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

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?

It’s the 3 Little Things: Curling Wands, Harry Potter Illustrated, & The Martian

Friday, October 9th, 2015

flower-girl-7

I hope you guys are having a lovely week!  It was such a fantastic week for our family and we enjoyed a happy occasion this past weekend celebrating our Granny getting married.

Emily got to be a flower girl so I scored this cute little flower girl dress from thredUP for the occasion (I hate spending a fortune on one occasion dresses!) and we got all dolled up for the event. I still stuck to my capsule and am thankful I added a little black dress to my wardrobe for occasions like these. This was Emily’s flower girl debut and she rocked it and walked her Granny down the aisle like a true professional flower girl!

wedding-day-17

I am no wedding photographer, but my grandma asked me to take some pictures of their big day. I don’t know how wedding photographers handle the pressure of capturing those big moments and I’m thankful my grandma wasn’t expecting anything too professional because THE PRESSURE!!   This is one of my favorite pictures that I snapped of them though! Isn’t it precious?  I combined a million coupon codes and got some photo albums printed from Shutterfly and made sure to blow this one up in an 8×10.  I can’t wait to give them their pictures.

This image, in particular,  just makes me really happy!

I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend with my family and just scored another big stack of books from the library to dig into!  Let me know if you’ve read any of these- I always love your opinions on books.

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

Conair Curling Wand

I Finally Mastered My Curling Wand

Years and years ago I purchased this Conair Infiniti Curling Wand (just a little over $20!!), tried to use it, promptly failed,  and put it back in the box to never be used again. It may have been the length of my hair, but I really think it was the fact that I couldn’t figure out how in the heck to use it. Curling wands require a bit of a learning curve. If you saw me, you would have died laughing- it was awful.

My sweet friend, Abby from Twist Me Pretty, had this incredible tutorial on how to use a curling wand and I started using that and finally got the hang of it. Her curls are much looser thanks to the larger barrel on the iron, but I am happy with what can acheive with my $22 curling wand that had been gathering dust in storage. Since my hair is coarse and thick, it takes a long time for me to curl it all, but once I have it curled it actually holds until I wash it a few days later!

Conair Curling Wand

Here is a close up of what my hair looks like with using it and that picture from my grandma’s wedding (above)  also gives you an idea of what the waves look like. I always wondered how people achieved (and held) their waves like this and now I know the secret. If you have wanted to experiment with a curling wand, I can’t recommend that tutorial and this inexpensive wand enough!

Harry Potter Illustrated

The New Harry Potter Illustrated

We got to take part in an Instagram campaign to share about the new Harry Potter Illustrated which was so exciting.  Today this is not sponsored in any way, our family is just madly in love with this new book.  For those that haven’t heard about it yet, Jim Kay is going to be illustrating the entire Harry Potter series in this colorful book and this is the first book in the series. This first one had over a hundred illustrations, but each illustration is like a million illustrations because of his incredible detail. Watch this piece on BBC to get a peek at his technique and artistry- it is jaw-droppingly beautiful! What is more impressive is that he is putting his own interpretation on each of these characters which I would think is one of the biggest challenges since the movie versions are so beloved.

My daughter asked to take this book to school yesterday which upset my son who also wanted to take it into his art class to show them. When we picked up my holds at the library, guess what was sitting there…yup, this Harry Potter Book. My son checked it out so they would each have their own copies and they both have been rereading it with these illustrations nonstop.

We were almost late for our bus this morning for this very reason. I’m not kidding.

If you have a Harry Potter fan, I would definitely add this to your Christmas or birthday wish lists. It’s simply stunning!

The Martian

The Martian (With My Dad)

I have been impatiently waiting for The Martian to come out ever since I read the book. You may recall that Andy Weir joined me in our Sundays With Writers series to talk about his book and the upcoming film. I had my husband help me craft the questions because the science behind so much of this story was so astounding that only a genius mind could have ever come up with such an incredible survival story for an astronaut stuck on Mars in this book.

I encouraged my Dad to read the book and he absolutely loved it as much as I did. We planned to see the movie together when it came out and I got my movie date with my Dad yesterday which was AWESOME! The movie was just as incredible as the book which, in my opinion, rarely happens. We didn’t get to see it in 3D, although I have heard that the elements are really amazing if you can see it that way, but the visuals were still really incredible.

