Author Archive

Amy’s Notebook 12.06.17

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Japanese Wrapping Technique source

I love this creative wrapping technique for the gift-giving season.

This is on my organizing to-do list.

I just might be convinced to snag a membership for the holidays!

What an adorable gathering for the holidays with friends. Bookmarking!

A simple Advent calendar idea (that won’t take up too much space!)

Speaking of Advent calendars, how amazing is this one? So thoughtful!

I’d really like to pick up journaling and this is a great guide to get started.

If you need me, you’ll probably find me curled up with this incredible book.

mandarin tower source

How gorgeous are these centerpieces?

Swooning over these gorgeous bouquets. A cozy hygge bouquet would make the perfect gift for our out-of-town relatives!

This outdoor fireplace turned out so beautifully. I always love her style.

I’d love to dive into a bowl of these!

20 ways you made 2017 harder than it had to be. Noted.

Need a little holiday decorating inspiration? This should help!

Loving this NYE backdrop idea for the perfect photo opps.

Planning to use this tutorial to add a little greenery to our home.

Are we living in a culture of flakes? I really struggle with my patience on this one.

Curious about what type of vacuums perform the best? Check out this advice from a repair technician. I’ve never regretted this one for our family!

Is self-care becoming too selfish? I like the idea of considering your motivations behind shares!

asian cheese board appetizers source

What a fun spin on a unique cheese board idea for the holidays!

You can bet I’ll be running to my fabric store to do this!

This garland is so stylish for the mantle.

This makes me sad to read about. We are trying to scale back this year.

This list of 19 handmade gifts look like beautiful ideas for my crafty friends.

I’m trying to work on better sleep habits this year.

I do love a good ribbon hack.

Now this recipe looks like a great way to warm up!

Beautiful ideas for making small spaces festive.

Remember, you’re in charge this holiday season.

I’m eyeing this for my Christmas wish list.

How to throw a dinner party without a table. Basically, no excuses!

Perfectly wrapped gifts thanks to this smart wrapping tutorial.

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

 

November 2017 Must-Reads

Monday, December 4th, 2017

November 2017 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

I hope your week is off to a great start! I just got back in town and realized that I’m a bit behind on our monthly book reviews. Forgive me! This time of year is as crazy for me as I’m sure it is for you. I am hoping this list will be worth the wait and give you some fun new books to pick up for the upcoming holiday break! I can’t wait to hear what you are reading too.

Oh, don’t forget 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!

Not enough variety? Print out our Reading Challenge Worksheet to finish out your year!

As always, I’m looking forward to sharing what I enjoyed in my stack this month. Unfortunately, the holiday season slowed my roll a bit so I’m excited to hop back in it this evening with a big mug of tea in front of our Christmas lights. I hope you have lots of evenings planned like this too!

Here are 6 must-read books that I tackled in November!

When We Were Worthy

When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

PSSSTTT- This one is on sale today for $1.99!!

Chamberlain & Picoult fans are sure to be captivated by this heartbreaking novel.

Worthy is a claustrophobic town that only seems to care about football and winning. When three cheerleaders are involved in a fatal car accident, the town wants someone to pay…no matter what.

Of course, nothing is exactly at what it seems and every character holds a few secrets of their own that could send the whole town into a tailspin. These views are all played out by the various viewpoints in the story from the mothers of the victims to the girl who should have been in the car with her friends. The numerous viewpoints can be a bit confusing at first, but I hit my pace after a few chapters. Whalen’s creative use of wordplay and language makes this an enjoyable read, even in the thick of my confusion.

If you want to feel a little lazy about not reaching your goals, Whalen states in her acknowledgement that she lost the use of her right hand, after an accident, and had to struggle to finish this since this happened to be her writing-hand. Basically, we all have NO excuses now!

When We Were Worthy was a solid escape! Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for sending a copy to me to review!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Green’s next novel was the one that I had looked forward to the most this month. For me, this wasn’t my favorite and I found myself struggling to finish this one.

Tackling the subject of mental illness is, of course, very brave. Green crafts a character whose OCD tendencies and spiraling thought process really are beautifully done with a very raw glimpse into what it would be like to have these thoughts controlling you.

