Hello, June!
10 everyday summer joys

My "decide once" list

240610_decideonce_1A few of my kitchen "decide onces"


I've had a few conversations with a dear friend recently where we recall things we did in high school that are so similar to how we are today (being super organized for example, or loving home decor). We laugh and say, "We've always been the same people!"

One example of this is that it can be hard for me to make decisions, especially about relatively inconsequential things, and apparently I've been that way since childhood. A story my mom tells goes like this: one day my mom asked me to pick out a shirt to wear and then left my room to go do something else. When she returned many minutes later she found me in front of my closet saying "eeny, meeny, miney, moe..." still trying to decide!

To this day I can find minor decisions difficult, like choosing which color of a shirt to purchase, what to buy someone for a gift, or which fragrance of soap to choose. So I take great comfort in thinking about the "decide once" things in my life. These are decisions I have made and am sticking to, whether that's a brand of lotion or what I'm getting the teachers in our life. I can feel confident that each of these things is a good decision for me and then I don't have to spend any mental energy making more decisions about it which feels like a small – or maybe a big – win.

Here are the things on my decide once list:


Personal care

Body lotion: for an everyday body lotion I keep a bottle of the Target Up & Up brand daily moisturizing lotion in each bathroom. It's light but moisturizing and not greasy, plus the price is great.

Face sunscreen: I am a devotee of the Paula's Choice spf 50 daily hydrating lotion. I have this on subscription and get a new bottle every two months because Chris and I both use it daily. We also keep the Supergoop dupe Trader Joe's Daily Facial sunscreen stocked to put on our chest, arms, and neck.

Shave cream: the Trader Joe's honey mango shave cream.

Razors: Billie razors. I love how affordable these are, and the magnetic razor holder for the shower wall. I got a second razor handle so I can have one razor in my travel toiletries. My only complaint is that I have to often pause my subscription because the longest time they offer between shipments is three months and I don't need four new razor heads that often.

Bathroom hand soap: Mrs. Meyer's lavender scent. I love the light scent that this leaves in the bathroom. It's also the same soap my friend uses at her house so it reminds me of her! For this and our kitchen hand soap I buy the bigger refill jugs to have on hand.


In the kitchen

Kitchen sponges: Dobie scrub sponges. In my opinion, these are the best! The texture scrubs well and the sponge itself is lightweight so I think it dries faster than a typical sponge. We use one for several days and then replace with a new one. During that time I'll rinse out the sponge and microwave it for a minute and a half to sanitize it. We have these on subscription through Amazon and get a pack of 24 every 6 months which keeps us stocked. We keep the sponge in a little holder inside the sink which I've also loved for years. (P.S. If you've found a truly great reusable, non-disposable sponge I would be willing to reconsider this decide once item for the sake of generating less waste.)

Kitchen hand soap: Mrs. Meyer's basil hand soap.

Dish soap: Trader Joe's citrus scent dish soap.

Coffee: Peet's Major Dickason and/or Peet's Big Bang. I buy versions in both caffeinated and decaf and make my coffee half caf. Occasionally I'll also use Trader Joe's espresso blend coffee for the caffeinated portion.

Coffee pot: We've had our Cuisinart coffee pot for years and at least once a week I think about how much I love it. I love the "bold" feature which I'm not sure makes the coffee that much different but I like thinking it does (haha). I like that you can grab a cup of coffee while it's brewing and it will pause brewing. And even though we always keep the carafe temperature on "medium," I like knowing that I could change that setting if I wanted to. If we needed to replace our coffee pot, I would definitely buy the same one again.


240610_decideonce_2I loved when Cedric and Maeve had these matching lightening bolt shirts from Primary;

and this Target cat dress is one of my all-time favorites of Maeve's.


Clothing brands: Target and Primary, with boys shorts from Old Navy. All of Maeve's clothes are either Primary or Target. I absolutely love Primary brand and have found the clothes to be really well made with great fits. I love that the shorts aren't too short on girls. Primary is more expensive than Target brand so I try to buy on sale and have to be judicious about what I put in my cart – I would definitely spend so much!

The majority of the boys' clothes are Target and Primary as well with the exception of shorts. For those they love the Old Navy StretchTech shorts. Last year I bought several pairs in the next size up during an end of season sale. I completely forgot that I did that until I uncovered 10 pairs of new shorts in exactly the sizes the boys needed this spring. Thank you for that high five, past Kelsey! Lately Dash is starting to want to branch out from younger-looking clothing so we're still trying to figure out where to buy "cool" clothes for tweens.

Teacher gifts: before the holiday break each year since the boys were teeny and in daycare, I've gifted all our teachers a Target dish towel (usually just an everyday one so they can use it all year-round) and an Iowa Pine Mrs. Meyer's hand soap. I also write a hand-written thank you note. I love that the gift is useful, affordable (since we are sometimes gifting up to 10), but still a nice gift (in my opinion). I'm not as routine with our end-of-year gifts but am moving towards a thank you note co-written with the kids and a Target gift card.



Airline: Southwest, forever. Southwest is always my first choice when I'm booking air travel and luckily Southwest usually flies where I want to go. The prices are usually as good as any other airline plus you can still travel with up to two bags for free! The staff are always friendly and try to be funny on the in-flight intercom. And they also now offer free movies, tv, and texting during flights. I have a Southwest credit card and usually accumulate enough points to earn one round-trip flight per year.

Blurb photo books: As you've heard me mention before, I use Blurb to make our annual family photo books, the kids' art work photo books, and used them to make each of the kids a photo book of their first year. I have always used the 7 in. x 7 in. hardcover books with image wrap. Once you learn the Blurb software (called Bookwright) it's easy to use and I have found the book quality to be excellent. A tip is to create your book and then keep checking the site to wait for a decent discount to order. Their sales will go as high as 30 and sometimes 40% off a photo book.


I'd love to know what's on your decide once list!