Archive for the ‘It’s the 3 Little Things’ Category

It’s the 3 Little Things: Bed Upgrade, Sleepover Helper & Cozy Duck Boots

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Sushi Date

Time is such a precious commodity, isn’t it? This article really spoke to me this month and I wanted to share it with you because it made me really contemplate the usage of my time. One thing that I get asked a lot (and this is not a brag thing, it just comes up a lot) is how I make time to do the things I do.

First, let me say that I have met far more productive people in my life than me and often wonder the same thing. There are times where I feel great shame when I hear how someone else is out there changing the world for charities or finding success in a new business venture or doing the same dang business I am, but doing it SO MUCH better than me.

The thing is, we are all allotted the same amount of hours in our day- no one person is gifted more than the standard 24-hours. What we do with this gift is our choice.

What ARE the secrets of people that seem to have all the time in the world? In the article it contemplates why so many feel like they are short-changed the gift of time. “People sometimes invite time stress into their lives, says Jeff Kavanaugh, senior partner at Infosys Consulting, and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, whose career has involved advising many busy executives. “They treat their time as an open-ended invitation to commitments,” he explains, “drawn in by their desire to please people or the fear of missing out, and downplay their capacity limit until the commitments—and the stress—stack up.”

Ah, I see several things that apply to me. I hate missing out (THE WORST!) and not wanting to let people down by saying no is a daily struggle for me.

Yet, our time is so precious and we shouldn’t be inviting these additional stresses into our lives. When we are at capacity and tack on one more thing, we invite things like sleepless nights and failing health.

My husband and I gifted ourselves the gift of time this week while our kids are on fall break. We are escaping to a little house and spending our days in a different way- relaxed and unscheduled. I find that each time I do that, I realize that I could be doing that a lot more in my very own home. I shouldn’t have to go somewhere to get unscheduled time.  I am hoping this helps me hit the reset button and reminds me of the gift of my time and what I really could be doing with it.

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

Microfiber Sheets

Finally, Soft Wrinkle-Free Sheets

I have been wanting to get a few new sets of sheets for our bed, but DANG, sheets are expensive. I am pretty particular about our sheets because I hate stiff and wrinkled sheets. I have spent a mint on terrible sheets, but ran across these sheet sets and figured, at that price, it might be worth a shot to get a few pairs for our beds.

These sheets are incredibly soft and wrinkle resistant. They are lighter in weight (preferable for this hot sleeper) and have generously deep pockets so that the sheets stay on well. I ended up getting one set for our guests (in one color) and two sets for us (in another color) so that we have great sheets when we have people visit.

I can’t speak to durability yet, but they are well-made for the price and pair well with our fabulous sherpa blanket. We loved that blanket so much, we bought one for every bed in the house! It’s definitely a winter must-have.

Affordable Bronze Iron Bed

Whenever I post a picture of our bed, we always get lots of questions about where it is from. If you can believe it, I bought this beautiful bed on Overstock too. My great-grandma had beautiful beds like this and I remember so many fun nights with my sister curled up in one of these at their little farmhouse. When I saw it, I had to have it for our own home.

Since our room lacks storage, we actually put this on plastic bed risers so we have a little more room for storage underneath. I love this small space solution for making more space.

Kamik Sienna Boot

My Feet Are Warm

Kamik has been my new go-to for boots and this fall they debuted the cutest pair of duck boots ever. I have been on the hunt for a cute pair of brown duck boots and the Kamik Sienna glams them up this year with a quilted flannel plaid print on the side and adorable buckle.

Of course, more important than being cute is how they feel and how they function. I have to be very serious about footwear (this body really pays if I wear bad shoes)  and these deliver on both being comfortable and being practical. The interior is lined with a comfortable layer of Thinsulate and the rubber material on these is surprisingly light while still being waterproof and durable.

If you are looking to switch up your duck boot game this year, I can’t rave about these enough. You do need to size up one size from your standard size (I am normally a 7 and these are comfortable for me as a size 8). In Indiana, I am always thankful when I make a warm boot investment- if you are on the hunt, these are fantastic!

You can take a peek at all their cute styles on their website- thank you, Kamik, for letting me give your boot a test run!

Serta Air Mattress

We Have a Bed for Guests

Our home lacks a guest room and sleepovers, I have heard, can get a little uncomfortable without a bed. Since we don’t have a place where we can really add more furniture right now, we decided to purchase an air mattress for guests. If you can’t tell already, I am a bit Overstock obsessed and they had this Serta Raised Queen Air Mattress that was at a fair price point and had raving reviews.

It inflates in three minutes (we totally timed it!) and deflates in the same time too. The nice thing about this one though is that you can customize the firmness on it so your guests can actually get a good night’s sleep. It’s comfy on its own, but if you really wanted to up the comfort factor a foam mattress topper would make this bed even better. We broke it in this weekend for my son’s sleepover and everyone slept great.

If you have a small storage space like us, it comes with a little carrying case and this doesn’t take up much room. I had been dreaming about an air mattress with a frame, but we have to be mindful of our storage space so that’s why we went with this one.

