Author Archive

It’s the 3 Little Things: Boutique Workouts At Home, Netflix Binges, and Foldable Kitchen Islands

Friday, November 18th, 2016

holiday-home-tour-23

I had always dreamed of living in a big house and when we purchased our home, I knew that this would be the stepping stone we would need to get us to where we REALLY belonged. Thirteen years ago, my plans and life were laid out so very differently than they are now.

What changed?

Honestly, my own thinking about what we could make work in our space.

Only one shower?

Let’s put a corner to work in our half bath.

Always wanted a fireplace?

I’ll just make a little addition to a corner in our office.

More recently it was the desire to have a kitchen island that would require a complete renovation of our kitchen to make work. Guess who found a foldable island this week that can be brought out when needed (see below)? This girl! Sometimes small spaces require us to think outside of the box.

The real blessing of this smaller home came into fruition when my own health took a turn. My body doesn’t have the capacity it used to and this year, I realized I owed God a big thank you.

This home is just right for our needs and just right for my life.

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

Exerpuetic Magnetic Stationary Bike

Boutique Workouts at Home

I have a membership to a local yoga studio, but I have been missing cardio a lot in my life. One type of exercise my doctor had suggested would be good for me would be biking because it would be low-impact and still give me that cardio high I had been after.

I gave a spinning class a try at a local gym and knew that I really loved it, but the reality of carrying two gym memberships and making time to use them both was making me a little anxious. There was just no way to do this with working full-time and the kid juggle.

Exerpuetic Foldable Stationary Bike

I actually found that purchasing a stationary bike was about the equivalent of a three month membership and being able to do this at home allows me to workout AND work on my own schedule rather than wasting my time at the gym. After reading a ton of reviews, I got the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike and we were amazed at how awesome this turned out to be for its price. Our home is small so we appreciated that this bike wouldn’t intrude too much on our living room space and it would be a little quieter way to workout rather than pounding on that treadmill in the mornings. It is well-built, quiet, and does a really great job for what I was looking for in an at-home workout.

The real problem for me though was getting in a proper workout without a proper trainer. Honestly, I need guidance or I’m lazy.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyclecast-indoor-cycling-workout/id999390082?mt=8

YOU GUYS! I found the BEST trainer app for my phone and now I am KILLING it in this little corner of our house.

Once you purchase a stationary bike, you can get the CycleCast app and have a fresh workout each week for $9.99 a month. Basically, it costs less than a single class at our gym and I have a whole month of classes with a variety of instructors every single week.

CycleCast App

With this app, you can pick the duration of your workouts and you can select an instructor whose music taste fits with your own.  Once the workout starts, you have guided training throughout to help push you to burn calories and increase your distance. The first workout I did, I burned over 500 calories and clocked in over ten miles on my stationary bike.

Actual conversations I had with my imaginary trainer…

ME: I can’t do it anymore. My legs are burning and I’m tired.

JONATHAN: I’m going to put on a little Turn Down for What to see if you can push yourself more.

ME: You got me. I’ll keep riding. I do love some Turn Down for What….you’re the best, Jonathan! 

Each week the instructors add a new workout so you don’t get bored or have to do the same thing twice. The music is awesome and the price is just right for a cheapskate!

The first month membership is free so you have 30-days to try it out. I can’t recommend it enough and I’m very excited about how I’ve been able to squeeze this into my week in a realistic way. I also love that my husband can use this in the winter and get some cardio in as well. We both need it in these long winter months.

kitchen-island-review

Foldable Kitchen Island

A kitchen island has been a dream of mine, but my small kitchen would need a complete overhaul to make it happen. I started researching to see if there were any portable kitchen islands that would work and ran across these Origami Kitchen Carts and told my husband that I thought this would make the perfect solution for our kitchen.

As you can see it’s a metal cart that comes in a variety of colors and the entire top is solid wood. It comes almost fully assembled (you only need to attach the casters) and it is easy to pop up or put down as needed. Not only does it make a great kitchen island, but it could be a makeshift bar cart, can be used for your outdoor entertaining, or a as a grilling station set-up next to the grill. Since I do a ton of food photography for our site, it’s actually the perfect solution for prepping and pulling into a well-lit corner for photos.

This folds into a very reasonable size too so it can be put away when it is not needed.

