Author Archive

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, May 25th, 2018

anniversary-1

anniversary-2

anniversary-3

I celebrated 18 married years with my hubby this past weekend.  When I look at these pictures I realize what babies we were when we made these monumental vows. As we have grown up together, I believe it really is a lottery moment when you grow up and grow into people that you both really like. We barely resemble these two kids who said, “I do,” but I can’t imagine doing the hard tasks of adulting with anyone else.

Here are three other things that are making me happy this week!

The Pickup Line

The Pickup Line

If you are looking for a newsletter that can keep you informed on the headlines, help you figure out what to make for dinner, and even provide a playlist for your ride, look no further than The Pickup Line.

The exciting news for me (and maybe for you too!) is that I will be sharing a book selection for moms AND a YA book selection for tweens/teens each week with their subscribers.   You can catch my feature in their amazing newsletter on Wednesdays. I hope I can find a few books for you that haven’t made your stack yet!

Feel free to subscribe over here.

summer-quilt

The Perfect Summer Quilt

I have been on the hunt for a great lightweight quilt for our beds and I discovered these inexpensive quilts that fit the bill perfectly. Not only are they under $20, they are the perfect weight for those humid summer evenings. They come in several hues, have a beautiful quilted pattern, and are made of a really cozy material. I think you will like them too! I plan to get them for all the beds in our house since our upstairs is so much warmer than our lower levels.

blow dry spray

Quick Dry Primer Spray

Did you know that they make a primer spray that can help you cut down on how long it takes to blow dry your hair? Well, they do and I am absolutely loving it. I pair it with this smart brush, that allows the air to circulate better, and have cut my blow dry time down in half.  With this to finish it, I feel like I get a professional blowout in no time flat (and without the hefty price tag).

4th-of-july-flag-fruit-dessert-tray-3 source

Reading: I just finished this book for book club and ADORED it. As a record collector, this one really hit home for me. You can join the book club over here- it is FREE.

Playing: We are really loving this board game right now and I am hoping we can play it again over the holiday weekend.

Watching: This adorable movie with my girl. If you haven’t seen it yet, add it to your agenda. It’s the sweetest!

Loving: These new summer sandals. The criss-cross in chambray adds such an adorable detail & I’m loving that these come in a wide width. Lucky for you, they are also 40% off with coupon code SAVE40.

Inspired: By this thoughtful list of summer activities to try. These small acts of self-care are also inspiring for my weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

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

Amy’s Notebook 05.24.18

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

DIY Trim source

I am really inspired to add some trim to our home after seeing this diy trim tutorial.

10 books to add to your Memorial weekend agenda.

Not enough books for your stack? How about another list with 10 great beach reads.

After watching this interview, I appreciated this insight into a big oversight.

Fake a woven wall hanging with these smart tips.

Ice cream sundaes are a little more special with this 3-ingredient chocolate sauce recipe.

Follow these IG accounts to master the fine art of meal prep.

This is a summer to-do list that I can get behind.

Looking for one for the kiddos? Check this out.

I just started this dark thriller today.

Get out your scrunchies, ladies! How awesome would this be?

If you have a chronic illness, I know you can relate to these memes.

California Grain Bowl source

Up your bowl game with this California Grain Bowl option.

I’ve gotten so many compliments on this top. It’s so cute!

This rosy rosé sangria looks like a fun drink to share with friends this summer.

I have a crush on this boho wreath.

These were your top purchase this month. We will be twins because I bought these too!

A guide to Midwestern convos. Bahahaha! DYING! We certainly play nice! (fyi- language!)

The royal wedding means nothing and everything to me. Beautiful.

Nervous about wallpaper? Check out this wallpaper in a small bathroom. I love it!

Scrolling is the new smoking.

I’m really excited about this new mute feature.

Here’s what’s going on in your child’s brain when you read them a story.

keto steak tacos source

A taco shell made out of cheese? SIGN ME UP.

11 things you can organize in cheap photo boxes.

How to offer condolences without sounding like an ass.

Ugh! This is so hard for me so I needed this reminder. I’m queen of saying fine.

This is on our exterior to-do list and I loved hearing about this process (and the creative details added).

What to prep on Sunday for a week of easy grilling.

I am thrilled that this YA read is coming to the big screen.

Here is the secret to being a good mom.

