The 2019 MomAdvice Summer Reads Guide

June 1st, 2019

For many years, I have wanted to do a reading guide for you all, but each year the days would slip away and I would think, “Maybe next year!”

Well, not today, Satan!

I am thrilled to share my first Summer Reading Guide with you! This has been a true labor of love and I’m incredibly proud how this turned out.

Within this 15 page guide you will find:

  • A huge list of great books to read over the summer. I have included some new (and upcoming) novels, but I also weaved in some older favorites that might be easier to snag at your local library.
  • Tips for reading more this summer including a few of my own tried-and-true formulas for reading.
  • A bookworm gift guide filled with fun finds from Etsy sellers.
  • 10 of my all-time favorite books
  • 5 summer selections curated by the Currently Reading Podcast.

All you need to do to access the free guide is be an email subscriber! Upon signing up for our mailing list, you will receive a link to the reading guide.

If you decide to read any of these selections, I’d be honored if you used the #momadvicesummerreading hashtag and tag me on Instagram!

Happy reading, bookworms! xo

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter and receive your FREE Summer Reading Guide!

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

November 26th, 2018

Check out the 2019 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more great reads for your stack!

Can you believe that I am picking our 2019 MomAdvice Book Club selections this week? This year has flown by and I have SO enjoyed sharing books and discussions with you.

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 2,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

The best part?

There is no commitment to participate in chats (although I love it when you do!). This is a place to get opinions about books, find out what everyone is reading, and start chats of your own about books you would just love to talk about.

I wanted to get this list up a little early so you have loads of time to make requests to your local library or read ahead on any of these selections.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

Scroll through the book list below to see what we have in store for you in 2019.  The discussion is held on the last Friday and an Event invite is sent out at the beginning of the month to join a virtual chat. Once you RSVP, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed.

Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

I’m thrilled to share these 12 selections with you from a pool of talented writers. As always, I try to keep a good mix of fiction, nonfiction, YA, memoirs, and mysteries.

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

January- A Ladder to the Sky

February- My Sister the Serial Killer

March- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

April- Little

May- The Friend

June- The Editor

July- In Sight of Stars

August- There Will Be No Miracles Here

September- No One Can Pronounce My Name

October- The Lying Woods

November- The Library Book

December- Virgil Wander

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

January 1st, 2018

"MomAdvice

Is one of your goals to join a book club this year? I’m thrilled to share that we have an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group that I’d love for you to join. I’m so excited to share with you our MomAdvice 2018 Book Club selections.

Our book club now has over 1,200 bookworms (!!!) and we would love to have you join in on the fun discussions this year. I loved last year’s selections so much that they even found their way on my Best Books of 2017 list.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

I will be your book club hostess this year and have selected the entire year of books for 2018 to round out your book stacks.  The discussion is held on the last week of the month and posted in the group with a thread for each question.

To make finding these discussions easier (and so you can hop in at anytime!!) we have moved our discussions into the Events tab. You will receive an invitation to each discussion and can find the entire discussion in the Events, instead of searching through our VERY active page.

You can jump in to answer questions at any time throughout that week, interacting with loads of other fellow bookworms.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website. The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

In fact, I have been reading our book club picks before we get to them to make sure that not a moment of your time or penny is wasted.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed. Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

Here are the books we will be talking about this year!

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood January- Alias Grace

Lucky Boy February- Lucky Boy

American Fire March- American Fire

Lilli De Jong April- Lilli De Jong

The Music Shop May- The Music Shop

Everything Here is Beautiful June- Everything Here is Beautiful

Salt Houses July- Salt Houses

Little Broken Things August- Little Broken Things

Far From the Tree September- Far From the Tree

The Hunger by Alma Katsu October- The Hunger

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy November- Steal the Stars

Girls Burn Brighter December-Girls Burn Brighter

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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Small-Budget Crushes 08.02.19

August 2nd, 2019


So many fun small-budget finds today! Click the image or the link below the picture to shop! xoxo

ugg rain boots (what a steal- several colors. these are my faves!


nude sparkle nail wraps

adorable pom pom pillow

wedding gift idea- marriage milestone wine labels

the perfect cardi with pockets (loads of cute colors)

homebodies print

my favorite summer midi dress is back in stock (true to size!)

probably watching the office doormat graze wedge sandals (several fun colors)

funnel neck top

baby shower gift shopping alert- exhausted shirt sets (hahaha!)

brush your teeth toothbrush holder

modern charm bracelet

calf hair crossbody

fitted gingham shirt

pull-on midi skirt (two hues)

modern birthstone ring

cap sleeve jumpsuit (several colors and stripe options)

striped travel wrap

basic shift dress (so many colors!!)

the hand lettering bible

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!! 

 

 

July 2019 Must-Reads

August 1st, 2019

Are you looking for your next great read? I’m sharing eight AMAZING reads with you and why I think you should read them. From twisty thrillers to gorgeous historical fiction, there is something for everyone in this month’s stack! 

I can’t believe that our summer is coming to a close already. I don’t know about you, but I feel like it was just beginning and now I have to prepare for the back-to-school craziness. 

You can picture me crying in a corner and begging that I don’t have to start the schedules, the school supplies ordering, the check-ups, the uniform shopping ALL OVER AGAIN. 

read all about the reading retreat

It has been quite the bookish month! Not only did I host my first reading retreat (and it was just as magical as I had hoped), but I also spent this week writing all about how you can get your books for FREE on you Kindle. It’s more than just a post about the library though. It’s about allll the app options and Amazon benefits you should be taking advantage of. 

I also hope you didn’t miss my FREE Summer Reading Guide I made for you. This guide should keep you very busy, as summer comes to a close, with loads of beautiful reads. 

While you’re here, be sure to print out the 2019 MomAdvice reading challenge worksheet and join our FREE online book club! 

You can check out the 2019 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here. 

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews!

Did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? Grab your FREE book over here.  

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Also Out!!

Here is what is available for July! 

The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

This month’s special: New members can get their first book for $9.99 when they join using this month’s code CHASE and can cancel at any time. 

Still somehow in all the craziness, I managed to read so many incredible books this month.

Here are 8 must-read books I tackled in July:

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

I devoured this gothic historical fiction novel from debut author, Sara Collins.  This murder mystery follows the life of a slave named Frannie Langton and her difficult life as a slave for two different couples. 

The novel opens with the trial of Frannie Langton and the accusations that she pulled off a brutal double murder of her employers. The couple, whose deaths are in question, are wildly eccentric and Frannie finds herself entrapped by both the husband and the wife.

