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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Best of Summer

Friday, May 20th, 2016

little-things

Whoa, this was a rotten week. How’s that for beginning a happy list? I am trying to live in a truthful place on the web and my health is just awful these days. For those just joining my Debbie Downer train, I have a connective tissue disease and am in a health slump right now. I got to spend this week getting a foot x-ray after worrying that I had slipped a bone out of joint. Turns out I did and that I should have surgery to fix the side of my foot, but can’t get it repaired since I’m feeling so bad these days. Pain killers and taping are all I can do while this silly bone is floating in and out of place while I’m trying to sleep at night. Can you imagine waking up periodically like that- it’s awful.

The good news is that I have an appointment with a rheumatologist and I booked a massage for today to work on relieving the pains in my joint. I also ordered some of these (too tired to type that long name today!) because I read that many runners that struggle with knee issues take these and they help. Have you ever taken anything that has helped with your joints, particularly for arthritic issues? Have you heard of this stuff?  I’m so open to anything right now- ANYTHING. I hate feeling like I am 100.

stripes + denim jacket + nude heels + statement necklace

(anniversary outfit for tonight- shop this look!!)

Did I mention it’s our 16th anniversary today? I would say we are living in the, “in sickness,” and “for worse,” part of our wedding vows. He still loves me though and I’m thankful every day for that.

Since I’m in a mood, I thought I would share some of my favorite things for the summer. Here are 10 things I love that are worth sharing again this season!

Liner That Stays

 

 

Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner

Ever since I first started wearing make-up, I have always worn Cover Girl Eye Liner.  I have found though that in the summer, within hours it had faded or had moved under my eyes in other places.  I decided to try to find a new eyeliner to help remedy that and discovered Revlon ColorStay Eye Liner. It is the first eyeliner that I have tried that stays on until I go to bed. It goes on creamy, stays on all day, and is easy to remove with a little eye make-up remover.  I can’t recommend it enough. Perfectly lined eyes in the summer months are definitely making this girl happy!

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

I don’t want to brag, but when I was a kid the kids at school used to call me Casper. Well, who is laughing now, friends? This girl. Because I am TAN…on my legs… with make-up. So.

In all honesty, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is heaven-sent for a really white girl like me. It now comes in a liquid form instead of the aerosol. Squeeze a little on your hands and spread on your lightly moisturized (but dry) legs. Then just use your hands to spread the make-up on your legs and it all air dries in one minute. It is truly an airbrushed leg experience and, provided you blend well and pick the right shade for your own coloring, it gives a beautiful finish to your legs. It has a little shimmer to it too, but not overly noticeable.

The best part is that it is waterproof so if you are even at the beach, you will be fine. You need soap to get it off, otherwise it stays right where you put it. Since it has good staying power, one bottle usually gets me through the entire summer!

feedly

Feedly

Is it bad to be a blogger and share that you don’t read blogs? My own blog had taken over my life and I started to feel separated from my own community.  I decided to get back to blog reading and I started using Feedly as my reader. I absolutely love it and I think it has been so good to get back to blog reading again. While I eat lunch, I bookmark items to save for later that I think would fit well with our weekly notebook and I also have started bookmarking them for our Facebook community. Each day at 2:30 (eastern time), I post things to talk about. I think it has added so much more to both my life and our community and I am proud to be supporting people that make me think differently about life. We won’t always agree on these pieces, but I love the conversations that flow from these shares. It has been pretty dead over there so this is how I am working to restore that sense of community.

I can read all my blogs from my phone, my iPad, or from my computer.  Instead of scrolling endlessly through Facebook at piano lessons, for example, I am reading, learning, and bookmarking things to share with you. It’s a much better use of my time.

Although I don’t want to plug myself here, you can also subscribe to our site through Feedly. We need to change the title because it is listed under The MotherLoad, but you can find me over here.

Collapsible-Rolling-Cart

My Favorite Pool Accessory EVER

My best friend got these collapsible rolling carts one year when they were on sale at a local hardware store.  You may not have thought of a Rolling Cart as the world’s best pool accessory, but it really is. I load our entire cart up with our lunches, towels, pool toys, reading materials, sunblock, hats, and snacks. I throw them all in this cart and we wheel all of our stuff out to the pool, saving my back from breaking trying to lug all of our stuff out there.