I know I’ve talked about the Honey extension for your computer on this list, but download that before purchasing. Honey will find a coupon code for you and, if you are lucky like me, it brings the cost of this baby down to just $80!  They also offer these on Amazon, but purchasing through HSN makes more sense if you have a coupon code going for you or you want some fun colors! It was my first purchase with them and I was pleasantly surprised at the quick shipping and the way it was packed.

This definitely will come in handy for holiday food prep and our many gatherings in our home.

the-crown

The Crown

I needed an escape this week and I found a breathtaking one in The Crown on Netflix. I had been waiting with bated breath for the show and asked my hubby if he might want to give this show a shot this week. Although he isn’t into period pieces the way that I am, we are both absolutely stunned by the incredible acting, costuming, sets, and stories of the Royal family in this series.

First of all, if you aren’t familiar with what it’s about, this  story  focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Her father’s untimely death leaves her in a position of authority and it is a mixed blessing for Elizabeth and her family.

As a fun fact, this is Netflix’s most expensive series and they are anticipating at least six seasons of this show so it is one you can get fully committed to for awhile. They are, in fact, already shooting the second season.

If you haven’t tuned into The Crown yet, make this part of your weekend agenda. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Loving: Today’s highlights include how Christmas feels when you have a cat, a PSA for Hufflepuffs, Thanksgiving amidst a heated political climate, me when I’m listening to A Tribe Called Quest, some amazing dancing, and Enter Sandman with classroom instruments.

If you want to laugh at something a little less PC, this subway prank with book covers made me LOL repeatedly. It’s juvenile and sometimes you just need that!

Reading: My book club meets up today so I have been working through this book. It has been a good mystery exploring a missing person’s case. I would say if you enjoyed What She Knew or All the Missing Girls, this would be a good book for you!

Laughing: If Ross Geller had an IG account- so funny and loving the comments from his family below the pics. If you are a Friends fan, you will appreciate this one!!

Date night

Thankful: For a semi-annual date night with my husband this week. We shared a beer and talked our way through our feelings on politics. Blessed to be in a partnership with someone who shares many of my same views on politics and the world. It’s good to talk it through, if you can, with someone you love, respect, and trust. I got to do that this weekend and it was some good stuff for both of us!

Happy Fri-yay!

*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 11.16.16

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Snowball Wreath  source: the happy housie

How adorable is this snowball wreath for the holidays?

Maybe success doesn’t always feel like it looks from the outside. I often doubt my own success on anything so this resonated with me a lot.

I love the idea of starting a cookbook club to help me getting out of my cooking ruts!

10 pieces, 15 outfits. I love this capsule inspiration.

If you need a little inspiration for your Thanksgiving feast, I have a slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey this year and how to make almost your entire feast ahead this year! It’s not too late!

Here are also some tips for having a Chill-giving (totally a thing!).

one-sheet-pan-honey-garlic-lemon-chicken-with-potatoes

source: diethood

This honey garlic lemon chicken with potatoes looks like a delicious sheet pan dinner to try.

I’m reading this book for my book club this week and really enjoying it!

Here are 9 fall outfit ideas to inspire your autumn wardrobe.

If you are still processing the election, Design Mom asked readers about who they voted for and I enjoyed reading through the answers with my morning coffee. My husband and I had a lot to talk about after reading this respectful comment thread. Cup of Jo shares a few things you can do now that the election is over and I couldn’t agree more with this list. Lastly, Tsh shares tips on three things she does when she is discouraged and sad. You can also read my own thoughts on the election, if you haven’t caught that post yet- I was honored to have my piece shared in our church newsletter last week.

Who is excited about this potential new service from Amazon? Crazy!

This slow cooker cacciatore looks divine!!

Organizing Sunglasses

source: graceful order (image),  apartment therapy (article)

How to get large collections of items into an organized order. I’m going to try a few of these in my house!

I want to try this pumpkin risotto recipe. Get ready, Instant Pot!

Madly in love with this idea for hanging photos on your Christmas tree (and all those colors)!

12 perfect wines for Thanksgiving- noted!

If you want to get a jump start, here are some tips for freezing that pumpkin pie this year!

This was your top purchase from our site this week- what a great gift to share for the holidays!

