post-partum faves

The 4th trimester:  Leaking, shrinking, growing, filling out, and settling. Recovering and finding a new groove with your baby takes a lot of care and grace. There are days where I just want to be comfortable and there are days where I desperately want to feel put together and like myself.  I like having options for both!


All about creating the most easy, comfortable experience for myself as I care for a baby + kids, my body changes, I get used to nursing, not sleeping, and faves | SMALL FRY

SUNNIES | SOLLY WRAP “French ticking” | BABY HAT | PANTS |not linking my hiking shoes they’re the worst | CAL’S VANS

Cake Lingerie Nursing Tank – these are my favorite, favorite nursing tanks. They’re seamless, SO comfortable, long, and not too revealing. I typically wear these and pajama pants for the first few weeks and that’s it! I don’t feel like I am showing the goods if someone stops by, I can nurse and still keep my stomach/back covered and I can wear it all day and night with no discomfort.

post-partum faves | SMALL FRY

3 Pack Seamless Nursing Bras – If you’d rather wear a bra this 3 pack is similar in comfort and fit and has 4000 4 star reviews. SO!

CRZ Yoga Quick Dry Hiking Pants – this could also go in the “feel more put together” category because they look like you are putting forth effort, they don’t wrinkle, they hold their shape, they have a thick high waist band that has a flattening effect but you can sleep and lounge around in them with ease. I had multiple people come visit and get mad at me for “getting ready” for them. I just put those pants on! (They also have awesome mesh pockets with an elastic opening so you can stash things and they do not fall out. Binkies for instance.

ME 2.0

Easy options to grab that make me feel more put together and more like myself!

post-partum faves | SMALL FRY

SUNNIES | NURSING TOP – h&m sold out but I’ll link if it comes back! | JEANS | SANDALS | WOODY’S WRAP + HAT

Blanqi Post Partum Jeans – Blanqi sent me these to try out and I am ON. BOARD. They are super comfortable stretchy denim but then they have this built in moisture wicking compression band. SUCKS YOU IN! Also, they’re pull on but still have a working button and pockets so you’d never guess they were post partum or maternity. Those faux pockets are always a dead giveaway, right? The band goes up a couple inches under my bra which is also nice for nursing since it conceals even when my top is up! Fits TTS!post-partum faves | SMALL FRY

Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Tank – This is so pretty on and instantly makes me feel feminine and more like myself. It has an amazing compression waist and then a super pretty draped cross over bra. I wear this as much as possible but especially at the hospital when my belly is largest. Pulls everything in nice and tight which I really like. It’s more revealing so I usually had this robe on over!

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream + SPF 50 – This takes about 1 minute to apply but wears all day and night even (if I don’t wash my face I wake up with most of it intact, gross but true) has color correcting for dark circles and melasma or acne scarring and sunspots. I wear light and its a titch darker than my untanned skin which is great! Love that it has SPF too, one less thing to try and squeeze in!

Any favorites to add?

Woodrow Shia Frame

| WOODROW SHIA FRAME | 2.28.2020 | 7 POUNDS 6 OUNCES | 5:44 PM |

Long time Small Fry readers already know the drill with my births and how I end up being induced at 37 weeks.

Be Strep B positive.✔✔✔ ✔

Dilate pretty aggressively without going into labor. ✔✔✔✔

Dilate a few more in between 36 + 37 weeks ✔✔✔✔

Then they make the executive decision that the antiobiotic is most important and bring me in to start the process. Then they just don’t send me home basically. I don’t make the rules but I am certainly grateful to tap out at 37 weeks.Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

So even with these consistent circumstances I was feeling certain that I’d be stuck being pregnant until 40 weeks or my water would break and I’d have the baby in the car. You see, my life experience shows that I am not in control. I have gotten expert level at rolling with Plan B-Z, it’s a bet I must’ve lost with God before this life. 😉 So I braced myself for some wrench would be chucked in, some caveat, nuance, protocol change. I had to really fight my inner urgings to not jinx myself when I pre-scheduled my mom to make her 2 hour drive to sleep at our house, when I packed the hospital bag and the car seat for our 37 week appointment. To try and play it ultra cool with my midwife so she wouldn’t think I was trying to hoodwink her into delivering me 3 weeks early.

