Author Archive

September 2017 Must-Reads

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

September 2017 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

September was a GREAT reading month for me and I have loads of 5-star recommendations for your stacks. This month I tackled 11 books, thanks to quite a few quiet days in my little she shed. If you are a reader, that place is MAGICAL for quiet reading.

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! I’m having a blast working my way through it!

Here are 11 must-read books that I tackled in September!

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

If you are looking for an absorbing story, you definitely will want to dive into, Watch Me Disappear.

The story centers on a mother who goes on a solo hike in the Desolation Wilderness and vanishes from the trail. Although her body is never found, they conclude that she fell to her death, never returning again to her husband and daughter.

When her daughter begins having visions of her mother, she starts to believe that she is still alive and guiding her to where she is. When she reveals her mother’s secrets to her father, her husband also becomes convinced that there is more to this story.

Prepare for a very twisted and unpredictable plot right up until those final pages. Brown captures her reader in this clever thriller and won’t let go until you have made your way through the entire spider web of mystery.

If you are looking for a fresh book club pick, I would highly recommend this one as it explores the subject of finding and sometimes the losing of our identities as mothers.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I was not a big fan of All is Not Forgotten, but I wanted to give this author another try with her latest novel (and BOTM selection), Emma in the Night. I am so glad that I did because this was a another highly enjoyable thriller this month.

One night fifteen-year-old Cass and her seventeen-year-old sister, Emma disappear without a trace, other than a deserted car. Three years later, Cass returns alone and must share her story of being kidnapped and isolated on a mysterious island.

The story that Cass shares though, doesn’t add up. On the case is forensic psychologist (and expert in narcissistic personality disorder) Dr. Abby Winter. As she starts trying to make sense of the holes in the story, she discovers some shocking twists.

Fans of The Roanoke Girls will enjoy this twisted family story that will keep you page flipping until the wee hours of the morning.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

I became a fan of Denfeld’s writing after reading , The Enchanted (you can read my interview with Rene over here) and couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for us next. Denfeld weaves a shocking and disturbing story of a little girl that has gone missing in a rural part of an Oregon forest and the one person who believes she can change this girl’s story.

Naomi is a private investigator that has a knack for finding missing children. Her knack for this is partly based on her own mysterious disappearance from her family and her inability to remember her own story.

When Madison Culver goes missing, the family reaches out to her and believes that she may be their last hope. Madison has been missing for over three years and authorities have given up on finding the girl, believing she may have died under a blanket of snow.

Madison is alive though and being held captive, made to live her life as a wife, despite being a child. Her circumstances are horrific and the only relief she feels is through the fairytale she has created, allowing her the separation from herself to endure these moments.

These two stories are interwoven together in an incredible page-turner that I was unable to put down. I read this in a single afternoon and couldn’t wait to see how Denfeld pulled all of this together. The story is haunting, raw, and so very real.

Warning: this book contains physical and sexual abuse towards a child.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I read a lot of thrillers this month so I was looking for a more lighthearted escape and I found it perfectly in Robin Sloan’s latest novel, Sourdough. If magical realism isn’t your thing though, you may not enjoy it as much as I did.

The story centers around a woman who works in the tech field, specializing in robotics, and ends up being gifted a sourdough starter…even though she has never made bread before.  Lois begins exploring the world of bread making and begins cooking beautiful loaves of sourdough bread, thanks to this magical starter. What she doesn’t know is how much this new creative outlet is going to change the path of her entire life.

This book was enjoyable from start to finish, even in those farfetched bits of the story. I will say, however, as a gluten-free girl, the cravings for bread became unbearable at times.

If you are looking for a little magic and just great old-fashioned storytelling, I think you will appreciate Sloan’s latest novel a lot! In fact, I passed this one on to my eleven-year-old and she’s been enjoying it as much as me!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

There is a line in The Burning Girl, which basically summed up exactly how I felt about this book. Messud writes, “Everybody wanted a story, a story with an arc, with motives and a climax and a resolution.” That is exactly what I had hoped to get out of this novel, but it seemed to be missing all of these key elements for me.

