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

10 Questions

Friday, July 24th, 2015

In lieu of our typical 3 Little Things, I was tagged by Centsational Girl to answer ten questions today so I thought this might be a fun way to share a little with you today about some things I am loving right now! We used to do these quite often when I first started blogging so it’s a bit of a Throwback Thursday on a Friday today. Happy weekend, everyone! xo

deer-head

Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it.

I have been wanting to shape up our entryway table in our front room and I have these cardboard deer heads bookmarked for something I would like to hang above my little table. I also scored a 1964 1st Place Home Economics Trophy on Etsy this week as a place to tuck our keys and I am checking the mail every day in sweet anticipation for its arrival.

I’m enjoying personalizing this space right now and have so much fun making our space a little piece of us. I particularly love to add whimsy to our home and have been trying to add a touch of old from vintage pieces that have years of history in our house.  Unique spaces are my jam!

map-wallpaper

What’s your favorite color and where have you used it or seen it used in a beautiful way?

Oh, I love just hints of color on neutral surfaces. If I was going to model the color and style of a home in my own space, it would definitely be ANYTHING from The Inspired Room. In fact, I have more than once told Melissa that if she came to my house that it would be awfully awkward since I glean so much from her site. This map wall is something I have bookmarked for our entryway (as we have a narrow one that I never know what to do with) and I love the industrial schoolhouse lamps she has in her house. The pop of green is just perfection! I highly recommend touring her house and snagging her book for inspiration!

Burkina_Faso_2012_681[1]

If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.

As many wells as possible for Burkina Faso. Clean water for everyone!!

Books for needy kids and more time to read with them. I have witnessed the transformation of kids learning to read and falling in love with books. It’s so big and it makes my heart so happy. Can you imagine if every poverty-stricken school had shelves overflowing and grown-ups who loved to read that just had time to help them fall in love? MAGIC!

Food for the hungry- can you imagine having the funds to stock the shelves until they overflow for those in need?

And if it was possible, extra time so I could give more time to others and still manage my daily life and work. I’m ashamed how much time I waste that could be serving other people in our community. I want to do better.

And if all the needs of the world were addressed, I would finally renovate that kitchen. Of course, this post really inspired me that it’s okay to wait and put my money somewhere else right now. So that’s what we’ve been doing this year instead and I’m proud we can do that.

Share something that scares you, something that comforts you, or both.

I’m a high-anxiety person so the list can be a long one.  As a mom, my biggest worry is the safety and well-being of my children. I worry so much for them in this world.  The comforting fact though is that we have worked really hard to raise good people and teach them good stuff that I am comforted knowing that someday we will be putting two really incredible people out into the world (that hopefully won’t be highly anxious because of their crazy mother).

I’m also comforted to know genuine love. I am one of the lucky ones to have a spouse who loves me unconditionally for so many years of our life.

shrimp-boil-1

The perfect meal? Name it.

Any meal with people I love, great conversation, and delicious food is a perfect meal to me. My girlfriend’s family had us over one night for a shrimp boil and I thought, “It can’t get more perfect than this.” A spicy one-pot dish thrown on newspaper in the center of the picnic table and shared with great drinks and good friends. The best part? NO DISHES- just throw the paper away. I’m planning to post the recipe we used next week, but I think this is the perfect meal for a hostess who actually wants to hang out with her guests.

Shed-Makeover-Ideas-7

how-to-paint-laminate-furniture-5

How_To_Stain_Furniture-23

laura-ingalls

janet-hill

What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by.

Be you.  It can be easy to look at Pinterest and want to replicate someone else’s style or head to a home store and just buy everything without really thinking about what it will mean in your house. I want everything to have a story from the pieces of art we select from our travels to the handmade goodness that is our centerpiece.

Don’t let decorating hold you back from entertaining though. I still have a bucket list of projects that I want to do on my home to personalize it the way I want. I struggle with patience because I know I am capable of doing these things, but the money and time isn’t there.  Slow decorating is my new motto. I will bask in all the good stuff I am doing and be content knowing how far I have come. My friends will just have to witness the slow transformation!

chicago-mix-popcorn

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chicago Mix Popcorn, a generous pour of boxed wine, and a really good YA novel. I am working on this one right now and it’s so good!

milkshake

Tell a joke, the cornier the better, or share a meme or show that makes you laugh.