My Dad read the book more recently so he remarked a couple of times on a few things that were missing, but we both thought it was a really good interpretation and kept that humor that we loved.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I can’t recommend it enough. For those that have asked me if they can take their space-loving kids to it, there are several F-Bombs (although fewer than the book) so I guess it depends on how comfortable you feel with that. If that element wasn’t in there, it would have probably been a PG film! I hope that helps!

PS- Can you believe how affordable a movie before noon is in our town? Such a steal!!

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: Night Reading, IG Love, & Fall Capsule Planning

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Picture Day

Well, I can already tell you what made my daughter’s happy list this week. It was PICTURE DAY at school which is THE BEST DAY EVER because you get to dress fancy. It is that the one day out of our school year that we don’t have to wear uniforms which is an incredible day for a budding fashionista.

I slipped out while she was dolling up to grab my camera and snap her at our little vanity. I told my husband that I would love to do this every picture day as she grows up over the years.

He told me to shut my face because she can’t grow up.

Watching these kids grow up is so bittersweet.

I am hosting my book club today with a mimosa kick-off.  ‘Ain’t no shame!  We read this adorable book and I am excited to share an interview with the authors in our Sundays With Writers this week.

We have been eating our way through my food preparations this week and it has been another delicious week of eating.

I also have a fresh stack of books from the library (any opinion on these picks?)  and started this book which is absolutely captivating me.

I happened to take every new documentary they had on their library shelf and am looking forward, in particular, to watching this one! Have you seen it? I am captivated by fashion as we age. I really need to sit down and write about our favorite documentaries for you all!

In the meantime, here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week:

Mighty Bright Book Light

Mighty Bright Book Light

I have become a bit of an ebook addict, but I have found that it is harder to share ebook joy and make that pretty on my IG feed so I have went back to stacks of books, mostly to impress you. Don’t you love the mind of a blogger? Of course, the appeal to the ebook for me has been portability and I love night reading on my iPad because of the bright screen.

I had to bust out my trusty book light again and I’m falling back in love with reading on paper. My brother got me this Mighty Bright a few years ago for the holidays and it is the perfect reading light. If you don’t have one, I can’t recommend this one enough. Not only is it great to read with, but it has saved us in a few power outages when we couldn’t find our flashlights.

Do you see the book pictured? Hiccuping sobs may have occurred that night. As if the book light wasn’t annoying enough in bed, I am sure seeing your wife curled in the fetal position crying is another soothing way to drift off to sleep.

Book Light Funny

source

This perfectly illustrates the joy that my husband experiences now that I am back to my book light reading. Why this is so bothersome? I don’t really care because reading is more important than his sleep! Ha! Is anyone else’s husband like this?

Folded Pages Distillery

An IG Feed for Book-Lovers

This week, through Delicious Reads, I discovered the Folded Pages Distillery IG feed and I am telling you that you will want to just spend days looking at these beautiful book vignettes they put together around the books they are reading. It is such a treat for the eyes. Be sure to give them a follow and check out their blog for some incredible book reviews.

I am already dreaming of my next stack of library books thanks to these gorgeous images!

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Fall Capsule Planning is Underway

Now that Fall is finally in full swing, I have been working hard this week on putting together my next capsule (here is last year’s for inspiration).  I really need to sit down and write about my reflections now that I have been doing this for a year. Out of the 33 items, I have only purchased 6 new and the rest of my wardrobe is secondhand thanks to the affordable offerings on thredUP.

This documentary really inspired my shift to strive to purchase second hand (and investing wisely) and I cannot recommend it enough. You can watch it through your Netflix membership. It has forever changed my thoughts on purchasing and on donating. I am still thinking about it weeks after watching it.

I did treat myself to one item from eShakti. As a petite girl, it is impossible to find a midi skirt that hits at the right length. The company was offering free customization so I got to plug in all my dimensions and the skirt will be made to fit me perfectly.  Here is $40 off a $70 order coupon if you are a petite girl who has midi skirt woes. I ordered this denim skirt and I can’t wait to add it to my wardrobe year-round.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you found something on here that might bring you happiness too! 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: No Cooking All Week, a New Netflix Addiction, & Hotel Deliveries

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Madewell Dress

I hope you all had a wonderful week this week! It has been so good to be home since getting back from our vacation and I have been staying up way too late reading this adorable book- have you read it?  I also had the pleasure of speaking at the Staff Day at our local library yesterday about my experience growing my blog audience which was so lovely! I have been working on the next capsule wardrobe for Fall and thought I would show you a sneak peek at this incredible Madewell dress I found on thredUP (for only $25.92!) that I wore to speak in yesterday.  It’s going to be such a workhorse and I love that it has the mandatory pockets that are required for a good dress.