If you are looking for a coming-of-age story that shares the beauty and innocence of childhood or the way that friendships between girls can be so quickly and easily intertwined, then you might enjoy this one for that. In those elements, much like Walking on Trampolines, that is where this story truly shines. Messud captures this beautifully and made me think about my own childhood friendships and how quickly innocence can be lost.

If you are looking for a thriller though with a great plot and twisty turns, this won’t be the book for you. If you go into it with a mindset in place that this is just about childhood friendships, you might enjoy it more.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Empath's Survival Guide

The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff

Empaths are people who take on other people’s emotions, energies, and even physical symptoms of others because they feel things so deeply. I recently became aware that this has been contributing to a lot of my own health issues (both mentally and physically) and I needed guidance on how to feel empathy towards others without compromising my own well-being. The Empath’s Survival Guide is an incredible book on learning ways to manage these gifts, but also your ability to create space and boundaries in your life so that you don’t compromise yourself in the process.

There were so many good things that I got out of this book from visualizations to honoring the ways that I’m wired and also how to deflect negative people and energy. It helps establish better routines for unwinding and learning what does and does not work for empaths.

Not sure if you are one? This test might help! In the meantime, I can’t recommend it enough if you are struggling. This would also be a great read for the HSP (highly sensitive person) club too!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

I have a deep affection for great Young Adult literature and this month’s book club pick was absolute YA perfection. I guarantee that you won’t be able to put this one down.

This is the story of two friends, Rachel & Henry, that ended up growing apart for two reasons- Rachel moved and she left a love letter to Henry that never received a response.

Rachel moves back though and has hard feelings against Henry for never responding to her letter. She also is battling a personal battle that no one in town knows about. As luck would have it, she ends up getting a job at the local bookshop, owned and run by Henry’s family.

It is here, amid the books, that secrets are revealed between the pages as Rachel & Henry find friendship and love again in one another.

I’m surprised I’m not hearing more about this fantastic book! It is a bookworm’s dream and gives you lots of great book ideas to dive into once you finish reading it.

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A story that takes place in a bookstore

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Rabbit by Patricia Williams

Rabbit by Patricia Williams

If you read only one memoir this year, please let it be this one. Rabbit is the true story of Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) and her life growing up in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. Williams is one of five children and witnessed how her mother was able to work the system to help her family survive…and how her children were used  just for these purposes.

Patricia becomes a mom of two children at fifteen and must learn strategies for her family to survive when she is only a child too. She becomes a master at hustling and dealing crack to keep her family fed.

This book is unflinching in its honesty about how quickly Patricia had to grow up and the unbelievably difficult situations she survived from being sexually abused to even being shot. She survived it all though and shares her story with equal parts heart and humor, even in the face of all of her adversities.

I read this book in a single sitting and can’t recommend it enough!

Warning: this book contains physical and sexual abuse towards a child.

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A book written by a comedian

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Put Tell Me Three Things with I’ll Give You the Sun and you, basically, have the formula for an unbelievably good read…which is EXACTLY why I loved this book so very much.

Sixteen-year-old Simon is gay, but hasn’t told anyone yet. He has found love though through an email correspondence with another guy that has helped him talk out some of his feelings. If only he knew whose heart he had captured…

When these emails get in the wrong hands though, he has to step out of his comfort zone and share about who he really is with those he loves.

This book is absolutely charming and Simon is a guy that you end up rooting for throughout the book. With a lot of wit and humor, Simon’s story is a heartwarming tale of acceptance, even in an unaccepting world.

I’m so excited to hear that this one will be coming to the big screen so be sure to read it before you catch the film! It is a really beautiful coming-of-age story!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

I’m a huge fan of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  (if you haven’t read it- just do it right now!). Young Jane Young is a fun and timely departure into the world of politics and would make a perfect book club selection.