Does a t-shirt count? Although, the lack of apostrophe is slaying me right now.

Italy-Edits-20

Italy-Edits-22

Italy-Edits-23

Italy-Edits-31

Italy-Edits-33

Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to           !  Fill in the blank.

ITALY and you can bring your whole family this time. My husband and I have been watching House Hunters International, scoping properties in Italy, and dreaming of how we can save for another trip back there. This trip was a dream come true and I am so thankful I got to do it with my best friend! It also made me realize, this world is so big and so many adventures are out there for us. I can’t wait to see more of it.

What advice would you give your twenty something self?

This will be one of the hardest times in your life- you will get married while your friends are still doing keg stands, you will have a baby and think you are ready for this parenting thing (and you aren’t), you will have a hard time financially, you will have a hard time professionally because you don’t know yourself yet, and you will have debt that will make you cry. You will get through it. Those moments will shape you, your marriage, your new business, and your new financial path… you will be better because you went through this.  The important thing is to never forget those moments because those are the moments where you can connect with others facing those same hardships and truly be empathetic. You will have so much to give to others so take a nap now!

This morning I tag: Hollywood Housewife, Redefined Mom, Blushing Basics, & Dine & Dish to answer the same ten questions!

1. Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it.

2. What’s your favorite color and where have you used it or seen it used in a beautiful way?

3. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.

4. Share something that scares you, something that comforts you, or both.

5. The perfect meal? Name it.

6. What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by.

7. What’s your guilty pleasure?

8. Tell a joke, the cornier the better, or share a meme or show that makes you laugh.

9. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to           !  Fill in the blank.

10. What advice would you give your twenty something self?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Addictive Shows, A New Way to Consume Books, & Distraction-Free Days

Friday, July 10th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday to you all! After so many fun guest posts for the 3 Little Things, it’s so great to be back sharing with you today! On this weekend’s agenda? Host a sleepover for my son in honor of his THIRTEENTH birthday (hold me!). Luckily, the only request is video games and takeout pizza- I would say that is completely doable!

This is 13

I started this site when he was just one- barely, toddling around and filling up his mama’s days chasing him. I know many of you have witnessed him growing up online over the years. He is now bigger than me and I keep turning around and thinking, “Who is this man in my house?”

I feel blessed to call this sweet boy mine and I know God has BIG things planned for him. We hosted a family cookout to celebrate where we consumed this chocolate cake again, big buckets of fried chicken, and grilled corn on the cob. It was a sweet celebration! I still can’t believe I am OLD ENOUGH for this. So crazy! When they say that time with your kids goes by fast, it’s really true. I blinked and here we are.

Let’s get on to the happy list this week!

Orphan Black

Orphan Black

If you are looking to get sucked into  a series this summer, I can’t recommend Orphan Black enough. When browsing through what was available with our Amazon Prime membership we found this show on there. I suggested we watch it one night and it was one of those…How about one more? Well, maybe one more. Okay, seriously, last episode tonight….I mean it…Okay, just one more.

If you are late to the party like me, this series has everything in it it. It’s about a girl who is down on her luck financially. When a woman jumps in front of a train and commits suicide in front of her she happens to leave her purse behind.  The girl decides to go through it to grab some money, yet, the picture on her identification looks just like her so she decides to use her identity to break into her apartment. What she doesn’t know is that the lady was a cop…and that she isn’t the only one who looks like her.

What is amazing is that the same actress plays ALL the roles (I was counting them on IMDB and it’s about a dozen) and every single one feels like a completely different character. It is absolutely incredible how they shoot it and how amazing this actress is.

Get sucked into this one if you haven’t already! Luckily, Season 1 & 2 are on Prime so we should be set for about three days! (FREE-ish, With Amazon Prime)

Scribd Membership

Scribd

My Scribd membership had lapsed and I went to dig into another book and realized that I need to update my account information. I lasted about one day without it. I learned about it through working with them on a campaign, but now I am just an enthusiast for myself.  You can read my review of the services over here, but one new thing they now offer is unlimited audiobooks with your membership.

