Sometimes it’s fun to highlight a few of the things I’ve been loving lately. Read on for five things that spark joy for me.
This post is part of my Favorite Things series.
This post includes affiliate links.
I can’t believe school is back in session for us. Our boys boarded the bus today for their first day of school, and summer flew by (at least for me). After a long last year and a half, I’m not upset that the last few months felt a bit more normal.
This summer, my boys attended various sports camps and day camps to stay active and spend time with friends. They love camp, and I don’t mind having a few hours each day to work and take care of life.
At home, we’ve been building (i.e. we hired a contractor to build) a screened-in porch off the back of our house (which I can’t wait to show you when it’s finished). We flew to see family twice. And my younger son finally learned how to swim.
It’s been a good summer, and for that, I’m especially grateful. Here are a few of my favorite things that provided dollops of summer joy over the last couple of months.
I discovered kombucha (and yes, I know I’m way late to the game on this).
I’m not a huge fan of tea, and everyone told me kombucha tasted like tea, so I never tried it. It’s also a bit expensive, especially considering I typically drink tap water, so I didn’t have an urge to add it to my beverage repertoire.
We order from a local company that delivers food, drinks, and goods from local farmers and producers. While taking some photos for an article I wrote about the company, the owner encouraged me to try Baba’s Bucha. Baba’s Bucha is a local Philadelphia kombucha brewer. After just a few sips, I was hooked.
Now I order a case of Baba’s Bucha in the Bees Knees flavor at least once a month from the local delivery service. I get to support a local producer and a local service company, and I get a delicious drink delivered right to my door. It doesn’t hurt that the drinks are delivered in glass and I can return the bottles to the vendor or recycle them. Baba’s Bucha is a tasty, low-waste win.
I think they only distribute their drinks in the Philadelphia area. But if you haven’t tried kombucha, see if you have a local kombucha vendor in your community. I know lots of people brew it themselves at home too.
P.S. I also use their bottles for our landfill emissions experiment that we put together for Raising Global Kidizens and used for WasteWell community events with kids.
Kevin Murphy Shampoo & Conditioner
I’ve been using Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner for about three years. Kevin Murphy strives to make eco-friendly products using organically and responsibly sourced ingredients. They also package their products in square bottles to maximize shipping efficiency and reduce packaging waste.
Kevin Murphy hair care products are pricey relative to popular brands you find at places like Target. However, I think that they work much so much better. My hair stays clean longer so I need to wash it far less often (which reduces the amount of product and water I use). It also saves me time because I take shorter showers when I don’t have to wash my hair.
On days when I don’t need to even rinse my hair, I wear a Shower Cap. Wet hair is the worst, so I love that good quality shampoo and conditioner like Kevin Murphy helps keep my hair cleaner and healthier for longer.
Related Reading: Dirty Hair and I Don’t Care FAQ
Let’s face it (no pun intended). Most kids will probably wear masks at school this fall. Mask mandates are probably around for a while longer. After trying lots of different face masks and making a few of my own, the BeyaMade masks are the best (in my opinion).
Handmade from sustainable materials, BeyaMade masks are soft with flexible ear loops to fit a variety of face shapes and sizes.
They fit comfortably over my face (as much as a mask can be comfortable). I wore one of my BeyaMade masks on a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco, and it was as good as it gets. My husband borrowed one of my BeyaMade masks for the flight and immediately started raving about how well it fit and that he could barely feel the ear loops.
The best part about the masks? They have a simple neck strap so you won’t lose it when you take it off.
I can’t say enough good things about these masks. I own two for myself and have purchased two for each of my boys. With school starting today, we ordered one new one for each of them. Masks are required in our district for the time being.
If you need more masks, definitely start with BeyaMade. They regularly sell out and are replenished periodically. Your best bet is to sign up for their emails so you get notified when they are about to replenish inventory.
P.S. BeyaMade is one of my favorite sustainable brands for kids’ basics too. You can’t go wrong with BeyaMade.
If the late kombucha discovery wasn’t evidence enough, I’m not a trendsetter. I’m also not a beauty blogger. CC Cream isn’t breaking news to most people, but I finally started using it this summer, and I’m a big fan.
I was in the market for a new foundation after my Elate foundation ran out. I wanted something with sunscreen in it.
My mom, a Mary Kay consultant, offered up their CC Cream as a light, color-correcting alternative to foundation that also had sunscreen in it. Done. I don’t love heavy makeup and the CC Cream was a perfect replacement for any foundation I’ve used in the past.
I use the Mary Kay CC Cream and really like it. Go order it from my mom if you want to try it (and don’t already have a consultant). However, I know there are lots of other brands of CC Cream on the market. Do you have a favorite one?
instead Ambitious Shade & Sun Grass Seed
We live in a fairly wooded area, so our grass is mediocre at best. I’ve fully embraced the clover that comprises half of our lawn and pleases the pollinators. Trust that you won’t see any harsh chemicals feeding a monoculture of turfgrass in our yard.
We use instead fertilizer to spruce up our grass without any of the gunk we wouldn’t our kids rolling around in when they play outside.
We had a couple of small patches of soil where fallen trees ruined the grass. We sprinkled the instead Ambitious Shade & Sun grass seed on the open spots, and it’s worked like a charm (despite our less-than-stellar care for it after seeding). I think that’s just a testament to the fact that it works well even without fancy tools and chemicals.
If you’re looking to reseed your lawn, instead might be the answer. You can read more about the brand, its eco-friendly mission, and learn more about the products in my post about eight tips for an eco-friendly lawn.
Do you have any small things that have been bright spots in your summer this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.