One day I’ll have to make a post on how to make a makeshift guest bed on the floor feel more welcoming! Wouldn’t that be an interesting assignment?

Capsule Report

The capsule wardrobe is going great. I do have one small issue, I actually gained a little weight this month and my rose jeans were becoming a little uncomfortable. Rather than grin and bear it, I ordered these discounted rose pants to replace them. I know that gaining weight after being this sick is a good thing and those jeans were pissing me off because I didn’t feel confident in them. So. SEE YA, uncomfortable pants!!

Do you ever wonder what that LIKEtoKNOWit stuff is about on Instagram pictures? I am sharing those little tags on my photos for my capsule IG account.  The title is really what the service means- if you like something with that tag on it on Instagram, you can receive an email that tells you exactly where the items are from and how to order them. I get a commision on these that assists with supporting our site and I always try to find the same or a similar budget-friendly equivalent for my outfits.

To receive these shopping links, do a quick registration (in just 30 seconds!!)  to register at  An email will give you links to all the great pieces and I always try to stay within my small budget.

You can also shop my looks from the web by going directly to my LIKEtoKNOWit page: Make sure you are registered!

Pintuck dress + Fleece top + infinity scarf + belt + booties

(pintuck swing dress- deeply clearanced!* cozy fleece top*  tassel booties (world’s comfiest booties- I swear!) * scarf (similar here and here) * belt (similar)

floral + stripes + mustard + nude booties

floral shirt (they also make a long sleeve version) * striped boatneck top * essential pants * nude booties (similar & similar) * mustard necklace (similar)

flannel shirt + jeans + duck boots

plaid flannel (same cut, different prints!) * scarf (handmade!) * boots * jeans

Reading: I’m taking this book on my trip- it sounds like the perfect little escape. Also hoping to dive into this one too- everyone raves about it and it sounds like a great cooler weather read. Have you read it?

Watching: The Just Add Magic Halloween Special- I wouldn’t have ever known if you guys didn’t tell me about this. My daughter and I were so excited about this! Thank YOU!!

Anticipating:  Season 2 of this show already! Don’t you love the clues they are giving us?

Trying: To get back to my curls again- love this cheap gadget for perfect curls in no time flat.

Happy Fri-yay!

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





It’s the 3 Little Things: Shows With My Girl, Puzzle Season, & Sheet Pan Nachos

Friday, October 14th, 2016


This is, honestly, the first year that I feel like my life has been consumed by an election season. It’s not that I wasn’t passionate before, it was just that I wasn’t so passionately opposed to someone leading our country before.

One day I realized that I spent a good three hours reading and bookmarking articles to talk about with my husband. Let me repeat, I spent THREE HOURS reading through articles and becoming absolutely outraged. I spent showers composing responses to hateful threads that I read (HOW DARE YOU?!?!). I also spent a lot of time being super disappointed in people and the awful crap they have posted on Facebook (both sides, mind you!) about the candidates. (PEOPLE ARE AWFUL!)

The thing is, no matter what I read, I know how I feel about who I am supporting. I can take every online test, read every supportive article, read every unsupportive article and it still will not change how I feel about who I am voting and not voting for. Yet, I am wasting precious time on things that I cannot change.

Ghandi said it best when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

You guys. I’m not changing much by getting angry. It isn’t helping my health, my mental health, or (honestly) my relationships with others. I know that I’m never going to make peace with all of this so I’m going to work on my own attitude until this election season comes to a close. My old radio will be in the off position (I will miss you, NPR) and I will continue avoiding my newsfeed (thanks to this little guy!).

I just wanted you to know that I’m not letting this consume any more of my time and happiness. It’s just too dang precious.

Ghandi was a wise one, wasn’t he?

Here IS what’s making me happy this week! 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

As we impatiently await season 2 of, Just Add Magic, Emily and I have been on the hunt for another show to indulge in together. When a girlfriend shared that they had been watching, Once Upon a Time together, I thought it might be a great one for us to pick up. With five seasons available on Netflix, it would also keep us busy for awhile.

If you haven’t watched it before, it’s a show about a New England town called Storybrooke Lane, and the residents all happen to be trapped in the town.

What makes these people special?

Well, they are all fairytale characters that have been held in time, thanks to the curse from a the Wicked Queen.

I would say that this is a PG-rated show, at least it is in our house. Common Sense Media recommends this one for ages 12 and up. A lot of the innuendos seem to go over Em’s head and she admitted that the occasional swear word is not anything compared to what she’s heard on the bus (YAY!). We are really enjoying Season 1 and have made this part of our lazy Sunday routine. She feels like a big girl watching it with me and it’s been fun snuggling up with her again to watch something we both enjoy.

If you don’t have Netflix, you can also stream it on Amazon!


 Puzzle Season

The Clark family loves a good puzzle when the temperatures start dipping and this weekend I got started on another one. My girlfriend asked if we could trade puzzles which is GENIUS and saves us some money or repeating the same puzzle over and over again.