The thing is, she cannot recall what happened the night of the murder, even though this information could save her from certain death. Found to be covered in blood and laying next to one of the victims, she doesn’t even have the memories to help her remember her role that evening.

The novel winds through Frannie’s journey from her Jamaican plantation upbringing to her time serving a couple in London. This woman’s story is very dark and very twisted with a forbidden relationship that no one could have ever predicted. 

If you were tempted by the forbidden fruits of V.C. Andrews, love a good Sarah Waters novel, or found yourself entranced by Alias Grace…you must pick up this book. 

Although it had a slow start and, honestly, far too many loose ends to wrap up, it was still worth every minute of my reading time. 

Please note, this novel is graphic/brutal in nature. I would not recommend for the highly sensitive reader! 

4 out of 5 Stars

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing an advanced copy for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

Let’s just admit that most buzz books do not deliver. I am so thrilled to say though that Ask Again, Yes, was one of the first summer buzz books that REALLY delivered on its promise to be an incredible 2019 read. 

If you haven’t gotten to this one yet, let me fill you in a bit on the plot.

The story chronicles the lives of two rookie cops, Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, who also happen to be neighbors. Set in the 1970’s, the two wives (Lena and Anne) should be close friends, but they are both battling their own demons at home.  Lena is very lonely and could use a friend, but Anne is emotionally unstable and not the kind of person that can support Anne through this chapter in her life.

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The two neighbor kids, born just six months apart, have found a forever friendship with one another that trumps all of their parent’s difficulties and struggles.

In a very shocking twist of events though, one moment changes everything for these two families in a way that the reader would never expect.  This event causes their loyalties to divide and their bonds to be tested. 

Keane chronicles the next 40 years so beautifully that it made my heart hurt. The storytelling is exquisite and I hung on every last word.

When I ended this book, I looked at my husband and said, “FINALLY. A BUZZ BOOK WORTH READING.” 

I guarantee that this one will be going on my best books of 2019 list. 

5 out of 5 Stars

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

I used my Book of the Month credit on this intimate nonfiction exploration of real women and their secret sex lives

If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, please carry on! 

I, honestly, cracked the book open in the morning with coffee and ended the book THE SAME DAY with wine. 

I then handed it off to a girlfriend and begged her to read it too, just so I had someone to talk about it with.

Perhaps, it is my conservative Midwest upbringing, but I found this book to be eye-opening, especially because women so rarely discuss their own sexual desires openly. The author, in fact, had many people bail on her, midway through this project, because people began to worry about the anonymity factor. 

As the title suggests, this profiles three different women and what is happening behind closed doors.

One Midwest woman is struggling to get her husband to even kiss her, let alone be intimate with her. It is because of this rejection that she rekindles an old flame and begins having an affair.

Another woman starts a relationship with her English teacher, at the tender age of seventeen. What begins as something innocent begins to slowly evolve into an inappropriate relationship. Just as she begins to be fully vested into this relationship, her teacher completely cuts her off from his life.

To her surprise, now as an adult, he is nominated as, “Teacher of the Year,” and no one in her town believes her story of her affair.

The third is the raciest of the storylines and features a woman who is happily married and her husband is also happily open to them having other people in the bedroom (*ahem*).

The book reads like fiction, but Taddeo has spent years on this book to make sure that she tells their story as truthfully and honestly as possible. It has seemed to struck a chord with many and now has been picked up for a Showtime television series too

My inability to put this one down makes it a winner, at least in my book.

5 out of 5 Stars

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing an advanced copy for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

If you gravitate towards the darker thrillers, I have a feeling that you will enjoy this new novel, The Chain

The plot revolves around a mother, named Rachel, who is on her way to an oncology appointment, when she receives a panicked message from a woman who tells her that the caller’s child has been kidnapped.

She is desperate for Rachel to help her get her child back.

The only way the caller could get her child back though is to kidnap ANOTHER child…and Rachel’s daughter has been chosen. 

This crazy woman has her child. 

Say what?

To release Kylie, Rachel’s kidnapped daughter, she is required to send a ridiculous amount of money and KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD to complete the chain.

What is the consequence of breaking this chain? If she breaks the link, her child will be killed.

Rachel is down on her luck financially, is divorced, and has been beaten down with cancer. She would do or sacrifice anything though to get her child back… including taking someone else’s kid. With the help of her ex-brother-in-law (a Special Forces veteran), she goes against everything she is to get her daughter back. 

McKinty adds a lot of layers to Rachel that include both her difficult life and her background as a professor of philosophy. He also adds layers to her accomplice that make him unreliable and put the reader on edge. 

This is another book that I polished off in a single day and ended up being a fantastic little summer escape. 

4 out of 5 Stars

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing an advanced copy for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

Are you tired of every thriller saying that they are the next, Gone Girl

Me too! 

The thing is,  this is probably the closest thing I’ve read to that novel that really delivered on great thriller plot twists.

That’s why, I’m actually going to give this one the Gone Girl Award (trademarked) for 2019.

Sabine Hardison has went missing, but this isn’t the first time that she has done this. Her husband, Jeffrey, is concerned that this time is different though and reports her missing to the police.

When her car turns up abandoned, the only evidence they have is that all signs are pointing to foul play. 

Sabine’s sister knows that Jeffrey isn’t the supportive husband that he is sharing with the police though and thinks that Sabine may have disappeared just to escape the abusive relationship. When you learn more about Sabine’s story, you know you would have to leave too.

Now known as Beth Murphy, she has cut off her hair, dyed it in a new shade, and is doing everything she can to escape the cycle of abuse she was part of.  “Beth” has to keep moving though, and keep an emotional distance from everyone, because the last thing that can happen is being found by her husband. 

One detective is unwilling to end this case until these answers are found and he will stop at nothing to figure out where Sabine is hiding or who could have murdered her. This game of cat-and-mouse is on! 

I loved, loved, loved this thriller and highly recommend this one if you are looking for a solid plot to really sink your teeth into. The twists were so well-played that it took me, even as a seasoned thriller reader, by surprise. 

5 out of 5 Stars

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak

A thriller without GIRL or WIFE in the title AND focuses on a twisted friendship instead? 

Sign. Me. Up.

I used one of my summer Book of the Month credits to snag this fun thriller and really enjoyed it. 

Stella and Violet have been best friends since college, but could not be more opposite. Stella is the beautiful and reckless one who oozes privilege. Violet, on the other hand, has had to work really hard to get where she is and seems to be available to clean up any mess that Stella might be making.

