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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Magic, Pet Hair Free, & Card Game Hilarity

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

birthday

Well, hello there! I hope you guys are having another wonderful week! It has been a cold one in Indiana so the fireplace has been going, the cocoa has been flowing, and I have been curled up with a good stack of books this week.  I’m really looking forward to diving into this one this weekend. Her books are always such a special treat and I’m hoping I can snag the author for an interview for the Sundays With Writers series too- fingers crossed!

I also started Parks & Recreation over on Netflix. Is it okay to admit that I have never seen a single episode of this show? I have been laughing hysterically at this one and so happy I waited so I can binge on them all with my husband. It’s been our new favorite evening routine at our house!

weekly-chore-chart

I promised our newsletter subscribers we would continue to build on our home management binder and today you will be receiving a brand new weekly chore chart to add to your binders. If you haven’t used one before, here is a great tutorial on how to make this organizational tool work for you! Be sure to check your email for our newsletter!

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Here are 3 other little things that are bringing me joy this week! 

Just Add Magic

Just Add Magic

We just finished the first season of the Great British Baking Show over here, which was such a delightful little cooking show to watch with my daughter. We don’t use our Prime membership as much as we could so we have been trying to watch more shows through that since we pay for those member perks.

Just Add Magic is our next obsession together and it is an adorable show for tweens that is fun and family-friendly and something that is definitely worth indulging in with your Prime membership.  Kelly Quinn and her two best friends, Darbie and Hannah, stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover some far from ordinary recipes. Part mystery with just the right amount of spookiness, this show is a great one to watch with your daughter as you try to unravel where this cookbook came from and what potential dangers cooking from the book unlocks.

It reminds me of the evenings I spent with my own family on Friday nights watching TGI Fridays and getting a few life lessons in each episode. When Kelly’s mom has a spell cast on her that makes her only tell the truth, she admits that she feels like her daughter ditches her for her friends. That led to such a great talk with my girl about how special our time together is and even how moms feel left out of their lives sometimes. It’s just been such good stuff for conversation and for snuggling.

This first season is exclusively available on Amazon Prime and I hope you love it as much as we do!

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Pet hair can be a bit problematic around here especially when it comes to my couches and chairs. I decided to get this Bissell Pet Hair Eraser and it is THE BEST investment for tidying up your upholstery. It has a rubber nozzle head for gathering and suctioning the pet hair off your your surfaces and then another attachment that can be used on hard surfaces, like cleaning up a food or litter spill.

The first time I used it on my couch, I suctioned the equivalent of a small cat off my furniture. Who knew? If you are battling pet hair too, it’s a fantastic investment and only $24.99!

Exploding Kittens Card Game

Exploding Kittens

Have you heard of the Exploding Kittens card game? I happened to find this game when searching for something else on Amazon and it sounded like a game that my kids would love. What I didn’t realize was how much WE would love it and how often we would be playing it…even after those kids went to bed.

Exploding Kittens is a highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck.

The game gets more and more intense with each card you draw because fewer cards left in the deck means a greater chance of drawing the kitten and exploding in a fiery ball of feline hyperbole.

This game was created by Elan Lee (Xbox, ARGs), Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), and Shane Small (Xbox, Marvel).  It’s smartly designed, a bit of family-friendly potty humor, and a blast with kids (or with a couple glasses of wine when your children retire for the night!).  They also sell an adult version, if that’s your thing. I’m talking to you Cards Against Humanity crazies!
I can’t recommend this one enough and this can be played with up to five people and is intended for ages 7 and up. The best part? It should only take you about two minutes to catch on and costs a mere $20.
*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: Art Forgery, Defying My Age, & Locking it Down

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Italy-Edits-21

Hello, my friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week. I admit that I have been doing a lot of reminiscing about our trip to Italy this week as I peek through our photos. It is, perhaps, because I am celebrating my birthday this weekend and remembering what a lucky lady I am to have experienced that this year. I am looking forward to celebrating with my family & friends this weekend and also have planned a much needed (and deserved) pedicure on my agenda.

It’s going to be an embarrassing visit, I admit!

I’m also looking forward to consuming some books this weekend and I have two good ones in this week’s stack. I have never read short stories before, but this collection is just amazing. Each time I finish a story, I’m just wowed and sit in that moment for a minute. To think they were all written by one woman.  I also started this one on audiobook  and it is fantastic and such a great narrator. Thank you, hoopla!

Here are a few things I have been indulging in this week:

Beltracchi: The Art Forgery

Beltracchi: The Art Forgery

My husband and I LOVE watching documentaries about art and I have to say that Beltracchi: The Art Forgery is one of the most fascinating documentaries I have seen about a man who managed to dupe the art world for over 40 years. Wolfgang Beltracchi is an incredible artist that could have painted anything for himself, but instead decided to forge the art of famous artists for fun. The documentary starts just before he head to jail and tells how he, his wife, and two accomplices sold hundreds of these pieces as original works by famous artists including Max Ernst, Heinrich Campendonk, Fernand Léger and Kees van Dongen. In 2011, Beltracchi was sentenced to six years in prison and in this documentary he explains how they pulled it off and his reasoning for doing it.

