Archive for the ‘It’s the 3 Little Things’ Category

July Happy List

Wednesday, 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!

June Happy List

Tuesday, 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.


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!

May Happy List

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

May was a bit of a blur and I’m so happy to be back at my desk and sharing on the blog again! I squeezed in so much this past month including a trip to Austin for the Mom 2.0 Summit, a trip to Kansas City to celebrate a fellow mama’s 40th birthday, an incredible Mother’s Day date with my childhood best friend, and too many celebrations to even count!

The blogging conference felt eye-opening in many ways. There has been a strong shift in this industry that many of us are struggling to weather. The industry continues to ask more and more and more, but the real shift is moving from blogging evergreen searchable content to the Instagram platform where things only stay in our feeds for a short time. In fact, many couldn’t weather these changes if they didn’t have their ad networks running (myself included).

It gave me a lot to think about, on my way home, and what pivot I will need to do to stick around. I’m thankful I had started that process with growing our book club and building out our first reading retreat (this July!!). I have also started the outlining process of writing my first ebook on life hacks for moms with chronic illness. It is something I have been carrying around since this journey began and I’d love to pass it on to someone else.

I still have so much to share and do here so I don’t feel done yet, but I think it is good to talk about this stuff in real ways with you!

Should we move on to the happy list? Let’s do it!

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 3-Minute Pain-Relief Routine

I was on the hunt for some drug-free pain relief this winter and stumbled upon this book that delivers a 3-minute strategy for chronic pain. This doctor offered some miraculous stories of people being able to overcome pain through this simple stretching routine that can be done daily to help relieve body pain. The poses are similar to yoga poses that I have done, but what makes it different is the sequential order of the movements and the holding of the movements versus a yoga flow.

For the last month, I have been doing this routine daily and I am seeing a remarkable difference in my pain. Along with this simple routine, the book offers targeted pain relief exercises for specific types of pain through an encyclopedia of exercises to try to help with pain management.

Dr. Weisberg encourages readers to make this a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth, to see the best results.

If you struggle with chronic pain, from an injury or a chronic pain illness, I can’t recommend this resource enough. Not only have the exercises been helpful, but it also offers strategies for routines that will help with your spinal alignment.

John Mulaney Kid Gorgeous Netflix Special

I have a growing appreciation for John Mulaney and was so excited to see that he had a new Netflix special out.

My husband and I watched it and belly-laughed through the entire thing. Mulaney is a breath of fresh air when it comes to humor and he isn’t too proud to not lean into how our humor changes as we get older.

Normally, I find his comedy to be really conservative and this time he brought some humor into today’s politics, our jobs being taken over by robots, and how annoying it is that his college is asking for donations (relatable!).

It was so funny that we are going to watch it again with our teenage son, a boy whose humor could only be matched by John Mulaney.

Definitely add this one to your weekend Netflix binge!

Rescued Food Feeding Kids

Have you heard of the concept of food rescue? I had read about this happening in other countries, but had never seen this in action in the states…until this past month.

Cultivate Culinary, a local nonprofit, is feeding area kids with the extra food from catered events in town and even area schools are sending food to be packaged for students that need meals on the weekends.

Shared in this news article, “Mostly, we rescue food that’s been made but never served by catering companies, large food service businesses, like the school system,” said Jim Conklin, Cultivate. “You don’t always think of a school. Over-preparing is just part of what happens,” said Conklin. “We take well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out if it.”

Right now they are preparing hundreds of meals weekly that go home in insulated backpacks for kids in need.

If you are looking for a place to volunteer with friends (or to make new ones), consider volunteering. It is so fun and it feels really good knowing you are helping our kids!

It’s also a great place to make a donation to support their efforts to feed kids in need.

I shared a quick video and pic from my time this week volunteering.

I, honestly, can’t wait to go back!

Warm Rustic Woods Scented Candle

There is a new favorite candle over at our house and it is the Warm Rustic Woods candle from BHG.

I am not a big fan of floral candles and I can find the food scented candles to be a little overwhelming.

This fragrance is slightly more masculine, but warm and delicious. It is one of those scents you can use all year long and never get tired of.

If you are looking for a new candle, you can’t beat the price on this one.

Make it last even longer with a candle warmer instead of burning it!

e.l.f. Glow Primer Stick

I have dry skin and I have never been able to find a primer that didn’t dry my skin out more than it already is.

e.l.f started carrying a glow primer stick, that contains coconut and shea butter, and I thought I would give it a try since it seemed geared towards people with my skin type.

I can’t rave enough how awesome this primer stick is and how moisturizing it is to my skin. It adds a subtle glow (no fake glitter effects with this one) and you can’t beat the price at just $8!

If you have dry skin and are hunting for the perfect primer, give this affordable option a spin.

Homecoming Documentary

Last month my husband and I watched the new Homecoming documentary from Beyonce and, I’m almost positive, our mouths were hanging open the entire time.

Homecoming documents the grueling schedule and work that went into Beyonce’s triumphant return to stage following the birth of her twins.

She was the headliner for Coachella and decided to use this opportunity to educate and represent all aspects of black culture in one of the most phenomenal show displays that I have ever seen.

She was responsible for every element of this show from writing, directing, producing, and starring and had made all decisions down to those nitty gritty details of measurements of seating on her stage.

As a mom, she gives you an intimate look at what a sacrifice this was and I am blown away by her discipline to get her body back back in such a short time all while managing the incredible duties of this show.

More importantly, her work shows us what is possible when we have a platform and how we can use it to teach people in incredible ways. We all might not have a platform like her, but what could we do in our smaller ways to bring joy and love to others?

I could go ON and ON about the incredible representation and inclusivity that she pulled off, but I just think you should watch it.

I am looking forward to listening to this album now that I have seen the show. It’s incredible!

Free Challenging Workouts from PopSugar

I might be the last person in the world to know about the free YouTube fitness channel, but PopSugar’s free workouts have really been making my workouts a ton of fun! I love to do my favorite spinning routines and then polish them off with a 10-minute sweat session through this YouTube channel.

If you think ten minutes sounds so easy, go ahead and give this booty blast workout a try and tell me all about how you almost died too.

Prefer a barre-driven workout? This workout blew me away at how challenging it was while feeling restorative at the same time.

I am excited to explore more classes and love that these save me a ton of money on a gym membership while giving me the variety that I am after.

Class lengths can be anywhere between a short and effective ten minute sweat sesh to forty-five minutes in length. Bringing in a variety of fitness instructors, you can take advantage of loads of different workouts from cardio dance to weight lifting to yoga.

Basically, no excuses.

The Perfect Sleep Mask

I managed to leave behind my sleep mask in a hotel room this month. For me, a good sleep mask is essential for a good solid night’s sleep. When my husband found out, he ordered a new mask for me, and for himself, and I have to say, this guy NAILED IT!

This cotton sleep mask is beautifully designed, in a way that TRULY keeps the lights out when you wear it. Made of breathable cotton, the nose area has a foldable piece of boning that allows you to shape it around your own nose, to keep all the light out from that area.

Straps are usually troublesome for me, but this is wide and has the clasps in an area that doesn’t cause discomfort for side sleepers. At under, $10, I can’t rave enough!

It even comes with a handy carrier case that clips to your bags so you never lose it in a hotel room again.

For me, it is all about these little things and I’ve enjoyed getting some really restful sleep with this blackout sleep mask!

Electrolytes Daily

I can’t tell you how many of these electrolyte tablets I had shared with friends over my last few trips. Nuun is my favorite brand because they come in a really smart portable canister and the flavors just can’t be beat. I really think of these as a portable IV that is the perfect sports recovery drink or (let’s be honest) the perfect hangover cure.

I double the water on mine, which is the perfect amount of flavor for someone who is a big LaCroix fan. Doing it with the recommended amount of water yields a stronger flavor that reminds me of a Gatorade drink.

The best part is that these are low in sugar and carbs, unlike a lot of the electrolyte drinks on the market. They recently added an immunity-boosting blend that I’m excited to try. As someone who has POTS Syndrome, electrolytes are one of my body’s best defenses against my ongoing symptoms.

Although I feel it goes without saying, ALWAYS travel with a reusable water bottle on your trips. I bring it empty, to get through security, and take advantage of the water bottle filling stations that are now placed in all the airports.

It is such an easy thing to do and many hotels now have filling stations in their lobbies, so you are never without water.

Not only are you saving a load of money, but you are doing a little part for the environment too.

Adding tablets, like these, is a fun way to keep the variety going all week long.

Dead to Me on Netflix

I can’t stop talking about how much I loved the new Netflix series, Dead to Me. If you haven’t seen it yet, I really wish I was you right now. Fans of Big Little Lies will be swept away in this twisty layered plot.

Linda Cardellini & Christina Applegate star in this dark comedy about life after loss. Jen is a real estate agent whose husband is brutally killed in a hit-and-run near their home late one night. She joins a grief support circle where she meets Judy, who also is going through a loss of her own. The two become fast friends and boundaries become blurred very quickly because Jen really needs someone to be her friend through this season.