In this story, a politician becomes involved with a young intern who has been keeping an “anonymous blog” with juicy details of her scandalous affair. When the affair is brought to light, Aviva must move and try to start fresh with a new identity. She changes states, her name, and even steps out of politics to become a wedding planner. She is constantly dodging her past though because the story became national news.

You might think this one doesn’t sound that interesting (we’ve heard this story before, right?), but Zevin smartly plays it out from many viewpoints (her mother, the wife, the daughter, and Jane’s own view). With this unique perspective we are able to see the story in a different way and the slut-shaming that can occur when political scandals happen.

This book examines the many different roles of women and the double standards that occur in the political arena.

I really loved it and I think you will too. It is a quick page-turner with a lot of meat for discussion!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling is THE BOOK that everyone has been talking about so I snagged the audiobook to dive in. Had I known more about the story, I might have skipped the audio version of this one because it was about the sexual and physical abuse of a teenage girl at the hands of father.

Almost sixteen hours of abuse, to be exact, if you are listening to the audiobook.

Turtle (nickname) has been living alone with her father for years. He is a survivalist and teaches Turtle many skills she might need to survive in the wilderness. Her childhood is anything BUT normal, particularly the sexual relationship she has with her father.

When Jacob becomes her friend at school, Turtle gets to peek into Jacob’s normal life (clean house, dinner around the table, two parents, etc..) and she finally is able to see how dysfunctional her own life is. Thanks to her survival skills, taught by her abusive father, she begins to dream of an escape and of a very different kind of future.

When the storytelling is on it is ON. Tallent’s writing has been compared to many great writers and received a lot of accolades and praise from some of my favorite authors. When the writing was off though it was OFF. This book was lengthy and the torture of this girl goes on, and on, and on, and on. I don’t want to discredit Tallent’s writing, but I do think the subject matter just made this a difficult book to read.

That said, it was kind of like watching a train wreck and I kept wanting the safety for this girl so I kept listening and listening.

I would classify this one in the horror genre- it was an absolutely brutal story. Keep that in mind if you decide to pick this one up!

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out

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.

October 2017 Book of the Month Selections

October BOTM Selections & Deals

Try 1, 2, or 3 months for just $9.99 each

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Get John Green’s new novel FREE when you join Book of the Month

Get Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King FREE when you join Book of the Month

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 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.

 

 

Pin It

It’s the 3 Little Things: Transformation Month

Friday, September 29th, 2017

wedding

It is always a good week when I get to go out dancing with this guy and a family occasion was the perfect excuse to break out this dress I had been saving. Thank you, thredUP, for a dress I’d never be able to justify if purchased retail.

Do you ever look at routines that you have been doing and realize that they aren’t bringing you joy? One of the biggest lessons, learned from a year of counseling, was looking at these routines and asking myself if they made me happy anymore. I tend to go on autopilot and do things because I think they make OTHER PEOPLE happy or I do them because I am a MARTYR (no, no, you guys have fun- I’ll do the dishes after making this meal for you- it’s MY PLEASURE!) or I do them because I like to have TERRIBLE SLEEP (grabs the wine and starts the social media scrolling).

I can give you loads of terrible ways that I had been spending my time and robbing myself of joy, but a few things really stood out to me as things that really are robbing me of something- self-worth, precious time, my mental health, my physical health, etc…

This year is about living with more intention. I can be disciplined with my spending habits, why can’t I treat my own self with the same discipline?

This month’s intention was to get off social media by 6PM and change my martyr routine in the evenings. Instead of scrolling and being bitter about dishes, we abandoned the dishes and took a walk around our neighborhood.  After returning, we throw on a good podcast and do the dishes together. It has been such a better way to end the day!

What’s one routine you would like to change in your life? Feel free to comment below!

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy-

21 Day Transformation

21 Day Transformation

My friend, Tammy, owns a barre studio in town (B Present)  and asked if I would be interested in giving her 21 Day Transformation program a try. She knew that I had been battling some health issues and wondered if this program might be beneficial for my body.