Unfortunately, this was the strongest glimmer and the YA mystery adventure, as the characters try to pursue a fugitive billionaire for cash reward, ended up being weak and didn’t hold my attention.

As a YA read, it is a great one for your kids. As an adult (not the intended audience, I can acknowledge this), it was a bit too YA for me!

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Castle of Water

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge

I’m a sucker for a good love story and I can’t rave enough about the beauty of, Castle of Water. I know that this will be on the top ten list of 2017 and I have a feeling, if you read it, it will be on yours too.

A small plane crashes in the middle of the South Pacific leaving two of the passengers stranded as they both washed ashore on a small island.  If you think this sounds a bit predictable, I did too, but Huckelbridge writes a story that is anything BUT predictable as the two castaways work together to try to remain alive in the face of numerous hurdles.

The writing is surprisingly witting and laugh-out-loud funny, while still giving you that ache in your heart at all they have lost. Being stranded on an island requires a writer to really drive this story with strong characters. This character development is the heart of the story as these two seem to lift off the pages.

While the ending didn’t bring all that I had hoped, it felt truthful to the storytelling and didn’t overshadow this beautiful story! Run, run, run and get this one!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Bonfire

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I do love a good thriller and Bonfire is an excellent debut novel from actress, producer, and writer Krysten Ritter.

This follows the story of an environmental lawyer, Abby Williams, who has been assigned a case in her hometown of Barrens, Indiana.  She has been tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the company that supports and has its hand in every pie in town, to discover if any of their business practices have been causing health problems for the town’s residents.

Returning home is never easy and Abby has left behind a lot of secrets of her own and many stories of the bitchy mean girls that seemed to have it out for her. With loads of suspense the past and the present come full circle, as Abby becomes more and more unhinged and unreliable as the book’s narrator.

Fans of dark thrillers will love this gritty suspenseful page-turner. Don’t discredit this writer for her Hollywood creds,  it’s definitely worth your time!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Seven Days of Us

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

If you are craving an escape from the holiday crazy, I can think of no better suggestion than an evening with, Seven Days of Us.

The entire Birch family must come together for seven long days to be locked down into quarantine for the holidays. Olivia, their daughter, is a doctor and has been treating an epidemic abroad and they need to insure that no germs are spread. The family hasn’t been together this long in years and, as we all do, everyone falls back into their old roles. Children become children again, parents resume fighting, and they all must learn to live with one another again.

Each of these family members is carrying a secret that holds detrimental consequences for the entire family. Told from their alternating perspectives, the chapters begin to twist together as these secrets are revealed.

Even in the predictable moments, this made for a highly entertaining read and is a great way to unwind over the holiday weekend. It made me smile in many of the same ways of some of my favorite holiday films. I think you will love this one!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Last Ballad

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

This new novel, from Wiley Cash, was inspired by true and heroic events of the first union and all that the crusade leaders had sacrificed to be a part of the movement. The main character, Ella May, is unable to keep her children clothed and fed on the wages she is given. With no man to help her, she receives a union flier that changes the path of her life. Within the first organized event, Ella May is asked to share her experience and becomes a poster child, of sorts, for the movement. Unfortunately, there are consequences for anyone who does not follow the protocol and Cash takes us through this difficult time in history through several different character’s eyes.

This one moved a little slower for me, but I blame the timing more than the writing. I had not paused to consider what this would look like, in the late twenties, and the heroic measures taken by those seeking fair wages. If you are looking to dive into a historical fiction book with some meat, this is a solid one!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

 

 

Book of the Month December Selections

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out!!

This month’s special:

Gift a subscription to Book of the Month and get a free book for yourself (!!!)

December Selections:

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The English Wife by Lauren Willig

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

We’re Going To Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

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

September 2017 Must-Reads

October 2017 Must-Reads

November 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.

