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

It’s the 3 Little Things: Heated Blankets, Literary Matchmaking, & Panini Pressing

Friday, March 4th, 2016


Well, hello there! I hope you guys are having a good week. It’s been so cold here this week, but rumor has it that I can look forward to warmer temperatures next month. I spent this week curled up on the couch watching Fuller House on Netflix.  Did you guys watch it? I was pretty disappointed that it didn’t hold true to the family values from before. We settled in with our kids and then I had to kick them out. I am not sure who the target audience was on this one since parts of it seem geared towards kids and then in other parts the ladies are doing tequila shots and grinding on men.

What the what?

So much for sharing TGI Fridays with them.

How rude!

Would love to hear what you think about that one. Maybe I am just being a prude?

Let’s dig into this week’s happy list! 

Sunbeam Sherpa Electric Throw

God’s Greatest Gifts to Blankets. Amen.

With all these weird joint issues I have going on, I am absolutely miserable in the mornings and I am also cold all the time. I treated myself to a Sunbeam Sherpa Electric Throw and it has been such a game-changer for me throughout the day. It has three settings and the Low setting is warm without getting hot and the sherpa interior and velvety exterior make it a treat to snuggle with. The sizing is perfect for two or one really cold woman who wraps herself like a burrito in it. I can’t recommend this enough as a winter weather must-have. I can already tell you that this will be going on my holiday gift guide for next year.

I am so thankful for this winter treat although it has hindered some of my productivity a bit. I mean, it’s that blissful to wrap yourself in and take a good nap.

This is God’s greatest gifts to blankets. Amen.


A Literary Matchmaker

My new favorite podcast is What Should I Read Next. Anne Bogel (AKA Modern Mrs. Darcy) has one guest on who shares why books are important to them, three books they love, a book they hated, and what they are currently reading. Anne then plays matchmaker and selects three books that she thinks they should dive into next based on their reading preferences. Each time I listen in,  I get another list of book ideas of books that I have overlooked and many that I haven’t even heard of. It’s been a real treat to listen to in the mornings while I get ready for the day!

I recommend Overcast for all your podcast listening needs! It’s lovely!




A Well-Loved Winter Kitchen Gadget

I have had my Cuisinart Griddler for many years and last week I dusted it back off and put it to work again in our kitchen. My kids absolutely love paninis so I have been roasting my big batch chicken and purchasing fun toppings like cheeses, pesto, tomatoes, and spinach so we can make panini sandwiches in the evening. After paying an arm and a leg at Panera for soups and paninis, I figured we could save quite a bit just making our favorite combinations at home.

The best part about this gadget is that you can close it if you like (for paninis or that George Foreman feel) or you can open it up and lay it completely flat for grilling or to be used as a griddle. When I had chicken pesto burgers on our menu and Mother Nature (bless her heart!) dumped a million pounds of snow down in a single day, it made heading out to the grill impossible. Thankfully, this gadget saved the day and we grilled indoors that evening!

I know you will love it as much as we do- it saves us a ton of money!

EDS Funny

I know people are curious about what is going on over here since I posted about my health. I am a fighter, by nature, so I didn’t want to lean into anything and just resume my normal days.  I was so excited to get strong and to show this stuff who was boss that I think I strained every muscle in my body and have spent the last week hobbling around my house after going a little nutso with my gym routines. I found out I am not, in fact, The Hulk.

I overdid it.

Lesson learned.

It lead to painful knees that had to be x-rayed, prescription strength painkillers, another round of steroids, and rocking three braces to keep everything stable again.

I am hoping to move forward, but with moderation next week. I tend to attack things a little too aggressively…

The funny thing is that people keep telling me how great I look so when I happened upon this picture, it really made me laugh. I’m trying to pull myself together for all these incredible people that are counting on me. The world doesn’t stop, but I’m learning to say no more since I feel like my plate is awfully full.

Thank you for thinking of us and know that I have a much better plan for next week and it won’t involve a Hulk gym routine!

This week I’m…

Reading: Columbine by David Cullen

Eating: Tomato Soup with Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Watching: Parks & Recreation on Netflix- how did I not ever get into this series when it was on television! It’s been a highlight of my month. I also finally got to see Room with my bestie. SO GOOD! I was on the edge of my seat (and I read the book!) Ha!

