otherwise. Cinnamon bark is a potent oil along with Clove. Always keep in mind while using oils to use sparingly. Lastly I am not saying these oils will cure any ailment, I’m simply stating that these are oils that have worked for me.**

*ASpottedHeart

Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s Favorite Books at 4 Months Old

Growing up, I always loved stories. I loved being read to, I loved library day once I was in school, and when I got old enough I loved reading! My love started out with Clifford the Big Red Dog (Oddly enough I haven’t bought any of those for Little Bear yet) and then continued to grow the more I read and learned of other authors like Mercer Mayer, Bill Wallace, and Peggy Parish.

When I first brought Lil’ Cute Cowboy home from the hospital, I wasn’t really sure what to do when he was awake, so I’d read to him. Studies have shown that children that were read to as infants grow up with a larger vocabulary and more advanced mathematical skills. This also helps develop their language skills. Its great for their brains to see pictures and connect words with those pictures.

Needless to say, Little Bear gets read to every day, and at 4 months, these are his favorite books.

1. Disney Bunnies All Ears

He loves this book! His Aunt MiMi got this book for him for Easter and he’s just started really enjoying it. I think he loves Thumper’s big eyes and pliable ears! He always smiles when he sees I have this book to read.

2. The Brave Cowboy – by Joan Walsh Anglund

This is the cutest book! We were gifted this book and he loves when his daddy reads it to him. I have a feeling this will be a book we will be reading for many many more years! It’s also illustrated really fun; what’s really happening in the story is in black and white drawings, but his imagination is depicted in red. I’d recommend this to any little Cowboy!

3. Snuggle Bunny by Kate Dopirak

This is a book we’ve been reading since day one. I think what he enjoys most on this book is the pictures of all the different animals that come over to Snuggle Bunny’s house for Snuggle Bunny Day. When you read this one he just looks and looks at the pages. It’s a really cute and fun book.

4. There’s a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss

This kid loves Dr. Seuss! You start reading this book and he starts jabbering like there’s no tomorrow! I think he likes the rhyming and rhythm. Dr. Seuss is so highly praised in the literary world (and by teachers everywhere) because rhyming helps children understand how language works. They learn to predict what’s coming next, which is another great learning tool to have in their toolbox. I think Little Bear also really enjoys the illustrations with the bright colors and funny looking creatures in Seuss world!

5. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

This is right up there with the Dr. Seuss books! The rhyming and rhythm of this book gets him talking and kicking and you can tell he really enjoys this book!

6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr.

He loves this classic children’s book. It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary of being published this year! His eyes get big as he looks at the colors and shapes while you read. I look forward to continuing this book in hopes that it helps him learn his colors. You can’t go wrong with a classic.

And now for Lil’ Cute Cowboy’s favorite book right now:

7. Bedtime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

You guys, he absolutely loves this book! You start out with the opening line, “It’s bedtime for chickies, it’s bedtime for sheep…” and he starts kicking his legs, waving his hands, and jabbering like it’s the greatest thing in the world! This book always makes him smile. It’s a cute little story about some little chickies who just won’t go to bed! It’s a repetitive book, and I think that’s part of why he loves it so much, because he anticipates what’s coming next. Like when the chickies go “cheep cheep cheep!!” He Loves that! I definitely recommend this book if you have a little one. Really cute!

So there are Lil Cute Cowboy’s Favorite books at this age. I’m so thankful he enjoys story time, because Mama sure does too!

** I cant forget one of his favorites, his crinkly book shown above! Haha! Every baby needs a crinkle book, here’s a link to his: Penguin and Friends

Did you enjoy this post? Is this something ya’ll, my readers, would be interested in as a monthly thing? Maybe not 7, but 1 or 2?new children’s book recommendations a month? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email aspottedheart@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

Currently: A Playlist

I haven’t listened to a whole lot of music in the last couple months, but here are a few songs that have been on my radar, rather it be singing them to Lil’ Cute Cowboy, or actually listening to them, here’s the playlist currently playing in my head. Enjoy!

  1. More- Clare Dunn
  2. Velvet Elvis- Kacey Musgraves
  3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gay
  4. From Me To You- The Beatles
  5. If I Had Me A Million- Pat Green
  6. Something Just Like This- The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
  7. All Night Long- Lionel Richie
  8. The Reason- Brett Eldredge
  9. Love Love Love- Tristan Prettyman
  10. Hold On Forever- Rob Thomas
  11. Style- Taylor Swift
  12. Let’s Hear It for the Boy- Deniece Williams
  13. I Say A Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin
  14. Paperback Writer- The Beatles
  15. Golden Years- David Bowie
  16. Gravity- John Mayer
  17. If I Ain’t Got You- Alicia Keys
  18. Deepest Ocean Blue-Tristan Prettyman
  19. Lean On Me- Bill Withers
  20. Fresh Eyes-Andy Grammer

You can go have a listen over on Spotify, follow the link below!

https://open.spotify.com/user/1215492818/playlist/1dDJs4qJLrfg2xfWchQKuN?si=S4djpxsARnKu-Jkeni917w

So there’s a few songs that have been floating around in my head lately. What are you listening to?