I have started utilizing my membership to listen to business books while I tackle the business of running this house (that sounds a lot better than cleaning toilets, doesn’t it?) and working on photography for our site.

I’m also challenging myself to dig into some books that might not be current, but should be on my radar. Next on my reading agenda is Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. It is coming out in a film this fall (check out this trailer below- I’m in love already!) so I want to read this one before it hits the big screen.

If you haven’t tried Scribd, I can’t recommend it enough. As you put together your book lists of things you love, your preferences on the page for recommendations really begin to shape and it’s a lot like Netflix where you learn and discover new things based on what you like. Even more awesome is this kid’s selection which has helped keep my little bookworms busy this summer. Series books that are never available for my daughter have the entire series listed on Scribd (hundreds of Nancy Drew books!!) and you can read as many books and listen to as many books as you want all month long for about the price of one Kindle book.  We are loving it! (8.99 per month)

Kill News Feed Extension

Distraction Free Facebook

I can’t give up Facebook since most of my work relies upon social media sharing, but I found myself trying to update my Facebook page and I would be down a downward spiral of emotion trying to update my page. I felt like I should like and comment on EVERYTHING which is absolutely impossible and I was losing valuable hours of my day, oftentimes on things that no one would have noticed if I said anything or not. I was also losing out on time with my kids and my work was falling behind.

Enter Kills News Feed extension (available on all the different browsers- I’m just linking to Chrome). This throws up this message (see above) on my Facebook feed now and I don’t see anything at all. I can work, update, share on my pages and see comments on my own stuff, but I’m not being bombarded by the newsfeed anymore. Now when I have moments at appointments, downtime at the pool, or time to kill while running errands…I can see the newsfeed on my phone and like things, but it isn’t interfering with my day.

This is a WAY better idea for someone like me and WAY better for our family too. My productivity skyrocketed (well, sort of…) and I do feel a lot better without the weight of the world running in my head all the time. (FREE!)

*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?

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Polyvore, Dandy Blend, & Books

Friday, June 19th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful week this week.  I am loving being on summer break with my kids and am really savoring the slowed down days that we have been having together. Today we are looking forward to a pool day (finally!) and I can’t wait to sit poolside with a big stack of books- yay!

St. Margaret's House

Before we jump into the happy, I just want to thank you for all of your love and support of our site. The sponsored content that we share help so many charities and this week we were able to donate an entire month of classes to help the women of St. Margaret’s House (a local women & children’s shelter)  learn a new skill or trade including all those materials they need for class. I can think of no better use of money than empowering women to learn a new skill! Look at these beautiful scarves they have been taught to make and be amazed.  This winter, we were also able to supply a large donation valued at $1,500 in eco-friendly toiletries to assist the shelter through my partnership with ePantry. Your continued support makes donations possible to help those in need and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I know sponsored content isn’t always your favorite thing, but this is how we can help those in need do big things. 

Today we have Cindy Bokma from Hello Dollface and author of A Thousand Dollars For a Kiss and To Marilyn, With Love  joining us to share her happy list!  Lori has been a longtime reader and loyal MomAdvice friend for many years. I am so lucky to know her and I’m lucky to get to share her favorites today! 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!

Without further adieu, here are Cindy’s 3 favorites this week!

Polyvore

Polyvore

Between blogging and writing and reading, there’s Polyvore. This is like an  adult version of Paper Dolls which I loved playing with as a child. I pretty much love any activity that allows my imagination to run wild.
On Polyvore.com, you can create collages, outfits, interiors…basically whatever you want.  Its a fantastic stress release for creative people. I have spent hours designing things on here! There is nearly unlimited clothing, housewares, backgrounds, art, and so much more to work with.