Looking for a minimalist summer reading guide? Here you go!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

How Rewatching a Favorite Show Made Me a Better Wife and Mom

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

We live in a time of peak television. It’s a real golden age of entertainment – or so the critics tell us. But what is an actual embarrassment of riches when it comes to endless viewing options often translates into overwhelm, decision fatigue, and DVR avoidance. Because while I truly think many new shows sound amazing, when it comes down to picking a show to watch, I skip past the premieres and head straight for the reruns.

Real life means that most nights, I’m too tired to take on a new show — and instead crave the familiarity and comfort of old ones. I think that’s okay. I’ve written in defense of “comfort food TV” before, and I stand by that argument. I must, because a couple months ago, I found myself rewatching “New Girl” from the beginning.

new girl watch tv all day

“New Girl” is a half-hour sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel, and I vaguely recall loving it when it first came on in 2011. Somewhere along the way, though, I got a little bored or it got a little stale, and I stopped looking forward to new episodes. I watched out of loyalty and a mild curiosity about how the story would end. I didn’t even care one way or another when the show was renewed for a final season.

But all that changed when I started back at season one.

I’m not sure why, out of all the sitcoms on Netflix, I picked this one to rewatch — but it only took a few minutes to remember how much I’d once loved it.

As I binged one episode after another, I laughed out loud, often so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I found myself falling back in love with characters that had started to annoy or bore me, and I smiled at their most ridiculous antics with bemusement and affection. I cheered for their victories and ached at their disappointments. I couldn’t get enough of those crazy kids and was suddenly anxious for that final season to begin.

Maybe you’re wondering how on earth this delightful yet inconsequential experience could have anything to do with my life as a wife or mom. I get that. It seems like a stretch. But it’s not really. Not to me.

See, as I thought about how much my appreciation for this show was renewed by watching old seasons, I remembered a conversation I had with a friend several years ago. I was struggling with my oldest, whose behavior and sassy attitude were making it incredibly difficult to like her. OF COURSE I LOVED HER. But I think most moms know the feeling of loving our kids (or, ahem, our husbands) while not particularly liking or enjoying them much.

new girl murder someone

My friend listened with kindness and understanding — and then suggested I start each day by looking at my daughter’s baby pictures. She wondered if looking at photos of my daughter at her sweetest, most innocent, and most adorable might help me dig up some affection for her, even on the most challenging parenting days. We discussed how that act might just give me a likable anchor to hold onto when backtalk and disobedience threatened my patience once again.

And you know what? It works.

No, looking at Facebook’s On This Day reminders doesn’t magically drown out my daughters’ tantrums or arguments, and flipping through scrapbooks doesn’t erase the memory of a call from her teacher or a messy room or a dinner declared, “disgusting.” But it does balance out the harder parts of parenting with the sweet ones. And it does fill up my heart and my mind with all the good things about my kids that get overlooked when we’re dealing with the hard stuff.

This strategy works for my marriage, too.

On days when I’m most frustrated or disappointed with my husband, taking a look at our wedding photos or a vacation album really does pull me back from the edge. It doesn’t move his shoes out of the middle of the floor or write a love note inside the belated anniversary card. It certainly doesn’t teach us to communicate better or force us to consider one another’s feelings more. But glancing at a moment of joy captured and framed (or scrapbooked) reminds me that this irritating man is the one I chose and the one I love — and that though everyday challenges feel like they’ll never end, we’ve been in sync and happy before (and will certainly get there again).

Rewatching a favorite show that I’ve lost interest in reminded me why I fell in love with the show and the characters all those years ago. It refreshed my affection for the characters, bringing back to mind all the times I’d been moved or inspired or simply entertained by them. I remembered how much the good times outweighed the bad ones, and my desire to spend more time with a new season grew with every relived memory.

new girl bathroom

Reminiscing about my favorite people, who just might drive me crazy at times, does the same thing. It takes me back to the early days of our relationship, when I basically looked like a heart-eyes emoji and only saw the good in him or her. It reminds me of all the amazing times we’ve had together. And it gives me a big picture perspective, interrupting my in-the-trenches belief that the [hard] way it is today is how it will always be. I’m reminded how happy we’ve been in the past and feel hopeful that we’ll feel that way again. I remember that I’m in this — parenting, marriage, even friendship — for the long haul, through the best seasons and the worst.

Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes with humor and honesty about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places on her blog, MaryCarver.com. She is the author of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She is also a regular contributor to incourage.me and MothersofDaughters.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

If you want to switch up your burger and fries game, today’s post is one you can’t miss, especially with a weekend of holiday grilling on the horizon.  Today I’m partnering with Honeysuckle White to share their fun new burger combos AND I have a fun baked sweet potato fries recipe with a lemon-filled dipping sauce that I know you will flip for.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burger Flavors

Honeysuckle White is now offering two fun and flavorful new turkey burger combos that are already prepared and ready to be thrown on your grill.  Our family sampled them both and absolutely fell in love with them.

The first one is a Cranberry & Jalapeño that offers a fun combo of sweet and spicy that seem to really balance each other. They have kick to them, but a kick that was mild enough to be called a favorite by my daughter.  The white cheddar cheese sprinkled throughout add a little bit of unexpected creaminess to the patty and helps cut down on the spicy factor.

Honeysuckle White Turkey Burgers

Here is a close-up shot of all that cheese for you- YUM!

The other combo they offer are their Spinach & Kale turkey patties and these also pack another fun flavorful punch, with the greens folded right into the patty. If you struggle to get your kids to eat their veggies, this is the perfect patty for them. Pairing it with today’s sweet potato fries recipe (see below), you are sure to get a couple of servings in your child without them even noticing just how healthy they are eating.

Definitely, swing by your store and pick some of these delicious patties up for your next grilling weekend! I think they would be a fun surprise for your guests and Honeysuckle White has done all the work for you in the preparation of these delicious ingredient combos.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com baked-sweet-potato-fries-with-lemon-meringue-dipping-sauce (5 of 7)

Sweet potato fries are my absolute favorite and one of our local burger joints inspired the dipping sauce to accompany them that I decided to recreate in my kitchen. This creamy lemon dipping sauce is tart and a fun match to the sweetness of the potatoes and is one of my favorite ways to indulge in a little fry dipping.

Not a big sweet potato fan?

I think this would be just as delicious with carrots as it is with the potatoes.

To make these fries ahead, before your guests arrive, peel and cut the potatoes into matchsticks and place in a bowl. Once you have cut all your potatoes, cover them with water and store in the fridge. Placed in a water bath, these cut potatoes can be stored up to twenty-four hours in the water. 

This simple dipping sauce is made out of several pantry staples- mayo, garlic, salt, and the juice and zest from a lemon. I guarantee that this unexpected sauce will be a huge hit at your barbecue just because it is such an unexpected flavor pairing.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Meringue Sauce from MomAdvice.com

I can’t wait until our next cookout so we can share these delicious Cranberry & Jalapeño Turkey Burgers and  Spinach & Kale Turkey Burgers with our guests. With all these new flavor combos, you are sure to wow your guests this year!  Best of all? Although the flavor profile is elevated, the price is quite affordable to have a high-end burger night right in your own backyard.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Lemon Meringue Dipping Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These baked sweet potato fries are served with a lemon dip that brings together the sweetness of the potato with the tartness of the lemon.
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice into matchsticks, roughly the same size. Place in a large bowl.
  3. If storing for the next day, fill the bowl with water, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate (up to 24-hours).
  4. If preparing immediately, toss with olive oil and salt.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, tossing once halfway through to crisp up both sides.
  6. While they are baking, mix together the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  7. Once fries are done, garnish with parsley and serve with the lemon meringue dipping sauce.

 

Looking for more ways to enjoy turkey? Here are a few of my favorites!

Caprese Quinoa & Meatball Casserole

Asian Turkey & Green Bean Saute

Ground Turkey Gyro Burgers

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey

Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice (served with turkey meatloaf)

Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Amy’s Notebook 05.17.18

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

guest bedroom details source

Wowed by all these thoughtful diy details in this guest bedroom makeover.

Want to nail a bold lip? Love this post with loads of different options based on your skin tone.

I’m listening to this audiobook and it is awesome.

When the stuff you own is keeping you from your dreams. YES!

I’m pretty sure that I’m one of these and I had no name for it before.

7 ways to stop caring so much about what other people think. I love this!

I still need to buy my summer white tee and plan to use this guide to figure out which one.

Good news for Whole Foods shoppers.

Here are some ways you can help a friend who is struggling with infertility. After going through this, I completely agree with this advice.

Wondering what is missing from your neutral wardrobe? It might be a little color bookending.

Struggling to make new friends? I love this advice for cultivating adult friendships.

This looks like a fun art activity to do with the kids.

The day you were born…LOL!

succulent troubleshooting source

Struggling with your succulents? This guide might help you with troubleshooting your plant problems.