*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: 10-Day Manicure, Keeping Current, and Fashionable Sneakers

Friday, February 12th, 2016

It's the 3 Little Things

I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my blogging besties, Kelly from Redefined Mom. You will be hearing more about her and a new business adventure she is doing next week from me, but for now just know that she is one of my favorite people to drink wine with, to talk shop with, and to laugh with. Her blog is a fantastic resource for fashion and beauty! After you are done with this, head on over there and check it out. She’s amazing and I hope you enjoy her favorite things list this week!  

Hi, y’all.

(‘Cause that is what we say when we are minutes from the Missouri border. Real words become phrases with hyphens in them. Don’t be scared. It’s just how we act.)

When Amy asked me to guest post, I was thrilled. I’ve been an avid reader for years and I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. her “3 Things” posts. So much so, that I started a weekly “I LOVE THESE THINGS” post on my own blog, Redefined Mom.

It took me awhile to pick my MOST FAVORITE THREE THINGS EVER to share with you.

(Oh, I probably also forgot to mention that I love to write with ALL CAPS and periods ….. a lot. We like to embellish our words in Kansas City with a grammatical bling. It’s like rhinestones, only different.)

After much soul searching (because I needed to make sure it was an AMAZING group of things…gotta keep up with Amy, ya know?), here are my MOST FAVORITE THREE THINGS to share with you.

CND Power Polish

1. My Secret To A 10-Day Manicure

I was a gel manicure devotee. I loved having chip-free, super shiny nails. But my addiction was wrecking HAVOC on my nails. When I’d take the polish off, it looked my nails got attacked by a lawn mower.

A friend told me about CND Vinylux Top Coat, and while it kept nails chip-free for 10 days, I found that CND does a poor job of keeping nails SHINY for 10-days. And who likes dull polish? Um…NO ONE!!!

It was when I added the Sally Hansen Clearly Quick on top of the CND Top Coat that MAGIC happened.

First, Sally Hansen polish helps cut the drying time in half. Second, it creates a chip-free, super shiny existence for 10 days. And finally, for $4, the price can’t be beat.

Added bonus, I can use it with any regular fingernail polish.

Rock on, shiny nails. Rock on!!

the skimm

2. theSkimm

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I don’t watch the news or read online news sites. Partly because I get sick of the sensationalized media and partly because I’m lazy.

Since this year is an election year, I vowed that I would not be “one of those people”.

… ‘ya know, people who have opinions on EVERYTHING and usually post it all over Facebook, but no facts to back it up.

Enter theSkimm.

theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter. It’s a FREE daily email newsletter that arrives in your inbox around 6am (M-F) that’s your secret weapon for the day. It breaks down all you need to stay in the know and jump into conversation—it’s smart, witty, and quick.

Each morning I read the top headlines of the day’s “news” from my phone in the time it takes me to drink my first cup of coffee. Plus, if I want to do a deep dive into something, it provides me multiple links to “get educated”.

Rock on, smart mamas. Rock on!!!

VANS Tennis Shoes

3. VANS Tennis Shoes

On Redefined Mom, I do a few fashion posts. And as I was doing research for upcoming trends, I saw a number of women wearing adorable slip-on tennis shoes with their skinny and cropped jeans.

Fashion tennis shoes are a funny thing, too. It’s easy to “just get a cheap pair from Target” and throw them away after a season or two. The problem with going the cheap route is you usually end up with uncomfortable shoes. And uncomfortable shoes are no bueno.

So upgrade I did and I’m SO GLAD THAT I DID.

I’m in LOVE with my VANS Slip-On Tennis Shoes. They are so COMFORTABLE…so much so, I’m wondering why women ever went through the Sperry Boat Shoe rage.

Vans have such fun patterns and material (love the faux leather), too. Plus, you look a little “skater-punk-bad-ass” in the process.

Rock on, skater mama. Rock on!!

*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: Honey, Keeping Up With IG, Parental Sacrifice

Friday, February 5th, 2016

It's the 3 Little Things Happy Fri-yay! I am one happy girl because all my library holds were waiting for me this week. I’m in hibernation mode this winter so these came just in time for coffee sipping and cozy fires.  I also have a ton of advanced readers from authors that are launching books this month so I am trying to get a jump on reading those so I can secure them while the irons are hot for our Sundays With Writers series! It’s going to be another great month of reading.


