Favorites

 
I love sharing finds with friends and family. In lieu of writing posts for each link and category shown (maybe someday), here are sites, products, and places that I either use, frequent personally, greatly admire, or are created by someone I love. My Favorites Page Contains Affiliate Links and is definitely a work in progress. 

Spiritual

JW.org – Read the Bible online. Watch Bible-based videos. Listen to Bible dramas, music, and readings. Download publications in 718 languages, including Sign Languages.

JW Broadcasting –  Family friendly TV that is spiritually uplifting. Streaming, Video On Demand, and Audio.

Children

Become Jehovah’s Friend – Adorable animated videos and activities teaching children how to apply Bible principles.

PBS Kids – A huge selection of fun, well-rounded educational videos and games for kids.

Khan Academy – Children (and adults) learn anything for free. Forever.

H&M – Quality basics and that rare find: affordable and attractive dress clothes for boys. Between our volunteer work and congregation meetings, we get a lot of use out of them. Some of the items we have range from 2-3 years old and look almost new.

J. Crew Factory – My new go-to for boys dress clothes. The quality of the suits and button-up shirts is phenomenal. We picked up a summer suit, cardigans and pullovers, along with ties and bowties and are very pleased. The pieces look like they will make stellar hand-me-downs, too.

Old Navy – Logo-free classics that can take a beating.

Hanna Andersson – Top-notch clothes for babies and children. The sleepers are my absolute favorite, I’ve picked up a few pairs at kiddie consignment store sales along the way and hoard them like no one’s business. Two children and practically no wear. (Click here for 20% off your first order!)

Padraig Cottage – Super-warm, super-cute shoes with leather soles. Perfect for learning to walk and for trips in the stroller. We use them when going to see friends and family, to meetings, generally out and about, just not for heavy-duty outdoor time.

Freshly Picked – Soft and lovely moccasins that stay on the feet. No shoelaces, no velcro, sounds dreamy.

Ikea – The best baby bathtub and potty ever. Simple and inexpensive is the way to go.

Child Trek – Online purveyor of our favorite non-toxic, educational baby toys, founded by Miebeth Bustillo-Booth.

Gardening

Gardensphere – Knowledgable and laid-back owners with a carefully selected fruit and ornamental trees, bushes, flowers, bulbs, locally grown whenever possible…An all around wonderful shop, full of supplies for gardeners and poultry keepers.

Wayside Gardens – Online purveyor of unique varieties of plants for the home gardener. Barefoot, bulb, and potted.

Brighter Blooms & Fast Growing Trees – Healthy, well-rooted trees and shrubs quickly shipped to my, er, your  door.

 

Clothes

Emerson Fry – You can find well-made skirts and dresses with pockets (a must for me!) among many other gorgeous pieces. Nab some one-offs at the outlet if you can!

Modcloth – Unique clothes, also skirts with pockets. I purchased a Ruche midi chambray pencil skirt from Modcloth in 2010, wear it weekly, and still get compliments on it.

Sonnet James – Easy-peasy washable play dresses for moms. No pockets (sob!) but pretty n’ practical, so I’m on board.

Shabby Apple – Pretty and modest vintage-inspired dresses make getting dressed that much simpler.

J. Crew Factory – Long-lasting basics perfect for my current at-home-with-dogs-chickens-and-children uniform.

Isabella Oliver – I would gladly be pregnant forever just to wear these clothes. The Cami, Scoop Top,  Tank, Ruched Leggings, and Midi Ruched Skirt (all in Caviar Black) along with a light blue cashmere cardigan over top took me through two full term pregnancies and well beyond. Every few months, there are deep sales a budget-minded mamma would be well advised to take advantage of.

Storq – A company after my own previously pregnant heart, they make just the basics, well-done. Buy Storq’s skirt, tank, top, and dress in the Basics Bundle or a la carte. You can also pick up a Beauty Bundle and Body Bundle while you’re on the site and be done with your maternity shopping with a few clicks. They do a nice, low-key weekly newsletter, too.

BEAUTY

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

lemonbuzzzsoap – South Tacoman Sara hand makes soap in her home, using honey from her bees, organic essential oils, organic beer from a local brewery…What’s not to love, really?

Aveda

Accessories

Warby Parker – Fun frames and they have an interesting Buy A Pair, Give a Pair program. I’ve been wearing the Fillmore for a few years and people often ask where they can get a pair.

Born (Zappos and 6pm.com) – After a year straight of flats on a daily basis, I changed up to a Born clog with a medium heel and have been blissed out since. The flats, though cute, were absolute murder on my hips and low back. No more, I am happily back to heels all day, every day. Excepting beach outings and walks in the woods, of course!

Bogs (Zappos and 6pm.com) – Sturdy, shiny, waterproof boots for urban famers and rainy days.

Patagonia (Zappos and 6pm.com) – Lightweight, heavy duty outerwear that does well year-round in the PNW.

Melissa – Sweet-smelling, candy-colored jellies.

STARTING A BLOG

Namecheap – Simple (and cheap!) domain name registering.

WP Engine – Easy setup for WordPress hosting and exceptional customer support, even when dealing with a newbie like me.

elmastudio – Spare, clean WordPress themes designed to put the spotlight on content. Love them. Using Weta right now and have used Onigiri and Zuki in the past.

Apps

Evernote

Lancaster, PA – go, do, see, ‘n’ eat

Mulberry Art Studios

Luxe Beauty Spa & Hair Salon – Ask for Nate Fox, Stylist/Owner. Highly skilled and intuitive, he does wonderful things for hair, curly and straight.

Elan Hair & Spa – Ask for Judy Watson, Esthetician.

Fulton Theatre

Lancaster Central Market – The country’s oldest farmers market.

Cherry Hill Orchards – Nibble on fresh fruit, baked goods, and sip samples of fresh, hot cider in the orchard outlet. Pick your own cherries or apples in the orchard. We would pick a cooler full of cherries on the way to Ocean City in the summer and come fall climb right back up on those ladders for apples.

Pine View Dairy – Fresh ice cream by the 3-gallon. Cows by the front door.

Dutch Wonderland – Our grandparents took us and our cousins here every summer.

The Outlets – Enough said.

Central Manor Mart – Whoopie pies, apple dumplings, and Mart Muffins!

So much more…

Puget Sound – go, DO, SEE, ‘N’ EAT

Washington State Parks

Seattle Parks – Over 400 parks and open spaces to explore.

Pearls Tea & Coffee

Bubbles Tea Shop

Umai Do Japanese Sweets Shop

Abella Pizza

Point Defiance Zoo

Childrens’ Museum

Blue Mouse Theatre

Grand Cinema

Corina Bakery

Indigo Salon (Read my Q&A with owner Susan Pack, here.)

Oly Rollers

More fun and activity info for parents/relatives/friends of children…