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

November Happy List

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

How the heck are you?

It is that fun time of the month where I get to share what’s been making me happy this month.

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. I know we had a more relaxed holiday this year and that was SO very welcome.

Thankful list

Thanksgiving get the tutorial for my table runner for the holidays

There, honestly,  has been a lot going on at our house these days.  Not only did what we celebrate the holidays with my husband’s family, but my sister also got married this month too. 

I am so excited to see the next chapter of her life unfold and got her this as a wedding gift to celebrate those new milestones with their new family members. 

Isn’t that the best little gift? 

I was also thankful to see my daughter’s thankful list this year (which then topped MY thankful list). Anyone with a teenage daughter knows how special these little things are right now.

diy chunky knit blanket pattern

Speaking of my sweet girl, we are celebrating her FOURTEENTH birthday this month.

Her birthday request was one of my diy chunky knit blankets

I have a feeling another girl in our house would like this for a gift too.

Paper Poppies Pattern

Paper Poppies get the paper poppy pattern

This has also been my first time being a part of the annual holiday ball committee for our local Junior League and the festivities are happening this weekend. 

Our theme is, “A Night in Emerald City,” and we are adorning each of the bouquets with paper poppies for the centerpieces. This is  a sweet little nod to Dorothy’s nap in the flowers, in the film. 

It was so fun to make these with our new members this year and I’m excited to lead the committee next year.

I have, definitely, learned a ton about event planning through this experience. 

Before I share the happy list, I would also love to say a special thank you to each of you for doing your holiday shopping through our site this year.

Our family has appreciated your support so much and shopping our affiliate links helps us keep the lights on at MomAdvice. 

Before we dig into my happy list, here is what made the cut on YOUR happy list for November!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in November

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. Gluten-Free Cake Mix Cookies
  3. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  4. The Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe
  5. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  6. Unique Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything
  7. The Best Kindle Book Deals (updated daily)
  8. DIY Chunky Knit Blanket (FREE Pattern)
  9. How to Make a Pom-Pom Wreath
  10. Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in November

  1. Neck LED Book Light for Kids
  2. Rocketbook Reusable Notebooks (we are obsessed over here!)
  3. Magnetic Wrist Bands
  4. Groopdealz Daily Deals (lots of UGG Gloves & YETI Tumblers for the holidays)
  5. Bluetooth Beanies for Men
  6. Smartphone Mini Projectors
  7. The Book Lover’s Journal
  8. Ticket Stub Diary
  9. Ew David Coffee Mugs
  10. Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager (I love this thing so much!)

Top Ten Amazon Purchases in November

  1. A Woman is No Man
  2. Facial Hair Remover for Women
  3. Fruit of the Drunken Tree
  4. CLOVER Pom Pom Maker
  5. Light Therapy Lamps
  6. Goodthreads Women’s Boucle Cardigan
  7. Thompson Tees
  8. Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream
  9. Beard Comb
  10. Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair

My November Happy List Fun and Reviews

 

My New “Fauxse” Recipe

I don’t know the proper spelling for a fake rose, but I’m going to call my recipe the “Fauxse” fix that I needed to unwind with in the evening.

I’m trying to slow my roll with wine, but definitely crave a little something fun after a long day of work. That’s how I came up with this super easy recipe for a drink that seems to help me get my wine fix.

Take one can of La Croix (plain or lime flavor) and add one Nuun Strawberry Lemonade Tablet. Add crushed ice and serve in a copper mug.

It is DELICIOUS and is a great way to hydrate. My husband says it is nothing like wine, but I think it works as a great alcohol-free option.

I always try to keep a roll of these electrolytes in my purse too, especially if I am going to be drinking.

Adding one of these tablets to a glass of water (or sparkling water) really helps reduce wine hangovers, especially during the fa-la-la season.  (shop for Nuun Tablets)

Dolly Parton's America

Dolly’s America Podcast

You don’t need to be a big Dolly Parton fan to appreciate the new podcast, Dolly’s America. I did happen to be a huge fan though, but am learning SO much more about Dolly through the interviews that are within this podcast.

The big exploration of the podcast is how Dolly was able to rise to fame, when so few women in country were, and why she has such wide appeal with EVERYONE. 

You could be a gay liberal or a religious conservative and show up to a lovely Dolly concert together because Dolly has an uncanny ability to find common ground among all her fans.

What is this magical quality and how do we unlock it when we ALL need it more than ever?

My husband and I have been listening to this one in the evenings and it is absolutely fascinating and such a great way to look at such a well-loved icon in country music.

I have gotten chills through moments, cried, and laughed through her incredible story.

I think you will love it too. (listen to the podcast)

Ugg Rain Boot Socks

My Cozy Boot Socks Are Back On

If you haven’t heard me rave about my UGG rain boots, I am here to tell you that they are my FAVORITE rain boots. I have wide feet and these fit perfectly, with room to put on thicker socks. 

It also has the cozy UGG insert (PSSST- even if you don’t have these boots, I bet you could add these cozy inserts to your current boots!!) so my feet are always warm.

These boot socks though REALLY make the boots adorable and I get more compliments on those than any other shoes I wear.

I wear them so much that they could probably stand on their own and walk themselves to the washer. 

I’m also already bookmarking these adorable additions for a fun holiday gift to myself. Merry Christmas, to me!

