Author Archive

Amy’s Notebook 09.13.17

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

You've Been Boozed

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Now this is a neighbor tradition that I can get behind!

Um, mind blown. How the heck did I not know this?

Maybe we just need less balance. I am learning this…

These photos are breaking my heart.

Have you embraced premium mediocre in your life?

Looking to try out a new television series or movie? This list  or this list might help!

This piece arrived on my doorstep and I can’t believe how perfect it is. Did I mention, POCKETS?!?

Looking for another fun meal prep idea for lunches? This chicken shawarma looks like a winner.

23 grocery items from ALDI you are missing out on.

A little feminist humor that brings all the LOL’s.

Watching at least one of these is on my weekend agenda.

Totally on my wish list- hahaha!

Pumpkin Pasta

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This 5-ingredient pumpkin alfredo is just begging me to make it.

If you just need a good laugh today, I recommend enjoying this.

I love these styling options for above the bed.

Oh, this series looks like another Netflix worthy binge while I wait for the next season of, The Handmaid’s Tale!

I can’t recommend this book enough for highly sensitive souls. It has been such a good read for me.

Fun things to do with your girlfriends in the fall. I just had a mum shopping date and it was so fun to do that with someone else!

Speaking of plants, the millennials love them!

I want to try this golden milk recipe.

If you don’t know how to carve a chicken (raises hand!), you’ll love this picture tutorial.

I love a good skillet dish and this looks like a fun spin on a classic.

Pom Pom Basket

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How cute is this diy pom pom basket? You know I’d love a pom pom on everything!

Looking to get your kitchen organized for fall baking season? Check out these awesome kitchen organization strategies!

Speaking of decluttering, here are 25 things to get rid of this fall.

This has become our new family weekend tradition with board games. Here are three free meals if you want to give it a try at your house.

Loving these fresh ideas for decorating your table for fall.

I’m really starting to hate the time sucks so this is a great reminder.

Some simple strategies for dealing with difficult people in your life.

This pumpkin pan pie looks like a fun way to enjoy a holiday fave.

Let’s just agree to put a tassel on everything.

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

 

Amy’s Notebook 09.06.17

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Chickpea Shawarma Bowls source

These chickpea shawarma bowls look like a delicious and healthy lunch option.

This is so perfectly stated- I wish I could share this with everyone I love in our life right now.

Why we fell for clean eating- very interesting perspective!

Looking for your next great thriller? I read this one this week and it is fantastic!

A few tips for handling an out of control inbox. Um, yeah, I needed those!

Now this looks like a fabulous item to keep stocked in the freezer for nights we are craving takeout.

10 documentaries to dig into this weekend. These are some of my favorite couch date nights with my hubby!

Speaking of things to watch, I’m all about this one!

DIY Bath Caddy source

This looks like an easy DIY bath tray for a little extra reading time!

“That in the end, success won’t be measured by academic performance or job placement. It will have more to do with accumulating small pleasures and filling your life with those…Your future should look like the best parts of your present.” Yup, I’m crying- I needed to read this today.

These sleeves are everything!

Have you heard of the one-touch method? I’d like to try this!

This is a devastating and honest read.

Switch up your denim game this season with these six fun options. I’m discovering the beauty in a good jumpsuit!

Wow, I would have never thought of this as a sheet pan meal- yum!

Ten style tips for the month of September.

Such beautiful life lessons from one of my favorites. It makes me long for a sabbatical.

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe source

This paleo vegan pumpkin spice latte looks like a healthy way to sip my fall favorite.

What a great bra guide for women.

Want to really enjoy the fall foliage this fall? Check out this guide!

Wow, this is some exciting news for wine-lovers. Oh, and this too- dang!

I love seeing other people’s capsule wardrobe journeys unfold.

‘‘I would say that Teen Vogue has as much right to be at the table, talking about politics, as every young woman does in America right now.’’ What an incredible profile piece and I love watching the fresh direction the magazine is taking.

This might be a fun Saturday tradition with our kids! #throwbacksaturday

I think I could handle this microwavable breakfast idea.

I’m thinking about this equation today.

Americans have given up on public schools and that’s a mistake.

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

 

August 2017 Must-Reads

Friday, September 1st, 2017

August 2017 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

There is nothing like the kids heading back to school to get your reading habits back on track, amiright?  I’ve been trying to get up an hour early each day to get in my quiet reading time, although I can fully admit that this is quite the challenge.