Jen can’t seem to move forward though until she finds the person who has killed her husband. It consumes her and she is filled with rage and bitterness. Applegate shines in these vulnerable moments that really showcase her acting chops.

Cardellini has a very complex role in this show too where you can’t decide if she is good, bad, or crazy. As secrets are uncovered, it threatens their fragile friendship in some surprising ways.

I love that the episodes are 30 minutes, which feels like the perfect amount of time at this stage in my life, and that each one ends on such a cliffhanger that you have to keep pushing through. I, in fact, finished the whole series in two days and loved how they chose to end the first season with ANOTHER cliffhanger. Definitely add this one to your weekend agenda!

My Amazing New Cordless Vacuum

We are reaching that point where everything in our house seems to be breaking on us and I was in desperate need of a new quick vac to replace our broken one. I stumbled upon this Hoover Impulse, on my Target run, and knew this would be perfect for our house. It sweeps all my floors like a dream (carpet, tile, & laminate) and it can be taken apart to be a small handheld vac on your furniture or used with attachments to clean the tops of cupboards and light fixtures.

Basically, it does ALL THE THINGS and is lightweight and cordless.

While I would love the Dyson, this one was in a much sweeter price point and offered similar benefits.

I highly recommend it! It has made me cleaning a lot more fun!

Supporting a New-To-Me Local Potter

Justin Rothshank is a Goshen potter that creates pieces featuring some of your favorite people on them. For Mother’s Day, I snagged a beautiful mug of our mayor for my Mother’s Day treat. I have to say, these are even more beautiful person and would be a treasured gift for anyone in your life. The mug is just the perfect size and I love leaving it out to display it in our cabinets. I can’t rave enough about the product or how good it feels to support local artists. Check out his Etsy shop!

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

I got a squeeze from Jen Hatmaker at the Iris Awards

way too many belly laughs with my roomies- Sarah & Meagan from The Mom Hour Podcast

snagged this fun dress from thredup for $30 and paired it with these fun block heels from Target #livingmybrand

spent mother’s day with my childhood best friend- toasted ourselves with a couple of good margaritas & a little boutique shopping!

celebrated 19 married years with my hubby. time goes by fast when you marry your best friend.

how could this mother’s day card not make you happy?

doing my part to help this walmart dress sell out online. they have some cute dresses this season. #notsponsored #justhappy

nothing makes this girl happier than a flower delivery on her doorstep!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in May

  1. Amy’s Notebook 03.07.19
  2. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  3. April 2019 Must-Reads
  4. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  5. How to Stain a Picnic Table
  6. How to Make Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
  7. How to Spray Paint Furniture
  8. Fruit-Infused Water Recipes
  9. DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe
  10. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in May

  1. First Edition Baby Onesie
  2. Rothshank Pottery Mugs
  3. Time & Tru Summer Dresses
  4. Copper Mugs
  5. Personalized Wood Watches
  6. Personalized Metal Photo Keyrings
  7. Teacher Mugs
  8. Navy Floral Jumpsuit
  9. Introverted But Willing to Talk About Books T-Shirt
  10. True Body V-Neck Bras

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

  1. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
  2. No One Can Pronounce My Name
  3. Whiskey & Charlie
  4. Class Mom
  5. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
  6. The Gown
  7. Everything Here is Beautiful
  8. Dark Matter
  9. Harry’s Trees
  10. Stay With Me

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of May fun and I look forward to sharing more in June! 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!

March Happy List

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Well, hello there! My husband and I just got back from our Iceland adventures and I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it all was.  If anything topped my happy list in March, it was FOR SURE visiting the Blue Lagoon and celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday.

As amazing as it all was, there really is no place like home. I couldn’t be happier to be reunited with our kids and our fur baby.

Perhaps, not as excited to be reunited with laundry, dishes, and cleaning the house.

Ah, you gotta love real life.

You will be happy to know though that I still have a few amazing reads for you put together for March so don’t miss this month’s must-reads list.

Also, can I brag for one moment before we get started on the happy list? Check out who is up for Mom Blog of the Year again this year!

I can’t tell you how honored I am and to be listed among such incredible women that I admire and respect.

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!!

I Got that Glow Going

As I have aged, I feel like my skin has gotten duller in appearance and I’ve been looking for some ways to bring the glow back to my complexion.

I discovered these Aveeno Maxglow Infusion Drops and have started adding 2 drops of this to my moisturizer and it really works at adding a subtle glow to your face.

Paired with this tool that I have in my makeup arsenal, my husband has even started commenting on my glowing skin (trust me, that NEVER happens).

I really love this stuff and a little goes a long way! I highly recommend adding these to your makeup routine!

We Have Been Doing a Little Time Traveling

My husband and I were married in 2000 so we thought it would be fun to relive those good old days through this amazing series you can find on Netflix.

This CNN docuseries, produced by Tom Hanks, explores each season through the pop culture, social, and political trends of a different decade, starting with the sixties.

Each decade is explored through about eight episodes and it is filled with amazing interviews with people who played some part in these stories and through the eyes of historians.

After finishing the 2000’s, we moved on to the 90’s and now are enjoying reliving our high school days. I highly recommend diving into these if you haven’t before. It has been both fun and informative!

A Selfie Clip-On Light for Picture Taking

Our home doesn’t have a lot of natural light in it and I often struggle to take photos for my feed because of it.

I happened to stumble upon this e.l.f. selfie light at Walmart and I can’t rave enough about how much light it can bring to your pictures.

It illuminates you with three settings, that ramp up the brightness, and it comes all ready to go with batteries and everything.

It is so small that it is perfect to tuck in your purse for those selfie moments with your kiddos. Priced at just $12, it is one of those inexpensive gadgets that make a huge difference in your photos.

Stitch Fix for Men

I knew as soon as my husband found out we were headed to Iceland, he would start panicking about what items he would need to wear while we are there. Did you know that Stitch Fix now styles for men? I remembered that I read that in my emails and decided to utilize this service for his birthday gift.

If you are pulling off a surprise getaway somewhere or planning a vacation where you know your wardrobe isn’t prepared, I can’t recommend this fun service enough.

In my husband’s box, for example, were two REALLY amazing waterproof packable jackets, a heavy-duty flannel shirt, and a thick sweater.

It was just what he needed and it took the stress out of shopping for him. If you want to give the service a spin for a gentleman in your life, here’s $25 to spend on your first purchase!

My Trusty Dinner Bell

If you have read my blog for a long time, you may already know about my little bell, but I had to mention again how much I love our little antique hotel bell for getting everyone to to the dinner table.

I forget that other people don’t do this so when my brother came for dinner, he started laughing when I gave it a little ding-ding-ding and the whole family came to the kitchen.

As an INFJ, I can’t stand yelling and our split-level home means that people scatter in all directions.

A little tap of the bell and everyone gathers,  saving me from yelling and running around our house to find everyone.

We found our bell at an antique shop, but here is an inexpensive alternative if you can’t find one for your house. I can’t rave enough about how much I love this low-tech item.

ALDI Tikka Masala Simmering Sauce

I might be dating myself, but when I was growing up, we ate a lot of Chicken Tonight.

All you had to do was brown some chicken and then you poured the sauce over it to simmer in and called it dinner.

When I saw that ALDI was carrying a tikka masala simmering sauce, I decided to give it a try and now we eat it every couple of weeks or so.

I shared about it on Instagram Stories and had several people send me DM’s back that they decided to give it a spin after my endorsement and absolutely loved it.

The best part is that you can choose what you want to simmer with it for your own spin. Chickpeas, tofu, chicken, and shrimp all make for a delicious (and way easy!) weeknight meal. We serve it with rice and the baby naan that the store carries (it is the perfect size!) and I consider it almost like a night off from cooking.

I hope you love this sauce as much as as we do!

Slip Shorts

After dressing for one week in a dress this month (to help raise funds for Junior League!), I can tell you that my favorite slip shorts were worn and loved daily.

If you have parents with Southern roots, you know you were not allowed to be running around in a dress without a proper slip.

I can still see images of my mom shaking her head and pointing to the door when I would come out for church without a slip.

That is why I love this more modern approach with these slip shorts for helping smooth those lines and to give a clean finish underneath your dresses.

If you are not a fan of compression garments, give these a try! While still minimizing lines, they are comfortable to wear all day long!

I don’t think we can always say the same thing about Spanx- hahaha!

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

I also went without tights for a week and it was a CHILLY experience in the Midwest.

Spring, where are you?

Luckily, my legs weren’t turning blue thanks to my favorite beauty hack-  Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs.

Simply squeeze a little on your hands and spread on your lightly moisturized (but dry) legs.