I can’t recommend them enough especially because they are MUCH more affordable than the ol’ Hunter Boots! (shop the bootsshop the knitted boot insertshop the faux fur insert)

The Kanopy App Through My Library

When I was doing research on how to check out library books for free on your Kindle, I stumbled upon a resource for something that I didn’t know existed at our library.

Have you heard of Kanopy? The Kanopy app can be used through your phone, laptop, or even your Roku. 

On Kanopy’s about page, this is how they define their service: “The films that truly resonate with us do more than just entertain. They inspire us, enrich us, and challenge our perspectives. Kanopy ensures that these films reach viewers around the world.”

If you love a good documentary or indie film, you can check out (up to) ten movies for free monthly with your library card.

A lot of the award-winning indie films don’t make it to my small town so this has been a dream come true to be able to stream so many great films that I would not have known about. (check out the free Kanopy app here)

Two Movies I Loved Through Kanopy

Of course, I can’t just tell you about the app, I wanted to share two great recommendations for you to stream!


Hearts Beat Loud

Single dad and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to college, while being forced to close his shop.

Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into a father-daughter live act.

After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery.

I find Nick Offerman to be incredibly charming and he plays this part in such a beautiful and vulnerable way that it made my eyes well up.

This beautifully shares how hard it is to let our children go off to college and also how hard it is for people to leave their loved ones behind to grow up.

This is just the sweetest story and I can see why it was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival & the SXSW Film Festival. 


Tell It To the Bees

If you are looking for a beautiful historical fiction film, I absolutely loved, “Tell It To The Bees.” 

In 1952 Dr. Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) returns to her Scottish hometown to take over her late father’s medical practice. 

She soon becomes ostracized by the community when she begins a passionate romance with a young mother named Lydia (Holliday Grainger). 

This movie is just BEAUTIFUL and the acting is incredible.

It is a coming-of-age story too for Lydia’s son. He has to decide who he must side with (his community or his mother) and they show these challenges in such a real way. 

This was an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Verilux Happy Light

My Happy Light

I do feel like I need to mention again how thankful I am for this happy light gadget, especially after the time switch!

Seasonal depression is no joke and the Midwest winters can be brutal on a girl’s happiness levels. 

I bought a tabletop happy light that is supposed to help remedy the winter blues, give you more energy, and regulate those sleep cycles. 

I read a lot of articles about it (I found this one to be really straightforward ) and it is recommended that the light should be 10,000 lux. 

When browsing, you will find ones in a cheaper price bracket, but they aren’t offering the 10,000 lux that are recommended for effective treatment so I went for the big guns.

I use this for an hour in the morning with a good book and a tall cup of coffee. 

It is super important to be consistent and so I aim for around the same time and duration each day.

I love that this is so small that it could be taken on trips, when we travel, and doesn’t take up a lot of storage in our home.

If you struggle with the seasonal blues or regulating those sleep cycles, this is a great low-risk drug-free investment to try!

Book Clamp Stand

The Book Table Clamp That Saves My Neck

I have been REALLY excited (and swamped) with screening all 12 of our book club selections for 2020.

That means, my head is in a book all day and that causes me a ton of neck and back issues.

You don’t need to be a book blogger to benefit from having your books at eye level. 

Originally, I bought this book clamp (shown above)  because I was having shoulder and hand issues.  What I discovered though was the enormous relief there was when I didn’t have my head in a bent position to read. 

The company took these off the market for awhile, but I’ve been faithfully checking to see if they brought it back because I get asked about it a lot. 

LEVO carries two different varieties and it really depends on your budget and your own physical needs on which option works best for you.  

I mention this today because this would make an incredible holiday gift to yourself.

I use it every dang day.

I recommend it for any power reader or anyone who struggles with holding a book or suffers from neck/back issues.

This is the more expensive version, but you can roll it. That’s really awesome if you are a senior or if you picture yourself walking it around your house and need the extra wheel help.

The less expensive version is this clamp stand. Keep in mind, this would be only for digital devices (like, if you read a lot on an iPad or Kindle). If you want to secure a printed book, you just buy this add-on (which is freaking amazing) and switch it out.

They both are amazing and have made a big difference in my reading life.

Electric Kettle

The Electric Kettle Makes The Whole Family’s Happy

Years ago, I got the opportunity to take a tour around Celestial Seasonings to share with our readers (have you been? you can read more here).

They gave us all electric kettles, as a gift, to brew our teas at home and I never realized how amazing it is to have hot water ready in seconds and to keep warm all day for tea and cocoa sipping. 

It has also come in handy for a quick bowl of oatmeal or for a cup of noodles. 

It feels downright luxurious to have hot water at the ready in the winter months.

They have a lot of varieties- just pick a model with good reviews and that fit your family budget.

Looking for something to mix up for sipping? We made our first batch of cocoa mix (the secret ingredient is instant pudding!) and our first batch of vanilla chai mix. 

Wouldn’t this make the best gift idea too? An electric kettle, a homemade drink mix, and a fun mug So easy and thoughtful!!

thredup

Affordable Holiday Cocktail Dresses

If you have any holiday events coming up, don’t forget to check thredUP for your fancy frocks. I scored an INCREDIBLE cocktail dress for $19.98…NO JOKE.

Here is my trick to finding EXACTLY what I need when shopping consignment through thredUP.

Search for Dresses and then narrow down your categories to what cuts fit you best and what length you are looking for. Select the type of dresses you need (Formal or Cocktail) and then you can even sort by color.

Also, this is my first stop for accessories. If you need a clutch, pretty jewels, or a new pair of dancing shoes, check here! 