But she checked my cervix for dilation, and laughed bewilderingly as they all do. “You’re a 7.” The only real difference between this baby and my others is that his water bag is not bulging. And I know it.  For the week or so before I deliver my whole nether region sags. (TMI! YUM!) well passed any structure of bones and that’s always how I know I am close. This time, not there yet. But, nevertheless she made the call to the approving OBGYN and I got the go ahead to get myself to the hospital to have a baby.  Russ and I grabbed an acai bowl knowing I wouldn’t be eating much for the next while and headed on in. Don’t I look pretty pleased with myself??

Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThey set me up with the antibiotic and I had two rounds, meaning one bag marinates for 4 hours and then the other bag drains in, and they break my water right after that. Then the show was on the road. It’s a very weird feeling to sit there doing absolutely nothing, knowing full well in a few hours you will be doing the most insane something of all. And it’s going to hurt.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThe second bag drips in and they come into break my water. With my last two pregnancies I have the baby within about 10-15 minutes. So they hover around and watch me but nothing is quite hitting yet. I know baby hasn’t descended far enough. I’m on the birthing ball, squatting, swaying my hips and waiting for the pain. Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

And then it comes.

Woody's Birth Story | Small Fry

I get back in to the hospital bed because I know I need to push. Nurses gather round and Russ grabs a knee and we wait for the next wave. And I am so afraid. Because I know what I have to do now, and I’m not sure I can. With a sea of faces staring at me I shut my eyes tight I hold my breath and push and start to slip. The pain is taking over. I hold my breath so tight and I plead for my midwife to get him out. But they can’t do that. Only I can. I spiral and my head spins and I surely look like a wild, trapped animal.  Then through the darkness I hear Russ and he means business — “Em. BREATHE.” And I open my eyes and lock on his and I know what I have to do. There is only one way out and that is through. My yells sounds like ripping and I dig my hands into Russ’ shoulder and what I thought was my sister’s hand but was really and random nurse, but I find my center and he bursts through. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryAnd the relief washes over me and I sob. And sob and sob. I don’t know any of this but learned after that his hand was at his mouth when he was born. And the cord was around his neck. And the speed at which he came and the force in which I pushed bruised his entire face. They coded him because they thought he wasn’t breathing, but the inside of his mouth was perfectly pink. His poor face was just purple from force and bruising. The pictures of him shatter my heart because of all the things I could shelter him from this pregnancy, this was not one of them. Woody's Birth Story | Small FrySo I cry and cry some more, and hold him with every inch of me. So much gratitude and awe that this can be done, babies can be born, he is safe, I am safe. Even my 4th time baffles me. This picture doesn’t show it but I have tears streaming down my face. I had to capture that feeling. RELIEF.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryThe code is lifted and all the extra people scatter and I get attended to while Russ does his thing. His thing, if you don’t know, is basically ripping his shirt off the moment he gets the go ahead to do skin-to-skin. I have a picture like this with all 4 boys. THIS is Russ’ moment. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryHe is the most beautiful thing and he looks just like his dad. His sweetness makes my heart ache. We don’t have a name for him until the very last minute before we leave the hospital. So he is just “my baby” for the next two days. My last. Woody's Birth Story | Small FryA crappy screen grab of the sweetest video. Russ FaceTimed the boys and they were all screaming and squealing. Then they made their way down with Gigi.

My boys reunited. No viruses will be spread on Grandma’s watch, so in they come masks and all! 😉 Woody's Birth Story | Small FryWe had to bring the big boys down during Raleigh’s nap the next day because he will NOT let anyone else hold Woody. I had to buy him a baby doll to take care of and hopefully give the others a fighting chance! Ha.Woody's Birth Story | Small FryNAMING HIM! For months we were at a stalemate because I loved the idea of calling him Woody.  I liked Woodrow as a longer option but the whole thing was getting some pretty negative reviews from most, and most importantly, Russ wasn’t having it. His pick was Shia (Shy-Ah) yes like Shia Labeouf (it means praise God) but I wasn’t having that in return. We were both okay with Taft and that was going to be his name if we couldn’t agree. We both just kept pulling for our own choices up until the nurse said last call on the birth certificate papers. Ultimately I convinced Russ that Woodrow Shia Frame was simply a better option on paper and could carry him well as an adult and that he would have so many different names and nicknames to choose from his head would spin. Russ could call him Shia, I could call him Woody. Hayes said he’d call him Row, etc. For the record Russ named ALL THREE of the others. I got final say on Raleigh’s spelling (Russ wanted Rollie) and I elongated his pick Cal to Callum, but otherwise his choices so don’t feel too bad for him!

