Archive for the ‘Reads’ Category

It’s the 3 Little Things (With Felicia): Beach Waves, Summer Lips, & Attention-Getting Watches

Friday, May 8th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty happy to be closing in on the finish line of this week. Holy moly! Do you feel like this too? I mean, SO TIRED. All just good and amazing things, just so many things in one week, you know?

Since my brain is tired today, I’m thrilled to have Felicia from Go Grow Go! joining us to share her happy list with us. She’s been a longtime blog pal of mine and I am so thrilled to introduce you all to her. Please give her a warm welcome! If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.com and I will share them in the upcoming weeks! 

Let’s peek at Felicia’s list! 

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Cream

Beachy Waves For Days!

Who else is thankful that sunnier days are upon us?  I, for one, am so excited to pull out the spring clothes and dust off my sandals.  I am also loving a brand new hair product that does not break the bank, holds texture for beachy waves and smells like vanilla!  It’s the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.  Every day I receive compliments on how my hair smells and the wave is holding all day (sometimes even to day 2).  You can pick it up for under $10 on Amazon or you may even find it for less at Target!
Looking for quick and easy waves?  Check out this video tutorial for How to Create Natural Waves in Under 10 Minutes!
Looking for hair that radiates?  Check out my favorite hair conditioner for shine!
Girl About Town Mac Lipstick

The Perfect Spring/Summer Shade of Lipstick

Have you been introduced to Girl About Town from MAC Cosmetics yet?  Of course you have because every other girl in Western North Carolina buys this stuff out!  I actually have to order it online (which is great because shipping is free and the cost is the same).  I love this color because it is bright and fun, but can easily be toned down.  Besides, who doesn’t love the name?  It makes you want to get out and explore!

JORD Wood Watch

A Watch that Gets Attention

There is one thing I will not leave home without these days.  It is my JORD Wood Watch.  It is so simple, yet stylish and it receives compliments every single day!  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have given out the website address for this watch to both guys and girls.  I love it because it is elegant and matches everything.  I can easily dress this one up or down as well.  Make sure to check out the website because there are so many colors and styles to choose from.  Simple just seems to suit me.

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Felicia, for generously sharing the happy today!

In my world…

Flourish Boutique

Flourish Boutique

Thank you to Flourish Boutique for making me feel like a princess while I was at Mom 2.0 this past week and thank you to Kelly, from Redefined Mom, for being the best roomie ever and incredible fashion photographer. So incredible, in fact, that my husband and parents asked for this picture on the patio in a printed photo and lemme tell you, nothing feels more narcissistic than blowing up photos of yourself and picking them up at the photo center.  AWKWARD.

dance-mom

ballerina-3

ballerina-2

ballerina-1

Speaking of the GLAM, it’s ballet performance week. I am so excited to see her take the stage in the Conservatory of Dance performance at Bethel on Saturday. If you have a budding ballerina on your hands, get some tickets and support these incredible dancers.

We love it so much we are going to the first performance to watch and then staying to perform in the second performance.  It’s a great way to show your kids all of the different kinds of dance classes out there and see which one grabs their attention. I hope it is ALL THE DANCES. Being a dance mom? This is totally my thing.

xoxoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

Amy’s Notebook 05.06.15

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Organizing Pretty via Cuckoo4Design

Source: Cuckoo 4 Design

I’m all about making organizing pretty.

Everything about this Wes Anderson themed wedding is just perfect.

Dolled up mule- yes, please!

Eight excellent literary podcasts for your morning commute.

I want to try a new part.

Wowed by the Chinese-themed Met Gala attire!

The next Morning Edition book club pick- have you read it?

An anonymous Sephora employee answers your makeup questions.

What are your favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s?

 

Capsule wardrobe feelings via TapGenes

Source: TapGenes

 

This article on capsule wardrobes is a great piece I got to be a part of!

Why do we drink coffee at breakfast?

Inspiration to eliminate the paper clutter. Boy, do I need that!

Excited to dig into this podcast list on my flight to Italy.