You have FOURTEEN days to return the items. 

If you haven’t shopped before, this is where 90% of my wardrobe comes from. I feel good about giving these clothes a new home and I also love the savings. It’s a win for being eco-friendly and a win for my wallet too. Here is $10 to put toward your own holiday frocks.

A quick word on their return policy-

    • As soon as you know that you are returning it, go ahead and get your return labels printed so you don’t forget.
    • These items are used so read those descriptors carefully so you can reduce your returns. I look for items with tags, that say they look like new, or gently used. I also avoid dry cleaning because it will never happen- I have no time for one more errand.
    • Make sure that no item you are getting says FINAL SALE. That means that you don’t have the option to return it if it doesn’t fit or ends up not being your style.
    • They do charge a restocking fee ($1.99). They give you a full store credit if you return an item, or you can opt for a cash return, but they charge $8.99 to give you cash. Obviously, I always go with the store credit.
    • If you receive multiple orders, you can condense your carbon footprint and just return everything in one box. No need to make it complicated.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

If you are looking for a good movie to watch this weekend, I can’t recommend, “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” enough. 

This movie is based on the truly transformative story of a woman who changes her life through running. 

Brittany is down on her luck in every way- she’s broke, she surrounds herself with toxic people, and she sabotages her life with booze and food. 

When a neighbor challenges her to join a running club, Brittany decides to train for the New York City Marathon.

She starts with just running around the block, but it builds into an INCREDIBLE transformation that no one (including herself) could ever expect.

She finds love and community through the hobby and it takes her on a path she never knew she could explore. 

I can’t recommend this one enough- it was endearing, real, funny, and beautiful. This is available free through Prime!  

skillshare

Skillshare Classes

My husband gifted me a Skillshare membership for Christmas one year and I can’t recommend it enough for giving as gifts (or as a gift to yourself).

This is an affordable way to take courses on anything you might be interested in.

I’ve taken classes on loom weaving, marketing courses, photography classes, how to take better Instagram photos, understanding SEO, and courses on home decorating. 

I love to do these classes during my lunch hour.

It’s a great way to learn a skill and I love that I can do this from the comfort of my own home.

Here are two free months of a premium membership, if you would like to give this one a spin too. It would make such a fun stocking stuffer!

Memory Foam Chair Cushion

My New Desk Chair Cushion

As we ramp up towards the next round of holiday fun, I have been working long hours at my desk. I decided to get one of these memory foam desk seat cushions for my office chair to see if it would help make these hours a tad easier on my body.

Not only does this make the seat more cushy, it also helps force your body into better alignment so that you don’t suffer from so much back pain after a day at the desk. I can’t believe the difference this makes in my posture and in how I feel after a long day of work.

This would make a great gift for anyone who has a desk job or as a gift to yourself to help your body feel better after a day of work. (shop it here)

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of November 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

October Happy List

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

MomAdvice Book Club 2020

Hello, friends! Do you see me peeking out at you behind this mountain of books? 

This year I’ve got SO many big plans for the MomAdvice Book Club.  Right now, I am diligently working to pick the best books for our 2020 year of reading together. 

Unfortunately, that means that the reviews on here will be a bit thinner the next couple of months.

I REALLY want to surprise you with my selections this year. 

I guess December’s reviews are  going to be in one packed month as I reveal the 12 selections for our chats.

Not only are we doing this (!!!), but we are planning a fun project around each book. From printables, to craft ideas, to cooking the dishes (inspired by the stories)…it’s going to be AH-MAZING.

I’m teaming up with my amazing artist pal, M.J., to REALLY deliver on some beauty for your home and life.

Did I mention that I’m already dreaming up our next reading retreat.

Seriously, if you haven’t joined my FREE club, what are you waiting for

I love sharing good books with you all. With almost 3,000 members, this community is booming! 

If you are just on the hunt for Kindle book deals, be sure to sign up for my daily deals book newsletter. This is different than the weekly happy list and only contains the curated book deals for the day.

IMPORTANT REMINDER!! If you have Amazon Prime, be sure to get your FREE OCTOBER BOOK. This month’s selections expires on October 31st. 

the couch halloween episodes podcast

One of my favorite things to do is guest spot on podcasts. This week, you can catch me on, The Couch Podcast! Mary asked me to join her to chat about All-Things-Halloween!

We are dissecting our favorite Halloween sitcom episodes, my favorite spooky book, and my must-see list of Halloween movies. I think this episode should really get you in the mood for the season. 

If that isn’t enough, Mary also wrote a great post on 8 Halloween sitcom episodes that she has loved

I loved this one so much, she is going to be sharing one for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Just think of all the fun we can be watching while we get ready for the holidays! 

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 promise to never spam you. 

Life is too short to spend time deleting worthless emails, amiright? 

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

October Happy List Fun and Reviews

 

Perfect Fall Sweater

The Perfect Fall Sweater

Are you on the hunt for the most perfect fall sweater? 

I can’t recommend this one enough.

The cut is forgiving, the weight of the yarn is not too heavy, and it pairs so well with everything in my wardrobe.

I ended up snagging this in blue, but had to place a second order for the other colors. You won’t regret this purchase- I promise! (true to size)

The Politician

The Politician

Are there any other Gleeks in the house?

I watch, pretty much, anything that Ryan Murphy comes up with so I was THRILLED to see that he had developed a new series for Netflix with Ben Platt.

If you aren’t familiar with him, this piece opened my eyes to his discipline and talent.