I know a question we frequently get asked, especially as are looking to reset and refine our habits in the new school year, is how to get in more time to read. I encourage you to read these tips on how to consume more books, if this happens to be your goal this year. If you are looking for something you can jump into quickly, this list of books is a great start.

Hello Sunshine Book

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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! This month we will be reading this book (you can see the full list over here).

Not enough variety? Print out our Reading Challenge Worksheet! I’m having a blast working my way through it!

Here are 9 must-read books that I tackled in August!

See What I Have Done

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

I received an advanced reader from NetGalley- all thoughts and opinions are my own!

See What I Have Done explores one of the most infamous murder cases of all time- the Lizzie Borden murders. I was familiar with the general story, but Schmidt fills in the gaps from one creepy detail to the next, utilizing the timeline that is known about the time leading up to the murders and the aftermath.

The author crafts a twisted and dark story, creating the insecure world of the Borden sisters and their angry and awful parents. Using four points of view (the housemaid, an observing stranger, and the two sisters), Schmidt brings the story together through very different points of view.

It is a claustrophobic type of read and no one is really likable at all, with the exception of Lizzie’s sister. It can be confusing, at times, as Schmidt jumps through the timeline, instead of ending with the trial, which seem to interrupt the flow.

That said, I learned a lot more about the Borden family and the circumstances surrounding this gory murder!

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A book with an unlikable narrator

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Well, dang! This was such a charming read from start to finish.

Ginny Moon is a beautiful story from debut novelist, Benjamin Ludwig. Ludwig shares in his bio that he is the foster parent of a teen with autism and it is through his own experience (and fellow parents of autistic children) that helped him carve out his character, Ginny Moon.

Ginny Moon had been taken from her neglectful mother and has been living with her new Forever Mother and Forever Father. When her birth mother starts creeping back into her life, Ginny will stop at nothing to get back to her mom and goes to shocking lengths to make that happen. When a new baby then is added to her Forever Family, Ginny becomes increasingly more of a burden to her strained foster parents and they must decide if this is the forever family THEY want. Ginny will stop at nothing though to get back to where she believes she really belongs and there is a pretty surprising reason why. It’s a real page-turner!

Ludwig really sheds light on the difficulties of finding adoptive families for teens of special needs and your heart just breaks for Ginny over the confusion of who her real “forever family,” is.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

This thriller writer proves she is no one hit wonder with her second thriller, The Breakdown. I love an unreliable narrator and Paris crafts an unreliable one in a pretty brilliant way.

This book, as the title says, is about a woman who witnesses a breakdown of a vehicle during a storm and is scared to pull over to help, for fear that it is some type of trap. When she finds out the woman has been murdered, she feels enormous guilt, especially when she realizes she is an acquaintance.

Someone knows she did nothing and wants to make her pay.  The worst part though is that she is experiencing memory loss that mimics her own mother’s early dementia. Strange things begin happening and Cass begins losing pockets of time. The reader is then left to fill in the holes to try to figure out just who is harassing her.

Call me gullible, but even as a seasoned thriller reader, I had no idea what the heck was going on through most of the book. I couldn’t put this one down and enjoyed it as much (if not more) than, Behind Closed Doors.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

All Our Wrong Todays

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

If Dark Matter was your jam, you will absolutely love this fantastic debut novel that is filled with humor, heart, and adventure. It is no secret that I am time travel obsessed so I couldn’t wait to dig into All Our Wrong Todays. Mastai is a screenwriter and this book plays out like a movie (it is no surprise the movie rights were quickly sold) as Tom Barrens time travels from the 2016 we *thought* we would be living in and then must time travel into the 2016 we really live in.

Remember The Jetsons and the futuristic cars and ways of living we believed we would be experiencing? Yeah, so that is the reality that Tom is living in, where everything is automated and easy as people rely on incredible technology to live. When he loses the girl of his dreams and has a time machine at his  disposal, he decides to time travel to find her again. This 2016 is the world we inhabit now and Tom is annoyed and baffled at our slow progression. It is there though that he finds his family life in a very different place, a flourishing career, and he has captured the heart of a wonderful girl.

What’s a guy to do?

Prepare for the adventure! Smartly written, finely crafted, and laugh-out-loud funny- I couldn’t put this one down. It will definitely be one of my favorites this year!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Option B

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant

This nonfiction book is about Sandberg’s sudden loss of her husband and her struggles to find joy again in her life, after this devastating loss. Sandberg shares her own personal struggles and Grant helps to fill in the research behind our ability to cope with adversity in our lives.