I will be honest, I am VERY leary of programs like this because they tend to be focused on product and not on real food. I went to school for Food & Nutrition so I know how important eating well is and not relying on pills or shakes to achieve goals.

Lucky for me, this program was EXACTLY the type of program that I would recommend because it centers around clean eating. Not only do they give you a meal plan and grocery list, you also receive a guide to Dining Out and a Grocery Guide that helps navigate the store and pick the cleanest ingredients for your recipes.

ZERO product pushing.

The best part about the program is the accountability group you have with the other participants. Everyone shares pictures of their dishes and you have access to Gina Schade, a coach that can help you through the process.

Barre on Demand is also offered with the program to take online classes to keep your body moving throughout the program.

self love

My goal was not weight loss so I didn’t take measurements and such. My goal was to see if better habits might help my body feel better.

My biggest takeaway from this program is that I don’t nourish myself enough, the importance of movement every single day, and learning to hydrate myself.  I didn’t eat breakfast, ate a terrible or nonexistent lunch, never snacked, and then would eat all evening long because I had starved my body all day.

Oh, and I never drank water.

And when I say I NEVER drank water, I filled out a medical form that asked me how many glasses of water I drink daily and my response was…MEH.

With the recipes provided, I figured out great ideas for meals and snacks that are better for my body. I started eating regularly instead of my starvation routine, and I even enjoyed drinking water.

There is so much good that came out of this. I am hopeful it has changed my habits for a long time. If not, I’ll hop back in and get transformed again!

Twice I have had people come up to me this month and say…You look so much healthier or commented on how I have my glow back again. I really think it has a lot to do with this month’s program and how much better I am working on treating this body.

They are opening the program up again on Monday! Read more about it here or check out this video!

Yoga With Adriene

Yoga With Adriene

It is hard to juggle working out and working. I love going to the gym, but it has the tendency to eat up half a work day. I read about this YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, where you can do free full-length yoga classes from home.

Did someone say FREE?

Yoga with Adriene

The classes cater to all levels and even specific issues you might be struggling with. The variety is really incredible and Adriene is a gifted teacher that offers lots of great modifications. The classes are as challenging as you need them to be or can just focus on the basic fundamentals of yoga poses and beginner routines.

I love that the classes also have no music so I can play my own mixes on Spotify while doing the classes.

Between this and CycleCast, I feel really good about my home routines for busy days.

Five Foot Two Documentary

Five Foot Two Documentary

Lady Gaga is one of the most intriguing people to me because she is someone with a lot of layers and depth. Her Super Bowl halftime show was one of the best I have ever seen. She has the ability to surprise you in ways that you least expect it, as a performer, and wanted to share a different side of herself in the Netflix documentary, Five Foot Two.

The reason I wanted to see this though is that she has come forward about her battle with chronic pain. Few people would ever know that this bigger-than-life person is battling excruciating pain every single day. In a rare, raw, and real way, she pulls back the current on what it is like to live with chronic pain.

The documentary is at the height of a very difficult season with a brand new album and the preparations for the Super Bowl happening at the same time. You see the stress and strain of the schedule on her body.

I can’t say that the issue covered made me happy, in fact, I burst into tears while we were watching it. Perhaps, this one hit a little too close to home. I will say what makes me happy is that she is showing you what it is really like to live like this, even in a larger than life world. I hope this opens people up to talk more about these struggles and that it brings empathy to those that suffer.

Catch this one on Netflix!

Outfits This Week (follow it all on my IG Capsule Account)

fall-2017-capsule-wardrobe-outfit-3

fall-2017-capsule-wardrobe-outfit-2

fall-2017-capsule-wardrobe-outfit-1

shop this week’s looks or visit my entire capsule wardrobe

Reading: I’m really enjoy this book this week. I love that it started out with the mother’s perspectives and the author definitely gives a fresh spin on a tired topic.

