Author Archive

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

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

I am so excited to share with you these DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions I made today for our kitchen. While we have loved the aesthetics of our metal chairs in our kitchen, some of the bony bottoms in this house haven’t wanted to spend too much time in them. Lest you feel lead astray, it is not my rear that is struggling, thanks to a healthy dose of Sir Mix-A-Lot genes. I just get to hear from other people in my house about their discomforts.

Since I don’t sew (and struggle with exactness and measuring of materials) I wanted to create a DIY chair cushion to comfy up your metal chairs AND I wanted that chair cushion to be able to have two prints so we could switch them around. Not only does this give you two choices, but if you get tired of the print, you can reuse your cushion materials inside and recover them again with a fresh print.

I don’t want to brag, but I also think these are SUPER cute too!

Grab your glue guns and let’s get to work!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

Supplies Needed (everything including these gorgeous fabrics are found at Walmart!!)

Your choice of matching Waverly Inspirations Fabric (measure the dimensions of your chairs to figure out your yardage)

Trim (I purchased two yards for each chair, but this will also depend on your own chair size!)

Fabric Glue

Fabric Rotary Cutter

Rotary Mat

Hot Glue Gun & glue sticks

Foam Cushion


DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

Directions for No-Sew Chair Cushions

1. Begin by place a large piece of parchment over your chair seat to create a template of the sizing of the seat of your chair. Mine had a lip that outlined around it that I followed for tracing. Cut this out and use this as your guide for cutting your foam. Using scissors, cut to the size of your template (Note- if you are worried about your template holding up, you can trace it on heavier paper and then use that as your guide).

2. Grab one of your fabrics and place the foam cushion on top. Cut (with your rotary cutter and on your mat) around the cushion, giving yourself 2″ of wiggle room around the cushioning. Repeat this same step with your second piece of fabric.

3.  Now it is time to glue your pieces. You want one fabric with the print out and one fabric on top with the print in. We will be turning these inside out once they are dry so you want to be sure your fabric is facing the correct direction. Also be mindful what direction your print is going so you can repeat that on each cushion.

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

4. Using your fabric glue, glue around the entire square, leaving an opening to slide in your cushion on one side. Repeat this on all of your cushions. Set the cushions aside and let them dry for 24 hours.

5. The next day, carefully open up and turn the cushion covers to the right side. Slide your foam cushion in and then either sew the opening with a needle and thread or (this is my lazy girl way!) line up the fabrics folding it in to match and hot glue that seam shut.

6. Grab your trim and carefully apply your hot glue and then secure your trim. Do this all the way around your cushion. If you have any excess, line the cushion up and figure out where to secure a tie (or two!) for it. You can either secure this to the cushion with a bit of hot glue or you can grab a heavy thread and needle and stitch it to the back.

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

I hope these fun cushions bring your bony butts as much joy as they have to our house. We all agree that this also warms up the space a bit and makes it feel a little more homey. I added these coordinating pillows to the end chairs to add a little more warmth to them.

Do you want more fabric craft inspiration? Try these!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

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


Amy’s Notebook 08.31.16

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016


source: design mom

I love these meal ideas for late summer entertaining.

5 tools that can help you clean like a pro- I’m in!

I hate trying on jeans so this was helpful.

Had a good laugh over these reviews- I wonder if the company regrets making this product…

I want to try out this 100 year-old to-do list hack.

Why fangirling in your 30’s is so much better.



source: a beautiful mess

These DIY painted patio floors are such an affordable update to an outdoor patio!

This is on my crafting bucket list. Have you tried it?

I can’t wait to do a little antiquing and weave some of these suggestions in our home.

The hell that is the school drop-off line. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?

I never knew you could spray paint balloons!

11 books that pair well with your childhood faves- can’t wait to snag these from my library.

The question to ask yourself- what if I don’t.

I gave this a spin again and, for the first time, I wasn’t disappointed.

Just discovered this blog for replicating fancy style on a budget- yes!

5 important things you should know about your fridge- I’ll finally use my crisper drawers right!