Then just use your hands to spread the make-up on your legs and it all air dries in one minute. It is truly an airbrushed leg experience and, provided you blend well and pick the right shade for your own coloring, it gives a beautiful finish to your legs.

It has a little shimmer to it too, but not overly noticeable.

The best part is that it is waterproof so if you are even at the beach, you will be fine.

You need soap to get it off, otherwise it stays right where you put it.

Since it has good staying power, one bottle usually gets me through the entire summer!

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

The New Season of Queer Eye

I was such a fan of the original cast and the work they did, but I feel like the reboot of Queer Eye is on another level!

It sounds kind of cheesy to say that each episode teaches me something, but it REALLY does.

The guys help makeover people that are often overlooked by others and embrace them with warmness and inclusion.

The ability to meet people where they are and provide solutions for them is a valuable lesson in how we help others in our life.

I, honestly, bawl through every episode because of these beautiful moments.

Through the show, they are able to teach people to embrace others with compassion and empathy.

This is one that we watch with our kids and has given us a lot to talk about- especially the focus on inclusion.

It is easy to judge others if we aren’t walking in their shoes and many of these people have felt let down by the world.

The lessons that are garnered from this are impactful and beautiful.

My favorite episodes this season (so far) have been Jones BBQ (two strong business woman who have put family first before themselves), When Robert Met Jamie (a lesson on how we talk about ourselves and present ourselves to others- really good lesson for kids!!), and Black Girl Magic (not allowing boxes and labels to determine if we are displaying characteristics of our own race & how to form family if you are rejected by your own).

You guys should watch it if you haven’t yet.

Also, thanks for coming to my Queer Eye TED Talk!

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

Enormously excited that I got a signed copy of Mayor Pete’s new book and that I got to hear him speak. You would have to be hiding under a rock to not know that South Bend’s mayor is getting a lot of buzz on the news as we all ready for his official announcement that he is running for President! If you are unfamiliar with him, this is one of my favorite interviews that he has done (and, yes, I’ve watched them ALL!!). 

I participated in the Little Black Dress initiative to help raise funds and awareness for the work we do locally in Junior League. If you are local and interested in joining, send me a message and I’m happy to connect you! I’ve volunteered more hours than I ever have and feel more connected to my community and its organizations. REALLY excited to volunteer this month at this organization, that is making national news, through the done-in-a-day projects that this organization offers. 

Loved this sunset we caught as we boarded our plane to Iceland. It is one of those little things that I will never get tired of! 

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in March

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  3. How to Organize Board Games
  4. How to Make Rice Cooker Quinoa
  5. Amy’s Notebook 03.07.19
  6. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
  7. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  8. January 2019 Must-Reads
  9. How to Dye Plastic Eggs
  10. February 2019 Must-Reads

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in March

  1. Initial Stacking Rings
  2. Soft Touch Foot Peel Masks
  3. Belei Beauty Products
  4. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer
  5. Hilor Women’s One-Piece Swimsuit
  6. Jockey Slip Shorts
  7. Alphabet Wood Tracing Board
  8. Perfect Fit Open Neck T-Shirt
  9. iPhone Acoustic Speaker 
  10. Women’s Drape Jogger Pants

Top Ten Books Purchased in March (join the club to be notified of daily deals!)

  1. I Think You’re Wrong, But I’m Listening
  2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  3. Born a Crime
  4. Inheritance
  5. A History of Loneliness
  6. What Alice Forgot
  7. What if It’s Us
  8. Z.
  9. This is Where I Leave You
  10. The Dry Grass of August

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of March fun and I look forward to sharing more in April! 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!

February Happy List

Monday, March 4th, 2019

snag the momadvice book club shirt– another BIG happy this month!

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.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that can help your home get back on track after the holidays.

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

My February Happy List

Doing a Book Chat over a Puzzle

Not only was our book club book a genuine hit, we shared our discussion over a jigsaw puzzle this month. Ryan & I have been working on a puzzle while listening to a variety of podcasts and, as we headed down to our family room for our discussion, everyone started to congregate around the jigsaw puzzle instead of on my couches.

It was an unintentional relocation that got us all talking about our strategies for completing puzzles and how much we enjoy putting them together. I got to witness my girlfriends in a whole new way as the leaders came out to put everyone to task, the jigsaw genius grabbed up all the sky pieces in record time, and the shared laughter as we hunted for the nipples on all these male chests on the beach was so good for my soul.

We all agreed, this puzzle was a fun one and would be a blast to put together with your friends over a good book chat too. In fact, I’m thinking that the puzzle just might be a permanent fixture at our chats. Up next? This one!

Good Girls

I am not a big sitcom person, mainly because I hate to feel obligated to keep up with one more show. For some reason, my Netflix-watching lead me down the tunnel to the first season of Good Girls and I am so glad it did. At first look, this seemed like a pretty typical good girls gone bad storyline. Three women are down on their luck and decide to rob a local grocery store to try to get them to land back on their feet.

It is much, much more compelling that though, thanks to the incredible acting by these dynamic female leads. Their stories are ones that any mother can sympathize with and their reasoning for continuing their heists are things that you can feel sympathetic to. With all of these ladies missing that criminal background component, each episode feels like it leaves you with a cliffhanger where you just know that they are going to get caught.

I’m not sure how sustainable this storyline could be from season to season, but if you were a fan of Weeds, you know that good girls going bad can sustain quite a few seasons with the right acting. This show is definitely binge-worthy and has been a great escape.

Meal Prepping for the Week

The past two weeks we have managed to avoid dining out thanks to me designating one day a week to prepping our food. As silly as it sounds, just preparing the fruits and vegetables makes them about 100% more likely to be eaten and less likely to be thrown away. I have Instacart deliver all the groceries for our recipes and then spend one day cooking and chopping everything for our week, all while I listen to an audiobook.

The rest of the week is then spent with my feet up  and curled up with a good book. Everyone is loving the variety of options and no one has complained one bit about the lack of the formalness of a sit down dinner together. With all of us running in different directions each night, anyone who needs to stay home is now assured they have plenty of delicious food to look forward to.

Here are a few of my favorite prep-ahead dishes we enjoyed the last two weeks:

How to Make the Perfect Brown Rice
Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs
Chicken Pesto Frittata
Weeknight Roasted Turkey Sandwiches
How to Roast Chicken in Bulk
Delicious Roasted Green Beans
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Gixo Fitness App

Last month I had the opportunity to review the Gixo fitness app in a partnership with the company, but now that the partnership is over I decided to buy myself a paid membership and am, truly, using this app as part of my weekly fitness routines. If you are someone who prefers working out on a treadmill, they offer treadmill workouts that you can either walk (like me!) or run. The music is all so uniquely mixed that it helps keep your motivation up the entire time.

As much as I love cardio, my biggest hurdle is strength training. I have really lost a lot of my strength routines and so I started a routine that they offer called the Daily 40 that you can snag on-demand and do whenever it is convenient for your schedule. With the additional guidance from the trainer and the ability to do these exercises as fast or as slow as I want (unlike the pressure I feel in taking a class in-person) so I can really focus on making each movement count and avoid my risk of injury, this been a healthy way to get my strength back.

A few things that have helped my at-home routines are these ankle stabilizersthis thicker matthese earbuds for listening to my workouts, and a good pair of running shoes that I had fitted at a local shop.


One of the best parts about celebrating a birthday is getting gifts that I get to share my thoughts on with you. I went to get a pedicure with a girlfriend one day and she whipped out these pedicure socks that I had no clue had ever existed until that moment. Being the thoughtful friend she is, she gifted me a pair months later along with a gift certificate to get a pedicure.

You know what? This just might be MY new go-to girlfriend gift.

I always have cold feet, but there is nothing worse than having something so indulgent done for you and then immediately see your feet turning blue on your way out from the chill of going from hot to cold. These socks just leave your toes exposed so after your pedicure wraps up, you can put these on before they paint your toes. They are made of thick cotton and allow your feet to still climb into your flip flops for the long trip home.

Getting Back to Magazine Breaks

I was reading my magazines digitally through our local library, but I have really been missing paper magazines and being able to pull out articles for inspiration for my files. More than that, I am trying to not be on my digital devices so much so I have gotten back to magazine reading and used some of my Christmas funds (thank you, grandma & grandpa) to secure some great subscriptions.

Mail day got a heck of a lot more fun and I love getting to pay these forward in our mom circle after I finish them. Almost all of them were in the $5-10 range thanks to this website. They always offer a really great daily deal too that is handy for gift-giving!

I’m Back to My Baby Feet

I really need to write a post on the weirdest things I have bought on Amazon because this has to be one of them. The only reason I ever go get pedicures is because of how dry and awful the bottoms of my feet get, especially in the winter months. These foot peel masks had such great reviews that I thought they would be worth buying and trying for an at-home pedicure.