You can stream this documentary through Netflix or it is available for streaming on Amazon!

I would not say they are apologetic about the work that they did so if things like that frustrate you, this one might not be for you. We found it be very compelling and gave this one a solid 4 out of 5 stars!

Clairol Age Defy

Clairol Age Defy Hair Color

I have been coloring my hair at home for years and years.  At first I started doing this because it of the cost and now that I could afford the splurge I do at home because of my time constraints and frequency I would need to visit the salon (HELOOOOO, GRAYS!). I bounce around trying new color brands and I found out that my favorite brand (Nice ‘N Easy) has started a new Age Defy line that claims to fight the seven signs of aging. I can’t speak to the marketing slant on this product, but I can tell you that I absolutely LOVE this hair color. It has a little more depth in it than the original product and my hair actually felt healthier than it did before I colored it.

There is one extra step with this one though. It has a pre-treatment that you apply before adding the color on. You put it on your hair, but no additional rinsing or anything like that. It’s still really easy to use.

I have been getting lots of compliments on my locks after I used this so I’m feeling good and I love that it costs less than $10. For those that have dark brown hair like me, I stuck with the Medium Brown color and it is perfect!

I don’t know if I look ten years younger, but I was really pleased with the results!

Circle Internet Monitoring Tool

Circle- One Month Later…

I have been getting a lot of texts and emails from friends asking how we are feeling now about Circle, the internet monitoring device we decided to use after things got admittedly BAD in our family. I can honestly say that it is working really well for us, but we did have one minor snafu that I would like to mention.

If you haven’t heard of it, Circle was created through a partnership with Disney and it is an internet monitoring device that you can purchase for a flat rate of $99 (no additional fees or monthly fees). You plug it in, it connects to your Wifi, and then you use an app to set up profiles for each family member so you can monitor each person in the home with their own settings, time limits, and bedtimes. You can also use the pause button on the app to pause a family member’s internet time or the whole family if you need family time.

When my son got behind on his science fair project this week, we made it “easy” for him to focus by pausing him until his project was done. As a punishment tool, it is easier than requesting his device or worrying if he was getting sneaky with us by sneaking it back. Super simple and a great way to take away privileges.

Our snafu was putting the devices to bed at a certain time and then going out on a date and them having no way to contact us which was kind of a scary evening when no one was responding to me. We now need to remember to extend the bedtime those evenings or make sure that we provide them another device (assigned to us) for them to be able to text us. Other than that though, this has honestly been super easy to implement and has been a wonderful addition to our home. It’s put us back in the control seat and I feel really good about that!

I would recommend this as an affordable and smart tool for any family with kids. Feel free to ask me questions on this one!

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

 

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: True Crime, Sir Mix A Lot, & Cozy Legs

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Christmas Eve

As much as I enjoyed my break, it has felt weird to not share here! Can I say that we had the best Christmas ever? Not only did we have fun with both sides of our family on Christmas Eve, but we had a really untraditional and fantastic Christmas Day, just us four. That day involved playing hours and hours of Just Dance 2016 and then gorging ourselves on a sushi dinner called THE OCEAN PLATTER intended for 4 people, but ate by just my husband and I while our kids slurped calamari. We certainly are a weird bunch.

We did ask if we could get our names on the wall or something for the ridiculous amount of food we ate, but apparently it was only a big event for us and must be quite common in our town. We still felt proud!

You Serious Clark T-Shirt

I also showed up to the Clark Christmas wearing this shirt (be sure to size up if you are buying it)  from this famous movie scene. It seemed like a great shirt for the Clark Christmas, don’t you think? It will be my new favorite holiday pajama shirt now because it makes me laugh.

I also consumed way too much good food, snuck in almost four books, binged repeatedly on Netflix, and got to try a load of new classes at my gym since we weren’t on a tight schedule. Overall, GREAT stuff and a lovely break from the hustle and bustle of our typical weeks.  I dove into this book this week and I am LOVING it. Have you read it yet?

Here are three other things I enjoyed this week!

Baby Got Book Tote

Baby Got Book Tote

I sure do love a good book bag for my library trips and got this Baby Got Book Tote after adding it to my Christmas wish list this year from my in-laws.  How funny is that? I certainly loaded it up a few times over break and I can attest that not only is it funny, but it has a big bottom…I’m not lying. I’m dead serious. It stands up on its own and is the perfect library book bag for a book hoarder like me! I highly recommend it for your favorite book lover! ($19.99)

Netflix Making a Murderer

A True Crime Addiction

When I was growing up, my parents regularly watched Unsolved Mysteries.  Since indulging in last season’s Serial, I have found a new love for discussing and learning about true crime cases.  People were chattering about the Netflix Making a Murderer documentary in our MomAdvice Hangout group over the holidays so I thought I would dive into that over my break.

There are no words for my frustration and sadness for both of these families that the case centers around. I don’t want to give too many details away, but Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of a crime that he spent many years in jail for and then goes after the police for wrongfully convicting him to receive a settlement. Two years later, he has to stand trial again and is accused of murder by the same people he sued. There is a lot of shadiness going on that you see over and over again as the series unfolds and it was super frustrating to witness. It led to a lot of dinner discussions between my husband and I about these two families.