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

Pressure Cooker Korean Street Tacos

Monday, August 29th, 2016


I have heard the praises sung from so many about their Instant Pots that I finally decided to take the plunge and get one for our family. We have had the best time cranking out meals, breakfasts, and snacks with it and I am so excited to share those recipes with you on the site. The first recipe we made were Korean Tacos for a fun Friday night feast together. The best part is that this meat is fall apart tender in 45 minutes and so easy to shred, it is just a matter of pulling it apart a bit with two forks.

Instant Pot

If you haven’t joined the cult of Instant Pot,  I would like to share why the church of the Instant Pot is the best. In this one gadget you are able to saute your dishes, slow cook your dishes, pressure cook your dishes, and even use it as a rice cooker. It has, basically, eliminated the need for multiple kitchen gadgets in my house. I bought the 6-quart that is minus the yogurt making setting and I am really happy with it. You can certainly splurge a little more for all the bells and whistles and tell me all about it!

Instant Pot

Pressure cooking the first time was SCARY! I read my booklet three times and about lost my crap when I had to release the steam out of the top of the venting thingamabob. When I say I lost my crap, I basically started screaming and ran in the other corner of the kitchen.

Then I realized that this really was not a big deal.

It’s steam.

I will not die from it.

right?? right??

There is a learning curve with this one. One day I was venting it when it was supposed to be shut, another day I had it closed when it should be venting, and the biggest issue I have had is figuring out timing.

If a dish says it is ready in JUST seven minutes, please know that they are not counting the preheating time which can be agonizingly long when you wait until the last minute for that “JUST seven minute” meal.

Several nights my kids were clutching their bellies and moaning around the house.

“How many more minutes? I’m so hungry.”

“LOOK, I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN. IT SAID SEVEN MINUTES AND EVERYONE IS A LIAR. IT’S ONLY 9 AT NIGHT. YOU ARE ALL BEING VERY DRAMATIC.” (runs under table to shield oneself from the evils of the steam monster).

Once I started to understand when to vent/when not to and gave myself an extra half hour start time before meals, I fell in love with this. I have used it every single day since we got it from slow cooked oatmeal to quick risottos to these delicious Korean tacos today. It is my new best friend!

Pressure cooking is amazing for its ability to make quicker work of things that normally take a long time or that can be very labor intensive. Steel cut oatmeal in four minutes, risotto in seven (with no pot hovering), shredded beef in forty-five minutes. It’s a dream come true!

I am sure I will have more to say about this gadget as I progress my way through new recipes! For now, let’s make some tacos!


These Korean tacos take about 45 minutes to make (after the preheat time- ahem!) and is made with items you most likely already have in your kitchen. A squeeze of fresh orange juice, soy sauce, beef broth, and a diced apple make an incredibly flavorful beef. I love that this is created from a bottom roast so it makes this an affordable dish to create and a wonderful one to entertain with.

pressure-cooker-korean-tacos-3 pressure-cooker-korean-tacos-4

To balance the saltiness of these, I topped these with a sweet Asian slaw made from cabbage, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and honey (to taste). It adds that irresistible crunch and balances the flavor in these.

Don’t have a pressure cooker? No worries! Just put this meat in a slow cooker for eight hours on LOW instead.

Don’t forget that this can also be transformed into taco bowls for your week too! Prepare the rice in the Instant Pot (some recommend getting an extra insert to make quick work in the kitchen!) and enjoy this delicious meal all week long.

These were a huge hit with my whole family and we made quick work eating through this batch on busy weeknights! I can’t recommend this one enough!


