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

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!

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

Friday, August 19th, 2016

 

happy-3

Good morning! These past few days have felt a little heavenly as the kids headed back to school and I’ve had the whole house to myself. I love my kids, but having some introvert time has been so good for my soul. The days here are much longer (we must RISE FROM OUR BEDS at 5:45AM (!!!) and I realized my body is revolting a bit with these new changes. My muscles are throbbing and I have been ending these days curled in the fetal position.

That part hasn’t been heavenly, but that whole health portion of my life really isn’t.

Instead of pushing myself further, I gifted myself three days to get myself used to these changes by  just allowing myself the pleasure of rest. The gym can wait for now!

As soon as the kids have left, I have spent the mornings on my patio with HOT COFFEE (!!!), a good book, and a cozy throw. I drag an ottoman out there and catching a little sunshine on my face, listening to all the nature sounds, and swimming in pretty words! If a girl must rest, that is the way to do it.

I have successfully put up blinders to block weeding, crumbs on the floor, piles of unfinished laundry, and the growing feeling of disorganization already.

Three days shouldn’t set me back too much….right? Right???

happy-2

My best friend and I also have an annual tradition of a fancy feast and toast once our children go off to school. A sushi date was arranged for our back to school kickoff, white wine was served, and we toasted to getting through another summer.

Oh, and there are pedicures too every year.

Please pray for the poor woman that had to work on these feet.

Poor, poor woman. Her tip was quite generous (does anyone else avoid looking at someone working on your feet to not feel the shame?)

Here are 3 other things making me happy this week! 

happy-4

A New Bang Trick (That Works)

I finally got a haircut again (it’s only been since…oh, April!) and I am back to bangs again. I was looking for tips on styling bangs and I happened to run across a video with the coolest trick for keeping your bangs looking fresh.

I don’t want to give it away, you need to watch it, but I tried it this week and these styling tricks really worked, especially her idea for the finishing touch to keep sweat at bay!

By the way, I can’t recommend this dry shampoo enough- for the price and the results. I use this between my infrequent shampoo days! If you are struggling with bang styling, I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!

You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

A Book With ALL the LOL’s

If you haven’t heard of Jessi Klein, she is the head writer and producer for the Inside Amy Schumer show and a gifted comedic writer.  She has written her first book and I can’t rave about it enough. If you have been looking for a book with the humor of Bossypants, You’ll Grow Out of It, has some of that comedic magic that I enjoyed so much from Tina Fey’s book.  In fact, I have been laughing until I am crying and have side stitches from laughing so hard.

I tried to read chapters aloud to my husband and start speaking gibberish because I can’t breathe or speak through the laughter. Ask him about it. I could tell he really felt like listening to me was a good use of his time.

These chapters are all about Jessi’s life as a tomboy and how she tries to conform to the expectations the world has on her as a female. From getting the perfect tight butt at barre classes, to lingerie shopping when you are more of a 3-pack Hanes Her Way kind of girl, to the inexplicable high we get from going to Anthropologie (which she calls Zooey Deschanel’s manger- LOL!), I am laughing at her struggles and relating to many of them too. Although not a tomboy, I get irritated by the expectations as much as anyone else.

If you need an escape, this would be a great I’m-waiting-for-kids-activities-all-day read since each chapter is its own story.

Just prepare for everyone in the carpool line to look at you like you are absolutely crazy when you are manically laughing alone.

I hope it makes you laugh as hard as it did me!

 

Skechers Ballet Flat

Great On-The-Go Shoes

Although I wouldn’t qualify these shoes as the most fashionable, I have been looking for a shoe that would be perfect to slip in on and as I run kids back and forth to activities or just for a quick jaunt to the mailbox.  I didn’t realize that Skechers made a ballet flat and these are perfect for my wide-foot friends (holla!). The width is generous and the inside is filled with cushy memory foam that keeps cool so your feet don’t sweat. They took a day to break in (I think mostly because I have been living in sandals), but I now wear them all the time and find them to be a really supportive busy mama shoe. Give them a shot- they come in a few different styles too!

For fashionable flats, I still can’t recommend these enough for your fall staples! They are oh-so-comfortable!

happy-1

Completing: Nothing. Please see above.

Reading: I just finished this book. Have you read it? It’s another film project for Reese Witherspoon’s production team. I’d love to chat about what you thought!

Eating: We tried this incredible risotto recipe and I am excited to try my own variation on it. I joined the cult of Instant Pot. Have you heard of it? Let me share a pamphlet with you about the Book of Instant Pot. You, too, could  have a transformed life in just a few easy steps.