Just bought one of these and having fun experimenting with it. Have you ever tried this? (affiliate link)

I have also been watching this video tutorial over and over to figure out my new hair appliance.

How to do all the things.

8 tips for dealing with anxiety.

This made me cry happy tears.

amys_notebook

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!

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It’s the 3 Little Things (With Shannon): Library Love, Iced Coffee Concentrates, & Cheesy ’80’s Movie Fun

Friday, May 1st, 2015
It's the 3 Little Things
Happy Friday! I am at the Mom 2.0 Summit this weekend and so I prepared this 3 Little Things edition before I even finished packing my bags. Aren’t you proud? Ha!  Getting out the door always requires a flurry of craziness between packing, laundry, feeding the people, and getting my husband to take over the weekly agenda of activities with the kids. Say a little prayer for him this week- this is a long trip for their mama to be away! While I’m there, I’m incredibly thrilled to be interviewing Molly Ringwald, who will be keynoting the conference and looking forward to meeting and connecting with bloggers and brands while I am there.
Today we have Shannon from  Gidget Girls Reading joining us this week! Shannon is a frequent commenter on MomAdvice and always provides her own thoughtful tips in our comments section. It’s a treat to feature her this week and read more about a few of her favorite things. If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.com and I will share them in the upcoming weeks! 
Let’s peek at Shannon’s list! 
Hi, I’m Shannon Griffin!  I am a middle grade and YA book blogger over at Gidget Girls Reading.  I’m a stay at home mom to 2 beautiful girls, school library volunteer, Inspy Awards Judge for the YA division and major bookworm. I’ve been a long time reader of Amy’s blog, MomAdvice, so when she said she was looking for writers for their 3 Little Things I knew I had to write up mine.
Your Public Library

Your Public Library

I’m a big reader and while I get lots of books in the mail from publishing companies,  I still have tons of books lying around from our library. I think I suffer from the fear of running out of books to read. There are so many great books out there and they can get pricey. Did you know the library offers so many other things besides books?  You can check out magazines, CD’s, movies, and many more depending on your library services. You can get e-books and use Zinio for magazines through your tablet. It’s like having lots of magazine subscriptions for free!
They offer reading programs in the summer, and mine even has a winter one. Your child can get free books throughout the summer for reading. This builds up their home library and helps prevent that summer slump from happening. If you haven’t checked out your local library,  give it a try!  I bet you will love it as much as I do!
Maxwell House Iced Coffee Concentrates

Maxwell House Iced Coffee Concentrate

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, but I’ve never meet a tea I haven’t liked!   I am an iced coffee lover though,  but still have never gone through the process of making my own iced coffee concentrate. Maxwell House offers 3 flavored iced coffee concentrates: Caramel, Vanilla and House Blend. They are so easy to make… you just add water!  You can even add a splash of milk, if you like!  I sometimes add a splash of my lactose-free milk to make an iced latte. They cost around $3.48-$3.98 depending on where I go. You can’t even get a small iced coffee at the coffee houses for $4.00!  Each bottle has 10 servings, however, I don’t like a strong coffee taste so I get a little more for my money. It’s my splurge and I have 1 a day so it lasts me quite a while.
80's movies

80’s Movies: The Outsiders, Karate Kid, Adventures in Babysitting, The Goonies…

My oldest had to read The Outsiders in school, and after reading it they watched the movie. Well,  for a girl who was dreading every minute of it, she fell in love with both! She asked if we could buy the movie and I said, “Absolutely!”  I love that movie!  I also bought a copy of The Karate Kid. Well, now both my girls are hooked and love these movies. Over our spring break we also watched Adventures in Babysitting and The Goonies. They laughed so hard during Adventures in Babysitting and really seemed to enjoy it. They said who knew 80’s movies could be so cheesy and fun at the same time? I have to say, it was so much fun passing on my favorite movies to my girls!
Do you have any 80’s or 90’s movies you and your kids like to watch? Let me know I’m making a list so we can have some cheesy movie time this summer! 