Pressure Cooker Korean Street Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
Put your Instant Pot to work to create this flavorful Korean Street Taco for your week. This is a great one for busy weeknights & can be made into delicious rice bowls for your lunches!
  • 4 pounds bottom roast, cut into 2" cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
  • juice or one large orange or 2 small
  • Corn tortillas (warmed)
  • 1 cup red cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 cups cabbage mix (shredded)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)- cilantro haters OMIT.
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, optional for added heat
  1. Season your bottom roast meat cubes generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Turn on your Instant Pot and select the Saute setting. Once the pan is hot coat the pan with the olive oil and in batches brown the meat on all the sides. Transfer meat to a plate while you’re working.
  3. Once all the meat is browned, using a whisk, deglaze the bottom of the pot with the beef broth, scraping up all the browned bits.
  4. Pour in the soy sauce and stir to combine.
  5. Return all the meat back to the pan and then place the garlic, ginger and appl on top of the meat, stirring lightly to slightly combine.
  6. Finish by adding a squeeze of orange juice.
  7. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and using the manual button on normal pressure set to 45 minutes. IMPORTANT: Make sure the valve is CLOSED.
  8. While the meat is cooking, begin preparing your slaw. Add the red cabbage and regular cabbage mix to a medium sized bowl.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk the rice wine vinegar, sriracha (optional), soy sauce, honey and sesame oil together.
  10. Pour the dressing the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
  11. Once the pot is done, release the steam and shred meat using a fork. On a warmed tortilla, scoop meat and then slaw to finish.

Adapted from Cookies & Cups

Tell me, what’s your favorite thing to prepare in your pressure cooker? Do you have any great tips/tricks for a newbie?

This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

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It’s the 3 Little Things: Coziest Top Ever, Musical Fun, & Roku On-The-Go (GIVEAWAY!!)

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Unknown Artist (Natalie) Antique Painting

One of our goals this week was to get the painting my husband found at an antique shop in Saugatuck framed for our home. If you haven’t given Hobby Lobby’s framing department a spin, it is where we have taken all of our pieces for framing. This one required custom framing and we splurged for the museum glass (did you know you can use a coupon on that- so nice!). That splurge pays off though to not have a glare across her face.

We got her hung in our family room and then my husband remarked how she really should be anchored by something…you know, like a new record console since that corner was so bare. Anyone else feel like these switches spiral into other purchases? I insisted we make do and switched tables, moved things around, and gathered greenery from the backyard. It works for now until we want to continue spiraling.

She really is a beauty and adds so much to our little living room.

Here are a few other things that are making me happy!

Old Navy Brushed Fleece T-Shirt World’s Coziest Top

Next week I am planning to try on and post the things that I ordered for my capsule wardrobe for fall, but I couldn’t wait on this one, for fear they will sell out. You guys. THIS TOP IS EVERYTHING!! The outside is made of the softest material ever felt (almost like a faux cashmere material) and the inside feels more like a terry material so you don’t get overheated. It is the top you will want to wear all the time, I promise you. As someone who hates shirts to be too short, the length is absolutely perfect on this one with satisfactory coverage. This one runs true to size (I purchased the XS and it is not too tight). I had ordered it in Gray and in Oatmeal and it is paining me not to order more. That is how much I love it.

Since Old Navy pretty much runs a sale every single day, I doubt you would ever pay the full retail price of $20 for it, but if you did, it would still be the best $20 you spent.

I tried it on and ran up to my husband.

“Touch me,” I said (with a glint in my eye).

“Okay,” he said (with a glint in his eye.)

“Can you believe this shirt?” (I said with eyes dancing)

“Oh, I guess we were thinking different things..” (sad face emoji).

He touches the shirt…

“I am so jealous. I want a shirt like that. If I had a shirt like that I would wear it every day.” (more sad face emojis because no male t-shirt equivalent on their site)

So there you have it, I can’t endorse this one enough!! Snag it ASAP.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Musical Geek Awesomeness

I was so excited that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came to Netflix and I have been treating myself to an episode in the afternoons. Have you guys seen it? It is pretty much my dream show. The main character, Rachel, lives in New York and is a successful practicing lawyer. When she bumps into an old boyfriend, Josh, on the street she believes it is fate and drops everything to try to get him back including a great career and her life in New York.

Yup. She’s crazy.

This city girl moves to a small town in California (two hours from the beach, four hours in traffic), taking a job at a small town law firm (with hilarious co workers) in hopes she can get back together with Josh…poor, unsuspecting Josh!

