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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Boutique Workouts At Home, Netflix Binges, and Foldable Kitchen Islands

Friday, November 18th, 2016

holiday-home-tour-23

I had always dreamed of living in a big house and when we purchased our home, I knew that this would be the stepping stone we would need to get us to where we REALLY belonged. Thirteen years ago, my plans and life were laid out so very differently than they are now.

What changed?

Honestly, my own thinking about what we could make work in our space.

Only one shower?

Let’s put a corner to work in our half bath.

Always wanted a fireplace?

I’ll just make a little addition to a corner in our office.

More recently it was the desire to have a kitchen island that would require a complete renovation of our kitchen to make work. Guess who found a foldable island this week that can be brought out when needed (see below)? This girl! Sometimes small spaces require us to think outside of the box.

The real blessing of this smaller home came into fruition when my own health took a turn. My body doesn’t have the capacity it used to and this year, I realized I owed God a big thank you.

This home is just right for our needs and just right for my life.

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

Exerpuetic Magnetic Stationary Bike

Boutique Workouts at Home

I have a membership to a local yoga studio, but I have been missing cardio a lot in my life. One type of exercise my doctor had suggested would be good for me would be biking because it would be low-impact and still give me that cardio high I had been after.

I gave a spinning class a try at a local gym and knew that I really loved it, but the reality of carrying two gym memberships and making time to use them both was making me a little anxious. There was just no way to do this with working full-time and the kid juggle.

Exerpuetic Foldable Stationary Bike

I actually found that purchasing a stationary bike was about the equivalent of a three month membership and being able to do this at home allows me to workout AND work on my own schedule rather than wasting my time at the gym. After reading a ton of reviews, I got the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike and we were amazed at how awesome this turned out to be for its price. Our home is small so we appreciated that this bike wouldn’t intrude too much on our living room space and it would be a little quieter way to workout rather than pounding on that treadmill in the mornings. It is well-built, quiet, and does a really great job for what I was looking for in an at-home workout.

The real problem for me though was getting in a proper workout without a proper trainer. Honestly, I need guidance or I’m lazy.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyclecast-indoor-cycling-workout/id999390082?mt=8

YOU GUYS! I found the BEST trainer app for my phone and now I am KILLING it in this little corner of our house.

Once you purchase a stationary bike, you can get the CycleCast app and have a fresh workout each week for $9.99 a month. Basically, it costs less than a single class at our gym and I have a whole month of classes with a variety of instructors every single week.

CycleCast App

With this app, you can pick the duration of your workouts and you can select an instructor whose music taste fits with your own.  Once the workout starts, you have guided training throughout to help push you to burn calories and increase your distance. The first workout I did, I burned over 500 calories and clocked in over ten miles on my stationary bike.

Actual conversations I had with my imaginary trainer…

ME: I can’t do it anymore. My legs are burning and I’m tired.

JONATHAN: I’m going to put on a little Turn Down for What to see if you can push yourself more.

ME: You got me. I’ll keep riding. I do love some Turn Down for What….you’re the best, Jonathan! 

Each week the instructors add a new workout so you don’t get bored or have to do the same thing twice. The music is awesome and the price is just right for a cheapskate!

The first month membership is free so you have 30-days to try it out. I can’t recommend it enough and I’m very excited about how I’ve been able to squeeze this into my week in a realistic way. I also love that my husband can use this in the winter and get some cardio in as well. We both need it in these long winter months.

kitchen-island-review

Foldable Kitchen Island

A kitchen island has been a dream of mine, but my small kitchen would need a complete overhaul to make it happen. I started researching to see if there were any portable kitchen islands that would work and ran across these Origami Kitchen Carts and told my husband that I thought this would make the perfect solution for our kitchen.

As you can see it’s a metal cart that comes in a variety of colors and the entire top is solid wood. It comes almost fully assembled (you only need to attach the casters) and it is easy to pop up or put down as needed. Not only does it make a great kitchen island, but it could be a makeshift bar cart, can be used for your outdoor entertaining, or a as a grilling station set-up next to the grill. Since I do a ton of food photography for our site, it’s actually the perfect solution for prepping and pulling into a well-lit corner for photos.

This folds into a very reasonable size too so it can be put away when it is not needed.

I know I’ve talked about the Honey extension for your computer on this list, but download that before purchasing. Honey will find a coupon code for you and, if you are lucky like me, it brings the cost of this baby down to just $80!  They also offer these on Amazon, but purchasing through HSN makes more sense if you have a coupon code going for you or you want some fun colors! It was my first purchase with them and I was pleasantly surprised at the quick shipping and the way it was packed.