If Wes Anderson & Ryan Murphy had a baby together, I believe that baby would be this new series.

Platt’s character is set on winning the presidency of his high school election. He believes this win will propel his fate to win the U.S. presidency and secure his spot at an elite college.

He never expects he will go up against the guy he loves though. In a doubly cruel twist of fate, his running mate commits suicide. 

If you think that secures his win though, you are wrong.

The story is reflective, rewinding eighteen months, and how that relationship evolved. 

The sets, costume, and quirky writing are everything I’ve been missing on television and I am HERE FOR IT! (watch the trailer here)

Whoa Wait Walmart Magazine

Whoa Wait Walmart Magazine 

Do you follow my friends over at Whoa Wait Walmart? Bethany & Amanda have this incredible account where they find and share all their cool finds at Walmart. It’s an Instagram account that I, honestly,  get excited to see each day. 

I promise, I’m not saying that just because they are my pals.

Want to know what’s more exciting than that though?

They came out with their VERY OWN MAGAZINE!

You can find it on the magazine stands of your Walmart store and it is filled with those fun finds that I’ve come to love, paired with incredible lifestyle pieces.

This magazine also contains a pretty cool high tech element.

If you like something, you can scan the QR code to order the item or find it in your stores. I have a feeling that this is just the start of other brands launching similar publications for their customers.

I was so honored that they sent me a copy and can’t wait to head to my store to replicate their finds!

Be sure to grab your copy ASAP!! 

New to Us House Exterior before

New to Us House After after

Our House Is Getting a Makeover

We have done all we can (for now) on the interior of our home so this has been an exciting month as we work on the exterior. 

Built in the 1960’s, our little tri-level has been a bit of an exterior challenge to modernize it. The house had aluminum siding and we discovered that aluminum is very easy to paint and it weathers really well too. 

A boring beige throughout, we switched it up with Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal, a popular gray exterior choice these days. 

I am soooo happy how it turned out and it, truly, feels like we have brand new siding with the fresh coat. 

Now we start the process of figuring out new details like a much-needed lamp post, house numbers, and exterior light fixtures. 

I stumbled upon this Etsy seller who makes BEAUTIFUL cedar shutters, for a fraction of the prices I was looking at, and I couldn’t be more excited to get rid of our weathered shutters that were hanging on the front. I also am a big fan of supporting crafters so it feels like a purchase win-win to me! 

I can’t wait to share our results after we finish the last details. With paint alone, I feel like I have a brand new-to-me house.

Want to see what else we have done to our little house? Here is our biggest renovation, here is what we did to our storage shed, here’s how I cozied up our office, and here is a holiday home tour (if you are interested in that stuff!). 

Every dang day, I love my little house more.

Trim Financial Services Review

 

Trim Saved Me $79 This Year

As I’m working through our Passive Income series, I’ve been doing a deep dive into money-saving apps and new strategies for passive revenue. 

It is how I discovered this service called Trim and how we just saved a bundle on our internet bill. 

I will probably dedicate a post to this, at some point, but I had to share it with you now because I want you to save money too.

Trim is, basically, a bot service that negotiates rates, on your behalf, to lower your payments.  You give them permission to act on your behalf and see if they can secure your family savings.

Our Comcast internet bill was $80 a month.

Trim sent me a text that they were able to get a fee refund (of $2.32) and they also applied a promotion for $9.95 off for 12 months.

That is a savings of $119.40 over the course of the year.

What’s in it for Trim? Well, they take 33% of the savings they get on the bill. We will be charged $40.17, but we still end up saving $79 for the year. 

Right now they are plugging away at our Verizon bill.

They also were able to flag a few things that were monthly charges that we may not want to continue spending money on.  

They even send them your cancellation requests for you so you don’t have to add it to your to-do list.

If you have a lot of personal debt, it also can negotiate credit card rates. 

The app is free, but they also offer a premium service where you can pay $9.99 per month to work with a financial coach. I decided to purchase the premium so I could tell you if it is worth it. 

For the most part, reviews are pretty positive, especially from the personal finance community.

Personally, we haven’t had any hiccup with the changes.

In fact, Comcast sent us a video to understand anything that changed on our bill after the negotiation.

My husband thought that was a bit of an overkill, but I didn’t hate it. 

I will keep you posted on this experiment, but here is a link if you are interested in trying it now. (check out the service here)

thrive tape review

Thrive Tape

One item I go through A LOT of, in our house, is KT Tape.  Weekly, my awesome husband tapes my shoulder blades and neck in place and it GREATLY decreases my pain throughout the day.  

Not only have we become experts at taping techniques that work, but we also can speak to the longevity of the tape. 

Thrive Tape is a new product that launched and they were looking for people to give them some honest feedback on what they brought to the world of tape.

When I shared that I’d love to give it a spin, they sent me some to try for my pain. The condition I have is lesser known so I was blown away that they had a dedicated page just for EDS’ers

Here are the pros and cons with this new product.

PROS:

The tape is not divided into precut strips and has a paper back that reminded us of gift wrap, with simple graphing lines for measuring and cutting evenly. 

I did find it more durable than its competitor. KT Tape has a threaded quality to it and this tape doesn’t have the threading that can come loose on the edges. 

The tape feels like it holds my body in place more because of the sturdier nature of the tape. It feels almost like I have a brace on, without the bulkiness. 

The design is attractive and not medical looking. 

The adhesive is not irritating. Since I have mast cell activation disorder, adhesive is a tricky terrain.