Both Russ and I are so sad that this is our last. Creating a family together has been a highlight of both our lives and closing that chapter is so hard for either of us to admit. The last 10 years of navigating parenting and the highs and lows is truly the time of my life and it has raced before my eyes. I know I will look back on it with such reverie — even the hardest times, because I already do. Hayes and Cal were SO little when I started Small Fry and you’ve all been there through nearly all of it with us. Thank you, truly. If you need me I will be in the baby bubble until he’s at least 18.


2020 Baby Picks

Obviously I have lots of old favorites but here’s a quick rundown of the NEW items I purchased for this baby! I knew I wasn’t going to need much for #4 but I have collected a few things here and there and then my loved ones spoiled me as well (I literally told 3 different people NO SHOWER and then they teamed up and had me come to “dinner” and showered me anyway– so kind.) Here’s what we’ve got! I feel like with every baby so many new things come out and even as a blogger who gets lots of PR blasts and samples I still can’t keep up! I’d love to hear what you’ve found recently and loved, too!Baby Picks 2020

MAX MODA LONG ROBE — this robe is everything I never knew I needed and $40. I got a medium and it covers my full-term belly but will also be wonderful postpartum. It is mid-calf in length which was one of my must-haves. But then it also has a tighter 3/4 length sleeve too which is perfect. No gaping arm holes that just get in the way or get dirty. Then also! The waist tie is sewn onto the back so you never have to track it down in the laundry or re-loop the belt.

LIVELY NURSING BRA — these bras are so pretty. I know there’s a time for comfort (Belly Bandit’s Mother Tucker, especially if you like your belly to be sucked in!!) but there’s also a time to feel pretty and feminine again. Comes in black too, has mesh for extra breathability, too!

TUSHY BIDET — After my all things green post a few of you said to get a bidet! Apparently it uses less water than it does to create toilet paper rolls! I am so glad I had it for the last few weeks of pregnancy when I can’t reach all the way back and around anyway (TMI!!) and it will be wonderful for postpartum care as well. I tend to take several weeks to get back to normal down there and am looking forward to something gentle!

HAAKA — my sister found this one and I’m really excited to use it! Basically you suction it to your non-feeding side and it catches that letdown. It’s not a pump per se but basically collects whatever would’ve leaked into your nursing pad. Get the one with the stand, and it looks like it has a stopper too, so you won’t ever tip/spill. My sister has a crazy high supply but she said she’d catch like 4 ounces extra a feeding!

BOKEE BOTTLE HOLDER — This one got sent to me, but I think it’s genius. For those one handed bottle making sessions it suctions to your counter so you can get the lid on with one hand!

BOUNCER BLISS — This was shower gift and has the most amazing reviews! Baby Bjorn’s bouncer and it comes in a ton of color options! I got the grey jersey and in my ideal world would have one in every room so I had a place to put the baby down.

COPPER PEARL camel line — This color scheme just called to me and I obliged. I grabbed it in the  car seat / nursing cover | swaddle | hat.

KYTE BABY SLEEP BAG — Kyte is a new-to-me brand and the quality is actually breathtaking. SOOO soft! They make all sorts of baby items but their sleep bag I am especially excited to try! You can get it in different weights (warmth) color and sizes on their site!