Small-Budget Crushes 11.30.17

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

please hide packages from husband doormat please hide packages welcome mat

ruffle poncho sweater ruffled poncho sweater

bath book tray bathtub book tray (I have had this exact one for over a decade and it still looks brand new! Great holiday gift!!)

bliss plush throw bliss plush throw (on sale & in loads of colors!)

what's on your mind embroidery personalized what’s on your mind embroidery (I want one that says BOOKS!!)

volume sleeve circle hem sweater volume sleeve circle hem sweater

monogram bar glass monogram bar glass

men's record shirt men’s record shirt

ruffled sweater dress ruffled sweater dress

fitzgerald serving cart fitzgerald serving cart

mouse in a box mouse in a box

drying rack drying rack

vegan clutch purse vegan clutch purse

jane austen perfume collection jane austen perfume collection (packaged in book covers!)

tea organizer tea organizer

navy camo print midi dress navy ruffled midi dress (use coupon code BRPLUS for an ADDITIONAL 50% off all Sale items!)

carry on cocktail kits carry on cocktail kits (great gift for travelers!)

fit and flare holiday dress fit and flare holiday dress

faux leather duffel bag faux leather duffel bag

crystal ring holder crystal ring holder

puff sleeve velvet dress puff sleeve velvet dress

crocheted booties crocheted booties

shawl collar cardigan shawl collar cardigan

velvet pleated skirt velvet pleated skirt (in two hues- that price is amazing!)

geo block ruana geo block ruana

gold dot apron gold dot apron

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 

 

 

Amy’s Notebook 11.29.17

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

snowball bath bombs source

These snowball bath bombs look like a wonderful gift to share this holiday season.

Are you a podfaster too?

Looking forward to digging into this promising series next week.

Here is a list of 101 books you can look forward to in 2018!

Speaking of books, this book is absolutely incredible. Historical fiction fans won’t want to miss this one!

I’ve also listening to this one- it is pretty darn cute!

Did you know you shouldn’t store your cheese in plastic? I will have to try this tip!

Who else is excited about this second season?

The 13 questions that lead to divorce- hahaha!

“All those years, telling you not to speak Navajo, and then to turn around and ask us for help with that same language…. It still kind of bothers me.” I was unaware of the Navajo code talkers until recently- this is a great piece on all they did for our country.

The only ways to stop haters from ruining your life.

leather & dowel ladder source

This diy leather ladder would be perfect for getting organized in the morning.

I’ve got my eye on this faux fiddle leaf plant for our home.

I couldn’t believe how awesome this was and all the people involved. What a great birthday gift!

A bit morbid, but a lot to think about- the act of death cleaning.

Hoopla users will be happy to hear about their expansion.

A few great audiobooks for your upcoming holiday drives.

“True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”- THIS!

Stranger Things + Sesame Street- this had my kids rolling!

What a gorgeous free holiday printable.

You know what season it is? It’s the month of nonstop listening to this.

Looking for some FRESH Christmas music? Try this playlist!

at-home-gel-manicures source

Have you tried doing an at-home gel manicure before? This had some great tips!

Print out our FREE Advent Calendar! These were such a hit last year with our readers!

Speaking of nails, I bought this (don’t forget the top coat!) and it held up almost an entire week with zero chips.

11 signs you have been abused by a malignant narcissist.

Did you see that this was back?

I always find her holiday decorating so inspiring.

Speaking of fake trees, we bought this one (it already dropped $20 this week!!) and I’m IN LOVE! I took a pic if you want to take a peek!

What an adorable family tradition.

22 books on Reese Witherspoon’s must-read list. So proud to have 10 of these under my belt!

I can’t wait to make these for a gluten-free holiday treat!

Are you going to any fancy holiday parties? I found this styling post helpful.

I’ve decided I need to dig into this show.

For the brow obsessed!

A quick way to spot fake news.

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

Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

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

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving season with your families!  I don’t know about you, but after hosting a Thanksgiving, I felt a bit uninspired trying to put together meals for these next busy upcoming weeks. There is nothing that makes me feel worse than dining out night after night so I tried to put together an easy dish that our whole family will love.

Did you think turkey season was behind us? The good news is that turkey season doesn’t need to wind down after the holidays thanks to a few new ready-to-go products that are on store shelves now.

The even better news? These items help to eliminate a little of the prep work for your meal so you can spend more time unwinding.

