Archive for the ‘Reads’ Category

Amy’s Notebook 09.14.16

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Sheet Pan Nachos from Damn Delicious
source: damn delicious

This recipe might help with my late night Taco Bell cravings.

How to make a week of lunches to save money- I can always use this type of inspiration!

Sweet potato toast? Who comes up with these genius ideas?

Tips to help your daughter cope with mean girls.

Grain-free pumpkin blender cookies are on my planner this week!

We have used this EVERY SINGLE DAY since we got it- I am not kidding. Saving a lot of $$$ on takeout.

Speaking of takeout, I want to make more Chinese take-out at home.

Here is what you can expect from the fall television line-up. Anything you are excited to catch?

Tips for painting exterior doors.

Almost Makes Perfect: Housewarming Party Inspiration

source: almost makes perfect

There is a feast for the eyes in this housewarming party post.

More antipasto platter goals.

I have worn this dress three times this week (no joke!).

So smart to freeze kits for breakfast casseroles.

5 mistakes to avoid when cooking eggs in a pressure cooker. Noted.

McMansion hell is my new guilty pleasure read. I love my small house.

5 funny shows to watch now. Also, this is the first time I have ever heard of traumedy as a genre.

This piece on aging and style really gave me a lot to think about.

I could not put this book down this weekend- REALLY loved it!!

Bookmarking this cute black cat cupcake for Halloween.

How to have a beautiful home with children- lots of great tips and #housegoals.

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

The Reading Life of an Entrepreneur

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The Reading Life of an Entrepreneur from MomAdvice.com

I am so excited to introduce you to my friend, Todd Greer. Todd is a ferocious reader and an incredibly gifted entrepreneur.  I recently reached out to see if he could share some of his favorite books with us and he graciously offered to share his perspective on some of the best reads this year. How lucky are we? I will go ahead and let Todd share with you today about his background and why reading is so important to him. 

Todd Greer

 

So, let me get this out there. Reading is my alcohol. It’s my partying. It’s my binge watching. It’s the addiction that I live with daily. I sneak books. I hide my book purchases. I subscribe to multiple book services.

It’s Brokeback Mountain, “I can’t quit you” serious. That is how I feel about books.

So since I have let you in on my little secret now we can chat. I am an entrepreneur. I started a business in Mobile, AL called The Exchange. We are a coworking company, helping our community to “reimagine work.” Before that I was a Non Profit Executive, a Minister, a Team Building Facilitator, a Volleyball Coach, a College Recruiter, a Political Operative, a Communications and Events staffer, a Hardware Store clerk, and a Paperboy.

Yep.

I have done a lot of stuff.

Oh, and I have a PhD.

I like to do stuff, and collect knowledge, and connect people. That’s what I do.

So, when it comes to books, I am the guy that is simultaneously reading four books. No. Not an exaggeration. And I have a pile of other books that I am regularly pining over just waiting to be able to taste and enjoy.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

*Right now I am reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown (seriously, this is one of those open your eyes reads about how easy it is to hold on to crap you don’t need and say yes to things you really don’t want to do),

The Aviators by Winston Groom

The Aviators” by Winston Groom (Not sure that there is enough here to hold me. We are jumping around a little too much between the different pilots and the storytelling just isn’t drawing me deeper),

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell

The Pale Horseman” by Bernard Cornwell (ok, if you have watched the series on Netflix you know just how much of a BAD@$$ Uhtred is! This series has me hooked – if you don’t know Bernard Cornwell and you like the Game of Thrones, you need to read his work),

Accused by Lisa Scottoline

and “Accused” by Lisa Scottoline (I want to like it, but this first book in the series has some seriously played out stereotypes as it is working to develop the characters. Frankly, it’s still a wait and see).

Well, more accurately, I listen to a lot of books (and read a few). Last year, I read 78 books. This year, I already have 50 down.

Seriously, very few people I know read at the rate that I do. Well, except our dear friend at MomAdvice.com (she is only two ahead of me and I think I can catch her. Oh yea, and last year I beat her by ten books – so take that, Amy). 

Editor’s Note: Please note that I consider these words to be fightin’ words. I will be regaining top position this year.

Each of us reads (or doesn’t read) for a variety of reasons. Here are mine: to fall asleep, for a short drive (audio), for a long ride (audio or reading), to prep for a presentation, to be current in research or current affairs, to do yardwork, to de-stress, to learn, to get lost.

Much like my music taste, I have an eclectic palette with books. I read mystery, autobiographies, history, historical fiction, religion, social science, business, and fiction. If you can engage me, inform me, amuse me – I will read your work!

In the days and weeks to come, I will actually talk a little more about the actual books. Till then, my bookshelf is calling me!

around-the-house-2

Thank you, Todd, for sharing with MomAdvice! We look forward to sharing some of Todd’s favorites in a future post!