It also sheds light on things that I felt like I read about so much in Bryan Stevenson’s, Just Mercy, and what happens when our judicial system fails those who are unable to help themselves.

The Jinx

Once I finished this series, my husband and I rented, The Jinxa six part miniseries that focused on Robert Durst and the his possible involvement in three murders. If you haven’t watched it, it’s absolutely fascinating from beginning to end and binge-worthy about the life and deaths of Robert Durst.  I now want to watch All Good Things (also available on Netflix) that was based upon Durst’s life too.

Not only is the whole case absolutely bizarre and unbelievable, but you find yourself sympathizing so much with Durst from things that happened in his childhood and his struggles with having such a well-known family. Just when you think you have it figured out, the last episode leaves you reeling with some crazy clues and confessions that will just blow your mind. We were able to snag this from the local library and I can’t recommend it enough for true crime fans. It was really well done and worthy of your time.

Free People Marled Legwarmers

Cozy Legs

I love to wear capri pants to the gym (I scored a few pairs that were gently used off of thredUP now that they sell activewear), but I hate to run errands in them in the colder months because my legs freeze to death. My sister-in-law got me these Free People Marled Legwarmers and they are so awesome for throwing on over my workout capris to keep my legs warm while I am out running around after class. The fabric is super soft, warm, and I like the neutral colors of them. I can’t recommend these enough for a way to stay cozy after working out in the winter!  ($24)

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: A Lifetime of Gift Wrap, Faux Leather Midi, & Glorious Holds

Friday, December 18th, 2015

A Charlie Brown Christmas Record

Yawn!  We made it through another week and I am giving myself a nice slow clap this morning as we crawl our way to the finish of another busy week. Today I am savoring my last day alone before the holiday break with the kids and finishing up the last of the details as we celebrate our first family Christmas tomorrow.

We had several gatherings with friends this week to celebrate the holiday season and each of them remind me how lucky I am to have my village of people and I am thankful for the new friends we have met along the way.

Bell Ringing

We have been trying to spread a lot of Christmas cheer in our neck of the woods. We volunteered with Clay Church to be bell ringers this year as a family and I plan to make this an annual tradition.  I think my heart grew just witnessing my kids and their genuine love for people and enthusiasm as each coin was dropped into that bucket during their shift.

Teacher Gifts

I usually share our gifts with you each year for all the helpers in our life! This year I did knitted cozies again and just added felt flower pins to this simple knit for each of our teachers and bus drivers (I left out that felt flower detail for our male bus driver & postal worker) on insulated coffee mugs. For our awesome bus drivers I did Fast Lane Tea (hahaha!) with mugs and then I wrapped up two Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in small boxes for them.

For the office staff at school I shared some of my slow cooker pumpkin spiced candles.

For our principal, I knitted a red pair of cabled ear warmers.

For the staff, I did a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts and attached our holiday card with some washi tape to leave in the lounge.

Our teachers received the same tea & knitted cozies set with a donation towards their iPad drive. It was fun to make deliveries this week!

Let’s move on to this week’s jam-packed happy list!

Leather Midi

Leather Midi

A Budget-Friendly Faux Leather Midi

I am still in a freeze with purchasing for my capsule wardrobe, but I needed to make a wardrobe investment for a holiday party we attended. A faux leather midi has been on my wish list for my wardrobe and I figured I could get away with making the purchase for the holiday festivities, but I didn’t want to spend a lot. I found this faux leather skirt and it is PERFECTION for a mere $22.90. If you look at the model, you will see that it hits a six foot woman at her knees. I am 5’1″ so it hits at the perfect midi length for me. Jealous, six foot woman? I bet you are!

This white mini dress was a little short for my age, but works perfectly as a tunic or under a flaring a-line layer like I have here. I love tunics for their multi-purpose wardrobe uses! The bib necklace was from last year at Flourish Boutique. My favorite nude comfy heels finish the look. Did I mention I tried a new top-bun twist too? Even a hair novice like me could figure that one out! Overall, I felt confident this year with my choices for the festivities and that faux leather midi is going to find itself in my winter capsule this year!

gift-wrap

The BEST Wrapping Paper Investment

“Brown paper packages tied up with string…”  I love the simplicity of brown paper packages and how you can customize them with ribbon, twine, washi tape, and stamps. The possibilities are endless. When I spied this ENORMOUS roll of kraft paper (800 feet to be exact!), I just knew this would be a smart gift wrap investment. It’s the perfect width, perfect weight, and costs a mere $21.76.  I now have gift wrap for every occasion as well as for future craft projects with my kiddos for approximately a decade.

Library Holds

Clark, Your Holds Are In

Library shopping carts can get out of hand quick! I had to laugh and snap a pic when my sister & I had a library date yesterday at the excessive amount of checking out someone did. I mean, geesh. Are you really going to read all of that, Clark?

I certainly am going to try! You can peek at my stack on IG.

The day my holds come in is always the happiest of days!

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Queens, Royals, & Your Favorites

Friday, December 4th, 2015

nutcracker

It has felt like a lifetime since my last favorite things list. So many good things have been happening over here! Let’s see, I hosted BOTH sides of my family and it was absolutely perfect. I even nailed the turkey this year even though I accidentally set my oven to the wrong temperature (oops!). I was thankful for all that delicious food I had prepped in my freezer for our holiday meal.