Listening: The Living Room episode has been listed as many people’s favorites and I savored it while waiting for my daughter at dance. It is guaranteed to pull at all your heartstrings at once. It also makes you think about how we interpret others. If you have some time, listen to it and tell me what you think!

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

Saugatuck

The most glorious gift this summer was spending a week together in Saugatuck. Our family has been fortunate to get to do lots of travel through my work. When we had a power outage and spent the evening with flashlights & giggling with our kids, we asked them where their favorite vacation had been. It surprised me to hear that Saugatuck was their favorite destination. Not only is the town close (just an hour and thirty minutes away), but it was also a heck of a lot more affordable than, say, Disney or Universal. We booked a cabin right away and planned for a completely unplugged week.

With my work (um, this!) and my husband’s (programming), making a commitment to be unplugged felt like a bit of a stretch, but we REALLY did it. We put together puzzles, soaked in the hot tub, took a disastrous paddleboat ride (never knew how heavy those were until we walked one out to the beach), brought an enormous stack of library books, made incredible meals to eat on the porch, late nights with vino & the first season of Game of Thrones….it was heaven.

I am so incredibly grateful that we could do it and we are now planning to do this every year with them. Our time feels so fleeting- to soak in my family like that made my heart so happy and brought us a lot closer before the chaos of the new school year starts.

If you haven’t explored Saugatuck, I shared some of our favorite things in this article (and plan to update it this week with more things we enjoyed!)

Here are some other things that are making me happy this week:

The Fear of 13

The Fear of 13

I know we have a lot of true crime fans on here and I just discovered this incredible documentary called, The Fear of 13. It sounds like the premise would be a little boring without the typical bells and whistles of Hollywood. The documentary is a retelling of how a prisoner, Nick Yarris, found himself on death row. It opens telling you that he has requested his own execution be done early and then, almost in a puzzle format, the viewer gets to find out how he ended up there, what prison life was like, and the scientific breakthrough that changed everything.

More compelling than that though is that Nick found his transformation through BOOKS and that was the window that really helped transform his life. He is, perhaps, one of the most incredible storytellers I have ever had the privilege to listen to. I found myself holding my breath through parts of this. It is, truly, an unforgettable documentary. It sounds crazy that this would make one happy, but it is the beauty in the telling of this transformation that makes it so amazing.

If you have Netflix, it is available for streaming right now!!

Bookish iPhone Case

My New iPhone Case

Well, I held out as long as I could on getting the new iPhone. For our son’s birthday though, he got mom’s old phone and I had to get a replacement phone. That, of course, meant replacing my case. I have never really had anything special, but I found this bookish case on Society6 and it couldn’t ship to me fast enough.

What makes it more special is that David Arnold, Jandy Nelson, & Jennifer Niven were all interviewed on my site and I see their books tucked into this rainbow design. It just has made me so happy and it also has made me want to tackle a few others that are showcased in this case!

If you haven’t ordered from their site before, here is $10 to spend to support an artist!

Dealflicks

The Dealflicks App

I am savvy about saving money, but my sister is INCREDIBLE at saving money. As a single mom, she knows how to make every dollar count. We love to catch movies together and she told me about this app called Dealflicks that would save us money on our tickets.

You download the app on your phone and it offers deals with your local movie theater that save you a ton.

We catch movies in her town and a ticket is $7 and a popcorn is $100.

Well.

Basically.

So with this app, it offers certain shows at a discount rate. So for $7.50 we get a ticket to a show AND a medium popcorn, saving us at least $100 (approximately).

If you want to give it a try, use this code RF8M4BBEAL to get an additional 20% off your tickets at checkout. In that screenshot, you can see where to add your coupon code. I have caught three movies (two with her and one with my Dad) and I have used this each time for our movie dates!

Enjoy all that savings!!!

Book Cover Puzzle

Completing: This incredible puzzle with my family! It was such a challenging one and so fun to see all of these book covers. I hated taking it apart after we were done. This puzzle made us all so happy!

Reading: The Longest Night this week and it was beautiful. I shared my thoughts on it on Instagram and why I think you should read it. I love how books have the ability to teach me about times in history that I never knew about.

Eating: Roasted Shrimp Pasta in bowls on repeat! I can’t think of a better summer dish!

Laughing: At hilarious tweets about Simone Biles. She is amazing…and so are these reactions!