Option B is an incredible book for anyone who has experienced  hardship from an unexpected detour in life. I think this one would be particularly helpful for anyone who is dealing with a difficult medical journey or the loss of a loved one.

The passage on what and what not to say to someone who is grieving was particularly helpful to me. As someone who finds herself unexpectedly on a Plan B in life, I found a lot of solace in her words and encouragement.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains happened to be our book club selection this month and I was excited to dig into the mysterious death of a Shakespearean actor that happens to mimic the same type of themes that Shakespeare explored in his own work.

The opening to this one didn’t grab me and  I blame a lot of that on my unfamiliarity with Shakespeare’s work and the dialogue being so heavily crafted around lines from his plays. When it hit the Second Act section, it moved more into the strange dynamics between these friendships and the villain that no one liked, but had to deal with. Since he was so unlikable, anyone could have killed the guy and the book shifts from the man who was accused of the crime and served time to the decade long mystery that surrounded his unlikely confession.

In the end, this was a great whodunit that I’m glad I read, even if I had to skip over a lot of the Shakespearean themes that had been so finely crafted for the reader.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Eight Hundred Grapes happened to be one of my very favorite chick lit reads so I could not wait to see what Dave would write next. While this one was cute, the themes of coming home after a breakup are similar to her previous book and lacked that depth and charm that I had hoped for.

Sunshine (yes, her name!) is a culinary star that becomes victim to a smear campaign that leaks all her dirty little secrets. The destructive nature of the tweets end up shedding some light on a lot of missteps and a few Hollywood secrets that cause her to lose her career and jeopardize her marriage.

Facing your demons is always a challenge and the reader gets to follow along and think upon our own inauthentic photos and the nature of living in the social media age.

This is a great one for the beach bag if you are looking for something lighter to read.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Reason You're Alive

The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick

Best known for his novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, Quick takes a sharp detour with his new novel that can really challenge a reader’s viewpoint.

Told from the perspective of  a sixty-eight-year-old veteran, we see a very sharply opinionated view on the world and from someone who has sacrificed it all. Unlike many books though, Quick doesn’t gloss it over and his character repeatedly says inflammatory, racist, and controversial things OUT LOUD and often. It is absolutely cringe worthy and will probably remind you of every offensive racist older person you have ever met.

What it did though was show you how he has come to this viewpoint and what veterans must overcome just to exist in society after serving. It challenges you to look beyond the comments and see that David’s heart is often in the right place, even if his words aren’t always there.

Was this a tough read? Absolutely! As a bleeding heart liberal, there was so much in here that I could not always swallow. It did though make me think of the challenges that face those that serve and how this viewpoint could even exist. I’m thankful for books that challenge me and Quick does this quite effectively.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours absolutely blew me away and is a book that brings ALL THE FEELINGS, if you are looking for a historical fiction escape that will absolutely crush you.

Wingate shares the story of two little girls who become a part of one of America’s most notorious real life scandals of children being kidnapped and sold to wealthy families by Georgia Tann, a director of a Memphis-based adoption organization in the late 1930’s.

I was unfamiliar with the scandal or the heartbreaking stories of children being separated from their families and the tragic things they had to endure while under Tann’s horrific care.

This fictional story is built around the stories of real-life orphans and will just rip your heart to shreds.  Moving backward and forward through time, the reader gets to solve the mystery of two unlikely women with a bond that could never be broken and the granddaughter that must unravel it all, even at the expense of her family’s high society position.

This will definitely be in my top ten reads this year. Beautifully written and researched, it pulled all the right heartstrings.

Note- triggers include physical and sexual abuse.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out

September 2017 BOTM Selections

If you are a BOTM member, this month looks AH-MAZING!! You can use this link though, if you aren’t, to get 1, 2, or 3 months for just $9.99.

September BOTM Selections

Lies She Told by Cate Holohan – Judge Stacey Armand

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – Guest Judge Krysten Ritter

Sourdough by Robin Sloan – Judge Dana Schwartz

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – Judge Kim Hubbard (loved this one- read my review HERE!)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – Judge Elizabeth Kiefer

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Amy Allen Clark

Read With Me This Year:

January 2017 Must-Reads

February 2017 Must-Reads

March 2017 Must-Reads

April 2017 Must-Reads

May 2017 Must-Reads

June 2017 Must-Reads

July 2017 Must-Reads

August 2017 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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Amy’s Notebook 08.30.17

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

5 Grilled Cheese Ideas

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These grilled cheese combos look like a practical and delicious way to use up leftovers.