Violet ends up scoring her dream job, after graduation, and finds herself working for cable news. Due to her dedication and focus to detail, she is quickly moved up the ranks from intern all the way up to assistant producer. She loves having her own thing, separate from Stella, and feels like she is finally on a path that hasn’t been clouded by her taking up the spotlight. 

When Stella becomes jealous of her new life, she works her family’s connections to score a job at the same news center. She begins infiltrating herself into Violet’s relationships and wins the coveted role as a news anchor. 

Just as Stella is to begin her dream job as an anchor, she disappears. It’s not the first time she’s left though so no one is suspicious that there could be foul play.

Ah, but Violet has had enough with Stella moving on her turf and she just might know where Stella is.

This was another fun summer thriller that I really enjoyed this month.

Pitoniak does a great job showcasing the love-hate relationship between these two and creates the right amount of sympathy in Violet, along with the right amount of narcissism in Stella. 

I would definitely add this one to your reading list this summer!

4 out of 5 Stars

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Thank you to the publishing house for providing an advanced copy for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

I selected, The Masterpiece, as our book for discussion on our MomAdvice Reading Retreat. It ended up being a really charming historical fiction novel that made me want to dive into more of the offerings from Fiona Davis. 

If you are unfamiliar with Fiona Davis, she tells stories, that are set in New York, at famous historic landmark locations. This novel goes back and forth through time and the setting this time is in the Grand Central Terminal. 

Did you know that the Grand Central Terminal used to house an art school? 

Well, it did and this story shares about that time in history and the artistry that was developed through this school.

Fifty years later, Virginia is working the information booth at the Grand Central Terminal and the building has a planned renovation that may remove beautiful portions of its history. When Virginia stumbles upon the art school, now boarded up and abandoned, she finds a beautiful watercolor that might be worth something. Virginia takes it upon herself to find out who that artist is and to learn more about the history of this school.

This is a PERFECT book club discussion book because two of these fictional characters are based on real people in history and it also was so fun to discover that there was an art school tucked away in this building. 

We had an excellent discussion and it is the kind of book you could pass on to ANYONE and they will enjoy it too. 

I’m really glad we got a chance to talk about this one, especially since this was our first time talking about a book in person. 

4 out of 5 Stars

In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

If you are looking for an incredible young adult novel, be sure to pick up, “In Sight of Stars.” 

The MomAdvice Book Club was lucky enough to not only have a video chat with Gae, at our MomAdvice Reading Retreat, but she also joined us for our online book chat as well. Gae is one of those generous kinds of authors that is so giving of her time time and talks openly and honestly about her books.

If you are looking for an interactive book chat, this is YOUR GIRL.

Don’t have a book club? You can join mine for free and find the chat with Gae under our Events tab.

This story explores the life of seventeen-year-old Klee (pronounced Clay) and the aching grief of losing his father. Klee’s father was his world and was the one who introduced him to art by taking him to the MoMA and sharing his stories about the artists that hung on those walls.

When his father dies, a little part of Klee has died too and he can’t help to think his mom might be partly to blame for his death. 

Klee needs a little happiness in his life and when he meets Sarah, in his art class, he believes that she is just the ticket to bring him back out of his shell. She is everything he is not- wild, carefree, and lighthearted. 

When Sarah betrays him though, Klee finds himself in a psychiatric hospital for teens where he is forced to deal with the emotions of his father’s death, his anger with his mother, and losing the one person who brought him joy again. 

Luckily, this boy is surrounded by a staff of helpers who help Klee come to terms with ALL OF IT and his role in these stories. 

Polisner really opens this story in a way that makes it confusing to the reader and she does so purposefully. She wants her reader to understand what it is like in Klee’s head and how hard it is for him.

More importantly, she confronts how the things we think we know about our parents aren’t always the real story. She challenges her reader to look at their stories in a different light and with a little more grace than they might have before.

What teen doesn’t need to hear that?

I really loved this novel and so many of our readers did too.

I would also recommend this one for older teens due to language, sex, and adult themes.

I encourage you to add this one to your stack!

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Read With Me This Year

January 2019 Must-Reads

February 2019 Must-Reads

March 2019 Must-Reads

April 2019 Must-Reads

May 2019 Must-Reads

June 2019 Must-Reads

What did you read this month? Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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Amy’s Notebook 08.01.02

August 1st, 2019

source

Love the notebook? Sign up for my free weekly newsletter with more incredible articles!!

I love caprese salad so this diy caprese salad bar idea is right up my alley!

Watch this please.

10 reasons you need introverts in your life.

A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time for herself. This is an EXCELLENT read.

A new planner won’t change your life.

I am bookmarking these DIY projects for teens.

source

Put your ripe summer fruit to work in these homemade Italian sodas. Yum!

Here’s how to train yourself to read faster.

I couldn’t love this thread more.

I’m feeling inspired to pick these items up on my next Costco run.

source

Can you believe this is a gift box for a book lover? I can’t wait to use this free printable to spice up my gift card game.

Speaking of books, this is what I can’t put down this week.

Next up? I’m thinking this one.

I’m not sure how I feel about this yet.

Looking for the next great podcast? Check out this incredible list of podcast suggestions.

OMG. Have you seen this collection? SO. FUN.

Well, that solves a problem– hahaha!

One more reason to hit the pause button.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post- thank you! xoxo

July Happy List

July 31st, 2019

Love old Hollywood? Want to listen to audiobooks in bed? Want to see what a restored picnic table looks like? It’s all here in this month’s HAPPY LIST.

I hope you guys have had a great month and have been soaking in a little sunshine this summer.  Our summer will be soon coming to a close so we are trying to plan a little spontaneous trip to celebrate another summer in the books.

If you have any suggestions for a day trip to St. Louis, I’m all ears! 

Would you like to hear what’s been making me happy this month? I’d love to share those fun things with you today! 

If you have been missing the 3 little things list each week, I promise it is still here. I just moved it on over to my monthly newsletter so you can enjoy it in your inbox instead.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables to help you put together an incredible home management binder and a FREE SUMMER READING GUIDE.

Let’s explore the happy for July!

My New Favorite Instagram Account

I stumbled upon This Was Hollywood on Instagram and I couldn’t be happier. This account shares lots of little known facts about film and movie stars with incredible behind-the-scenes images and fun clips from older movies. I am such a nerd for things like this and really crave escaping into the nostalgia these days. You will definitely want to take your time and read the captions on these because you will be the hit of any dinner party with all these fun facts and scenes in your head. 

