Archive for the ‘Reads’ Category

It’s the 3 Little Things: Perfect Stripes, Cooling Creams, & a Little Red

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Recital Day

If this picture doesn’t say happiness, I don’t know what does! Our daughter performed in her recital this past weekend and we were so proud of her.  This was her first year trying modern dance and the joy I see in her is inexplicable. She admitted to us, after her performance, that she was supposed to have a serious face during her modern routine. If you saw her on stage though, it’s like the happy was just bursting out of her little face. I looked over at my husband and we both had the goofiest grins while she danced- it was contagious. I’m so happy she has found something she loves that much!

Here are a few things that are making me happy this week! 

Stripes + Mustard Accessories + Driving Loafers

(follow my capsule wardrobe on IGperfect stripes/yellow belt, j. crew/shoes (similar)/jewels (goodwill!!)/jeans)

The Perfect Stripes (FINALLY!)

I had this perfect striped shirt that was just perfectly perfect that I got for Goodwill for $2.50 and I wore it until the little threads began to separate and it became a muddy color from so many washes. A few items that I had ordered for my capsule (two striped dresses & a jacket from thredup & this baby right here!)  trickled in and I’m not denying myself the pleasure of wearing them because I forgot to announce their arrival in my capsule wardrobe (ahem!).

I have been on the hunt for the perfect replacement shirt, I have tried on a million at the mall, I ordered four from thredup over the year (no joke!) and I couldn’t find THE ONE. Well, friends, this is it. It is 3/4 length sleeves, light in weight (for spring, summer, & fall), & the price is awesome too for this frugal shopper.  I would recommend sizing one down (this one pictured is an XXS and not tight at all!) for the perfect fit on the PERFECT shirt. I promise! I’m the one wearing it with the goofy grin at the top of this photo. I paired it with these amazing pants that never wrinkle ever. Perfect.

Also, how many times can I say perfect?

Noted.

doTerra Deep Blue Rub Cream Review

A Tool for Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain is the worst! I want to openly admit that I am working on better pain management strategies. Pain pills and a heavy pour of wine are not ideal solutions for pain management in the evening hours even though they sounded like it (NOT!). I may have been in a bit of a slump.

This month I have started some new routines to help with the pain in my joints in the evening hours. I started taking a hot yoga class that is offered in the evening, soaking in the tub at night with these salts (with a good book on the ol’ book bath tray, of course!), and using this Deep Blue Rub cream on the sore spots before collapsing in bed. Way better, right?

I am one of those people that is a disbeliever when it comes to the oils craze (don’t throw rotten tomatoes please!). When I shared about the awful pain my joints my girlfriend sent me some samples of this cream and I fell absolutely in love with it and the relief it provided (thank you, Shawnda!). Then I came out in the afternoon one day and another girlfriend had left a tube of it on my doorstep as a gift because it had helped her mom so much with her arthritis (thank you, Andy!).

I don’t know what voodoo magic is in this tube, but it really has helped a lot with providing a little pain relief and it smells way better than the heavy-duty stuff I had been using that made my eyes water! It’s pricier than the stuff at the drugstore, but I’m finding just a little goes a long way. I wish it never wore off, but the moments of relief it provides have helped me a lot! Between these new routines and my favorite heated throw, I’m finding that I feel a lot better than my old pathetic “poor me” routines.

Salt Water Sandals in Red

A Great Birkenstock Alternative

I could never really get into the Birkenstock craze, but I can embrace a good comfortable sandal. ModCloth ran a flash sale on Salt Water Sandals and I decided to take the plunge this year since I have been coveting them forever. Of course, I got red, because RED. Have you heard of these shoes?

Fun fact, Saltwater sandals actually originated in the early 1940s as an alternative to traditional children’s leather sandals as a way to cope with leather shortages in World War II. The sandals were made primarily from scrap leather left over from making men’s shoes. More recently they expanded the line for Women so now you can enjoy these adorable shoes too.

Here is what I will say! These are ideal for those of us with WIDE feet. When you receive them the packaging shows how to fit your Salt Water Sandals for your giantly wide foot. You can stretch the leather out on the sides for an ideal fit and even bend the base of your shoe to mold around your feet. They are SO comfortable and I think a little more feminine than a Birkenstock for the summer. I had a hard time choosing between the Red & Tan, but I love a good red shoe so that’s what I went with.

I loved them so much that I ended up finding a good deal for my daughter this summer too in a pretty baby pink.

Around Our House

(oh, happy day print/yellow chair- they stack for small spaces!!)

Reading: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys and I just can’t put it down. Thanks to my amazing readers for recommending this one!  If you love historical fiction as much as I do, you won’t want to miss this incredible read. I’m on a huge reading frenzy right now for our SWW series so LOTS of great stuff coming up!!

Eating: These gluten-free pancakes are becoming a weekly favorite again. I love an easy weeknight meal that the kids can enjoy in the mornings too!

Sharing:  It is Ehlers Danlos Awareness Month and that’s what I have! Read about what it’s actually liking living with an illness or disability from these heroic people. Thrilled to see that EDS was shared here!

Laughing:  Alanis Morissette updates her lyrics to Ironic and it is hilarious! No bad language so you are good to watch without headphones!

Watching: Big Love- my girlfriend recommended this series to me and I’m LOVING it. I also love coming to the Big Love party a little late so I can binge on several episodes at a time. Have you seen it? I had no idea Tom Hanks produced this series!

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!

Amy’s Notebook 05.11.16

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

DIY Faux Flower Gift Topper Stickers via Sugar and Cloth

Source: Sugar and Cloth

 

Easy gift toppers.

Three truths about decluttering.

After The Biggest Loser- contestant’s bodies fight back against the weight loss in surprising ways.

IKEA hacks that look like a million bucks.

Honest post from a lifestyle blogger- made me laugh out loud.

9 cocktails made with LaCroix- this is on my summer must-try list!

How to find great books to read- what a great resource!