The best part is that this cart is great in the off-seasons for library visits.  And, yes, we do horde that many library books when we go that we need a rolling cart to bring everything home. If you are looking for a book at our library and can’t find it, chances are it ended up in this cart.

Nads_Wax_Strips

Keeping Things in Check

Look, I’m not going to get into this kind of discussion because some of you barely know me.  I, personally,  don’t have weird body or facial hair at all, but this gal that I know has to keep things in check and she told me these Nad’s Body Wax Strips & Nad’s Facial Wax Strips might work really good to help resolve some issues you might be having.  She said that the best way to use these is to warm the strip a bit with a hair dryer and then follow the directions from there. If the strips leave behind any residue, a little baby oil does the trick to remove it.  If you need to keep things in check too, take some advice from my hairy friend. My hairy friend is super happy she doesn’t have to pay someone else to work this out for her.

Don’t forget, I also found this awesome cream for those with sensitive skin. It’s AMAZING!

Clinique-Almost-Lipstick-Black-Honey

Great Summer Lips

I love a fresh summer lip and this year my new favorite is an oldie, but goodie called Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey.  If you haven’t tried this lip color it is universally flattering and beautiful and I promise does not look anything like what is in its tube. You can pick it up at your favorite Clinique counter in the department store or they have it at Sephora. I absolutely love this shade for summer and I think you will too. It goes on like a gloss and moisturizes the lip. It’s the one you will want to buy extra tubes of so you can grab it and keep in your purse so you can touch them up while you are out and about.

logitech-keyboard

Turning My iPad Into a Laptop

I used to carry around my laptop, but when I got my iPad, I knew that I wouldn’t need to carry that around with me anymore because HELLO…BROKEN BACK. How many pounds is a laptop? Ouch!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand trying to type on the touch screen, particularly when sending lengthy emails or trying to conduct anything for my business. I found this Logitech iPad Keyboard and it has been one of the best tech investments I have ever made. It instantly turns your iPad into a mini-laptop that you can carry in your purse. The battery life lasts forever before it requires a charge with a small cord, making it perfect for me to take to my conferences. The outside of it is metal and durable, helping protect your iPad screen and it latches together magnetically, as though they weren’t meant to be together from the start.

The best part is that it holds my iPad up for me while I am laying in my hotel bed watching Parenthood episodes so that I can hold my Kleenex and cry without having to hold the screen at the same time. Can you just imagine how hard that would be?

But it is also very important for business.

Yes, for business.

Pop_Culture_Happy_Hour

Happy Hour + Yard Work

I really loathe yard work. My whole thing is, you have to make a choice. There is no way that I can have a beautiful lawn and a clean home. If I am working on the lawn, my house looks like a tornado hit it. If I work on the house, people have no clue if the house was abandoned or not.  How do people have pretty lawns and pretty houses? That just baffles my mind. I think we should all just make choices and not judge each other on which one is more important.

My cardio routine on Fridays is to mow our enormous lawn and work on tidying up the sad beds. I started listening to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour and (as if my neighbors weren’t already less than thrilled with us), I find myself busting up laughing randomly while listening to this show in the yard.

It is everything you might want to know about books, movies, the arts, and celebrities, but SMART. This not a junky entertainment blog, this is well-curated and thoughtful discussion on what is happening in pop culture with a lot of humor. I finally feel a little more with it about what is happening in the world and I am getting my terrible yard shaped up in the process.

And since I know you guys like happy lists, at the end of every episode they share what is making them happy each week and you want to have a notepad out to jot it all down to go out and find everything they are talking about.

Did I mention the NPR app is FREE? Seriously, you have nothing to lose!

