With February officially in the rearview mirror (where did that month go?), it’s time to look back at the items, decisions, and foods that were “favourites” in February.
1. Soup on sunday
This is a new addition to my meal-planning repertoire, but I’ve really honed in on it over the month of February.
Each Sunday afternoon I now make a soup.
Preparing the soup (not just the ingredients – the whole soup) on Sunday means I don’t have to think about supper on Monday. It means I can cook the soup when it’s convenient (though I tend to do this right after lunch so the cleanup is done early enough for me to take a nap). It’s a restful activity (for me!) on Sunday afternoon where it would be a stressful activity (for me!) on Monday afternoon.
Having a soup in the fridge – taking care of Monday and Tuesday suppers – has been a great new hack for our meal rotation.
2. vent dryers
Okay, this one is very much a niche for cold-weather climates and requires a ducted heating source. We tick off both of those boxes in our home and these have been lifesavers in the winter for drying winter gear.
We just slip wet hats, gloves, and boots over the slots and the whole thing fits over the floor vents. We’ve had – and loved them – for several years but I’ve especially appreciated them this winter.
3. Boogie board
Not the water variety, although those can be lots of fun too.
This is a “whiteboard” of sorts where you can write things down and then erase the whole board with the click of a button.
John found ours at a thrift store for several dollars (they run about $35 CAD new). While I don’t know if I’d spring for a full-price version, it is a great way to record temporary lists, jot down little hello’s, or even just occupy a child for 10 minutes of clean, no-paper-or-marker-required art time.
4. spandex shorts
I know some readers are fitness buffs and so comfortable exercise gear is their jam. But to me – a low-key exerciser with a limited wardrobe – basic Spandex shorts are, quite simply, the most comfortable things I own/wear.
While they are great for exercise – especially summer runs – they’re also perfect for lounging around the house or an easy walk on the treadmill. I love my Spandex.
5. velvet hangers
Velvet-covered hangers. I think I appreciate these most in the winter when we’re hanging up coats so frequently but, aside from that, I use them to store all my non-exercise pants in my closet. Nothing slips and they’re thin in profile. Just a great product for any closet.
I sourced mine – in a box of 50 – from Amazon years ago. A handful break each year, but I consider them worth every penny.
6. individual-sized nori packages
These are delicious on their own, but we also love to add in some tuna filling or sticky rice for hand-roll sushi.
They’re great for kid’s lunchboxes and I often pack them up for summer picnics on the go.
7. nutritional yeast
Another food item – and this one has been a favourite for several years. We initially got started on nutritional yeast during a family Whole30. It makes a great addition to sauces and can serve as a cheese replacement in certain contexts (the flavour profile, NOT texture). I know lots of people swear by adding it to warm popcorn (we’ve not tried this yet), but it’s a very versatile food product.
I’ll add this to recipes to provide an extra depth of flavour, sprinkle it on top of rotisserie chicken inside corn tortilla wraps, and my favourite homemade mayo-based sauce features lots of nutritional yeast. Yum.
8. My robe
Let me count the ways I love my robe. Nope – there are too many.
I’ve owned this robe since I was 13 and still use it DAILY. It’s warm. It’s cozy. It has a pocket which is so convenient (I’ve had robes with no pockets and I NEED the pocket; this robe originally had two pockets but when I was a teenager I stood too close to the woodstove and the other pocket melted – yikes!).
It is very juvenile – complete with a teddy bear pattern – but it is hands down one of my favourite things. I’ve tried other more age-appropriate robes over the years, but they just can’t compare.
9. IKEA SPARKA BALL
We use these balls every single day in our house (especially since I moved our CO detector).
They’re soft, yet hold their shape. One of our most-loved toy items ever.
10. makeup remover clothes (+Coconut oil)
I referenced these last week when I broke down my “makeup” routine.
I’ve been using – and loving – special microfibre makeup removal cloths for years. All you do is add water and gently scrub (in circles) to remove makeup.
I will note that I no longer use waterproof mascara and I’m not sure if they would be strong enough to remove that? But for someone that uses minimal makeup, these are a great option for cleaning my face. The best results come when I put on a thin layer of coconut oil and let that sit for a few minutes before wiping everything down with the cloths.
The microfibers do break down over time; each cloth lasts me about a year before it gets a bit scratchy and matted at which point I simply repurpose it as a cleaning cloth.
And there you have it. My February favourites. Anyone have any great new finds – or tried-and-true items – they’re dying to share?
Header photo by Madeleine Ragsdale on Unsplash
24 thoughts on “February 2022: Favourite Things”
I LOVE nutritional yeast and one of my favorite ways to eat it is on popcorn- so good.