I have gotten the opportunity to partner with Honeysuckle White again this year as they launched a new line of flavored meatballs, burger patties, and cutlets to help make the dinner hour easier and more affordable for busy families.

Did someone say easier AND more affordable?

I’m in!

Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole

As a gluten-free girl, I’m thrilled that these meatballs are gluten-free and stuffed with one of my favorite foods…cheese! I wanted to create a dish that would really compliment these, while also continuing my gluten-free theme, so I made these into a Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole that can be topped with additional fresh mozzarella cheese and a little fresh basil (and an optional balsamic drizzle), to finish.

If you haven’t tried quinoa, you are in for a treat! It was one of the first foods that I added to my diet, when making my own dietary switches, and it has become something I now eat almost weekly now. It is a fun switch from rice and stands up well to a reheat in the microwave.  Be sure to read this article so you can learn more about this ingredient and how you can prepare quinoa in your rice cooker.

caprese-quinoa-and-meatball-casserole-recipe-6 caprese-quinoa-and-meatball-casserole-recipe-3 Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole

Everyone in our family REALLY enjoyed this casserole and I can see us adding this one into our weekly rotation. The meatballs were light and the topping of mozzarella added a little indulgence to this, otherwise, entirely healthy dish. The quinoa was delicious and cooked in spaghetti sauce and chicken broth, my favorite combo for cooking consistency for quinoa and pasta dishes.

Also, if you haven’t reduced a little balsamic for drizzling, I know you will find this extra step to be worth the flavor it brings to the completed dish. It is something that only takes a couple of minutes, but certainly brings the WOW factor!

The best part about this dish is that it is quick to prepare, will probably leave you some leftovers (if you are lucky), and feels like a rich comfort food dish to this gluten-free eater!

Be sure to give these new dinner options a spin in your house! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Italian comfort food receives a healthy weeknight spin with prepared meatballs and quinoa for our base. Add a balsamic reduction drizzle and basil for an elegant touch.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa (rinse this really well with water- read more here)
  • 1- 16 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pounds Honeysuckle White Cheese Stuffed Italian Style Meatballs
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of thinly sliced basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven for 375 degrees.
  2. Begin by rinsing your quinoa thoroughly (read instructions in the ingredient list if you have not prepared quinoa before).
  3. In a greased 9x13 pan, add the rinsed quinoa to the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a sauce pan, heat the spaghetti sauce and chicken broth until hot. Remove from the stovetop and pour the liquid over the quinoa, until it is fully covered.
  5. Sprinkle meatballs on top of the quinoa and finish with thin slices of mozzarella (you can put them over the meatball or just dabble on top of the dish). Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes, remove the foil to melt the cheese fully.
  6. While the dish is baking, our balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium high and bring vinegar to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes until vinegar has reduced down. Stir occasionally. When it begins to coat the back of a spoon, you will know that it is fully reduced. Set aside to cool while the casserole bakes.
  7. Once your dish is done, finish servings with thinly sliced basil and your balsamic reduction.

Caprese Quinoa and Meatball Casserole

Honeysuckle White turkey products are available in select states. For those on the East Coast (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, RI, SC, VT, VA, WV), look for Honeysuckle White’s sister brand, Shady Brook Farms!

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

Pin It

My Favorites for Cyber Monday

Monday, November 27th, 2017

cyber monday

Let’s talk about some of my favorite deals today for Cyber Monday 2017!!

If you love to read, this is a pretty incredible deal day on Amazon with over 400 selections discounted!

Amazon Kindle Book Deals

RABBIT, $2.99
GINNY MOON, $3.99
VICTORIA, $2.99
LESS, $3.99
HEARTLESS, $2.99
SAPIENS, $4.99
QUIET, $3.99
LEAVE ME, $1.13
UNASHAMED, $1.99
ESSENTIAL, $2.99
Want to give Book of the Month (BOTM) a spin? Today is also the day!
KitchenAid Cyber Monday Deal As a minimalist, I tend to shop simple or only for those big ticket items that dip today.  I’ll just share a few things I have found as a smart buy today!