Speaking of succulents, look at this sweet deal on them. I’m thinking this variety pack might be right up my alley!

I always find a few gems on this summer reading guide.

Drowning in your child’s toys? They might be too.

The best viral news you’ll ever read about. This was a fascinating read!

I struggle with styling so I loved this post with some helpful home styling tips that ANYONE can do.

Whoa, what a steal! Glad I invested in that wholesale club membership.

Trying to get your feet sandal ready? Try this simple hack. Also, I swear by these- they work like a charm.

Have your views on marijuana changed? I would say that mine have with chronic pain.

I’m always curious about how people use smart home devices in their lives.

easy-accent-wall-ideas source

Whoa! This affordable accent wall idea is so smart!

I plan to incorporate this email hack ASAP.

Have you seen these gorgeous new prints? I can’t wait to update a nook in our home.

12 books you’ll want to pack in your beach bag.

I have this on my nightstand and I’m struggling to put it down.

I can so relate to these changing definitions.

This might be my new summer craft- how fun is that?

I need to frame more of our family photos so this was motivating.

SO much inspiration from this kitchen renovation. #someday

Today’s song selection for your notebook browsing-

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

I’ve Been Thinking About Starting a Blog…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

 

I can honestly say that there is a rarely a day that goes by where a message about someone wanting to start a blog or online business is not in one of inboxes. It’s one of those questions that I am stumped how to answer, mainly because it is just far too complex to go into over a Facebook or Instagram message. I mean, who can really explain what they do in just a few sentences. It’s such a layered response.

That’s why I am REALLY excited (and plan to purchase for myself) the Genius Blogger Toolkit from Ultimate Bundles to help answer those burning questions. It is an INCREDIBLE deal and offers everything from beginning blogging courses, monetization of your online space, legal and financial advice, content, and even expands into creating your own products or podcasts around your brand.

All in all, this year’s bundle offers 91 products worth $5,802.51.

How much does it cost you?

Just $97! 

Genius Blogger Toolkit 2018

Even as an advanced blogger, I plan to purchase this as I’m working on a goal towards launching a podcast and working more on the backend of our website. This year, for me, it is all about working smarter not harder. I love that these courses don’t just appeal to the beginner, but can move towards advancing your brand into new territory.

You can check out all the classes that are offered over here. Hurry though, this sale ends at 11:59PM and I wouldn’t want you to miss it!

And if that wasn’t enough…

You can even try out everything for 30 days to see how it can transform your blog.

And if it doesn’t work for you? Ask for a refund within 30 days, and get all your money back!

If you have entertained the idea of starting your own online business (or tried to ask me in a Facebook message how to get started), this is the resource I would recommend. Who knows? Maybe you will be fielding these messages for others this year!

Snag it now!

I am an affiliate of Ultimate Bundles, but only recommend what I love or would purchase myself!

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Rent the Runway

It’s Fri-yay and a perfect time to share a quick recap before I pack my bags and leave again.

I know, I know!

These past two months have been bonkers and I’m so grateful for every minute of it.

If you recall, I was in Pasadena for the Mom 2.0 Summit last week.  As always, the conference was an absolute glam-fest and full of incredible speakers. Kristen Bell and Brené Brown were both as fantastic, dynamic, and real as I had hoped they would be. I also walked away with a lot of notes about how to manage this corner of the internet better.

Even after fourteen years, I continue to be a work in progress.

For me, it is all about being with my friends and many, that I had not seen in five years or more (!!!),  ended up attending this conference. It was so fun to be reunited again!

Being nominated for an Iris Award for Best Mom Blog was such an honor. Although I did not win, I am proud to have written the content I did and for the community I have worked so hard to cultivate here.

Taye Diggs

I timed my bathroom break, after the show, perfectly too! Taye Diggs, our host for the evening’s event, happened to be in the lobby while I was walking through. It was such an honor to meet him. I am also happy to report that he was just as I had hoped he would be. He’s got those Midwest manners down and graciously took a picture with me.

How awesome is that?

My frocks were courtesy of Rent the Runway and I only had to stuff two of these in the top to make it work. Hahaha! #bodygoals

By the way, I noticed that RTR is running a special for Memorial Day weekend. Rent 1, Get 2 free for your festivities. A common misconception is that they only offer ballgowns. They actually offer lots of cute everyday dresses and apparel too. If you have anything fun happening that weekend (and haven’t used their services before), here is $30 credit too to put towards your purchase.

Costco

Where am I headed next?