This definitely will come in handy for holiday food prep and our many gatherings in our home.

the-crown

The Crown

I needed an escape this week and I found a breathtaking one in The Crown on Netflix. I had been waiting with bated breath for the show and asked my hubby if he might want to give this show a shot this week. Although he isn’t into period pieces the way that I am, we are both absolutely stunned by the incredible acting, costuming, sets, and stories of the Royal family in this series.

First of all, if you aren’t familiar with what it’s about, this  story  focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Her father’s untimely death leaves her in a position of authority and it is a mixed blessing for Elizabeth and her family.

As a fun fact, this is Netflix’s most expensive series and they are anticipating at least six seasons of this show so it is one you can get fully committed to for awhile. They are, in fact, already shooting the second season.

If you haven’t tuned into The Crown yet, make this part of your weekend agenda. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Loving: Today’s highlights include how Christmas feels when you have a cat, a PSA for Hufflepuffs, Thanksgiving amidst a heated political climate, me when I’m listening to A Tribe Called Quest, some amazing dancing, and Enter Sandman with classroom instruments.

If you want to laugh at something a little less PC, this subway prank with book covers made me LOL repeatedly. It’s juvenile and sometimes you just need that!

Reading: My book club meets up today so I have been working through this book. It has been a good mystery exploring a missing person’s case. I would say if you enjoyed What She Knew or All the Missing Girls, this would be a good book for you!

Laughing: If Ross Geller had an IG account- so funny and loving the comments from his family below the pics. If you are a Friends fan, you will appreciate this one!!

Date night

Thankful: For a semi-annual date night with my husband this week. We shared a beer and talked our way through our feelings on politics. Blessed to be in a partnership with someone who shares many of my same views on politics and the world. It’s good to talk it through, if you can, with someone you love, respect, and trust. I got to do that this weekend and it was some good stuff for both of us!

Happy Fri-yay!

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

I Hope You Brought a Second Piece of Luggage

Friday, November 11th, 2016

America

Our son is preparing for high school this year and, in our district, that means choosing a field of interest he might want to explore at college and selecting what option might fit his needs best. It was quite the process because it was really important to us that we pick the right thing for him. We went to hours and hours of meetings, we poured over the information that was sent home and spent lots of time talking to parents about how it all worked and their experience with the school. After all that time vested this year, we were relieved to find a school that would fit his needs perfectly. We can’t wait for this next chapter with him!

For me, the election season was like that. I never go into voting lightly and this year, I believe, was my most informed voter decision that I had ever made. I took unbiased quizzes to try to figure out what issues aligned with me most, I watched each of the debates, I spent hours reading articles from both sides of the coin, and I talked endlessly with my husband about what we were looking for in this presidential election. I was very vested when I placed my vote, as I know many of you were, and the person that I thought would do a good job did not win.

I expected what I saw on social media, but it’s been an awful scroll from both sides.

I hope you will humor me for a moment and envision the voting process a little differently than maybe the way you did before. I want you to imagine that when each person went to vote they carried behind them their luggage of issues. Maybe you came with an overnight sack of a couple of things that were important to you and placed your vote or you just had a week’s worth of stuff that was easier to roll and to manage while you were voting.

Others though were backing up moving vans of issues and trying to haul that in with them when they voted. That van was loaded, heavy, and packed to the brim.

When we got home, maybe your overnight bag was easy to unpack and you felt good about the outcome of the day. Even if it didn’t go your way, you felt good about unpacking and moving on to the next chapter.   You went about making your coffee, feeling good, and you gazed out your window and saw your neighbor with all this stuff just strewn all over the lawn.

It was a mess over there.

They looked overwhelmed and they were just sitting in the middle of it looking bewildered at how they were ever going to put all this crap away.

What is your knee jerk reaction to this view?

Do you roll your eyes and tell them to declutter? You laugh and head to your computer to make a hilarious meme on hoarding- your friends are going to LOVE this!

Do you head into the house and message them a helpful article that outlines why they should have hired a moving service? They should have known this was going to happen. You always saw it coming and had shared with them lots of articles before they moved about outsourcing this. I guess they did not read them.

Do you yell out the window, “Get up and put it away! You look emotional and you need to get over it and make your lawn look like mine!”