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

 

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

Monday, November 14th, 2016

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

The holidays are upon us and with that means lots of entertaining. I frequently host large holiday and family meals, but our home lacks the space to always seat everyone at the same table. I thought a DIY was in order to transform a neglected ottoman in our home into an additional table for our guests. This DIY Ottoman Serving Tray craft is easy to do and a great way to make the most of one of those storage ottomans that many of us have in our home. Sandwiched between two chairs, guests have a place to prop their drinks or the ottoman can be placed in front of a guest like a television tray would.

Table for one or two? Right this way!

How to Make a DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

2 kinds of Waverly Inspirations Fabric in coordinating fabrics (I used the 100% cotton duck fabric available at the store)- measure your ottoman to get the correct amount of fabric

Upholstery Stapler

Upholstery Staples

Hot Glue Gun

Hot Glue Sticks

Scissors

10x13 Diploma Frame

Waverly Chalk Paint

Paint Brush

1 1/2 Waverly Ribbon (I needed 3 yards, but it will depend upon your ottoman sizing)

2 drawer pulls

Note- Please ignore the Command Strips- that didn’t work out so well! Always an experiment- ha!

Directions for DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

Just a few weeks after purchasing this ottoman, my daughter came to tell me that she had found the perfect “fairy wand holder,” in our living room. Proudly, she showed a wand standing straight to attention in the top of our brand new ottoman.

It became a regular joke when buying furniture, after that moment, to ask the salespeople things like, “Do you have any insurance to protect this couch if your child STABS IT? I mean, just takes something and plunges it through?!”

Oh, the fear and bewilderment in their eyes.

They clearly do not have children and we have learned, moving forward, that furniture insurance is worth its weight in gold.

Now that my daughter is ten, I’m both 1) embarassed that I have thought of repairing this for ten years, but did not do anything and 2) a little misty-eyed covering up our fairy wand days. They grow up so fast!

There are ottomans now that can be bought with a built-in tray, but what if you already bought one and want to make the most of it? This DIY is for you!

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

1. Begin by removing any hardware on the bottom of the top of your ottoman and any buttons from the top. Using this as a guide, cut a piece of fabric, making sure to give room around each side for covering and stapling.

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

2. Folding under the raw edge of the fabric, begin stapling the fabric down the two shorter sides. Two words- PULL TIGHT. You want a nice smooth surface and no loose fabric. Folding the corners like a package, repeat the process on the two longer sides.

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

3. Remove the glass and any materials inside the diploma frame. We are using this type of frame because it is very lightweight and has no hardware on the back. Using a paint brush, paint the entire frame in chalk paint and let dry. Repeat with one more additional coat.

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

4. To give the ottoman a clean finish, grab your ribbon and outline the bottom of the stapled fabric, folding down the raw edges with a dab of glue, and hot gluing this ribbon all the way down the four sides. This helps cover up the majority of the bottom when the tray is mounted on top.

5. Using the paper from inside your frame as a guide, cut your second fabric to size and then tuck inside the frame.

6. Hot glue drawer handles on the top of the frame to finish.

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray from MomAdvice.com

How cute is that? The perfect tabletop for your guests! Store the tray on the inside of the storage ottoman and place the top back on as you usually would. With this small addition it’s like you have a brand new table!

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

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Small-Budget Crushes 11.13.16

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Origami Kitchen Cart

origami kitchen cart (many colors- this is the one I got) PS- FOLDS FLAT FOR STORAGE!!

holiday-sack

holiday sack

Home Is Where the La Croix Is

a la croix welcome

Camel Cape

camel cape Feminist With a To-Do List

feminist with a to-do list pin

Tassel Earrings

tassel earrings

Fit & Flare Dress

fit & flare dress

Rolling Pin

rolling pin

Faux Fur Scarf

faux fur scarf

Leather Laptop Messenger Bag

leather laptop messenger bag

Dip Dyed Stools

dip dyed stools

Cuddle Weather Pillow

cuddle weather pillow

Silver Cat Stitch Markers

Silver Cat Stitch Markers Kit

necklace

single initial clay necklace

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

I Hope You Brought a Second Piece of Luggage

Friday, November 11th, 2016

America

Our son is preparing for high school this year and, in our district, that means choosing a field of interest he might want to explore at college and selecting what option might fit his needs best. It was quite the process because it was really important to us that we pick the right thing for him. We went to hours and hours of meetings, we poured over the information that was sent home and spent lots of time talking to parents about how it all worked and their experience with the school. After all that time vested this year, we were relieved to find a school that would fit his needs perfectly. We can’t wait for this next chapter with him!