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese via The Modern Proper

Source: The Modern Proper

 

Four ingredient stovetop macaroni and cheese- yum!

Knitted pillows made with short rows. Gorgeous!!

How a blog post gets made.

Utility jacket outfit ideas for spring.

10 easy ways to simplify the kitchen.

Feel the guilt and do it anyway.

Obituaries my mother wrote for me while I was living in San Francisco in my twenties.

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!

 

Sundays With Writers: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Interview)

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

sundays-with-writers-1

I am so excited to be interviewing Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney this week to discuss her incredible debut novel, The Nest. I absolutely loved her book and couldn’t wait to interview her for many, many reasons.  Not only did she write her first book at 54, but she secured a really fantastic advance on it, becoming one of the most talked about novelists for 2016. I love, love, love hearing about writers pursuing a book later in life because it gives me so much hope to know that we can carve new paths at any age and there is never (TRULY)  an appropriate time to give up on something you have always wanted to do! It seemed an appropriate message to share this Mother’s Day.

Is there something you have always wanted to do?

DO IT!

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Let’s chat about, The Nest. Do you love dysfunctional family stories? I know I do! The Nest reminded me a lot of Jonathan Tropper’s, This is Where I Leave Youin that regard. This book centers around four grown children and the inheritance (AKA- The Nest!) that they are supposed to be inheriting. Leo, the unreliable alcoholic sibling in the story, ends up getting in a terrible car accident and has to pay the accompanying passenger a large sum to keep the story quiet. His mother gives him the majority of the inheritance as hush money for the car accident, unbeknownst to his siblings.

The story then really unfolds with all of the siblings and what this inheritance would have meant to them is uncovered. As a reader you see what life looks like without the money they always planned on. No spoilers, but imagine that you had made financial mistakes, but always knew you would have a large sum to bail you out and find out that the money doesn’t exist. Awful, isn’t it?

I think some people will find the ending a little dissatisfying, but I also know that most dysfunctional family stories don’t have tidy endings. I loved it- laughed a lot and sympathized with many characters. This was a great escape! Read More…

Now grab your coffee and let’s settle in with Cynthia today!

Q&A With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

You landed a seven-figure advance as a debut author and became one of the most buzzed about novelists this year. It’s sad that this is so notable in this industry with all of the incredible writers out there, but it truly is amazing (I couldn’t be happier for you!)! Did you find that it put more pressure on you to deliver because you had so much hype surrounding your book? How did your family react to this incredible news?

Unlike non-fiction, which a writer can sell with a book proposal, fiction is usually sold once the manuscript is completed. So Ecco/HarperCollins bought the book I’d already written. There was still back and forth with Megan Lynch, who is my wonderful editor at Ecco, but I knew from our initial conversations that she and I were very much on the same page about the edits and that she wasn’t looking for extensive revision. In fact, I was excited about making the changes Megan and I discussed because I knew the result was going to be a stronger book.

I have to say, as I near the age of forty, that hearing you became a novelist at the age of 54 gives me a lot of hope for the opportunities I might have to look forward to and how I could transition my career path when my kids are grown. Was this a more recent dream to publish or have you always known you wanted to write a book? Was it a hard transition to switch from nonfiction writing to fiction?

I sold the book when I was 54, but I’d started writing fiction 7 or 8 years earlier and, yes, it was hard – mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing a lot of the time, mostly from a craft and technical perspective. So I took classes and in 2011 I decided to return to graduate school to get my MFA in fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars. I graduated in 2013 and started The Nest there as my thesis. But I think the hardest transition was from writing because I was hired and paid for a project to writing in the hope that on some distant, unknowable day a publisher might be interested in the book.

It sounds like your literary agent had impeccable timing for when to release your manuscript. Can you share with us when she sent it?

First I’d like to share that my agent is a he! Henry Dunow had the brilliant idea to send out the manuscript the Monday after the Thanksgiving break when everyone was returning to work after spending the holiday with their own families in the hopes that the book would resonate more clearly. I don’t think either of us expected the kind of response we got that week, but I’ll always be grateful for his artful sense of timing.  

Amy Poehler

I understand that you were in a book club with Amy Poehler and when the book club didn’t take off, a friendship was formed over drinks and your love for fiction. Amy also wrote such an incredible endorsement that’s placed on the cover of your book. When did you share the book with your friend and was she one of the first people to read it?

I met Amy at a book club that included lots of funny, smart women in the improv/comedy world of New York City in the late 90s. The book club kind of petered out mostly because of everyone’s performing schedules (not mine; I had two small children and was itching to leave the house whenever I could manage). But Amy and I would see each other socially and we reconnected when I moved out to Los Angeles. She’s a huge reader and loves fiction and was very supportive and enthusiastic when I went back to graduate school and started a novel. I didn’t want her to read the book until I felt I had a solid version, but she was definitely one of the first people I sent it to after I turned in the final draft to Ecco. 

Just because I think this is such an incredibly sweet story (and then we can stop talking about Amy), can you share how you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to use the title The Nest because of a project she had in the works?

I found out shortly before finishing my book that there was a movie coming out with Amy and Tina Fey called The Nest. To be honest, I wasn’t really worried because I know publishers change titles all the time. But when the book was out on submission, everyone I spoke with kept saying how much they liked The Nest. I just kept my mouth shut about the movie and figured I’d give everyone the bad news later. A week after the book sold, I had dinner with Amy who told me that only days earlier the movie The Nest had been changed to Sisters, which was a complete coincidence and felt a little bit like kismet. So the title came back my way.

This book is very focused on an inheritance that is supposed to be given to the siblings in this family. I read your interview with NPR where you shared about the inheritance your parents gave to you and I just loved it because our family hopes to give experiences rather than things to our children. Do you have a favorite family trip from this inheritance given? Is this the type of inheritance you hope to pass on to your kids?