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Shannon, for generously sharing the happy today!

In my world…

Champagne Taste Dress

This beauty BARELY fit in my carry-on luggage, but it was worth the struggle. Thank you to Flourish Boutique for being a proud sponsor of MomAdvice all of these years. I can’t wait to show off this gown at the IRIS awards ceremony this year!  This is their Champagne Taste Dress ($129.50) and you wouldn’t believe the beautiful layers on this one. I also packed this dress and this PINK (of course) blazer for interviewing Molly Ringwald. Although, none of these are in my capsule, it is fun to step out of the basics for special occasions like this! Use Web Code WEB25 for 25% off one item from their store!  I am so lucky to have them as a sponsor!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and feel free to follow along with me on my trip through IG!! xoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

April 2015 Must-Reads

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

April 2015 Must-Reads

April was another fantastic month of reading and I am excited to share the April Must-Reads list from the books I tackled this month. I hope that you are also following along with my Sundays With Writers series where I interview the authors about their books and try to find out more about their stories behind the stories. This series happens to be my favorite and it is such a treat to share why they created their books.  I will be sure to share below any interviews that have happened (or will be happening) so you can enjoy them after the book.

Speaking of interviews, I can now say that I have interviewed a Pulitzer Prize winning author! A big congratulations to Anthony Doerr on his win for All the Light We Cannot See. It was such an honor to interview him last year about this book and, and after penning it for an entire decade, it is worthy of every accolade it has received. Be sure to check it out!

I think it is important to be honest. Sometimes books just don’t make the must-read cut, but I want to mention them anyway, as we all have our cups of literature tea.  These two that didn’t make it are well-written, but I did not love them.  I read this book and this book this month, but didn’t feel like these were must-reads for you.

This one definitely gave me a lot to think about, but it took it to a level that I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to a lot of people.  It was, frankly, the most graphically disturbing book I have ever read. I am no prude. I read these (and they were terrible). Nutting exposes the sensationalized topic of female teachers pursuing teens for sexual relationships for what it is…pedophilia. Through this narcissistic sociopath’s eyes, we are able to see exactly what type of child a teacher would target, how she would initiate a relationship, and how she permanently and unapologetically ruins children for their future relationships. The writing is on-point, but the unnecessary pushing of the sexual envelope, lowered the rating for me, as it did not move the plot forward and seemed instead to intentionally shock the reader. Compared to Lolita & American Psycho, the author truly creates the most unlikable character you might ever read.

This book was one that everyone was raving and raving about and I read it just because everyone said it was so fantastic.  It was beautifully written although a much slower read than I had expected after hearing such great things.  The premise is that when a birthday party is held in an unnamed South American country, a famous soprano opera singer sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. The party is interrupted when 18 terrorists enter the vice-presidential mansion in hopes to hold the president hostage. Unfortunately, the president never showed up because he was watching his favorite soap opera, defeating the purpose of the terrorist visit. Instead, they hold the people from the party hostage to try to get their demands met and what develops are unexpected relationships between the party guests and even the guests with their captures.  The book developed the characters well, but I felt hostage too when the plot did not drive itself forward enough for me. If the book had been scaled back in pages, I would have enjoyed it so much more. That said, it read more like a play to me more than a book as this is such a character-driven piece all taking place in one setting.  I would recommend this one for readers who love REALLY slow builds and rich characters, but it did not make the must-read cut. I know, I know…throw rotten tomatoes wildly at me! Am I missing something? I know there are people out there loving this one so tell me what in the world is wrong with me and why you love it so much!

Let’s move on to the things I think you SHOULD read!

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel

This book was charming from start to finish. I am a big fan of books that explore the what-if’s in life and this one does it beautifully. When Kate loses her husband in a tragic accident she finally feels like she can move forward in a new relationship twelve years later. When her husband begins to visit her in her dreams though, she begins to fall into an alternate universe where the lines between reality and imagination are blurred.

One of my  favorite movies is Sliding Doors and this book reminded me so much of that movie. Harmel truly explores what does it take to move forward in life without forgetting your past.