 

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August 2016 Must-Reads

Friday, September 9th, 2016

August Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

My reading time was limited this month with the whole getting everyone back to school, buying all the things, filling out all the things, driving to all the things. I am finding that audiobooks are my jam again as I run my kids back and forth to activities and school. If I have to be driving, it is so nice to take advantage of those pockets of time in the car!  I have so many must-read picks for you for August and am already working on my next stack for reviewing.

There are lots of projects going on over here (I can’t wait to show you)  and my cheap bluetooth headphones are the next best thing to sliced bread.

NO CORDS?

A game changer for this busy reader!

I am hoping to get back to Sundays With Writers again so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for new posts or sign up for our newsletter to get the scoop!

Sorta Awesome Show

I also had the opportunity to join the Sorta Awesome Show and share the best (and worst) in my summer reading. When I tallied up how much I read this summer it totaled 28 (!!!) books. Laura, also known as the Hollywood Housewife, is one of my own go-to resources for books so I couldn’t wait to hear what she had been reading. As soon as we got done, I put everything she mentioned on hold. She’s that good!

One thing we talked about was how the heck do I read so much. This post might be a good one to read if you want to consume more books this year!

If you want to geek out over books too, you won’t want to miss this episode! I’ll be excited to hear if you agree and disagree with our opinions.

6 Must-Read Books from August 2016

The Longest Night by Andria Williams

The Longest Night by Andria Williams

I love historical fiction, especially when that historical fiction involves a story that I had never been aware of. Williams shares the true story of the SN-L Nuclear Reactor and the only fatal nuclear attack to occur in America in her beautiful novel, The Longest Night.

When Nat & Paul Collier move to the town, Paul is not only frustrated with his immoral boss, but he has a growing concern with the safety at the plant. When an altercation sends Paul away, Nat becomes friends with a man in town and lines between friendship and attraction for one another becomes blurred.

Set in Iowa in 1959, Williams builds a beautiful tension between her characters. It reminded me a lot of Mad Men and Masters of Sex. Once you finish the book, you will be running to look up the facts of this little known tragedy to learn more.

I know I was.

4 Out of 5 Stars

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Fans of Defending Jacob will appreciate Walker’s novel,  All Is Not Forgottenas it focuses on what parents will do to keep their children safe.

The book opens with a teenage girl, named Jenny Kramer, who attends a party and is brutally raped. The graphic and shocking nature of the rape is laid out in detail in this story so highly sensitive readers may need to steer clear.

After the rape, Jenny is given a drug that suppresses the memory of this horrific event, in hopes that Jenny can move forward in life. Unfortunately, Jenny just can’t move forward because she has to know what happened to her.  There is one problem through.  What if the person that is supposed to be guiding her to the answers has his own ulterior motive?

It has been a long time since I have read a book told in first person minor and Walker chooses to narrate her story through the psychologist’s eyes. Unfortunately, for lack of better words, this guy is an absolute douchebag. This can be a turn off and, at times, distracts the reader from the plot. The book held my interest, but I was hoping to know more from Jenny’s perspective.

Can you believe MomAdvice called someone a douchebag on here?

Oh, you bet I did!

That said, I always love to read the books before the movies and this one will be hitting the big screen.  I will be curious what Jessica Knoll and Reese Witherspoon’s production team come up with when writing and producing this one for film.

3.5 Out of 5 Stars

The Assistants by Camille Perri

The Assistants by Camille Perri

I used this month’s Scribd audio credit on The Assistants, and I am SO glad I did. This book was such a treat from start to finish and a really enjoyable listen, should you be sitting on a little credit too.

Tina Fontana works for the head honcho at her company who is swimming in money. When a technical error occurs with an expense report, Tina uses it to her advantage to pay off her student loan debt…to the tune of $20K.

Only one problem though… other people in the office have been noticing and want their loans paid off too.  More people become involved, more money is funneled, more loans paid, and more stress that Tina will get busted.

Imagine a Robin Hood story, but with a modern twist. This book is just the medicine for anyone who has struggled with student loan debt (raises hand high!). I love this book so much and found the ending to be pure perfection. It certainly was the sweetest literary escape this month for me!

5 Out of 5 Stars

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Few books have brought me to tears of laughter the way that Tina Fey’s, Bossypants, book did. Lucky for me, You’ll Grow Out of It just so happens to be the kind of book that makes your sides hurt with laughter and has some of that Fey magic that I have been missing in my life.

Klein is a tomboy through and through so her book focuses a lot on the silliness of expectations on women, the unbelievable things we must do to maintain our good looks, the ridiculousness of wedding dress shopping, and even the expectations we feel deciding how we give birth to our children. From her rants about barre classes to the rudeness of being called ma’am, it made me laugh SO MUCH. There are a couple of raunchy chapters I could have done without, but the majority of the book was just incredibly honest and hilarious. I’m so glad I read this one!