The life-changing magic of getting it together. Not sure if this is a midlife thing, but I feel all of this right now!

How we can help. How we should not help.

What a smart hack for a better lunch at the airport. I would have never thought of that!

This movie looks fascinating and important.

I’m cherishing all the moments with my children, especially the social media likes on my parenting. LOL!

I’m in love with this shift.

Don’t pack away those summer dresses just yet with these simple transitions.

Ohhh, this was very compelling.

A Better Way to  Slice  Bread

 

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Check out this idea for a better way to slice bread- it makes perfect sense.

Want to increase your creativity? This list of 10 books on increasing creativity look like a great place to start.

15 investment pieces you’ll never regret spending money on. I’m learning classic wardrobe investments always pay off!

Speaking of books, my heart is all wrapped up in this one this week. Be sure to check back on Fri-yay for my reviews on what I read this month.

This guy changed the narrative by going undercover and shares what he learned.

What blogging in 2017 really looks like. Also, if you are curious about the blogging shift (I’m just as curious and annoyed), this post does a great job of explaining it all.

The reason why most people will never be successful. This line really stood out to me, “The more successful you become, the less you can justify low quality.”

Are you guys mixing up a batch of this in your house too? This was our most visited recipe this month. Yum!

10 Favorite Salad Dressings

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I love making my own salad dressing so I’m bookmarking this list of ten dressing recipes for my salads.

I read this entire piece to my husband and it made for a great discussion. I’m working on being more unplugged so I appreciated the insights.

Speaking of unplugging, I found this piece had a lot of great advice on raising our kids with technology.

How about shaving a little time off an annoying morning routine?

These were your top purchase on the site this month. They are my FAVORITE comfy shoes- I hope you love them too!

I love renting homes and breaking in the kitchen. I’m going to keep this list of vacation meal ideas in mind.

I love this idea for a rotation system in your home.

20 ways to make your workday more simple- great advice!

I’m twinkle light obsessed and love this idea for how to hang them in your backyard. So smart!

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

 

 

Small-Budget Crushes 08.28.17

Monday, August 28th, 2017

no diggity print no diggity print

Pardon My French Cape pardon my french cape

shaye rainboots shaye rain boots- my favorite, these are AH-MAZING & never lose their shine!

Tie Bell Sleeve Top tie bell sleeve top- $50 off of $100 using coupon code FLASH!!

nude block heel nude block heels

anne of green gables book set anne of green gables book set

gray hooded poncho gray hooded poncho

but did you die barre socks but did you die barre socks

Black High Waisted Jeans black distressed jeans

Layered Marbles Necklace layered marbles necklace

Chaos Coordinator Tee chaos coordinator shirt

wooden clothing rack wooden clothing rack

Classic Stripes classic stripes- 40% off today

High Waisted Girlfriend Jeans With Raw Hem raw hem cropped jeans

Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt tie sleeve sweatshirt

crossbody bag crossbody bag (in several gorgeous hues)

Wild Orchid Top wild orchid top- $50 off $100 when you use coupon code FLASH

Too Peopley Mug too peopley out there mug

 

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: Nailing Grocery Day, Escaping to the 1980’s, & Glowing

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Life is Better in Pajamas

How the heck are you?  This was our first full week of school and activities and I’m completely exhausted. Twice I have fallen asleep in the middle of the day and almost every night my head is hitting the pillow around 8PM. I’m thankful for this advice today and planning to do just that this weekend.

I am trying to remind myself that this has nothing to do with my health because ANY MOTHER would DIE if she had to get up at 5 in the morning to get her kids on the bus. That said, my body isn’t loving the new changes and I’m thankful to have my Quell to kick in (you can read more about that here).

I did get to take a little outing to see this movie with my Dad. You guys!  It was absolutely horrifying and I even jumped a couple of times. If you love a scary flick, I’d highly recommend it. They also showed a preview for this one and this one… Yup, they are both on my scary movie agenda!

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy-

Walmart Grocery Pickup Review

FREE Grocery Pickup (Here is $10 to shop!!)