Just slip these plastic booties on, filled with this magic solution, and leave them on for an hour. Then, a week or so later, all of your awful dry skin just starts peeling off your feet each time you soak them. It’s both wildly weird and incredibly gratifying to have this dead skin all come off. These come with two sets of masks, which is just about how many one might need to get through these winter months. These are way more affordable than a pedicure, way less painful than having someone scrubbing with those awful graters, and I loved that I could do these masks while reading a book or catching up on my Netflix.

Wool Dryer Balls

I’ve been trying to green up some of my routines this year and decided to switch to dryer balls instead of using fabric softener. I purchased this set of 6XL Dryer Balls and started using these this week and can’t believe how beautifully these work and how fluffy and static-free our clothes are. I have been adding a couple of drops of orange essential oils to them for a fresh chemically-free scent. I highly recommend these if you are looking to green up your laundry routine too and this handy recipe for making your own detergent.

The best part?

These dryer balls can last up to 1,000 washes!

I Feel In Control of My Health Again

You may not have known that I went to school for food & nutrition, but I had every intention of becoming a dietician. It is one of the reasons that I don’t believe in diet pills or quick fixes when it comes to nutrition. Thanks to pretty good genes (and a little bit of exercise), I haven’t really had to work that hard at staying slim, but my luck changed when I started taking a particular medication to treat my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, coupled with my sluggish thyroid problems. It’s been such a blessing to finally have pills that work, but one of the side effects has been weight gain and fluid retention.  I’ve really been on the struggle bus with joy over something that finally works and despair over the weight that is creeping on.

The nurse practitioner that I’ve been seeing recommended I give this nutrition program a spin because it involved lifestyle choices that would be sustainable for me, as lifelong habits, and would teach me how to nourish my body in the right way. She said that my tactics of eating less were causing my body to want to hang on to MORE weight, the exact thing I was trying to get away from.

One day I will sit down and write a long post about this, but after a month of following their plan, I feel better than I have felt in so long. I knew very little about the importance of calculating macros, intermittent fasting, or carb cycling, but these three things have radically changed my relationship with food. There are no gimmicks and no products to purchase.

As someone with a history of disordered eating, I am finally giving my body exactly what it needs and it has improved my energy, my sleep, and my eating habits.  I only share about things like this if they are really and truly worth your time and money. This, for me, was the ticket I needed to have a healthy relationship with food again. I finally see what the hype is all about and I’m here for it.

A Board Game the Whole Family Loved

If you are looking for a board game that is easy to play, that takes about 30 minutes, and is something that even your younger kids can get the hang of…I present to you Azul! Basically, you are artisans decorating the walls of the royal Palace of Dvora (of course you are) and the object of the game is to complete a row of patterns and get as high of as score as you can in the process. It sounds rather simple, but it reminds me a lot of Blokus because you have to use strategy to try to block opponents from nailing their patterns while still trying to tile your own wall.

The scoring is a bit confusing until you get the hang of it. I recommend checking out YouTube and watching people play the game, especially since it is such a quick game. It makes a lot more sense when you see it all in action.

If you are a fan of Blokus, I think you will like this game of strategy! My kids easily got the hang of it and, since the game is shorter, they didn’t even mind going a few rounds with us. I can see this being our new drinks-and-games choice when we have our friends over too!

I Put Some Spring in My Wardrobe

Winter feels like it is never ending, over here in the Midwest, and I realized that my wardrobe has started to reflect that. I tend to go really neutral in the winter months with just the beige, and the gray, and the black, and the white. Honestly, I think that was adding to that Midwest winter doldrums.

I headed to thredup and just searched for floral and pulled up so many pretty patterns and used my birthday money (thanks, grandma!) to treat myself to a little spring.  I also made a deal with myself that I would NOT buy anything in black-and-white stripes or in these blah colors at any point during this transaction. And it was tough. Because I love me some stripes. If you are feeling the blahs too, maybe search for a little floral for your closet too. I’m planning to trade out some black for a pretty print until Spring comes.

40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is Here

The last time I participated in the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge, I managed to carve out a very unexpected bonus room in our house. I remember how freeing it felt to get rid of the things that we did not need anymore.

The clutter has a way of creeping up on us so I’m looking forward to participating in the challenge again, hot off the heels of all my Marie Kondo watching. If you need a kick in the pants too, I encourage you to sign up for this. I am really excited to start whittling away at some of our clutter and I love the accountability that comes from a good online challenge.

Here are a few of my favorite February captures

Haven’t seen these two in awhile? We aren’t too keen on letting mom take as many photos now that we have moved into these teenage years. They did let me take a quick snap though on our unexpected staycation. The power outage on our road ended up being the good kind of family bonding stuff we all needed. How nice to have a hotel just around the corner to relocate to! Can you believe that they are 13 and 16 now???

This mug always makes me laugh. Being a book blogger is equal parts awesome and overwhelming. I am buried under the summer reads that have been coming my way and crawling out at a snail’s pace. The thing is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Volunteering at the food bank reminded me of what a privilege it is to eat the rainbow. I shared a little bit about that on my feed this month


Did I mention what a joy it is to put together the Ten Laughs for Tuesday too? I love making you guys laugh and seeing your comments on these. Be sure to swing by my IG for a good laugh on Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because nothing good happens on a Tuesday except this. 😉 



Top Ten Most Visited Articles in February

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  3. How to Organize Board Games
  4. January 2019 Must-Reads
  5. Best Homemade Non Stick Spray in the World (always cringing when I see these old photos!!)
  6. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  7. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
  8. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
  9. DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas
  10. January Happy List

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in February

  1. Soft-Touch Foot Peel Masks
  2. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer
  3. Moroccan Pouf
  4. Azul Board Game
  5. Argan Oil (my favorite moisturizer!!)
  6. Bluetooth Headphones
  7. Ankle Brace Compression Sleeves
  8. Rainbow Unicorn Hoodie
  9. True Body Lift Bra
  10. Happy Dish Towel

Top Ten Books Purchased in February

  1. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter
  2. Lilac Girls
  3. Brass
  4. The Air You Breathe
  5. The Animators
  6. Hum if You Don’t Know the Words
  7. The Lost Letter
  8. The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  9. My Oxford Year
  10. When They Call You a Terrorist

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of February fun and I look forward to sharing more in March! 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 hereto 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!

January Happy List

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

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.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that can help your home get back on track after the holidays.

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

My January Happy List

Dedicate A 30-Day Yoga Journey

One fitness routine that I looked forward to getting back to was my yoga practice. I discovered the Yoga by Adriene YouTube channel last year and loved these FREE yoga classes and her fun approach to making yoga something for EVERYONE.

She is doing a 30-day challenge to start out the New Year called, “Dedicate.” Now usually online challenges give you a free week or two and then demand charges. This one is completely free and with no strings attached…except for falling in love with your yoga practice.  In these lessons, she encourages you to practice paying attention, building muscle, cultivating joint stability, improving body function, increasing clarity of mind, stimulating stagnant energy, resolving stress tuning into your natural rhythm relaxing, and just enjoy having fun.

It’s free. All of it. No catch. No expiration date. Go to to read all the details, dedicate and sign up!

Sex & Love Around the World Series

Netflix makes some funny suggestions for us since we are such documentary fanatics and, Sex & Love Around the World popped up as a suggestion in our feed. We decided to give an episode a chance and were blown away by how much we learned from this.

Not like THAT, you guys! Hahaha! Cultures have such different requirements for dating, religion, and societal norms and this series has OPENED MY EYES to understanding the different traditions of different countries. I think the ones that I have really been amazed by have been the documentaires in India & Tokyo.

Amanpour manages to secure some REALLY interesting interviews from some fascinating perspectives that I would not have ever considered. Like, what it would be like to be transgender, for example, and celebrated by your culture YET considered, basically, an untouchable and unable to find employment. It is things like that which have lead to loonnnggg talks, after these episodes end, about what we think countries have done right and what we wish they could do better on.

It’s really good- I promise, I won’t lead you astray on your Netflix time.

I Finally Figured Out My Enneagram Number

I took an enneagram test years ago and it told me that I was a Type 2 (Helper!) which felt soooo right to me, BUT I think that is how I want to be perceived by others. I had a feeling if I sat down to take it again that it would yield better results if I looked at myself without that filtered lens. Sure enough, I am Type 1 ALL THE WAY. Type 1’s have STRONG FEELINGS about EVERYTHING and they usually let you know them. They can be gifted strong leaders, but they also are very nit-picky and have struggles with anger because they can’t ever let their anger out in the world.

When I started to read some of the challenges Type 1’s face, my eyes watered up.

They say if you have an emotional reaction to reading about a personality type, it is probably your type.

That one fit me so well and I’m relieved I don’t have to be a helper anymore.


This book is a HUGE help if you are trying to figure out what type you are. Don’t forget, it’s also really awesome to know the people’s that you are closest with. Learning about my husband and kids was just as important this year and helps me manage expectations and interact with them a little differently.