People started asking me , after I posted this photo on Instagram, what type of table I was using to do my puzzles on. Well, I purchased this foldable table to do my crafting on, but it gets very little use because I prefer to use the lighting in my kitchen when shooting tutorials for the site. It has been a great place to sort my fabric and photo backdrops, but I have felt really guilty that I don’t use it as much as I thought I would.

Well, I don’t have to feel guilty anymore because this table is PERFECT for setting up family puzzles. I have it up on just one side and have tucked a barstool underneath to assemble this 1,000 piece puzzle.



Martha Stewart Craft Cart

Martha Stewart Rolling Cart

Here are some older pictures that I had taken when I shared how I organize my craft room. I love that this little table doesn’t take up very much space, but it actually expands into a HUGE table for crafting. We got this incredible rolling cart too for all of my craft supplies and it is awesome. I use this daily and love that it is on wheels so I can roll it where I need it. The drawers are generous, but it doesn’t take up a ton of room. Honestly, everything we have ever gotten from this line has been 5-star quality.

I am so excited that I am able to use the table for our puzzles this year and I love that I can roll it into a corner when we aren’t using it!

If you are on the hunt for a great puzzle, we did this one this summer and it was a blast to put together!

Sheet Pan Nachos from Damn Delicious

source: damn delicious

Sheet Pan Nachos

I am always searching for easy dinner ideas so I thought I would share this one with you- it’s sheet pan nachos! My kids love flour tortillas, but now that we are gluten-free, we need to stick with the corn option. I thought we could switch things up and do nachos instead and these were a HIT. I followed the directions from Damn Delicious, but we made it our own. It’s such a great option too if you have multiple tastes. Half had a covering of black beans and half didn’t (for those bean-haters!). I also told my best friend she could make a corner for her son with his special dairy-free cheese for his dietary restrictions. Basically, everyone has no reason to complain. Seriously, this was the world’s easiest meal, everyone was happy, and I didn’t have a ton of dishes to clean up. WINNING!

I’m calling it Netflix & Nacho night- so much cooler than Taco Tuesday!

Capsule Report

The capsule wardrobe is going great. I did end up adding two vests that I forgot I had ordered from thredup. I figured you guys wouldn’t mind too much! It’s become less of a numbers game this go-round, but I love just having the things I REALLY love in my closet!

Do you ever wonder what that LIKEtoKNOWit stuff is about on Instagram pictures? I am sharing those little tags on my photos for my capsule IG account.  The title is really what the service means- if you like something with that tag on it on Instagram, you can receive an email that tells you exactly where the items are from and how to order them. I get a commision on these that assists with supporting our site and I always try to find the same or a similar budget-friendly equivalent for my outfits.

To receive these shopping links, do a quick registration (in just 30 seconds!!)  to register at  An email will give you links to all the great pieces and I always try to stay within my small budget.

You can also shop my looks from the web by going directly to my LIKEtoKNOWit page: Make sure you are registered!

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

top (on sale- similar!)* belt (same, but I got mine gently used)* tassel booties (so comfy and worthy of your feet!)

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

striped shirt (similar, similar)*poncho (similar)*black jeans (similar)*tassel booties (so comfy and worthy of your feet!)

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

faux leather bag (similar)*denim shirt (similar, similar)*pink jeans (similar)


Reading:  A new book from one of my latest favorite thriller writers. Get this in your stack STAT- I can’t put it down! Those headphones are getting a workout too while I listen to this book around the house. I’m going to say it, I think it is the best one from this author yet!

Listening: I started Accused this week and I’m on the edge of my seat with each episode. Have you listened to this yet?

Eating: Ribs on repeat in the Instant Pot (the world’s great invention, amen.). I used this technique and then brushed them with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. We found high pressure for 30 minutes is fall-off-the-bone tender.  HEAVEN!

Happy Fri-yay!

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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Can’t Hear You Snoring, Home Goods, & the Backpack Corral

Friday, October 7th, 2016


Did you read this article in the notebook this week? It got me thinking about something that I noticed about myself. Being a crafter and being frugal means that I rarely purchase things that I really desire for our home.

Many times I think, “I can make that. We don’t REALLY need that. We can do without. It’s falling apart, but there is still a little life in it. Is it REALLY a joy sparker?”

I also have other talks with myself that run through my head like, “Do you deserve that? What could you do to help someone else with that money? Why are you wasting money on such meaningless things? Why can’t what you have just be enough?”

Then I go to other people’s homes and long to have their decor and think how nice it must be to have things like that. Gosh, what I wouldn’t give for a few nice things that I didn’t have to make from scratch.

The thing is, I can have those things. I just deny them from my own life.

So, as frivolous as it is, I gave myself permission to spruce up our home this week. The pillows were falling apart and didn’t match anymore, I really DID need a few organizers to get our drawers tidy, it was okay to have a rug by all the entrances (yes, I hand carried one back and forth to, “save money.”), and it was okay to buy a stool if it helped make getting shoes on easier. Some of the things were useful (rugs and stools) and some things just made me happy (pretty pumpkins for our dining table).

