Author: Allie Zottola

Giving Things Away and Favorites

I’m not sure what it is about the changing of the season from summer to fall, but it always makes me want to sift though my belongings and decide on what I no longer use. My focus the other day was on my jewelry. 

Jewelry hanging on rack

See all the jewelry in the above picture? I gave it all away and man did it feel great to do so! I have owned some of those pieces since middle school, and I was ready to part with them because I don’t wear them enough to justify keeping them when someone else could be enjoying them. 

I posted the photo on Facebook Marketplace and they were picked up by a very thankful woman the next day. I did something similar with a toy of Sadie’s in June and it felt just as wonderful. I’m sure I could have sold the jewelry or the toy, but I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have everything I need and more, so why not pass on the blessing, you know?

Onto a few favorite things from this week! 

My sister made my bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeño poppers recipe, except she used gypsy peppers in place of jalapeños! Have you ever heard of gypsy peppers? I hadn’t until she sent me the photo, haha. She said they’re kind of like a mild banana pepper. 

Bacon wrapped stuffed gypsy peppers

I know I’ve mentioned that I was on the quest for the perfect water bottle for the longest time, but have I ever discussed my search for the best ponytail holder? My hair is slightly crazy. It’s curly, frizzy, unruly, and when I’m not in the postpartum hair loss phase, it’s fairly thick. I used to iron it with a clothes iron, but that’s another story for another day. I just let it run wild now. 

I’ve used the invisibobble brand for over six months, but now I’m onto these and loving the fact that they’re cute, don’t leave dents in my hair, and don’t stretch out easily. Also, they come in a ton of different colors and don’t break the bank. The eight-pack I have cost $10, so it was $1.25 per hair tie. Not too shabby!

L. Erikson ponytail holder hair tie

Another favorite as of late has been doing crafts with Sadie during our homeschool time each weekday. We worked on making jellyfish in a different color each day and I snapped the photo below earlier this week because it made me smile. 

We actually do “school” in mine and Jimmy’s bedroom so our closet door is just casually decorated in primary-colored paper plates made to look like jellyfish. Each night before we go to bed I’m always like “Jimmy, the jellyfish are watching us go to sleep…” haha. 

Craft for teaching toddlers and preschoolers colors

My cousin generously passed on her daughter’s farm-themed dollhouse to Sadie and she has been enjoying it so much.

I could watch her play all day. She pretends her animals are doing different things and acts out little scenes. It’s so precious to see her imagination at work! I remember my dollhouse being one of my favorite toys as a child, and seeing Sader Tot play with hers brings back such happy memories for me.

Toddler playing with barn doll house

Okay, this post is getting long. I have just two more favorites to share and then I’m signing off!

  1. Midnight Sun. I have to know: were you a Twilight fan? If so, Team Edward or Team Jacob? I can vividly remember not being able to put Twilight down during my junior year Spanish class. My teacher was literally like, “Allie, can you please stop reading?” lol. When I saw that Midnight Sun was coming out, I was super pumped! I just started reading it, but so far it has been everything my teenage Twilight-obsessed self dreamed it would be! And since I know you’re totally wondering, I’ve always been Team Edward 😉
  2. Prismacolor Colored Pencils. I’ve seen these colored pencils for years and always wondered if the quality justified the price. I finally caved and decided to try them out. They’re very nice! The color is so rich and I hear they’re great for blending, but haven’t tried yet. I definitely recommend ’em if you’re into art supplies! 

Tell me a recent favorite of yours!

What’s the last thing you gave away?

Toddler girl wearing romper and rain boots by garden

Much Needed + Trash

Jimmy and I went on our first date since the onset of COVID restrictions! Whew did we need that time alone. My mother-in-law graciously watched Sadie for a few hours on Friday night while we went out to eat and walked around a few stores.

Toddler with rubber band bracelets

Sader Tot had a blast with her Grandma!

Of course with mostly came home with toys for Sadie (this animal set has been a big hit, as have these puffy stickers), but Jimmy also picked up spirograph and has been having a blast unwinding with it at night and reliving childhood memories. 

On Saturday we picked up trash! Our church gathered together and headed to a local park with a bike trail and picked up litter. 

Group of people picking up litter on trail

I was thinking that we have so much fun with our church family that it doesn’t really matter what we’re doing together.

Sometimes there are hard things, hard work, and hard times, but fellowshipping with our family in Christ makes it all so much better. It’s such a blessing to have a community of believers to spend time with and share our joys, hardships, and everyday life. There’s just nothing like it. 

Other happenings around the Zottola house lately:

  • I planted more mums to spruce up our front porch and literally every time I see them I smile.
  • We filmed another vlog and my favorite part is Sadie helping me plant the mums. 
  • We are on week two of homeschooling and loving it so far. 
  • Our garden is slowing down big time, with mostly tomatoes and peppers growing at this point (sad!). 

How about a few photos?

Mom and toddler smiling

Sadie is going to be two-years-old soon. She is growing and changing so much lately. I can’t wait to share her two year update.

Also, if you could say a prayer for her eye to heal, that would be so, so appreciated! I mentioned that she has a nasolacrimal duct obstruction and that we were trying eye drops for about a month before doing anything invasive.

Her eye hasn’t had any progress so we will be talking to her doctor at her yearly checkup later this month. I know the procedure to unblock the duct isn’t too bad, but who is excited for their child to go through that, you know? I watched a video of the procedure and totally shouldn’t have, LOL.

Purple and orange mums in a black planter

Here’s a look the mums I planted. It’s just a planter filled with happiness for me, haha. 

Toddler girl wearing romper and rain boots by garden

My little garden helper ❤

When we went to clean up litter on the bike trail on Saturday we brought Sadie’s trike along and she was so happy to be pushed around and stayed in it almost the whole time (<– miracle).

I totally thought it would be a disaster to bring a toddler to clean up litter, but she surprised and impressed me! 

Toddler girl riding Radio Flyer tricycle

Last but not least, our Niva girl has been loving the cooler weather lately. She stays outside longer when it’s below 60 degrees and just lays in the yard. It’s adorable and I’m excited to see how she likes the snow this winter.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but she truly is great with Sadie and we are so incredibly thankful for that. Case in point, Sadie put Niva “night night” by piling her with pillows and a blanket and she just laid there like “okay, sure!” haha. 

Siberian husky with pillows and blankets

Alright, I am signing off here. We’ve got a busy day ahead. Sadie is going to be learning the color yellow today, I’ve got real estate work and some cooking to do, and I’m taking Sadie to her first chiropractor appointment (outside the womb, lol) this evening! 

What are your plans for the day?