My Mother’s Day gift is renting a Lake Michigan home with my childhood bestie for the weekend.

We plan to do NOTHING for ANYONE and we are so excited.

I am a newbie to Costco (tell me your tips!!) and noticed these premade meals would be perfect so neither of us has to cook.

Plans include sitting in a hot tub, moving to the couch, drinking wine, maybe switching couches, sleeping in, and not getting dressed. After that? Maybe move to a chair.

Doesn’t that sound like a great Mother’s Day gift?

I think so.

Here are 3 other things making me happy this week…

Genius Caffeine

Genius Caffeine

I shared with you that I found out I have silent reflux and that has meant modifying my diet a bit. I find that coffee, sadly, has been a big contributor to my symptoms. I really need a pick-me-up in the morning though so I started researching supplement options.

For the last month, I have been using something called Genius Caffeine and I can’t tell you how much it has improved my mental clarity, reduced my caffeine jitters, and even helped me to sleep better than I was before.

Genius Caffeine pills offer the equivalent caffeine of a standard cup of coffee (100 mg. per tablet).  Since I was drinking a pot a day, I wondered if I would feel hungover switching to this supplement option.  Lo and behold, I had no troubles at all switching and I feel clearer mentally than I have in a long time.

The difference between this and the coffee is that it is an extended release tablet. Basically, I would have that UP and then DOWN and then UP with coffee. That’s why I kept drinking it. I kept craving the UP.

With these, the tablet releases the caffeine slowly so you never have those highs and lows that come with coffee drinking.  I’m pretty sure I have ADHD, as it runs in my family,  so this has helped me with sustaining focus. I pair it with this supplement to help treat the ADHD symptoms naturally.  (PS- if you have a child with ADHD, please read my series on the diagnosis and treatment process we went through with our son- part one, part two, part three)

I can’t say enough good things if you are trying to ditch the coffee-pot-a-day habit too.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Meeting Katherine Center

The book I chose for last week’s flight was, How to Walk Away by Katherine Centers. I devoured the entire book on my flight and just could not put it down. It’s one of those books that you just want to pass on to a girlfriend after you finish it.

In case you missed my April book reviews, I shared that if you are a Me Before You fan, you wouldn’t want to miss this gorgeous summer read.

In this story, you must imagine that you are terrified of flying and, just as you always suspected, you are in a tragic accident. This is exactly what unfolds from the opening chapters of How to Walk Away, and the reader is taken along the journey as Kit’s life, as she knows it, is forever changed.

Also, imagine that the person you love walks away from the experience unscathed.

The book centers around the difficult recovery, the surprises of those who step up in tragedies, the sadness around those that walk away, and how to find love again.

I was so proud of myself that I got these reviews up while I was at the conference and just had jotted down my thoughts about how much I had enjoyed the book. I also shared with my roomie that I thought she should pick up this book for her next trip.

In a funny twist of fate, she came upstairs and said, “I’m pretty sure that the author is downstairs signing books right now.”

I ran downstairs and there was Katherine Center signing books and chatting with the conference attendees.

Can you believe my luck?

I will be shocked if we don’t see this book come to the movie theaters and I also told Katherine that I feel that she has a sequel in this story because I would love to see how Kit’s life continues to unfold. Hey, if Jojo Moyes can do it, why can’t she?

Best of all, Katherine will be joining us for a Sundays With Writers. Now that makes me SUPER happy.  Stay tuned!

sidedoor podcast

Sidedoor Podcast

Did you know that the Smithsonian has a podcast series? Our Florida road trip included A LOT of podcasts and we talked about which were our favorites on our way home. Almost everyone loved episodes from the Sidedoor Podcast the most. The premise is that more than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers, and astrophysicists, host Tony Cohn sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else.

We listened to several episodes and two that I found the most fascinating were Murder is Her Hobby and A Crane with a Crush.

I guarantee once you start this podcast, you are going to have a hard time stopping. It’s FASCINATING.

Oh, and a few quick things that I don’t want to forget to tell you-

EDS Awareness Month

May is Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month. There are three out of four people in my family that are dealing with this disease and I shared about my initial diagnosis over here. SO MANY people have this and are never treated. Do you have mystery symptoms that you have never gotten an explanation on? Here is my story.

This is what I gave my moms for Mother’s Day.

I’m working on my capsule and snagged a few things off this list.

Wanna know what I plan to put in my earbuds next? This book.

I bought these because they come in a wide width… and they are ten bucks. SOLD!