This is dark comedy at its finest and they manage to weave in the most beautiful (and hilarious) music that make it feel like each episode is a taste of a Broadway show. I cry-laugh through almost every single one.

If you haven’t watched it yet, DO IT. You can watch it on Netflix, Hulu, or stream it through Amazon.

Roku Stick

Roku On-the-Go

We don’t have cable (one of the best financial decisions we have made) and so I am always on the hunt to share new options for affordable streaming for families. We have had a Roku box for years and I was so excited to see that they have created a Roku now that is simply a stick that you can stick into your television’s HDMI port, that has all of the shows you are currently streaming. For wall-mounted televisions, it is a fantastic way to watch your shows without figuring out where to put a box.

The best part about it is that it is completely portable. For our family, it would be fantastic when we rent homes for family vacations, a way to keep the kids busy when stuck in a hotel room, and for our own wall-mounted television in our office (that had a Roku box dangling from it- not kidding!). For other families, it might be a great one to send off with your college kid so they can still use the account or to take to your parent’s house so they can catch a flick with you- that kind of thing!

Did I mention you can plug in a headset for private listening?

Oh, I know what kind of person you are- you know you don’t want your kids to hear your shows.

I can’t be the only one indulging in Broad City!

Some of the channels that we use like Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all available through this (along with a lot more!). The best part on this device is a killer search function where you can search for shows and it goes through ALL your accounts that you have to hunt for shows so you don’t have to toggle between your accounts.  The price is just $49.99 (!!!) so this is a great one, particularly if you don’t have a box already to stream with in a room or you are lacking those web-enabled television features. You can snag one of these at Best Buy, Target, Amazon, or check the Roku site for the shop closest to you.

We are so happy today to give one away to you! One lucky winner will receive their very own Roku Streaming Stick. Big thanks to Roku for giving us a chance to try one out and share about it in our favorite things today! Yay!

Enter in the widget below- then keep scrolling for the rest of the happy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal


Completing: Cleaned out my car! Jazz hands! Emily said, “Oh, I just love our organized car.” I just love not driving around in the equivalent of a dirty dorm room.

Reading: I’m listening to this book on audio. I had never heard of it before (or this incredible story in history- who knew about this lady before Helen Keller!?).

Eating: I’m back on an oatmeal kick. I love this apple oatmeal that I can put in the night before in my slow cooker. You won’t want to miss my slow cooker trick for creamy oatmeal. It’s a life-changer.

Listening: To my new playlist I made on repeat (with a side of ping pong)! I hope you enjoy it too!

Happy Friday, friends!

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

Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal (& Tips for Perfect Slow-Cooked Oats)

Thursday, August 25th, 2016


It’s become an embarrassing pattern of mine to make a resolution every year to be better about eating breakfast. Each time, I start on the path towards healthy eating. However, as life becomes fuller and mornings more hectic, I find that eating a good breakfast often gets pushed to the side.

This year, I discovered how invaluable my slow cooker was in creating a beautiful, hot breakfast for my entire family that I could serve in the morning and enjoy for mornings to come. I could also serve it as a midday pick-me-up or as a healthy late- night snack. The discovery might seem a bit old-fashioned, but a batch of oatmeal is a great way to start the day. This isn’t just any old oatmeal though—this oatmeal is made from delicious steel cut oats.

What’s the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats? Well, a part of it is their structure and the other part is the way that our body digests them. While both contain whole grain oats, they are processed differently. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin flakes. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces.

The reason steel cut oats are so awesome is because they digest more slowly than rolled ones, leaving you fuller longer. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel cut oats rank lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats. This just means that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down its conversion to sugar. For me, those highs and lows are some rough stuff, and I’ve found that a bowl of steel cut oats keeps my blood sugar much steadier.

I make a variety of different oatmeal recipes in my slow cooker and have found one thing to be consistent no matter what kind I make. Can I let you in on my little secret? I absolutely hate cleaning the slow cooker after making oatmeal. I also hate that the oats can get crusty pretty quickly on the edges, yielding a less than creamy bowl even when I have the perfect liquid ratios.