L'Oreal Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray

I Finally Have Frizz-Free Locks

I have the coarsest hair and in the summer months, it frizzes up in the heat and humidity. NO ONE BELIEVES ME. I decided to document some proof for you! YOU’RE WELCOME!  :)

Monica in Jamaica

I bought this awesome L’Oreal Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray and I finally have frizz-free locks. It was one of those things that I picked up on a whim and decided to give it a try, but had no expectations that it would work well because it was only around $5.  The first day I used it, my girlfriend asked if I had done something different with my hair. It works that good.  Although I have never been able to go three days without washing my hair, it holds for that long and does a great job straightening your hair with just a blow dryer or can be used dry with your hair straightener. I highly, highly recommend this for your arsenal of hair tools.

Love,

Monica in Jamaica

Braun Silk Epilator

Taking Care of a Hairy Situation

Have you ever tried a new beauty routine that absolutely terrified you? Let me tell you, friends, using an epilator for the first time was the scariest thing I have ever done.  I may have lead you astray in my post about a hairy friend who needed wax strips. This is probably going to shock you, but I am the person who needed them. I know.  This happiness project goes out to all my brunette friends. The ladies who struggle with an armpit shadow even after they have shaved, the ones with the coarse unmanageable leg hair, the ones who have stray chin hairs that have suddenly cropped up since they hit their 30’s, the ones who get razor burn 24/7, whose skin becomes rashy from just seeing a razor, and the girl’s whose lily-white skin tells tales of painful hair removal routines.

I am fist bumping you right now.

I bought this Braun Silk Epilator and it has a million attachments which you can use to remedy whatever your hair situation. It rips the hair out by the roots. It feels as good as it sounds. It has forty tweezers that do it at the same time and can lift hair that is as small as a grain of sand. It really can because I felt every last pull.

The first time was really excruciating because I didn’t do a lot of research beforehand. Here’s what I advise- drink a gallon of wine,  soak in the shower for five minutes, exfoliate well with a loofah, shave so you aren’t grabbing long hairs out, hold it at a ninety degree angle right up close in the shower under the water,  and go all out with the highest setting. The legs are not terrible and the bikini line was a piece of cake since I wax.

The underarms…I almost passed out.  Probably the worst beauty pain of my life.

Now that I am over the first three times of doing it, I love it and am addicted.

Probably the same way people are addicted to tattoos.

It’s kind of sick, really.

I absolutely love how my legs and underarms look. My face is fuzz free.

I am living the blonde girl dream life!

around-the-house-6

(around our house- bucky)

Reading: Rare Objects and it is incredible! I had no idea she had another book out. I loved this book from her so much that diving into her words again has been such a treat! I love a good historical fiction escape and this one is delivering.

capsule-outfit-ideas

(follow my new account!!)

Enjoying: The creativity of putting my outfits together for my new Instagram account. I made a commitment that whatever I lay out for you, I must wear. I promise you, I’m really wearing this stuff. Not only is it good for my creativity, but it helps me feel good to feel put together and to get dressed each day. I’m also getting familiar with Like to Know which can send you an email about each outfit and ideas for replicating it. I have fun putting those together each day.

Sharing:  For my fellow Sweet Valley High friends, enjoy this imagined life for Elizabeth & Jessica when they are 40. Made my day!

Laughing: Since I’ve been down in the dumps, this could not have been timed more perfectly. No bad language and so hilarious that I bet your kids will be busting up too. I had tears rolling down my face watching this. Her laughter is contagious.

 

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!

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

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Recital Day

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

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

Stripes + Mustard Accessories + Driving Loafers

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

The Perfect Stripes (FINALLY!)

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

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

Also, how many times can I say perfect?

Noted.

doTerra Deep Blue Rub Cream Review

A Tool for Chronic Pain Management

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

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

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

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

Salt Water Sandals in Red

A Great Birkenstock Alternative

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

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

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

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

Around Our House

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Spring throw pillows

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

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

GIVE ME ALL THE BOOKS.