My family –my parents and my siblings—still vacations in the same little town in Maine every summer. My parents started taking us there when I was ten. They still stay in the same tiny rental cottage and as our family has grown, we rent houses nearby. We don’t all always manage to make it every year but we mostly do and our children have grown up with that tradition and I’m sure they’ll be passing it along to their kids.

There is a large cast of characters in this book and I would have a hard time picking a favorite, but I would say that I related the most to Melody’s struggles. Did you have a character, in particular, that you related to and which one was the most fun to write?

I relate to every character. I think if you put all four Plumb siblings together, you would probably have a pretty good approximation of me. Leo was the most fun to write and probably the one I miss writing the most.

Who have been your literary influences as a writer?

Jane Austen, Elizabeth Strout, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, Tessa Hadley, Alice McDermott, Meg Wolitzer, William Trevor, Nora Ephron, David Rakoff – I could go on and on! Everyone I read influences me in some way.

I’d love to vaguely talk about the ending of your book (so we don’t give any spoilers away). Is this the ending you had envisioned for these characters? Do you see any potential in this being a sequel or do you think this is where you would like to end their story?

I was probably a little more than halfway through the first draft when I felt I had a sense of where everyone would end up and I don’t think anything changed in the writing. I do believe this is where their story ends for me and I’m content with it. No sequels!

Jill Soloway Directs The Nest

While I was reading your book, I was already picturing this becoming a movie. I know you might get asked that a lot, but would you be open to that if the opportunity presents itself? Did you picture any actors for these characters when you were crafting them?

I did not picture any actors while writing and I’ve been asked so many times who I imagine but I can never think of anyone because the characters exist in my head as they exist in my head, if that makes any sense. But that will have to change eventually because I sold the movie option to Amazon Feature Films (editor’s note- check out Amazon’s plans for films!!!) . I’m adapting the book to screenplay and Jill Soloway is producing.

Lastly, what is one of your all-time favorite books? (This will be added to one of our most visited posts of must-reads from the authors featured in Sundays With Writers)

Ah, the most dreaded question for any writer. Or for me at least because it’s so hard to chose. New love? Old favorite? Funny? Sad?  Both?  Maybe I’ll do all of those (sorry, I’m cheating).

New love: I just finished Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr., the story of the heiress and recluse Huguette Clark who lived to be 103. It’s mystery, biography and history all rolled into one fascinating page-turner.

Old favorite: Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge. I slightly favor the Mrs., but they’re both great.

Both funny and sad: I just finished watching the Nora Ephron documentary on HBO and it made me pick up Heartburn again. I’ve been telling everyone to reread it because it’s so deeply funny and so deeply sad. My favorite combination.

Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

You can connect with Cynthia D’Aprix on her website or through Facebook! I’m always thankful for these moments with writers and I hope you will pick up this amazing book! You can always connect with me on GoodReads, through our books section of our site, and you can read our entire Sundays With Writers series for more author profiles. Happy reading, friends!

*This post contains affiliate links!

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Coffee Pot of My Dreams, Glam For a Night, & Sensitive Skin Relief

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Spring throw pillows

It is so good to be home and with my people again. I had a blast at Mom 2.0, saw so many amazing friends, ate way too much good food, and indulged in a lot of wine (*ahem*). My husband also gave me the best Mother’s Day gift ever which was upgrading me to a first class seat. I had so much room for my awful knees, ate a good lunch, and got in some quality reading time. It was the best gift ever and I am incredibly thankful.  What are your plans this Mother’s Day weekend?

This week was a busy one on the site! SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! Get my must-reads list for this month (7 books picked just for you!!), find out about the fashion course I am taking and loving, make some funny faces with your kiddos,  and see what our community is reading right now.

GIVE ME ALL THE BOOKS.

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

hamilton-beach-12-cup-brew-station

World’s Best Drip Coffee

We have hard water so I am constantly fighting that problem on our appliances and the hard water build-up on the glass items in our home. After many bad inexplicable batches of coffee, we realized something was wrong with our coffeemaker. I went online and decided to research our next best option  and came across this Hamilton Beach BrewStation. It was half the price of most drip coffee makers, had INCREDIBLE reviews, and didn’t have a dirty looking carafe to deal with. You see that little bar on the back? You lean your mug on it and the coffee comes out like you are dispensing at the 7-11 or something.

It is so easy to program and brew and the smart design couldn’t be better. Your coffee brews inside the machine and offers the option of holding your coffee at the warm temperature for up to four hours. I can program it still for my mornings and just slide my giant cup under there to load up with my morning book.

No fancy mugs necessary, no cleaning a glass carafe, and with the purchase of a reusable coffee filter, this coffee couldn’t be better or more affordable. I had doubts that anything this cheap would be that great…I was wrong.

If you are in the market, this is my latest obsession for coffee!

Rent the Runway

(dress- Rent the Runway Dress,  shoes- comfy dexflex nude pumps, similar match)

My First Rent the Runway Purchase

They had the IRIS awards ceremony at my conference. It was such an honor to be nominated for Best Personal Blog after 12 years of writing. I didn’t want to wear the same old dress or waste precious space in my closet so I decided to give Rent the Runway a spin. Have you heard of it?

Basically, you can rent clothing, fancy dresses, and accessories for a fraction of the price. They send it all in a cloth bag with a return address label tucked inside and you return it within the designated time.

When I posted about it, people told me that they sometimes use it for their family photos. GENIUS! I am thinking this might be a fun investment for headshots as a business owner too. I am also thinking events like high school reunions, charity galas, weddings, and work trips might be worthy of a rental. Did you know that they even offer a monthly wardrobe service? It’s a little out of my price range, but I know many people spend more than that shopping each month.

If you haven’t tried Rent the Runway before, here is $20 towards your first purchase! If you have and love this dress, here is a link! It ran a little small and I am wearing a size zero (5’2, 106 pounds for reference!), but it felt more like a double zero. I would recommend this one for notsobusty girls.

Gigi Hair Removal Cream

Facial Hair Removal Cream (I don’t have any. I tested it for you. You’re welcome.)