This is #notsponsored, I’m just beyond excited that our Walmart has FREE grocery pickup at our local store. I have been jealously watching everyone’s shares about their online Walmart grocery ordering and could not wait until our store offered it. Last week I placed my first order and it was a better experience than I expected.

First, you can use this link to get $10 off your order (that also credits me $10 to my groceries so we both win!!).  Set up an account and then go to RESERVE first to snag a slot time. This holds it long enough for you to add everything to your cart and checkout. They also give you a one hour slot for checking in,  so there is no need to be there right on the dot.

The Walmart Grocery app, for your phone or iPad, is where you can place and track your order. It is super easy and quick to browse and get your groceries. I also love that you can just add everything from your old orders right back in again so you don’t have to do it every single time.

Once you decide you want to pick up your groceries, you let them know you are on your way and they get ready to meet you at your car.  There is clear signage and parking spots for you to park in on the side of the store, away from the hustle and bustle in the front. There is also no need to check in again once you have done that on the app, you just wait for the magic to happen. They come right out (my guy was there in three minutes flat!) and load everything in your car for you.

The entire process took about five minutes! Hallelujah!

When you get home, be sure to use the Walmart app (NOT the grocery app) and scan your receipt in their Savings Catcher program.  Basically, Walmart wants to give you the lowest prices so if someone’s price dips below theirs, they put it in an account for you and you can cash it out on a gift card to buy more groceries. #winning

The best part was that everything they picked was THE BEST. Since I do a lot of shopping for client projects, I was thrilled with perfect berries and the beautiful produce for my photos for my clients. This is a HUGE timesaver for me so I’m REALLY thankful!

GLOW on Netflix

GLOW is AH-MAZING

I’m sad to say that we finished the last episode of GLOW this week, but so happy to hear it was renewed for another season. Yay!

Nothing about this show sounds like it would appeal to me, but I can’t get over how incredible the writing was and the great casting choices they made for the series. I was completely sucked in from the very first episode and we had a hard time pacing this one out to enjoy it longer.

This show is set in the 1980’s and centers around the women’s professional wrestling circuit that was originally created by David McLane. This comedy-drama explores how these unlikely women end up coming together to carve out their own characters for the wrestling team while overcoming their own obstacles in the process. The characters are each so unique and fun- it is just incredibly casted!

If you enjoyed the earlier seasons of Orange is the New Black, I have a feeling that you will absolutely love this one.  It is completely binge-worthy and a great weekend escape!

Almay Instant Glow Highlighting Duo

Speaking of Glow…

Looking to add a highlighter to your makeup routine? I picked up this Almay Instant Glow Highlighting Duo and it adds a beautiful little shimmer to your complexion. Supposedly, this is one of those celebrity makeup artists secret to keeping everyone dewy and fresh looking.

I am more like a dewy faced mess in her yoga pants with unwashed hair, but hopefully everyone is distracted by my GLOWING face.

Is it working?

Almay  Instant Glow Highlighting Duo

If you haven’t used a highlighter before, they offer some easy instructions on the back of the packaging or you can see what to do right here on this picture. One side adds a little shimmer to your eyes, forehead, and the center of your chin (it is the consistency of a concealer). The other side is swiped like blush and then over the nose to add a little shimmer to those areas (this is more the consistency of a blush stick). It is so easy to use and gives you a natural looking glow to your face.

I love finding new things to add to my tired beauty routines, don’t you?  Between that and my favorite dry shampoo, who needs anything else?

Banksy Quote

 

Reading: Just wrapping up this book and it is giving me a new perspective on things.

Inspired By: This woman and her daily routines. She does her own email? WHY CAN’T I?

Television Binge Plan: Here are the shows on NPR’s radar…and now they are on mine!

Discovered: A new favorite red lipstick. I think this one would be pretty universally flattering too.

Can’t Wait: Did you hear this? LOVE her!

Bought: This sweater blazer in camel for my fall wardrobe. I’m all about a comfy blazer for layering. Also more stripes because STRIPES.

Eating: I made this for our breakfasts this week and it was a hit!

Inspired By: Great parenting advice on teaching our kids about gratitude.

Listening: To this podcast on our trip home last weekend. If you are a Stephen King fan, I think you will love it.

Have a wonderful weekend! 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 08.23.17

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Craft Closet Makeover

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Be wowed by this craft closet makeover!

What a fun spin on meatballs for a weeknight meal.

“Many of us have the belief that if something’s important to us, then we should worry about it. Or that worry makes me a good person. We don’t need to worry to make us good people.”- a compelling piece on our anxiety about world issues.