Not to brag, but I got this in the mail which is really surreal to see all your hard work packaged up with your name on it. I’m super excited about seeing my knitted boot cuffs kit hitting JoAnn’s nationwide in November from Hazel & Ruby.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week!

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead

I Haven’t Cooked Since Sunday

Last Sunday I decided to try work on making some food ahead (I documented what I made over here) and see how this would work with our family. I am so happy to report that we didn’t eat out once this week (although I did sneak in a glass of wine with my girlfriends) thanks to my stocked fridge.  Other than steaming some vegetables and making my gluten-free noodles, it has been a simple process of reheating our food each night. We have eaten almost everything I have prepared and we have eaten really well. I actually feel a lot better because we have been eating so well so I am excited to try and tackle this ahead again this weekend.

I am really pleased about the decrease in food waste which is something that has bothered me a lot over the years. I hate wasting food and wasting my money and having things prepared help us actually eat them before they went bad.

For our family, this combo was a win this week.

This-Is-Life

Another Netflix Addiction to Binge On

While we had our evenings free on our vacation my husband and I caught several episodes of the This is Life series with Lisa Ling. I would call this an adult version of MTV’s True Life series as it tackles pockets of America that you may not be aware of or things happening in society that we are afraid to talk about. Most of the topics are pretty controversial, but it has led to some really great discussions after they are over about how we feel about certain things.

One of the most compelling was episode #5 called, “The Genius Experiment,” where she explores an exclusive sperm bank that offered specimens from highly intelligent donors in the 80’s and she visits a family who had three children from these donors and what they are like now. It was pretty incredible and gave me a lot of food for thought.  I’m looking forward to watching the rest of these episodes in this series soon!

prime-pantry

Hotel Room Deliveries

While we were in Florida, I was a little concerned about having enough snacks, water, and sunscreen for the week. Since we were only packing carry-on luggage, I had the genius idea to utilize our Amazon Prime membership for a Prime Pantry delivery to our hotel room. For a flat shipping rate of $5.99, I was able to get everything ordered and shipped to our room for a fraction of the price we would have paid at our hotel. Look at this price on water (CRAZY cheap!)  We had everything from boxed cereal to sunblock to Larabars shipped right to the hotel. The packages beat us there and we had everything in our room before we had even unloaded our suitcase.

Since this was my first Prime Pantry delivery, I was a little worried if everything might get crushed in route, but it was beautifully and minimally packaged- not a crushed box in sight! I highly recommend trying this if you are traveling to Disney or Universal to save a little cash!

*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: Blenders, Grinders, & Doorstep Deliveries

Friday, August 28th, 2015

3-little-things-1

I hope you guys had a wonderful week this week! We are looking forward to a quiet weekend finally. My daughter and I just started this television series and we can’t wait to curl up in our little shed and have a girl’s day together watching it. Did you know that there was a pilot movie that was over an hour and a half long? I don’t know if I ever saw this before so that was surprising to both of us! This picture clearly shows just how happy this is making me!

Here are a few other things that I am thankful for this week!

KRUPS blender

A Blender Built Like a Tank

Five years ago I stopped buying crappy blenders that stopped working annually and did a little research trying to find a blender that would work well for our family’s needs. After a ton of research,  settled on this KRUPS blender (to the tune of almost $300) and it is still making smoothies for me today. My morning smoothie routine is back on now that I am getting the kids on the bus and need some portable protein and this baby grinds up my oranges, ice, frozen berries, and spinach like a champ!  I loaded up my cart with this green smoothie recipe and am loving it all over again!

ePantry

Doorstep Deliveries

I have a mad love affair with doorstep deliveries and ePantry has been such a blessing for our family! With trying to get back on track with school, I had completely forgotten to pick up a few toiletry items and cleaning items we needed that week. It was a happy surprise to get a delivery on our step this week of our standard shipment of goodies that keep our house running smooth. They are offering a free Grove Candle and $10 to give their service a spin this month and I can’t recommend it enough. I love to keep a few of the Mrs. Meyers hand soaps and candles stockpiled for hostess gifts or last-minute birthday gifts!  If you haven’t tried them, I share my experience with it over here. Have you tried ePantry? I’d love to hear if you love it as much as I do!