Just in case you thought I was TOO glamourous in the last picture, I tested out a hair removal cream for people with sensitive skin and it is AH-MAZING! Being fair and reactive to everything, there is nothing a welted upper lip to let your hubby know what you have been up to in the bathroom for the last half hour. Especially, when said lip is welted for hours on end. THE SHAME!

Well, I finally found a hair removal cream that doesn’t hurt, didn’t make my skin red, and is more effective than the Sally Hansen stuff. Meet your new best friend- Gigi Hair Removal Cream. This stuff is amazing and works in five minutes. It causes no skin reddening or reaction (on me- test at your own risk!)  and costs just $4.50. I bought it on Amazon and it is the best hair removal cream I have ever used. A little goes a long way. Can’t wait to hear what you think of this stuff!

Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea

 

Reading: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold. It is heartbreaking, raw, and open about her son and his struggle with mental illness as she recounts his involvement in the Columbine shooting.  Within the first chapter it was a book I would recommend to any parent- the awareness she brings is important. We are reading it this month for our MomAdvice Book Club. Feel free to join us!

Eating: Lemon Paprika Chicken & Veggies Sheet Meal on repeat this week. I am double batching it since my daughter’s dance rehearsal & recital is this weekend. I can’t wait to see my tiny dancer perform!

Enjoying: This thoughtful piece on aging and why Botox can be a gateway drug to elective procedures. So much of what she said echoes what is on my own heart as I grow older.

Appreciating: Our teachers this week! It’s never too late to say thank you! Here is a sweet & simple idea we did this year!

Pretending: To be a fashion blogger. See what I’m up to in my capsule by following me here! xoxo

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

 

 

April 2016 Must-Reads

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

April 2016 Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

Just in case you follow me on GoodReads and started to worry that I’m not reading anymore, I want to reassure you that I’m flipping the pages just as frantically as before. I started to realize that it is anticlimactic to share all my reviews there first and then round them up at the end of the month so I am hoping to add a little element of surprise to these monthly round-ups.

If you are a regular reader, you may have suspected what I have been reading thanks to our Sundays With Writers (SWW) series. It’s been so fun to interview these authors and you can expect lots more interviews in the upcoming weeks. I’m so excited to share those with you.

As you can see, April has a little something for everyone when it comes to my must-reads list. I took advantage of a few advanced readers from authors, read some of the most buzzed about books this year, and rediscovered an author I have loved for many years who released her first YA book.

Want the inside scoop on what I’m reading each week? Join our online book club where we talk about books all day every day. This is not an exaggeration!

7 Must-Read Books for April 2016

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

What starts as a mother’s collection of her child’s artwork and memories that people find enchanting & homey in the beginning of this family saga, we later discover it quickly balloons into a hoard of unlivable proportions for one woman and those who love her.

Hoarding is something that intrigues many, but few want to go into the trenches with a family and discover why someone feels compelled to keep things. This book dives into the dysfunction that grows from the loss of a child, the leaving of grown children, and the filling of a loneliness that only these objects seem to provide. There were some shocking secrets that came into play at the end of the book although you got the sense that things weren’t right from the beginning. A solid read with a lot of meat for a book club discussion.  Read More…

4 Out of 5 Stars

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe By Holly Seddon

I received an ARC from Netgalley- all thoughts & opinions are my own!

Fans of The Girl on the Train will enjoy another unreliable narrator in this strong debut. Alex is an alcoholic who has watched her career dwindle away due to her inability to stop drinking. She is assigned a story and comes to research the topic of people in comas and recognizes Amy, a case that she remembers all too well. Amy was assaulted in the 90’s as a teen and has remained in a coma since then. Alex becomes obsessed with uncovering who hurt Amy and wants to try to find  who did this to her. But someone doesn’t want her to find out and will do whatever it takes to stop her.

I was really excited about this one because I love a good thriller. I found it enjoyable and a nice escape- this would be a good one to pack in your beach bag. I was disappointed to read that much of information about brain activity in comas was actually created by the author and not actually factual, but I still found it to be a nice break from heavy books. Read more…

3 Out of 5 Stars

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (deal alert- this one is on sale for just $1.99!!!)

If I had to pick a favorite this month, it would be this one. Please, please, please read it and come back and tell me what you think! This book is about three unlikely friends growing up in the rural South that are all fighting demons of their own. Dill’s father is a Pentecostal preacher, known for his snake charming church, that becomes part of a town scandal that has left his family open to scrutiny and struggling financially. Travis is obsessed with a book series called Bloodfall that helps him escape into another reality away from his abusive father. And Lydia is a blogger ready to start a new life in New York while struggling to leave behind what is familiar and those she loves. These three unlikely people bond together and end up facing a struggle none of them could have ever predicted.  This friendship is beautifully woven with humor and heart. I could not put this book down and read it in a single day.

Be sure to check out my interview with Jeff about this book. Want a fun fact? He wrote the book on his iPhone! Read More…

5 Out of 5 Stars

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

If there is one buzz book this year, this is it! As a debut novelist, Cynthia signed a one million dollar contract for this book and it has already been optioned for film. I don’t want to give too much more away on all of that though because Cynthia joins me this week in our interview series! Be sure to check back on Sunday for the scoop on this incredible novelist.

Do you love dysfunctional family stories? I know I do! This book reminded me a lot of Jonathan Tropper’s, This is Where I Leave You. This book centers around four grown children and the inheritance (AKA- The Nest!) that they are supposed to be inheriting. Leo, the unreliable alcoholic sibling in the story, ends up getting in a terrible car accident and has to pay the accompanying passenger a large sum to keep the story quiet. His mother gives him the majority of the inheritance as hush money for the car accident, unbeknownst to his siblings.

The story then really unfolds with all of the siblings and what this inheritance would have meant to them is uncovered. As a reader you see what life looks like without the money they always planned on. No spoilers, but imagine that you had made financial mistakes, but always knew you would have a large sum to bail you out and find out that the money doesn’t exist. Awful, isn’t it?