For me, the election season was like that. I never go into voting lightly and this year, I believe, was my most informed voter decision that I had ever made. I took unbiased quizzes to try to figure out what issues aligned with me most, I watched each of the debates, I spent hours reading articles from both sides of the coin, and I talked endlessly with my husband about what we were looking for in this presidential election. I was very vested when I placed my vote, as I know many of you were, and the person that I thought would do a good job did not win.

I expected what I saw on social media, but it’s been an awful scroll from both sides.

I hope you will humor me for a moment and envision the voting process a little differently than maybe the way you did before. I want you to imagine that when each person went to vote they carried behind them their luggage of issues. Maybe you came with an overnight sack of a couple of things that were important to you and placed your vote or you just had a week’s worth of stuff that was easier to roll and to manage while you were voting.

Others though were backing up moving vans of issues and trying to haul that in with them when they voted. That van was loaded, heavy, and packed to the brim.

When we got home, maybe your overnight bag was easy to unpack and you felt good about the outcome of the day. Even if it didn’t go your way, you felt good about unpacking and moving on to the next chapter.   You went about making your coffee, feeling good, and you gazed out your window and saw your neighbor with all this stuff just strewn all over the lawn.

It was a mess over there.

They looked overwhelmed and they were just sitting in the middle of it looking bewildered at how they were ever going to put all this crap away.

What is your knee jerk reaction to this view?

Do you roll your eyes and tell them to declutter? You laugh and head to your computer to make a hilarious meme on hoarding- your friends are going to LOVE this!

Do you head into the house and message them a helpful article that outlines why they should have hired a moving service? They should have known this was going to happen. You always saw it coming and had shared with them lots of articles before they moved about outsourcing this. I guess they did not read them.

Do you yell out the window, “Get up and put it away! You look emotional and you need to get over it and make your lawn look like mine!”

Do you put your coffee down, get your coat on, and tell them you want to help? You’re overwhelmed with their mess, but you know it might lighten the load if you did something. You know you are good at praying, listening, and organizing. You know they are hurting and and you are good at many of these things. You can’t do the unpacking, but wouldn’t it be nice to tell them that you are their friend.

What I worry about is that some of us may have forgotten a second piece of luggage in baggage claim. It was the bag with the empathy in it that helps you see your neighbor with love. Some people unpacked those bags and used them, but I fear that others of us forgot them. That second piece of luggage was really important for both sides to be able to work together. That second piece was the key to helping unpack the first one.

I’ll admit, this family still has some stuff on their lawn so I apologize for the view. We are hoping the view will change, but we haven’t gotten everything put away yet. We will get there, but we are trying to distribute that second piece of luggage to our friends while still unpacking our own. It wasn’t a moving truck size, but it wasn’t an overnight bag.

The silver lining to this story is that I know that we ALL want this country to succeed and this is the common theme that I am choosing to focus on.  I love our people and our country. I am praying that the transition is a good and hopeful one. We need it!

If you are feeling in the dumps right now, I hope that this will be an enjoyable scroll as I highlight the good in the world.

Good In Action

Amy’s Notebook 11.09.16

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

source: good cheap eats

How comforting does a big bowl of this creamy chicken noodle soup look right now? I love the tips for prepping and freezing for soup season!

I love getting to peek behind-the-scenes on how magazine covers are made.

A clever way to add style to your cabinets without breaking the bank.

This pumpkin pie green smoothie looks like a great way to start the morning.

Bookmarking this holiday decluttering guide- I always need these reminders.

I can always use a new Brussels Sprouts recipe- the addition of cider and bacon sound divine!

 

Peruvian Shrimp Recipe

source: gimme some oven

I’m drooling over this easy Peruvian Shrimp recipe. What a great weeknight meal idea!

Gluten-free pumpkin pie? YES, PLEASE!  Here is also another gluten-free option if you want to attempt pie-crust making!

Speaking of pie, these pie box toppers are so cute!

I cannot put this book down. You guys were right! It’s a fantastic thriller!