I Figured Out How to Cover Up My Grays Again

I have always colored my hair at home with a box from the drugstore or auto shipped to me on Prime. I’m hitting that age though where the gray is coming in fast and furious and it had started to change the color of my roots. Who knew 41 was going to be such a game-changer for my hair.  After playing around with several colors (too dark and then too light) I decided to give Madison-Reed a spin (DARN YOU, Instagram Ads!).  You fill out a quick questionnaire and then they send you everything you need to do a professional color job at home. You can set it to ship on auto as often or as little as you need it too.

They send everything you need to make the job a little less messy from barrier creams to a little shower cap to TWO pairs of gloves.

The best part?

They also ship a root touch-up kit in your goodies so you can keep your color looking fresh a little bit longer.

I can’t say enough good things- here’s a coupon to save you $15 if you want to give a free box a spin. I promise, you will love it too!

Trying Out New Habits

As I get older, I have felt more and more in tune with the things that derail me from what I hope to achieve out of life. This year has been about analyzing my bad habits and replacing them with better ones. Working through my issues with my health, exercise schedule, and sleep habits (with a professional)  has helped show me a few things I could be working on.

Three things that I’ve started trying are:

The S.S.S. rule- Never heard of it? It’s because I made it up. It stands for Stop Scrolling after Six. With encouragement from physicians, we all agreed that getting off the scroll-roll would be a good idea a couple of hours before bedtime. The thing is? Two hours before bedtime still leaves me two hours to think about and worry about things. I decided ending it BEFORE our dinner hour is a good idea. Once in awhile, I pop on to drop something in IG Story, but I avoid the scroll. This is helping me A LOT mentally and giving me more time to read too!

The Only Buying Wine for Weekends rule- As much as I love wine, having it THAT accessible has lead to some poor weeknight decisions and bad sleep. We decided that just buying wine on the weekend would be our new rule and it has made our wine feel more special and so fun to pick out. Not everyone needs to do this, but if wine is available, I just have to pour a glass after the kids go to bed. Now that we keep our bar cart empty, it forced me to pick up a nightly tea habit instead. When we get out (which is rare) that also feels like a major treat. I just know how much better I feel when I don’t have an unlimited supply (R.I.P. Box of Wine) and I feel better about my productivity throughout my week.

The Staying Away from Triggers on Social Media rule- We all have those people in life that we loovveee to hate (or just love to hate their viewpoint, amiright?). Although I never participated in a discussion with them, I did go there to find things to be upset about. You know, the friend who never includes you? The friend who talks political in an unkind way? The friend who has never been a friend, but you just have to know what they are doing? We ALL have these people and their feeds can be a rabbit hole to tunnel into and come out feeling bad. Life is just too short to live like that. I highly recommend the Kill Newsfeed extension and to exercise your abilities to mute people that aren’t helping you be your best self. They will never know and you will have happier days ahead.

Putting Yourself Out There is Good Stuff

Maybe it is just me, but I have gotten lazy about getting to know new people and making time for socializing. It means that I can close myself off to new people and new situations.

This year, I decided to put myself out there more and it is has been SO GOOD. From joining our town’s volunteer organization to connect with internet friends, I have broadened my circle in some beautiful ways.

Surprise, surprise, but when you broaden yourself, you have less time to do the trolling on social media you did before. Hahaha!

This month I reached out to Shannan Martin, for example, and asked if we could meet up for lunch. She lives just a couple of towns over, but making time and space has always felt like a challenge to me. We ended up having the most incredible time together and I was so glad that I put that invitation out into the Universe so that I could gab with her. P.S. If you haven’t read her books, add it to your reading list today. She’s a wildly talented writer and a heartfelt follow on Instagram. #bigfan

A Truly Comfortable Bra

I am a petite girl and have a hard time finding bras that don’t have straps that slip or gapping in the front. I ran across this company and noticed that they made a bra without adjustable straps and that offered a more seamless bra experience that looked, quite frankly, comfortable. I settled on the True Body Lift Bra and got it this week in the mail and I, truly, plan to order a few more because it is PERFECT.

I have ongoing issues with my shoulder blades and this offers a bit of comfortable compression in the spots that I normally am layering with tape. It is fitting, supportive, and lightly padded, but lacking the underwires that can poke and cause discomfort throughout the day. They come in a million colors and, according to reviews, do not stretch out over time the way other types of bras like this do. They did send me $15 coupons if I wanted to share them (no pressure) so this might be an affordable way to see if this option is right for you. Here is a $15 off coupon! I am DEFINITELY planning on making this one my new go-to this year.

Neck & Shoulder Relaxer

One thing I had my holiday wish list was this Neck & Shoulder relaxer gadget and I was so excited to get it for my birthday this year (thanks, mom & dad!!). I realize that this looks like the most unglamorous gift, but I plan to use this in lieu of a travel pillow now. This no-frills gadget, simply feels like someone holding your head for you and allows your neck to relax. My husband was baffled why I would ask for this, but he happened to have a sore neck the day it arrived, used it, and then I found myself fighting for my turn to use it.

If you read a lot in bed, you can nestle this on whatever pillow you have and it supports your head while you are reading. I have been using it a lot this week while I spent my evenings in bed catching up on our book club book. I combined this with my flip pillow and feel like my neck has been feeling so much better this week with all the support. More importantly, this will be just the gadget I need when we go on our long trips this year.

Keep in mind, this gadget is not fancy, but it is effective and worth the mere $13 price tag!

All the Fyre Festival Dramaz

Did you know that there were TWO Fyre Festival documentaries that came out this month? I spent an entire afternoon on Sunday watching both of these documentaries and REALLY recommend you do too.

Unfamiliar with the drama? Me too!

Here’s why they are interesting. Two organizers (an entrepreneur & Ja’Rule) put together a music festival on an island and invited attendees to come to this very exclusive very HIGH-END event. Millennials were DOWN for this and they put together some really flashy footage with gorgeous models that made the announcement for them. The thing is? They didn’t actually have anything in place to pull this off- not the infrastructure, not the talent, not the falsely advertised cabana/home spaces, etc… It is an absolute s–t show. So all these people arrive and it is NOT what they thought they were signed up for AT ALL. And even though this is a generation that some people kind of laugh at, as a human being you really sympathize with these people who were sold a really horrifying vacation weekend.

After watching the two, I felt the Netflix Fyre was the more compelling documentary. It really showcased the aftermath and the hardships that were endured by those assisting and the islanders who were involved. Hulu takes a more light-hearted look at it, but it does contain really smart psychological profiling and and actually interviews the guy who was in charge.

Don’t take my word for it, it is a good way to spend an afternoon and it will give you tons to talk about with your spouse!

Here are a few of my favorite captures this month! 

I can’t take credit for this capture, but my hubby snapped this of me at my birthday lunch. We dined over here and it was DIVINE. The lunch was affordable, filling, and well-seasoned. Loved the decor and a perfect place to update your FB headshot- hahaha!

This birthday cake was the sweetest surprise from my girlfriend! Her hubby & I are practically birthday twins so we got these stunning macaron cakes (check out her page of cakes– it’s jaw-dropping!) with beautiful flutes of bubbly to celebrate. We topped the evening off with Swan Lake. It was all the birthday magic a girl could stand! 

I’ve been meal prepping the past couple of weeks and feeling awwwwfulllyyy smug with myself to not be cooking every night. We have been eating quite well and I’ve had a lot more time for good books. I’m hoping to keep that streak up moving into February!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in January

1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe
3. How to Organize Board Games
4. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
5. The Best Books of 2018
6. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
7. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
8. How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath
9. How to Cable: Knitted Ear Warmers for Those in Need
10. MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in January

1. Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager
2. Cotton Paperless Towels
3. Reusable Produce Bags
4. Hanes Sweat-Free Bras
5. Keysocks
6. Body Lift Bras
7. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer
8. Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit
9. Old Books Soy Candle
10. Reusable Facial Rounds

Top Ten Books Purchased in January

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

A River of Stars

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Hey Ladies!!


Meet the Frugalwoods


All You Can Ever Know

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

The Intermission

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of January fun and I look forward to sharing more in February! 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 hereto 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!

December Happy List

Friday, January 4th, 2019

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.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that you can put to work in organizing your home for the holidays.

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

My December Happy List

How was your December? I hope that you had a wonderful month filled with the people you love! We had a whole heck of a lot of fa-la-lahing this season…and I’m not complaining one bit.

Here are a few things that topped my December Happy List!

Gift Wrapping Dates

I’m in a life stage where seeing friends is challenging so weaving in those real life tasks and errands with friends means I can catch up AND get something done. I invited a friend over to wrap gifts with me and we had such a good time that this is our new annual tradition. Sipping wine, wrapping together, and singing holiday carols is amazing.

Years ago I got this table and I can’t tell you how awesome it was to wrap my gifts on it. Since it folds so small, it hardly takes up space and both of us could wrap at the same time without issues. I was reminded why this is one of my favorite things. Small space living calls for creativity and well-thought design. This one was worth every dollar.