MOCKINGBIRD STROLLER — I’ll share more about this once the baby gets here and I can properly review it, but it’s so pretty!! Looks very similar to my Uppa and I am exited to try it out and share! I accidentally ran over my Uppa Stroller base which is the saddest thing ever. Luckily this one with it’s blue shade and leather detailing is making me feel a little better about my thoughtlessness.

spring 2020 shoes

Shopping this far into pregnancy is futile, but shoes always get me excited no matter what stage partum I am! Browsing through Spring New Arrivals and a few caught my eye! This dress is old ASOS but I linked a few options below!

Spring 2020 Shoes

Balenciaga Dupes – $43 real leather!  These are excellent Spring transitional boots with the cut-outs they feel warm weather appropriate but good for year round! Toughen up the most feminine outfits or just add interest to a classic tee + jeans.

Spring 2020 ShoesGo with everything mule that looks + wears like real leather but only $26 / $16. These are SO soft and such an amazing price.

Pegasus Shield – like walking on marshmallows. I’ve been true to Pegasus Zooms for years now since the High Fitness teachers all swear by them! If you do high impact exercise these are amazing! I have two other pairs that are so worn out it was time for a new one! Urban Outfitters has a couple colorway options that are way cooler and $50 less! ASOS pink + black or plain gray is rad, too!

Spring 2020 Shoes

And some more options on my radar!!

TKEES Serena – my favorite sandal I’ve seen this season. $85 but gorgeous all the color options are perfect!

Neutral Slides with Detailing add just a little bit more to your standard sandal.

Always love an ankle wrap sandal and this one is ticking all the boxes. Squared toe which is a huge trend right now and the inverse flip flop (covering the four toes instead of just the first one) is rad!

No-brainer snakeskin mule. Madewell has some for $100 more or you can get the same effect for $18.

Spotted Sneaker or Zebra Sneaker – love a modern print on a sneaker. Both come in low top, too!

I suggest an all white lace-up oxford like these every single year because I have a pair and they get worn SO much. With ankle length jeans, with dresses, gaucho fit crops, whatever!! You could do the Spring-ish job with white mules like these $20 ones, too.

valentine’s printables 2020

Valentine’s Day printables are a long standing tradition around here and even though I nearly dropped the ball my kids came through with some clutch reminders! They picked these bulk sticky hand toys and bulk Mochi-style squishy animals and then all I had to do was come up with a cute card to attach. DONE AND DONE!

My ultimate goal with these is to make it ultra easy on you parents! You don’t need a color printer, they’re all sized right and ready to go! Just print, cut out and send to school! You can have your kids sign the cards OR if you have the ability add their names to the download and print them already done!


These sticky hands come in a bulk set of 48 pieces for $9 and ship Prime! You’re looking at about $.20 per item here, ha!

High Five, Valentine! || 20 Printables || Small Fry



Squish You! || 20 Valentine's Printables || Small Fry

I couldn’t decide between an exclamation or a period so I attached both! Pick your poison. DOWNLOAD SQUISH(.) // DOWNLOAD SQUISH(!) These Mochi style squishy animals are a little more expensive, but still a steal at under $.50/per I say!

Squish You! || 20 Valentine's Printables || Small Fry

AND now from the archives!!

Small Fry Valentine's Archives


**This Is a Valentine.

**Total Knock Out (robots) // Dibs (markers) // Awfully Fond Of You (rubber duck) // Out of this World (toy alien) // Color My World.(stacking heart pencils) —  The original post has links for toys HERE.

Dibs! Valentine || No Candy Valentines Printables

I Wish There Were Six Of You (Babushka)

valentine babushka doll printables

Donut You Love Love? (donut) // Mask My Feelings (cut out super hero mask)// Hi Chews You (Hi-Chew candy)

valentine, kids, printable, candy, february, love

Woodwind it all (toy flute) // 360 Skateboard (toy skateboard) // Parachute (parachute toy) // Pitter-Paddle (paddle) //   Toys linked in original post HERE.

Small Fry No Candy Valentines

Love Wall Installation

valentines, art, kids, projects, simple, love

Pin the Kiss Game Printable

slam dunks

Now that we’re a month out from Christmastime I love seeing what gifts are still being played with. The Christmas Slam Dunks, if you will. Gadgets and gear that ended up being the favorite and worth the $$. I’ll share a few of ours, but go to my Instagram and share what slam dunks you guys had this Christmas!!