Playing: We are looking forward to hosting a family for a game night. This game is always an excellent ice-breaker and perfect for people with short attention spans (raises hand!).

Contemplating: This article and thankful someone has finally figured out what the heck it is to call a woman’s additional work. I hate emotional labor. I can’t wait to talk about this with my husband.

Can’t Wait: I have a movie date today and we are off to see this. Have you seen it? NO SPOILERS, but tell me if it is good!

Bought: This and I’m SO EXCITED!! I’ll let you know my thoughts once I use it!

Laughing: LANGUAGE, yo! This had me in stitches today.

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 09.27.17

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore source

This Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore looks like a weeknight winner!

Speaking of slow cooker dishes, my family would flip for this one.

10 hard things to start doing for yourself. Such a good list!

This was your top purchase this month- I couldn’t approve of it more!

Hmmmm….I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Madly in love with this Halloween costume idea!

The importance of being alone.

31 days of horror films for October that you can stream through Netflix. Yes!

School Paperwork Organization source

Are the papers from school bogging you down? Check out these helpful suggestions!

Here are a few easy fall DIY projects to add to your to-do list- bahaha!

I couldn’t stop watching these amazing and easy ways to decorate your pie crust.

Did you see my new capsule wardrobe? I always feel accomplished once I have my closet organized!

I love a beautiful napkin fold. This would be a fun one to get the kids to try for a fancy dinner!

5 things the “new you doesn’t need- really practical and smart advice.

A new way to celebrate a Treat Yourself Day.

What if we all spoke more honestly like this?

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread source

This chocolate pumpkin bread looks heavenly!

What a cute Halloween treat!

I can’t rave enough about this book- read it STAT.

This is the first week in YEARS that I haven’t used a hair straightener. Madly in love with my new gadget!

Can’t keep real plants alive? I feel you! Check out this awesome guide to purchasing great fake plants for your home.

“Confidence is QUIET. Insecurity is LOUD.” Let’s all work on choosing the quiet!

Five bright ideas to try- I am totally going to do #3 this week!

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 09.26.17

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Mocha Cape mocha cape

tie neck scarf tie neck scarf

slouchy hobo bag slouchy hobo bag

pumpkin spice tee pumpkin spice season

cargo joggers cargo joggers- additional 25% off sale price with coupon code 48689

plaid pillows plaid pillows

plaid blazer plaid blazer

 

trick or treat sweatshirt trick or treat sweatshirt

blanket scarf blanket scarf

pleated midi skirt pleated midi skirt

stone necklace long stone necklace

plaid shirt plaid boyfriend shirt

black and white dress black and white dress- additional 25% off sale price with coupon code 48689

proverbs 31 & jayz tee proverbs 31 & jay-z tee

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 

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

It feels strange to be talking about my fall wardrobe today after a weekend of record high temperatures in Indiana. I know that the cooler weather is just around the corner though and I’m really prepared this year with this fresh capsule wardrobe for fall. Fall wardrobe planning is my FAVORITE so I hope these options can give you some new ideas for your own wardrobe.

I fell off the capsule wardrobe wagon towards the end of summer, but I am back in the game again!

If you want to see how these pieces work, be sure to follow my capsule wardrobe account. I decided to start a SEPARATE Instagram account for my capsule since it feels like two separate audiences. This account is only about fashion & the capsule. You can follow me here (@momadvicecapsule) or if you just want the general usual odds & ends, you can follow me here (@momadvice). 

First, What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style.

Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

What Trends Did You Embrace For Fall?

I am loving the feminine details this season from ruffles to bell sleeves. I incorporated those details into my pieces and also made a couple of smart investments in higher quality sweaters since warmer layers are a must in the Midwest.

My colors this year are in the red family (blush, burgundy, red), mustard, and green.

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule. Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you. When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in.

That’s been the best place to start for me.

Do Accessories Count in the Capsule?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like.

For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

What Are the Rules for a Capsule Wardrobe?