How to make slow cooker oatmeal

Let me share my secret that yields the most perfect and creamy bowl you can imagine and it is probably something you already have in your kitchen:

1. Find an oven-safe dish that fits inside of your slow cooker and fill that dish with all of your ingredients for your oatmeal.

2. Fill a measuring cup with water and pour the water around your dish, just to about the halfway point. This creates a warm water bath (a lot like those candles we made this summer) and helps your oatmeal to cook more evenly yet remain delightfully creamy.

3. Put a lid on the slow cooker (no need to double lid) and set it to cook for eight hours. It’s okay if your slow cooker switches to “warm” in the night. Thanks to your water bath, your oats will not get overcooked, but stay hot until you wake up!


Once you have that perfect bowl of oatmeal, you can add your favorite toppings to it or create a quick toppings bar of ingredients for the week. For this Creamy Coconut Oatmeal recipe, I found the taste of rich blackberries and toasty almonds to be a delightful way to top it!

Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal (& Tips for Perfect Slow-Cooked Oats)
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cups steel cut oatmeal (no substitutions)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (can omit if topping with brown sugar)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. Place all ingredients in your Kenmore slow cooker as I have shown you above.
  2. Cook on low for eight hours.
  3. Serve with your favorite oatmeal toppings like berries, dried fruits, nuts, granola, nut butters, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, or additional milk for topping.

 I can’t wait to hear what you think about this technique for perfectly cooked oatmeal and hope you can get the year started out right with this easy breakfast option!

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Amy’s Notebook 08.25.16

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Eggs in Ham & Cheese Cups via Hos Josephine

Source: Hos Josephine


How good does this look for breakfast? YUM!

Love the map in these lamps. It’s all in the details, isn’t it?

Buy only the home you need, not the house you can afford.

Swooning over this kitchen reno!

Wouldn’t these be the cutest present to share?

An inspiring post on vacation cooking- I must do this for our annual trips. So smart!

I love these DIY shelves!

How to build cute comfortable outfits.

Spaces to Organize in the Fall via Polished Habitat

Source: Polished Habitat


More organization eye candy. Now to get the energy to make it happen!

I could have written this post.

This studio living room tour brings all the color. Love all the little details!

I love peeking at other people’s favorite reads, don’t you?

“If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.”

Adorable study nook!

I’m obsessed with book covers.

Ten key insights from a family therapist on parenting.

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!

DIY Car Organizing Tips (Giveaway with Big Fat Notebooks!)

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

You know that mom that always has bandages, always has a snack and drink on hand, can pull a pen out at a moment’s notice, has tissues, never forgets an umbrella, utilizes time well between running kids, and keeps a tidy car?

That’s not me.

In fact, I have been pretty embarrassed about just how bad things have gotten. No one really wanted to ride in my car including myself (insert scared face emoji).

It was on my organizing bucket list to tackle this since a good portion of my day is now spent in the car running kids from activity to activity. I spent an afternoon getting us organized for this school year and I wanted to show you how I did that.

Big Fat Notebooks Big Fat Notebooks

The inspiration came from today’s partner, The Big Fat Notebook series. If your kids love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they will LOVE this new way of learning. When my kids were younger, they were hooked on Brain Quest, but once they hit middle school age, I felt like everything just felt like…Well, work. After a long day at school, the last thing they want to do is browse another textbook. That is why these are so genius. They look fun and teach you something in the process.

There are five books in all, and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History.

They also happen to meet Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards, and are vetted by National and State Teacher of the Year Award–winning teachers. If you are a homeschooling mama, this would make an excellent addition to your curriculum.

You can find these fantastic books at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, or Workman.

Big Fat Notebooks

I am not lying when I say that my daughter has become OBSESSED with these. There has been a lot of fact reciting at the dinner table!

We REALLY want to share them with you so please scroll to the end to catch this giveaway!!

I also wanted to figure out a way that we could keep these books on hand for busy days so I used this as an excuse to get my car organized and create caddies for each kid with the things they need. With school supplies on sale right now, it also happens to be quite an affordable time to create these little kits!