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, July 29th, 2016

skies

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

 

It’s the best we can manage right now.

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

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

Planters Nut-rition Chocolate Nut Protein Mix

My New Favorite Evening Snack

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

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

It totally balances out.

I did the math for you.

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

Good thing I like to snack alone!

SoundPEATS Wireless Headphones

 

My Podcast Listening Got Way Better

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

Sing Street DVD

A New Favorite Musical

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

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

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

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

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

dad

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

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

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

mary-visit

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

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

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

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

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

Boot Tray Insert

My Boot Tray Got More Awesome

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

Well, that is, until now.

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

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

Joola Outdoor Ping Pong Table

 

We Have Been In Ping Pong Heaven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pokemon-go

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

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

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

Do I know a thing about Pokemon?

No.

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

And they are HANGING OUT WITH ME.

And for the caption on this photo:

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

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

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

Advanced Readers for July

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

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

LOST STARS

HER EVERY FEAR

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10

SAVING ABBY

BABY DOLL

SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE

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

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

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

Happy Friday, friends!

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

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Today We Sit

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Happiness Challenge: SITTING

When we bought the furniture for our home, all I wanted were comfortable places to sit.  Years of uncomfortable furniture had created a wanting in my heart for the biggest and comfiest couch we could fit in our space. Although the aesthetics were important, it was far more the depth and the sinking-in-of-it all that was the most important to me.

We recently had some new (and old) friends to our home and took them on our little renovation tour of our very own fixer upper. The remarks often were regarding the comfortability of our spaces that I had worked so lovingly to create to help our guests feel welcome. Often the remarks were, “How do you get any work done when you have this cozy place to sit?” 

These were the places they said they couldn’t resist.

Yet, I resist them.

What might look, at times, like a cushy job (and believe me, cushy moments do exist), is a lot of sweat and hustle to create. I am not complaining, but sometimes that glamour shot you see is nothing like my life.  Many moments are spent hunched over the computer and in some state of frantic panic over a post that, honestly,  I’m lucky if people might scan briefly through with their morning coffee.

What there isn’t a lot of, for me,  is… well, SITTING. The corners that people might envy are rarely enjoyed by me so I challenged myself to SIT in every one of those corners this week because I deserve to rest.

I am worthy of that.

I soaked in a good book on my giant leather chair, I snuggled up with my cat and watched a television show, I knitted in my shed sanctuary, and I curled on my bed in the evening to browse my blog reader. It sounds so silly, but for the first time in probably a few years, I just enjoyed sitting in the places I had made for myself.

All the places.

If you don’t do a lot of sitting at your house either, consider this a challenge to sit in those beautiful and cozy corners you created. They aren’t just for company, they are for YOU. 

I thought it might be fun to creatively explore a bit on this post so today might seem different than usual.

I’m glad.

I want you to enjoy the REAL over in blogland and that can never be cultivated if I’m not honest with you. I want to explore how I’m working towards the happy in my life. As always, I am a big work in progress.  

Tell me, do you struggle with being still too?  

Here are 3 other things that make me happy.

Hania Sandals from Naturalizer

Amazingly Comfortable Gladiator Sandals

Oh, I am loving this year’s sandal trends, BUT I have stupidly wide feet so I am not always able to embrace the trends. I had to break my rule of not buying shoes during my capsule challenge because a joint fell out of the side of one of my feet (I kid you not) and it hung off the side of my sandal in a really uncomfortable way. I totally demoed it for my husband to justify said shoe purchase.

Come on. You would too.

I found these gorgeous, gorgeous sandals from Naturalizer (the Hania Sandals in Gingersnap)  and they are PERFECT in every way.  This has a comfortable wedge on the bottom that gives a petite girl some height without compromising her balance. If you are looking for a gladiator shoe that you won’t have to break in, these fit the bill perfectly!

Although you may not have a joint falling out, my sister remarked that only I would find a way to make bracing this travesty fashionably. What can I say? I’m an EDS warrior these days.

PS- if you have NARROW feet, they make this one in a narrow too, lucky ladies!

SYTYCD Next Generation

Kids Dancing Gives Me ALL THE FEELS

This seasons SYTYCD is all about the kiddos and it is absolutely epic this year.  If you want a great show to watch with your kids that will inspire them (especially if you have a tiny dancer on your hands too!), you MUST watch the show this year, SYTYCD Next Generation

Not only are the kids amazing dancers, but they have some compelling stories. Not to mention how hard their parents worked (ahem!).