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer

JCP has a great deal on the KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. Use coupon code SHOPNOW8 to bring the price down to $260.09. Combine this with this mail-in rebate for $60 off  and it should bring your price down to $200.09. Woot, woot!

SHOP HERE!

Ninja Mixer

Blenders

The Ninja Mixer is also really dropped on the site to just $59.49, if the Vitamix is out of the budget! Just use coupon code SHOPNOW8!

If the Vitamix is in the budget, here is the lowest price that I have seen!

Other Random Goodies

20% OFF ANTHRO (the books section is great for gift-giving!)

OLD NAVY IS 50% OFF SITEWIDE

THIRDLOVE HAS 25% OFF THEIR SATIN LINGERIE SETS

NATURALIZER IS 40% OFF SITEWIDE WITH COUPON CODE CYBER2017

15% OFF COUPON FOR TARGET (some fine print on the coupon)

INSTANT POT (38% OFF!!)

J CREW FACTORY (60% OFF SITEWIDE & 50% ADDITIONAL OFF CLEARANCE!!)

TOMS (ADDITIONAL 25% OFF USING COUPON CODE THANKFUL)

UP TO 70% OFF TOYS

50% OFF EVERYTHING AT LOFT (USE COUPON CODE CLICK)

70% OFF GROUPDEALZ DEALS (PLUS COUPON CODE CYBER10 GIVES AN EXTRA 10% OFF TO LAYER!)

SUPPORT HANDMADE WITH THESE CYBER DEALS

30% OFF PLUS FREE SHIPPING AT H&M

thredup One last thing, you can score 20% off thredUP today! Use coupon code GONUTS to get 20% off!

I mention this one because we got the kid’s holiday clothes last year from this site! The other bonus is cocktail dresses,clutches, dress shoes, & jewels for any upcoming parties! If you haven’t shopped before, this should give you an additional $10 towards your holiday purchase!

What deals did you find today?

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 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.14.17

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

mock neck tunic mock neck tunic (several colors)

woven scarf woven scarf (only $7.99- great stocking stuffer!!)

metallic block heels metallic block heels (use coupon code STYLE for 40% off)

superhero dress-up capsule superhero dress-up capsule (ADORABLE!!)

college town pint glasses college town pint glasses (find your college town HERE)

letters to santa mailbox letters to santa mailbox

sherpa bomber sherpa bomber (use coupon code STYLE for 40% off)

crosley snap record player crosley snap record player

striped cape scarf striped cape scarf

cable knit hat cable knit hat (less than $15!!)

the location of the library print the location of the library print

llama socks llama socks (use coupon code STYLE for 40% off)

coziest throw coziest throws ($19!!)

the most wonderful time of the year pillow the most wonderful time of the year pillow cover (only $5.99!!!)

floral dress tulip-hem dress (perfect for a holiday party!)

champagne apron champagne apron

indiana return address stamp indiana return address stamp (or find your own state HERE)

hooded pocket poncho hooded pocket poncho (use coupon code SOGOOD for 40% off!!)

city tote bag city tote bags

petite yarn bowl petite yarn bowl

book print skirt book print skirt (SWOON!)

ho ho ho pour the merlot ho ho ho pour the merlot

zodiac trinket dish zodiac trinket dish

hand embroidered necklace hand embroidered initial 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 

 

 

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Better Than a Pedicure, Happy Light, & Artsy Podcast Love

Friday, November 10th, 2017

thank you instead of i'm sorry follow me on instagram

Facebook can be such a beautiful thing for reconnecting with people in your life. One of my sweet friends, dealing with her own health difficulties, posted something that I just keep turning over and over in my mind.

She said:

“I have been cocooning…

An awkward, isolating, and many times, unpretty chapter in our evolution.

However, you know what happens when it’s over….

I will have wings to fly!

And to soar, as my Creator would have me do…

I must wait patiently while my wings are fashioned and matured enough to break free from my shell, and to carry me beyond heights I have not even begun to imagine.

But, these things take time.”

I have been in a place of cocooning this month, a time of unpredictability and a longing for a prettier chapter. The spiraling can feel fast and furious, as can the frustration with the new normal.

This is what I will say that I have learned though.