My daughter performed in The Nutcracker with the Conservatory of Dance over Thanksgiving weekend and our faces hurt from smiling at her sincerity and focus while dancing.

We also got these halls all decked and I shared my first tour ever of our home. I have already heard from two friends that they were ordering a Bucky for their home. We love that cardboard animals are trending!

holiday-project333-1

Brooks Brothers Fancy gently used from thredup!

I’m still rocking my fall wardrobe from my capsule and I haven’t even made any switches yet, although I did add a couple of ponchos to the mix. I am planning to stay in this capsule through the winter because I am liking it so much.

Save-Time-and-Money-with-a-Capsule-Wardrobe-Podcast

 

Speaking of the capsule, you can find me over on A Prioritized Life sharing about what I have learned from finishing out my first full year in Project 333. If you are thinking about exploring one, this might help you navigate it better than I did at first, as well as how this shift began to transform the rest of my life. I hope you can give it a listen! I love getting to share about my journey through this experience.

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

The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

I’m Working My Way Through the GoodReads Nominations

I am going to be combining the Must-Reads list for November & December since it is a struggle for me to get in as much reading time as I would like for the holidays. Rest assured, I will have it to you as well as my list of the best reads for the year (which is always a big challenge!).  I headed to the library and checked out a huge stack of the GoodReads Nominations after I put together the list for you guys!  I read this one (EXCELLENT!) and I read The Royal We. I have heard so many good things about this one and, once again, you guys were right!  It was a BIG book (a whopping 452 pages!), but I enjoyed it from start to finish.

I was expecting it to be a light love story of an American falling for a Prince, but there was some real meat in there. I can’t imagine how much research they did to really create the insider feel of what it would be like to be a part of the royal family. I found all of that really fascinating. The authors will be joining us on a Sundays With Writers this month so stay tuned for that!

It must have been a week for me and royalty because the second thing on my list is…

The White Queen

The White Queen

My girlfriend told me ages ago that this show was so great (it’s based on the Philippa Gregory books that I am sure many of you have read), but I told her I didn’t have HBO so I never looked into it. The other night I was flipping through the Amazon Prime Options and The White Queen was on there and I am completely sucked in.

It’s racy so I am always looking over my shoulder if one of my kids is trying to peek at my iPad and giving everyone the evil eye with my headphones on to stay away, but goodness it is SO GOOD. The costumes are incredible, the settings are unreal, and I am bawling my eyes out at scenes because the acting is so good.

Sadly, they only made one season of it, but that also makes it a series that I can start and finish (a rarity for me!). If you have Prime, it’s worth adding it to your Watchlist!!

harry-potter-illustrated (4 of 4)

I Love Seeing Your Favorite Things

I took a peek at my Amazon reports to see what you guys are loving and purchasing from our recommendations on the site this year. When I started this favorite things series, I wasn’t sure if you would love it as much as I would love sharing my favorite stuff. I thought I would tell you what your top ten favorite things have been!

1. Lion Brand Hometown USA Yarn- It seems our yarn pom pom wreath  &  pom pom garland has been a big hit in a lot of houses and you bought a ton of yarn to make these projects.  As we toured the house, I shared that I never put it away because the wreath is so special so I am happy you want to make one too!

2. Harry Potter Illustrated- Basically, my kids favorite book of the entire year!

3. Pom Pom Makers- I told you that wreath was a hit! If you love pom poms, you must have a maker. It’s a must-have tool for any crafter!

4. Rit Dye- If you are restoring your jeans, you need a little of this dye to make it happen and apparently that was happening in a lot of homes.

5. All the Light We Cannot See- What an honor it was to interview a Pulitzer Prize winning author. I count that among one of my biggest blessings that happened from our Sundays With Writers series.

6. Rice Cookers- Everyone loves to make quinoa in their rice cooker and I list it as must-have gadget for any busy cook.

7. Epilators & Laser Hair Removal Devices- I must not be alone in my hair woes!

8. Coobie Bras- So thrilled my yoga pant comfort in bras is such  hit!

9. Black Lights- People love glow-in-the-dark stuff and our glow-in-the-dark JELL-O must be hitting a lot of Halloween parties. We also sold a ton of glow-in-the dark accessories so it sounds like some of you had some epic parties that I wasn’t invited to. It’s cool…

10. Argan Oil- You must have the skin of babies.

I hope my weekly happy list continues to inspire you in your home!

Oh, and here is a little more Adele just in case that wasn’t enough happy for your weekend! Isn’t this beautiful?  xo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

It’s the 3 Little Things: Cozy Bras, Virgins, & a Taser

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Hazel-and-Ruby

Hey, did the title get your attention? It’s been so quiet around here that I thought I would lighten the mood and bring you in before the holidays. I miss your comments, friends! I have been considering starting a private Facebook group where we can chat. Would you be interested in something like that? Let me know in the comments today and I will try to execute that before our new year!