The Jeep. I knew it would be, and sure enough Raleigh rides it every day multiple times a day.  I can only imagine the miles it will see when it’s nice outside and he’s not just doing ten point turns in the toy room. 😉 It was sold out earlier, but seems to be restocked in all colors now! (It’s missing a few pieces in this pic, but rest assured it does look like the product image once it’s done being assembled!)

Christmas Slam Dunks | Small Fry

The Massager. You guys know how I love Ali Express, I took a chance on this massage gun (paid $75) and it is AMAZING. We’ve used it nightly since Christmas and so far so good. I can’t speak to the overall longevity but so far so good and you can’t beat the price!!

Also how unflattering is this pic? I think it fully captures the last leg of this pregnancy. Me over it, Russ trying to make light of the situation, me unamused, and that gun firmly attached to my hips.

Best Christmas Gifts

The Laundress x Le Labo. This was a very specific gift for Russ because we use sensitive, fragrance-free laundry detergent. He’s wished aloud that our laundry could smell good instead of like nothing, and when I found out that Le Labo (our favorite perfume/cologne) teamed up with our fave detergent. IN!! It seems expensive for 32 washes, but I will say I only use a dime size amount for a whole load and the clothes smell delicious. It’s all natural, and safe as can be and doesn’t irritate any of our skin!

Best Christmas Gifts

Jooki. Raise your hand if your kids learned how to wield Alexa or your Spotify and suddenly your life is filled with songs about tacos or potty word songs. Just me? My kids loved this gift because they get their own figure and when they put it on the Jooki it plays their playlist! We picked songs they like (that aren’t annoying for me slash questionable lyrics) and we’re all happy!

Hayes has been having  a hard time staying asleep at night and finds himself up and frustrated in the middle of the night. The Jooki has been in his room permanently because he can easily play a nighttime mediation or sleep track to help him fall back asleep.

Another super cool feature is you can get the app for friends and family and they can leave little voice messages on the Jooki for them! Waterproof, shock proof, and decent sound without getting out of control!

Best Christmas Gifts

Only 2 more days of January!! We can do this!

master upgrade

Next up on the nesting projects: our master bedroom! Linking the bedding below.


I shared some inspiration for our master bedroom overhaul (we were super rushed to finish the room due to a contract and weren’t able “finish” it how we planned) so now we’re going back and giving it some love!

Styling beds is tricky, I feel like there’s a fine line between too much and not enough. My only tips are mix textures, stay in a tight color palette, find pillows with added detailing (fringe, tassels, etc), and the right scale for your bed (king shams or bust) If you have the means, buy a bunch and mess with it and then return what doesn’t work. Here’s what I have and my reviews!


Duvet Cover – This Washed Cotton duvet is a great price and has the trendy look of linen color of tobacco, but hundreds less. Warning – it has an envelope opening and no buttons or closures, and it also doesn’t have any corner ties to keep the duvet and the comforter connected. BOO. I didn’t realize when ordering so I got these duvet clips after the fact and it’s fine. You get what you pay for, right?

Bottom Throw – to add texture and also for my husband to sleep with since he hates being hot, this quilt + sham combo adds color and texture!


Fur Pillows – These are huge and a great start for layering! Fur for texture and the price is excellent.

Quilted Shams – ties in the throw at the bottom of the bed!

King Shams in Tobacco – comes with the duvet but breaks up the palette.

Lumbar – not sold on this I don’t think it makes enough impact, but the tassels give it interest and it doubles as my body pillow

Tasseled Throws – these covers are so well made. Worth double the price. They have lots of texture variation, the woven material is so thick and nice and the tassels are huge! They’re just slipcovers but I got my inserts at Ikea for cheap. 20×20.


I sent 4 ideas through Stories to see what you guys thought and you either know me really well or we all share the same taste – probably 95% of people voted for this timber planking which was my #1, too! We’re doing a similar treatment in our dining nook and I LOVE the texture, and clean lines.

Modern Master Bed + Headboard

Via Emily Henderson.

The other options were caning:

Caning Headboard

Via Emily Henderson.