In this story, Kate blames her lack of sleep on stress. But when she starts seeing Patrick, her late husband, in her dreams, she begins to wonder if she’s really ready to move on. Is Patrick trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, Kate must uncover her husband’s hidden message. Her quest leads her to a sign language class and into the New York City foster system, where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.

This is the best piece of chick lit I have read this year and would highly recommend for anyone who needs a little reading escape! I have been telling everyone to escape with this one and I keep hearing how much they loved it too. It’s one I would be packing in my beach bag this summer, for sure!

5 Out of 5 Stars

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

What a beautiful story of two sweet kids who find each other just when they need one another the most. Niven sheds light on a topic rarely discussed in YA literature sharing the true struggles of mental illness as Finch, the main character, struggles with bipolar disorder.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

The stigma attached to mental illness and the reaction of his peers to this, make this a compelling read for any teen in understanding what it would be like to live with mental illness. This was heartbreaking, beautiful, and provided a thoughtful ending with a great resources & info list for kids struggling with (or who have family/friends struggling with) mental illness at the end of the book. I highly recommend this one for a well-captured idea of what living with bipolar disorder would feel like.

Jennifer Niven will be joining me for a future Sundays With Writers so be sure to check back for that interview as we chat about mental illness in teens and her first YA book (that we will soon be able to see Elle Fanning starring in the movie adaptation of!!).

4 Out of 5 Stars

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (currently available for pre-order, hits stores on May 12th!)

I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest thoughts & opinions on this book.

How can this book not be on your top list? The title has GIRL in it (like this, and this, and this…), Gillian Flynn’s name is dropped on the front cover for the endorsement, the narrator is unlikable, AND Reese Witherspoon will be producing the movie version of this book (only just recently announced). I’d say this has a winning combination for this to be the book that everyone will be talking about this summer.

Much like other thriller books, I don’t want to give away the plot too much so that you have the satisfaction of discovering the twists yourself. Ani is a girl who never has the ability to fit in at her prestigious private school, no matter how many brand name clothes her mother buys her. When Ani intrigues the popular kids, they decide to invite her in and Ani discovers, maybe it was better to have never been a part of the group at all. In a horrible turn of events, she finds solace in another kid at school that will, ultimately, change the destiny of the school and the kids in it forever.

The book flashes back to Ani’s painful teen years and then alternates chapters as they film a documentary about what happened at their school and how much happier Ani is now that she is working at a high-profile magazine, beautiful, thin, and has the guy of her dreams. Of course, things are never as good as they seem and getting to the root of why Ani is so unlikable helps the reader to connect more as the story progresses despite the excruciating shallowness and weight obsession of this woman.

With just the right amount of sass to balance the darkness of this book (think Gillian Flynn for how dark we get), this read is a quick page-turner that I can’t wait to see adapted into film.

5 Out of 5 Stars

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

This book is achingly beautiful in so many ways exploring the beauty and anguish of first loves. This story is uniquely told by a twin sister & brother, alternating chapters, yet one is telling the story three years later while the other is telling the story as it happens. It creates a journey experience for the reader when characters begin to overlap together in these stories.

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Nelson’s words read like watching a painting unravel on a page, as though it all is coming to life, especially when told through artistic Noah’s eyes as his words are the most visually vivid. Nelson beautifully paints the portrait of the typical teenage angst of Jude & Noah, while focusing strongly on the difficulties of being a gay teen and the hostility of classmates that force Noah to try to fit in with his peers.

I laughed and cried through the pages of this one especially because I have never read a writer like this, making me Nelson’s latest fan. It really surprised me in so many ways. I would recommend it for fans of Rainbow Rowell or John Green.

Read my interview with Jandy Nelson in our Sundays With Writers series this month!

5 Out of 5 Stars

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler (available for pre-order, hits stores on June 23rd)

I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest thoughts and opinions on this book.

