Favourites <> March 2022

1. JOHN’S SABBATICAL

I knew how much our family needed this break; I don’t think I realized how much I needed this break. It has been wonderful in so many ways. Without a doubt my top favourite “thing” in March.

2. MARCH BREAK

Our visit to see my parents over the kids’ spring/March break was such a highlight. I appreciated having someone else spearhead the cooking, reveled in all the outdoor time, and tried to “lean in” to the experience, recognizing This too shall pass.

3. maple syrup production

I’d be remiss if I didn’t put a spotlight on this experience from Favourite #2. The highlight of the trip (for me) was the week-long adventure of tapping maple trees. We had a relatively low yield (plus, it’s a 60:1 ratio from the trees on my parents’ property; with sugar maples, it’s about 40:1), but it was so much fun and we have all enjoyed consuming the results of our labour!

4. finishing the anne series

I’m not sure what inspired me to add this to my goals for 2022, but I’m so glad I did and these books made for great reading material over this long, dark winter. The first three are, to me, the crown jewels, but it is deeply satisfying to read through an entire series (I did Harry Potter in 2021 with Abby), and watching the movies again for the first time in over a decade was pure joy.

5. WORDLE

I genuinely look forward to doing Wordle each day. It has become a highlight of 2022 for me (and the rest of the family).

6. Abby’s button collection

A weird favourite, admittedly, but this has been a lot of fun for the whole family. Abby has been getting buttons from so many sources and it has become a point of connection with friends and relatives; she loves to organize buttons by colour or shape or patterning and this has been a great mother-daughter activity for me because we both enjoy this process. There is no pressure to have a “right” answer when she asks what my favourite buttons are and there is something relaxing about handling all the different textures and shapes and sorting them into piles or little bags.

7. springtime

It’s coming. I know we’ve officially entered “Spring” on the calendar, but I know the best is yet to come. The anticipation of warmer weather and the fact I am finally able to wear sneakers outside on my daily walks feels…wonderful. It almost makes those long, dark winter months feel worth it all just to experience the delight of warm, sunny days.

8. DATE NIGHTS

I’ve talked about these before on the blog, but most Saturday and Sunday evenings we feed the kids early (I read to them while they eat + they get something special like a sleepover where they watch a movie) and then John and I eat together – usually in front of the TV, but not always. These are some of our favourite hours each week and I’m so glad we carved out this margin in our lives.

Date nights started as a necessity. Sometimes John would only be home a single night before heading back out on business travel. Date nights felt like an oasis in our busy schedules. But through COVID (which put the kibosh on travel) and now even when he’s on sabbatical, we still treat them as a necessity but they are also a deeply treasured favourite.

A friend recently asked me if the kids minded this arrangement. 1) They don’t get a say in the matter but also 2) it’s all they’ve ever known and we’ve made it something special for them too, so the fact that Mommy and Daddy carve out time together each week has a positive spin in their minds.

I also told her about 1/10 times there is some sibling catastrophe and the sleepover gets canceled and there is something akin to wailing and gnashing of teeth (“he/she looked at me with mean eyes” or “he/she touched my side of the bed” – that sort of thing), but 9/10 is a pretty good success rate in my books.

9. OUR DISHWASHER

Our dishwasher is old (I have no idea how old as it came with our house)…but it is definitely old. It has no fancy “bells and whistles” as my Dad would say. (I read a DIY blog recently where the homeowner was talking about installing TWO WiFi-enabled dishwashers; I know it could be handy…but can we not summon the energy to walk to the kitchen and turn on the dishwasher? Please don’t leave hateful comments if you have a WiFi-enabled dishwasher and love this capability. I’m sure it’s a lovely feature).

So, no WiFi and no double dishwashers. But the one we have works like a charm.

Until 4 years ago I had never lived in a house/apartment with a dishwasher and – wow. I love having a dishwasher. It’s something that would be so easy to take for granted, but almost daily I mention how thankful I am for a dishwasher.

Sadly, now that I’ve told you how old it is, I’ve surely jinxed its longevity.

10. Flossers

Random. But I love these flossers and have been using this brand for years now.

Your turn. Any favourites from March you feel like sharing?

Header photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

28 thoughts on “Favourites <> March 2022”

  1. Yes, now that you’ve raved about it, I’m just waiting for a post about how your dishwasher died. Well, if that happens you can get a wifi-enabled one! Just kidding- I agree that seems like a useless feature. Kind of like those washing machines where you just put detergent in once, so you don’t have to do it every time- maybe it’s just me, but putting in the detergent is the EASIEST part of doing laundry.
    I can totally see the appeal of the button collection, and I’m kind of wishing I had one now!
    You had a lot of good favorites this month. I remember that spring anticipation from when I lived up north. Those first balmy spring days ALMOST make the winter worth it. Enjoy!