Maybe you don’t struggle with this, but the joy that it brought me to buy some purposeful & pretty things for our home made me very happy. I still want to be careful with our funds, but I am giving myself permission to bring beauty in. And when my husband came home and bewilderingly looked around at our house, I looked him in the eye and said, “I make no apologies I love what I got.” And, after I gave him the grand tour, he hugged me and thanked me for working so hard to make our home such a beautiful place.

Do you struggle with this too?

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


HomeGoods (!!!!)

The timing of HomeGoods opening in our town could not have been better with my home spruce up. It has been over a decade since I have stepped into a Home Goods so I couldn’t wait to take a field trip there with my husband. He was really killing my vibe though so the next day, I went back by myself to spend hours walking up and down the same aisles over and over again.

I got some great pillows for our couch, a stool for our entryway, furry throws, fresh dish cloths, pretty cutting boards, and organizers. I also got fridge organizers (similar to this) and actually used these underneath my sinks and in my fridge (especially for sticky items like syrup!)  for getting these spaces organized. I got on such a kick with these that, we now have several eyesores made over into useful spots.

Welcome to Michiana, HomeGoods!


I Can’t Hear You Snoring

I rarely read through pitches for products (see opening paragraph!) because I hate to clutter up my house, but when I got a pitch for SleepPhones, I could not resist responding. These are a fleece headband with small flat headphones built inside that you can wear while sleeping or when lounging in bed. They make two versions, one has a headphone jack that you put into your phone, the other is the bluetooth-enabled version that is wireless.

I love these for three reasons- 1. Most headphones bother my ears (except these- and I really mean it!) so I can only tolerate them for short periods of time. 2. White noise is much more effective because this is against the ear and blocks out lots of distracting sounds (Like my husband. Who also says I snore, but I do not. He does.) 3. I like to lay in bed to watch shows on my iPad and listen to audiobooks and I like to do that while laying on my side. These work perfectly.

I have the bluetooth version so when I get up, I just plug it in and charge it to be ready for the next day. Then I just slip these on, put on the app they offer to go with these, and pass out. I also think these would be AWESOME for chilly mornings and walking in my neighborhood. Podcast listening would just be so much more comfortable because my ears are always cold.

I can’t rave enough about these- they would make such a great holiday gift for a fellow light-sleeper.

Small Space Organization Basket

Backpack Corral

Small houses usually lack mudrooms and our home is no exception. We got this mirror with hooks several years ago (here is a very similar one), but I felt nervous about putting our backpacks on it, especially the weight of these kid’s backpacks (good grief!). When I was walking around Target (always a dangerous pastime), I spied this basket and knew it would be perfect for this troublesome spot. It’s just the perfect height for your backpacks. If you are struggling to figure out an easy holding station for bags, this basket works like a charm! It has a 5-star rating on their site so I must not be the only one that thinks this is the perfect basket for their home.

It was also requested I show off the rest of our home so I will try to take some pictures today now that it has officially been spruced up for fall!


Eating: Big bowls of Pumpkin Chili and baked potatoes. If you haven’t tried this technique for roasting your potatoes, you are in for a big treat!

Reading:  I am almost done with this book and it is ALL THE FEELS. If you are looking for a sweet read and enjoyed The Rosie Project or even A Man Called Ove, I just think you would love this little book too. Catch a whole bunch of reviews next week from me and my reading buddy, Todd!

Listening: Closing in on this one on audiobook then I’m passing it off to my daughter to listen to before we see the movie. If you guys see it, please let me know how it is! Also, did you enjoy the other books from this series? Is it worth continuing? I have commitment issues!

Sharing: If you aren’t part of the MomAdvice Book Club, you are missing out on some incredible Kindle deals!

Here are your incredible book deals for today (even if you aren’t in the club!):

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, $1.99 (absolutely loved this one!)


A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, $1.99 (I gave this one 5-stars!!)

DISRUPTED, $2.99 (I have this in my stack this month!)





DEEP DOWN TRUE, $1.99 (I really enjoyed this one!)

HOOD, $1.99

I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE, $1.99 (beautiful stuff!!)

THE WITCH, $1.99


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!

It’s the 3 Little Things: Meetups, GF Pizza, & Bluetoothing

Friday, September 30th, 2016


Happy Fri-yay! This was such a fun week because it was full of fun diversions from my usual mom duties. I just got home from one of the coolest little road trip adventures ever. My longtime reader, Carie, messaged me to share that Emily St. John Mandel was coming to her town and wanted to know if I would come out for the author meetup, to hang out in her town, and meet her family.

Say what?

Yes, please!

I’m not sure if I have ever shared this, but this has been the year of truth telling on here, hasn’t it?  I struggle with anxiety and one of my biggest anxiety triggers is driving. Honestly, if I could have a driver cart me around, I would. In fact, my friends lovingly call me, “Daisy,” and generously pick my anxiety-ridden behind up when we go out. So when Carie asked me to come to her town,  I consulted a map and saw she was four hours away, BUT it looked like a pretty straight shot.  I just knew, in my heart, I would be so sad if I did not do this even though it was entirely out of my comfort zone.

