Amy Clark

A Behind the Scenes Look at, “The Good Life for Less”

(found on Pinterest- original source unknown)

These past few months have been among the most chaotic in my life, but also have come with many great rewards. This week we hand in the manuscript for my first book, “The Good Life for Less,”  (written with Jana Murphy).  It will be such a relief to not have that looming over our heads and to finally move on to another step in the process of publishing our book in January.

I have learned that the process of writing a book is one of the most agonizing, painful, and rewarding experiences that I have ever encountered. I am thankful for the amazing team that I have had, from my literary agent who was biggest cheerleader, to my co-writer who added the polish to my words and saw the vision of my book, to my editor who has held my hand through each stage.

When it came to the cover, I had a clear idea of what I wanted on the cover of my book. I wanted something that was pastel and illustrated inside and out. When I spoke to the publisher though they said that everything on the market on saving money was pastel and illustrated right now. They wanted this book to stand out among the crowd.

Our family pictures had caught their eye, taken by my dear friend Nancy Lary of Nancy Lary Studios (photo credit for the above photo). They wondered if they could see more of our pictures. After seeing these photos, they asked us how we felt about our family being the cover of the book.

I had a long talk with my kids about how they felt about it. I have always made it their choice, especially as they have gotten older, on if they want to be photographed for the blog or any of the other media appearances that I have done. Their response?

Ethan, “I am going to start practicing an epic pose for the cover.”

Emily, “I know why they want me on the cover of the book. Because I am awesome.”

Clearly, they were not the issue.

Who was the issue with the book cover?


Don’t love the book? That’s okay! The illustrated me can take the criticism. For a long time on the site, we only had an illustrated version of me. Which suited me fine. It has taken a lot of bravery for me to come to terms with our family on the cover, but I also understand that it will make us more real and (hopefully) easier to relate to another mom reading the book.

After it was decided that we would be the cover family, it was a flurry of activity to pull everyone and everything together. Outfits were selected for the kids, I ordered and shopped for a dozen different options for myself, coffee was drank, our fabulous photographer was secured, more coffee was drank, a location was selected (my girlfriend, Andy, offered her beautifully renovated kitchen to us), and my best friend was on standby to take all my meltdown calls about dresses not being shipped, what props to choose, and how I was going to coordinate all these people on a Sunday afternoon.

Some small miracle occurred and everything came together. I still can’t believe our luck.

My baby girl looked amazing on this special day. The hairspray was flying and the curling iron was on full blast. After much primping, my Emily looked like a cover model. We are so thankful to Jesica Keller at, “That Hair Place,” in Mishawaka, Indiana, for coming in on her day off to make Emily & I look so fabulous. She is a fantastic hairstylist and I can’t recommend her services enough. If you live in the Michiana area, please hire her for your hair. You won’t regret it!

I am also so thankful to Gabrielle Thompson, from GabGlam,  for doing my make-up for this shoot. Gabrielle did my make-up for our Redbook Magazine photo shoot and I knew she was just the girl for the job. She is an amazing make-up artist with endless talent. If you live in the Michiana area, please keep her in mind for your next event! She is truly a miracle worker, especially for this tired mama with big bags and circles under her eyes!

I was so lucky to get to have my sweet friend Nancy of Nancy Lary Studios shoot this for our family. She has become one of my dearest friends and I was so happy that we got to have her capture our family. She does amazing lifestyle portrait sessions for families in the Michiana area. I would highly recommend hiring her for your next family photo.

My best friend, Becky, came and helped with everything from food props to doing the behind-the-scenes photography. She is truly the best and the first person I call when something big goes on in my life. I am so thankful to her for being a part of this day for our family. I could not imagine my life without her!

Here is my whole team- Andy (Nancy’s “assistant,” maker of great coffee, provider of the most awesome kitchen, a fantastic cheerleader always), Nancy, myself, & Becky. I am so lucky to have got to share this day with my amazing friends. I am truly, truly blessed.

Of course, the biggest supporter to this day was my husband. I never get tired of this guy. He spent hours and hours playing board games with the kids while I was changing outfits and getting my make-up touched up. He pushed me when I was ready to give up on this project and he believed in this book from the day we talked about it. I am forever grateful that God gave me such an amazing life partner.

I can’t wait to see what the cover ends up looking like and can’t wait to see it on bookshelves in January ’13!

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Published May 01, 2012 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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