Here’s what’s in my stack this month (follow me on IG to see my monthly library stacks!):

Between the World & Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Tiny Little Thing (that’s our book club book this month!) by Beatriz Williams

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The Longest Night by Andria Williams

I have been asked by a reader if I would share how I can consume so many dang books.  I’m looking forward to sharing more about that with you next week since I know we ALL have so many strategies for rapid book consumption! I hope I can bring some new ideas to the table for you and you can teach me a thing or two.


After a decade of excuses, I joined a Bible Study and we are working our way through For the Love,” by Jen Hatmaker on Friday mornings. I am not exaggerating when I say that it has been this long since I have been a part of a Bible study. My walk with God was a rocky one for awhile and I’m wandering my way back, stumbling over my own feet along the way. I don’t talk a lot about religion on here, but I am sure you have guessed that I’m a Christian by my posts and my passion projects. It’s more to make all people feel welcome here- I’m a neutral ground kind of girl and love people of all walks.

I grew up in a very disciplined church and home where diving into the Bible was a regular occurrence and God was always at the center of it all for my family. Perhaps that is why it feels like coming home to get my Bible back out again and be with women who can teach me so much.  I’m admittedly struggling to open myself fully to that experience, as I tend to guard my heart and privacy, but I’m working on it.

Here is the truth. I have often waited for the perfect time with God. As things would arise I would think, “Maybe next year. Maybe when my kids are older. Maybe after this project. Maybe once we are done renovating our house. Maybe another day…” As I get older I realize that there will never be the perfect time for anything in my life.  So I just took that first step back into the folds this month. I cleared some time in my schedule and just stopped waiting for that perfect timing. No more excuses.  I just want you to know that it’s okay to start right where you are too. And if you want to join me at Bible Study, I will save you a seat!

Here are three other things that are making me unbelievably happy! 

Honey Browser Extension

Honey Browser Extension

I love browser extensions that save our family money and I discovered Honey this month and it is rocking my world! All I did was add the extension to my browser and it saves me money (or at least tries to) on every purchase I make by coupon clipping its little heart out on all my purchases.  The best part is that you don’t have to remember to do anything. As soon as you hit the checkout page on the stores you shop, it starts a pop-up going through all the discount codes for the shops and applies them to your purchases without you doing a single thing! It’s the easiest way I have found to save money on online purchases and I look forward to all the savings I am going to reap around the holidays. You must get it and tell me what you think!


Master Of None (The Parents Episode)

I’m sure most of you know about Master of None, but we finally started it a couple of weeks ago and have really been enjoying the truly smart writing in this Netflix original series. The show is written like a play in a way that I feel you can watch it out of order if you wanted because each episode is like its own story. It’s funny, sometimes racy, and brilliantly written.

There is one episode that I am still thinking about so if you don’t want to dive into the series, I would just recommend watching the Parents Episode (Episode #2). In it, Dev & Brian thank their immigrant parents by inviting them to a joint dinner and the parents reflect back on their sacrifices.  You know how you don’t appreciate all that your parents have done for you? Well, this episode perfectly illustrates this struggle in such a way that I had tears rolling down my face with laughter. It makes you just want to call your parents and say thank you. I plan to watch it a couple more times, it’s that good!


Keeping Up With the Important Stuff on IG

As a blogger, I follow a lot of people on IG and it’s been a real struggle keeping up with my real-life friends and their happenings. Each day I would have to search (and remember!) all my friend’s IG names and individually find them to see if they had posted updates. I linked to this article and this one little IG hack has saved me so much time. Visit the user profile that you wish to stay up to date on (like, I don’t know, YOUR SISTER??!!), and open up one of their posts. Then, click the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner of the post, and choose “Turn on post notifications” from the menu that appears.

Basically, it sends a ding to my phone when people update and now I can stay on top of the feeds of those I love so very much without scrolling and searching for days. Since my friends/family don’t update a lot, it’s not very intrusive, and I finally looped back in with my people.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, 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: Magic, Pet Hair Free, & Card Game Hilarity

Friday, January 22nd, 2016


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!


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!


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


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!


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


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!


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.



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


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


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- 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!


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?