CONS:

Currently, it is only available in black. I do prefer a nude tone to my tape because it doesn’t attract as much attention and blends better with my clothing. 

The tape is not as stretchy. That’s not to say it is a bad thing, but the give on it is less. 

The corners are not rounded on the tape so you do have to cut those. Rounded corners tend to catch less on clothing so I prefer the tape corners rounded. If you have hand issues, it could be a little more challenging with scissors. 

That’s my honest opinion.  I can see myself purchasing this because it seems to have more longevity than the tape I currently use. Since I find it more supportive, I think it can benefit people like me.

I don’t really understand why tape works so well, but the best way I can describe it is that it feels like someone is putting a supportive hand on the areas that hurt.  

Taping is always one of the first tips I share with chronic pain sufferers because it has become such an important part of my routine. 

If you want to try it, they are giving MomAdvice readers a 20% off coupon. The coupon code is THRIVEMOM. Just use that when you go to checkout and it should take a discount off your order. No pressure, but if you use tape regularly, I think it is something to check out!  (check the tape out here)

Disclosure: I received two rolls of tape to try out and give my feedback with you.

best peach fuzz remover

The Peach Fuzz Remover Of My Dreams

Have you ever seen these little razors the beauty bloggers recommend for getting rid of peach fuzz?

I have no idea how people on the internet can convince me to take a blade to my face, but that’s where I seem to be getting beauty advice these days.

Seriously, I decided to give it a go and made tiny cuts all over my face that bled.

My sensitive skin was so angry that I had to take a break from a lot of face products until the wounds healed.

In hindsight, thin skin that’s prone to scarring probably isn’t the best type of skin for razoring your face.

I ordered this little gadget though and it is the BEST THING EVER for peach fuzz on your face.

I have had no irritation with it and no severe facial wounds.  It takes off the hair, but does not pull/hurt/stab you to death  and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. 

I can’t recommend this enough for taming the fuzz. I’m so impressed! 

Aldi Pumpkin Coffee

ALDI’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee

If you are looking for a little fall in a cup, you have got to snag some of ALDI’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

It is my new favorite coffee and I think it will be yours too. 

This coffee smells heavenly, has just the right amount of spice, and has been a wonderful way to wake up. 

If you are still on the coffee pod game and thinking about switching to drip, this has been an incredible greener alternative for us.

I am linking to Bed, Bath, & Beyond because that’s where I now buy all my kitchen appliances because of their great return policies.

As silly as it may sound, we do keep a folder of receipts for all of our small appliances because you never know when one will quit on you and if you still might be able to return it or if the warranty is still active. 

I’m Off to the Races to Pick the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Did you catch my Instagram picture this week? I reserved 20 books, that I think have MomAdvice Book Club potential, to start making next year’s selections.

While there has been joy in reading along with everyone (and not pre-reading everything for you), I am excited to make a little space to fully screen these.

Instead of choosing brand new books and buzz books (that always seem to lack the buzz), I’m going through best-of lists, from prior years, to make our picks.

I wish I could tell you more, but half the fun is in the surprise. Not only are the books going to be amazing,  we have another amazing bookish surprise to go along with next year’s selections.

As I’m awaiting the announcements, I have three friends that have agreed to be my “beta testers,” and read the books so I can get some good feedback before I share them with you.

If you don’t see me chatting as much, now you know why!

I know this is a crowd that can get behind a good day of reading though.

Corala Weighted Blanket Review

My New Obsession With Weighted Blankets

Have you ever slept with a weighted blanket? Corala Blanket reached out to me to see if I would like to try one out for our family.

Personally, I have always been curious if they could help my pain and insomnia at night.  

I was also really intrigued that  it came with a spring/summer and fall/winter duvet cover that could be switched up for the seasons (and WASHED). I took them up on their offer and I have had such good sleep since I started using this in my nighttime routine.

Not only is this blanket beautifully sewn, but it really does help me to settle down at night. 

Why would a weighted blanket help with chronic pain?

Well, it provides deep pressure that helps calm down your nervous system. 

This article really helps explain who weighted blankets are good for as well as why this helps with pain relief.

I also quickly realized what a great thing it is to curl up with at night. I never realized how busy I am and the pressure of this has me being still for the first time.

It, honestly, felt really weird.

As a busy mom, I don’t do a lot of sitting and the weight of this kept my body quiet…with a book, of course!

Honestly, I can’t rave enough about how beautifully this is made and how beneficial it already is to me!

PSST….My husband was slow to jump on the ol’ weighted blanket train, but last night he gave in and slept the best he has in a lonnnggg time. I think I have converted him this week to that weighted blanket life. – Shop This Blanket

ellevest review

 

I Invested In Myself

If you keep up with MomAdvice online, you may have already heard this one. I still have to tell you how proud I am to have started my own retirement account.

I have been a small business owner for sixteen years and have never put money away for my own retirement.  I didn’t really know what my options were and never made time to get the answers I needed.

This series has PUSHED me really hard to come up with practical ways to save.

It was through that research that I found the perfect spot for investing in myself and I’m so excited to see YOU investing in YOURSELF.

It is worth reading my article (linked above), even if you are all set with retirement.

The company I used also has smart ways you can create buckets for what you want to save for.

Dreaming of a great trip?

Want to own your own business?

Have kids (like, whoa, expensive)?

You can set up accounts like that and more.

Put it on automatic and you don’t even have to think about one more thing.-  Here is $20 to get you started! 