I think some people will find the ending a little dissatisfying, but I also know that most dysfunctional family stories don’t have tidy endings. I loved it- laughed a lot and sympathized with many characters. This was a great escape! Read More…

4 Out of 5 Stars

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

I love being part of a local book club and this past month we read, All Things Cease to Appear. I think it is important to set expectations with this one. Do you remember Everything I Never Told You (I interviewed the author too!)? Well, I felt like the setup of this book is similar. We are opening with someone being accused of murdering their wife and then working our way out from there. Some people get disappointed when things work in this direction (maybe thinking it takes away from the mystery of it all?), but I really loved that it opened this way and then the reader discovers more and more of the motive as the story unfolds.

The book opens with the murder of Catherine as the police began questioning the most obvious of suspects… her husband. The book builds out the story of this couple from the purchase of this farmhouse filled with secrets, the failing marriage, and George’s strange double life.

This book is a really deep character study into a sociopath. Brundage writes this book so well that things like the home, for example, become a character unto itself. This is slow, but worthy of the pacing with rich characters. I couldn’t put it down.

That said, I think readers may be unhappy with how the story works out. I know I was a little too. That is not to discredit Brundage or her incredible writing, it’s just not the big bang ending I had hoped for. She also does not use quotations around the words people are speaking. It took awhile for me to get the hang of that and you don’t want to space out when you are reading it when there is a lot of dialogue because you will forget who is talking.

If you are looking for a book with strong characters and a good ghost story, you’ll love it. Bonus!! Elizabeth will be joining me for a Sundays With Writers this month! She has a crazy real ghost story and a house that inspired this book. Don’t miss it! Read More…

4 Out of 5 Stars

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Have you read any books by Julie Buxbaum? She was one of my absolute favorite writers and then many years have passed with no books from her. Eternal sadness. I was so thrilled to see a book from her back on the bookshelves and with a surprise…it’s her YA book! Don’t worry, I am pursuing her for the scoop on this one and will be featuring her in our interview series this month.

This is the story of a teenager named Jessie, the loss of her incredible mom, and the abrupt new marriage of her father that relocates them to Los Angeles. When her father meets a woman from his support group, he elopes and moves them into the wealthy woman’s home, switching Jessie into the wealthy prep school that her new stepbrother attends. Of course, Jessie doesn’t fit in at all.

When she starts receiving emails from SN (shortened from Somebody Nobody) offering her help and support in these uncharted waters, a relationship blooms and becomes a huge support for Jessie. The reader gets to read this beautiful, hilarious, and always sweet exchange. When Jessie wants to meet SN in person though, the reader is led on the journey with Jessie. Is SN her soulmate? Is SN even real? I guess you will have to read to find out! This is a great one to pack in your beach bag this summer. Delightfully sweet and everything I love about Buxbaum’s writing! Read More…

4 Out of 5 Stars

Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

I received an ARC from Netgalley- all thoughts & opinions are my own!

I am a huge fan of Mary Kubica- her thrillers never disappoint me (read my interview with Mary here- it is one of our most pinned posts!!).  The Good Girl remains one of my favorite books from her! Don’t You Cry is about the disappearance of Quinn’s roommate, Esther. As Quinn tries to piece together why Esther has disappeared, she begins to suspect that Esther is targeting her and plotting Quinn’s own death. Meanwhile, Alex is growing up with an alcoholic father and working as a dishwasher, when a mysterious woman appears in the coffee shop he works at and he finds himself drawn to her. The two storylines inevitably pull together as deep family secrets are revealed in this twisty book. Read more…

4 Out of 5 Stars

What should I be adding to my library bag?  Leave your suggestions in the comments below! 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

Amy’s Notebook 05.04.16

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

While Kitchen via Design Mom

Source: Design Mom

 

Kitchen goals.

Passion in the margins- a beautiful reminder.

Eating like Gwyneth Paltrow- I gotta admit. I’m feeling a little inspired (except for the breath thing).

The season’s most exciting fiction reads.

What happens when fashion becomes fast, disposable, and cheap. Exactly why the capsule wardrobe has become so important to me!

I’m feeling inspired to make one of these for our home.

The danger of protecting our kids from unhappiness.

Don't toss the tops via The Kitchn

Source: The Kitchn

 

Never toss the tops on these 5 veggies.

I loved the movie Brooklyn (and that book too!). How cute is this gallery wall inspired by the film?

​​From a father on the poverty line to a CEO millionaire on what they can afford.

Hoarding is a serious disorder and it is getting worse.

The poor don’t need our pity.

This was a really compelling piece.

American Psycho the musical? I’m intrigued.

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!

 

Community Reads for April

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

April Community Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

It’s time for another great gathering of what YOU have been reading. I am constantly inspired by your selections and looking forward to loading my book back up with so many of these after reading your reviews on your favorite picks for March.

Just as a reminder, if you are a part of our MomAdvice Hangout Group, each month I will ask about what you are reading and ask for a short blurb on a book.  You can also email books you are loving to me to amy(at)momadvice(dot)com and I can also add them to our monthly lists. By joining this group, you can also take part in a REALLY awesome online book club- I wouldn’t want you to miss this fun discussion and exploration of a new book each month.

My hope is to inspire you to connect with at least one incredible book this year and I hope you will enjoy this new feature with even more reads each month!

Eligible by Curtis Sittnfeld

Read It: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Recommended by: Jennifer

I read (and LOVED), Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel “Eligible”. It’s a modern day retelling of Sense and Sensibility, and though I’m typically not a fan of retellings (why rewrite a plot…write a new one!), this one was smart, topical and very fun to read.

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Read It: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Recommended by: Kim

Circling the Sun is a beautifully written historical novel about the extraordinary life of Beryl Markham…her childhood growing up on a horse farm in Kenya, her marriages and love affairs, and her life as a horse trainer and pilot.