A beautiful lesson in letting go of objects connected to grief.

30 days of fall outfit inspiration- I can always use that!

Fur Pom Pom Wreath source: centsational girl

This fur pom-pom wreath is EVERYTHING!

A little tip to remember when signing off on those holiday cards.

I’d love to implement this bookshelf idea in our home!

I am adding a couple of these budget-friendly meal ideas from celebrity chefs to our meal plan!

Here are some great strategies for decluttering your digital life.

Drooling over these soy sauce eggs!

I needed these mindset reminders for decluttering.

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

 

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

For many years I have been dreaming about creating a Thanksgiving turkey that could be prepared in the slow cooker. I have a small kitchen and my oven doesn’t offer a lot of room for multiple dishes so my frustrations often mount when it is time to figure out timing of the bird and all the sides. If you are struggling too, I have come up with a slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey that looks beautiful AND saves you some space in the oven.

I’m partnering this year with Honeysuckle White and, believe me, it isn’t a stretch at all. Our bird every year has been from their company because it always cooks up beautifully. I was so excited to give my dream of slow cooking a bird a spin and wanted to share with you how I did that.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

As you can see from these early morning shots, I got this started first thing in the morning so that it would be ready for our dinner hour. You are going to want to aim for an eight to nine pound bird to make sure that it can fit into your slow cooker. The slow cooker that I have is called the Ninja Cooker. Since we are finishing the bird in the oven to give it a golden skin, I love that I can just pop this insert right into the oven without transferring the bird.

One year I did a beautiful turkey using Ina Garten’s herb roasted turkey breast recipe and our family absolutely loved it. I wanted to recreate that delicious flavoring, packed with fresh herbs while swimming in wine, and make it using the slow cooker method.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com   Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com   Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

I am not flashy with my turkey and usually have it already sliced before our guests arrive, but I know that many love to have a beautiful golden bird to carve right by the table. Maybe I saw National Lampoon’s turkey scene too many times and that may be why I am so scared.

Anyone else?

Rest assured, a slow cooker bird can still be beautifully displayed and you can even achieve a golden skin. As I’ve gotten more familiar with pressure cooking, it has opened my eyes that it is possible to start something in your gadgets and finish it somewhere else. The slow cooker turkey can be started in the slow cooker and finished under your broiler, but WATCH CAREFULLY. I found that it needed to be moved around quite a bit as it broiled to achieve an even color and to avoid burning the skin.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Although I have always loved the flavor of the Honeysuckle White Bird, I am ashamed to say that I did not know very much about their company until I had the opportunity to work with them.  I know that knowing where our food comes from is such an important thing and that’s why it’s good to know some of their business practices better. Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised on 700 independent family farms by farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards.  They even have a spot on their site where you can virtually meet the farmers- how cool is that?

They also realize that good quality food shouldn’t cost a fortune and believe everyone should be able to access it. They try to offer their products at a price point that would be comparable to other products, but with higher quality standards.

I hope this post inspires you to give slow cooking your Thanksgiving turkey a try this year and to look for a Honeysuckle White turkey (available in most states) or for the Shady Brook Farms turkeys, Honeysuckle White’s sister brand, available over on the East coast.

Don’t forget to visit this post to find out how to make ALL your side dishes ahead for your Thanksgiving feast

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Honeysuckle White whole bone-in turkey, 8-9 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 cloves)
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Place the turkey carefully over the wine and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours. The turkey has a pop-up timer on it that you can watch for gauging when the turkey is done. Turkey is done when breast meat is 165˚ F and dark meat is 175˚ F.
  3. Once the turkey is done, remove and put in an oven-safe dish (unless your slow cooker insert is oven-safe). Broil under your broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching the turkey carefully to make sure not to burn the skin.
  4. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

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

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How Capsule Wardrobes Build Confidence

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Ideas from MomAdvice.com

 

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

In 2014, I discovered the world of Project 333 and decided that I wanted to give a capsule wardrobe a try. It had a way of impacting not only my closet, but impacting my entire life. I realized the beauty in the editing, the simplifying, and the high that comes from discovering how much fun it is to make one piece work in multiple ways.