Here are a few of my favorite posts from this account to get you acquainted:

Stars and Their Stand-Ins
The First Interracial Dance Pairing on Film 
Black Cat Casting Call
Let’s Say It With Firecrackers
Gene Kelly Performing Dig-Dig-Dig For Your Dinner

Our New Patio Set-Up

We try to stain our patio table each year (here is a tutorial if you have a wooden table!)  and usually I’m the one cranking out this project for my family. I really wasn’t looking forward to doing that this year so I was VERY thankful my hubby volunteered to handle the task this year. The finish we chose last year was the darkest stain so my husband sanded it down to create a bit of a weathered pattern and then we sealed it with a waterproof seal. Skipping the stain saved a bit of time, more importantly though, I love the unique finish on this piece. 

If you are curious about the rest of our set-up, we ended up buying this umbrella last year and it is worth every penny. It survived all the crazy Midwest weather and looks just like the day we brought it home. We, honestly, didn’t even store it during the winter.  We also paired it with this gorgeous rug that I scored on sale earlier this year.

Not sure how to keep your outdoor rugs clean? Here is the quickest way that I discovered. How easy is that?

Stranger Things Season 3

My daughter requested a sushi and Stranger Things marathon for our 4th of July and I couldn’t have been happier about that. The only thing I discovered though is that sushi deliveries do not exist on the 4th so Whole Foods had to come in with the sushi save for our marathon.

Have you seen it yet? This season definitely was a lot darker and gorier (in my opinion) than past seasons. The moments where it really shined, for this mom, were the ones that addressed the big shift that happens in middle school and how we can become separated from our peers when we are embracing different levels of maturity. I also loved the section on boundary setting with kids and just how hard it would be to set boundaries with a kid that can do incredible power moves with her mind. Overall, I loved it and thought the writing was (as always) incredible. 

I can’t wait to see what they dream up for next season!

The Best Summer Pajama Set

I was in need of new summer pajamas and our reading retreat ended up being the perfect excuse. Since I have wee legs, I am constantly challenged with pajama pants that drag on the floor. I snagged this unbelievably soft pajama twin set that has cropped legs and I can’t rave enough about how amazing these are. They come in three beautiful hues and wash up amazingly well too.

Not a fan of the cropped pant? This same style comes in a nightgown and in a cute little pajama shorts set too. 

My New Strategy for Audiobooks in Bed

Have you heard of SleepPhones? The company reached out and shared with me a pair of SleepPhones to try and I can’t rave enough. 

As someone who has sensitive ears, headphones often bother me and I have never figured out a way to wear these comfortably while lying down. The SleepPhones are charged (just like all your other devices) and the headphones are hidden within a soft headband that lay flat and flush against your ear. You can check out the different versions over here

If you are a side sleeper, these are REALLY amazing because you can still do your side resting/sleeping while listening to white noise, a podcast, or audiobooks. I have been trying out this app with them this week. 

This week they are also sending me their latest ASMR version that they came out with and I CAN’T WAIT. Don’t know what ASMR is? Here’s a great explanation

A New CBD Oil Company to Love

I have been on the hunt for high quality CBD that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The dosage I take and the amount I need is a lot. I happened to stumble upon the Lazarus Naturals Company that offers CBD products at affordable prices and decided to give them a spin. 

I can’t say enough good things about the communication, quick shipping, and the quality of the product that was sent to me. I am in no way affiliated with them- I just had to share! 

What I appreciate the most is that they offer a 60% Veterans Discount (for my amazing Dad!!) and discounts for low-income or people living on long term disability. If you fit ANY of these criterias, head here to apply. If not, just consider them for your needs because they are doing such great things for these people. 

Here are a few of my favorite July captures (follow me on IG for more)!

our boy celebrated his 17th birthday! I can hardly believe it! how are we this old?

I was proud to have clocked my 500th mile on my foldable stationary bike. This bike gets sooo much love over here.

It’s s’more season. We have been spending a lot of time out here by our fire pit now that we FINALLY have the perfect cover for it

we have been getting in a lot of board games on the ol’ picnic table. Azul, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and Love Letter have been in our rotation. Also, I’m madly in love with these tabletop tiki torches. They look like antique glass and have kept the bugs away when we have been outside.

I’ve been making my Pilates Wheel time my own version of physical therapy. I can’t believe how much better I feel, especially with the spinal mobility classes they offer. It’s saving me a ton on expensive equipment classes this year too.

I’ve been missing going on good old-fashioned library visits so I had to make up for lost time. This was my reward after the reading retreat successfully concluded. I really know how to treat myself. Can’t wait to share this next stack with you!

I love checking out new restaurants in town. If you are on the hunt for a good gluten-free pizza, The Lauber Bar & Grill has you covered. 

Let’s talk about what YOU loved this month!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in July

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  3. June 2019 Must-Reads
  4. How to Make DIY Fluffy Slime
  5. DIY Kool-Aid Slushies
  6. March 2019 Must-Reads
  7. How to Spray Paint Furniture
  8. Best Kindle Daily Book Deals (be sure to bookmark this page!)
  9. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
  10. How to Stain a Picnic Table

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in July

  1. Crepe Pull-On Shorts (what a steal right now!!)
  2. Too Many Books? I Think Not. T-Shirt
  3. Cat Petting Guide T-Shirt
  4. Mama Bird T-Shirt
  5. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
  6. Scrabble 2-in-1 Message Boards
  7. Introverted But Willing to Discuss Books T-Shirt
  8. XL Air Fryer
  9. Personalized Pony Pins
  10. Sannibel Platform Wedge Sandals 

Top Ten Books Purchased in July- still tons on sale right now! (join the club to be notified of daily deals!)

  1. Saints for All Occasions
  2. My Notorious Life
  3. Next Year in Havana
  4. My Not So Perfect Life
  5. The Psychology of Time Travel
  6. Honolulu
  7. The Roanoke Girls
  8. Light From Other Stars
  9. We Were Liars
  10. The Cactus

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of July fun. I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

How to Check Out Library Books on Your Kindle for Free

July 29th, 2019

 

Did you know that you can check out books for free just using your library card? Today I wanted to share a quick tutorial on how to borrow Kindle ebooks through your public library for free. 

Don’t have a Kindle device? 

That’s okay! 

You can also get books for free using a simple Kindle reading app on your phone or tablet. 

The reason I wanted to share this is because when I bought my Kindle Paperwhite (this is what I read on!), I had the hardest time figuring out how to borrow these books from their lending library and how to get those books that I ordered to move over to my Kindle device.

To me, it just wasn’t an intuitive process so today’s post is for anyone else who has struggled borrowing books on their Amazon Kindle or Fire tablet.

Step One: Get a Library Card

If you want to begin checking out Kindle books, you will need to begin with getting a library card from your local library. This card number is what you will use to access your account and allows you to get these free Kindle library books and audiobooks for free. 