Looking to expand your reading wish list?  Each week I ask what people are reading and get a couple hundred responses. You can read them too.

Happy Mother’s Day, friends! May you be celebrated in all the ways that your heart desires.

xoxo

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

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Small-Budget Crushes

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

mother's day gift ideas Happy Mother’s Day, MomAdvice readers! xoxo


Pull-On Skirt
pull-on skirt (30% off PLUS 10% off with coupon code LOVEMOM)

ruffled shirtdress ruffled shirtdress (use coupon code YOUMAY for an extra 20% off!!)

birthstone bar necklace birthstone bar necklace for mom (LOVE!!)

straw tote straw tote (under $20!!)

striped blazer striped blazer (20% off- no coupon code needed)

record player record player

straw tote straw tote (20% off!!)

12 days at the penny fontaine hotel 12 days at the penny fontaine hotel

whisper tank whisper tanks (sooo many colors- under $20!)

bookmark bookmark (take 25% off- such a sweet gift with a book!)

you wash, I'll dry you wash, i’ll dry towels

 

olive leaf utility pant olive leaf utility pant (20% off- no coupon code needed)

drybar travel set drybar travel set

mama keyring mama keyring

tie-waist romper tie-waist romper (30% off PLUS 10% off with coupon code LOVEMOM)

palm cushions palm cushion covers (just $5.99!!)

personalized mother's day print personalized mother’s day print

mounted knife rack mounted knife rack (extra 25% off- only $14.96 with discount!!)

striped dress striped dress (buy 1 dress/romper/jumpsuit get 50% off!!)

summer slides summer slides

i love public radio i love public radio tee

radio player radio player (pair with the public radio tee- PERFECT gift!)

tie-front top tie-front top (20% off- no coupon code needed)

patterned duvet cover patterned duvet cover set

pom pom necklace pom pom necklace (use coupon code GETSET for 30% off orders over $100)

 

Amy’s Notebook 05.09.18

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

this is america source

If you haven’t seen this music video, I encourage you to watch it (HSP’s beware! This is very violent because it is about gun violence- not safe for young kids). I could talk about this video all day long because it is so compelling.  I found this piece on why the dancing makes us so uncomfortable and it gave me even more to chew on. Don’t really understand the meaning behind it? This piece also gave me some food for thought about the symbolism in each element of this piece of art.

How to talk about racism in classic children’s books.

Need some more podcasts to listen to? This list might help you!

After all the traveling I’ve been doing, these tips for cleaning your suitcase came just in time.

6 surprising facts about rosé you may not know.

The opposite of more isn’t less…it is ENOUGH. Wow, this really spoke to my heart!

rental kitchen makeover source

I just got home from a work conference and every convo seemed to gravitate towards this. This post is my daily struggle to cultivate a authentic space on the internet while still paying my bills. Does the perfect balance even exist anymore?

This $700 kitchen makeover is simply gorgeous.

11 common housekeeping mistakes- so much good info here!

Well, here is a way to use Siri that I had never thought of.

I switched from coffee to this and it works AMAZINGLY well. Whoever invented time-released caffeine is a genius. It’s really minimizing my acid reflux issues by cutting down on my coffee.

I am obsessed with season 2 of this show. Can we talk about the music too because dannngggg! So good! Here is a Spotify playlist for ya.

Giant Tassel Wall Hanging source

I’m a sucker for yarn tassels and love this giant tassel wall hanging craft.

How cute is this? Good news- this week buy one, get one 50% off on dresses this week.

While you are stocking up, consider eliminating these 7 items from your closet.

Eating Paleo? This nacho cheese recipe might help you get your nacho fix on.

I’m hoping to up my houseplant game after I’m done traveling this month.

Bookmarking these gorgeous summer entertaining tips.

Kanye’s commentary on slavery being a choice has opened up a bigger discussion. Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a powerful piece surrounding privilege, fame, race, and the isolation that happens when we detach from the real world.

Here is what I’m reading this week. Did I mention it is only $2 and really good? Snag it!

I love guacamole and am so intrigued by this secret ingredient addition.

I need to mix some of this up for my next self-care night.

Today’s song selection for your notebook browsing-

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

 

April 2018 Must-Reads

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

April 2018 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Today I’m blogging to you from Pasadena at the Mom 2.0 conference. I realize that I’m a few days behind on sharing the April Must-Reads so I wanted to be sure to get these out to you and (hopefully!!) inspire you with a few new reads for your book stacks.