This week included a rather surreal moment of seeing a product I designed in a real store for the first time.  It’s been such an honor to be a part of the Hazel & Ruby team for the holidays and my Holiday Knitted Boot Cuffs Kit has been flying off the shelves. Don’t forget it’s available at Jo-Ann’s nationwide I hope you can snag one before they run out. This would make a lovely holiday gift for yourself or for a friend.

You can read a fantastic post from Kim (from Everything Etsy) on what she thought about it as well as read Crystal’s (from Money Saving Mom) experience with knitting in the round for the first time. I’m so proud to know these ladies and thankful for their support on this adventure!

This week I just started this book that you all have been raving about and I plan to listen to this one on audio while I tackle my Thanksgiving feast today. I want to give it a listen before I see the film which looks INCREDIBLE! Have you read either of these?

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

Coobie Bras

Coobie Bras- HELLO, MY NEW BEST FRIEND!

I was in Asheville this past week for a conference and popped into a boutique that was selling a bra called the Coobie Bra. I decided to buy two since they looked super comfortable and I am IN LOVE with these bras and their affordable price tag!  What makes these so special? Well, I can’t wait to tell you!

Coobie Bras

So here is what the bra looks like all on display which, to me, looks just like a tank top or a camisole when it is peeking out of other layers, but it doesn’t add a lot of bulk under bulkier clothing items. The reason I love them is that they have no wire, no hooks, no clasps, and are perfectly lightly padded. I mean, what more could a girl ask for?  It comes in the plain version (like I am showing here- these are the ones I purchased) or you can get ones with a lace detail if you prefer a lacy cami look. They are intended to fit women from a 32A to 36D, but they also make a full-size version for  just a few dollars extra if you need a little more support.

I am LIVING in these and intend to buy a few more as a treat to myself. It’s the next best thing to no bra all! Am I right, ladies? Ha!

jane-the-virgin

Jane the Virgin- Acting Perfection

Netflix secured the first season of Jane the Virgin and I thought I would give the show a watch since I had heard it was so highly rated. You guys, have you watched this? It is AWESOME! The story is about a girl named Jane who comes in for a routine Pap Smear and is accidentally inseminated by her doctor when she mixes up the patient’s procedures. Jane is a virgin, thus her name, and finds out that she is pregnant which is just what she has avoided her whole life. Newly engaged and ready to start her life with her boyfriend, she is faced with a pregnancy with a man who just so happens to be her handsome boss. Delightfully campy coupled with incredible acting, it is so dang good and I am loving every minute of it. The first season is available for streaming on Amazon if you don’t have a Netflix membership! You must watch it!

Infini'Silk Pro

Taser Tuesdays (Laser Hair Removal At Home)

My dream is to never shave my legs again, but the treatments are not cheap and I am also very bad about escaping work to make any appointments and there are many to get rid of body hair.  I did a ton of research on at-home laser hair treatment options and this Veet Infini’Silk Pro was rated the highest and seemed to have the best results from reviewers. I went ahead and bought it for myself and once a week, I spend about an hour doing this one evening a week. This night has been lovingly nicknamed Taser Tuesday by my husband. Isn’t he such a funny guy?

Is it painful? Well, I was using an epilator so this feels like sunshine & roses in comparison. Sensitive areas like the backs of thighs, the bikini line, and a little under the underarms can be a little painful, but not unbearable…just maybe a tad uncomfortable.

After three treatments, I am down to shaving about once a week so I do feel like it is working, but I am an ideal candidate for this. Fair girls with dark hair are exactly who they recommend to give this a try.

I will keep you guys posted on this one, but for now I am seeing results that make this girl very happy and fit into my price range. Have you ever tried laser treatments or the DIY kits for at-home? I would love to hear your experience.

No Soliciting Unless You Are Justin Timberlake

Final happy- this sign made me laugh in Asheville.  I thought you would get a kick out of it too! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Electric Kettles, Taco Tuesday, & Fresh Eyes

Friday, November 13th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

I hope you guys are having another wonderful week! I hopped on a plane yesterday to head to Asheville, NC for a Type-A Parent Super Summit. Do we have any readers from that area? If so, let me know what to catch in your town! I’m rooming with Kelly from Centsible Life  and looking forward to making lots of memories with my friends while hopefully learning how to manage this business better for you. After almost 12 years writing online, this old dog could use a few new tricks!

thredUP

Before I get started with the happy, I know that this is the season where we are selecting names from trees and giving gifts to those in need. The dollar limit on the names I gathered was $20 for each child. The items listed? A warm coat, shoes, pants, and shirts. How can I deny these kids good coats?  $20 wasn’t going to go very far so I actually checked thredUP for my kids this year and I got BEAUTIFUL coats and adorable tops for the amount that I was allowed to spend. If you prefer new items, you can click under Condition and select that option. I opted for barely used so I could get more for my money. If you use this link, it will give you $20 to spend on your first order- that’s about all you would need to help one kid. Consider grabbing an extra name and giving a gift to a child in need this year! I can’t wait to wrap up these beautiful Gymboree coats I scored!

Let’s get to this week’s happy!