 

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Read It: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Recommended by: Kim

This nonfiction account of people living in the Annawadi slum in Mumbai, India is both captivating and heartbreaking. This book really opened my eyes to the reality of life as a slum dweller and the amount of corruption that exists there.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Read It: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Recommended By: Rhonda

I absolutely loved it!

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

Read It: Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

Recommended By: Christi

I read “Glory Over Everything,” the sequel to The Kitchen House. Good book but a little predictable. (I was obsessed with “The Kitchen House!”) It is still absolutely worth reading though!

Water from My Heart by Charles Marti

Read It: Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

Recommended By: Steph

I just hate to put this one down! His stories grip my heart!

The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

Read It: The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

Recommended by: Rebecca

I read an ARC of The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta and really enjoyed it. It made me want to read more by her! Here’s my short synopsis: Prosecutor searches for missing college girl and discovers that the fraternity involved is known as a “rape factory.”

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

Read It: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

Recommended by: Enid

This was an impulse buy when it was a Kindle Deal of the Day. It was a good read- I think it was a pretty accurate portrayal as to how a 9-14 year old would deal with such a horrible disease, treatment, and resulting disfigurement- not bothering to think about some major things, and obsessing over some relatively minor things. There were lots of beautiful descriptions and phrases, and in the “about the author” at the end, I found out she was a poet. I also found out that she died young, so I quickly looked her up and discovered that Grealy is the person Pratchett writes about in Truth and Beauty, and that Grealy’s sister was furious as to how Pratchett portrayed Grealy in that book.

Bright Side by Kim Holden

Read It: Bright Side by Kim Holden

Recommended by: Rebecca

A girl leaves for college, falls in love. Sounds ordinary, right? … but fortunately for the readers, the story does not end there because both of them have a secret. Will they trust each other enough to reveal their true selves? And when secrets are revealed, Some will heal you … And some will end you. There is also a sequel to this one called, Gus.

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Read It: Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson (audio version here)

Recommended by: Enid

This was a fun book to listen to- the reader did a great job with the voices, especially Frank’s. Frank was an awesome character, but Alice was a little too Mary Poppins-like for my taste. I felt the ending was abrupt- perhaps this means the author plans on a sequel. This was a great quick read. (editor’s note: check out our author interview!)

The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon

Read It: The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon

Recommended By: Amanda

This was a fascinating account by a neuroscientist who is convinced people are shaped by their genetics (nature) until he discovers that he has the brain scan of a psychopath….and realizes there may be more to “nurture” than he previously thought. Super interesting and not too technical to just enjoy his story.

A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary

Read It: A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary

Recommended By: Jill

I read The Girl from Yamhill, a memoir by Beverly Cleary. It was my favorite portrayal of life during the Great Depression. She was funny, talented, honest. I loved it. After the first three or four chapters I couldn’t put it down. It isn’t gossipy or overly detailed, it’s a story well-told about making sense of childhood and the adults around you during a very different culture.

The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

Read It: The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

Recommended By: Tina

Gracy is an amazing woman having kept the secrets of her husband and the mothers she cared for even when it could have had a serious impact on her own life. I loved this book. One of my favorites this year.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Read It: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Recommended By: Julie

I’m currently reading “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton. A line from the book I will save is, “(Cassandra) always hid when she read, though she never knew quite why. It was as if she couldn’t shake the guilty suspicion that she was being lazy, that surrendering herself so completely to something so enjoyable must surely be wrong.” Don’t we all feel a little like this?? I love this line.

Into the Dim by Janet Taylor

Read It: Into the Dim by Janet Taylor

Recommended by: Shannon’s Bookworms

Into the Dim is a wonderful time traveling, action – adventure, mystery, historical fiction, and love story all rolled into one. I love the world building and there was a lot and the author did a fabulous job. The characters were great and many times she took you on such a roller coaster ride. I didn’t know which way this was going to end.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Read It: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Recommended by: Renee

Just Mercy was fabulous. It made me want to enroll in law school immediately (I have not…yet). It also made me aware of how unaware I am of the broken justice system in the U.S. Heart wrenching and uplifting book.

april-must-reads

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get these books and read them myself! What did you read this month that you loved? Feel free to recommend your favorite reads below or join us in the group to chat about your favorites! We love new friends!

This post contains affiliate links. I fully trust and back my community of readers and their opinions on their favorite books!

 

 

Sundays With Writers: The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

sundays-with-writers-1

Are you a big Joshilyn Jackson fan too? I am so excited to be interviewing Joshilyn today about her new book, The Opposite of Everyone.

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson delivers another solid read with her latest novel, The Opposite of Everyone. Joshilyn tells her story in a very unusual way.  Rather than alternating past and present in chapter format, Jackson weaves the two stories of past and present into one chapter smoothly without transition. At first, this can be confusing, but it is worth the confusion as she weaves her reader through plot twist after plot twist of a girl growing up in a group home due to her mother’s incarceration to her powerful role as a lawyer finding out that her mother has kept a big life-changing secret from her.

Follow the story of a broken little girl who feels she made the one mistake that cost her a relationship with her mother into a grown woman seeking desperately to connect with family members she never knew, with many surprises along the way.

Now grab your coffee and let’s chat with Joshilyn about her incredible book!

Q&A With Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson

You and I have something very similar in common. My site tackles a variety of topics so it is difficult to categorize me as a writer or where I fit best within my own blogging community. You have said that you struggle with placement in bookstores because your writing envelopes so many different genres. What do you think is the hardest part about not fitting into one clearly defined genre and what do you think is the most rewarding thing about being that type of writer?

Oh, yeah. I hear you. We are untidy, you and I. We are pegs that do not go neatly into this hole or that. I think the hardest part is part is finding our initial readership. People who would like our stuff—maybe even love it—dismiss it because they think we are this peg or that peg. The upside is, when people do find us and realize what we are about, they tend to stick.