Do you put your coffee down, get your coat on, and tell them you want to help? You’re overwhelmed with their mess, but you know it might lighten the load if you did something. You know you are good at praying, listening, and organizing. You know they are hurting and and you are good at many of these things. You can’t do the unpacking, but wouldn’t it be nice to tell them that you are their friend.

What I worry about is that some of us may have forgotten a second piece of luggage in baggage claim. It was the bag with the empathy in it that helps you see your neighbor with love. Some people unpacked those bags and used them, but I fear that others of us forgot them. That second piece of luggage was really important for both sides to be able to work together. That second piece was the key to helping unpack the first one.

I’ll admit, this family still has some stuff on their lawn so I apologize for the view. We are hoping the view will change, but we haven’t gotten everything put away yet. We will get there, but we are trying to distribute that second piece of luggage to our friends while still unpacking our own. It wasn’t a moving truck size, but it wasn’t an overnight bag.

The silver lining to this story is that I know that we ALL want this country to succeed and this is the common theme that I am choosing to focus on.  I love our people and our country. I am praying that the transition is a good and hopeful one. We need it!

If you are feeling in the dumps right now, I hope that this will be an enjoyable scroll as I highlight the good in the world.

Good In Action

It’s the 3 Little Things: Good People, Tea Organization, & Key Lime Dreams

Friday, November 4th, 2016

reading-space

The weather has been lovely this week and I switched my reading spot to sit under this beautiful tree in our backyard with a big stack of books. The fall here is nothing compared to our New England falls, but I think Indiana still provides a great display of colorful beauty too. Don’t you?

This has also been the first week of high school shopping for our son. Our kids have to pick an area of focus for their schooling which can be a difficult task at 14 to figure out. Can you imagine where your focus may have been at that age? I’m sure I would have felt the stage was where my career destiny was! I definitely never could have dreamed up this wildly weird job.  It feels strange to even be thinking about something that has always felt like a distant land when it comes to parenting my children. It feels monumental and, honestly, brings me a lot of melancholy as a mom. Everyone said it went by fast, but this feels just too soon for me. It’s a happy bittersweet moment to be moving into this realm as a mama.

I guess I feel conflicted about this next stage. Proud we kept him alive this long (kind of touch and go in those toddler years- hahaha!). If you have kids this age, do you feel that way too? I’m open to your advice on high school!

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

the-good-place

The Good Place

I’d love to hear if you have gotten into any of the new shows this Fall television season!  It takes a lot to suck us into a show, mainly because we have far too much on our agenda to watch already, but we have gotten majorly sucked into, The Good Place. When I saw the trailer for this show, I told my husband I thought this was one we could really get into it. Eight episodes within two days confirms that, yes, this show is a real winner. With Kristen Bell and Ted Danson leading the cast, it comes as no surprise that it would be a good one.

The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their life go to once they have passed away. Michael (Danson) is the architect who oversees the town, but this is the first time he has ever created one of these communities. He begins to realize that he made a few missteps, although he doesn’t know what they are, that include allowing a few people in who shouldn’t have been there. These people have to find a way to blend in or they risk destroying the good place for everyone.

It is laugh out loud funny, surprisingly sweet, and has some really smart writing. It’s also an enjoyably short show, perfect for tired moms and dads who can’t seem to commit to a full hour anymore. We have been watching it through Hulu!

I hope you love it as much as we do!

tea-organizer

An Organized Tea Spot

I love seasonal teas for the cooler seasons, but I don’t love how much space all of the boxes take in my small kitchen. I found this beautiful tea organizer, while out doing my shopping, and knew it would be the perfect addition to my kitchen. It also happens to be a great way to share your tea on the table with a guest.

Each of the drawers is glass and holds an entire box of tea bags. I cut the names off of the boxes to slip inside of the drawers so I knew what I was grabbing without covering up this pretty display. The drawers have a small wooden peg that keep them from slipping out and breaking. It’s surprisingly well-made especially for that price.

Pioneer Woman Tea Organizer

I love that it matches all the other patterned bowls that we have in our kitchen and it has freed up a ton of space in the drawer where I store all my coffee mugs! How cute is that?!?

Chobani Key Lime Yogurt

Chobani Key Lime Greek Yogurt

This week our grocery store had Chobani Key Lime Yogurts on sale for their 10 for $10 deal. It happened to be the only flavor that was on sale so I got ten and crossed my fingers that they would be a hit.