The only UN-happy about this happy is that when a kid gets cut, I start weeping.

EVERY. TIME.

I mean, you can’t cut kids. Seriously. It’s awful.

That said, my whole family is just loving this season. Since we don’t have cable (you should cut it, you guys!!) we watch this through Hulu! Use this link (if you like) to sign up. Yay! That is one subscription we get our money’s worth out of.

a-murder-in-time

Participating in My First Big Library Read

My book club site is growing every day and I tell you, these ladies know their stuff. It’s totally free so join us and participate!  They told me about the Big Library Read and I jumped on the bandwagon this week to participate.

The Big Library Read is an opportunity for those with a valid library card to read the same digital title at the same time without any wait lists or holds. Participating in this event allows your library to offer a new simultaneous use title for community-wide access from your library at no cost. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club! 

Big Library Read

It’s not too late to join in so check and see if your library is participating and take advantage of another fun (and free!) book club opportunity. So cool!

I’m not going to tell you a ton about it because I want you to discover this one yourself. The book is called,  A Murder in Time and it is about a gal from the FBI that ends up time traveling into the 1800’s and helps work on a case of a serial killer on the loose. Unfortunately, she can’t use any modern day anything to solve the case so you can imagine it’s a tough case to crack.

Oh, and did I mention she’s a woman who is a servant in a castle?

Yeah, you can imagine how receptive people are. (wink, wink!)

Now go snag this book and join in over the weekend!

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: iPad Summer Shields, Binge-worthy TV, & Pillow Love

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Wine on a Boat

I hope you had another wonderful week! You may recall my high school bestie sharing her experience doing a no spend challenge on the blog awhile back. It was such a treat to have her in town this week to celebrate the upcoming arrival of her new baby with her family.  She’s doing so well and I continue to see the transformative power of simple living in her life.  I felt really lucky to get to be with her this week and we even managed to squeeze in a little hot yoga class together. If you are local, treat yourself to Hot Yoga with Frances Shavers over at this studio. The instructor is a gift and her musicality is such a treat during my vinyasa flow. I have become quite the little yoga addict.

Here are a few other  things that have been making me happy over here.

Tech Armor Anti Glare Protectors

I Can Read My iPad in the Sun

I love reading on my iPad with the Kindle app, but it can be difficult to read in the sun with this gadget. These Tech Armor anti glare protectors cost less than $10 for two and have made reading so much more enjoyable for me this summer. They are also super handy if you are watching a show in the sun because it takes that glare off your screen. Now that I have these, I am reading even more on my iPad this summer.  If you are looking for something to remove the glare, this is an affordable and easy option that I found on Amazon for better reading by the pool!

UnREAL

Another Binge-Worthy Show

I don’t watch a lot of television so it has been something really incredible to suck me in and pull me away from my book stack. If you haven’t seen UnREAL, you must watch it! The premise is a behind-the-scenes look at a reality show called Everlasting (AKA The Bachelor) and it is about the producers and the real show that is happening behind the scenes. It is is gritty, raw, and probably more real than the reality television that America keeps serving up for us.

I kept hearing about this one and one evening I decided to take the plunge and watch the first episode.

Then the second episode.

Then the third.

In fact, talking about it makes me want to get back to watching it again.

It’s on Lifetime (I know, I know- but trust me!) so I have been streaming it through Hulu (can also stream on Amazon if you don’t have Hulu!). Have you watched it yet? SO GOOD!

Room Essentials Body Pillow

A Gift to My Joints

I started getting massages for all of my joint issues and the massage therapist offered some suggestions for better sleeping including hugging a pillow between my arms and legs. I thought a body pillow might be the way to go instead of wrestling with little pillows and found this inexpensive body pillow at Target (less than $10!). The best part is that they have all these gorgeous covers that can coordinate with your bedding and I found this furry one in gray (again, less than $10!!) and it is an incredible joy to curl up with it! I’m having way better sleep curled up with this and it’s relieved a lot of pain in my achy joints.

Shrimp Boil

Reading: The Two-Family House is this month’s book club selection and I enjoyed this one so very much this week. If you are looking for a good book escape, this one is perfection. Read it and join in our book club discussion next Thursday!

Eating: Another batch of make-ahead breakfast burritos thanks to this week’s breakfast buffet post. I love these for nights I don’t feel like cooking too (which is almost every night in the summer)! Thankful for easy shrimp boils this summer when entertaining!