I knew I was going to love this book because it had so many ingredients in it for success with me- librarians, old books, a bit of magic, and a glimpse at the old carnival life. The book has been compared to Water For Elephants and Night Circus, but definitely stands on its own and is an ambitious debut novel from this first-time author. When Simon, a young librarian, receives the gift of a book that is a travel log for a carnival in the 1700’s, he discovers a drowning death of a circus mermaid that is coincidental to his own mother’s drowning death (a former circus mermaid herself) that happened even on the same day. If their family is cursed, his sister could be the next victim and he will do anything to save her. The chapters alternate between the travel log (complete with unique sketch drawings) and present day as Simon tries to stop the curse on his family. The author manages to bring these stories together in a beautiful way with a satisfying conclusion to these mysterious drownings.

This was definitely a slower read for me and the length could have been shortened a bit, as the plot lagged a bit for me. The sketches, however, add a fun interactive element for the reader and help keep you engaged in the story. If you appreciate a good circus story with a modern-day mystery, you will enjoy this escape. I imagine there will be a lot of buzz surrounding this book this summer.

4 Out of 5 Stars

April 2015 Must-Reads

Read With Me This Year:

January 2015 Must-Reads

February 2015 Must-Reads

March 2015 Must-Reads

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.

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Amy’s Notebook 04.29.15

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Inspiring Farmhouse via Design Sponge

Source: Design Sponge

 

I’m so inspired by this space!

Shopping at Anthro with Marie Kondo.

Who knew alcohol prep pads are a purse must-have?

Let’s get ridiculous about decluttering.

Trending: hard cider is the new craft beer.

5 unexpected things happy people have in their homes.

102 things to do on a money-free weekend.

A few smart words on lighting- bookmarking this for our future kitchen remodel.

Celebrating Sheros via Fashion By Mayhem

Source: Fashion by Mayhem

 

So proud of this little Shero.

Could you get rid of your wardrobe?

The “Full House” spin-off is officially happening on Netflix.

For my fellow crazy cat ladies (you know who you are).

Recipe: everyday pancake & waffle mix.

Bruce Jenner & the modern American family.

How to do all the things- I needed that ego-check tip!

amys_notebook

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!

 

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Sundays With Writers: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Sundays With Writers

I’m so excited to have another author this week in our Sundays With Writers series. Jandy Nelson is my new favorite young adult author and I think once you read her words, you will understand why this author has found such a special place in my heart. I picked up I’ll Give You the Sun and I just couldn’t put it down.  Spoiler alert: this one is making the top ten for 2015 so add this to your must-read list!

In some ways,  it reminded me of Eleanor & Park because the characters were just quirky, endearing, and it captured that angst and heartache of youth so well. In other ways, this book was unlike any I have ever read where the authors words are so incredibly visual that it felt like you were reading a painting and the words were living and breathing off the pages. It’s hard to capture into words, that’s why you must read it and why I am BEYOND thrilled to have Jandy join us today.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I’ll Give You the Sun is achingly beautiful in so many ways exploring the beauty and anguish of first loves. This story is uniquely told by a twin sister & brother, alternating chapters, yet one is telling the story three years later while the other is telling the story as it happens. It creates a journey experience for the reader when characters begin to overlap together in these stories.

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Nelson’s words read like watching a painting unravel on a page, as though it all is coming to life, especially when told through artistic Noah’s eyes as his words are the most visually vivid. Nelson beautifully paints the portrait of the typical teenage angst of Jude & Noah, while focusing strongly on the difficulties of being a gay teen and the hostility of classmates that force Noah to try to fit in with his peers.

I laughed and cried through the pages of this one especially because I have never read a writer like this, making me Nelson’s latest fan. It really surprised me in so many ways. I would recommend it for fans of Rainbow Rowell or John Green.

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s settle in with the fantastic Jandy Nelson.

Jandy Nelson

One thing that makes this book incredibly unique is the chapter set-up. With one twin telling the story as it is happening and the other telling it three years down the road, the reader can begin piecing these two stories together in such a unique way. Why do you think it was important to tell your story this way and how difficult was this to execute as an author?