    1. What now? There are washing machines that you only load in detergent once (or once in a while).
      Shockingly we also have an old washing machine, too. But it works great!

      Pre-Abby, I didn’t have a button collection (I have no handy skills in the sewing department…at ALL), but they are really fun!

  2. I don’t have a wi-fi enabled dishwasher but my new Roomba is wi-fi enabled, which seems silly – and it is silly – so what happens is I get notifications all the time when it’s running. It’s stuck. It’s finished. Its bin is full. Etc.

    It’s not like I couldn’t live without a dishwasher, but I love my dishwasher. I still wash dishes many times a day – pots and pans and water bottles and what have you – but the fact that I never have to wash plates and cutlery is amazing.

    1. Ha! Notifications are the bane of my existence. Do you like the Roomba? I sometimes think it would be wonderful and other times think about having yet another thing to manage and fix and maintain.

      Like you I do dishes many times a day (and don’t actually mind hand-washing dishes), but not having to wash plates and cutlery, like you say, is just…wonderful. And to have all the dishes mess contained and out of site. Also, if I hand-washed all our dishes, our entire counter would be covered in dishes drip-drying. Even now my drainer is almost always ready to be emptied out. I could live without a dishwasher…but definitely wouldn’t want to if I could avoid it!

      1. I LOVE my Roomba. Love it. It changed my whole life, I am not even kidding. This isn’t my first Roomba – I have had one for many years now, so I have actually gone through a couple of them. I have one in my basement and one on the main floor, and I run them a lot. A ROBOT IS DOING MY VACUUMING FOR ME while I do other things. Vacuuming is one of my least favourite jobs, and so this changed my life immensely. Also it goes under the beds which I would never do while vacuuming. It’s worth whatever we paid for it, times 100000000. The notifications can be turned off, I just haven’t.

        1. You’re convincing me that I’d like one (at first I wrote “need one” but that’s a bit of a stretch?)…
          My floors are constantly dirty. I have a “dust buster” with a long attachment and do use this almost daily, but it would be even nicer to not have to do that.
          I’ve also heard from multiple other people in my life that Roomba’s are great. Christmas wish list for 2022?

  3. I am so happy for you that the sabbatical has been so wonderful!

    And your date nights sound lovely. 90% success rate is excellent.

    Something I am loving is this little tomato plant I bought on a whim at Trader Joe’s. It is FULL of tomatoes, and they keep ripening, almost one per day, and my daughter gets so excited about it. I don’t even LIKE tomatoes but it is bringing me joy.

    1. I didn’t read your full comment in the first glance and my thought was – SHE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE TOMOATOES! (Or eggs, or oatmeal which slightly blows my mind…but then I don’t like cheese or spicy foods, which I suspect more people like than eggs and oatmeal). But a ripe tomato a day sounds both delicious and fun!

  4. OMG I was seriously about to list flossers as my daily gratitude today!!! But I also had notebooks on my mind, and I thought maybe flossers would be a weird way to end that nice little section with my gratitude quotes!! lol!!! I totally love those things too. I 100% credit them with making me a regular flosser for the past, I don’t know, 4-5 years now. Soooo much easier than trying to wrap regular floss around your fingers and get them in your mouth!

    I’m intrigued by the Anne series too! I am pretty sure I read part of it way back in the day? I think I would enjoy that. I’ll have to add that to my list of things to do, eventually. πŸ™‚ I’m drawing a blank- not sure if I’m mixing you up with someone else- but did you say you also have watched the Netflix version (I think it’s Netflix?). I saw it on there and wanted to click it, but on that particular day all my boys said NO. πŸ™

    1. Ha! I LOVE flossers. I floss my teeth SO much more since I started using flossers (I get the kid-sized version for the kids).

      I didn’t watch the Anne series yet. I kinda don’t want to; every modern representation of Anne seems to be mildly depressing and I just love the movies from the 80’s SO much, I’ve avoided anything made since then. I know some other people that have loved it (and a friend watched it with her kids last year before going to PEI and said they really enjoyed it).

      Re reading the books: if you don’t care about being a completist with the series the first three books are definitely my favourite. I may read the whole series again, but if I had to pick, I’d just do the first three and then the final book (which I just found very timely given the current world realities).

  5. Ah, Wordle. I hopped on the train a little over two months ago and then got my husband on board soon after, and it’s something we love connecting over every day. Such a little thing, but I totally get the delight you get out of it!

    Also, you’re making me want to reread the Anne of Green Gables series. I don’t think I’ve read them since I was 18? 20? So I’m definitely long overdue for a revisit. We’ve been reading aloud the Little House series to our kids during our family read aloud time, and it’s been so much fun for ME because I haven’t visited the series since I was a kid myself. Yay for literature that stands the test of time!