I have been also stockpiling a few items from thredUP for my Fall capsule that I can share with you in a couple of weeks. Once again, this capsule will be almost 100% secondhand! I had been using Twice as my main source, but now I am discovering the joys of thredUP. They currently are offering customers $20 to spend on their first order!

thredUP

Don’t think about this place just for you though, you can use that $20 to put towards your kiddos too! My grandma is getting married and Emily has been crowned the flower girl for the festivities. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress she would wear just once and I found this beautiful number that would be perfect for the autumn occasion. I’m planning to buy our Christmas frocks through thredUP this year to save on the festivities. Between now and Christmas, there should be plenty of beautiful options to choose from. I also really love that we are helping the environment in the process by purchasing our items gently used. My thinking has been forever changed after seeing this documentary. Please watch it!

Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder

Freshly Ground Goodness

My coffeemaker died (RIP) a few months ago and then IT DIED AGAIN. I brought back the stupid coffeemaker and replaced it with the same stupid one hoping it was a fluke (and keeping my receipt this time- thank you, Target, for honoring the first purchase without proof). This new coffeemaker did not offer a grinder built in like my old one, but I kind of blame the grinder for my coffeemaker giving out because there was no good way to clean it and I think some of the grounds got trapped inside. That’s just a long story to tell you that I got this Hamilton Beach coffee grinder for less than $15 and it works like a dream.  I just fill it up to the correct measuring line, pulse it a bit, and then take the cup out and dump it in my coffee filter. The cord wraps and stores inside of it so it takes up very little room and I am loving having freshly ground coffee again for my mornings. There is a BIG difference in taste that is worth the moment of effort!  This is a pretty affordable way to have freshly ground coffee back in your life!

*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: Frittatas, Boot Cuffs, & a Big Dream

Friday, August 21st, 2015

It's The 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you are having a great week! It’s been a great first week back at school and it seems as the years go by that the transition goes a little better each year. I hope it is that way for you too! If you want to check out my cuties on their first day, I shared a little picture over here. This will be their last year at two different schools and then they will have one year together before my son heads off to HIGH SCHOOL. So wild!

Have you guys headed back yet? I hope your mornings have been going smooth and I’m looking forward to chatting about better mornings next month in our m challenge series!

Konmari Funny

I also am really happy about this. This will be happening! I hope you snagged that printable from last week! Although I should tackle categories, as recommended in the book, I can’t access my laundry room thanks to it being the family dumping ground so I have a date with that project today while binging on podcasts. After that though, GET READY FAMILY!

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

Easy Sausage & Vegetable Frittata

Frittatas for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

I have gotten into some terrible summer breakfast routines that involved two tiny pieces of gluten-free bread (AKA ELF BREAD) with a little peanut butter and have been starving before it is even lunchtime. This week I made two of these frittatas for my mornings and I am feeling so much better! Last year I finally invested in this food processor (after I burnt the motor out on my old one)  and it has been a DREAM for grating everything from sweet potatoes to making batches of homemade laundry detergent. Since it works so good, it’s made the process of making a frittata pretty darn painless!

It was also pretty lovely to share one of these on my best friend’s exciting day of sending her last one off to kindergarten. I only waited a decade for that so mimosas and fancy frittatas made a perfect at-home celebration.

Hazel & Ruby Crafternoon Knitted Boot Cuff

I Made a PRODUCT, You Guys!

I have had some serious knitting marathons this week as I put the finishing touches on my first craft kit that I will be selling at JoAnn Fabrics nationwide! Hazel & Ruby has launched the cutest Crafternoon collection and they will be launching a Christmas Crafternoon collection for the holidays.  They asked if I could help them design a knitted boot cuff kit to sell and I have learned so much through this process. From pattern-writing (my first time!) to creating prototypes to packaging… it’s just been a really interesting process for me. They said I could share a little sneak peek so here you go!  I will have more information as we get closer to time, but I’m really proud of how this turned out and what I have learned along the way about product development!