10 things introverts can do to lead a happier life- I love these tips!

How cute are these?

Here are some tips for the cozy minimalist!

This made me LOL- I’m looking like the pic on the right too!

Tips for making your drapes look custom without that high price tag!

How to be the successful friend without being a snob- these are great reminders to not make it awkward!

Dorm room decorating goals with this post. Impressive DIY bed too!

Life-changing queso recipe? Looks like a perfect weekend snack for this family!

I bought my first piece for the fall capsule!

Copycat Krispy Kreme doughnuts

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Check out this copycat Krispy Kreme doughnut recipe- they look soooo good!

Do you freelance? I want to print these out so I can feel accomplished at my job!

99% of people who join multilevel-marketing companies lose money. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a brilliant business model or a predatory practice—or a little bit of both.”

How to build a snack board to dazzle your friends- love the Bloody Mary tip on this!

I’ve never heard of mojo sauce, but now I need it in my life stat.

Amen, Ina, AMEN.

I just started this book and I think it will give me a lot to think about. Have you read it?

I love, love, love these beautiful touches in this bathroom makeover.

4 ways white parents can support black parents in times of injustice.

productivity

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I love these strategies for a more productive workweek. This is something I am working on too!

This would be a fabulous brunch with girlfriends, wouldn’t it?

Here are some ways to nail your meal prep game.

Understand the difference between racism, discrimination, and bigotry.

Have you picked up bullet journaling? This was an interesting piece about it!

The book stack keeps growing with these fall suggestions.

Forget the doughnuts (hahaha!), check out this awesome list of Whole30 snack ideas.

Being on the wrong side of the evangelical machine is terrifying and punitive.” That one took a lot of bravery and I can’t wait to read her book!

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

 

 

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix in a Jar

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

DIY Vanilla Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com

 

Are you as ready for fall as I am? As soon as the weather starts turning, I start thinking of all the things that I love about autumn. The crisp leaves, the cool air, my cozy slippers, flannel sheets, and warm drinks. In fact, sipping warm drinks with a good book is one of my all-time favorite fall activities.

My favorite warm drink is chai and I look forward to making this each and every year for our family. Is it your favorite too? I love to have homemade chai tea mix in a jar on hand for sipping or for sharing with a good friend.

I am sure you have seen that the drink mixes can be quite expensive, but mixing up a batch of this DIY Vanilla Chai mix for yourself can help to keep your pockets nice and warm with a little extra money. Most of the spices, dry creamer, and dry milk are already stocked in my pantry or can be found easily on the baking shelves at our local grocery store. The only additions I usually have to run out and get is the instant tea and powdered vanilla creamer. When I see a sale on these ingredients, I stock up so I don’t run out in the colder months. We tend to go through this mix rather quickly because it is such a hit over here.

To make the batch more smooth, instead of gritty, I process everything through my blender. I first mix all of the white ingredients in my blender (milk, sugar, creamer, vanilla creamer). I dump those in a plastic container and then I mix up all the brown ingredients (tea and spices). I pour this on top in the plastic container, seal the lid and give it a good shaking to incorporate or mix it up with a spoon. If you have a large food processor, you may be able to process it all together, but if you have a blender it is best to do this in divided batches.

DIY Vanilla Chai Mix in a Jar from MomAdvice.com

Not only is this drink mix wonderful for yourself, but mixing up a batch of this and tucking some of it in a mug would be a wonderful gift to give to someone special in your life. I often rely on this easy mix in a jar for a teacher or bus driver gift because it is always a hit. Who wouldn’t want a jar of that in their pantry?

If you are sharing this one with your kids, be sure to look for a mix like this.

You’ll have to trust me on that one since I have made that mistake a few times (*ahem*)

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do- please let me know what you think!

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Mix up this easy recipe for Vanilla Chai to keep in your pantry to enjoy throughout the cooler months. This is also a great gift mix to share with family and friends.
Ingredients
  • Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 2 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder. Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.


Love this mix? Check out my hot cocoa mix with an ingredient that just might surprise you! You might also love this link to some of my favorite copycat DIY Starbucks Drinks or this great roundup of fall drinks- yum! What is your favorite autumn/winter drink? Do you have any recipes to share for your favorite drink mixes?