If you haven’t tried these RUN and get them RIGHT NOW. It tastes just like the filling in a key lime pie, but with a protein punch and less sugar. I put this in a bowl with this chocolate granola from ALDI and I feel like I get to have pie in the morning. Who wouldn’t be happy about pie in the morning?  Since I hate the crust anyway, this is my perfect idea of pie eating!

If you love key lime, you will love these!

Find-Her

Reading: Find Her by Lisa Gardner and it is a good pick if you are drawn to darker plot themes like Pretty Girls or anything by Gillian Flynn. I am about halfway through and loving every minute of it.

Browsing:  The GoodReads choice nominees for this year. I can’t pick a favorite this year. It’s like choosing your favorite child. So many incredible books happened in 2016 and I was so proud to see several of the authors I interviewed this year were featured. Which books are you voting for? I will try to put together a post for you for the library again like I did for you last year!

Laughing: I hear you like the laughs each week so I thought I would keep them coming. Today’s highlights include hilarious misspellings, a Stranger Things Christmas, a raccoon cooking tutorial, and a hilarious skit on congress to encourage you to vote. Don’t worry, it doesn’t endorse any particular candidate- I’m pretty sure you can guess who I’m voting for anyway!  Please note,that last one does have some language, but definitely compels a girl to get out there and do her civic duty!

I’m hoping to get my vote in early this weekend and dodge the crowds.

Stripes & Polka Dots

Loving:  The tiny scarf trend! Have you tried it? I got this scarf and now I want a million more. It is a perfect trend for petite girls and I love it with my favorite striped top! I’m also loving the large barreled curling wand I scored for waves for longer locks. Beach waves without a lot of work are definitely my jam!

Listening: NEW MUSIC FROM HAMILTON!!! OMG!!


Snag Some Great Book Deals Today (join the MomAdvice Book Club for More!)

A couple of FYI’s on today’s deals! FIRST WOMEN & GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT are GoodReads Choice Award Nominees and THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT is actually a new Amazon series that I’m hoping to catch!!

FIRST WOMEN, $1.99
GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT, $1.99
THE NEVER LIST, $1.99
AN ATLAS OF IMPOSSIBLE LONGING, $1.99
COURTING GRETA, $1.99
MAUD’S LINE, $1.99
THE WHITE TIGER, $1.99
UNDER THE BLACK FLAG, $1.99
QUEEN SUGAR, $1.99
THE TYPEWRITER GIRL, $1.99
A CERTAIN SUMMER, $1.99
THE IMPERFECTIONISTS, $1.99
THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, $1.99
DOUBT- $2
GHOST MONTH, $1.99
AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY, $1.99
LOVE WATER MEMORY, $1.99
THE BOOKSTORE, $1.99
WHEN SHE WAS GONE, $1.99
ANGELINA’S BACHELORS, $1.99
CROSSING ON THE PARIS, $1.99
DELANCEY, $3.99
TO FIND A MOUNTAIN, $1.99

Happy Fri-yay!

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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Puzzle Fun, Hamilton, & a Netflix Must-Watch

Friday, October 28th, 2016

fall-break

Well, hey there! Fall Break with the fam was another good one on the books.  I won’t lie. It did also contain bickering, irritation with everyone’s laziness, and a lot of TOGETHERNESS, but we were TOGETHER, even in those grumpy moments.

It’s funny, something that has come up a few times over this past month have been comments about my marriage and what kind of marriage I must be putting out there in the social media world. Since my husband doesn’t read my blog (no, it’s totally cool, I don’t care at all..really, it’s fine…) I know that he will probably never see this, but I’ve gotten a few questions about how we seem really happy and have a lot of fun together after all these years.

And there have been a lot of years- I’m not even forty and we have been together over 21 years! Wild, isn’t it?

No marriage is perfect and mine certainly isn’t. I won’t tell you that it is. We weathered some hard stuff- moving away from our family, transitioning into parents, unemployment, health issues…the list could go on and on.

I’m sure we all have difficult lists like this.

There are many people that I have met that portray their marriage online in a good way and then you find out that there is a different truth to that story. We can show off whatever we want to on social media and that highlight reel can be REALLY GRAND.  I have found in blogging, a “perfect” family is what you are after and, yet, I know very few of us that actually have it.

I can’t give you the secret sauce on this marriage, but I can tell you my adoration for him is genuine and I often wonder how this lottery life moment happened.  We had the perfect set-up for a divorce. We were young and blindly in love with no real plan, we married far too soon, we dropped out of college without diplomas,  and we are completely different people than when we met in high school.