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

hamilton-beach-12-cup-brew-station

World’s Best Drip Coffee

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

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

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

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

Rent the Runway

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

My First Rent the Runway Purchase

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

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

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

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

Gigi Hair Removal Cream

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

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

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

Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea

 

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

 

 

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

Friday, April 29th, 2016

It's the 3 Little Things

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

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

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

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

Hamilton Soundtrack Free on Prime

Hamilton Soundtrack

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

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

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

This Week I’m…

ethan

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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It’s the 3 Little Things: Perfect Petite T-Shirt, Laughs, & More Laughs

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Ramona Books

What a special week to know that one of my favorite childhood author’s turned 100! Happy birthday to Beverly Cleary.  If you haven’t dug into the Ramona books with your little girl, it is one of those moments you will always treasure. There were a lot of articles about Beverly Cleary this week, but my favorite was this interview. You can just tell she’s still got that wonderful sense of humor.

Hey, if you have a moment, I’d love to invite you to Like Us On Facebook. I have a little personal goal to see that grow to 20,000 this year so I am working really hard to keep it fresh and funny for you. I would be honored for you to be a part of that! 

audible

A Happy For YOU (and me!)

I was SO excited to see that Audible is giving THREE months FREE this month instead of their normal 30-day trial membership. It gives you one audiobook a month and I am totally cashing in on this freebie. I hope this makes YOU as happy as it makes ME!!

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

Petite Dolman T-Shirt

(sources: black t-shirt, black leggings, necklace, & booties)

Perfect Petite Girl Dolman Top

I am working on showing off my spring/summer wardrobe for my next capsule wardrobe. I am keeping the wardrobe almost all gently used (thanks thredUP!), but one thing I needed was a white & black t-shirt. Those were two of the things I thought might be worth investing in since I tend to wear those the most in the summer.

I am IN LOVE with the oversized t-shirt styles, but I am petite (short and small framed) so oversized tees can quickly gravitate towards the nightgown look on me. The boxy style never seems to work out for me, but this week I found THE loose t-shirt that doesn’t look all wrinkly, can be dressed up or down, can be worn with leggings since it is just a little longer in the back, and it was on sale! Yay!

FYI, this is the XS. I could have sized down, but I really wanted the looser fit. It’s a little sheer so I have a cami underneath! It looks almost like linen in the front with a great draping and t-shirt feel on the back.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

My Favorite Show is Back

Today is THE DAY that I have been waiting for because the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt begins and I am going to do all I can to really settle into a Netflix binge with my hubby for this next season. If you haven’t watched it, you must! As a good old-fashioned Midwestern girl, I can relate to a girl like Kimmy and her adventures in New York.

This awesome show is a Tina Fey-produced comedy featuring a young woman who’s trying to build a life for herself in New York City after escaping a doomsday cult.

Based on this description alone, you should watch it.

This is one of those shows that makes me laugh until I cry (repeatedly!).

Are you adding season 2 to your agenda too?

lol

Photoshopped Book Covers- One Big LOL

ADULT humor, friends, adult humor. Or not.  Kind of childish, but adult language. These photoshopped book covers are absolutely hilarious. Is it sad that this caption reminds me of my first kiss? It was pretty awful.

Look at these and have a good laugh without your kids. The Taco Bell title and the Exploding Sun are two of my favorites!

This week I’m…

The Nest

Reading: The Nesand so far I’m really enjoying it. In a way it reminds me of Jonathan Tropper’s, This is Where I Leave YouThis one has received a lot of mixed reviews. I am hoping it is a 5-star rating for me. Have you read it?

Eating: Surprising my kids with a Shrimp Boil tonight. It’s finally beautiful in Indiana and I look forward to their favorite feast on a gorgeous day.

Watching: Tiny House Hunters & Tiny House Builders came to Netflix. There are only a few episodes of each. Is it because they only had a few because only that many people would do that or was it a really short season? Let me know, HGTV subscribers! Regardless, I am dreaming of a tiny house again!

Laughing: These brothers are awful. And funny. Another crying laugh (no adult language- it’s one you can laugh at with your kids!)

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: Werewolves, Trips to Spain, & Forensics

Friday, April 8th, 2016

vail

I hope you are having a wonderful week. It is Spring Break in Indiana and my daughter and I went on a trip to see our BFF’s out in Colorado. We managed to squeeze in plenty of deer sightings, a trip to Garden of the Gods, antiquing, a day in Vail, and an afternoon in Breckenridge. Did I mention we did this in the matter of two days? We had some incredible tour guides! While we were doing all that, our son was having the time of his life with his grandma & grandpa catching the sites in Indy. What a memorable year this will be.