FRESH Christmas Music Playlist

Each year, I try to create a memorable playlist and this one has been TWO years of hunting for the most obscure songs from wayyy back in the day to indie hits that should have more airplay and even some new contemporary music to mix in. I present to you, FRESH Christmas.

It is THIRTEEN (!!!) hours long and I couldn’t love each track more. The weirdest part? I am now getting musicians contacting me and sending me songs to see if I will put it on my mix. I can now add music producer to my list of talents- hahaha!

Holiday Lipstick That Sticks

For the holidays, I rely on my long-wearing lipsticks to keep me looking polished while I stuff my face with Christmas cookies. If you are looking for one that will get you through an entire day (FOR REALZ!), I recommend this one.

It’s important to know these are often vibrant (at least the colors I choose). Don’t panic, just do a few blots with a tissue and enjoy your night without lipstick on your teeth this year. Those reviews don’t lie, friends, this stuff sticks! For a holiday red, I’m loving Pioneer.

Dumplin’ the Movie

I told you guys last week that I had read this book so I could prepare for the movie and couldn’t wait to dive in. This movie was just so beautifully done and I so appreciated that they had taken out all the sexual stuff in the book so that I could enjoy it with my tween daughter.  If you have a tween that you are on the hunt for a great movie to watch together, this one fits the bill perfectly. Thanks, Netflix!

Our Smaller Holiday Tree

Last year I noticed that Hearth & Hand was offering a small Christmas tree that looked just perfect for our home. I went to the store to snag it, only to see that every unit that had been listed online was being used as an ornament display for the store. When I saw these on display, I quickly realized why. With its unique Scandinavian design, this tree allowed for multiple ornaments to be on the same branch and they all had the spacing advantage to be on display at the same time.

take a holiday tour over here or follow me on IG!

As I put it up again this year, a chore that now only takes me an hour or so to pull off, I was reminded how good it was that we downsized this and how nice it is to put out fewer Christmas decorations each year. A fresh wreath filled with holiday greenery, a big bowl of clementines (soon to be eaten), and a few handmade holiday items are all we need to make our home festive this year.

Marco Polo-ing My Way Through the Holidays

With limited time to see everyone and do everything before the holidays, I have been relying heavily upon my good app friend, Marco Polo. If you are a newer to the MomAdvice community, you might not have heard me sing praises about this smart app, but it is one of my favorite app offerings for busy moms.

Install the app and send a video walkie talkie message to a friend or family member. Once you send them one, they get an alert they have a message that they can watch. When they are available, they can just send you a video walkie talkie message back. No need to coordinate at all, like on FaceTime and Skype. You just send it when you are available, listen when you can, reply when you want to.

It’s definitely something to check out and has made me feel MORE connected to so many people in my life. The best part? It’s completely FREE!

The Flip Pillow

I have been looking for a supportive pillow for my back when I am reading and decided that this pillow was the perfect solution for reading books in my shed.  It is a 10-in-1 pillow so you can flip it in all different directions to give your body support where it needs it. I had high hopes this would be a good solution and it is AMAZINGLY comfortable. If you do a lot of reading in bed or work from a couch/bed, this offers an incredible amount of support and comfort. I can’t rave enough. I’m pretty much the ladies in these infomercials– haha!

The pillow does come without a cover, but I found one over here (I bought the dark color so it will hold up better) and it keeps the pillow protected.

Adjustable Laptop Tray

Are you seeing a theme here? On my bad days, I love the option to work from my comfy bed so I read through one million reviews and submitted this adjustable laptop tray as my gift idea from my parents. The legs can go very tall, the tray can be tilted so your neck is in the right position, and the top is GENEROUS so you can use your mouse.

The design is really thoughtful. I love that it has rubber edges to keep your laptop and mouse from slipping down and the adjustability on this is super straightforward. Best of all, it is really lightweight too so it makes it easy to take it where I need it. Did I mention a lifetime warranty?

According to the packaging, it is also perfect for a picnic….just in case you need another use for it.

Who wants a lunch date with me now, huh?

A Portable Neck Massager

Massages are out of my price range right now so I wanted to find something that I could use at home. When I ran across this portable massager, I thought it would help me so much with my neck and back issues.

You guys. This thing is AMAZING!! It really does feel like someone is massaging your back and you have full control over the intensity because your arms just loop through it to move it around. It is heated so it also adds warmth while you are being massaged which has helped relax my muscles so much.

It also comes with an obnoxious car charger which I plan to use to embarrass my children and annoy my spouse when we trade off on driving. I mean, as if sitting on my phone wasn’t obnoxious enough, lemme pull out my neck massager while I wait for you to get done with your drama class.

I can’t wait to be *that* mom!

Those were a few of my favorite gifts this year!

Here are a few of my favorite captures this month! 

Aldi bouquet arranging is my jam. $3.99 for a half dozen roses? I’m in! Repurposed candles from this tablescape idea.

Junior League of South Bend gala- a blast with a few of my new favorite gal pals!

My baby turned THIRTEEN. We celebrated with this cake and mom cried a lot.

It was allll about family! This black-and-white image is me with my sister & brother. Right above it, is my sister-in-law sharing a cup of cheer at the pop-up Christmas bar that had opened.

My daughter made this gorgeous picture of us. My husband joined the table tennis club in town, I have perfected my top bun, my cat is obsessed with our poor son (who is slightly less enraptured with her- at least he pretends to be!), and our daughter’s moto pants are on-point.

I couldn’t love my people more!

What about you? What did you love this month?

Here’s what I *could* tell from your browsing this year!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in 2018

1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe
3. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
4. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
5. How to Make a Homeless Care Package
6. How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans
7. How to Spray Paint Furniture
8. Fruit-Infused Water Recipes
9. DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe
10. MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in 2018

1. Rissy 2 Wind Resistant Jacket
2. Hallmark Movie Watching Mug
3. Dissent Collar Baby Bib
4. Free People Palisades Off-the-Shoulder Top
5. Keysocks
6. Hanes Sweat-Free Bras
7. Yearly Reading Log Digital Download
8. Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Doormat
9. Birthstone Bar Necklace

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for January! 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!

November Happy List

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

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.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that you can put to work in organizing your home for the holidays.

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

My November Happy List


Baking Smells Without the Baking

Anybody else love the smell of freshly baked goods, but don’t really have the time to bake them? I moved my diffuser into my office and discovered this bakery oils set that I can diffuse while tackling things on my working to-do list.

With smells like gingerbread, coffee cake, and pumpkin pie, with my faux fireplace blazing, it is feeling deliciously cozy down in my office.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I was a big fan of the show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and excited to see that Netflix was revisiting the Sabrina theme.

In case you didn’t know, this is not the same story of Sabrina really at all. Archie Comics released an Archie Horror series in 2014 that was about Sabrina in the 1960’s with much darker themes.

In fact, it is so dark that they are being sued right now because some of their elements are feeling just a tad too authentic.

This show is not one I would watch with my kids, but has been a good escape in the evenings with my hubby.

He does not enjoy horror AT ALL, but he has been loving this series as much as me as Sabrina figures out if she is a good witch or a bad witch…or if she even wants to be a witch at all.

Since this series is done by the same folks who produce Riverdale, I have enjoyed finding the easter eggs they have hidden for their Riverdale fans within this season. You may also recognize the lead actress from her Mad Men days! Wasn’t she the best in that show?

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

The one thing on my fall clothing bucket list that I REALLY wanted were these faux leather leggings that I kept hearing people rave about.

Although I’m not arguing that these make you look and feel slimmer, they were more appealing to me because of their compression aspect and how much better my whole body feels with any type of compression on it. In fact, a lot of people with my condition wear compression garments under their regular clothes for pain.

I mean, how can my husband argue with me that these are a sound investment when it helps with pain management. #iplayedthatcard

In all seriousness, I could not love these more and how much they dress up an outfit while still being, technically, black leggings.

They have a little shine to them, but not the ’80’s aerobic shine. Just a faux leather-y glimmer that makes these feel a step above the rest.

Paired with a couple of well-chosen items I got in my Stitch Fix box, I feel like these will be my holiday go-to.

Warm Matcha Drinks

I am not a breakfast eater, but I do love a warm drink in the morning. I have been combining 1 teaspoon matcha powder with a 1.5 cups of almond milk, a tablespoon of this, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

I just blend it all in a pot on my stove with my trusty handheld blender  for my morning pick-me-up.

Haven’t tried matcha before?

Here is why it’s such a great coffee alternative!

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Looking for a cooking show that will also get your wanderlust heart going?

I had no idea how enraptured I would be with this beautiful 4-part Netflix series and how much it would make me long to explore more dishes and places in the world.

Based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is the essential guide to the basic elements of good cooking and the hostess couldn’t be more charming. Check out the trailer and indulge in this one with your family.