I finally wrote my own genre, to help folks decide if they want to read me or not. I officially write “Weirdo Fiction with a Shot of Southern Gothic Influence for Smart People Who Can Catch the Nuances but Who Like Narrative Drive, and Who Have a Sense of Humor but Who Are Willing to Go Down to Dark Places”

The best part? I am writing exactly the kinds of books I love to read, as I imagine you are running the kind of website you always hope to find while surfing.

This book is a little all over the map which makes it so fun! For example, Paula is tri-racial, you have her growing up in a foster system, she’s a lawyer, and you weave in Hindu images and storytelling in this book. How much research did you have to do to prepare for this story and did you discover anything that surprised you while gathering your research?

A lot of research in a lot of different directions. I went to dinner and for drinks with a lot of different lawyers. I went down to the courthouse and even sat in some trials. I read a lot Hindu god stories and epic poetry. I interviewed multi-racial people about the experience of living between cultural identities.

Any time I write outside my own experience, I feel I have to respectful, you know? I want to reflect a version of the truth that lies well within the spectrum of actual experience.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was how virulent divorce cases can be—especially when there is a lot of money involved. I know people who divorce with dignity and grace—but on the other end of the spectrum, wow it goes way out there.

I took as many high end swanky ATL divorce attorneys as would let me out to lunch. I plied them with wine and shrimp cocktails, and I asked them for their war stories.  What I got back was a litany of offences ranging from stalking, to dog-napping, to kidnapping, to arson, to filling a very, very expensive car up with boxes of valuable baseball cards and rolling whole shebang right into a lake. In the course of four dates like this I heard about two planned murders and one actual attempted murder.

When I realized anything was go in this ugly, escalating divorce case Paula works on over the course of the book, I invented Murder Kittens. Don’t worry—no kittens, real or imagined, are harmed in the scene—and in fact I have yet to visit a book club who doesn’t want to talk about murder kittens.

joshilyn-jackson-writer-coffee-mug

(you must follow Joshilyn on Facebook!!)

Paula, as a lawyer, represents a lot of BANK cases (Both Assholes No Kids) in this book. Did you come up with that acronym on your own or is this out in the law world and I just didn’t know it? It made me laugh!

I came up with it. Since the book’s publication, I have gotten e-mails from real life divorce attorneys, and they assure me it is getting daily use in at least a few real law offices now.

In this story we can truly see how broken our system is when parents are put away in jail and children are forced into the foster system, often for minor infractions. I understand that you had your own struggles with the system from working within the judicial system to teaching at a correctional facility for women. What do you think is wrong with this system and what could we do, as a country, to repair it?

I work with a group called REFORMING ARTS to bring arts education to the incarcerated women at Lee Arrendale State Prison here in Georgia. The hope is that learning to express and process their feelings, to find their own voices, to speak truths will help them connect with their families. We want to empower them to make different choices and cut down on recidivism.

We are out of control here in this country. We are the world’s biggest jailer. The USA—land of the brave, home of the free—puts more people in jail than Russia does. We imprison a higher percentage of our population than South Africa. Think about that. I’m not saying we don’t need prisons. We do. I am saying they need to be a last resort. We need to stop using prisons as a way to not deal with our social and economic issues, our hideous racial issues, and our petty fears about people-not-like-us.

This is America. We are a melting pot. Most people in the country are going to be people-not-like-whatever-us-you-are.

We have to stop putting people in prison for non-violent offenses. We have to find ways of reclaiming people from the arms of meth instead of just warehousing them—or using them for the equivalent of slave labor in privatized prisons. There are prisons in this country that are being run by FOR PROFIT corporations. That means there is a financial incentive for keeping a steady supply of human beings – often human beings with children— in jail as workers.

People may not know that you were an actor and you now utilize those acting skills by narrating your own audiobooks and the books of others.  You were even nominated for an Audie Award for your performance! What was your favorite book to narrate and have you found this to be a great outlet to still feel like part of that acting world?

I am a theatre person from the way, way back. I met my husband when I was nineteen, and we both got hired by a little regional repertoire theatre.  The first time I ever saw him, he was learning to sword-fight for a dueling scene. Of course I had to marry him.

I stayed very involved in theatre while in grad school in Chicago; one of my plays was produced there, and I acted quite a bit. Then I got pregnant and I wanted to be closer to my family! When we moved back rural Georgia, my life really changed. I was isolated from my theatrical community, and I think that’s why I turned to novels. I loved my kid, but he was not a great conversationalist in the first couple of years, especially. I wrote my first novel practically one handed, holding my nursing baby with the other.

I think that as an actor, I was more challenged reading Lydia Netzer’s novels than my own. I loved reading SHINE, SHINE, SHINE and HOW TO TELL TOLEDO FROM THE NIGHT SKY!

Lydia Netzer

I read in an interview with you write for Lydia Netzer as your ideal target audience. Do you think all writers should find one person as their target audience and why did you select her as the person you want to write for?

Well, it’s more about permission. I think my largest problem as a writer is cowardice…I am scared if I let my characters do the things they want to do and say what they want to say and go down into the dark places where they are always trying to march me into, people will think I am not a nice lady. I am Southern, and female, so I was raised to be a  super passive-aggressive people pleaser. I pull back in my writing when I picture herds of imaginary disapproving Sunday School teachers reading my work. And they are always lurking there, trying to get me to notice their crippling disapproval.

If I think of Lydia reading it, it gives me permission to write what I truly want to write.

 Support groups can mean so much and I understand you have a lot of support from fellow writers in a writing group you are a part of with Lydia Netzer, Karen Abbott, & Sara Gruen. Do you think having this support has made your writing better and how can writers find their tribe like you did?

I think they to those friendships is that they formed early in our careers. Sara and Abbott, me and Lydia, and then Sara and I connected she shared Abbott with me. We weren’t publishing yet. I think we all pushed each other forward in a lot of ways. I know that watching these brilliant women sail over bars made me want to do better, be better, revise more, not be lazy, push myself harder.

I write to a standard that I am not ashamed to show them. I want them to love my books as much as I love theirs.