Here are my modified Project 333 rules or you can go to Courtney’s website to read more about the official guidelines!

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

note- descriptions are exact matches and similar means I found a few pretty darn close to the original for you!

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

row 1- quilted puffer vest/flannel shirt (similar, similar, similar)/field jacket (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 2- ruffled sweatshirt (similar, similar)/denim shirt (similar, similar, similar)/polka dot top (similar, similar, similar, similar, similar)/black and white gingham shirt (similar, similar, similar)

row 3- floral ruffled top (similar, similar, similar)/rose bell sleeve (similar, similar, similar)/striped bell sleeve/

row 4- camel sweater blazer/gray cocoon cardigan (similar, similar, similar, similar)/ bulky ivory sweater (similar, similar, similar)/burgundy bell sleeve jacket (similar, similar, similar, similar)

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

row 1- striped embroidered bell sleeve top/burgundy short sleeve sweater tee (similar, similar, similar, similar)/mustard stripes (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 2- mustard top (similar, similar, similar, similar)/ white blouse (similar, similar, similar)/ polka dot shell (similar, similar)/long sleeve striped top (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 3- green skirt/gray dress (similar, similar, similar)/ red skirt (similar, similar, similar)

row 4- rose jeans (similar, similar, similar)/green pants (similar, similar, similar, similar, similar)/ distressed jeansblack pants

not shown- basic white & black long sleeve tee, chambray shirt, dark wash denim, and black leggings (similar, similar).

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe Shoe Options from MomAdvice.com

A few of my favorite shoes for fall-

rainboots (these are warm and are great if you have a wide foot)/suede moccasins (acquired through Stitch Fix)/tan booties (most comfortable shoes ever)/leopard print flats (come in wide or narrow)/black ballet flats/velvet ballet flats/ peep toe booties (unbelievably comfortable)

Other helpful items for your capsule wardrobe-

just bought a bunch of these- they are PERFECTION

a practical bag

most worn belt

thankful for these

and these are no show, yo! also really comfortable!

a million of these- you’ll thank me!

these are fun and eye-catching

Amy Allen Clark

Browse My Capsules & Wardrobe Planning Advice

One Piece, Many Ways

Fashion Capsule Shopping on a Budget

Planning the Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall/Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring/Summer 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Creating the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe (that really works!)

How to Shop Secondhand For Your Capsule Wardrobe

Make Money Organizing Your Closet

25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printables

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Get $10 for your first thredUP purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you!

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Happy wardrobe planning!

*this post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

It’s the 3 Little Things: One Handed Blow Drying, Great Docs, & Lipstick That Doesn’t Quit

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Conair Blow Dryer Brush

Did you feel like I disappeared on you? I’ve missed chatting over here these past couple of weeks. Last Friday I spent my day having emergency dental work done, thanks to a dislocated jaw. That was a painful way to spend a weekend, but I just got a night guard and we are hoping that we can settle things down with resting my jaw in the evenings.

Last night I used it for the first time and woke up with relaxed muscles in my face and no ear pain.

I think it is going to help a lot.

That said, I’ve had so much good stuff in my life lately that it cancels out the more difficult times. I begrudgingly (feet dragging all the way) decided to go to a women’s Bible study because I know that I haven’t been in a great place in my spiritual life. For awhile, we just quit going because I was so run down all the time, but now I feel like a pew filler and not much more.

My body is there filling the pew and my heart is there because it is good for my children.

That’s about it.

An encouraging message from a group leader though lead me to a study and I’m feeling a lot more centered.

It’s a raw, gritty, look at your mess kind of study.

Real talk.

No fluff and fakery.

I’m crying a lot of tears and acknowledging my mess.

That’s just what I needed- to look at my life through a different lens.

Religion has always been a part of my life so it is comforting to have the routine and support in this challenging chapter. Instead of leaning in, I was pushing away in anger. I think this has been the secret ingredient that has been missing in my life.