Unnatural Selection Netflix Documentary

An Intriguing Documentary Series

Are you looking for a fresh documentary series to sink your teeth into?

Unnatural Selection is an absolute must see.

With so many breakthroughs with genetics, it is no surprise that the laws are far behind on where they need to be on this topic.

There are so many incredibly amazing things that can be done, but it is also a Wild West with people taking their own genetics in their hands.

This one brought out strong opinions and a great discussion. It is balanced and thought-provoking.- See the trailer

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in October

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint
  3. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  4. Minecraft Costume Ideas
  5. How to Make Glow-in-the-Dark Jell-O
  6. How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans
  7. Gluten-Free Cake Mix Cookies
  8. How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath
  9. The Best Homemade Non Stick Spray in the World
  10. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in October

  1. Prison Mike Air Freshener (best stocking stuffer ever)
  2. Jumbo Wooden Knitting Needles (you guys must be whipping up my big fat hygge blanket this month!!)
  3. Flannel Fabrics (and you must be making blanket scarves)
  4. Support Your Local Library Shirt
  5. Bookshelf Bullet Journal Printables
  6. Shaker Stitch Sweater
  7. Buffalo Plaid Earrings
  8. Rib Trim Longline Cardigan
  9. Faux Leather Leggings (so much cheaper than the Spanx version!)
  10. Grove Awake Essential Oil (MY FAVE!)

Top Ten Amazon Purchases in October

  1. The Lying Woods
  2. I Miss You When I Blink
  3. The Name of the Stars
  4. Cruel Beautiful World
  5. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
  6. Facial Hair Remover
  7. The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  8. The One
  9. An Unwanted Guest
  10. Korean Skin Care Snail Cream

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of October 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!

September Happy List

Friday, October 4th, 2019

Looking for the next great find? I’ve got you covered with a new skin care routine, how to make that pressure cooker feel like new again, all the things you should be streaming this month, and my new favorite pajama jeans! Let’s talk about this month’s happy list! 

Happy Friday, friends! I’m so excited to share a brand new happy list with you. 

September was such a fun month on the site with loads of new recipes, a new series on how moms can begin making passive income, and I redesigned our newsletter for you!

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 promise to never spam you.  Life is too short to spend time deleting worthless emails, amiright?

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

Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream

New-To-Me Korean Skin Care Products

I have been on the hunt for a great anti-aging moisturizer and have heard a lot about snail repair creams and how beneficial they can be to the skin. I added this Snail Repair Cream and this Vitamin C serum to my usual oil-cleansing and argan oil routine and I can’t rave enough about how much better my skin feels. 

Keep in mind, most people don’t need two oils to have moisturized skin. I have very dry skin so I add a couple of drops of the serum to my argan oil, after cleansing. I then layer this wrinkle repair cream on top of that and my skin is feeling so much better. Most people could get away with just this moisturizer and serum after cleansing their face.

If you are a bit squeamish about the snails, just know that this has a tangerine smell and a little goes a long way towards improving the look and feel of your skin. It looks like your standard moisturizer, it just has a little snail slime in it. Hahaha!

I do plan to reorder these and loop this into my routines moving forward. I really notice a big difference in the condition of my skin.

My Recent Grove Order

I needed to order some new hand soaps and decided to add a few “fun” items in my cart to share with you in this little happy list. 

Here are a few items I snagged and what I thought-

Grove Sink Caddy– This is so nice for organization around the sink area. The tray comes apart for easy cleaning and there are two clever spots for hanging your dishcloth and a place to put your sponge. I do wish that it had a wider spot for multiple scrub tools (like my bottle cleaners), but really like this overall.

Flour Sack Towels– I love flour sack towels because they don’t wrinkle and always look fresh. Truth be told, these were for food photos because they make a great backdrop. If you are trying to up your photo game on Instagram, they are pretty handy! 

Eucalyptus Apron– I was looking for a more structured apron with pockets for doing my food photography. This apron fit the bill perfectly. I’m a mere 5’1″ so aprons can look a little ridiculous on me, especially if they aren’t tailored. This one fits beautifully though and I love the adjustability on it.

Cleaning Gloves– Is it just me or do no cleaning gloves actually fit? I decided to give these a spin and I am absolutely loving these. The trim helps to block water and the sizing is better, especially if you have wee lady hands.

Bubble-Up Dish Soap Dispenser– I go a little CRAZY when it comes to dish soap so I love this clever little soap dispenser that helps distribute just the amounts you need to get the job done. It also happens to fit beautifully in my new sink caddy.

Coconut Scrubber Sponges– These do a  great job getting my pots clean and are very absorbent. Due to their color though, they can look pretty dingy quickly, especially when cleaning up big messes. They did do a great job with getting stuck-on food off. 

European Dishcloth– My husband hated these and things they are germ-breeders so he won’t use them. I actually think these work as well as a paper towel and you can run them through your dishwasher or microwave to sterilize, but what do I know? They are highly absorbent, but can look a little off-putting because they harden when they dry. 

Grove Awake Essential Oil– This smells AMAZING and has been my new favorite scent to start the day. It has such a pleasant citrus smell and a few drops seem to go a long way. 

Grove Sleep Essential Oil– Didn’t do it for me. I prefer lavender over this one, but it was worth a try to share with you. 

If you haven’t tried Grove before (or haven’t heard about it from a million bloggers), it is a subscription-based service that you can use to have green products delivered to your doorstep. Just like most services, you can cancel at any time and adjust your orders as you need to. 