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial for Fall

Monday, August 21st, 2017

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

This blog was sponsored by Westcott. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

I’m back to crafting today (all the jazz hands!) and I’m SO excited to share a fun apple wreath tutorial to freshen up your front door for fall, but I’m even more excited to share with you a secret that I’ve been keeping for the past couple of months.

Westcott, our sponsor today, has launched a new Mini Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Pen.

A  hot glue pen, you say?

Yes!

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen

Let’s talk about the Mini Hot Glue Guns first. The Mini Hot Glue Gun comes in two versions, high temp (this baby reached up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and low temp (that can reach up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit).  What makes these a little different are the smart features that I’ve always wished my glue gun had and I know you will appreciate too.

This has a non-stick tip (!!!) and the nozzle changes color from blue to red so you know when it is ready to use. No guessing and burning yourself checking it anymore! It also has been ergonomically designed to help your hands stay comfortable for all your crafting time.

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen

Since I have so much joint pain, I haven’t been crafting as much as I used to. This new Hot Glue Pen though is incredible and helps with your precision and accuracy when you are doing detailed projects. This one also turns colors to indicate when it is ready and it offers a finger trigger right on top to help you dispense glue in a more controlled way.

I have joked that our entire house is held together with a glue gun so I was MORE THAN HAPPY to spread the good news about these new products! You can read more over here and also check out their new site for Westcott Creativators.

How about we take these for a test drive and craft up a beautiful diy apple wreath for your home, to share with a teacher, or a fun wreath to hang to celebrate back to school?

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed

14″ styrofoam wreath form (or your own preferred size)

60-80 mini foam apples (I used 80 on mine to make it full)

24-30 feet of Mesh Burlap

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen or Mini Hot Glue Gun (low temp is great for gluing together plastic and styrofoam)

Hot glue sticks

1-2 Pins to secure on the back

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

 Directions to Make an Apple Wreath

1. Begin by wrapping burlap around the styrofoam wreath form. Once the entire wreath is wrapped in burlap, secure with a couple of pins to keep the burlap tight.

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

2. Heat up your Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen and wait for the tip to turn red, to indicate that it is hot and ready. Begin securing these foam apples all around your burlap wreath, taking your time holding each of these to the burlap until they are secure. Be sure to tilt them in different directions, covering the entire top of the wreath. You can then leave the wreath as is or you can add another layer on top in between the first layer apples. I loved the dimension of two levels on this wreath so I added an extra round of apples to finish my wreath.

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

3. Finish by hanging your wreath on a door. I looped a little twine on the back through the holes in the burlap to finish this wreath!

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

I hope you have fun making a wreath of your own, for yourself or for your favorite teacher! This is such an easy craft to make and can be enjoyed throughout the fall season. Thank you to Westcott for all the hot glue gun fun! I’m so excited to work on future projects with this smartly designed craft tool!

 

This blog was sponsored by Westcott. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

Amy’s Notebook 08.16.17

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Garlic Herb Chicken With Zucchini

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I’m always looking for new one pan dishes and this garlic herb chicken with zucchini looks like a weeknight winner!

8 ways to help after Charlottesville. Also, this piece was great on talking through it all with your kids.

I won’t lie, I could eat this every single day and be very happy.

Stumped on how to mix patterns in your home? I loved this guide to perfecting the pattern mix.

Oh, I needed this laugh today.

Three types of friends you might need to break up with. Great advice for a better #girlsquad!

Did you hear about this new app?

This is just genius- I love how people make the most of small spaces!

How to experience the total eclipse from your living room.

Small Space Movie Night

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Who needs a theater room? I love this idea for making the most of small spaces!

I had no idea that Amazon sold wine- here are 5 of the best affordable bottles!

I love, love, love colorful homes.

This is haunting, isn’t it?

I’ve been enjoying this book a lot.

I can absolutely see how this happens. In fact, I think it happens more than we realize.

“Start with what you have, not with what you want.”- I want to live like this always.

I think you should read this.

I thought this had some great advice if you are packing gluten-free lunches for your kiddos.

Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Chicken & Rice Bowls

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Put cheese on just about any veggie and I’m in. I love this spin on a good old-fashioned casserole.

Perfectionism, procrastination, paralysis- yes. This was a good read if you are in that awful cycle too.

This is your best defense against bad vibes.

I love these tips on adding removable wallpaper to a room.

Ohhhh, can’t wait to see this movie! And this one. And this one. And this one.

Putting together my capsule so I gathered a few of my favorite capsule pieces this year over here.

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