When you get this card, you are typically assigned a pin that you will then use to access the Overdrive app that allows you to search for the books that you are interested in. If you have trouble figuring out a great library pin number, a local librarian offered the tip to make your pin the last four digits of your library card so you never forget it.

This is a great time to just confirm that your library is participating in Overdrive and also to ask about any other apps that might be available to you for digital lending. It is HIGHLY likely that your library is participating since over 11,000 libraries now offer this option. 

Step Two: Download the Overdrive Library App

Once you have confirmed that your library is participating, you will need to download the Overdrive Library App to your phone or tablet. If you do not want to use a mobile device, you can also access it online through your desktop. 

My library homepage, for example, is linked to Overdrive so I can just search directly on my desktop. 

Step Three: Sign Into Your Overdrive App

Once you have installed the app, you will select Sign Up Using Library Card  (or sign in using library card).

At this point, you will be able to search for your local library name or location. Select this library once you find it. You will want to search for the overall local library system (the county name) versus just the local branch you use.

You will then be prompted to add your library card information and pin number that you were assigned. Once you are signed in, it is time to start searching for digital books and audiobooks.

Step Four: Select and Check Out Your Books

I wanted to walk you through the step-by-step process of checking out the books, once you have the Overdrive app installed. This is where I got confused because I didn’t understand how the book was supposed to magically appear on my Kindle Paperwhite. 

Begin by searching for the book that you would like to borrow. You can search by title or author. Be sure that you are searching for the Kindle format and not the ePub because the Kindle format is what you will be reading on your Kindle device or through the Kindle app. 

Once you find your book, click BORROW to borrow this book.  Once you borrow it, you will be prompted for the timespan you would like to borrow this book for.

Make sure that you adjust this, especially if you need more time to read so you aren’t at risk of giving it up if it can’t be renewed. I always adjust my time to 21 days so I can enjoy the maximum length for borrowing times. 

Step Five: Sign Into Your Amazon Account and Borrow the Book

Once you have clicked that you want to borrow a book on the Overdrive app, it will automatically redirect you to your Amazon account to sign in. Sign into your account and then this screen will appear where it says, “Get Library Book.”  

As you can see in my screenshot, it is defaulting to the device that I use most (Amy’s 5th Kindle)…yes, we do own five in our house. 

Don’t you judge me. 

Once this has been clicked, you will find the book on your Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, or in your Kindle app on your phone or tablet. 

Step Six: Complete the Book Download

Now that you can see the book on your chosen destination, click on it to download it. You will need to have wifi to complete this step so be sure you do this at home, if you might be traveling.

Once the download is complete, you can begin reading your book. 

Step Seven: Return Your Book When You Finish 

The other thing that often confuses people is how to return your book through the library reading apps. Honestly, you don’t need to necessarily return them when you finish because once your book expires, it will automatically remove itself from your Kindle. 

Overdrive does have book limits though so if you want to check out more, you might need to return your book to do that. 

Head to your Amazon account and then to the, “Manage Your Content and Devices,” page. You will see the book(s) you have borrowed and you can click the Actions tab next to it.

As shown in this screenshot, “Return This Book,” is one of these options.

Select that to return the book to the library. 

That’s it, you have successfully borrowed a book from the Kindle store and added it to your own personal library. 

Other FAQ About Borrowing Digitally

How do I renew my library books?

Is your Kindle (Paperwhite) library book expiring? Check this page for a step-by-step tutorial on how to renew that book

What other free reading apps might the library be connected with?

Looking for more free reading apps? 

Check your local library website or ask a librarian! Our library, for example, offers Libby, Hoopla, and Flipster

We can also checkout independent documentaries and films through the Kanopy app. 

This frugal girl loves a freebie so you know that I’m using ALL THE APPS.

What about free audiobooks from the library?

Did you know you can get audio books from the library for free? Borrowing audiobooks will differ depending on the type of device you are using to listen to them. The best resource for that will be this page that explains it step-by-step depending on your digital device you are using.

I usually just listen to them on my phone through the Overdrive app directly, but you might have other options depending on the device you are using. 

Where else can I read free books through my Kindle app or device?

First of all, if you are a Prime member, you can get a FREE book every single month!

Amazon Prime has a great program called, “Amazon First Reads,” that allows Prime members to shop for a book for free before it is released to the public. 

How cool is that? 

You can check this page each month for a free book

They also generously give you two books on certain months too. These aren’t throwaway books either. Some of my favorite novels have been from this Kindle First program.

Also, as a Prime member, you have access to the Kindle Lending Library where you can borrow books for free through Amazon. 

FYI- This is NOT the same as the Kindle Unlimited paid program (another confusing element to the Amazon services). 

You can access thousands of books for free through Prime and the offerings do change monthly. 

I would suggest signing up for their newsletters to stay up-to-date on the book offerings. They often send emails that warn you if a book is going to be removed from their Kindle Lending Library program and also lets you know when new books become available.

Project Gutenberg also offers over 59,000 books for free that you also can check out! 

I borrowed a book, but I’d love to have someone read it to me. How do I do that without buying or borrowing the audiobook version?

Did you know that Alexa can read your books to you?

NO JOKE. 

Keep in mind, this won’t be the beautifully narrated audiobook version, it will be Alexa reading to you. 

Get the scoop on what Alexa can read to you over here.

Why does my library not have new releases available to me?

This article might explain the issue better and the hurdles you may face securing a new release.

I want new books though. Where can I get them for cheap?

Check my deals page A.S.A.P. Bookmark this page and check back daily for the best Amazon steals and deals.

What Kindle book should I checkout next?

You will NEVER be bored again with reading because I’m here to guide you through every second of the way. Visit my book reviews section for the best reading material or join my FREE book club so you can find and discuss books with other bookworms! I even hosted an IN REAL LIFE reading retreat for our book club members

Still not enough book ideas? This MomAdvice Summer Reading Guide has you covered!

Have any questions about reading for free on your Kindle device or app? Leave them below and I will be happy to answer them. Happy FREE reading, everyone! 

Please note, this post contains affiliate links.

How To Host or Join a Reading Retreat

July 25th, 2019

Have you ever dreamed of going on a reading retreat? Check out this post for reading retreat ideas and discover how you can participate in one!

This past week was a whirlwind of excitement as I hosted my very first MomAdvice Reading Retreat.

I, honestly, still can’t believe that this actually happened. 

The first time I uttered the words, “reading retreat,” I was met with a lot of confusion. 

As soon as I began to explain my idea for this though, almost everyone said that they could use a retreat like this in their life.