Books

The happiest time of my day is the evening when I read. My day is over, chores are done, kids are usually finished with their homework and it’s time to relax. Sometimes I’ll go out at night and I can’t wait to rush home to whatever book I am reading! When I go on vacation I used to pack a bag filled with books, now it’s so easy (and lighter) to pack my Kindle or iPad! I always have several books ready to read and spending hours during the day with a book is the ultimate luxury!
I like real books followed by reading on my kindle, then the ipad. There is no greater joy than being really into a fantastic book! I spend a lot of time perusing new books on amazon and reading reviews on Goodreads. There have been times when I’ve whiled away a few hours just reading about reading!

Dandy Blend

Have you heard of Dandy Blend? When I was cutting back on coffee, I searched high and low for a good replacement to fill the void. I discovered this amazing drink which you can buy in tea or instant powdered form.
Dandy Blend is made from the roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets. There are numerous health benefits to this beverage which make it a constant in my daily diet. Its cost effective, contains zero gluten or caffeine and is not acidic or bitter. I have switched from drinking about six cups of coffee to one or two cups in the morning and Dandy Blend if I want a hot drink throughout the day!

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, Cindy, for generously sharing the happy today!

*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?

It’s the 3 Little Things (With Lori): Lemony Delights, A Great Run, & Bacon-Lovin’

Friday, June 12th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

 

Happy Friday, friends! We FINALLY made it to the last day of school over here so we are looking forward to many lazy days by the pool with books and a break from all the crazy running that we have been doing during the school year. We truly hobbled to the finish, quite literally. My daughter did a flip on the monkey bars on the day before school ending and hurt her arm and is rocking a sling this week. We are thankful for no broken bones though- that would have been a Judy Moody bummer summer moment, for sure.

Today we have Lori Downs  joining us to share her happy list!  Lori has been a longtime reader and loyal MomAdvice friend for many years. I am so lucky to know her and I’m lucky to get to share her favorites today! 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! 

True Lemon

True Lemon

True Lemon’s basic product is crystallized, unsweetened lemon that comes in little packets like sweeteners.  You can add it to water, tea, etc., but it’s also great for cooking! True Lemon also makes True Lime, True Orange and True Grapefruit, all of which are yummy and portable.  Their Lemon Pepper, Lime-Garlic-Cilantro, and Orange Ginger spice blends are all salt free! I’ve tried all of these and enjoyed each one.  The Orange Ginger is to die for on baked chicken! And True Orange makes your plain Greek yogurt taste like heaven!

Run Keeper App

Run Keeper

Since I hit 40, I’ve noticed that the pounds creep on a little easier and are much harder to get rid of.  I’ve started walking a few times a week, and I use the free Run Keeper app to keep track of things.  What I like the most is that it gives me periodic audio updates on my walk (or run). It will turn my music down and tell me how long I’ve been walking, how far, the pace, the speed.  You can set it to tell you what you want to hear. It also keeps track of your path on a map that you can save after each event.  I’ve found I walk a lot faster, farther and longer since starting to use Run Keeper!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Image Source: Artsy Fartsy Mama

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

This recipe doesn’t exactly fit with my no salt diet and trying to lose the pounds, but it’s so easy and so yummy!! I tweak the recipe by cutting the breasts into smaller 2×2 inch “squares” and by skipping the pounding since I’ve cut the chicken smaller.  Then I wrap each square criss-cross with two pieces of turkey bacon, pepper, and whatever shredded cheese I have in the fridge. I highly recommend putting brown sugar on top! We usually eat it with a side veggie and some rice or a potato.  Super easy! And there are never any leftovers!

 

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, Lori, for generously sharing the happy today!

*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?

It’s the 3 Little Things (With Meagan): King, Cuffs & Coffee

Friday, May 15th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Well, hello, Friday! Nice to see you again! The Clark family has hobbled through another week and this will be our last 3 little things for this month as the blog will be on hiatus from May 20th-June 1st. My husband and I are celebrating our 15 year anniversary and got our very first passports to take a trip to Italy to celebrate. We are touring Florence, Rome, & Venice on our trip and I am so excited and so very nervous. Grandma retired last year and has generously agreed to step into our place and take over for nine days with my children. She is a saint!