Book Proposal

A New To-Do

I find that saying my goals out loud really helps me with accountability, but it’s always scary putting it out in the world! After doing my first book, I really didn’t think I ever wanted to go through that entire process again, even though I am really proud that I did it. I have felt that way since doing it… until I came up with a really incredible idea for a book. I am so on fire for this idea and what it could mean to others that I am having a hard time keeping my mouth zipped about it. Of course, I am a great idea person and not so great at executing it (anyone else?) so I am putting it out in the world that I want to write another book. This process takes a lot of discipline so if I am a little quieter on social media, you know I am in the trenches trying to get something really incredible out in the world. It’s kind of like birthing a baby!

That’s my happy list for this week and I can’t wait to hear what made your lists!

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: Cardboard Safari, Bold Documentaries, & KonMari Dreams

Friday, August 14th, 2015

reflections

Good morning, friends! My son started cross country this week so it’s been a week of girl dates with my daughter while he’s been at practice. We have been hating it so much- just look at that face! I’d like to give a local shout-out to Chicory Cafe for their outdoor seating for coffee/cocoa dates, the South Bend Farmer’s Market for the most beautiful flowers, & Potawatomi Park for such an incredible playground to play on this week. We are definitely savoring this last week of summer in South Bend!

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week!

cardboard-safari

Cardboard Safari Love

I have been wanting a fake deer head to go in our front room and I  found these incredible Cardboard Safari animals that I thought would work perfectly. We got Bucky in a large size and I thought I would hang him over our entryway table. I underestimated his size so he was moved to hang above our couch instead, but I just love seeing him when I walk in. I have lots of fun dreams of how to decorate this guy for the seasons and I love what a quirky focal point this has become in our room.

My son and I also had the best time putting this guy together and had lots of laughs assembling him which brought me a ton of joy. If you are on the hunt for a little quirkiness for your home, browse their site for some fun additions to your decor and have fun putting these together with your kiddos.

Vivian-Maier

Bold Documentaries

Documentaries are a big passion of mine because it is a way that I can explore the world from the comforts of my own home. I try to indulge in one a week and to also share the love of these with my kids through our Docu-Pizza nights. I will try and do a round-up of great family-friendly ones for you soon!

This week I caught two REALLY incredible documentaries that you must watch! The first was called Finding Vivian Maier. Vivian is pictured above, and this documentary explores the life of a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photos that went unseen during her lifetime. The images are just astounding and this documentary is a series of interviews with all the people who knew Vivian and it was created by the guy who discovered her after purchasing a box of her negatives at an auction.  I wish this one was on Netflix for you, but it wasn’t! I actually snagged it at our local library and I can’t tell you how fascinating it was. If you want to see really incredible street photography, you must browse her collection.

Here is the trailer for that one!  It was absolutely captivating!

the-true-cost

The other documentary that I watched is called, The True Cost.  Friends, I can’t recommend this enough because it just shocked me in so many ways. There is a lot that I did not understand about the farming community, what it really means to donate our items, and the true cost of the fashion industry on our world. I can’t stop thinking about it and I really want you to watch it so we can talk about it.

Embracing the capsule wardrobe has made me think about embracing classics with longevity in my home so I think I was headed down this path already.  I know that I can continue doing better about making smarter purchases though and this documentary really showcases who pays for these inexpensive impulses and what happens when we cast them off.

Seeing this also renewed my commitment to try making most of my wardrobe purchases secondhand. I’m sad to see that Twice is no longer an option (are you disappointed too?), but if you haven’t given thredUP a spin, they are offering $20 to spend on your first purchase this month to try, which is incredible.  Watch that documentary and see if it doesn’t change how you feel about your clothing purchases and renew your commitment to secondhand shopping.  Watch the documentary on instant on Amazon ($2.99) or it is available on Netflix this month!

KonMari

KonMari Dreams

If you don’t listen to the The Lively Show, you are missing out on a wealth of information on intentional living (try out the podcast app I found last week to listen!). This episode was chock full of great information and Jess used The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to create a printable checklist you could use through your home to declutter. If you aren’t familiar with the book or methods, the one thing I really got out of it was to declutter your home not room by room, but by category. Instead of the closet, you do tops and then go through your entire house to clear out all the tops.