Laughing:  Just get online and start screaming! LOL! (PS- Totally safe for kids!)

Making: Having a blast with fabric this week thanks to a new gig this year with Waverly Fabric as a part of their Waverly Inspirations Network. I’m thankful they still want me even though I am a legitimate sewing school drop-out. Here is a sneak peek of my wreath I made from their fabrics and today’s task is to craft a pretty garland to match it. It feels good to be making things with my hands again.

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: Mojitos, Disney, & Another Reason Not to Wash My Hair

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

pool-days

Today is the last day of school for my kiddos and our last day having children in elementary school. I can’t believe how the time is flying so I am looking forward to really slowing down this summer.

What did we sign up for them to do to keep them preoccupied all summer?

Nothing.

I am one of those moms that force them to be bored and entertain themselves all summer long.

My days will be spent in a lounge chair at the community pool with a stack of books and I can’t wait to make that a part of our daily summer routine! My health is forcing me to embrace a slowed down routine and to let some things go until I feel better. It was fortunate that I usually have that summer mindset, but now it has become more necessary than usual. I’m thankful I have the freedom to do that with this job. I know it is an enormous blessing.

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

hello toothpaste

Mojito Freshness

This past year we made the switch to natural toothpaste and have been using Tom’s as our brand of choice. I liked it, but I felt like it lacked that tingling feeling that makes your mouth feel fresh, like you would experience with brands like Crest and Colgate. Hello sent me a big bag of adult and kid toothpastes for our family to try and I will admit that I was a little skeptical. I am a traditionalist when it comes to toothpaste flavors, but I decided to try their Mojito Mint and now I can’t imagine using anything else. It is the tingly freshness that I have been missing in my toothpaste and it is all natural. They have a ton of different flavorings to choose from.

My daughter also tried some of their different toothpastes and was nuts about the Bubblegum kid’s toothpaste they offered. She said it tasted like Extra gum and has been wanting to brush her teeth. If you have a tween, you know the struggle is real when it comes to daily hygiene.

It is a natural toothpaste line that is free of sweeteners, dyes, and preservatives. As a creative, I also really love the packaging on these.  You can find this line of toothpaste now at Walmart stores. I highly recommend checking them out!

American Experience: Walt Disney

American Experience: Walt Disney

I didn’t know a lot about Walt Disney, but now I feel like an expert after indulging in the American Experience: Walt Disney that had premiered on PBS and is now available for streaming on Prime. This two-part documentary explored the life of Disney from his childhood until his final days. It shares his successes and failures in a very real way with testimonials from colleagues and family. Historians round out the commentary with their takes on his film career.

This was so fascinating that both of my husband couldn’t wait to settle in for the second part after watching the first.  It was inspiring to hear the things he accomplished, but also really showcased the missteps in business that got us really talking together about what we could learn from it in our own work. I’m not a Disney nut like some of my friends, but I can still appreciate the legacy that he built and that our family has enjoyed on our vacations there.

I highly recommend this one if you haven’t seen it yet!

Dove Dry Shampoo

My New Favorite Dry Shampoo

Dove happened to be a sponsor at Mom 2.0 and they are always generous with the offerings in our hotel rooms to give us a chance to try their products. As a girl with sensitive skin, I have always appreciated their skincare line, but hadn’t really tried their shampoos and conditioners before. As someone who hates to wash her hair (and I have the art in my bathroom to prove it) I was excited to try out their dry shampoo.

This dry shampoo is the closest I have gotten to feeling like I have truly clean hair without the washing. It smells amazing and leaves zero residue on my dark brown locks. I could be a sweaty mess at the gym and use this stuff and my hair smells like I just washed it. It’s also at a very affordable price point so as soon as I got home from my trip, I stocked up for the summer! If you are on the hunt for a good dry shampoo, I REALLY love this stuff!

Shed Makeover

Reading: Girls on Fire has been on my summer bucket reading list so I started with this one this week. Raunchy, dark, twisted. I don’t think this one would be for everyone (all the mature content warnings for this one!!), BUT I am really sucked into this twisted friendship and the mysterious suicide of a fellow classmate. This one is set in the ’90’s so I am appreciating the nostalgia of reliving a little of my youth.

Enjoying: An evening this week with my book club out in the She Shed. We read this book and you can catch my interview with the author on Sunday- yay!!

Addicted: To Blood Orange Candles from Grove. I just placed another order for a couple more because they make me so happy and my house smell so good!

Laughing: At your responses on this- so funny!

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: 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

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