I share this because I know many of you struggle with anxiety too. Maybe you are cool driving, but maybe it is something else. I felt very brave doing this simple thing that I struggle with daily.

How did it go?

Do you remember the scene in Divergent, when they throw them into a fear simulator? I remember it involved birds (another trigger for me- hahaha!). Well, that fear simulator happened on the road as the heavens opened up, the construction narrowed the road into a tiny pathway, and a UPS truck was swinging its backend into my lane.

And I survived.

I was sweaty and needed a shot of something, but I survived.

And I was really proud.

The best part though is that I got to meet someone who has read this site for years and loved books as much as me (and neither of us was crazy which we were both concerned about. I mean, meeting your internet friends can be a little SCARY!) Meeting Emily St. John Mandel was the icing on the cake for this week as she graciously shared about the story behind Station Eleven with all of us.

I didn’t let something like my anxiety hold me back and I made a beautiful real-life friendship with someone who has supported my family for years. How cool is that?


The other incredible escape was spending the weekend in Chicago with some of my dearest girlfriends. My friend, Nancy, moved to Nebraska and I miss this woman every single day. When I headed out that way for some medical testing, we stayed with her family and it made a really tough time into a mini-vacation. She is just good people.

We got to see Lake Street Dive in concert and it was, truly, one of the best shows I have ever seen. We danced the night away at the rooftop bar and got hounded by annoying guys which was annoying, but also proved, WE STILL GOT IT.  I got to eat great food and laughed in that rare away that only comes through with your truest friends. I could ride on that high for a good month!

Here is a great Lake Street Dive playlist for you to kick of your weekend! PS- Follow me on Spotify for some killer playlists! You will never hear the same song twice again!

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

Bob's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

A Decent Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix

Now that three of us are gluten-free, I have had to figure out some new options for some of our weeknight favorites. When it was just me, I loved the ease of the Udi’s Gluten-Free Crusts, but that doesn’t make sense with three people eating this way anymore. I read a ton of reviews on gluten-free pizza crusts and this Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix had great reviews and was surprisingly affordable.

We had pizza last weekend and this crust was REALLY good and came together REALLY easily. It is sticky, but you just use a little plastic, between your crust and hands, to help shape it. The edge is crisp and the slices were fluffy and not as dense as I have come to expect with gluten-free pizza. It made a huge pizza that fed all 4 of us with 3 slices leftover!

If you have any other recommendations for great pizza crust mixes to try, please let me know! I’d love to hear what your favorite is!


Bluetooth In My Old Ride

I have a car without bluetooth (feel sad for me, a poor white woman!), but I wanted to listen to my podcasts, audiobooks, and music in my car from my phone. My husband said I could get a bluetooth adapter for less than $20 and I found this Mpow Bluetooth Receiver and had it shipped to me before I left for this week’s road trip.

It comes with an auxiliary cable that I can plug in and pair with my phone to stream all of the content I want to listen to while I am running around. I also discovered that it can be paired in your house to make other things that you have also bluetooth-enabled. Want to watch a show on your phone with your regular headphones? You can plug it directly into this and not have to connect with your phone. Want to make use of some old speakers you have laying around to create a killer sound system? Plug this into the computer speakers and you can listen to Spotify from your phone.

The battery life is pretty incredible (approximately ten hours) and the sound was really good. Phone calls weren’t awesome (Siri is like, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU, AMY. DO YOU EVEN KNOW ENGLISH, AMY. WHY ARE YOU CRYING, AMY?”)  but it was really good for squeezing a great book on my trip and rocking it out to some tunes.

Who says you can’t teach an old car new tricks?

Michiana Old Mom Club

This Old Woman Is Starting a Club

The most meaningful connections I’ve made as a mom were through my mom’s group. They all still remain my dearest friends today. It seems though that once our kids are done being little, that the support isn’t there anymore. Almost all discussions I have with people with kids in school all day are asking how to make friends now, searching for others to help navigate the new waters with older child, and how they can get involved in meaningful volunteer work.

This socially awkward woman is starting a local Michiana Old Mom Club because small talk & Facebook aren’t enough to sustain a mom socially. There will be 3 meetups a month.

Coffee Talk- A daytime chat centered around a discussion related to parenting older children (how to manage cell phones, tween fun, teenage angst, preparing financially for college, etc..) Each person brings an article that they read that they think is helpful and their own experience to the table. No judgement.

MNO- One outing a month where we get to know Michiana- try a new restaurant, see a great local band, have a wine/whine night, see a flick, etc..

Charity- We do one thing for charity each month. Busy months might be throwing change in a pot for something, slower months could be spent doing REAL things for our community.

That’s what I’m bringing to the table because I miss connecting in real ways with people. Kickoff will be Wed. Oct 5 at 7PM at Barnes & Noble (in UP Mall) & then the after-party is at Bar Louie. I’d love for you to join me for a drink and to introduce yourself. Although I’m awkward, I’m a good connector of people, and I’d love to fill that empty spot that I see so many of us have!

Join the group HERE!

Painted Pumpkins

Completing: I painted pumpkins this week and it was such an easy & gratifying 5-minute project.