They used to be mostly cleaning products, but have expanded into a lot of other fun categories like your personal care items and more decorative items for your home. I have been with them for years and really love the convenience of it, particularly, trying out there own branded items. If you want to try it for the first time, this referral code should yield a 5-piece gift set for FREE to add to your cart. 

ASMR Sleep Phones

ASMR SleepPhones

Speaking of sleep, I need to share with you about these new ASMR SleepPhones that I got to try out. I have mentioned, in the past, that I have been watching ASMR shows on YouTube to try to unwind and help with better sleep. I haven’t found it as beneficial though because the screen has really been disrupting my sleep. 

If you haven’t heard of ASMR before, this is a great introduction to what it is all about.

SleepPhones launched a new product that offers eight hours of ASMR content, with many of my favorites from YouTube. The nice thing is that this doesn’t involve a screen and you can rest comfortably on your pillow without the annoyance of earbuds or cords. 

If you aren’t sure which ASMR sounds work for you, this has lots of different options for you to try until you find the ones that work best for you.   Certain sounds are not pleasant to me and, thankfully, you can fast forward to the segments that fit your needs best. 

If you were wondering, I love the sound of a brush, hair cutting, and cleaning sounds.

Basically, I just need someone take care of me.

Would you like to try out a pair of these? You can use coupon code MOMADVICE  for $5 off anything in the store (excluding gift cards) with a minimum purchase of $39. 

One Protein Bars

One Maple Glazed Doughnut Protein Bars

When I went on my last trip, I stocked up on a few good snacks for the road. Protein bars are usually something I suffer through because they are often rock hard or lack flavor. I decided to take a risk and pick up some One protein bars and, guys, THESE ARE DELICIOUS.

This is the first time I have loved the flavor and texture of a protein bar. It is also the first time that a protein bar felt like a legitimate treat and was something I looked forward to. If you struggle with the same thing, the maple glazed doughnut was delicious and this flavor wasn’t too shabby either. Did I mention the second one has sprinkles? 

So. Dang. Good.

National Geo Shorts Series

National Geographic Short Film Showcase

Don’t ask me why, but my husband and I have a routine of winding UP at night about world issues. Doesn’t that sound so relaxing? While I definitely feel it is important to stay informed, I know this is not a good way to end our day. 

Instead, I discovered the National Geographic Short Film Showcase and we have started watching a couple of these digital shorts and going to bed with a smile on our face. 

Can I share a few to end your day with, that will warm your cold Grinch heart?

United by Ping Pong
A Look at the  Whimsical Life of a Traveling Showman
This is the Extraordinary True Story of the First Camera Phone
He Tastes Water Like Some People Taste Wine
Can Cell Phones Save Rainforests?
Iceland is Growing Forests for the First Time in 1,000 Years 

This Genius Phone Hand Strap

My hands and fingers become quickly fatigued when holding a phone and lately I have been having thumb pain from using it as the ol’ kickstand when my fingers get tired. I stumbled upon this simple phone hand strap that you wrap around the back of your phone for comfortable support for your hands. Bonus, the finger holder also can double as a kickstand if you are watching shows. 

I also was excited to use it this week, looping it through my bike handle, to clock in my 500th mile on my amazing stationary bike. If you are on the hunt for a spinning class on a budget, I highly recommend this option

rockstar jeggings

The Perfect Jeggings for Fall

Sometimes thrift shopping leads to more inevitable purchasing and that was the case when I scored this pair of jeggings from my local shop. I had no that Old Navy carried such cute jeggings in their stores and I have been wearing these daily since I got them. 

I loved them so much that I ordered three more pairs and can’t wait to add these to my regular rotation. They are slimming, have gentle compression, cover any muffin top issues, and no one would ever suspect how comfortable they are. 

Have a different body type than me or don’t like a skinnier cut? No biggie! They actually have loads of different sizing options,  including plus sizes, tall, and petite versions of these in loads of different washes and styles.

If I’m looking for jeggings that feel like sweatpants (with zero compression and just feel like pajamas), I am still reaching for these in my closet

I love the thrill of the hunt with thrift shopping because it is such an inexpensive way to find new brands to love. This dress was my other favorite score that I can’t stop talking about. What a great shopping day that was!

sealing ring

A New Pressure Cooker Sealing Ring

If you use your pressure cooker a lot, I have discovered a new seal on this gadget really has cut down on my cooking time. I ended up ordering this three pack from Amazon. Since they are all different colors, they allow you to assign sweet and savory dishes to the seal so you don’t end up with overlapping flavors.

As exciting as this was (hahaha!), I had to share that this is the first time that I’ve ever received a written thank you note from an Amazon order. It was a simple note that thanked me for supporting their small business and ordering through them. Although I have become accustomed to this through my Etsy orders (crafters are THE BEST), it was such a fun little surprise this week to see that from a third party Amazon seller. 

Our Netflix Obsessions Continue

Are you looking for your next great show? Here is what I’ve been loving this month on Netflix.