    1. I can’t get over how much we are all (even Levi!) loving Wordle. It can be so frustrating, though, too. And I swear the words are getting harder.

      We did the Laura Ingalls series at the start of the pandemic and the kids really enjoyed it! Anne has been great; I don’t know if I’ll ever feel the need to read them all again? The first three and then the final book were definitely my favourites, but it really did carry me through a long winter!

  6. When I was in grad school, I had a friend who used to play the “best” game. He’d find a handful of items around his house (a candle, a button, a mug, a piece of chocolate, a jigsaw puzzle piece, whatever) and put them on the table. Everyone on the table would move the things around one at a time until they were in the “best arrangement” that made everyone around the table happy. That’s what you and Abby sorting buttons made me think of.

    We have a wi-fi enabled thermostat for the house and it’s nice for us to be able to change the settings if we’re away or if we get up to bed and realize we need to set it a special way. I would LOVE a wi-fi enabled dishwasher because there are too many nights when one of us has to go downstairs after we’re already tucked away into bed to turn on our dishwasher because we’ve forgotten to do it ourselves. On the other hand, it’s just one more thing to get hacked, I guess.

    1. What an interesting game. I thought you were going to tell me he brought these things out and then would randomly remove items and have people guess what is gone – this was a favourite game for me when I was a kid (and my Mom seemed happy to oblige…which reminds me I should try this with my kids some time). But it would be so interesting to rank random items based on a gut reaction to each.

      I know some other people with Wifi thermostats and that does sound so nice (we only have a central heating source in our house which is SUCH a nuisance because the basement is always freezing since it doesn’t have it’s own “zone).
      I tend to add in the detergent and start our dishwasher after supper cleanup (though we don’t wash things on a schedule – just when the dishwasher is full which can take several days depending on meal plans), and can’t really think of a time when I’d want/need the Wifi, but now that you mention your situation, that does make sense! It would be very annoying to tromp downstairs after being settled. I’d be too lazy and would likely leave it until morning?!

  7. Huh, a wifi enabled dishwasher. Who knew such a thing existed! It would be so unnecessary for us. We got a new washing machine and it’s wifi enabled but we’ve never used it because we start the load after loading everything in… so why does it need a wifi feature?? I guess if you wanted to wait until the end of your work day to start a load that might make sense, but I still don’t think it’s an important feature! And 2 dishwasher. Goodness. We do not have a big family and hand wash a lot of stuff so we only run the dishwasher every 2-3 days. So we certainly don’t need 2 but I do love having one and find it to be a necessity for me!

    In March I enjoyed treating myself to lunches out during the 3 days I’m in the office for the first couple of weeks. Now I’m down to 1 lunch out which feels about right. And 1 latte, too. It’s the little treats that really make a difference for me. I’ve also really enjoyed taking a walk mid-day while listening to a podcast. I am not great at doing this at home, but I also will do a quick workout in the morning so I still get that little break from work, just at a different time.

    1. One dishwasher is enough for me too! Emptying the dishwasher is also Abby’s job, so maybe that’s why I love the dishwasher so much? The unloading bit isn’t (typically) my responsibility. And we have a very old-school washing machine and dryer!

  8. My reading (anything other than blogs) has really taken a nosedive in recent years. Maybe I need to re-read the Harry Potter series (for the seventh time!)…thanks for the inspiration πŸ˜‰ I just cannot commit to a “real” book these days…no recommends (from friends) are grabbing my attention enough to seek out those recommends. I love all those buttons! They remind me of my childhood…my grandma always had a bunch of random buttons in jars that she’d let us play with.

    1. Re-reading Harry Potter is just so…comforting to me. Especially the first book. It’s still my favourite because it screams “childhood” to me since I was about 12 when I read the first book for the first time.

      I love reading…but there also isn’t this magic number of books that is right and I sometimes get caught up in the whirlwind of trying to read quantity and I know so many people who read SO MANY BOOKS. Even this week I took a few days and just…didn’t read anything because it wasn’t fun. It just felt like another to-do. Plus, you have so many health-related goals, I can’t imagine you have a lot of margin for reading! So I’d only fit it in if you enjoy/miss it.

      I don’t ever remember being interested in buttons as a child, but some of the buttons in Abby’s collection were my grandmother’s. So it’s a fun, free (they’re all handed down to us now), creative pursuit that doesn’t take up much space!