Plywood –

Plywood Bed Frame

Mr. Kate DIY

Plywood Bed Frame

DIY here

Via Domino Mag

Or doing a faux brass inlay DIY:

Brass Inlay Headboard

West Elm

Brass Inlay Headboard

Anthropologie – sold out

Can’t wait to (for Russ, ha) to get started!!

baby boy nursery

It’s been so fun and a needed distraction to plan the nursery for baby boy! My goal with this one is to be able to reuse everything we buy (minus the crib) since, barring the literal hand of God, he’s our last. ha.

Nursery Ideas

PROGRESS EDIT! Linking all the items from this post! CRIB // RUG // ROCKER // POUF // SIDE TABLE // URCHIN LIGHT //

Boy Nursery

He’ll be in my room for the first bit and then we’re moving the office stuff to the loft so he can sleep near us. Once he’s sleeping through the night he’ll either share with Raleigh or we’ll be reconfiguring some things in the basement. Someone willing is gonna share! So we already have the bottom half of the office wall painted a dusty olive green which I still love so we’re keeping that and the light fixture of course.

Keep scrolling to see ALL the items I’ve been saving! Here’s what I’ve purchased so far:

  • Crib – I know natural wood + bleached oak/beech is all the rage (ALL my cabinets are after all, but I wanted to do something different. Love the slight art deco vibe of this black + upholstered crib. I think it will pop nicely off the green walls!
  • Acupulco Rocker – this came in the mail already and is surprisingly super comfortable. We’ll see how it holds up for hours of rocking, but I am stoked about it! Thinking I’ll buy another one for porch rockers when the time comes! They come in a bunch of colors  for cheaper too, I just love black.
  • Love the idea of a sculptured side table! Finding big enough dimensions has been tricky, they’re all a little too small except for this one!  Needs to hold a lamp + bottle at the very least!
  • No closet in the office so we’ll need a good size dresser! This is Ikea and after buying dressers from other places, Ikea really is the nicest quality in the price range. The Nordli line is fully customizable for your space and needs, too!
  • Rug – this is always so tricky! I LOVE this geometric shaped striped one. Looking at a couple others that are a little more boho feeling here and here, all more money then I want to spend. #always.
  • The last little bits that I will probably add as the space starts coming together are art, baby toys, and a mobile over the crib.
  • Shop below for all the little decor pieces, lamps, and pillows to finish the space!

easy green ideas

One 2020 focus for me is to continue improving on my waste + consumption. Last year I went 9 months without extraneous shopping and it truly changed the way shop, spend, and take in products. This year I want to add to that with a garden, compost, and try to eliminate single use plastic wherever I can! I asked you all what easy swaps you’ve been able to take on and was so impressed! Sharing them here:

easy green swaps

Produce Bags // S+P Grinders


  • Reusable grocery and produce bags
  • Opt for paperless billing whenever possible, opt out of credit card offers here. Put yourself on the do not call list here.
  • Reusable straws + reusable smoothie straws
  • Cloth napkins
  • Glass tupperware and containers, dish towels over paper.
  • Looking for something specific? Look for secondhand toys and clothing first!
  • Bidet / hose over toilet paper
  • Cloth Diapers + Menstrual Cups (I use the Diva Cup and have had it for several years, it’s the most comfortable I’ve tried. Bloody Buddy is also great and colors are awesome.
  • Reuse packaging/boxes for organization, selling your own clothing + toys secondhand on apps like Poshmark.
  • Shampoo and conditioner bars, bamboo handled toothbrushes, q-tips, etc.
  • Reusable snack bags over ziplocs
  • Avoid express delivery services, jet fuel doesn’t need to deliver your toilet paper
  • Reinventing leftovers. Meal plan with waste in mind.
  • Bring thermos’ and tumblers to the gas station. Save soda cups for refills. Fill water jugs in the morning and bring with you on-the-go.
  • Shop in bulk / warehouse style.

Totally random one I’ll add – we order the 30 count nuggets at Chik-fil-A and a large fry. It’s SO much less packaging then ordering all my kids their own meals.