It definitely took a while for me to figure it all out. I knew from the beginning I wanted the story to be told in both Noah’s and Jude’s POVs and in different timeframes, wanted their narratives to be interwoven and the structure of the novel to mimic the mirroring/braided way it can feel to be a twin. Also, it was important to me that each twin’s voice be distinct and each of their stories have its own propulsion and tension. In a lightning strike moment, I decided what I needed to do was write Noah’s story start to finish, then Jude’s start to finish, and intertwine them after. When I was working on one twin’s narrative I’d lock the file of the other’s so I wouldn’t cheat and would stay in the heart/mind/body/time period of the twin I was working on. Once I had both stories finished—this took about two years—I began weaving the stories together which was like writing a whole new novel. I think I lost 50K words in that process, which took another year and a half and involved a lot of praying! In general, my thinking was that the interweaving structure both in different POVs and in different time periods would allow the mystery elements of the novel to unfold and be revealed in the best possible way. Like you say, I wanted the reader to slowly piece the story together. I hoped this structure would create more suspense and momentum, that feeling of “Wait, what actually happened in those intervening years?”

 As a reader we are taken on the journey of Noah feeling like, “a broken umbrella,” because of his sexuality and the acceptance of who he is. Have you heard from any gay young adults who have identified with Noah’s journey? How has your story impacted kids (or even parents) that are going through this?

In many ways, I think Noah feels like “a broken umbrella” when he’s younger less because of his sexuality, which both thrills and frightens him, and more because of his (misguided) perception of his father’s disdain for him, which in Noah’s mind includes his sexuality, yes, but also his artistic and solitary nature. I have heard from many lgbtq teens and it just means the world to me. Unbelievably, some have told me that Noah changed their lives, others that reading his story inspired them to come out or be more true to themselves. And others still, lots of adults as well, just happy to read a love story between two teenage guys. I’ve also heard from a few parents who said they were grateful that their son or daughter now has Noah and his story and that it’s helped their child not feel so alone. There’s really no way to express how happy this kind of feedback makes me. It’s everything!

I’ll Give You the Sun has been optioned for screenplay which I couldn’t be more excited about. Do you have any information on what readers can expect with the film and how involved are you in the process of adapting this book into film?

Yes, Warner Brothers optioned the novel this summer before it came out and Denise Di Novi and Allison Greenspan are attached to produce. The screenwriter Natalie Krinsky is writing the screenplay this very minute. So honestly, not so much to report yet, but hopefully soon. It’s funny, the twins became so real to me that one time in the middle of writing the novel, I went to a Diebenkorn exhibit at the museum and my first thought on entering the gallery was, “It’s such a shame Noah and Jude couldn’t come with me today.” I’d absolutely forgotten that they weren’t real in that moment! So it’ll be wild to truly see them as flesh and blood. I’m also very excited to see all the artwork: Noah’s mind-paintings, Guillermo’s granite giants, Jude’s sand women. The art in the story is incredibly vivid in my head so it will be something to see different artists take on the work. So far I’ve been very involved in the process and everyone’s been wonderful and incredibly respectful of the novel. Fingers crossed!

 One thing I really appreciate about you, as an author, is the extensive research you really did to form these characters…even diving into a sculpting classes yourself! Did you find any special talents or hobbies that surprised you in this journey of creating these voices?

Oh how I wish that I’d found some latent artistic talent when writing this novel! What I actually found out in that sculpture class was I’m the worst stone carver on earth. Alas, I think the closest I’ll ever get to painting is making Noah’s mind-paintings. That was such a blast for someone like me who can’t even do a stick figure justice. But yes, I definitely do a lot of research. My natural inclination is to constantly want to go back to school and so doing research for a novel satisfies this impulse and is much less life-disrupting. I recently decided I’m kind of a method writer, like there are method actors. I love to get completely immersed in my characters and this includes their passions and interests. For instance, there’s a character in my new book who loves to cook and so I’ve been reading cookbooks in the bathtub and generally cooking up a storm for everyone who’ll let me. It’s one of the best parts of writing fiction for me, getting to live all these other lives in addition to my own. It’s the best kind of sorcery.