I started praying again and I asked for things that I need to happen in my life right now and God has surprised me by bringing in what I’m requesting.

busy The best part has been being OKAY with the slowing down part now that my mind can be quieter. I have turned down my engagement on social media and have been trying to fill my cup in different ways.

This book was a great guide for me on understanding what I really need in life to keep a good balance and feel centered. If you are a highly sensitive person or an empath, I can’t recommend it enough.

The things that are good for me- getting up early to read quietly before the kids wake up, long baths, walks or taking in nature on our patio, enjoying the process of cooking again, exercising, real time with my people, and quiet.

I’ve also discovered the beauty in FaceTime and now have a weekly date with my best friend to talk to each other. We both remarked we can’t believe we hadn’t done that before!  There is something about seeing people face-to-face that makes these calls much more satisfying.

Here are three other things that are making me happy!

Documentaries

Obit. Documentary

We caught two surprisingly feel good documentaries this past week!

Obit is an inside look at the New York Times obituaries desk.

Doesn’t that sound so depressing?

It really wasn’t!

It was absolutely fascinating to hear how they gather the facts and photos for these obituaries. These writers work on tight deadlines to be sure to secure accurate facts about the obituaries they share and take a lot of joy in writing about their lives. In one comment by a columnist they said,  “Obituaries have next to nothing to do with death, and everything with life.”

You can catch this one on Amazon Prime, if you have it!

Starring Adam West

Starring Adam West was an absolutely fantastic documentary about his role and life as the first Batman. Even if you aren’t a Batman fan, there is so much to be learned from his career and life, told with surprising humor and heart. My face hurt after watching this one because I was smiling so much throughout the entire film. Adam West is absolutely hilarious! His daughter’s quest to get a star on Hollywood Boulevard really brought ALL THE FEELINGS.

You can catch this one on Hulu, if you have it, or you can rent it on Amazon.

Conair Infiniti Blow Dryer Brush

Professional Blow Out at Home

I have been using my hair straightner daily for years and I am starting to see the damage that is starting to come from that. I picked up one of these Conair Infiniti Spin Air Rotating Stylers and I absolutely love it. I had one of these forever ago and I burnt it out, but I had not though how much this would help with my hands and elbows to have a brush and dryer that can rotate with a push of a button.

This version comes with two different sizes for tighter or a looser curl. There is definitely a learning curve with these, but once you get the hang of it, it is so much easier than the brush & dryer holding that I was doing before.

I should say that this doesn’t replace your blow dryer, it is more a styling tool. You get your hair 80-90% dry (air drying or with your blow dryer) and you finish with this gadget to get that professional blow out look.

The spinner rotates two ways so you can flip hair up and away or curl it under.

Conair Infiniti Spin Brush

I have coarse and really frizzy hair which is why I straighten it. This is what it looks like using this awesome tool and zero product.

The best part is the next day, you can wake up, put on a little dry shampoo (here is my favorite) and give it a little fluff with this tool. TA-DA!

Lipstick That Lasts

I know I have blabbed about this A LOT, but this matte lipstick has unbelievable staying power and I couldn’t be happier about that price. I’m also wearing it in this picture and it will look just like that until bedtime.

No joke!

I keep grabbing more of these when I see them at the drugstore because every color I’ve picked up has been so gorgeous. I’m wearing Lover in that picture.

Reading: I’m halfway through this book and absolutely loving it. Did you hear that they are making this one into a film? Can’t wait!

Inspired By: Things someone who loved you should have told you. I hope you read these words if you need to hear them.

Playing: This board game with my kids and they LOVED it!

Discovered: This fascinating piece today. I’m looking forward to the documentary!

Can’t Wait: Oh, this should be GOOD!

Eating: No way heat wave, I’m in full on FALL MODE. Bowls of this were enjoyed this week at our kitchen table.

Listening: To this audiobook right now. I’m not too sure about this one yet…

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 09.20.17

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Flower Arranging source

I love these tips for arranging flowers.

Loved his book and had no idea he was considering running for office.