  • Post-bath leave your water in the tub and use it to water your plants, hand-wash delicates, wash bigger items like your pets, oven racks, highchairs, bumbos, etc.
  • You can also stash a bucket in your shower to collect water that way. Or collect rainwater out in the yard.
  • Start a Garden – even a small herb garden. Meatless Mondays or Vegetarian on the weekdays
  • Garden Co-ops – local in season produce made by small and big farms.
  • Compost bin or pile in the yard.
  • Set your heater/AC 5 degrees below when you leave. Use natural light whenever possible. Open those curtains!
  • Wash clothes in cold water – 85% of energy in washer/dryers goes to heat the water. Air or line dry your clothing instead of drying. Put your sheets on your bed out of the washer (they’ll be wrinkle free and smooth as butter!)
  • Recycle electronics instead of trashing them. You can search for nearby receptacles!
  • Energy efficient light bulbs.
  • Clean behind your fridge. The coils trap dust and require more energy to work when clogged.
  • Batch errands, don’t idle your engine, carpool whenever possible.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to buy stuff to help you have less waste but thought I’d share the products I actually use around the house to  help me with this!

easy green swaps

Reusable Straws and an extra tall 40+ oz version for your big ones — Smoothie Straws – I make a lot of smoothies at home (another way to cut down!) and sometimes you need a wide straw! These are rubbery and although the colors hurt my eyes, they work great. // Dryer Balls – these cut down on waste but also so much better for your body! No chemicals or fragrances and you can reuse them for years and years! // Reusable Ziplocs – pack for lunches, pre-prepared snacks for the fridge, leftovers. // Produce Bags – I stash them in my reusable bags and pack all my produce in them! I have all plastic tupperware and those pretty OXO ones for the pantry and started noticing my food tasting so weird! Glass containers will help you skip leaching while still being reusable. // LOVE these cloths. They don’t have that awful microfiber feeling, they have the scouring option on the flip-side so I use them in place of sponges even. Wash and dry great! // I’ve shared Re-Play before and now they have even more colors on Amazon! All recycled plastic and indestructible. Ditch paper cups/plates for something cute and green! // I LOVE the Knalla bag both in the stasher form that bags up super tiny (like Baggu but $2) and their more structured sturdy bottom version. 2-3 bags is plenty for an entire cart of groceries, it zips up, folds pretty flat and the handles are easy to transport. // Switch to biodegradable — look at all these products that you could swap out!

roadtrip audiobooks for men + women


We are back and getting in the swing of life again after our trip to Wisconsin! The ride out took about 22 hours (we stopped at Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug and several pit stops thanks to one child with some ill-timed runs.TMI!!) The weather was great and we got super lucky! The way home however was a different story. We saw that a storm was coming and would be hovering over both our route options home (South Dakota or Nebraska.) We took Nebraska and it was a doozy. The highway got rerouted through these backwoods detours 3 different times, we were a total stop for about 30 minutes at one point, and then another time cars started slipping crossing through train tracks and getting backed up so we actually had to speed reverse off the tracks before we got hit by oncoming train + the railroad striped arm thing. EXCITING but yet not at all. It took us three days this time about 27 hours that time. Not to mention visiting family between 10-40 min away each day…

All this to say we had A LOT of time on our hands and Russ and I both love a good audiobook, yet have such different tastes. Today I am sharing options that we both enjoyed (**), some I’ve loved and think guys would to (*) and also that you all suggested if you need a common ground audiobook for your next trip! For those who asked we shared an AirPod set up front while kids had their own movies going in the back. Of course the perfect world situation would be an audiobook that two adults and 3 kids 9, 8 and 3 are all enraptured by, but LIFE JUST ISN’T THAT SIMPLE SOMETIMES, OKAY? 😉 If it was it would probably be Harry Potter though.

Kid-free listening means I am not worrying about content and language, ya feel?


THE STRANGER SHE LOVED – we loved this one because it was SO insane. And it happened 5 minutes from where we used to live. Somehow I missed all the news coverage on this story so it was thrilling to catch up on it, hear names of people we know from that community, and generally be blown away by an ex-Mormon Bishop slash psychopath. So sad for the family that suffered through it all, but man it’s a good story!