Here are a few other things I am enjoying this week!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Our friends invited us to join them and and another couple, who are really into board games like us, for a delicious dinner and game night. How lucky are we? They brought One Night Ultimate Werewolf to play and after we got done playing, Ryan got to ordering it the next day. Yup, it was that fun. I had never heard of it. Have you?

This is a great group game (ideally six or more people)  and the game is composed of two people, werewolves and townsfolk. The objective of the werewolves is to kill off all the villagers without themselves being killed. The objective of the townsfolk is to figure out who the werewolves are and kill them. One of the townsfolk is a seer, who has the ability to tell whether other players are werewolves or not.

The game works with an app that will tell each player what to do, for example, “Werewolves open your eyes,” so that you know who the other werewolves are.  Other things that can happen are that different roles may be required to switch cards or peek at cards, as directed by the app while everyone’s eyes are closed. Once everyone opens their eyes, you share why you aren’t the werewolf, defending your case that you are a townsfolk. The better the liar, the stronger the game. At the end, you decide who you think the werewolf is.

Each round takes about ten minutes and it is a BLAST. It can be played with kids although every time my daughter said, “I’M NOT THE WEREWOLF. I’M THE DRUNK,” it made me laugh (which she did not appreciate).

I also rediscovered that all those years of lying as a kid REALLY pay off in this game.

If you are looking for a fun, easy, and quick group game, I can’t recommend it enough. We are so happy our friends shared this one with us!

 

Vina Fuerte Tempranillo La Mancha Wine

A New ALDI Wine to Love

I love trying out the new wine offerings from ALDI. As you know, one of my favorite bottles is their Chianti. Well, Chianti, there is a new sheriff in town, and it is this Spanish red wine, Viña Fuerte Tempranillo Crianza. It is $4.99 a bottle, making it an affordable weeknight splurge. The wine is dry and has notes of black cherry and plum with a hint of clove and spice.  If you are looking for a new red to try, this is a great one for the price point!

The Poisoner's Handbook

The Poisoner’s Handbook

We are still trying to make the most of that Prime membership and, thankfully, there are plenty of fun documentaries to watch. We started watching, The Poisoner’s Handbook, which is a documentary about the first dive into forensics. It’s an exploration of how forensics was used to explain murders that happened in the 20th century. I can’t rave enough about this because they do such a great reenactment of what happened along with forensic experts that share the process. Of course, prohibition and no regulations on what you can add to household products and cosmetics, made it so much harder to figure out if death were caused by murders or by the items that everyone was using in their home.


Here is the trailer for it! It’s really well done and I learned so much about the pioneers of forensics. Hope you can use your Prime membership for this one too and learn a lot like I did this week!

This week I’m…

Reading: This book for my local book club. Have you read it yet? It looks really good!

Eating: We are testing Indian recipes this week for the blog. Fingers crossed for our gluten-free naan tonight!

Toms Leila Booties

Wearing: My only souvenir from Colorado in a little shop that had ONE pair of these for a mere $49. Be still my beating heart. They feel like slippers inside. I can’t rave enough. Did I mention they mold to your feet and I wore them all day as a tourist and never had a sore foot or blister. YES!!

Laughing: Enjoy the hilarious Pocahontas number. I’m still laughing!

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: 3 Things That Made Me Think

Friday, April 1st, 2016

MomAdvice Family

I hope you guys had a wonderful week! We were dressed to the nines for Easter Sunday. If you can believe it, Emily & I both snagged our dresses on thredUP for nothing!  I had so much credit socked away after cleaning out my closet that I didn’t have to pay a dime for our dresses this year. Did I mention this a Kate Spade dress? What a score!

A tidier closet AND fancy frocks?

Winning!

PS- Did you spy our favorite family member behind us? I think she was mad we didn’t include her in the picture!