I am stronger than I think I am.

I have the right and perfect support system in the wings anytime I need them.

I will no longer apologize for the mess I am.

I will, instead, say thanks for loving me and caring about me unconditionally!

Thank you, Marsha, for the Facebook status that reminds me of the beauty that comes after the waiting.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week:

verilux happy light

Happy Light for the Winter Blues

Seasonal depression is no joke and the Midwest winters can be brutal on a girl’s happiness levels. I bought a tabletop happy light that is supposed to help remedy the winter blues, give you more energy, and regulate those sleep cycles.  I read a lot of articles about it (I found this one to be really straightforward on tips) and it is recommended that the light should be 10,000 lux. When browsing, you will find ones in a cheaper price bracket, but they aren’t offering the 10,000 lux that are recommended for effective treatment so I went for the big guns.

I use this for an hour in the morning with a good book and a tall cup of coffee. It is super important to be consistent and so I aim for around the same time and duration each day. I love that this is so small that it could be taken on trips, when we travel, and doesn’t take up a lot of storage in our home.

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

let's spa gel lined booties

Better Than a Pedicure Food Treatment

Do your feet get dry in the winter?

Should we even be talking about this?

Anyone else with a foot phobia? (*cringe*)

I hate how dry my feet get so when I ran across these gel socks, I thought they might be worth a try. YOU GUYS! These socks are AH-MAZING!! I can’t believe how much they have helped my tired feet. They are geared towards treating and hydrating callused feet and contain a gel lining with Jojoba Oils & Vitamin E.

The best part? They last SIX MONTHS.

You can wear them for thirty minutes or overnight. They require no messy lotions and have been way more moisturizing than any pedicure treatment or lotion I have ever bought.

I feel like I am giving myself a pedicure just walking around my house in my pajamas. In the words of Ina, “How bad could that be?”

They also cost less than one pedicure so I consider these a wise winter investment. I hope you love them as much as me!

a piece of work podcast A Piece of Work Podcast

As raunchy as it is, no show has made us laugh more than Broad City. I have become a HUGE fan of the stars and was so excited to see that Abbi Jacobson  (a star & show writer) was partnering with MoMA on a podcast called, A Piece of Work.

The premise of the show is tapping into experts, curators, and some of her personal friends (like Questlove!) to ask all the things you have ever wanted to know about art. Abbi was an art major (I had no idea!) and she dives deep into the stories behind modern and contemporary pieces of art. The podcast is insightful and has a behind-the-scenes feel as Abbi gets to explore the inner workings of MoMA.

This is such an incredibly smart podcast that you will want to binge on in one sitting!

PS- language, so not one of the kiddos!

Reading: I started this book and am loving it. Ironically, I found out that the author is a neighbor of an old friend of mine! #smallworld! I would recommend this one for Picoult or Chamberlain fans. The price is nice too at just $4.99.

Playing: We had friends for another game night last weekend. This board game is becoming quite the hit with our visitors. I can’t wait to play it again!

Contemplating: I thought I would share this article with you. It gave me a lot to think about!

iphone i glitch funny

LOL’ed: Tired of talking like Cookie Monster? Get it together, iPhone!

Also, LOL’ed through Bad Moms 2. I didn’t think it was as good as the first one, but it was just what I needed after a stressful week!

If you are into being obsessively punctual- you’ll love this piece. Dim the lights and cue the mood music!

This update made me LOL- can’t wait to show my kids! Enjoy shopping for supplies for your new hipster job offerings.

Got Loads of Compliments:  On this. I’m pretty sure it is the best thing in my fall capsule and makes even jeans and a tee look polished.

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!

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

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

It feels so strange to be talking about our baby hitting the tween years, but we recently hit this milestone age and all that comes with it. Today I am partnering with Simon & Schuster to celebrate girl power with the launch of the incredible series, “The Littlest Bigfoot,” written by Jennifer Weiner. If you are an avid reader like me, you may know Weiner from her fun chick lit novels and now she is penning a trilogy for girls that encourage self-love, positive body image, and friendship between girls.