Aroma Digital Electric Kettle

Aroma Electric Kettle

We are already almost through our first batch of diy hot cocoa mix  for the season. This electric kettle was gifted to me by Celestial Seasonings last year when I visited their headquarters. I honestly had never really considered an electric kettle before and had always been content with the good old-fashioned variety. This kettle is incredible though and makes the hottest water ever in about two seconds. I can see my kids running up to the door, put the kettle on, and have a cup in their hand in a matter of minutes. You can have the water keep warm so when one kid gets off their bus they have cocoa and an hour later, the other kid has a hot mug too.

really loved this on the world’s most miserable weather day (Halloween) and made myself a tall mug of cocoa after being the world’s best mom and visiting every house in the neighborhood.

Like I said, who knew an electric kettle was so awesome? It’s definitely bringing the happy in our house!

Spotify Dinner Music

Taco Tuesday (And Other Great Themes)

One monthly membership we splurge on is our Spotify membership. You don’t have to have pay for a membership to enjoy it, but you do have to endure the advertisements (which I didn’t love during our family meals). Regardless of the type of membership you have, I really love to listen to all of the different stations they have assembled for you for every mood you are in. We started taking advantage of all of their Dinner stations to go with our dinners and the kids absolutely love it. For Italian dining, we enjoyed our Italian station, for taco night the Taco Tuesday station was just perfect, and Sundays including A Soothing Supper (it’s good for the soul!).

As a kid, music was very important to my Dad and to me. I played the violin, sang in the choir, and did musical theater so music was such a big part of my life growing up. On occasion my Dad would find a composer or a music that would go along with the theme of the meal. I remember those as such special meals and I really want the kids to have that too.

As I prepared Taco Tuesday on Monday (hey, you can’t have everything!) my daughter came in from her dance classes with my husband and heard the music. In her leotard she started dancing around our kitchen while I made the tacos and it made my heart happy. Music is everything and I love how a little themed dinner music can make our family meals more special.

Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Eye Makeup Remover Pads That Really Work

I’m still sampling lots of offerings from ePantry for our feature here and I decided to give these Yes to Cucumbers Eye Makeup Remover Pads a spin. I absolutely hate removing eye makeup and my eyes flare up with everything. Waterproof makeup is a real struggle to get off and I usually end up with swollen and achy eyes. These didn’t look like they had a lot of product on them so I was doubtful that they would do a good job. After a night out with particularly gooped up eyes, I gave these a shot and they work like a DREAM! My eye makeup came off with minimal rubbing and my eyes didn’t feel awful after I took the makeup off. These worked even better than my old trick of using baby oil. You must try them- they are so good!  This link should give you $20 to spend if you want to give the ePantry thing a try, otherwise I am sure you can find them wherever you shop for your toiletries!

That’s all the happy for this week! If you want to follow me eating my way through Asheville in my stretchiest of pants, you can catch me on Instagram this weekend!

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

It’s the 3 Little Things: At-Home Facials, Halloween, & Soup Deliveries

Friday, November 6th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Gosh, so much has happened this week that it is impossible to put it in a list of three. Obviously, top on the list is having my Knitted Boot Cuff Kit out in the world. I have been working on that since the summer (if you can believe it?) and I am really proud to have something I designed in a craft store.

Hazel & Ruby Holiday Crafternoon Knitted Boot Cuff

I woke up this morning and it’s me- IN STORES. So I have a field trip planned now that it says there are three available in my town! They also happen to be on sale so be sure to snag one!!

Other little things that brought me joy this week was the unexpected warmer weather we had where I got to share an evening with my girlfriends around my picnic table in November (unheard of) by the twinkle of candlelight, I’m having our ’60’s home painted professionally for the first time (ceilings, windows, cupboards, walls…) so it feels like I am walking around in a new house, and I spent last night seeing The Avett Brothers put on a spectacular show!

This number, in particular, made me just weep. It is one of my favorite hymns.

See what I mean? Really good stuff!

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

 

Skin Authority 3-in-1 Cleansing Brush

Affordable Facials At Home

I had been debating on purchasing a Clarisonic Mia because I have heard so many good things about it and what it can do for your skin. The thing is, I am too cheap to shell out $150 to wash my face, no matter how good it is. Skin Authority reached out to me to see if I might like to try some of their products and I noticed that they had a 3-in-1 Skin Cleansing System that cost only $59!! I told them I would love to try it out so I could share a cheaper alternative to the Mia with you and I am LOVING it.

I have super sensitive skin and was a little worried that my skin would flare up with this, but it doesn’t at all and I feel like the products that I use on my face are absorbing so much better, giving me a healthier glow. I can’t believe the difference in the texture and fine lines in my face even after one week.

There is also a microdermabrasion brush that I plan to use once a week for exfoliating, once my skin adjusts to the brush, and it has a makeup applicator to help airbrush your foundation. I love that it can do all of this for a third of the price of the one I was considering.  Between that and my new argan oil addiction, my skin is looking awesome!

In lieu of a charging station, it uses batteries, which is great since our bathroom is so small so this fits my budget and my home!

Halloween Hermione Costume

Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and this year was no exception. This was the first year my husband and I took our daughter, just us two, out to trick-or-treat. My son has outgrown the tradition and prefers to hand out candy, but Emily could not wait to loop through the neighborhood in her wizard robe. We have been on fire for Harry Potter since our trip to Universal and the Harry Potter Illustrated Edition came out.