Today’s list is three things that I have been thinking about this week that I want to share with you…

The New Yorker Presents

The New Yorker Presents

I shared with you that I’m trying to really make the most of that Prime membership so I was excited to see that Amazon was offering a new exclusive series called, The New Yorker Presents. This is NOT one to watch with your kids, just because many of the topics are controversial, but it is an incredible way of experiencing The New Yorker in a new way.

Each episode is much like flipping through a magazine. You can watch the cartoonist at work, there are short comedic skits, poetry, and at least one REALLY thought-provoking documentary that usually leaves my jaw on the floor.

A few of the highlights for us were the first episode where they explore how the FBI could have prevented the 9/11 attacks… if it had not been for the CIA, the second episode had an incredible piece on bull-riding, and the fourth episode profiled a man who ran a bookstore out of his apartment and a flamboyant gay Mexican wrestling star.

We are just five episodes in, but it has lead to some really great discussions about our views on things. Watch it and tell me what you think!

A Compelling Piece On Race

It has been awhile since I have settled in with a This American Life podcast, but each time I do, I learn something new. A recent episode explored the topic of how people always tell us that we will understand when we get older. The episode starts in adolescence and then works it’s way into the older age. In the middle though, was a piece on adulthood that was really compelling.

Warning: before you listen to it the N word is said repeatedly in it, in reference to a name the two of them are called by racist people!! 

I have put the player for you to listen to this particular piece above.

This American Life Since I am traveling this week and am worried that player won’t load, you can also listen to Act 2 (Adulthood) right here! See, I am covering all my bases this time!

In this piece, comedian Sasheer Zamata does this joke about her mom in her standup act that is about how her mom hates white people. She and her mother finally sit down to talk about why her mom feels this, and Sasheer finds out how mad her mom is at her own mom, for trying to make her get along with white people when she was young. Sasheer is a cast member on Saturday Night Live and there is a lot of humor in this piece, but there is also a lot of raw honesty.

I want you to listen to it too- it really made me think!

 

Summer 2016 Book Releases

Summer Book Reading Recommendations

One perk of this job is getting advanced readers from the publishing houses for upcoming books and promotions. With beach reading in mind, these are a few of the selections I am hoping to read and share with you in the upcoming months!

The A-Z of You & Me by James Hannah

Luck, Love, & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (you can read my interview with the author here!)

The Year We Turned 40 by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (you can read my interview with the authors here!)

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

The Lie by C.L. Taylor

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Do you see any on this list you are excited about? Have any other books that are on your radar this summer? Let me know!

This week I’m…

Reading: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon (this looks like a promising debut thriller!)

Eating: Roasted Chicken In Bulk- it saved me during another busy week!

Basking: In the glow of being nominated for an Iris Award for Best Personal Blog in 2016. I can’t stop beaming!

Watching: This beautiful video with Andrew Bird featuring Fiona Apple. I will never tire of her voice!

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: Food Doc, Shiny and New, & Touch-Ups

Friday, March 25th, 2016

color

I hope you have some wonderful things planned for this Easter weekend. The kids & I are spending our Good Friday helping package meals for Pack Away Hunger  with our church today. We are really looking forward to doing this together. Although the weather got cold, I’m making preparations for spring with fresh linens on the bed and tulips from ALDI (just$4.99 for a little bouquet).  I’m moving forward with spring, Indiana, maybe you should too!

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

Just Eat It Documentary

A Documentary To Watch With Your Family

I ran across Just Eat It when browsing through the documentary offerings on Prime and our family watched this together one evening. This is a truly eye-opening look at how much food we are wasting in an effort to only provide the most beautiful and appealing foods at our grocery store. In efforts to illustrate how much perfectly good food we are wasting, they take on a challenge to eat only discarded food with some surprising results.

REALLY thought-provoking and it made me more aware of my purchasing habits and how our family could do better to waste less food. It’s a must-see and something you definitely should watch with your kids. It lead to some great discussions in our home.

TouchBack Root Touch-Up Kit

Root Touch-Ups

I sure talk a lot about my gray hair around here, don’t I? Sometimes pesky gray hairs show up randomly between colorings and I found this TouchBack Instant Root Touch-Up tool to conceal the grays until I color my hair again works wonders on my grays. They have one that looks more like a mascara and then this one (pictured above)  that looks more like a marker. I have only used the one that looks like mascara, but it works REALLY well hiding the occasional gray that I get between my hair coloring. It just rinses out when you wash your hair and is super easy to put on and can prolong your time between getting your hair colored. I highly recommend this to save money! You can find it at ULTA or at CVS!