I can see how making soup on Sunday- for Monday and Tuesday dinners- would be a lifesaver. I haven’t quite gotten to that level yet, but I’ve been embracing the “leftovers meal” more than ever this year. Sometimes I’ll be at work and I’ll remember that dinner for that night is already made, and it totally makes my day.
I love that you have a robe from when you were 13! I can’t believe it’s still in such good shape- you probably take very good care of it.
I almost never have popcorn in the house, but I really should buy some this week and try the nutritional yeast. It would be such a delicious snack! I’ll report back once I try this.
Yes, you and I are both Team Leftovers. It still boggles my mind that some people don’t like leftovers…but then I skim, sometimes read the end of books first, and don’t like spicy food or cheese! I shan’t throw stones from inside my glass house.
I think the robe is just indestructible? I do NOT take special care of it (see note about melting off a pocket by getting too close to the stove). It just hasn’t broken down at all – through no work on my end?!
I’m very interested in nutritional yeast. I eat a lot of popcorn and I have heard it’s such a good additive. Someday maybe I’ll put it on my grocery list and give it a try. I hadn’t heard a bunch of your other suggestions for how to use it, so thanks for that!
Just this morning my husband was using it and commented on how much we love nutritional yeast (he didn’t know I was mentioning it in this post). It’s definitely worth a try and I find a bottle lasts a LONG time.
Bob’s Red Mill is what I used to buy, but this brand is better bang for buck and I think I like the flavour a bit better? Either way, it’s definitely a favourite product in our house.
It does seem ironic I haven’t used this on popcorn yet. I need to add the popcorn to my list; you add nutritional yeast. Then we can circle back with a verdict.
Oh my gosh, how I covet your glove warmer! That would be so amazing in the winter months!
I literally bought some seaweed packets at Trader Joe’s today, because I have heard so many people rave about them. I tried one sheet… and I do not know if I can eat another. It is much softer and more… fishy than I anticipated! Perhaps my kid or my husband will like them… although I am not terribly optimistic.
I will say that I have found the taste/texture can vary – I prefer the brand I picture in this post over the ones from Costco, for example. But it IS an acquired taste no matter how you slice things and I can see someone not liking either the texture or the taste. I like the sheets plain as a snack, but adding in other toppings like rice and dipping it in to a soy sauce might help? It’s also great chopped up and added to a salad; then the flavour can fall more into the background. I realize I’m now trying to offer solutions to make you fall in love with the nori when…it’s also fine to say you don’t like them (and maybe pass them along to those people who rave about them)!!
No matter what I try, I can’t get my daughter to eat soup. Which ironically is what we are having for dinner tonight! I will just make Annie’s mac and cheese for her. I’m hoping she gets over that. I think it relates to her preferring to always eat most foods separate. When we do pasta and meatballs, she eats the pasta plain no sauce on the side, and that is the theme for many meals. It’s hard because I love soups or stews and have really don’t do them so much anymore.
Oh She Glows has a fantastic recipe for All Dressed Kale Chips that includes nutritional yeast. It is so good. The kids and I will stand over the pan and eat the whole batch of kale chips every time.
I agree with you on robes – mine is certainly not as long-lived as yours but it has the much needed pockets!
Thanks for sharing. It’s fun to appreciate the small things in our lives that bring a bit of joy.
I haven’t made kale chips in ages…with nutritional yeast sounds amazing (Oh She Glows does have some of the best recipes; her Endurance/Seed crackers are such a hit in our family).
Food preferences are so tricky and the eating things separately hits close to home; one of my siblings (in their 40s) STILL does this. If there are mashed potatoes, pickles, and green beans on a plate, they will eat each item separately until it’s gone. This BLOWS my mind because I am all about the flavour and texture combinations.
That is too funny and I maybe have lost some hope on her growing out of that! lol
I am also all about flavour and texture combos! I recently bought sourdough bagels from a local shop that also had a cashew garlic and chive spread. Together they were magic!
Don’t lose hope – this sibling definitely eats lots of combo foods like soup and stew…but IF presented with individual items, will eat each separately.
The bagels sound delicious! I actually woke up this morning craving a cinnamon raisin bagel. I might eat one bagel each year, so it felt like a weird craving…maybe I’ll indulge today at lunch!
I have tried nutritional yeast as I had heard great things about it and was rather disappointed by its complete lack of flavour, maybe it was the brand I bought. I believe it is still lurking at the back of a cupboard somewhere it is probably completely flavourless by now it has been stored for so long!
I too have a very old robe, we call them dressing gowns here which sounds ever so slightly pretentious, mine is rather worn on the elbows but I love it. I am not entirely sure how old it is but I thinking over twenty years?