4 Out of 5 Stars

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapeña

I am a sucker for a good thriller and The Couple Next Door was a really incredible keep-you-up-past-your-bedtime read. The story revolves around parents that are invited to a birthday celebration party with requests that children not attend. When their babysitter cancels, they decide to still attend the party at the neighboring brownstone, leave the baby sleeping in the crib, with an agreement to take turns checking on the baby every half hour. When they check in, later in the evening though, they find the crib empty and the baby is nowhere to be found. The reader is taken on twist after twist as the couple tries to find their baby and the motive behind it.

I was surprised the book opens right away with the baby going missing and wondered how the story would ever build out from there when such a big part of the plot happens in the opening chapter. The author crafts plausible (and not so plausible) twists though that takes you on a wild rollercoaster ride with these parents. Just the discussion alone of whether or not the couple should have left their baby would make a great one for book club discussions.

This one brings all the twists and builds great tension. This one is worthy of a reading binge-and I consumed it in a mere 24 hours!  I just loved it!

5 Out of 5 Stars

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Before the Fall has been on my summer reading bucket list so I was excited to finally make time to dive into this one. The story revolves around a plane crash and the aftermath that happens following the accident.

Many chapters are like individual short stories, sharing the real story of these eleven passengers. The main story though is focused on a down-on-his-luck painter who becomes a hero when he brings one of the plane’s smallest passengers to safety.

In many ways, these stories reminded me of Did You Ever Have a Family, with all of the individual story threads being woven together. There were many moments in the book that I enjoyed and some that dragged a bit for me. The ending, for me, was abrupt and a little disappointing.

I’m glad I read this one, but it read like a slow read for me.

3.5 Out of 5 Stars

Read With Me

Read With Me This Year:

January Must-Reads

February Must-Reads

March Must-Reads

April Must-Reads

May Must-Reads

June 2016 Must-Reads

July 2016 Must-Reads

August Must-Reads from MomAdvice.com

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.

Amy’s Notebook 09.07.16

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

A Unique Gallery Wall

source: design sponge

SO MANY gorgeous details in this home- who knew I would swoon over a George Washington collection? I have Rich & Pretty on my nightstand and love seeing a peek at the author’s home!

I love a good sheet pan supper.

I’m a sucker for a good caesar salad dressing- yum!

Such beautiful details in this finished basement family room.

This mediterranean power salad looks like another great salad winner!

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

Tips for hanging baskets on walls- I love how beautiful this looks!

What a simple & delicious dinner idea for busy nights.

How to store clothing without a closet.

DIY Macrame Plant Hangers

source: the sweet escape

Hang all the plants.

A she shed craft space- be still my beating heart. Tour my she shed too!

This book is keeping me up at night.

Outdoor lighting without the pergola. Great tips and similar to our set up!

These paint stitched pumpkins are so cute and make me excited for fall decorating!

How to nail a low loose bun- I must try this!

This soup is going in my fall soup rotation!

This is just the weekly meal prep inspiration I needed.

16 ways to fancy up store bought ice cream.

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 08.31.16

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

late-summer-entertaining

source: design mom

I love these meal ideas for late summer entertaining.

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

I hate trying on jeans so this was helpful.

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

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

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

 

painted-patio

source: a beautiful mess

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

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

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

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

I never knew you could spray paint balloons!

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

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

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Unknown Artist (Natalie) Antique Painting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I tried it on and ran up to my husband.

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

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

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

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

He touches the shirt…

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

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

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Musical Geek Awesomeness

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

Yup. She’s crazy.

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

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

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

Roku Stick

Roku On-the-Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal

 

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

Amy’s Notebook 08.25.16

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Eggs in Ham & Cheese Cups via Hos Josephine

Source: Hos Josephine

 

How good does this look for breakfast? YUM!

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

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

Swooning over this kitchen reno!

Wouldn’t these be the cutest present to share?

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

I love these DIY shelves!

How to build cute comfortable outfits.

Spaces to Organize in the Fall via Polished Habitat

Source: Polished Habitat

 

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

I could have written this post.

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

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

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

Adorable study nook!

I’m obsessed with book covers.

Ten key insights from a family therapist on parenting.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

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

Friday, August 19th, 2016

 

happy-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

happy-2

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

Oh, and there are pedicures too every year.

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

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

Here are 3 other things making me happy this week! 

happy-4

A New Bang Trick (That Works)

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

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

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

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

A Book With ALL the LOL’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Skechers Ballet Flat

Great On-The-Go Shoes

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

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

happy-1

Completing: Nothing. Please see above.