I want everything to be spectacular for her so I am filling the freezer, organizing a fraction of the unorganized spaces, list-making, and tackling the Mt. Everest of laundry piles. It will all be worth it though and we are so thankful we leave our kids in far more competent hands than my own.

 

Passport Application

Say some prayers for grandma and, if you have a few to spare, throw up a few for us since we are nervous travelers!  We have been saving a long time for this. Actually, since we got married. I started a secret fund and auto-transferred $25 in it each month for a vacation for our ten year anniversary. We were broke, but we never felt the pinch in those early years of marriage. Ten years passed and our kids felt too small to leave them, but now at 12 and 9… the timing finally feels right.

Today we have Meagan Church  joining us to share her happy list! Meagan Church is a writer, children’s book author and the brainpower behind www.Unexpectant.com, which explores the story of modern motherhood. She lives in the Midwest with her high school sweetheart, three children and a few animals. Connect with her on Twitter, on Instagram, or visit her website www.MeaganChurch.com.

Meagan and I are local friends that have wrote for some of the same publications and she is as genuine as they come. You are in for a real treat today so 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.comand I will share them in the upcoming weeks! 

Meagan Church

 

It’s a spring Friday in Northern Indiana, so what better time to take a few minutes and consider a couple simple, yet beautiful moments of recent? Of course I must take pause to celebrate the return of birds, tree buds and running season, but there are other things that have had my heart and attention as of recent, including a book, a bracelet and a brewer.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

 

“11/22/63” by Stephen King

I don’t typically read Stephen King books. While I am an avid reader, the overwhelming size of most King books intimidates me, not to mention the fact that some of his stories that I heard years ago still haunt my nightmares today. While re-reading his incredibly inspiring book “On Writing,” I felt the urge to dive into one of his newer novels. I had heard good things about “11/22/63,” so I downloaded a digital copy from the library, and, not being very good at converting digital pages to print pages, I had no idea just how long it was. I wasn’t able to finish the digital copy before it had to be returned, so I headed to the library to get a print copy and an intimidating surprise. I pulled the book off the shelf, suddenly thankful for each and every Insanity workout I had endured that had made it possible for me to actually lift the behemoth of a book. But, I told myself that size didn’t matter. What mattered was that I finished a story that had engaged and engrossed me from the start. Soon this book crept into many of my conversations and even a few of my dreams. Even with three little ones, writing deadlines and typical every-day commitments, I read the book in record time. While I have always had respect for King’s writing, reading this book put me in awe of his masterful storytelling. Though I finished it a few weeks ago, the story is still on my mind, along with wondering if the upcoming Hulu mini-series will do the story justice.

Personalized Cuff Bracelets

Personalized Cuff Bracelets

I have always been a sucker for a good quote. And, I’ve always tried to find ways to surround myself with encouraging and inspiring words. Over the past few years, I have had quotes and verses that have served as mantras for me, including the reminder to “be still” and the scripture Philippians 4:13 (which helped me get through three natural child births). When I attended the Storyline Conference in Chicago last fall, writer Shauna Niequist spoke these words that I instantly knew would be my mantra for 2015, “Do your thing with great love right now.” Wanting a constant reminder of these phrases, I fell in love with personalized cuff bracelets. Thanks to the awesomeness that is Etsy, I can have my reminder right at hand (or, rather wrist) whenever needed.

Thermal French Press

 

French Press

I love coffee though I’m no connoisseur by any means. I just love a nice cup of black coffee, hold the frills. I have had a devoted single-cup coffee maker for a decade-and-a-half. Sure, there have been fancier products on the market, but it served me well. Until recently. When I knew the end was near, I started researching and asking around about a replacement. Soon enough I came across a French press. The reviews, along with the fact that no wasted filters (or K-cups) are required, I decided to give it a try. I settled on a stainless steel option, fearing I would break a glass one and not trusting piping hot water in a plastic carafe. So far, it has not disappointed. Sure, it takes a few minutes longer to brew (four minutes after the water is heated) than the automatic drip did, but the rich taste, bold flavor and lack of wasteful filters have won me over and make me feel like a kitchen barista.