Let’s be honest, it seems that there has been a retreat for everything including writing retreats, yoga retreats, retreat centers for wellness, and even social media retreats.

With all these types of retreats offered, I began to wonder why I couldn’t find a reading retreat for bookish people or an introvert retreat that catered to people like me.

Today I wanted to share some book club retreat ideas and strategies for how to host a retreat. More importantly, I would love to invite you to join the next one. The quickest way to stay in the loop is to join our book club and retreat mailing list. Please note, the retreat mailing list is separate from your weekly happy newsletter.

Should history repeat itself these spots go REALLY fast and that just might be one reason why I think the bookish retreat is going to be the next big thing for our community. 

I could not have done it without these two ladies- thank you, Meg & Symbol!!!

Personally, I have felt like blogging is just not filling my cup the way it used to. I have missed the feelings of connectedness that we used to have through comments and interactions.

The book club has been my way of coping with these changes and figuring out how my path might look moving forward.

The idea for a reading retreat really was hatched when I read about retreats happening in other parts of the country.  Although they were hosted much differently than mine, I began to brainstorm a different type of reading retreat that would build better connections within our book club community.  Keep in mind, I began the research and planning in January to execute this in the summer.

We also surveyed our book club members to see if they were even interested in the retreat, what part of the country they were in, what the best price point would be, and also what months worked best.


Once that data was collected, I scouted midwest retreat rentals, set an attendee amount, and established an application process for these spots. I read through all of the responses and tried to gather a group that I thought would mesh well together,  as well as support the most active members in our community. 

Catering to introverts (not to say that ALL readers are introverts, but many are) helped me make the decision to keep the group more intimate.

Each of our attendees received a copy of, “The Masterpiece,” by Fiona Davis,  for our discussion, in the mail.

Have you read it?

I am pretty sure that every person walked away with a brand new impression of the Grand Central Terminal.  For example, not many of us knew that an art school was tucked away in this historic building or the woman who made history streamlining the interior design of the Studebaker. 

You’ll have to read this one to get the scoop on these exciting times in history.  

thank you, gae, for joining our book club- check out her books here

I also encouraged everyone to dig into, “In Sight of Stars,” so that we could have a great chat with this month’s author, Gae Polisner. It was so fun to chat with our author this month and to better understand her writing process.  

As expected, Gae was amazing and we all loved being able to connect with her in this way.  I am hoping that we can offer more chats like these in the future!

Out of Print shared these adorable book totes for our reading retreat. 

Aren’t these the cutest? They even have a library card holder!  I put my Cricut to work and made name tags for each of these bags so the ladies could pick these up on the way to their room. 

Thank you, Out of Print, for making these bags so darn special!

I designed another custom shirt with Bonfire (you can view our book club shirt here too!) and had these camp shirts made with our retreat name and date on the back! 

I wanted each of the retreat attendees to feel special and for this to feel like a true getaway experience so I requested the women share their favorite drinks, dietary restrictions, shirt sizing, and morning beverage choice before they arrived.

It was so fun to surprise them with a fridge full of their favorite things. 

I also reached out to many authors and publishing houses to see if they had any books they might want to share with our retreat attendees. We had so many generous authors who shared their work with our group. 

Want to see who shared their books? Here are a few pictures of what books the reading retreat attendees received. Thank you to ALL who donated!! 

evvie drake starts over by linda holmes

keeping lucy by t. greenwood

the buddha at my table by tammy letherer

i’m fine and neither are you by camille pagan

i’ll never tell by catherine mckenzie

bare by susan hyatt

We spent the entire weekend doing loads of bookish things like talking about books, book swapping, movies based on books, and reading time. 

I just loved coming into a room and seeing everyone curled up with their books and Kindles.

Is there anything better than being surrounded by YOUR people?

thank you to Best Hair Days With Carolyn for providing our hair care products for the event- what a treat!

look how cute Dine & Dish and Good Life Eats are!

These incredible women came from all over the United States and Canada to spend a weekend with me. I could not be more grateful.

On a personal (and selfish) level, it was an incredible experience to meet people who have been reading the site for years and years. I was so honored that they would make this trip to connect with me and with each other IN REAL LIFE.

We did our best to spoil all these special ladies with homemade meals and snacks (all day and all night long!), lots of wine, quiet time for reading, and EVERYTHING BOOKS.

Organizing a retreat came with some important lessons for the next gathering.

Here’s the thing, no one becomes an expert by doing something only once and I have lots to learn.

I do plan to extend the retreat by a day so people have a quiet day of reading when they arrive (and to hopefully weather those flight delays better), I have a better grasp of retreat expenses now that I have done this, and I need to continue working on solidifying great partnerships for our attendees for the future to keep the expenses down.

All in all, I couldn’t be prouder how this event turned out!

If you are interested in connecting with our book club, I’d love to have you!

What would you like to know about the MomAdvice Reading Retreat? I am happy to answer any questions!

This post contains affiliate links

 

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UPDATED: My Favorite Prime Deals

July 16th, 2019

It’s time to talk Prime deals (again!) and I am excited to share with you a few of my absolute favorites today.

Please note, this will be updated throughout the day! I don’t want you to miss anything that you have had your eye on.

Important Deals to Take Advantage Of This Year:

Get $10 to spend on Amazon Prime Day (July 15 & 16) if you spend $10 at Whole Foods (in store or on Prime Now)

Get a $10 Amazon credit when you sign into the Amazon App for the first time (and add an additional $10 Amazon credit after your first in-app purchase!!!)

Amazon Pantry is running incredible deals– Buy 5, save $5. Buy 10, save $10. Buy 15, save $15. Take an additional $10 off a $40 purchase using the coupon code PANTRY. Haven’t used Prime Pantry before? New Prime Pantry customers  get $10 off a purchase of $50 or more with the coupon code 10BACK. 

4 Months of Amazon Music for just $.99

Get $5 Credit if you buy $25 in Amazon Gift Cards. Use coupon code GCPRIME19 to cash in this offer.

Bookish Offerings

NEW: 80% off Loads of Incredible Books Today

Get 3 Months FREE on a Kindle Unlimited Membership

Get 66% off a 3-Month Audible Membership

Kindle just $59.99 today!!

Kindle Oasis (take $79 off today!!)

Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite with Double the Storage is just $84.99 (or you can get a refurbished one for just $79.99)

Tech Deals

NEW: 70% off the Harry Potter films

Kindle Fire just $29.99!!

Nintendo Switch- $299.99 for system PLUS a $35 gift card to spend at the Nintendo shop

Gaming Mouse save $35 (this is great to put away for the holidays!!)