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

Amy’s Notebook 08.17.16

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Painted Polka-Dot Curtains from LollyJane

Source: Lolly Jane

 

I am loving the simple painted trim on these curtains!

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

This is on my to-do list.

What teens need most from their parents.

Homemade rainbow popsicles with 100% fruit- genius!

This looks like a good page-turner.

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

Harry Potter floating candle tutorial- LOVE IT!

No Churn Brownie Batter Ice Cream via The Recipe Critic

Source: Recipe Critic

 

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

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

I love learning about parenting in other countries.

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

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

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

5 signs you should stop decluttering.

An ancient Tuscan farm turned magical​ bohemian​ home.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: A Compelling Documentary, a Bookish Phone Case, & a Deal App

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

The most glorious gift this summer was spending a week together in Saugatuck. Our family has been fortunate to get to do lots of travel through my work. When we had a power outage and spent the evening with flashlights & giggling with our kids, we asked them where their favorite vacation had been. It surprised me to hear that Saugatuck was their favorite destination. Not only is the town close (just an hour and thirty minutes away), but it was also a heck of a lot more affordable than, say, Disney or Universal. We booked a cabin right away and planned for a completely unplugged week.

With my work (um, this!) and my husband’s (programming), making a commitment to be unplugged felt like a bit of a stretch, but we REALLY did it. We put together puzzles, soaked in the hot tub, took a disastrous paddleboat ride (never knew how heavy those were until we walked one out to the beach), brought an enormous stack of library books, made incredible meals to eat on the porch, late nights with vino & the first season of Game of Thrones….it was heaven.

I am so incredibly grateful that we could do it and we are now planning to do this every year with them. Our time feels so fleeting- to soak in my family like that made my heart so happy and brought us a lot closer before the chaos of the new school year starts.

If you haven’t explored Saugatuck, I shared some of our favorite things in this article (and plan to update it this week with more things we enjoyed!)

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

The Fear of 13

The Fear of 13

I know we have a lot of true crime fans on here and I just discovered this incredible documentary called, The Fear of 13. It sounds like the premise would be a little boring without the typical bells and whistles of Hollywood. The documentary is a retelling of how a prisoner, Nick Yarris, found himself on death row. It opens telling you that he has requested his own execution be done early and then, almost in a puzzle format, the viewer gets to find out how he ended up there, what prison life was like, and the scientific breakthrough that changed everything.

More compelling than that though is that Nick found his transformation through BOOKS and that was the window that really helped transform his life. He is, perhaps, one of the most incredible storytellers I have ever had the privilege to listen to. I found myself holding my breath through parts of this. It is, truly, an unforgettable documentary. It sounds crazy that this would make one happy, but it is the beauty in the telling of this transformation that makes it so amazing.

If you have Netflix, it is available for streaming right now!!

Bookish iPhone Case

My New iPhone Case

Well, I held out as long as I could on getting the new iPhone. For our son’s birthday though, he got mom’s old phone and I had to get a replacement phone. That, of course, meant replacing my case. I have never really had anything special, but I found this bookish case on Society6 and it couldn’t ship to me fast enough.

What makes it more special is that David Arnold, Jandy Nelson, & Jennifer Niven were all interviewed on my site and I see their books tucked into this rainbow design. It just has made me so happy and it also has made me want to tackle a few others that are showcased in this case!

If you haven’t ordered from their site before, here is $10 to spend to support an artist!

Dealflicks

The Dealflicks App

I am savvy about saving money, but my sister is INCREDIBLE at saving money. As a single mom, she knows how to make every dollar count. We love to catch movies together and she told me about this app called Dealflicks that would save us money on our tickets.

You download the app on your phone and it offers deals with your local movie theater that save you a ton.

We catch movies in her town and a ticket is $7 and a popcorn is $100.

Well.

Basically.

So with this app, it offers certain shows at a discount rate. So for $7.50 we get a ticket to a show AND a medium popcorn, saving us at least $100 (approximately).

If you want to give it a try, use this code RF8M4BBEAL to get an additional 20% off your tickets at checkout. In that screenshot, you can see where to add your coupon code. I have caught three movies (two with her and one with my Dad) and I have used this each time for our movie dates!

Enjoy all that savings!!!

Book Cover Puzzle

Completing: This incredible puzzle with my family! It was such a challenging one and so fun to see all of these book covers. I hated taking it apart after we were done. This puzzle made us all so happy!

Reading: The Longest Night this week and it was beautiful. I shared my thoughts on it on Instagram and why I think you should read it. I love how books have the ability to teach me about times in history that I never knew about.

Eating: Roasted Shrimp Pasta in bowls on repeat! I can’t think of a better summer dish!

Laughing: At hilarious tweets about Simone Biles. She is amazing…and so are these reactions!

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!