DIY Car Organizing Ideas

DIY Car Organizing Tips from DIY Car Organizing Tips from

After browsing every type of organizer available, I ended up using these shower caddy organizers for each of my kids because they had great pockets and a wipeable surface in case they get dirty or muddy. I also slipped a plastic cup for each to hold pencils/pens so it would make it easier for them to grab. In each one, I have an umbrella, snacks (that can withstand the hot car),  a water, a couple of Big Fat Notebooks (strategically chosen for the subjects we need to work on!!), and packages of tissues.


I had planned to hang them from the backs of the seats, but the width was too deep on our car. I actually think it will be easier to have them on the floor and they can also be moved to the center when they are being used.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

Backpacks can also pile up on the floor so I got these hooks to give these guys a home. It can also be a great place to hang a jacket, hat, or purse. Our backpacks often get dirty and thrown on the floor so I am hoping it helps with that too!

Now that the kids are in better shape, I wanted to work on some problem areas for me. My biggest issue is carrying around gym equipment so I wanted to make that an organizing priority.


DIY Car Organizing Tips from

In my gym equipment stash I have two pairs of shoes (one for dance class and one for cardio), a spare pair of socks, yoga socks, tissues, water, facial cleansing wipes, hair ties, travel brush, and a towel. These are things that I am always forgetting and that I sometimes end up having to buy at the gym.

All of these fit perfectly in this container.

Again, plastic, wipeable, AND breathable.

Not that my feet sweat AT ALL, but I wanted you to know for you. It’s okay. It happens to a lot of people.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

My yoga mat takes up valuable space and I hate that it is always rolling around in our trunk. Again, using those utility hooks to keep it in place along with my hot yoga towel and umbrella.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

To finish up the tour, I wanted to show you just a couple of other things that are helping.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

removable hook for hanging the trash bag- we will see how long this holds!

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

tiny totes for random things- one has receipts and pens, one has snacks for me, one has a mini first aid kit (for a legit one check here!), and the last one has tissues.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

utilizing the gaps for my phone to save space in my drink holder (similar idea here!)

It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud. I feel like I *might* be able to be that mom this year AND my kids will be learning between activities too. High fives all around, friends!

Giveaway Time

Big Fat Notebook

I can’t wait to give someone this whole collection. We are so excited to share this with you! The books included in this giveaway are:

Everything You Need to Ace Math . . . covers everything to get you over any math hump: fractions, decimals, and how to multiply and divide them; ratios, proportions, and percentages; geometry; statistics and probability; expressions and equations; and the coordinate plane and functions.

Everything You Need to Ace Science . . . takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.

Everything You Need to Ace American History . . . covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more.

Everything You Need to Ace World History . . . kicks off with the Paleolithic Era and  transports the reader to ancient civilizations—in Egypt, Greece, India, China, Africa, Rome; the middle ages across the world; the Renaissance; the age of exploration and colonialization, revolution and imperialism, and the modern world and the wars and movements that shaped it.

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts . . . covers everything to get you your best marks: grammar, including parts of speech, active and passive verbs, Greek and Latin roots and affixes; nuances in word meanings; textual analysis, authorship, structure, and other skills for reading fiction and nonfiction; and writing arguments, informative texts, and narratives.

One (1) lucky winner will receive:

  • Copies of all 5 titles in the Big Fat Notebooks series
  • Branded school supplies including highlighter/pen combos, a notepad, and jigsaw sticky notes.

Please follow the widget below to enter to win! I hope this post inspires you to get organized. As always, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Car Organizing Tips from

This post was sponsored by Workman Publishing and Big Fat Notebooks. All thoughts and opinions are my own!


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It’s the 3 Little Things: Bang Trick, Crying Laughing, & Busy Mama Shoes

Friday, August 19th, 2016



Good morning! These past few days have felt a little heavenly as the kids headed back to school and I’ve had the whole house to myself. I love my kids, but having some introvert time has been so good for my soul. The days here are much longer (we must RISE FROM OUR BEDS at 5:45AM (!!!) and I realized my body is revolting a bit with these new changes. My muscles are throbbing and I have been ending these days curled in the fetal position.