I have a small blackboard like your boogie board, which I have never heard of, it sounds like a modern day etch-a-sketch not that that would hang on the wall, it is the principle I was thinking of. Anyway back to my blackboard, I use it to write food items that I have run out of or nearly so, the things I don’t buy every week so that I don’t have to check all the cupboards each time I write a shopping list.
No new finds here or tried and tested items either, well nothing that springs to mind anyway! Loved your roundup as usual.
I do think that nutritional yeast is more of a flavour booster than something I would consume as the main flavour profile of a dish? But if you’re inclined – I’d definitely recommend trying another brand because I do find our’s has a rich, distinctive flavour! I used some on both my salad at lunch and my pasta at supper.
I think “dressing gown” sounds delightful – like something I’d hear Winston Churchill say on an old film reel.
I use the boogie board to write down things on the fly, largely when I use up an item in the kitchen that needs to be replaced. I refer to this list before I go grocery shopping and transfer it over to the digital list on my phone. Then I click a button and it’s all ready for a new list!
i love single packet seaweed, just finished one. I like them plain but also with veggies/tofu inside.
I still need to make your soup, my girls are not big fan of soup, maybe it’s the weather (hot all year long) but i’ll definitely try it myself. 🙂
Yes, soup is definitely more appealing in the middle of cold weather of which we have had A LOT this winter.
I love nutritional yeast! I use it a lot, and I used to put it on popcorn, but I am now addicted to Boom Chicka Pop popcorn so I haven’t done that in forever. I have similar microfibre cloths, I actually put eye makeup remover on them and just use it for my mascara. Although, on the occasion that I do wear waterproof mascara, which is not often, I use coconut oil to remove.
I just…never eat popcorn. I’m going to add it to the grocery list for this weekend!
That vent dryer contraption is genius! We need something like that!
Hmm, favorite things in February. Paul’s iPad was a life saver on our trip. He handled the plane rides so well since he could use it during the flight (I paid for internet for him on the way to Phoenix, didn’t need to on the way back since they had the Paw Patrol movie available for him to watch for free on his iPad).
Also the water proof mittens I bought off amazon. I had some thick wool ones which are fine for walks and such but not great for sledding!
The vent dryer IS genius. We use this daily in the winter and they work so well (especially if we load them up before bedtime…everything is dry and warm by morning).
iPads (or other portable screen devices) are lifesavers!
I love these kinds of posts – I am also interested to learn what items/things other people treasure in their day-to-day life. I have been using nutritional yeast more recently and definitely see myself using it more in the future. I have heard good things about these microfiber make up removing cloths, actually have given them as gifts, but don’t own them myself. Silly, isn’t it?
I’ve been a big fan of overnight oats this winter. I prepare a couple of small jars on the weekend and let them sit in the fridge over night, and then heat them up with berries every morning throughout the week. So easy and delicious. I have also enjoyed apples with almond butter recently. I think I shared in a comment earlier that I didn’t grow up with peanut butter and for the longest time couldn’t even imagine eating apples with either peanut or almond butter, but I guess it’s an acquired taste and I am a recent convert. 🙂
A product I’d like to recommend this month: I’ve been enjoying the Vitamin C & B3 Serum by Native.
I haven’t done overnight oats in YEARS, but this was a staple for me. I have to admit – I like the texture of fresh oatmeal better, but it was so convenient. In the summer I would eat them cold and found them refreshing (and so easy to just grab from the fridge).
I never put anything on apples, but you know how I feel about peanut butter…it is pure joy in a jar.
Oh, that vent dryer is a genius contraption! I love hearing about these winter products because they are so far outside my understanding, lol.
I’ve never tried nutritional yeast and you’re totally selling me on it. I think I’ll add it to my grocery list so I can give it a try!
We love it, but no pressure to feel the same way. I think it is a bit of an acquired taste…so if you do buy it, I’d suggest using it in several different ways (e.g. on popcorn, in a sauce, on top of a taco)
Yes to nori, and nutritional yeast, and robes, and those hangers! I have the same ones – purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond, not Amazon, but honestly the same thing. My fleece robe makes me so happy, and in the summer I do shift to my ancient flannel robe (from… 1993… wow…). I’m wondering if I am thinking of the same thing with the nori, though. The “seaweed snacks” I see at the store – and like – are not flexible enough to bend around something like a filling. Perhaps I should click on the link to learn more. 😉 I don’t care for nutritional yeast on popcorn, but I use it in other things now.
Hmmm. Not sure about the nori you use. Mine can “crack” when it gets rolled, but it still does hold filling pretty well.
I’ve still never used the yeast on popcorn, but it’s on my to-do list for 2022! Everyone seems to rave about it, so at the very least I want to give it a try.
That’s great you have a robe from 1993! That predates mine, for sure; hope you get many more wonderful years of use out of it.