Reading:  I am closing in on the final pages of this book and it is BEAUTIFUL. I have learned so much about an event in history that I did not even know about. I am hoping to reach out to the author to get our Sundays With Writers series going again.

Listening: To this audiobook (still loving my headphones- it’s a game changer for audiobook lovers)  in anticipation of our book club meeting tomorrow!

Sharing: If you aren’t part of the MomAdvice Book Club, you are missing out on some incredible Kindle deals!

Here are your incredible book deals for today (even if you aren’t in the club!):


HEAT & LIGHT, $1.99



THE 19TH WIFE, $1.99


CROW LAKE, $1.99


BIG SUR, $1.99



HOOD, $1.99




Laughing: Pretty sure my husband is singing along to this one. Are you #teampumpkinspice 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!

It’s the 3 Little Things: Mag Fix, 60 Second Manis, & Epic Docs

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Martin's Groceries to Go

Some of you city kids might not find picking up your grocery orders by shopping online a big deal, but this girl is OVER THE MOON to not have to step into the grocery store this week. Thank you, Martin’s To Go!

We have had to make some diet modifications with our kiddos this week (pretend I’m using my Oprah voice for this part, “YOU get to be gluten-free, YOU get to be gluten-free, YOU get to be gluten-free…You ALL get to be gluten-free!!”) and I am trying out new products like gluten-free pizza crust mixes and bread mixes to accommodate everyone. It was nice to get to research reviews online and make smart choices and then add them to my online grocery cart.

Then on a MAGICAL day (now you can pretend like I’m reading a story in the movie, ELF…) I pulled up to a VIP parking spot, called a MAGICAL woman on my phone and said, “I HAVE ARRIVED, ROLL OUT MY RED CARPET”, and she MAGICALLY put all my groceries in my car for me, without me stepping into the store.


She did not MAGICALLY let me order my boxed wine online though so then I had to hightail it over the liquor store like some COMMONER and pick it up.

What a quick and shocking fall from VIP that was.

Once they add that though?


Here are 3 other things that made me happy this week…

Magnesium Oil For Joint Pain

Magnesium Relief

I had my doctor’s appointment last week, with a specialist for EDS,  and we talked a lot about ways I could manage some of my joint aches and pains. I am trying to wean myself off medications (per her recommendations)  and she suggested one of the best things I could do was not only take magnesium orally (I take this one), but to also consider topical uses of magnesium through epsom salt baths and Magnesium Oil.

The heck?

Yeah, I actually had never heard of magnesium oil before. After reading a million reviews and reading up on it, I got the Art Naturals Magnesium Oil and started using it as soon as it arrived. This stuff is amazing!  It works INCREDIBLY well for joint pain, but it also says that it helps a ton for people with migraines too. I don’t suffer from migraines, but I know many of you do and wanted to mention that.

There is 100 mg elemental magnesium per 1 ml (approximately 8 sprays) in this oil. Since I was recommended to double my current magnesium intake, this is helping me achieve that without taking more supplements.

I spray it on all my achy joints and it has helped me to skip my pain medications this week because it helps so much!  If you have migraines, you just spray your temples to help with your pain management, usually easing pain within just a couple of hours. It has helped so much I actually stopped taking my second dose of pain relievers without a great deal of discomfort in the evening.

It does leave a bit of a residue, but not too bad for this white, white woman. I’ve also found it stings a bit so not a good thing to spray shortly after shaving!  I’m planning to mix up a lotion she recommended soon (I’ll share that recipe later!), but in the meantime this is an effortless way to increase my magnesium.

I also bought this enormous bag of epsom salts (our poor delivery guy!) and I soak in that with a few drops of this lavender oil in the evenings for another way to get my magnesium in topically. Thank God for that epic bath tray so I can make the most of my bath with a good book.

Did you know that most people are deficient in this?

You can read more about why magnesium is such an important and vital nutrient, even if you don’t suffer from joint pain.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

60 Second Manicure

I have ZERO patience when it comes to painting my nails. I actually find pedicures to be excruciating because I can think of a million other ways to spend my time.

Too bad I have hooves for feet or I would never take care of them.

I ran across this Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish and read on the packaging that it will dry in 60-seconds.

Say what?

I don’t have one minute for this nonsense.

Although this feels like a long time, I thought this felt more manageable than the usual 15.

If you can believe it, this REALLY does dry in that short amount of time. I am recommending this for women that have ADD (like me!) or busy, busy little girls that can’t hold still for nail painting. This works incredibly well and my toes lasted for a week!

O.J.: Made in America

O.J.: Made in America

If I was going to make a top 10 of the best documentaries I have ever seen, O.J.: Made in America would be top of the list. You may have thought you knew everything about this case, but this documentary explores so much more than O.J., with a more of a pointed look at race, social class, and being an American hero. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to follow through on a five-part (8 hour!!) series (we have commitment issues with shows), but each night we looked forward to the next chapter of this series and I was genuinely sad when it ended.