Whole Foods Pretzel Bread

Okay, okay! I just couldn’t leave this one out. A few months ago a friend asked me a question that changed my life: have you tried Whole Foods pretzel bread? Maybe that was a bit dramatic, but let’s just say that ever since she asked that question, we have either had a loaf on the counter or in the freezer…or both. These fresh-baked bites of heaven have saved more than one meal for me, partly because I’m not the best meal planner and also because when the kids hear pretzel bread is on the menu, they stop moaning about the part of the meal they don’t like and instead give thanks for the mouth-watering deliciousness that will soon be broken, shared and devoured.

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, Meagan, for generously sharing the happy today!

*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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things (With Lisa): The Bubbliest of Baths, Highlighting the Good Stuff, & Dark, Dark Chocolate

Friday, April 10th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

I am overwhelmed with the response from opening up our 3 Little Things to you all and can’t wait to start sharing all of these fun lists from some of my favorite people! 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!

Today I have a guest happy list from one of my favorite commenters and supporters of MomAdvice, Lisa Whitney! She doesn’t  have a blog but reads several  with her morning cup of coffee and she says that this is one of her favorite parts of the day. She is a wife, mom of the sweetest 7-year old little boy and a Registered Dietitian in Reno, NV. She also happens to leave the BEST lists each week in our comments section so I am thrilled she offered to share another one today! 

Let’s peek at a few of Lisa’s favorites today!

Lush Brightside Bubble Bar

Brightside Bubble Bar (from Lush)

I don’t have a Lush nearby so when we travel and see a store I can never resist picking up a bath bomb or my favorite facial (chocolate cupcake!). This time we decided to try something new, the brightside bubble bar. The salesperson suggested I use half the bar on one bath. I cut mine in thirds and one section made a massive amount of bubbles. I cut back even more to make the bar last longer when I realized that breaking off just the smallest bit is still just as luxurious. The smell is like an orange creamsicle and it leaves the bath a beautiful bright orange (without leaving an awful film on the tub).

Mary-Lou Manizer

Mary-Lou Manizer 

I am more into makeup now than I was as a teenager and love discovering new things. This highlighter is so beautiful, it gives my face a shimmery sun-kissed glow. Bonus, I ordered mine from Amazon and it came with the softest brush for just a couple dollars more.

Trader Joe's Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bar

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bars

Trader Joe’s sells these huge bars for only $4.99. The bar is broken into several thick little blocks, one is the perfect after-meal treat. They come in several flavors, my favorite being the 72% dark chocolate. Since a high-quality single dark chocolate bar sells for $3-5 this is a bargain which amazingly lasts for a very long time. You can bake with it also although I have not done so. I don’t live near an Aldi anymore but I used to and remember they had something similar.

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, Lisa, for generously sharing the happy today!

In my world… Capsule Wardrobe Ideas (current capsule HERE).  The April steal is my white blazer in the lower right corner from thredUP. Are you following me on Instagram? I post 4 outfits each week!

Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Ideas

Flourish Boutique Accessories

Flourish Boutique Accessories

 

I had so much fun shopping at our site sponsor’s shop, Flourish Boutique, this past week for some accessories to update the wardrobe. If you are looking for some fun new Spring accessories, I can’t recommend them enough for cute and affordable costume jewelry. MomAdvice readers can get 25% off any of their regular priced merchandise using the code WEB25!

Happy Easter 2015 from the Clark Family

We hope your family had a Happy Easter! I’m pretty proud of my little crew this year. I don’t know about you, but I was scrambling until the last minute gathering Easter finery for the kids and stuff for their baskets. After some last minute shopping and a heck of a lot of ironing (oh, and a lot of leg make-up…ahem), I was so proud how we shined up this year.

As a side note, the doctor confirmed that my son is now beating me by an inch, confirming that he is now officially taller than me. As many of you have seen him grow up from the age of 1 on this site and now (almost) 13 (STOP IT), this is pretty darn shocking to me. I am now rocking the heels and bossing him around the house like usual!

Finally, here is a little LOL that I was busting up over (hat tip to Whoorl for finding this one).  What?  People don’t care when you leave FB? No way! Ha!  Happy Friday, friends! 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?