Baptism

Baptism

A Baptism

This happy was just for me. This past Sunday our daughter was baptized and it made my heart so happy that she has decided to follow Jesus. I can’t wait to see her journey unfold and it was so special to have both sides of our family there for this special day!

This week I’m…

Reading: Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan (I was blindingly unaware of what was happening in the world during this time. It’s been really eye-opening).

Eating: Linguine With White Clam Sauce (I used these gluten-free noodles)

Laughing: Over this article. Each time I read it, I laugh harder!

Happy Easter, everyone! xo

 *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: Podcast Loving, Dangerous Baths, and a Snarl-Free Existence

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Happy birthday!!

Happy Friday! We had a wonderful weekend last weekend was celebrating the love of my life’s birthday. He deserved every bit of it and more. I’m a lucky lady!

This week has been full of new experiences for me.  I tried my first Pilates class and I loved it although all of the machinery in the room was a little intimidating the first time, plus remembering which leg was supposed to be doing what while working said machinery. I kind of looked like a nervous mess in there. Although I was no star pupil, I made it through and am proud that I’m finding some fun new classes to try this year that are a little gentler on my body.

I also gave acupuncture a spin for my elbow pain. Again, kind of a scary thing if you haven’t done it before, but between that, the exercises she showed me, helping me with better posture, and telling me which tools will help me moving forward, I felt really good after I left there.

Note to self, do not drink coffee right before so you can attempt to take a nap while side is filled with needles…

Or maybe not.

I am hoping a few of these sessions will help me to feel like my old self again. I miss her.

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

World's Best Bath Tray

The World’s Best Bath Tray

I can’t remember if I have given my bath tray a shout out on the happy list, but even if I did, it deserves a second round of applause. It has a place to slide your wine stem (unless you buy giant wine glasses like me that *may* hold half a bottle) and it has a spot for your book to rest on it. I have been soaking a lot in this bubble bath for a treat at the end of the day and this bath tray makes holding a book quite easy.

This tray is worth every dollar and then some for a book lover like me!

bath-tray

I do think I scared a few people on Instagram hovering  a library book over a body of water.

I like to live a little dangerously.

treatyoself_main01

Since my hubby & I are on a Parks & Rec kick, we recently watched the Treat Yo Self episode and now anything we want to do that’s fun we use this line for whatever we might feel entitled to.

Like going to bed at 8PM (TREAT YO SELF!)

Putting your pajamas on at 1PM (TREAT YO SELF!)

Watching junk television on Netflix for an hour (TREAT YO SELF).

That night it was a bottle of ALDI Chianti ($4.99), a fresh new library book, and some bubbles…

I treat myself well, yo! You treat yourself well too!

modern-love-podcast

Modern Love Podcast

I binged on eight episodes of the Modern Love podcast while I was tidying the house this week and I can’t rave enough about how beautiful this is and how many emotions it stirred in me. Articles that were submitted to The New York Times over the years are selected by a celebrity to read on the podcast. Although I went into it thinking it would be about dating or finding a mate, it is so much more than that. It’s an exploration of familial love, love for a pet, love for a condition that brings a family together, bad first dates, and love for unlikely people. All kinds of love.

After the reading, they talk to the editor to see why the article was selected for The New York Times and they do a follow-up with the people to see what has happened since they wrote the article and what the response was to their piece.

If you want all the feels, this one was my favorite. I hope it moves you as much as it did me!

 

The Wet Brush

The Wet Brush

Between my daily green smoothie and my new vitamin regimen this year, my hair has been growing crazy fast. I haven’t had long hair since I got married so I forgot about all those tangles and snarls that happen with it. I have been battling this for awhile so I decided to get The Wet Brush and it works AMAZINGLY well on my tangled hair. If you are struggling with tangled hair with your little ones, this is the brush to buy. My daughter & I both finally have snarl-free and tangle-free hair. I didn’t think a brush could make a difference, but it really does.  The reviews prove it too- I’m not the only one in love with it.