If you could tell anyone to read one book right now (other than your own) what would that book be?

Two books: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. My all time favorite novels.

 

You can connect with Jandy Nelson on GoodReads or through her website! 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 (With Amanda): Great Books, Protein Boosts, & Swimwear on a Budget

Friday, April 24th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all had a great week! I had the best little weekend away last week with my two besties from my church camp days and I may or may not have sipped my fair share of these.  This week I am frantically trying to meet all the deadlines and do all the things before I am off to Mom 2.0  to learn and (let’s be perfectly honest) enjoy a little time to myself with some of my favorite people. If you are attending, please say hi! In the meantime, keep checking back here since I have a special Sundays With Writers scheduled this week and I will be working on my must-reads list for the month of April for next week!  If you are curious, I am sneak peeking this book this week and loving it!

Today we have Manda Sue from  Talk Pray Shop sharing a few things that are making her happy this week! I think you are going to be in for a treat since she has so many fun things to recommend on her blog! I am so excited to share these with you today! 

If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.com and I will share them in the upcoming weeks!

Let’s peek at this list of her fun recommendations today!

  Confess by Colleen Hoover

Confess by Colleen Hoover

This is a novel I typically wouldn’t have stumbled upon because it’s a fiction love story and I’m normally drawn to the inspirational, religious, psychology, and self-help shelves; however this book was highly recommended on GoodReads so I decided to give it a try. Boy am I glad I did! I cried, laughed, and devoured this sweet story of Owen and Auburn. You won’t be able to put it down once you start so choose wisely.

Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus

Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus

I can’t afford Starbucks every day so I’ve had to compromise and these drinks satisfy my sweet-tooth without ruining my appetite or giving me a sugar rush. Plus, it’s a perfect drink for me post barre with 30 grams of protein!

Target Swimwear

Target Swimwear

 

 My First One Piece Swimsuit (As An Adult)

When I tried this suit on at Target originally, I couldn’t decide if I liked it. I don’t feel that I need to wear a one-piece, but I wanted to try a more modest suit and see what the fashion hype over one-pieces was all about. After putting this suit on hold I decided to just buy it and force myself to wear it confidently. I’m sooo happy I did! I’ve never had so many people compliment me in a bathing suit. Showing less skin also made me feel less self-conscious in the pool and laying out.

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Manda Sue, for generously sharing the happy today!

In my world… Capsule Wardrobe Ideas (current capsule HERE). I’m packing my bags for Mom 2.0 and here is a peek inside the suitcase!

Fashion Capsule Outfits

Fashion Capsule Outfits

Fashion Capsule Outfits

(swimsuit was a past favorite thing over here)

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

Amy’s Notebook 04.22.15

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Nacho Party via Camille Styles

Source: Camille Styles

 

What a fun party idea!

I need to add a few of these apps to my life.

Wow, it’s easy to see the differences in this picture review of 100 mascaras.

33 writers share the books that inspired them to write.

The first yes is the deepest.

ALDI is a growing menace to America’s grocery retailers – and I’ll just keep saving…

Some thoughts on living on $29 a week for food.

25 simple lifehacks- I really love #2!

Fit Volunteering in Your Life

Source: Life Hacker

 

How to fit volunteering into your packed schedule.

10 things you should know about your dishwasher.

Since the 1980s, Jeff Bridges has done something incredible on the set of all his movies.

7 ways Mad Men obsessed over historical details.

Paying off the mortgage early- yay or nay?

Your dose of house inspiration: an old hospital becomes a home.

A list of new podcasts to try- any favorites?

Shorts for Mom via JoLynneShane

Source: JoLynne Shane

 

Shorts for moms.

DIY blowout tutorial.

The more you know- all about estheticians.

3 bright lip colors for spring.

I’m inspired to do a projects update.

Isn’t it ironic? No, it’s coincidence.

This report is not surprising at all.

amys_notebook

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!