That part hasn’t been heavenly, but that whole health portion of my life really isn’t.

Instead of pushing myself further, I gifted myself three days to get myself used to these changes by  just allowing myself the pleasure of rest. The gym can wait for now!

As soon as the kids have left, I have spent the mornings on my patio with HOT COFFEE (!!!), a good book, and a cozy throw. I drag an ottoman out there and catching a little sunshine on my face, listening to all the nature sounds, and swimming in pretty words! If a girl must rest, that is the way to do it.

I have successfully put up blinders to block weeding, crumbs on the floor, piles of unfinished laundry, and the growing feeling of disorganization already.

Three days shouldn’t set me back too much….right? Right???


My best friend and I also have an annual tradition of a fancy feast and toast once our children go off to school. A sushi date was arranged for our back to school kickoff, white wine was served, and we toasted to getting through another summer.

Oh, and there are pedicures too every year.

Please pray for the poor woman that had to work on these feet.

Poor, poor woman. Her tip was quite generous (does anyone else avoid looking at someone working on your feet to not feel the shame?)

Here are 3 other things making me happy this week! 


A New Bang Trick (That Works)

I finally got a haircut again (it’s only been since…oh, April!) and I am back to bangs again. I was looking for tips on styling bangs and I happened to run across a video with the coolest trick for keeping your bangs looking fresh.

I don’t want to give it away, you need to watch it, but I tried it this week and these styling tricks really worked, especially her idea for the finishing touch to keep sweat at bay!

By the way, I can’t recommend this dry shampoo enough- for the price and the results. I use this between my infrequent shampoo days! If you are struggling with bang styling, I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

A Book With ALL the LOL’s

If you haven’t heard of Jessi Klein, she is the head writer and producer for the Inside Amy Schumer show and a gifted comedic writer.  She has written her first book and I can’t rave about it enough. If you have been looking for a book with the humor of Bossypants, You’ll Grow Out of It, has some of that comedic magic that I enjoyed so much from Tina Fey’s book.  In fact, I have been laughing until I am crying and have side stitches from laughing so hard.

I tried to read chapters aloud to my husband and start speaking gibberish because I can’t breathe or speak through the laughter. Ask him about it. I could tell he really felt like listening to me was a good use of his time.

These chapters are all about Jessi’s life as a tomboy and how she tries to conform to the expectations the world has on her as a female. From getting the perfect tight butt at barre classes, to lingerie shopping when you are more of a 3-pack Hanes Her Way kind of girl, to the inexplicable high we get from going to Anthropologie (which she calls Zooey Deschanel’s manger- LOL!), I am laughing at her struggles and relating to many of them too. Although not a tomboy, I get irritated by the expectations as much as anyone else.

If you need an escape, this would be a great I’m-waiting-for-kids-activities-all-day read since each chapter is its own story.

Just prepare for everyone in the carpool line to look at you like you are absolutely crazy when you are manically laughing alone.

I hope it makes you laugh as hard as it did me!


Skechers Ballet Flat

Great On-The-Go Shoes

Although I wouldn’t qualify these shoes as the most fashionable, I have been looking for a shoe that would be perfect to slip in on and as I run kids back and forth to activities or just for a quick jaunt to the mailbox.  I didn’t realize that Skechers made a ballet flat and these are perfect for my wide-foot friends (holla!). The width is generous and the inside is filled with cushy memory foam that keeps cool so your feet don’t sweat. They took a day to break in (I think mostly because I have been living in sandals), but I now wear them all the time and find them to be a really supportive busy mama shoe. Give them a shot- they come in a few different styles too!

For fashionable flats, I still can’t recommend these enough for your fall staples! They are oh-so-comfortable!


Completing: Nothing. Please see above.

Reading: I just finished this book. Have you read it? It’s another film project for Reese Witherspoon’s production team. I’d love to chat about what you thought!