Fire TV Sticks with Alexa Voice Remote are only $14.99 today!! These are so great when you are traveling and want to catch up on your shows!

August SmartLock (save $69 today)

Ring Video Doorbell Pro with Echo Dot for just $169

Fire TV Cube just $69.99

AncestryDNA Kits for just $49

Garmin Forerunner 235 (save $80!)

Echo Show save $70 today

echobee4 smart thermostat save $69!!

Apple iPad Pro is discounted $430!!


Home & Kitchen

Snag an Instant Pot for Just $49.00 (NEW PRICE UPDATE!!)

NEW: Weighted Blankets are on discount!!

NEW: Save up to 40% off household essentials (BIG SAVINGS today!)

NEW: Half Off Egg Cookers

iRobot Roomba Vacuums are 30% off or more

Dyson Animal Vacuum is $249 off today!! 

Instant Pot Sous Vide Immersion Circulator (this clamps right onto your Instant Pot)

Ninja Air Fryer (save $30 today)

Lifestraw (under $10 today!)

Beauty & Clothing

Philips Sonicare DiamondCare Electric Toothbrush (save $84!!!)

NEW: Save up to 40% of Under Armour

NEW: 53% off Lands’ End Backpacks PLUS free shipping. Use coupon code BOOKBAG and pin 9619

Toys & Games

Photosynthesis (save almost $11!)

7 Wonders ($21 off!)

One Night a Werewolf ($14 off- this is a Clark family favorite)

Other Companies Looking to Get in On the Prime Fun

NEW: Jeans for Women for just $10 today!!

XBox One X (this is the lowest price I’ve seen on these!)

XBox One Bluetooth Wireless Controller just $39.99 (we love to have extra controllers on hand for our friends!)

Air Fryer XL, $69.99

Ninja Smart Screen Blender Duo

Google Home Mini just $25!

Bose SoundSport Earbuds just $39

Old Navy PLUS- huge discounts!!

What are you planning to buy today? Let me know if I have missed any good steals!

This post contains affiliate links!! 

Small-Budget Crushes 07.11.19

July 11th, 2019

Loving all of these summer finds today!! 

bathing beauty swimsuit (so many pretty colors!)

striped belted blouse

patterned moscow mule mugs

hawkins indiana t-shirt

state necklace

tie front dress

mama bird shirt

circle skirt (two gorgeous options)

the cat countess print

shirt dress (two pattern options)

needle & thread tote

bubble waffle maker

too many books i think not t-shirt

only love banner

black maxi dress

circle skirt (several colors & amazing reviews!)

bullet journal bookish worksheets

self-care print

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!! 

Amy’s Notebook 07.10.19

July 10th, 2019

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Love the notebook? Sign up for my free weekly newsletter with more incredible articles!!

How delicious does this veggie egg roll noodle bowl look?

These are great tips on how to make more time for books.

Speaking of books, I read this and need to talk to someone about it STAT.

The 50 best memoirs of the past 50 years. I will definitely be bookmarking that one!

Thinking about painting the exterior of your home? This post should help.

16 steps to financial success at every stage in life.

Losing that glow? I really loved this illustration for a replenishing day.

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How adorable are these diy Florida orange bookmarks?

I love these realistic ways to add more self-care into your life.

I could really get behind this slow cooker dish.

9 books just made for listening.

This was your favorite purchase this week. So cute!

This diy card game holder is perfect for little hands.

Next up in my book stack.

These were made for summer dresses. Also, this– I don’t know what I would do with it.

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These diy popsockets would make such great gifts.

This 3-ingredient margarita recipe looks delicious.

I want to do a picnic just to use this printable. Love it!

This would be a great summer craft to do with my daughter.

If you worry a lot, please read this.

Drowning doesn’t look like drowning.

Addicted to your phone? Check out these smart tips for a phone free weekend.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post- thank you! xoxo

June Happy List

July 2nd, 2019

when you ask your husband for a picture for your blog…#dramatic

I hope you all are enjoying your summer and looking for a fun week of holiday fun! My daughter has already written “SUSHI & STRANGER THINGS,” on our calendar for our 4th plans. Usually, we are out of town for this holiday, but my son will be starting driver’s ed (!!!) so we needed to stick around town for that.

How am I old enough to have a child taking driver’s ed? How am I old enough to have a daughter planing a sushi agenda for my 4th plans?

Time flies when you are having fun (or surviving? maybe that’s more accurate?)

This is always a fun week on the blog because I share all my book reviews and happiness. Be sure to check out that post for your holiday stack!

Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables to help you put together this incredible home management binder.

Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!

A New Summer Playlist

Here are a few things that may or may not surprise you about me. I played the violin, I took voice lessons, I did show choir, I did musical theater, and I worked as a D.J. for my college dorm’s radio station. My favorite gift to share with my friends were my mix tapes and, later, my CD’s that I would burn and fill with my favorite music. They were so lovingly treasured, in fact, that my girlfriend swears she is still killing it to Ghetto Mix 10 (when her kids aren’t joining her- of course) and my husband kept all the mix tapes I made for him for a summer U.S. History trip he took in high school.

It is why I absolutely LOVE making a killer playlist for the different seasons. I wanted to craft a new playlist for the summer for you so here’s a link to my new playlist AND a link to all the other playlists so you can enjoy any of the other virtual mix tapes I share. I hope you love this interpretation of my 2019 summer jams.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Season 2)

If you haven’t dived into David Letterman’s interview series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, I can think of no better way to spend your evenings. I was thrilled to see that Netflix released a second season of this show and very intrigued about who was chosen to be interviewed.

Letterman opens with an interview with Kanye which, honestly, sounded like a moment of bravery given some of his past interviews. Letterman REALLY has to work hard to keep this guy on topic, but I think it really wowed me more because of his kindness and ease that he seemed to possess when steering this conversation with Kanye.

While I find him to be a bit intriguing, I can’t say enough good things about the interviews with Ellen & Tiffany Haddish, in particular. I learned so much more about these women that I was completely blown away by elements of their own life stories they were willing to open up to with him.  I doubt you could watch this series and not learn something new through these interviews.

I Tried Acupuncture for My TMJ

Many moons ago, I tried acupuncture for an ongoing elbow issue I was having and, honestly, didn’t feel like it brought any relief. I ended up dismissing it as a voodoo type service that wouldn’t work for my pain.