I have SO many 5-star reads for you this month and tried to add a lot of variety instead of just my typical book selections. I’m talking about memoirs, true crime, chick lit, historical fiction, and a little bit of steamy indulgence that you will definitely want to add to your book wish list.

My Usual Reminders

If you want to see more of what I am reading,  please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! You can find me right here and I am always happy to connect with people there! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there!

In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

Looking to add some variety to your stack? Feel free to join our book club! I can’t believe we have over 1,600 bookworms in this group. Our discussion this month was AMAZING and it is so much fun to have so many participating (and enjoying) the books that I selected to share. I announced our selections (here is what we will be reading in May) and you can find them pinned at the top of the group page.

Need another challenge to push you out of your reading comfort zone? Be sure to download this year’s Reading Challenge Worksheet.

Book of the Month

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out!!

This month’s special:

❃ The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy—recommended by Guest Judge Jaime King

❃ The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner—recommended by BOTM Editorial Director Siobhan Jones

❃ How to Walk Away by Katherine Center—recommended by author Taylor Jenkins Reid

(READ MY REVIEW BELOW!!!)

❃ Small Country by Gaël Faye—recommended by BOTM Judge Liberty Hardy

❃ Still Lives by Maria Hummel—recommended by BOTM Readers Committee member Sarah Bedwell

This month’s special:

New members get a free book with code: YESPLZ.

How it works: Members will pay $14.99 when they sign up for a subscription that will renew monthly. They’ll also receive a credit for a free book at the time of this transaction (redeemable at any time). Then they’ll be renewed at the end of their second month (unless they cancel).

Here are 7 must-read books I tackled in April:

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Doesn’t everyone bring a book about a serial killer on their vacation… or is that just me?

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark ended up being an incredible read about McNamara’s obsessive search to uncover the identity of a serial rapist turned murderer and her tireless investigation to try to pinpoint the source of terror that haunted California for over a decade. McNamara, tragically,  passed away while researching this book and those that worked on the case with her (her lead researcher and a close colleague)  pieced together all of her incredible research that she did to try to solve this case.

Over the course of ten years, a violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California and then headed South, only to commit an additional  ten sadistic murders. He got away with the terror that he caused by disappearing and eluded his capture despite the best detectives in the area being on the case.

Three decades later, Mcnamara (a true crime journalist) was determined to discover his identity and spent the last portion of her career searching for answers for these victims. Her research is so expansive and McNamara leaves no stone unturned, becoming a trusted confidant of many lead investigators in this case.

If you are a true crime reader or became a big fan of the true crime podcast, Serial, this book is a definite must-read. McNamara remains grounded throughout her account while offering compassion and hope for justice for these victims. She was a gifted writer that, sadly, died too soon.

Bookending this story is an intro by Gillian Flynn and a touching afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, completing this as a captivating read that will keep you up until the wee hours.

Oh, and just in case you missed the news, he finally was captured, finally securing justice for these families.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

I devoured I Let You Go when it debuted (you can read my interview with Clare over here) and was excited to hear that there was a lot of great buzz around her latest novel, Let Me Lie Mackintosh is proving to be quite the twist-maker, in the thriller genre, and this book is almost as twisty as her first.

In this novel, Anna has lost both her parents to an unexpected and unexplainable suicide. First, her father commits suicide and then, in an act of devotion, her mother also jumps form the same spot because she cannot go on without her husband.

It is only when Anna has a child of her own that she begins to really miss and wonder what the true motivations might have been for her mother. As she starts to explore the theory that there might be more to the story, she begins receiving threatening messages that she should stop.

As in her earlier novel, Mackintosh explores the story through may different points of view, including a retired detective who becomes intrigued by Anna’s case. Since Clare’s background is in the police field, she does a great job of creating a plausible story with just enough twists to make it fun for her readers.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Educated

Educated by Tara Westover

If you are looking for a gripping memoir to add to your book stacks this year, you MUST, MUST, MUST read this book. I polished this one off in a day because I had to know how Westover’s story would end.

If you haven’t heard about this one, I will try to briefly fill you in. Educated is the story of Tara Westover who was seventeen before she had ever stepped into a classroom. Born to Mormon survivalists, her parents spent their days stockpiling for the end-of-days, salvaging metal from the junkyard, and stewing herbs for the healing and midwifery that her mother did as her job.