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW –  Soon to be a major motion picture, the trailer looks real good! We listened to this one and it takes a while to jump off, there are 100+ quick chapters and tons of description. Lots of plot twists that made for good conversation between Russ and I (we love to try and spoil them) but I’d tell you to actually read a physical book over listening to this one because you can skim through the incessant metaphors and similes.


Thrillers + Page Turners: The Stranger She Loved** // I am Pilgrim* // Davinci Code Series by Dan Brown* // The Silent Patient // Dear Wife // Where the Crawdads Sing // Nothing to See Here //

Roadtrip Audiobooks

I am Pilgrim – Everyone said you need to get about 9 hours into this and then it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever read. Ratings verify that! We only got about 2 hours in and it was still super interesting, so I look forward to finishing it!

Davinci Code Series by Dan Brown – Oldie but a goodie. Dan Brown is excellent at hooking you to the next chapter. You’ll learn a lot, too!

The Silent Patient – highly recommended by Kayti who I share a lot of the same reading taste with!

Dear Wife // Where the Crawdads Sing // Nothing to See Here  — All highly recommended by YOU guys!

Social Conversations — Great books that spark excellent conversations, teach you a lot, are research and fact based, but aren’t necessarily political.  Being Mortal // Talking to Strangers** // David and Goliath** // Born a Crime* // Just Mercy  // Hillbilly Elegy* // Educated* // Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea // Catch and Kill //

Audiobooks for Road Trips

Being Mortal — If you and your partner have aged parents or grandparents, might one day die or get older, this will spark conversations you never thought you needed.

Talking to Strangers** — I’ve already reviewed this one but Russ is reading it now and loves it too. So many good chats already!

David and Goliath** — We listened to this together a few years ago and both loved it!

Born a Crime* — super funny and also eye opening about Apartheid.

Just Mercy — highly recommended and now an award nominated movie!  Catch and Kill / also came highly recommended!

Hillbilly Elegy* //  Educated* // Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea /– guys love these one and they’re fascinating!

Humor: The Sisters Brothers* // The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo** // Bossypants* // Dad is Fat //  Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine* // David Sedaris //

Audiobooks for Roadtrips

The Sisters Brothers — If your man likes the Cohen Brothers movies, Tarantino or Wes Anderson he’ll probably love this!

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Russ and I both have super crass senses of humor so take this with a grain of salt, but we laughed a lot!

Bossypants — less crass still funny!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – I loved this one and the narrator is super fun.

Dad is Fat // David Sedaris — two super highly recommended titles! I know I know how have I never read David Sedaris. I tried in college and it wasn’t my thing, I should probably try again.

Common Ground: Ready Player One* // The Way of Kings* // Peace Like a River* // Ender’s Game** // The Martian // Count of Monte Cristo // Tattoos on the Heart*

Audiobooks for Road TripsThis grouping is me making sweeping general stereotypes that don’t factor any nuances. I apologize, I even roll my eyes at some of these statements! In my experience books with 10k or more reviews are typically a good unisex read. Also, if when you search for them they have study guides or summaries listed they’re typically a busy-man fave (think corporate guy who needs to be brushed up on water cooler talk or golf game chatter) and also this list includes what my husband and his friends deem worth

Ready Player One*— dripping with 80’s nostalgia and trivia, dudes love this. I enjoyed it, too!

The Way of Kings* — I can’t count how many real life conversations with I have had about this book with guys. The LOVE it.

Peace Like a River* — The storyline feels like it would be something a guy could resonate with! Fathers and sons, protective brothers, high school bullies. One of my all time faves.

Ender’s Game** — Russ and I listened to this on a road trip YEARS ago and we both loved it.

The Martian — highly recommended and the movie was hilarious so I can only imagine. Lots of language.

Count of Monte Cristo — This is on so many of my guys friends’ top book picks. Its like the Shawshank Redemption of books. 😉 Pretty sure it is book but you know what I mean.

Tattoos on the Heart* — a good social conversation as well as lots of funny stories about gangsters. I think guys would enjoy!

Any to add to this list?! Here’s a HUGE graphic for your pinning pleasure and the links to my makeup ;): Continue reading roadtrip audiobooks for men + women