  9. Love this post! And, my friends & I had an entire gift organized around flossers. Every month/year we set goals, and email about them. One of my 2020 goals was to floss daily. I bought flossers (the stick kind, where you replace the small floss piece) & it changed my life. I used to use string floss, and it was such a hassle. They were super impressed by my change in habits, so for Christmas, I of course mailed them all their own flosser sets. #2021goals. πŸ™‚

    I took a sabbatical a few years ago, and have absolutely zero regrets. Took my mom to Las Vegas, ran a relay on the coast of Washington with my sister, went on several long weekends with my husband, tried out a new barre studio with a friend, caught up with all kinds of folks, and just relaxed. It was GLORIOUS. So, so glorious.

    I find that my stress/energy level corresponds to what I’m reading. When I have ample energy, I read mysteries. When I’m exhausted/stressed, I read trashy romance novels. I’m okay with that balance, and I’ve actually written 50 pages or so of a trashy romance novel. Perhaps when I FIRE, I may start writing really terrible romance stories, so others can relax after a stressful day as well. I do need to venture out a bit, and increase the quality of my reading on occasion.

    My teens & I also do Wordle every day. I’ve only missed one – freaking “fewer”! πŸ™‚

    1. Um – what an inspired idea! Set goals with friends and then stay in communication about them. What a fun, whimsical, and genius plan!
      My Dad has used one of the self-string flossers for years and likes it. I know the disposable plastic isn’t idea, but I still prefer the ones you buy pre-strung. Ironically, one of my siblings is a hygienist and I have never asked her for a take on flossers!

      You’re the first commenter to mention having done a sabbatical before. A month in and it has been…life-changing and wholly positive. It is just such a different pace from our normal routine. It’s not technically my sabbatical, but the trickle-down impacts are amazing. And we have both, multiple times, used the word “glorious” to describe the experience.

      We love Wordle. Love it. We did it this morning before school and the words the kids come up with can actually blow my socks off! It’s such a great tool for vocabulary, too.

  10. date nights sounds fun! I think we all need solo adult time to connect beyond household tasks and kids. glad you have it scheduled every week.

  11. I used to collect *so many things* when I was Abby’s age and I love that she has a button collection (and that people gift her buttons). Also, buttons can be so pretty – what’s with all the ugly, simple buttons on all the shirts? Make them fancy!!
    I love that you have a date night and that you also make it something special for the kids. While they probably remember it for the lovely memories of their sleepovers, they’ll also have learned that parents needs their own time together in the process. Win-win!

    I say “no” to wi-fi enabled dishwashers. What??

    The highlights of March for me where a better than expected birthday, new running shoes, and Thai food.

    1. A great question – there are SO many cool buttons and they are an underutilized pop of beauty for sure.

      I never know what the kids will remember/pull out of certain things we do as a family, but I HOPE they carry with them how important our marriage has been in the middle of the busy parenting years?! And hopefully it gives them a good foundation for their own future relationships.

      I’m so glad your birthday went well; I know it has been such a hard stretch of years. And I’ve already mentioned how awesome the new shoes look. Which reminds me that I’m overdue to get new shoes. I loathe that process…

  12. I am so glad you and your family made the right decision for YOU and that your husband’s sabbatical is making such a difference in your life. Your posts sound less…well stressed, for lack of a better word! It’s clearly having a positive effect already. I love that you have continued date nights though – feeding your relationship and letting your kids know how important that is.

    Wifi appliances baffle me. That is all.
    And yes, flossers are key. Otherwise, I would never floss my teeth and THEN where would we be? πŸ˜‰
    Another reread of Anne is, I think, around the corner. First, though, to get through the next month…

    1. Yes – it has really helped my stress levels (for obvious reasons). I’m really glad we made this decision!

  13. I remember collecting buttons when I was Abby’s age! It makes me smile to think that kids of our current generation are doing it, too. How fun!

    A wifi-enabled dishwasher seems silly, I agree. How about a dishwasher with attachable arms that will put all of my dishes away for me? Yes, please! πŸ™‚ Although since it’s just me in my apartment, I just handwash everything. I’ll still take those attachable arms, though, to put away my dishes.

    I wake up every morning excited to play the day’s Wordle, lol. And then I ask my mom if she “Wordle-d” and she always forgets! I’m like, HOWWW.

    I love the Anne series but I never read past the fourth book. I couldn’t even get through the fifth book!

    1. I don’t think it’s an “in” thing, but one of her friends started the trend and it is one hobby I can definitely get behind!!
      I hate emptying the dishwasher. Ugh. And folding laundry. I now have the kids put their laundry away…and Abby is on dishwasher duty for emptying it…so I’m mostly getting to avoid my least favourite parts of these jobs now that the kids are older – and all without any Wifi required – haha.

      We are LOVING Wordle.

      And yes, I couldn’t agree more – the first three books are definitely the best and I don’t know if I’ll ever feel the need to re-read all the books? Though I do tend to be a completist, so there was something very satisfying about reading all the books, even though some we very, very meh.

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