I’m awaiting the American Crime series to hit Hulu, but I understand that the O.J. portrayal in that is very, very different from this portrayal. O.J. appears much more calculating and has a true awareness of alignment when it came to who he identified himself with and how it benefitted him. It starts from his childhood and works its way out, helping explain a lot of his behaviors and why he was the way he was.

This was one of the best things I have ever watched on race- I urge you to watch it too. We spent so much time talking about this and rehashing it in the evenings. It was incredibly compelling and made me think a lot differently about the case.

We watched this on Hulu, but you can also watch it through the ESPN site (if you have cable), or through Amazon.

It will be worth every moment of your time.

Bar Cart Makeover

Completing: I finally finished my beautiful bar cart Craigslist find. I will share more about that restoration process later, but I am enjoying basking in her beauty this week. It’s been a beautiful anchor for our antique painting on this wall.

I will hopefully also have the capsule posted next week. I am in LOVE with this blanket cape I found last week for it.

Reading:  Just wrapping up this YA novel this week. I have enjoyed it especially because it was based on this Modern Love essay (one of my favorite columns!)

Watching: Did you catch the premiere of, This is Us? I was like ho-hum, ho-hum, and then the ending was like, “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” I absolutely loved how they pulled it together and can’t wait for the next one. You can watch on NBC or on Hulu!!

Eating:  Instant Pot, you are a glorious invention. This week I tried this recipe for a delicious evening in our backyard!

Laughing:  Not Safe For Kids (!!!!),  but laughing my tail off at this. Trump supporters might not love this one, but I sure did ;)

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!

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!

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

Friday, August 19th, 2016



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???


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! 


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!


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!

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

Friday, August 12th, 2016






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!


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.



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!

It’s the 3 Little Things: Evening Snacks, Headphones For Busy People, & 80’s Awesomeness

Friday, July 29th, 2016


I won’t pretend this was an easy week. My husband and I are both scrambling to complete all-the-things so we can enjoy a vacation together as a family. All-the-things, it turns out, is a little more than we both bargained for, but I just keep thinking about that vacation reward that we earned with our kids! Yesterday evening we took the kids out for sushi and toasted to the partial completion of almost all the things.


It’s the best we can manage right now.

I can’t wait to have some unplugged time with my people.

Even though it has been busy, I have some fun stuff for my happy list this week!

Planters Nut-rition Chocolate Nut Protein Mix

My New Favorite Evening Snack

I have been working on a little snack station for the back to school season (coming soon!) and I wanted to have some healthy treats on hand for indulging in. I happened to pick some of these Planters NUT-rition Chocolate Nut mixes and they are absolutely amazing.

The chocolate soy nuts and granola clusters make this a yummy sweet treat at the end of the day while packing a 10 gram protein punch to balance out my wine.

It totally balances out.

I did the math for you.

They have several different varieties that come in little portion-controlled packs. I loved this so much that I wanted every crumb out of the bottom, tried to pour the crumbs in my mouth,  and accidentally spilled granola all over my face in a very embarrassing attempt to get every last bite. I didn’t claim to snack pretty!

Good thing I like to snack alone!

SoundPEATS Wireless Headphones


My Podcast Listening Got Way Better

I have been wanting to get a pair of wireless headphones for listening to audiobooks and podcasts around the house, but the prices have always seemed a little outrageous. I went hunting on Amazon and found these bluetooth wireless headphones for less than $20 that happened to have amazing reviews. I have been using them all week and they are truly AMAZING. All of the controls are in the plastic portion that rests around your neck and then the buds go in the ears. Normally earbuds bother me, but these don’t seem to bug me at all and the design of them allows for them to stay in better since they are supported around the neck. It can connect with my phone for long conference calls (way better on my old lady joints!) and it tells you audibly when it powers on, off, and about your battery life. REALLY loving these for tackling chores around the house and listening to my books! It’s also really good for ignoring my children.

Sing Street DVD

A New Favorite Musical

If you are a big fan of the ’80’s you will love SING STREET. ONCE is one of my favorite movie musicals and this film is from the same writer and director of that and he worked with Adam Levine on this project for all you Levine fans!

It’s about a boy who wants to impress a girl and tells her that he is in a band and needs her to star in his music video. The problem is… well, he doesn’t have a band. He gathers up all these kids and they create a band just for this opportunity and it is the cutest thing ever. The music is original and KILLER. Since it is set in Dublin the accents can be a little thick at times, but worth straining your ears for to hear this beautiful story. My husband and I agreed, it’s probably the best film we have seen this year! I think you will love it too!

Reading: Bone Gap and it is beautiful! If you like books that use magical realism then you will really love this YA read. I am reading it through my Scribd membership right now as one of their Scribd Selects (free-ish) book options!

Eating: It’s Orange Chicken night and I can’t wait to dig in!

Watching: Raunchy, but hilarious, Broad City is my new guilty pleasure this week!


Loving: This comic strip. No matter what side you are on, what a momentous day for our kids to see this moment in history! Also loving, catching Lights Out with my dad for his birthday! Happy birthday to the man that taught me the importance of reading! I love you!

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!