Socks For Cold People

I love ballet flats and booties, but, dang, those tiny baby socks offer no warmth at all. When fall hits, I switch to these because they do a better job of insulating my legs from the Midwest cold. Even better? They don’t slip off, thanks to their perfectly designed length.

Adam Sandler’s Netflix Special

When I was in college, Adam Sandler came to Purdue and my hubby (then boyfriend) and I got the opportunity to catch his show. I have loved this man ever since.

When it was my night to pick our show for the evening (do you take turns at your house too?), I selected Adam’s new special and laughed and laughed and laughed until I cried.

He has all new original music throughout and, at 51 (!!!),  a whole new perspective on life as a father and husband.

I didn’t expect to be so choked up at the end though, but he brought out all the tears with a touching tribute to Chris Farley and to his fans. I wasn’t the only one raving– critics are digging it too!

For those that have been turned off by so much political banter with comedians, you will find that Adam doesn’t dive into that once and just brings the laughs we need right now.

My Fall Stitch Fix Box

I had about given up on Stitch Fix because I wasn’t really loving the quality of the items that were being shipped and I didn’t think any of the items felt like they were worth the prices they were charging…well, until this month.

Here is what I have learned, you MUST be specific in the notes section to your stylist because that is what they will really use to select your box.  I made specific requests this time like, “I would like a black romper that can be worn for many seasons and is made for a petite pear-shaped girl. I would like a wool car coat preferably in a neutral or blush tone.”

Making specific requests made an enormous difference in my box and I’m having a hard time selecting items this go-round.

If you haven’t tried it before, here is $25 to spend to have a stylist select a box of pretties for your fall wardrobe. Keep in mind, they style for men, women, and kiddos now. I am thinking of giving my hubby a box for Christmas this year.

Winning Those GoodReads Giveaways

Did you know that GoodReads offers giveaways to their readers ALL THE TIME. I won the latest releases from Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, M.O. Walsh, & Taylor Jenkins Reid this past month.

Although I am able to get a lot of books for free from online review companies, I then am required to give a review back to keep receiving them.

Giveaways are a no pressure way to secure copies of books I am wanting without the pressure of getting reviews up right away.

Check the GoodReads giveaways page for current giveaways and always follow your favorite author profiles so you are notified when they share a giveaway with their readers. I am REALLY excited to be diving into this book this week.

By the way, you can follow what I’m reading over here, if you are interested!

A User’s Guide to Cheating Death

Greenwashing is such a big thing right now and I can’t tell you how many products and services I have been told to buy since I got sick that I had no clue if they really had any merit or value.

If you love Alton Brown and his food science lessons, you are going to have a big ol’ crush on Timothy Caulfield as he debunks a lot of the fake science that we are being sold in the wellness industry.

It is sure to get a few people pissed off, but we are being sold a lot of snake oil these days.  I learned so much!

RBG Documentary

I am sure it goes without saying that this has been a rough time for many when it comes to politics. I try to be a distraction from that and share my opinions around the dinner table, but I was looking for a little salve for my soul after the recent headline news.

For our family night, we indulged in the new Hulu RBG documentary.

If you are unfamiliar with the original Notorious, it is time to get acquainted with this insanely gifted woman.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a legacy and icon status unlike any other judicial figure. And for good reason. This documentary follows the life, challenges, and accomplishments of everyone’s favorite 85 year old.

It is super family-appropriate and gave us a lot to chat about.

Like, um, how lazy I felt after I watched it.

This woman is IMPRESSIVE.

Burning the candle at BOTH ends and still hitting the gym like a boss.

Don’t have Hulu? No worries! Check out Hulu for free, on me for your first month. And while you have it, enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale while you have your freebie activated. It’s AH-MAZING!

Water Bottle Brush Set

In an effort to cut down on waste, I have really been pushing that the kids take reusable water bottles to school. With the stainless interior, I worried about scraping up these while washing them and didn’t feel like shaking a little water with soap in them was really getting them clean enough.

Enter this amazing gadget and our water bottles have never been cleaner.

Narrow enough to get to the bottom easily and a perfect addition to getting those wine glasses clean too without scratching the glass up. It’s a win-win for ALL the hydration in our house and under $5.

Knock-Off Halo Top Ice Cream

Did you know that ALDI is offering grocery delivery now?


I am the happiest girl in the world right now.

Although, there are some fees (obviously) with delivery, I have more time to think/plan/add/remove items so that I feel like we may actually be doing MUCH better budget-wise. You can check and see if they are delivering in your area over here.

And I have one more reason to REALLY love Aldi.

They launched a low fat ice cream line that rivals my favorite Halo Top ice cream. It is SO good and it is a mere, $3.59 a pint. You can’t beat that for a treat that feels indulgent. One spoon please!

An Addictive Podcast

I have discovered that I can enjoy podcasts while I am doing some of my busy work on the website and consumed all seven episodes of Uncover: Escaping NXIVM in a single day. If you are an HSP (highly sensitive person), I wouldn’t recommend this one, but if you can handle it…this is a REALLY fascinating one.

Cults have always fascinated me and, perhaps, that is why I was drawn to this podcast. You may have read that Smallville actress Allison Mack was arrested on sex trafficking charges as a result of being a member of this group. The original pitched intention of the group was to gather like-minded people to help them attain personal growth and fulfillment through expensive courses they sold.

Yeah, another pyramid scheme.

Yet, behind the scenes, their leader Keith Raniere was crafting courses that sought to belittle and humiliate the women in the group as much as possible. It is quite astounding the ways they are belittled especially since these women are incredibly intelligent and gifted leaders.

The series is hosted by Joshua Bloc, who happened to have a childhood friend who had been a member of this group for twelve years. She gives listeners an inside look into what attracted her to the group and how quickly it turned.

The psychological games of cults are always fascinating and one can see how these groups prey and breakdown these women.

Tunes for Autumn

I have finally got my house all decorated for fall. I’m pretty sure that I have more bins for fall than I do for Christmas. It is, really, my favorite season. While I decorated, I listened to this autumn playlist I made.

I just wanted to share it with you today because it is one of my favorites.

I happen to know that it pairs quite well with a good cup of coffee.

My New Cricut Obsession

I finally took the plunge and bought a Cricut. After looking at all the options, the original Cricut Explore Air and the newest version only had a difference in how fast it could crank out my project.

People, if it is cheaper, I will wait all day for it to crank out!

I ended up getting this one with the bundle package and that has been the best way to try out all the different materials and get to know my machine for a fraction of the price of their newer version.

It turns out that everyone in my family is moving (except us) so I have been cranking out some housewarming gifts this week. The first thing I attempted to try was making painted signs. As soon as I posted a picture of my first sign, I got SO many responses from people that they 1) never took it out of its box or 2) were too intimidated to try painting signs.

You know I was feeling REALLY smug, but also had NO CLUE that this wasn’t where people normally started. It took me two days to make this sign, there may have been cursing, but I was SO proud. I decided to pay for the access to their graphics and these two signs were made and then personalized from these files.

Once I get the hang of it, I promise to share a tutorial with you.

I spent way too many hours reading tutorials and watching YouTube to count before I actually put the paint on the signs. It has a learning curve, for sure, but I think it is going to be worth it for holiday gifts.

A Show to Fill the Parenthood Void

A girlfriend had texted me  to share about a show on Netflix she thought we would enjoy. It’s called Atypical and I have been absolutely loving it.

This story follows Sam, a boy who is on the autism spectrum, and his quest for love and dating that ends up putting the entire family on their own individual quests of self-discovery.

With a child on the spectrum, I have loved seeing how these parents work with their child and help guide him through his teen years.

I also identify with the mother who is figuring out her new place when she is not needed as much at home.

This show has heart and humor, while showing the challenges and beauty in raising a child on the spectrum.

It did receive a lot of criticism on its first season for not being as informed as it should have been with the creation of Sam’s character. It seems they tried very hard to right some of those wrongs as they approached their second season.

It isn’t perfect, but it has been a really great escape.

Bringing the Outdoors In

I posted a picture on IG and someone was like, “Where did you find a grownup papasan chair?” and I had to share that I, actually, had dragged my outdoor chair in to read.

This giant chair makes me SO happy and has been a great way to take pressure off some of my old lady joints. I only mention this because I noticed they dropped the prices considerably and this cushion makes it look like it is an indoor chair rather than for its intended outdoor use.

When I was a kid, I would have died and gone to heaven to have one of these cool chairs in my room. My sister was the same way and rushed out to get one for her new place and we both have deemed it the perfect reading chair.

My only trouble?

Staying awake in it!

Pajama Jeans

I discovered these pajama jeans and I am in HEAVEN. The online reviews were so stellar that I had to check them out and these are my new favorite go-to pant. I bought the light and dark washes and have worn them every day since I got them.

They come in a variety of colors too although, personally, I would stick with the black and jean rinses because the others seemed to highlight my figure flaws. Although I would normally wear a small, I sized up one since they are cotton and they fit me well without being too tight.