In fact, I don’t even recognize myself from that teenage girl who had never left home and held those rigid life views.

I actually wouldn’t even like her.

It shouldn’t be this good and I can’t say why that is except that we evolved into people we both really like. No one makes me laugh this hard, no one talks me up like I’m the Queen of England, and no one feels like home more than him.

If I wasn’t with him, my biggest hope would be to still get to hang out with him as a friend.  Because he is that. He’s the best thing I got and he’s my friend.

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

I Had One of Those! Puzzle

I Had One of Those! Puzzle

We are addicted to the White Mountain puzzles and purchase one for each of our trips for something to do. I usually pick out the puzzles, but my husband picked this one out for this trip and it was SO FUN!! Everyone contributed to this one and worked on different sections throughout the day.  If you haven’t put together one of their puzzles before, our favorite has been this one and we also really loved this one too.

Now that I’m trading puzzles with my friends, we are able to really extend our collection to keep us busy this winter!

Hamilton's America

Hamilton’s America

Our family has recently caught the Hamilton bug and that soundtrack became the soundtrack of our trip (I listened through Spotify or you can listen through Amazon Unlimited Music with a free 30-day trial) as we put together our puzzle and drove from Granger to Grand Haven- singing all the way. We have even been talking about ditching presents again this year (check out our Choose Your Own Adventure! travel idea we created!) and getting tickets to Hamilton in Chicago as our holiday gift. But, dang. $$$!!

PBS offered a documentary, Hamilton’s America for Hamilton fans that you can stream on their site and our family watched this together. The documentary is filmed even before the show hit Broadway just as Lin-Manuel Miranda is in the beginning stages of writing this. The film chronicles the success of the show and a little behind-the-scenes of these actors that made it so successful. Dictation of lines for each of these characters and rap artists that helped inspire Lin-Manuel were really interesting to me, as someone who geeks out on stuff like that.

If you haven’t watched it yet or listened to the soundtrack, you must! Such good stuff (although racy in parts for little ears- I have a tween & teen) for the whole family. My son said he would be WAY more into history class if it was taught like this and we all learned a lot more history through watching the PBS documentary together!

Did you catch it? What did you think?

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

Netflix recently added, The Imitation Game, to their roster and this was a movie that both my husband and I had been wanting to see. For those of you that love period pieces, this is a beautiful one and the acting is just incredible.

Set during WWII, this story chronicles the real-life story of Alan Turing, a gay mathematician, who invented a machine that saved thousands of lives and had the power to shorten the length of the war. He is one of those unsung heroes in history who only received true accolades after his sad death.

The punishment for being homosexual, at that time, was unknown to me and resulted in a very sad ending to this man’s story. That said, incredible acting and so much meat to this movie that you will have lots to ponder after those final credits are rolling.

If you don’t have Netflix, stream this one on Amazon. We gave it 5 out of 5 stars- definitely worth the price of streaming!

The Mothers

Reading: I finished this book on my trip and really loved the way the book was told through “the mothers” eyes- the elderly women of a congregation. I wouldn’t say this is a fast story at all. This is a slow telling of a secret and how it impacts the people involved. It definitely held my interest!

Giggling:  I’m not normally one to enjoy commercials, but these three got me! The first two had me in stitches and the last one is all the AWWW!!

Planning: Our next Halloween couple’s costume with my hubby for a weekend party. I don’t want to say too much, but ELEVEN is a good hint! ;)

Happy Fri-yay!

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

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

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Sushi Date

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microfiber Sheets

Finally, Soft Wrinkle-Free Sheets

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

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

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

Affordable Bronze Iron Bed

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

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

Kamik Sienna Boot

My Feet Are Warm

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

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

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

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

Serta Air Mattress

We Have a Bed for Guests

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

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

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

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

Capsule Report

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

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

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

You can also shop my looks from the web by going directly to my LIKEtoKNOWit page: http://liketoknow.it/momadvicecapsule. Make sure you are registered!

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

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

floral + stripes + mustard + nude booties

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

flannel shirt + jeans + duck boots

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

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

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


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

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

Happy Fri-yay!

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

 

 

 

 

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

Friday, October 14th, 2016

politics-ugh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ghandi was a wise one, wasn’t he?

Here IS what’s making me happy this week! 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

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

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

What makes these people special?