This week I’m…

Reading: Be Frank With Me (it was PERFECTION!)

Eating: Sheet Pan Lemon Paprika Chicken & Veggies (double batched to share with my sister for our library date)

Watching: I want to tackle this documentary this weekend- it looks like it will be very eye-opening on food waste in our country. Have you seen it?

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

 *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 Book I Couldn’t Put Down, Time Travel, & Hair Color Deliveries

Friday, March 11th, 2016

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Happy Friday, friends!  It’s my husband’s birthday today so we are planning to go out this evening to celebrate at his favorite place. I also got him a really cool birthday gift this year that I secretly wanted to review for our site. Have you heard of Trunk Club before? My husband wanted to update his wardrobe with a couple of good pieces so I thought it might be a fun experience for him to work with a stylist and have a shipment sent to him for his birthday. I don’t see a lot of reviews for men’s clothing and I am curious what his experience will be with that. I’ll let you know how that works out next week- he’s pretty excited to try out his new clothes!

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

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

A Book I Could Not Put Down

I rarely talk about books before the end of the month so if I share a book in the happy list, you can bet it will be in my top ten of the year list. In less than 24 hours, I consumed The Forgetting Time and I can’t recommend this one enough.  This is the author’s debut novel and it is unlike anything I have ever read before. I don’t want to delve too much into it because half of the fun, for me, ended up piecing everything together myself.  It’s a bit like a mystery as you try to solve the puzzle of a child’s unusual first years of life. The story intertwines with a doctor nearing the end of his career due to a deadly diagnosis who could be the only one who could make Noah and his mother’s life better. What Noah is suffering from is beyond what any parent could comprehend.

Please get it this weekend, you must! You will not be disappointed in this book or the writing from this author.

hulu-11-23-63-stephen-king

One of My Favorite Books Came to Television

11/22/63 remains one of my all-time favorite books in the history of books ever amen. It has been such an incredible treat to see 11/22/63 come to life in an eight part series on Hulu.  Since we don’t have cable, we rely a lot on Hulu for our television fixes and they are really stepping up their game with some original programming.

Is it okay to say that I was incredibly nervous about this? What if they ruined my favorite book?  I have to say, it is so much better than I hoped for. The costuming is fantastic, the details in each scene are just gorgeous, the acting is phenomenal, and it has been holding so true to Stephen King’s incredible work.  It’s everything I wanted it to be and more.

Since they only issue one episode a week, it has been something to look forward to into in the evenings with my hubby and I’m looking forward to watching that fourth episode this weekend!

Have you watched it yet? I’d love to hear what you think too!

If that isn’t enough of a reason to get a Hulu membership, check out this new original series trailer from the producer of Friday Night Lights Parenthood below! I’m so excited about this series too!!

Doesn’t that look SO GOOD too? I love good television!

 

Subscribe and Save

Subscribe & Save Deliveries

My time feels super valuable these days and there are a lot of things that I seem to have trouble keeping stocked or that require me to go to separate stores all the time. Two things that I am always running out of are vitamins (thanks to our new regime) and hair color (these kids give me gray hair- ha!) so I thought I would give Subscribe & Save a spin. I sat down with all of our vitamins and figured out the quantity we would need each month and then adjusted shipment for each one to how often we might need it.  I also decided I would put my favorite hair color on the subscribe & save agenda so that it would help remind me when it was time to color my hair and would save me an additional trip to the drugstore.

I love that it saves you money on each order, that you have free doorstep delivery, and that I can cancel or adjust things as I need them.

I’m a slow embracer of things like this, but this week we ran out of vitamins and waiting on my doorstep happened to be just what we needed thanks to this subscription service.

Happy weekend, friends!

This week I’m…

Reading: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Eating: Sheet Pan Pork Chops & Veggies (I swear we eat this once a week now!)

Watching: Master of NoneWe are on the final episode and I am so sad! It was an incredible series- a bit raunchy, but surprisingly profound!

 

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