Tara’s father is mentally ill and and has a strong distrust for the medical establishment and government. She grows up never seeing a doctor, never going to school, and doesn’t even have a birth certificate. If you lived a rather normal existence, this might work, but it doesn’t work in the treacherous world that Tara must live in.

My heart was in my throat almost this entire story as Tara is physically abused by a sibling, neglected by her parents, and mentally abused through her father’s version of God and the church.

Tara decides to teach herself math, grammar, and science so she can take the ACT. It is through this act that she finds her own salvation, while trying to navigate a secular world that is foreign to her.

Fans of, The Sound of Gravel and The Glass Castleare sure to love this achingly beautiful story.

Move this one to the top of your book pile!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

We Were the Lucky Ones

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

We Were the Lucky Ones, has been on my reading radar for awhile and I’m so glad that I finally got to it this month. Going into this one, I had no idea that this is based on the author’s own family’s Holocaust survival story. She was determined to share their story in this haunting debut, told from multiple viewpoints.

The cast of characters is vast and it took me a bit to get into my rhythm with each character, but once you get the voices down, you grow attached to each of their stories.

The story takes place in the spring of 1939 and follows three generations of the Kurc family as the shadow of the war grows closer. When the horrors of the war overtake Europe, each of these family members are thrown into different corners of the world, as they strive for survival in the only ways that they know how.

Hunter does a great job with the contrast between each of these stories. Some family members have been dealt an easier road than others, but it doesn’t mean that the easier road doesn’t bring guilt and worry over the rest of their family. Other family members must endure the horrors of the war and find a way to survive in treacherous living conditions and without food. It’s impossible to not be moved by these stories.

Although I have read so many books about this era, it never fails to surprise me how much I am still unaware of.

Hunter tells these stories with beauty, compassion, and a lot of heart. You will find yourself attached to each of them, as though they are your own family.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Indecent

Indecent by Corinne Sullivan

After so many heavy books with equally heavy topics, I was looking for a fun escape this month.  If you are looking for a steamy beach read this summer, I think you will find that Indecent fits the bill perfectly.

With some Fatal Attraction elements, Sullivan crafts a story of a young teacher hired for a boarding school and her fascination with the popular boy at school. When he becomes interested in her, the affair escalates quickly and she will do anything to keep their relationship going with him, including risking her job and reputation.

Sullivan is able to capture these insecurities and the emotional instability of her character perfectly. The obsessive nature of this indecent affair escalates quickly and the reader gets to follow along from one juicy page to the next.

Appropriately named, this book was a fun escape if you are looking to add a steamy book to your beach bag this summer.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

How to Walk Away

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

I received an advanced reader copy from the publishing house. 

If you are a Me Before You fan, you won’t want to miss this gorgeous read this summer. As I mentioned above, this one is one of the Book of the Month selections this month and would be a worthy investment with your book credit.

Imagine you were terrified of flying and, just as you always suspected, you are in a tragic accident. This is exactly what unfolds from the opening chapters of How to Walk Away, and the reader is taken along the journey as Kit’s life, as she knows it, is forever changed.

Also, imagine that the person you love walks away from the experience unscathed.

The book centers around the difficult recovery, the surprises of those who step up in tragedies, the sadness around those that walk away, and how to find love again.

I devoured this book in a single day and can’t say enough good things. Fans of Emily Giffin or Taylor Jenkins Reid are sure to fall in love with this book.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Lilli De Jong

Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton

If you haven’t joined the book club yet, you really missed out this month. Benton joined us to discuss her beautiful book, Lilli de Jong, and it was such a fantastic chat.

Set in the late 1800’s, Lilli becomes pregnant out of wedlock and is banished from her Quaker home. She gives birth to her daughter in an institution for unwed mothers and will stop at nothing to keep her.

In order to provide for her daughter, she must work as a wet nurse, nursing a child that is not her own, to pay her bills.

Told in diary format, it is an achingly beautiful read about the unbelievable challenges of motherhood and the sacrifices that must be made to keep your child safe.

I learned so much about what the role of a wet nurse really looked like and what these institutions really looked like for children during this time. Lilli is ahead of her time and this book shows just what an early feminist might look like.

You can’t help but marvel at the bravery of this character as she does all she can to save her baby. You also can’t help but marvel that this is Benton’s debut novel because the writing is so confident and eloquent.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

 

Amy Allen Clark

Read With Me This Year:

January 2018 Must-Reads

February 2018 Must-Reads

March 2018 Must-Reads

April 2018 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

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

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

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