That’s the other thing—a lot of those friendships started because we liked each other’s writing first, then found out we also liked the people attached to it. I read Lydia’s nascent scribblings in grad school, and fell in love with her prose. Abbott and I both met Sara on an online message board, and I was so attracted to her emails—I started writing her off list to court her friendship, and then she let me read her fiction and I was hooked.

As someone who swore she would never do a sequel, I understand you aren’t finished with Paula yet. I know that she started as a bit character in, Someone Else’s Love Story, and that you had to whittle down your scenes with her. What is it about Paula that makes her so special to you and can we expect to follow her as she takes on more cases in her career?

I don’t know if I will write Paula again. I know that I would like to.

I never want to write sequels because I try to end my books in what I call the breath. Maybe not a tidy, sunshine ending, but in that pause between sorrows and storms. In a place of actual hope.

My books have some sharp corners and they can go down to some bad places; I like to leave the characters who survive in a place of peace, and I like remember them there. I don’t want to tear their lives up again. If I wrote a sequel, I would have to. No one wants to read about people having a nice dinner and walking the dog. That’s an excellent way to spend a life—but an awful book.

Paula? On the other hand. Never have I written a more contentious narrator. She eats trouble for breakfast, and then says, “Please, sir, may I have some more.” She steps toward conflict with a kindling black joy, and I love her for it. I would not feel at all about putting Paula into more trouble because she was born for it. She thrives there.

She is so thorny and contentious and so addicted to winning that I think she would be wholly unlikable if she didn’t have such a soft heart for underdogs. Say what you will about Paula, she uses her dark powers for good!

Lastly, what is one of your all-time favorite books?  (This will be added to one of our most visited posts of must-reads from the authors featured in Sundays With Writers)

A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY. I return to it again and again, because it’s just so lovely and so fearless and so whole. Also? One of the best first lines in literature. If you have read any of my books, you know I really think first lines matter; I believe that the ending of a book must be contained in its beginning. Only in this way can you find that inevitable but surprising conclusion that Flannery O’Connor talks about. Irving does this perfectly—here it is:

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.”

Joshilyn Jackson

You can connect with Joshilyn Jackson on her website or through Facebook! I’m always thankful for these moments with writers and I hope you will pick up this amazing book! You can always connect with me on GoodReads, through our books section of our site, and you can read our entire Sundays With Writers series for more author profiles. Happy reading, friends!

*This post contains affiliate links!

 

 

 

Pin It

It’s the 3 Little Things: Spiced Tea, Music With History, & a New Family Member

Friday, April 29th, 2016

It's the 3 Little Things

I am so thrilled we have another fun guest post today from one of my longtime readers, Renee! I had to email her to tell her to share more about her favorites because I actually own none of these! Don’t you love discovering new things?  I love when I find a new favorite thing right along with you! Thank you, Renee, for making my wish list a little longer this week.

Here’s a few of Renee’s favorite things today!

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

I fell in love with Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea when I tried (and miserably failed) to give up coffee.  Even though I still love my cup of joe, I adore this tea.  It is so warm and comforting and smells divine. Every time I have a cup at work, people comment on how good it smells.  My administrative assistant has even started stocking it in the teacher’s lounge for my faculty.  It may seem like a winter drink, but I will drink it year round.  I get mine on Amazon.

Hamilton Soundtrack Free on Prime

Hamilton Soundtrack

I taught US History for 19 years before becoming a HS Principal.  One of my favorite history fellas to teach about was Alexander Hamilton.  He was an unstoppable force and now the musical about his life is impossible to see because it’s sold out for the foreseeable future.  Thanks to the awesome Amazon Prime, I have the Hamilton soundtrack to try to memorize (so many words!!!!!!).  Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius!  What I wouldn’t give to see the musical… I guess I’ll be reading the 1000 page book soon that inspired Miranda to write the musical.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

My whole family has fallen in love with the Amazon Echo.  A total luxury item, but Alexa has become a member of the family.  She’s especially good at playing the Hamilton soundtrack while I “dance-clean” the house.  I’ve never felt more organized because of Alexa’s voice activated lists and handy app.  She even reads my Kindle books to me while I cook.  My son loves to ask Alexa to tell him jokes and I get my news updates from Alexa while having my morning coffee.  Alexa is a great addition to our household.

This Week I’m…

ethan

Reading: Don’t You Cry, by Mary Kubica. I always love her thrillers! I can’t wait to read another one of her incredible books on my flight to California this week!

Eating: Far too many s’mores after discovering gluten-free graham crackers. We also are grilling up some of these easy chicken tenders for busy weeknights!

Playing: Loads of Exploding Kittens. A sleepover for his sister led to a lovely night with our teen boy. I am just documenting that he wanted to hang out with us (a rarity when you are that cool!)

Staining: My picnic table for another round of summer gatherings. I am thrilled with this deep rich stain I picked this year (leftover stain from this DIY project. Cost this year? ZERO!)

Drinking: Hopefully load of mojitos poolside with my blogging bestie, Kelly from Redefined Mom at our “work conference” (ahem!). If you can’t be poolside with me, check out this easy DIY mojito recipe!

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

Pin It

Amy’s Notebook 04.27.16

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Small kitchen update via A Beautiful Mess

Source: A Beautiful Mess

 

Small kitchen inspiration- love the idea of painting that backsplash.

I love ALDI wine and I’m adding a few of these to my shopping list!

Here are four performances of a man gone far too soon.

I adore Tina Fey.

100 must-read memoirs.

Baked chicken fajita roll-ups look amazing!

Tween Girl books via Modern Mrs. Darcy

Source: Modern Mrs. Darcy

 

12 terrific books for tween girls.

I am a HUGE Kazdin fan. He suggests for problem behavior, spanking and even time-out are a waste of time. Try this instead.

I’m inspired to meditate after reading this.

This is on my summer bucket list.

40’s- a time for many a risky affair. What do you think?

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!