I know our days are numbered with trick-or-treating so I drank in all of the sweetness this year. It poured rain and the weather was miserable, but nothing a big mug of homemade cocoa and pumpkin pancakes couldn’t fix around our kitchen table. Her rosy cheeks and watching her run full force for candy through the ‘hood as my husband and I held hands was a memory I hope I get to treasure forever.

Where's Waldo & Carmen Sandiego Couple Costume

My hubby & I also hit a costume party this year so we had to come up with a couple’s costume for the occasion. You know we always take this task very seriously. He purchased a Where’s Waldo costume and busted out his messenger bag to complete the look. I happened to already have a red trench and got a floppy hat from Target (sadly, no red in stock!), and a yard of yellow fabric to tie in Carmen Sandiego’s signature yellow scarf. We were pretty proud for pulling this last minute costume together rather affordably this year. It was such a fun night!

Spoonful of Comfort

Comforting Soup Deliveries When You Are Low On Time

It seems to be a difficult season in life for so many people we know. Unfortunately, it is also a difficult season to make time to care for everyone that I want to help thanks to the holidays ramping up and my kid’s activities.  My friend Jessica, from The Mom Creative, told me about this great company called Spoonful of Comfort that is just great if you are wanting to go in on a group gift for someone in need. The concept is a half gallon of homemade soup, rolls, and cookies that arrive through a doorstep delivery to someone you want to help with a note to let them know you care. Whether is a mom on bed rest, a family member that is ill, a college student who could use a little homemade TLC, or a housewarming gift- I can’t think of a better concept for people to go in on a group gift than this. For $70 for their most popular package, it’s a great one to have everyone throw in $10-15 for a gift that will really help someone. I love the mission of the company and I love this sweet gesture that you can offer for a busy family!

PS- I have found loads of coupon codes so be sure to Google those before you place an order to take off shipping or a percentage on your order!

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Card Games for Teens, Nighttime Snacks, & iPhone Projection

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Jem & the Holograms

Well, hellloooo, LONG weekend! My kids are off of school for five whole days and sleeping in and not meeting a bus today really tops the happy list. We don’t have a ton planned, but my daughter & I are taking a road trip all the way to Valpo to see the Jem & The Holograms movie. I promised her the outing and I just want to NOT thank you Mishawaka/Niles for making us drive so far to see this. When a mom makes a promise though, she follows through. We are also squeezing in a pumpkin patch visit and I bribed my neighbors to let me set my tripod up on their beautiful property to take our family Christmas photo today. We are going to save a bundle and my family knows the quicker they cooperate, the quicker they can take this painful endeavor off our list of holiday to-do’s!

Here are some other joy givers this week!

Jif-Whips

Jif Whips on Rice Cakes #winning

I’ve been hitting the gym hard which means I deserve every moment of my nighttime binge. I make no apologies for the balanced life I lead! I wanted to switch up my Nutella + Sea Salt + Rice Cake game and found these Jif Whips in all sorts of different flavors at our store. This Whipped Peanut Butter & Chocolate is a heavenly topper for apples, strawberries, or rice cakes.  It reminds me of a Reese’s Cup, but lighter with a good balance of both flavors. It’s airy like a whipped cream so it is easy for dipping and spreading.  It’s also little lighter on the fat grams than Nutella, but just as satisfying. I’m looking forward to trying some more flavors to switch up my snack game.

 

Boss-Monster

Boss Monster- A Game Teen Boys Will LOVE!

If you are local, I just want to share how proud we are of our friend’s Dan & Lydia who have opened a new game store in Elkhart called Secret Door Games. It is a DREAM for parents because unlike ordering online, you can actually have someone who is passionate about games teach you how to play them and introduce you to new games that your whole family will love. If you are holiday shopping locally, this is a MUST-VISIT for fresh Christmas gift ideas.

Secret Door Games

It is through Secret Door Games that my son found his new favorite game Boss Monster. Do you see teen boys getting excited about anything that isn’t a video game? I mean ever? This kid LOVES this game and he loved it so much that my husband treated him to an expansion pack for it.  If you aren’t local and don’t have Dan to help explain it to you, Boss Monster is a standalone card game that challenges 2-4 players to become videogame-style villains and build deadly side-scrolling dungeons. Players compete to see who can lure and destroy the most adventurers. But beware! You must make your dungeon as deadly as it is attractive, or the puny heroes might kill you first! It’s pixel-illustrations are so awesome and this one is recommended for kids 13 and up.

Hearing my husband & Ethan play it together brings me immeasurable joy. I love the break from the screens and I love seeing them bonding over this game. They also got the Boss Monster Tools of Hero-Kind to build upon it.

Have a teenager gamer on your hands? Be sure to get this for them!

3M-Projector

iPhone Projection

Netflix has REALLY been rocking this month so if you haven’t dug into Netflix in a long time, may I suggest making a Netflix binge a part of your weekend? My new obsessions include The Great British Baking Show, Fixer Upper, Jane the Virgin, &, most importantly, The Time In Between (almost like a Spanish version of Downton Abbey!!).  Many moons ago I got a 3M Projector to review for the site and it has served us so well over the years. Not only have we used it for outdoor movie nights at home, but it is so compact that we travel with it and take on trips to our vacation homes to create a little at-home theater.  I have discovered that it pairs well with my favorite inexpensive speaker and it plugs right into your phone for Netflix or Amazon Instant Movies.