Eating: We tried this incredible risotto recipe and I am excited to try my own variation on it. I joined the cult of Instant Pot. Have you heard of it? Let me share a pamphlet with you about the Book of Instant Pot. You, too, could  have a transformed life in just a few easy steps.

Listening: The Living Room episode has been listed as many people’s favorites and I savored it while waiting for my daughter at dance. It is guaranteed to pull at all your heartstrings at once. It also makes you think about how we interpret others. If you have some time, listen to it and tell me what you think!

Happy Friday, friends!

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

DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils

I hate to say it, but it’s back-to-school time! It’s always bittersweet for me. I enjoy summers with my kids so much and love the lazy days, but I also look forward to fresh starts and routines.  In honor of the season,  I created these cute DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils for the first day of school to remind your kiddos just how much they mean to you.

I always try to do one special thing for my kids on their first day of school to remind them how much they are loved. When my daughter started Kindergarten, I made hair bows that had a heart center, reminding her that my heart was with her on her big first day. For my son, it was always lots of jokes and comics tucked away in his lunchbox to share with his friends.


This craft was inspired by one of my favorite books, “The Help,” if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, you really must. In one particular scene, the sweet character Aibileen gives the little girl she cares for a self-esteem boost each day saying, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” These encouraging words are what help shape this little girl and help her grow and thrive.

I wanted to create personalized pencils for my own little girl for her first day of school that would capture why she is so special to me and capture a little of that self-esteem magic that I found so endearing in the film.

I jotted down a list of words that I think of when I think of my little girl. Kind, smart, funny, sassy, and joyful are just a few examples of what I think makes her so special. I wanted to create a project around these words and thought a pencil could remind her daily of why her mom thinks she is so darn wonderful.

How to Make Stamped Pencils

How to Make DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils from

Supplies Needed

(affiliate links included, if you use them, thank you -they help support the site!)


1. Jot down a list of words about what makes your child so special that you can use to stamp on your pencils.

2. Begin by sorting out your metal stamps into alphabetical order. I wrote a letter on the side of the stamp so it would be easy to find the stamp I needed while creating these. For me, the sorting was the most consuming part, but once you have this done it will make this project a lot faster.

3. Stamp your letter stamp into your black ink pad several times, until the letter is completely covered in the ink.

4. Then align your stamp, checking to make sure it’s about centered on one of the pencils’ flat sides, and also that it’s right-side up. You will want to give the end of your stamp a tap or two with the hammer. Keep in mind that wood is soft so you don’t want to pound it too hard, just hard enough to make that impression. Keep repeating this until you have spelled out your word.

5. Finish by dabbing your paper towel with rubbing alcohol and rubbing swiftly across the top of it to remove any excess ink that may have carried over from the stamping pad.

6. Wrap these in ribbon and give them to your child for their first day of school!

How to Make DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils from

I hope this project inspires you to create a little bouquet of pencils for your child’s first day of school. Older children might enjoy assisting with this project or love stamping their own name. Not only is this a great activity for mastering spelling, but it is also a great way to use their imagination to create words of their own.


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Amy’s Notebook 08.17.16

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Painted Polka-Dot Curtains from LollyJane

Source: Lolly Jane


I am loving the simple painted trim on these curtains!

8 brilliantly hidden kitchen drop zones- check out the wine rack!!

This is on my to-do list.

What teens need most from their parents.

Homemade rainbow popsicles with 100% fruit- genius!

This looks like a good page-turner.

I doubt I could ever do this, but I really enjoy it’s beauty!

Harry Potter floating candle tutorial- LOVE IT!

No Churn Brownie Batter Ice Cream via The Recipe Critic

Source: Recipe Critic


No-churn brownie batter ice cream- I want to try this with a gluten-free mix!

DIY stair runner made with vintage rugs- gorgeous!!!

I love learning about parenting in other countries.

15 must-see documentaries. I think we have seen all but 3 on this list!

Amy Schumer is one of my faves- loved seeing her favorite reads!

A home tour of musician’s homes- so much design inspiration in these for artsy types!

5 signs you should stop decluttering.

An ancient Tuscan farm turned magical​ bohemian​ home.

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!