Happy Saturday!

*ASpottedHeart

The Hating Game Book Review

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbing similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.”

My sister originally told me about this book because she’d seen it on one of Mix and Match Mama’s book reviews. I had been looking for a new book to read and just couldn’t find anything in my own “Books to be Read” list that looked appealing. I’m so glad I went ahead and downloaded The Hating Game.

This book was wildly funny, and probably equally inappropriate! Haha! I’d say it’s a little risqué in a few spots (No, I’m not talking 50 Shades of Grey), but the characters and their antics will have you laughing from page one. It’s a really quick and enjoyable read. I finished it in about a weeks time.

The electric banter between the book’s main characters, Lucy and Joshua, is enough to make you want to scream out loud at times. You can feel the frustration and the need to “get even” with every game played.

I was shocked to find out from my sister that this is the author, Sally Thorne’s, first book! She truly captures, what can often be, the running thoughts of a woman. From second-guessing herself to being so determined it hurts. It’s funny, it’s romantic, it has some twists and turns that will leave you thumbing through the pages in no time!

If you’re looking for an entertaining, humorous book, I would definitely recommend The Hating Game.

Saturday Favorites: New Mom Edition

I figured what better “favorites” list to do this Saturday, but one of a new mom! I realize this won’t be all that interesting for some of you, but as a new Mom there are definitely some things I couldn’t function without along with a few “wish list” items as well. So without further adieu, here we go:

The Snuggle Me Organic

This wonderful little lounger is something I am so glad I invested in. When I lie Little Bear in it, it envelopes him in and he snuggles down and is comfortable and happy. Its’s sling design mimics being held and cuddled. This has been a life-saver for us! Plus it’s made in the USA!

Mud Pie Swaddles

I got a couple sets of these muslin swaddles for baby gifts and I absolutely love them! I received several nice, pretty swaddles but I think the Mud Pie ones are my favorite if for nothing more than the simple fact of, they’ve kept their softness. You seriously can not have enough swaddle blankets. You’d be surprised how often you use one.

Rock n’ Play

This is definitely one of those things I think all moms need. It’s so nice to be able to lay Little Bear down in it when I need to get some things done around the house. It rocks him back and forth and even has 3 different sound settings to soothe him as he sleeps. This is a must for us! It’s also light and easy to move around, which is a plus in my books.

Cloud Island Burp Cloths

Something I definitely underestimated before motherhood were burp cloths! I never gave much thought to them to tell you the truth and it wasn’t really something that was on my “radar” of things I needed. Boy am I glad I had mamas that knew otherwise! I got a set of these Cloud Island burp cloths that are perfectly soft and nice and long to drape over your shoulder or across baby’s back while burping. They’re the perfect material to soak up any spit-up or drool that baby might have. My sister also made me some really soft and cute ones that are my go-to for using on Little Bear’s face because of their plush softness. My point is-make sure you have good burp cloths.

Owlet Baby Care Monitor

We got this as a gift from my parents and let me tell you, its made the difference in how well we sleep. It’s a baby heart and oxygen monitor that goes on their foot when you put them down to sleep. It has a “Home” base that goes by the crib and it connects to your phone via wi-fi. Anytime I want to check Little Bear’s heart rate, I click on the app and it shows me his heart rate and oxygen levels. Any time one goes below what’s considered a normal level, it sends an alarm to my phone and the base station alarm goes off and it turns red. This has made sleeping so much better because I know if our guy is in danger that alarm will go off and we can take action. I can’t tell you how much better I sleep at night knowing this. Now, that doesn’t go to say I don’t still wake up several times a night to check on him, but it definitely gives me peace of mind. This is something I think is most certainly worth the investment!

Now for a couple of “wish list” items:

WildBird Sling

I’m in love with these slings. I received a Moby sling and it works good, but unfortunately Little Bear isn’t a big fan of it. He’ll tolerate it for about 5 minutes, then he’s done. I think it’s getting him situated in it that gets him so frustrated. I think with the Wildbird Sling, it would only take a second to plop him in and go. Something I really love about WildBird is there isn’t some big manufacturing company making these, they’ve hired 45+ seamstresses that are moms, that work from their own home to create these beautiful slings. I think that’s pretty spectacular, giving mom’s the chance to stay at him with their baby birds.

Mama Wolf

Every new mom needs a tee stating her new title, and this is my current fav! “Mama Wolf” I love this on so many levels!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

*ASpottedHeart