It’s the 3 Little Things: Ping Pong, Entryway Dreams, & Pokemon Mania

Friday, July 22nd, 2016


Well, hey there! I hope you are having a wonderful summer! So much good stuff has been happening over here that this happy list is a genuine one. I headed to Nebraska Medicine for a second opinion on my health issues and the doctor added a pill to assist with the pain I have been experiencing and I FINALLY feel like my old self again. I am virtually pain-free after six months of unbelievable pain.

I truly feel like it is a miracle to feel this good.

Lucky for me, we got in great visits with friends while we were there, I ate my way through Omaha (and I mean it- hello, pajama jeans!), and drank far too much wine…but, hey, worth it!

I hosted a gathering for my girlfriends, once we rolled back into town, in our backyard and in our little she shed. I am always thankful that we had this beautiful table made to be extra long so we always have room at our table for our friends. We had a Salad Bar night for our evening meal (someday I will do a post on it!). I provided the greens, roasted chicken, and dressings for the group. Then everyone came with toppings and drinks to round out our meal. Such a fun and easy night in the backyard without stress on the hostess or the guests.

Here are three other things that are making me happy (and I think would make you happy too!)

Boot Tray Insert

My Boot Tray Got More Awesome

When I did my house tour, one of the most clicked on items in that was our boot tray and I don’t blame you. It is one of my favorite Target finds that we have gotten for our home. That said, anytime we had wet or dirty shoes, they would just sit in the tray in the puddle of water and dirt…

Well, that is, until now.

I was wandering around Target (always a dangerous pastime) and saw this incredible boot tray insert that fits right over my existing boot tray. It gives a place for wet shoes to drip, it’s black so it doesn’t show everything, and it actually looks decorative too. SUPER happy with this purchase!

Narrow entryways will bask in functional glory with this fun addition!

Joola Outdoor Ping Pong Table


We Have Been In Ping Pong Heaven

My husband loves playing ping pong and although I love our little house, things like ping pong tables just don’t fit in our tiny spaces.  This guy of mine has been working his tail off and needed a stress reliever that wasn’t in front of a screen and more than anything I wanted to give him a ping pong table to enjoy.

This summer it came time to break down our swing set (how bittersweet is that?) and I had to figure out something we could do in the backyard together that we would all enjoy.

In honor of Father’s Day we splurged on this JOOLA Outdoor Ping Pong Table. Yup, an outdoor table! Who knew?

I had been waiting to talk about it, in our favorite things list,  until we really used it (I hate sharing something we don’t REALLY genuinely love). This table is incredibly made, comes almost fully assembled, and is a breeze to put up and down. We got an outdoor cover (kind of like a grill cover for it) and we have enjoyed many evenings together playing ping pong in our backyard. My husband also discovered they make ping pong balls that are made for outdoor tables even since a windy day can sometimes be an issue. It’s been an incredible addition to our backyard.

In full disclosure, we had an awful surprise storm that knocked half of our table over due to some really crazy winds. One of the wheels broke off and I worried that we would have a broken table forever within the first week of purchase. I contacted the company and a REAL PERSON talked to me, he sent me extra wheels in case it happened again, and they emailed me a shipping notification so we could track our wheels until they arrived on my doorstep.

It was incredible customer service and our table is now happily repaired and awaiting many games together.

Want an inspiring ping pong documentary to share with your whole family? Watch Top Spin (on Netflix!!).  You can watch kids compete for the Olympic team and be wowed. This one is approved by our family for all ages! Yay!

After we watched that, we were all fighting over our turn at the ping pong table!


I Love Pokemon Go (Even Though I Have No Clue What I’m Doing)

My kids are at a stage where they just want to sit in front of devices and do nothing. It takes a lot to motivate them so I was genuinely excited about the Pokemon Go app (FREE!!). You would have to be buried under a rock to not know about it, but here is a little more info if you haven’t tried it out yet.

My kids are MOTIVATED for evening walks and explorations at parks. Just in our neighborhood alone, we caught 5 of these critters looping the mile through the ‘hood.

Do I know a thing about Pokemon?


I don’t give a flip, but my kids do and they are MOVING.


And for the caption on this photo:

“Mom, why would you pose with that? It’s not even a good one. It evolves and won’t even look at you straight. It’s just a goldfish.”

Me: “But, I’m really proud of my goldfish. I worked hard for it. Take my picture with my goldfish.”#pokemonposeur

Sometimes finding something you all love with big kids is hard so I am thrilled we have found something we can do together… even if I don’t understand it!

Advanced Readers for July

Reading: All the Missing Girls and it is incredible! If you are looking for a gripping psychological thriller, you should give this one a try for your summer reading!

Pictured above are some advanced readers for books that should be on your reading radar! I have a lot of reading to do and am looking forward to enjoying these on a family vacation!







Eating: We fired up the grill and enjoyed Chicken Pesto Burgers this week and I even baked french fries to go with them. I hope to share that recipe soon!!

Watching: I can’t stop watching this- it’s absolutely incredible and one of the best Adele covers ever made. Amen.

Making:  My hands are finally working again so I am knitting up some Chemo Caps for a special girl- lift her up in prayer for me, won’t you?

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!