Last week, my jaw got all out of whack again and I thought I would visit my chiropractor for some gentle intervention and a massage. In case you didn’t know, some chiropractors offer services that you might get at a spa, but these services are deemed “medical,” so they can often be processed through your health insurance. Imagine paying your co-pay in lieu of the hundreds of dollars you might spend to have this service. #winning

When I went (if you are local GO HERE- he’s AMAZING!), Dr. Jerry mentioned that they had added acupuncture to their list of services and that it might be worth trying for my jaw issues. With my pain being at high levels, I thought it would be worth giving it a spin again and, YOU GUYS, it helped SO FREAKING MUCH. I would have never thought to use this service for TMJ, but this explains why this new approach can really help minimize your pain.

Honestly, I was really freaked out to have these needles inserted in my face and around my head and it did feel very painful, at first. Keep in mind that the pain was pretty excruciating to begin with though. Once I calmed down, I didn’t notice it as much and tried to relax. After it was over, I felt pretty awful for a few hours and I also burst into tears which was really obnoxious.

Like, GET IT TOGETHER, CLARK.

Apparently, it is quite common though to have an emotional reaction to acupuncture so it wasn’t just me being dramatic after all. This article does a great job at explaining some of the side effects you might experience from this service.

As the day progressed, I started to realize how little my jaw was bothering me and how relaxed my jaw had become from the treatment. It really felt like a mini miracle and I’m going again next week for one more round. If you struggle with jaw pain, I really recommend looking into this option and having a night guard made to help reduce your symptoms. Both of these things have been worth their weight in gold for my issues.

Flattering Shorts for Moms

I tend to gravitate more towards skirts and dresses in the summer, but I was on the hunt for a few easy pull-on short options. I ended up stumbling on these shorts and THEY ARE PERFECT IN EVERY WAY. The cut is flattering, the width on the shorts is generous, the length is just right, and the material DOESN’T wrinkle. They only come in two shades, but they are beautiful basics you will reach for over and over again.

Looking for a print instead? These were my second favorite and these were my third favorite from my summer picks. I love the fun feminine details on these and the pull-on short is what summer is allll about. Unfortunately, I paid a lot more when I bought these so take advantage of these awesome sales today.

It’s Cold Brew Coffee Season

I love, love, love cold brew coffee in the summer. We try to keep a pitcher going at all times and I love the ability to have full control over the sugar content and to be able to sweeten it with fun coffee syrups. If you haven’t made it before, it’s super easy. All you really need is water, coffee, and a strainer. Here is my recipe for a foolproof brew. Every year I usually get tagged in a few photos of people who have been mixing up this momadvice brew over the years.

This season though, we are starting another drink recipe project. Want to know more? Here’s what arrived on our doorstep this week.

A Rom Com For the Weekend

If you are looking for a sweet rom com for the weekend, Always Be My Maybe was a fun little Netflix treat. This was such a sweet little story about two best friends that have a romance in their teens and then find each other again. Honestly, the Keanu Reeves cameo makes the whole dang thing. And if you are intrigued by Keanu, as much as I am, I think you’ll find this piece to be a real treat too.

Like that movie? Can I recommend this book and this book to you?

The Wall Version of Scrabble

With teens, we are always on the hunt for new ways to bond with our kids and that’s why this Scrabble Magnetic/Dry Erase Board ended up being such a great gift. My sister-in-law got this for us and I hung it this week (with these handy wall fasteners– it makes it so easy) and we have had a game going together every day. If you want a laugh, here is our actual board in action.

I ended up sharing about it on my feed and it was so fun to hear how many people decided to order these for their family, their work spaces, and I even had a teacher that ordered this for her classroom. Wouldn’t that be so much fun?

If you are wondering how it works, the board is magnetic and the tags are where you hang your magnetic letters. The dry erase board is just where you can keep your score… or talk trash about each other like we do in our family.

Anything that gets my kids off screens is a win in my book and this is DEFINITELY a win!

Ultimate Ears Boom Speaker

I have been on the hunt for a new bluetooth speaker that could weather some outdoor fun and nights in my little she shed. When Target dropped these on major discount, my husband and I picked up one of these, a bottle of wine, and some makings for a fun charcuterie board. After testing all the speakers, we settled on this one because the sound and design were so clever.

I have had music blasting in my kitchen every day and have been loving the ease of compatibility with our devices this one is. The charge on it lasts forever! If you are on the hunt for a good affordable speaker, this one fits the ticket! Unfortunately, they aren’t listing these online anymore, at Target, but Amazon came in with the shopping save and has them also deeply discounted!

Rocketbook Reusable Notebooks

My husband has always been a part of the Moleskine carrying club so when I stumbled upon these Rocketbooks, I just knew that this was going to make an incredible Father’s Day gift this year.

Basically, the notebook feels like paper, but each of the pages can be swiped down (like a dry erase board) and can be used again. The Rocketbook pairs, cleverly, with an app that allows you to take pictures of all your notes, intuitively filing them for you, allowing you to erase your pages and start fresh again.

Keep in mind, these are the pens that are compatible with this device so you might want to pick up a pack if you are buying these as a gift.

Overall, this was the Father’s Day winner with all of the recipients!

Here are a few of my favorite June captures (follow me on IG for more)!

we bought a fire pit cover and I couldn’t be happier to not have ash flying at me this year. praise be.

having grown-up pleasures like my bath tray, a good book, and a mug of electrolytes.

destroying my children in wall scrabble, especially the one that put, “your worst nightmare,” as her player name.

next month I’ll be hosting my first reading retreat with 16 phemenonal women. jealous? join the club so you can join me next time!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in June

  1. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  2. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  3. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
  4. How to Make a Homeless Care Package
  5. How to Make DIY Fluffy Slime
  6. How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans
  7. Fruit-Infused Water Recipes
  8. 7 Things I’ve Learned that Save Us Serious Money
  9. DIY Kool-Aid Slushies
  10. DIY Outdoor Movie Night

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in June

  1. Rocketbook Reusable Notebook
  2. Cat Petting Guide T-Shirt
  3. Scrabble 2-in-1 Message Board
  4. Political Pottery
  5. Crepe Pull-On Shorts
  6. Orch Dork T-Shirt
  7. Boom 2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
  8. Supersoft Jersey Jumpsuit
  9. Dressweights
  10. Introverted But Willing To Discuss Books T-Shirt

Top Ten Books Purchased in June- still tons on sale right now! (join the club to be notified of daily deals!)

  1. The Girl He Used to Know
  2. Finding Dorothy
  3. No Exit
  4. The Things We Cannot Say
  5. Moloka’i
  6. I Found You
  7. I Think You’re Wrong, But I’m Listening
  8. Where the Forest Meets the Stars
  9. The Orphans of Race Point
  10. Be Frank With Me

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of June fun. I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!