I also began to realize the importance of investing in good quality pieces since they work so much harder than they used to. The items I have in my closet are primarily from J. Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, and Banana Republic. You might be surprised to know that I have rarely (if ever) shopped in any of those places though. My discovery of an online consignment resource called thredUP enabled me to make the finer things a part of my life on a Target-sized budget.

Over 80% of my capsule wardrobe has come from this store and I love the company’s mission to not only share great quality clothing for a fraction of the price, but they also love to inspire women with their #badassmoms series. This month, for example, they profiled journalist, Megan Alexander, on how she manages the mom juggle while tackling front-line reporting for Inside Edition and even the Super Bowl. “Hard work, hustle, flexibility, and a positive attitude. It sounds simple but it works,” is her motto for life. These profiles are meant to inspire and encourage women to be their very best.

You really get a sense of the hustle in this piece and the hustle of so many other moms that are making the world a better place while caring for their family.

I love each of these pieces, but Brandi Riley’s story, in particular, resonated with my own journey It isn’t just because she is a blogger, but it is because she is a blogger doing big things for others in her community. She founded a program, Courage to Earn, that lends support to female digital entrepreneurs. It inspires me so much to think outside-the-box with my own business and how I can help support other people around me to reach their own goals.

One of the things that has helped me gain confidence and feel like a #badassmom has been learning to live with less so that we can give more to others. Having a wardrobe that really looks like me and that is easy to pull together adds so much confidence to my life and cuts the clutter in our home.

I get a lot of questions about my capsule wardrobe and what pieces I would recommend so I shopped thredUP to show you some of the beautiful deals I found that would make perfect capsule wardrobe additions to help build your confidence and feel like a #badassmom too!

Must-Have Fall Capsule Wardrobe Basics

white blouse + polka dot scarf + tan bag + tan booties + dark denim

A Good White Blouse

A good collared white blouse is worth its weight in gold, BUT it took me many, many tries before I found the perfect version of it for myself. Ideally, this shirt is wrinkle-resistant, buttery soft, and fits your frame well.  Not only is it a beautiful item on its own, it is the perfect piece to layer over dresses, worn under blazers, can be worn over other shirts in your capsule, can be belted, can be tied, or can hang loose like a jacket. I consider it a must-have for my wardrobe, but you need to find one that feels like YOU. This top is Maeve (from Anthropologie) and was purchased for $32.99.

Remember, stark white blouses aren’t for everyone (something I learned in the Adore Your Wardrobe series) so be sure you pick the right shirt color for your skin tone.

peplum burgundy sweater + mint statement necklace + leopard print belt + ivory shirt + dark denim + tan booties

peplum burgundy sweater + mint statement necklace + leopard print belt + ivory shirt + dark denim + tan booties

A Good Cardigan

In the Midwest, it is all about layers and one of my favorite items for layering are cardigans. Finding the perfect cardigan can be tough and, I have learned, not all cardigan cuts are flattering.  This Fall, I got a J. Crew cardigan from thredUP that became my go-to cardigan. I loved it so much that it is constantly on my radar when I am shopping on thredUP. If you find one you love, you want it in all the colors, and the way I can tell this is my favorite is that the material that is listed is Cotton instead of Wool. Always check the fabric description to ensure a cozy (and not itchy) option for layering.

I love a good flare on anything or any fun details that seem a little out of the ordinary on a sweater. This Free People option ($24.99)  had beautiful buttons and a figure-flattering flare that I loved.

ivory shirt + kimono + tassel necklace + dark denim + tan booties

Although this isn’t a cardigan, a kimono can also be a smart layering piece and this inexpensive offering from Merona has an embroidered detail that can work well with your fall wardrobe basics ($7.99). I added a tassel necklace to break up that neckline and love that this looks pulled together without feeling too fancy for my usual errands.

gray cardigan over gray shirt + black leggings + tan boots + mustard accessories

I also loved this wool option to wear over my fall basics (Banana Republic $22.99). This is still a cardigan, but a completely different shape than the typical boyfriend cardigan I would normally reach for. I slipped a gray shirt underneath to keep this cozy and neutral. These boots are also, in fact, a thredUP find from last year. I get so many compliments on them and they are a brand I would have never been able to afford otherwise.