DIY Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

“The Littlest Bigfoot,” and “Little Bigfoot, Big City,” are the first two books that are out in the planned trilogy. These books explore the good old-fashioned themes of friendship and belonging through this modern day fairytale.

The lead character, Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, is ignored by her family and is being shipped off to her eighth boarding school. She longs to have a friend and when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in the lake one day, she finds the friend she has always been looking for.

Millie happens to be a Bigfoot though, a part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs—are dangerous, but Millie is fascinated with this human world and feels that they understand her own dreams and aspirations better. Alice protects Millie’s secret, but they must face a league of Bigfoot hunters who are trailing them.

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

The story then continues into the next novel where the friends sneak off to the Big Apple in search of Millie’s stardom. Unfortunately, they end up getting trailed by a shadowy government organization and are finding cryptic clues that force them to confront their history, choices, and find out what it means to be a true hero and friend.

At this in-between stage of life, I love finding books like this that are filled with positive messaging and heartwarming dialogue about inclusion and belonging. Definitely pick up these two books for your tween and keep your eyes peeled for the third book, coming in 2018! This series is just perfect for your middle grade readers, between the ages of 8-12!

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

I remember how much I struggled with self-confidence at this age and also remember all the new territory that came with all of these changes. My parents wanted to encourage me to embrace good hygiene habits and to help me understand all the upcoming changes that would be happening in my body. As the oldest of three children, I felt that I had to share everything with my siblings so anything that I got that was just for me (not for them!) was really special. It could have been something as simple as not sharing my french fries or as grand as getting a date with just one of my parents, these simple moments made me feel special because they were mine alone.

Instead of just talking about good hygiene and caring for my body, my mom put together a pail of items that I would need to start implementing good habits of self-care and explained why and how to use these items. This pink pail housed my new face washes, a loofah with body soap, and deodorant. All I could think about though was that all this stuff was JUST FOR ME and I didn’t have to share it.

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

This week I gave my daughter a Tween Confidence Kit of her own and I could see that sheer delight she had to have items that were just for her. Truth be told, many of my own items were starting to magically disappear from our bathroom, and after this came up, she explained how she wanted to wear or add some of these things to her own routines.

This kit of supplies had everything she needed to get started implementing her own big girl routines! We talked about implementing a good skincare routine (daily wash and moisturizer, weekly exfoliation scrub), the importance of washing our body and deodorant, and dry shampoo for days when we need fresh locks, but don’t have the time. A few things to make the routines more fun included her own little scrubber, a shower cap for busy days, and a quick absorbing towel to wrap her hair in after she hopped out of the shower.

We also dipped our toes into some of the things that might be coming up and how to prepare for those circumstances too. She had lots of great questions and this was a great way to open up the dialogue about what we might need to know for the future.

She also expressed a desire to start wearing makeup and I gave her a set of her own blush, lip gloss, and a little concealer as her first starter kit into that. I worked with her to apply the makeup and shared the importance of keeping her face natural and just enhancing the beautiful girl she already is. I loved working with her on this together and hope that she feels confident coming to me in the future because it means a lot to me to get to be a part of these new stages with her.

I hope that these ideas to help build tween self-confidence too. Each stage has been such a gift and I love being a part of the process with her.

To learn more about these incredible books, follow Simon Kids on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram or visit them on their website!

DIY Tween Self-Confidence Kit from MomAdvice.com

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

 

Small-Budget Crushes 11.09.17

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

long sleeve boyfriend tee long sleeve boyfriend tee

paivley bootie paivley bootie (on sale!!)

flannel shirt dress flannel shirt dress

new balance fresh foam cruz new balance fresh foam cruz

chunky sweater chunky sweater

v-neck cami v-neck cami (use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off!!)

multistrand pearl necklace multistrand pearl necklace

coziest throw coziest throws (on sale for under $20- great holiday gift!!)

felted pom pom slippers felted pom-pom slippers

 

raisa bow flat raisa bow flat

thankful mama tee thankful mama tee

cable knit cardi cable-knit cardi (use coupon code MORE for 25% off)

geo trees pajama pants geo trees pajama pants

knitting bag knitting bag

over the knee boots over the knee boots

wild cotton wreath wild cotton wreath

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