I can’t rave about the comfort of these enough so if you need a little break from your leggings this winter, these look like real jeans, but are as glorious as maternity pants and your favorite pajamas. Do get them!
And if you need to suck it up one night, these are almost as comfortable and oh-so-figure flattering.

Our personal happiness this month was two kids really rocking their report cards, working really hard on a campaign for the holidays that I’m super proud of, joining Junior League (and meeting incredible friends), my hubby discovering the South Bend tennis table club, and finally seeing someone who I’m FINALLY making some medical progress with.

High fives all around this month for that stuff.

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!

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, July 27th, 2018

project 333 summer outfit (shirt (on clearance!!)/ skirt (on clearance!!)/ peep toe shoes/ earrings)

I hope your summer is going well. I realize I have been a bit M.I.A. this summer, but the struggle with typing really intensified this month. I have an appointment with a surgeon next month to see what my options are, but this week I turned a corner after finding a gadget to help with my ongoing carpal tunnel issues. It has been so good to sit back at my desk and type without pain again. I realize it is a short term solution, but it really works.

You can read more about why it’s making me happy below.



Our son celebrated his sixteenth birthday with a big surprise this year! We rented a gorgeous treehouse in Nashville on airbnb (here is $40 on a rental to spend if you haven’t tried it yet!) to celebrate his special day. We had an incredible week exploring Nashville and enjoying the gorgeous views from our treehouse.

It was as magical as I had hoped it would be and I’m so thankful to have raised such an awesome young man. I really believe that he is going to do incredible things for our world with his kindness and intelligence. I know that he has taught me a lot through the process of parenting him.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week:



I have been going to the gym for years and years, but my body just has not been cooperating the way I need to have good workouts that don’t have setbacks. I have been doing a lot of research on what types of things I need to do to help support my body and core strength is a big thing for me. I discovered the Sworkit app and I could not be happier right now with my new routine.

If you have not heard of it, it is a pretty genius concept. Basically, you pick what you want to work on (like strength, cardio, stretching, or yoga) and it builds a workout based on the time you have available each day. You can follow a plan just based on that or you can vary your routine with a large variety of routines geared towards your own fitness levels. Once you select your routine, a trainer demos each step and you do it for a set length of time and then it repeats with several moves to help the area you are working to target.

Best of all, you don’t need anything except a mat and it can be done from anywhere (I can see how awesome this will be for travel). I have this cushy one and I just do my own modifications to the routines to help keep my body on track.

I love that there is no annoying music, but they do have playlists that are really fun or you can use your own playlists on Spotify or Apple. I also love that you can message trainers and ask questions about your own personal training.

I am working my way through the Strength routine and pairing this with my Cyclecast and this foldable stationary bike (one of my favorite self-care purchases) for some low-impact cardio.

My body is really embracing the new changes and I am too. I miss the socialization aspect of the gym, but I also acknowledge that this is a really great option right now. Slowed down, intentional movement, and shorter routines are what my body needs right now. You can certainly do fast and long on this same app though. If you haven’t worked out in a million years, ain’t no shame. They have a really incredible routine for coming back after your hiatus and even a set for older adults (three cheers for that!).

This year I am learning to listen to my body more and changing this routine was really important for me.

The membership runs about $10 a month and you get a significant discount if you pay for the year. They also offer a free 30-day trial to see if it is right for you.

I plan to put my gym membership savings towards a self-care item like massage therapy or chiropractic care this year.

I can’t wait to see how my body changes from these new routines.

carpal tunnel bracelets

Carpal Tunnel Bracing that WORKS

If you have carpal tunnel and are struggling to keep your symptoms under control, I finally found a carpal tunnel brace that works and works with your daily life. I bought two of these M Brace RCA braces and finally have an amazing amount of pain relief.

I will be honest, these don’t look like much. It is a simple velcro strip with a square plastic piece. Depending on where your symptoms are located, you just position the square where you need it and secure it to your wrists (or forearms). Although I am no doctor, I think the brace just provides added support where your wrist needs to help minimize the pain. Within an hour of putting these on my wrists, my finger pain stopped almost completely. It is unbelievable that such a simply designed item can work more effectively than anything else I have ever tried.

I am still using these to sleep in (I have a tendency to bend my wrists in weird ways when I sleep- hahaha) and I also have one oval-8 splint on my pointer finger to help support it with my mouse and texting, but the hand pain relief is absolutely incredible.

These aren’t fashionable and, yes, I am thinking of modifying them with some craft supplies, but I am just so thankful to have pain-free fingers. I still plan to see the surgeon, but this has changed the game a lot in the meantime. If you even have mild carpal tunnel issues, I think these would help you so much.

Kindle Paperwhite

I Got a Paperwhite

Everyone raves and raves about their Paperwhite so when they dropped in price on Prime Day, I decided to scoop one up for myself. I am in reading HEAVEN right now with this little gadget. My hubby had bought me the original Kindle and I used it for a long time, but got out of the habit of using it. This Paperwhite is amazingly light though and is saving my old lady joints to not have to lug books around with me.

My favorite feature is the nightlight though because I have been able to read until wee hours in the morning without disturbing my husband. Ironically, the power went out that week and I consumed three books over the weekend with all my phone-free time.

I got this simple cover (recommended by my fellow bookworm, Kaytee!!) and it helps free my hands up even more with its clever design. I love that I can just prop my book up while I am having my lunch.

Looking forward to sharing what I read this month with you soon. Believe me when I say, it is quite the stack!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

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

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Target Style top/ bottoms/ sandals/leg glowcactus welcome mat

As predicted, summer is already starting to fly by. I always think that there will be endless days of sitting with books and enjoying the sunshine, but we have already started the scheduling of physicals, running to and fro to friend’s houses, the endless outdoor chores, and that whole staying up way too late and sleeping in way too late thing too.

One thing I did pick back up though is my yoga routine and it has made me so happy to be back on my yoga mat again. If you are local and looking for a class, be sure to give this studio a try. I’m all about women supporting women in business and Abbi will be celebrating her first year as a business owner. If you have owned a business, you know there are so many hurdles and joys that come from finally getting launched. Getting that first year behind you is a major milestone so head over and show this passionate lady some support.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy!

Kid Dates

Operation Date Your Kids

As a mom of big kids, I find it challenging to keep them engaged (and off their devices in the summer). Since we nixed the pool membership this year, that freed up some summer funds to try something different.

I proposed that each kid get a solo date with me and they could pick any (budget-friendly) thing that they wanted to do with me for the week. Unfortunately, my sweet girl got sick so we ended up just popping stovetop popcorn and renting this sweet flick from the library.

My son did cash in on his date and asked if he could GO TO THE LIBRARY (insert all the heart-eyed emojis EVAH) and to grab a coffee together.

Two introverts were doing what we loved best…just sitting in silence, sipping coffee, and reading our books.

I did manage to squeeze a few fun facts out of him though on the way so I consider week one a success.

I can’t wait to see what they want to do next week.


A Well-Designed Selfie Stick

I never thought I would be the type of person that carried around a selfie stick and, yet, here we are.  I thought it might be a good investment for my website, but what I didn’t realize was how awesome it was to document moments with my kids.

That picture above?

Yup, just whipped out the selfie stick.


I had one and it quickly broke and I never replaced it. This selfie stick is one of the most cleverly designed tech gadgets though that I have. It folds to a small size, but can be extended short or long for your shots. It also has a tripod which is so handy for my Marco Polo time and Instagram Stories.

Since it has Bluetooth, it syncs with your phone so you can take the photos. Charging is just like charging your phone- no batteries required.

If you want to document time with your kids this summer and be in the pictures, snag this ASAP. You won’t regret it!

hanes ex-temp bra

A Sweat Proof Bra

It has been a million degrees here and I needed to replace my undergarments (*ahem*).  After checking out the crazy-town prices on bras, I decided to check to see if Walmart offered some better options for my budget. I ended up buying three different brands (all of them are amazing- I’ll tell you more after I give the other two a test run), but the one that wins for this summer is this Hanes X-Temp Bra.

The reason why I like it is that it is made from fabric that is meant to adapt to the temperatures you need it throughout the day.

Boob sweat?


I spent a whole day running around yesterday and I was cool and collected in my bra…while the rest of me was a hot mess.

Hey, you can’t have everything.

I also LOVE the price on these and the fact that they don’t have an underwire. I purchased the nude option and you can’t see it under my summer white blouses.

Give this option a try!

netflix source

A few quick things I also loved this week-

Giving these shoes a test run. I’ll keep you posted!

Psyched one of my favorite authors has a new book for me to read. I’m putting this one in my earbuds this weekend.

My favorite stovetop popcorn method.

These salads will be happening this week.

I ordered this for my son’s birthday. He’s going to flip!

This speech was amazing.

I needed to read this.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

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