military jacket + gray shirt + statement necklace + black leggings + tan booties

military jacket + gray shirt + statement necklace + black leggings + tan booties

A Military Jacket

The military trend is still going strong and a good Military jacket can be another great layering option instead of a blazer this year. Pretty much anything olive green makes my short list of smart fall wardrobe basics this year and I found this practically brand-new Banana Republic jacket for a mere $39.99! What a dream! Don’t feel limited to just a jacket though, this same trend can be replicated in vests, pants, and button-down shirts.

flannel shirt + striped dress + statement necklace + nude booties

A Flannel Shirt

There is nothing cozier than flannel and this is one 90’s trend that I can get behind again and again. I remember being a kid and borrowing my dad’s flannel shirts to follow that Nirvana-inspired grunge trend. Did you do that too?  Now I prefer a more tailored look and love flannel options from J. Crew, Old Navy, & Madewell. These button-downs can be tied over a dress, added over a t-shirt, and layered under this year’s sweaters and vests. This cozy Madewell option was just $22.99!

pleated patterned top + leggings + tan booties & bag

Add a Little Pattern

Patterned shirts can add so much to a basic wardrobe and I definitely recommend adding just one shirt to make your wardrobe more interesting. This Mave top ($32.99), has a tie and gorgeous pleated details on it. You can still sit in your comfort zone of neutral tones while still adding a fun pattern to your basic wardrobe style.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Ideas from MomAdvice.com

I hope these tips inspire you to feel confident and give a capsule wardrobe a spin. For more confidence-building pep talks, be sure to visit thredUP’s #badassmoms series for inspiration!

This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

 

 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.06.16

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Rustic Wooden Ladders

rustic wooden ladders for your blankets

Monogram Mugs

monogram mugs

Vintage Camper Birdhouses

vintage camper birdhouses

heeled-mule

heeled mule

Canvas Anorak

canvas anorak

Mini Reversible Tote

mini reversible tote

Wooden Bottle Caddy With Opener

wooden bottle caddy with opener

Antler Doormat

antler doormat

Classic Tote

classic tote

Suede Mid-Heel Pump

suede mid-heel pump

Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace

multi-strand beaded necklace (lots of cute colors!)

 

Men's iPhone Case

men’s iphone case

Go-Dry Ear Warmers go-dry ear warmers

 

cake-stand cake stand in gold

Striped Turtleneck

striped turtleneck

Perfect Knit Blazer

perfect knit blazer (I want one in every color!!)

wake. pray. slay.

wake. pray. slay.

 

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Good People, Tea Organization, & Key Lime Dreams

Friday, November 4th, 2016

reading-space

The weather has been lovely this week and I switched my reading spot to sit under this beautiful tree in our backyard with a big stack of books. The fall here is nothing compared to our New England falls, but I think Indiana still provides a great display of colorful beauty too. Don’t you?

This has also been the first week of high school shopping for our son. Our kids have to pick an area of focus for their schooling which can be a difficult task at 14 to figure out. Can you imagine where your focus may have been at that age? I’m sure I would have felt the stage was where my career destiny was! I definitely never could have dreamed up this wildly weird job.  It feels strange to even be thinking about something that has always felt like a distant land when it comes to parenting my children. It feels monumental and, honestly, brings me a lot of melancholy as a mom. Everyone said it went by fast, but this feels just too soon for me. It’s a happy bittersweet moment to be moving into this realm as a mama.

I guess I feel conflicted about this next stage. Proud we kept him alive this long (kind of touch and go in those toddler years- hahaha!). If you have kids this age, do you feel that way too? I’m open to your advice on high school!

Here are a few other things that are making me happy this week.

the-good-place

The Good Place

I’d love to hear if you have gotten into any of the new shows this Fall television season!  It takes a lot to suck us into a show, mainly because we have far too much on our agenda to watch already, but we have gotten majorly sucked into, The Good Place. When I saw the trailer for this show, I told my husband I thought this was one we could really get into it. Eight episodes within two days confirms that, yes, this show is a real winner. With Kristen Bell and Ted Danson leading the cast, it comes as no surprise that it would be a good one.

The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their life go to once they have passed away. Michael (Danson) is the architect who oversees the town, but this is the first time he has ever created one of these communities. He begins to realize that he made a few missteps, although he doesn’t know what they are, that include allowing a few people in who shouldn’t have been there. These people have to find a way to blend in or they risk destroying the good place for everyone.