Here’s a list of 15 perfect fall reads.

Want to take your Insta Stories to the next level? This article might help!

This marbled banana bread recipe looks like a great way to put ripe bananas to work.

Just snagged this audiobook for my political memoir category on our reading challenge sheet.

How to breathe new life into vintage pieces. Love the tip on how to unstick sticky drawers.

Switch up your weeknight chicken with this delicious recipe. You had me at pesto.

What dinnertime looks like across the USA.

Cross-Stitched Pumpkin source

Now this looks like a fantastic way to stash bust some yarn while decorating your home.

The evolution of women in stock photography- fascinating!

I bought this clothes steamer and had no idea all the other things I can be doing with it in my home.

Perhaps, you should ponder this one in your church pew. Boom.

How much do we really believe in the possibility of human redemption?

We borrowed a tradition from a dear friend and now do roses and thorns each night around the dinner table. I love these ideas though for taking our conversations further.

Love these tips for refreshing your kitchen on any budget. I’m definitely dreaming about open shelves to replace our cabinets.

Trying this hair gadget out- fingers crossed it makes the happy list!

I love these tactics for avoiding the comparison trap.

Chai Butternut Squash Soup source

How clever to add your favorite tea to your soup. I might try that with my recipe.

Just in case Instagram and blogs are fooling you…

I had not thought about this before.

These are some fabulous tips for caring for your clothes.

If you want lipstick that stays on until you go to bed, buy yourself one in every color. It’s perfection. The word must be out because our store had nada on the shelves.

I needed to take a break from thrillers so this is the book I’m reading (and adoring) this week.

So many gorgeous details in this beautifully renovated home.

Instant Pot gluten-free spaghetti? I’m IN!

Following fashion’s fall trends? I am on board with almost all of these!

Love Anthro? Here’s how to get the look at home on a budget.

This is why we should explore crazy ideas.

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

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Small-Budget Crushes

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

fall-2017-capsule-wardrobe-ideas

‘Tis the season for fall wardrobe planning. Here are some suggestions for beautiful options on a small budget. Check back next week for my fall capsule wardrobe!

Utility Blouse utility blouse- 40% off, no coupon code needed

toms warm tan bootie

my favorite comfortable shoes- TODAY ONLY, take $25 off, no coupon code needed

essential leggings essential leggings (that won’t lose their shape & lift!)- use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

Textured Turtleneck Sweater textured turtleneck tunic sweater- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

soft bell sleeve top soft bell sleeve top- use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

Camel Sweater Blazer camel sweater blazer- this is my new favorite piece, it’s so cozy!

twist front tee twist front tee

lyocell jacket lyocell jacket- consciously made

High Rise Rockstar Jeans high-rise rockstar jeans- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

ruffled stripes ruffled stripes- snagged this, be sure to size down. This can be paired with a long sleeve tee underneath once it gets cooler.

long-sleeved jersey top long-sleeved jersey top- consciously made

wool sidewalk skirt wool sidewalk skirt in several hues- I bought this and it is the perfect length

tab roll tunic

tab roll tunic

leopard print flats naturalizer leopard print- I’ve ordered these because they come in WIDE- yay!

 

Classic Flannel classic flannel- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

Intrepid Peep Toe Booties

intrepid peep toe booties- these are like walking on CLOUDS

faux leather leggings faux leather leggings (for a fun night out!!)

  textured open front cardigan textured open front cardigan- use coupon code HAPPY 40% off\ slim utility pant slim utility pant

suede block heels suede block heels-use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

a few other essentials for this girl’s capsule-

eyeing these

just bought a bunch of these- they are PERFECTION

a practical bag

most worn belt

thankful for these

and these are no show, yo! also really comfortable!

a million of these- you’ll thank me!

these are fun and eye-catching

don’t forget your chambray

xoxo

fall-2017-capsule-wardrobe-ideas

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 09.13.17

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

You've Been Boozed

source

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

source

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

source

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