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It’s The 3 Little Things (With Ashley): Mad Money Skills, Pearly Whites, & Gluten-Free Pancakes

Friday, April 17th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! It’s a happy Friday, indeed, for this girl as I am preparing for an overnight with my two best friends from my church camp days in Chicago. I get to travel a lot for work, but a trip just for me is a rarity and I’m so excited. I’m also happy that our bathroom renovations are finally done!  This week has been a mad scramble to get back on track with my work since my kiddos were on Spring Break. I am sure, just like every other mom, you understand the juggle struggle that happens as the school year comes to a close. Every day my mantra is, “I think I can, I think I can.”

Today we have Ashley from A Little Something Wonderful sharing a few things that are making her happy this week! Ashley is a frequent commenter on here and also a 3 things enthusiast. How lucky am I to get to share her list today? VERY lucky! 

If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.com and I will share them in the upcoming weeks!

Let’s peek at Ashley’s favorites today!

Cash Envelope System

Cash Envelope System Wallet

My husband and I recently took Dave Ramsey’s course, Financial Peace University.  In addition to doing a monthly budget, we now also follow his recommendation for paying cash for many purchases.  While paying for cash has really transformed our budget and allowed us to save money and pay off debt every month, I was not a fan of the envelopes.  There was no place to keep change and they were flimsy.  Enter my favorite new wallet from Melissa’s etsy shop, A Time for Everything.  This wallet has amazing tabs to help divide and organize your cash into categories of spending (groceries, gas, etc.).  There is a separate zipper pocket for change, and pockets for cards, a driver’s license, and receipts.

Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse
I have a serious phobia of the dentist that causes me to take fanatical care of my oral health.  I recently found this amazing mouthwash that I have been loving lately.  Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse is described as part mouthwash, part toothpaste.  It works to repair and prevent a whole host of oral issues including gum pockets and receding gums, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, tartar, canker sores and toxic morning mouth.  It does all of this while also naturally whitening your teeth.  Free of harmful chemicals this brushing rinse also contains essential oils (which I love!).  This mouthwash is not overpowering and does not leave a weird aftertaste in your mouth.  After using it, your mouth just feels clean.
Birch Benders Pancake & Waffle Mix

Birch Bender Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix 

My husband loves pancakes on the weekends.  I was always so grouchy about making them because it meant mixing up a gluten free flour mix and creating pancakes from scratch.  I wouldn’t mind this except the pancakes often weren’t very good–either a weird flavor or a strange consistency–the joys of gluten free baking!  Last weekend while shopping at Whole Foods we saw this new to us product on the shelves and decided to give it a try–all you do is add water and cook up your flap jacks.  These were so delicious that I actually went back to double check the bag to confirm that they were in fact gluten free.  I can not recommend this mix enough!!!

 

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Ashley, for generously sharing the happy today!

 

In my world… Capsule Wardrobe Ideas (current capsule HERE).  The April switch is one sweater out and silky floral pants in for the month. I think all sweaters are officially out of the wardrobe now. Did you get the memo, Indiana?  Are you following me on Instagram? I post 4 outfits each week!

Capsule Wardrobe Outfits

Capsule Wardrobe Outfits

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

Amy’s Notebook 04.15.15

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

How to Write a Thank You via The Morning News

Source: The Morning News

 

Fabulous advice on giving thanks.

Love these dresser details.

How to start running.

50 great genre-bending books everyone should read.

Could you do a work uniform?

My husband said this museum would be perfect for me.

8 secrets happy couples know.

50 wonderful things from 2014- bookmarking for anything I missed.

How not to Raise a Narcissist via NY Post

Source: New York Post

 

How not to raise a narcissist in 9 easy steps.

In love with this.

Reading this – and loving it. (noteaffiliate link)

Very excited to see this book turned into a film.

Yelp reviews of newborn babies.

Haven’t laughed this hard in a long time- if you have Netflix, it’s a good one!

The secret language of girls on Instagram.

amys_notebook

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!

 

Pin It