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

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

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

foldable-puzzle-table

 Puzzle Season

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

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

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

Craft_Room_Organization-38

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=97433&b=65867&m=11035&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ehomedecorators%2Ecom%2Fp%2Fmartha%2Dstewart%2Dliving%2Dcraft%2Dspace%2Dcollapsible%2Dcraft%2Dtable%2F00%2F400%2F

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=97433&b=65867&m=11035&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ehomedecorators%2Ecom%2Fp%2Fmartha%2Dstewart%2Dliving%2Dcraft%2Dspace%2Dcollapsible%2Dcraft%2Dtable%2F00%2F400%2F

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=97433&b=65867&m=11035&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ehomedecorators%2Ecom%2Fp%2Fmartha%2Dstewart%2Dliving%2Dcraft%2Dspace%2Dcollapsible%2Dcraft%2Dtable%2F00%2F400%2F

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=97433&b=65867&m=11035&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ehomedecorators%2Ecom%2Fp%2Fmartha%2Dstewart%2Dliving%2Dcraft%2Dspace%2Dcollapsible%2Dcraft%2Dtable%2F00%2F400%2F

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=97433&b=65867&m=11035&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ehomedecorators%2Ecom%2Fp%2Fmartha%2Dstewart%2Dliving%2Dcraft%2Dspace%2Dcollapsible%2Dcraft%2Dtable%2F00%2F400%2F

Craft_Room_Organization-21

Martha Stewart Craft Cart

Martha Stewart Rolling Cart

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

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

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

Sheet Pan Nachos from Damn Delicious

source: damn delicious

Sheet Pan Nachos

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

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

Capsule Report

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

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

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

You can also shop my looks from the web by going directly to my LIKEtoKNOWit page: http://liketoknow.it/momadvicecapsule. Make sure you are registered!

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

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

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

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

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe Outfit

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

 

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

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

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

Happy Fri-yay!

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

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

Friday, October 7th, 2016

home-goods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you struggle with this too?

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

home-goods-2

HomeGoods (!!!!)

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

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

Welcome to Michiana, HomeGoods!

sleepphones-review

I Can’t Hear You Snoring

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

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

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

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

Small Space Organization Basket

Backpack Corral

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

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

Pumpkin_Chili_1

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROSE DAUGHTER, $1.99

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

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

CLAIMING GROUND, $1.99

STITCHES IN TIME, $.99

LAST NIGHT, $1.99

JUNO’S DAUGHTER, $1.99

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

HOOD, $1.99

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

THE WITCH, $1.99

THREE LIVES OF TOMOMI ISHIKAWA, $1.99

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, September 30th, 2016

emily-st-john-mandel

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

Say what?

Yes, please!

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

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

How did it go?

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

And I survived.

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

And I was really proud.

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

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

chicago

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

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

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

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

Bob's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

A Decent Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix

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

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

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

mpow-bluetooth-receiver

Bluetooth In My Old Ride

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

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

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

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

Michiana Old Mom Club

This Old Woman Is Starting a Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join the group HERE!

Painted Pumpkins

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

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

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

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

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

IS THIS TOMORROW?, $1.99

HEAT & LIGHT, $1.99

A CERTAIN AGE, $1.99

ISLE OF PALMS, $1.99

THE 19TH WIFE, $1.99

THE BEST PUNCTUATION BOOK, PERIOD, $1.99

CROW LAKE, $1.99

ROSE IN A STORM, $1.99

BIG SUR, $1.99

THE LULLABY OF POLISH GIRLS, $.99

THE MERMAID CHAIR, $1.99

HOOD, $1.99

THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, $1.99

TRAIL OF BROKEN DREAMS, $2

NEVER KISS A RAKE, $1.99

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Martin's Groceries to Go

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

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

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

It was GLORIOUS.

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

What a quick and shocking fall from VIP that was.

Once they add that though?

Perfection.

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

Magnesium Oil For Joint Pain

Magnesium Relief

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

The heck?

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

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

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

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

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

Did you know that most people are deficient in this?

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

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

60 Second Manicure

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

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

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

Say what?

I don’t have one minute for this nonsense.

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

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

O.J.: Made in America

O.J.: Made in America

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

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


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

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

It will be worth every moment of your time.

Bar Cart Makeover

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Unknown Artist (Natalie) Antique Painting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I tried it on and ran up to my husband.

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

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

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

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

He touches the shirt…

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

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

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Musical Geek Awesomeness

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

Yup. She’s crazy.

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

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

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

Roku Stick

Roku On-the-Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Slow Cooked Honeycrisp Apple Oatmeal

 

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

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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