This is a pricier happy than usual, but it makes any blank home in your wall a theater. The other night we enjoyed a bottle of the ALDI’s wine-of-the-month paired with a flick when we discovered shifting a painting off our little mantle made for the perfect projection spot.

If that wasn’t enough… ADELE is BACK!!!! Check out her new video!

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

It’s the 3 Little Things: Wrinkles Be Gone, Inspiring Documentaries, & a Great Blowout

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Fall in Indiana

Our yard is filled with God’s beauty and I couldn’t enjoy the pretty hues more- it’s been quite the leaf show this season! I mixed up a batch of our favorite cocoa mix and I have spent a couple of cozy mornings by my little fireplace I painted last winter. I am loving the crisp weather and thankful I scored this blanket cape at TJ Maxx for these cool mornings (a steal at $20!). Picture me cozying up in that with this book that I am tackling for book club this weekend. It’s so out of my typical genre, but I am really loving it! Have you read it yet?

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

Purador Argan Oil

I Feel 5 Years Younger in a Single Week

As I near 40, I am seeing more fine lines on my face, despite my best efforts at moisturizing and caring for my skin. I have used Argan Oil on my hair occasionally (a freebie that came with my hair straightener, but I never knew the benefits of putting it on your skin). Friends, within one week the majority of these lines on my face are smooth and my skin feels unbelievable- it is almost like getting a mini facelift.

You want to rinse your face and pat it dry, leaving it slightly damp to apply the oil on.  I put two drops on my face in the morning, allow it to settle in (it’s a dry oil so not greasy!) and then use my favorite Aveeno BB Cream and my normal make-up routines.  In the evening, I wash my face with Cetaphil cleanser (or my St. Ives Apricot scrub if I need to exfoliate).  Again, keep your face slightly damp and then I put two drops on my skin and top it with a generous layer of  Ponds Cream and I am telling you, I feel like a whole new woman.

I can’t brag enough about how awesome this stuff is and I have heard it is particularly helpful for people suffering from acne, eczema, psoriasis,  or cracked/dry skin. It can reduce scarring as well. It’s basically a miracle in a bottle.

I plan to make this a part of my regular beauty routine forever and I am hopeful I will have the face of a newborn child after a year of using it. Not only that, but it has even reduced the circles under my eyes. MIRACLE STUFF, people.

Have you ever used argan oil? What do you use it for? I’d love to hear!

 

 

Batkid Begins

I Was Inspired By Documentaries

I can’t get enough of documentaries these days and try to watch a minimum of one a week. This week I squeezed in three (two over our weekend and one over my marathon cooking day!). If you are looking for inspiration this week, here are three that I recommend trying!

BatKid Begins- I followed the story of Batkid, a child granted a wish by the Make a Wish Foundation to become Batman for a day, but I never knew how they managed to pull it off. This movie is about the incredible volunteers who made a little boy’s wish come true and it was incredibly inspiring to see how excited the entire town was about granting this special kid’s wish. This is a feel-good movie that the whole family can watch together. I can’t recommend it enough!

Dior And I

Dior & I- You don’t really even have to love fashion to appreciate this incredible documentary about Raf Simmon’s first haute couture collection that he debuts as their new artistic director. You really get a feel for the level of detail of each of the pieces, there are incredible interviews with the seamstresses who execute the designs, and the overwhelm of it all is captured beautifully as Raf pulls it all together with his team. From a business standpoint, you will be in awe at how they work together, and if you are in a leadership role it’s a lot to aspire to in team-leading. This one was rated R so not for the kiddos!

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story

A Brave Heart: A Lizzie Velasquez Story- My girlfriend shared about a story she read in People about Lizzie and told me about this documentary. I couldn’t wait to watch it and now will be rewatching it with my kids this weekend. This is the story of a brave girl who was cyberbullied in a very heartbreaking way and what she did in response to that bullying that is inspiring congress to change their laws on bullying. It would be impossible to watch this and not be inspired, but it also is a great lesson for your entire family about choosing your words and how those words impact people (even when those words are just said online). Lizzie’s family support was probably one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. I highly recommend it for a Docu-Pizza night with your family.

Conair 3Q

I Was Forced to Get a New Hair Dryer (And I Love it)

I am terrible about spending money on myself, but when my hair blower went out, I was at the mercy of my husband’s purchasing decision to run out and snag me one from Target before we headed out for an evening. I buy the $20 blow dryers and replace them every couple of years so I was nervous sending him out for me. He came upstairs and handed me the bag and said, “Don’t melt your face off.” Um, okay. Well, now I know why. This Infiniti Pro by Conair blow dryer is incredible and, for the first time ever, I have completely dry hair in no time flat.  They claim it reduces drying time, is quiet, and reduces frizz. It really does all of that stuff. They also claim it will last longer than other blow dryers. Fingers crossed that is really true.  I’m not happy about how much he spent on this, but it has decreased my blow drying time by half. For that, I’m pretty darn happy!

fireplace

Happy weekend, friends! xoxo

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

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?