Bombshell Documentary– If you are looking for a REALLY incredible documentary, we absolutely loved Bombshell this month (thanks to An Oregon Cottage for this recommendation!) This documentary is about one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood who also happened to be incredibly smart. She is so smart, in fact, that she cracked the code on secret communication and is the reason why we enjoy our wifi communications today. She never profited from her invention, but we all are. This would be a fantastic documentary to share with your daughter! (Watch the trailer)

American Factory–  Fun fact: I come from a family of factory workers (my mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma all worked for Miles (later, Bayer) when I was growing up. This is why I was excited to see this incredibly moving documentary on a Chinese billionaire who acquires a Midwest factory and brings their own factory workers over to train American workers. I absolutely loved this glimpse into their daily life, the relationships (both good and bad) that were brought between these workers, and the glimpse into the incredibly hard jobs that factory workers do every single day. ( Watch the trailer)

Hello, Privilege! It’s Me, Chelsea– Love her or hate her, I do think Chelsea Handler has been doing some interesting things with documentary films. This month’s special explores how white people can be better allies to others and what white privilege really is. Although this one didn’t have as much meat as I was hoping, I do think it brought up some interesting angles to privilege that I had not thought of as a privilege. (Watch the trailer)

The Mind Explained– We absolutely loved this first series that Vox did and spent an evening watching the entire new series on the human mind last weekend. Emma Stone narrates this series and it does a deep dive into mindfulness practices, where anxiety stems from, how our memory really works, and why we dream. As I am leaning into meditation and mindfulness practices, I found this to be really encouraging. The memory one, in particular, was really interesting, as they explore one woman’s memories of 9/11. (Watch the trailer)

Books, Books, & More Books

I went to the library and checked out an embarrassingly large stack of books. It was so large, in fact, that I almost didn’t make it to my car without dropping them and REALLY embarrassing myself. 

I’ve been trying to get up at 5 AM and really squeeze in two solid hours of reading time and I’ve read some REALLY incredible books this month. The Dearly Beloved become one of my favorites this year. It is the kind of story that I think ANYONE would love. 

Read my September Book Reviews HERE!!

Curable App

Curable App

Did you know that September is Pain Awareness Month? It means loads of companies are offering discounts to their customers. The Curable app is something I have been thinking about using, but the price tag always made me reconsider. This month they offered a 50% special and I decided $60 for the year would be a heck of a lot cheaper than even a single therapy session.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is what it is all about and the app teaches you ways to turn off those pain signals so that you can reduce your pain response. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it.

Should I tell you now that I have no affiliation with them before I begin?

Honestly, this has transformed my relationship with pain in ways I never imagined. It has brain training exercises (to stop the pain loop response), meditation, and interviews with leading experts on the mind body connection.

I don’t believe in woo-woo (or however you refer to things like that- hahaha!) so I was skeptical. Hearing a neurosurgeon explain pain and why my brain is doing certain things though is believable and grounded.

For the first time in a couple of years, I have slept pain free without the need to take anything or (honestly) drink a lot of wine to make it stop. It doesn’t take away my disease (ehlers-danlos syndrome) so I will still experience these things. It has transformed my relationship to pain though.

I’m putting it out in the world that I hope to write an e-book very soon about what has helped. This will definitely be on the list. (check out the app

Inside Bill's Brain

Inside Bill’s Brain

This new special from Netflix takes a deep dive into how Bill’s brain works and what consumes it. It is really balanced with stories from friends and family about what Bill was like growing up. Clever animation really brings these childhood stories to life. The first episode  explores his efforts to develop a high-tech toilet for third world countries who have lost so many children due to sanitation issues. Bill Gates brings on the best and brightest to help him figure out how to save the lives of these children in some really incredible ways. Watch it just to hear about his reading routines alone- it’s quite astounding. Fun fact: my husband interned at Microsoft and got to go to a BBQ at Bill’s house. How cool is that?  (watch the trailer here)

Rakuten App

You can read more about this app on the blog this month, but I just have to give it a shout out today. Basically, this site can give you cash back rewards on your purchases, if you shop through their page or through the phone app itself. Every three months, they send you a Big Fat Check with all the cash back rewards you made. That’s it. No points to cash in, no weird hoops, no nonsense. Here is ten bucks to get you started and be sure to check out my article below to learn why I’m using this as a money-making tool for our family this year. (check out the app here)

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in September

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. The Best Kindle Deals
  3. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  4. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  5. Passive Income Ideas for Busy Moms
  6. Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints
  7. How to Make Fluffy Slime
  8. DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas
  9. August 2019 Must-Reads
  10. How to Spray Paint Furniture

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in September

  1. Long Sleeve Leopard Tie Top
  2. True & Co Bras at Target
  3. Sealing Rings for Instant Pot
  4. You’re Doing it Wrong Dishwasher Card
  5. Support Your Local Library Shirt
  6. Ponte Jogger Pants
  7. Convertible Half to Full Linen Apron
  8. First Edition Baby Onesie
  9. Ribbed Funnel Neck Pullover
  10. Bed Shelfie

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

  1. The Two-Family House
  2. Castle of Water
  3. The Night Olivia Fell
  4. Call Your Daughter Home
  5. The Dream Daughter
  6. Moloka’i
  7. Annabel
  8. The Sound of Gravel
  9. The Night Tiger
  10. Daughter of Moloka’i

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of September 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!

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.

Like, GET IT TOGETHER, CLARK.

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

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

Flattering Shorts for Moms

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

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

It’s Cold Brew Coffee Season

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

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

A Rom Com For the Weekend

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

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

The Wall Version of Scrabble

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

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

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

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

Ultimate Ears Boom Speaker

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

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

Rocketbook Reusable Notebooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in June

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

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in June

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Pedi-Sox

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 //dedicate30days.com 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.

JUST KIDDING!

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!!

Moloka’i

Meet the Frugalwoods

Attachments

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!