It is laugh out loud funny, surprisingly sweet, and has some really smart writing. It’s also an enjoyably short show, perfect for tired moms and dads who can’t seem to commit to a full hour anymore. We have been watching it through Hulu!

I hope you love it as much as we do!

tea-organizer

An Organized Tea Spot

I love seasonal teas for the cooler seasons, but I don’t love how much space all of the boxes take in my small kitchen. I found this beautiful tea organizer, while out doing my shopping, and knew it would be the perfect addition to my kitchen. It also happens to be a great way to share your tea on the table with a guest.

Each of the drawers is glass and holds an entire box of tea bags. I cut the names off of the boxes to slip inside of the drawers so I knew what I was grabbing without covering up this pretty display. The drawers have a small wooden peg that keep them from slipping out and breaking. It’s surprisingly well-made especially for that price.

Pioneer Woman Tea Organizer

I love that it matches all the other patterned bowls that we have in our kitchen and it has freed up a ton of space in the drawer where I store all my coffee mugs! How cute is that?!?

Chobani Key Lime Yogurt

Chobani Key Lime Greek Yogurt

This week our grocery store had Chobani Key Lime Yogurts on sale for their 10 for $10 deal. It happened to be the only flavor that was on sale so I got ten and crossed my fingers that they would be a hit.

If you haven’t tried these RUN and get them RIGHT NOW. It tastes just like the filling in a key lime pie, but with a protein punch and less sugar. I put this in a bowl with this chocolate granola from ALDI and I feel like I get to have pie in the morning. Who wouldn’t be happy about pie in the morning?  Since I hate the crust anyway, this is my perfect idea of pie eating!

If you love key lime, you will love these!

Find-Her

Reading: Find Her by Lisa Gardner and it is a good pick if you are drawn to darker plot themes like Pretty Girls or anything by Gillian Flynn. I am about halfway through and loving every minute of it.

Browsing:  The GoodReads choice nominees for this year. I can’t pick a favorite this year. It’s like choosing your favorite child. So many incredible books happened in 2016 and I was so proud to see several of the authors I interviewed this year were featured. Which books are you voting for? I will try to put together a post for you for the library again like I did for you last year!

Laughing: I hear you like the laughs each week so I thought I would keep them coming. Today’s highlights include hilarious misspellings, a Stranger Things Christmas, a raccoon cooking tutorial, and a hilarious skit on congress to encourage you to vote. Don’t worry, it doesn’t endorse any particular candidate- I’m pretty sure you can guess who I’m voting for anyway!  Please note,that last one does have some language, but definitely compels a girl to get out there and do her civic duty!

I’m hoping to get my vote in early this weekend and dodge the crowds.

Stripes & Polka Dots

Loving:  The tiny scarf trend! Have you tried it? I got this scarf and now I want a million more. It is a perfect trend for petite girls and I love it with my favorite striped top! I’m also loving the large barreled curling wand I scored for waves for longer locks. Beach waves without a lot of work are definitely my jam!

Listening: NEW MUSIC FROM HAMILTON!!! OMG!!


Snag Some Great Book Deals Today (join the MomAdvice Book Club for More!)

A couple of FYI’s on today’s deals! FIRST WOMEN & GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT are GoodReads Choice Award Nominees and THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT is actually a new Amazon series that I’m hoping to catch!!

FIRST WOMEN, $1.99
GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT, $1.99
THE NEVER LIST, $1.99
AN ATLAS OF IMPOSSIBLE LONGING, $1.99
COURTING GRETA, $1.99
MAUD’S LINE, $1.99
THE WHITE TIGER, $1.99
UNDER THE BLACK FLAG, $1.99
QUEEN SUGAR, $1.99
THE TYPEWRITER GIRL, $1.99
A CERTAIN SUMMER, $1.99
THE IMPERFECTIONISTS, $1.99
THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, $1.99
DOUBT- $2
GHOST MONTH, $1.99
AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY, $1.99
LOVE WATER MEMORY, $1.99
THE BOOKSTORE, $1.99
WHEN SHE WAS GONE, $1.99
ANGELINA’S BACHELORS, $1.99
CROSSING ON THE PARIS, $1.99
DELANCEY, $3.99
TO FIND A MOUNTAIN, $1.99

Happy Fri-yay!

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