Of course, when I explained to my husband, I said, “Say bottoms will be the category. So I’m getting rid of all the bottoms. All the bottoms that we don’t need are going.”

Cue hysterical laughter and bottom clutching.

You have to sign up for her email list to get the printable (scroll down a bit to find it), but isn’t this just the kick in the BOTTOM you need to get started? I have big dreams of tackling this while the kids are at school!

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: Speedy Podcast Listening, Petite Fashion, & Epic Date Nights

Friday, August 7th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week. This is our last lazy week before we start our new activities schedule at school. It’s a flurry of paperwork and purchasing trying to get our kiddos ready for their first day back at school.

I’m also contemplating what I’m going to be doing while they are off including brewing some new business adventures for myself.  I don’t know if I mentioned it yet here, but I’m working on my first product with Hazel & Ruby that will be part of a new line-up of Crafternoon kits that you will be able to find in JoAnn Fabrics nationwide for the holiday season. These kits are crafts that you can put together in an afternoon and my kit will be for the Christmas Crafternoon series, just in time for the holiday season for gift-giving.  I can’t say much, but knitters YOU WILL LOVE IT! You can peek at a video of what Crafternoon is all about over here.

I’m also working on developing my contribution to the LIVE course on the topic of making room for creativity in a busy life and I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching about how I can encourage women to make space for that.  There is so much I have to say about that and honoring our creative time so be sure to sign up for the course and learn from some of my incredible idols in this business (and maybe a little from me too) over the year.

Oh, and this book is making me happy this week- it’s just got these laugh-out-loud funny parts and mimic so much of my feelings about the mom-juggle that I can’t seem to put it down! I scored a sneak peek copy on NetGalley. If you are on the hunt for books though, I hope you caught my month of reading last month.

And I’m counting down the days until this trip with my family because we have never been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and this was their selection for their Choose Your Own Adventure Christmas.  Have you gone? Any tips?

PHEW! In the meantime, here are three things that are making me happy this week!

Overcast

Speedy Podcast Listening

I work on my notebooks a couple of weeks ahead of schedule and this week I shared I wanted to get back to podcasts (although it was a time warp since I said that awhile ago). There are certain things I struggled with though. I would search for podcasts and then forget to go back and check for updates, I prefer things to move at a swift speed since I don’t have a lot of time to listen, and I like knowing when new shows have been added.

Overcast

I added the Overcast app to my phone ($4.99 for premium features) for podcast listening and I can’t rave about it enough. Not only does it have Smart Speed,  where it eliminates any long pauses without altering the speed of the show, but it also offers the chance to speed up the podcast (which I love), reducing an hour-long podcast down into a 45-minute session without it being weird or distorted.

The other feature I love is the Voice Boost feature, equalizing and creating optimal sound throughout the podcast, which can be tricky when listening to less polished podcasts.

I made a playlist with all my shows (I am really loving Elise Gets Crafty right now!) and it sends me notifications with the titles when a new episode comes out. Between that and audiobooks, I have been really enjoying making the most of the time I spend doing household chores and getting ready for my day.

Lula Lu

Lingerie That Fits

I am a petite girl and I struggle finding lingerie that fits. I was browsing around on Pinterest one night, searching for Petite Fashion, and an image popped up that the girl had subtitled, “Bahaha! This is the kind of lingerie I pin.” It was the Lula Lu company geared towards women who are petite (in stature and in cup size- they even have AAA bras). I immediately went to the site and purchased this bra (after reading the reviews) and it has been a game-changer. I don’t have to wear a camisole to camouflage the gap and I chose one that didn’t have a underwire for maximum comfort. I finally have bras that fit perfectly. It has been one of the best investments I have made.

It sounds silly to say that this changes how I feel about myself, but it really does. It’s been so wonderful and I feel better than I have had in many years! Check it out if you are struggling with the same issues!

 

Fiddler On the Roof

Epic Date Night

I met my husband 20 years ago in a high school production of Fiddler On The Roof. If you were wondering about our parts in this, I was Grandmother Tzeitel and he was Man With Fish #2. I saw that guy trying out for a role (intended to boost his resume for college), and I was head over heels in love. It seemed fitting to catch the South Bend Civic Theater’s production of the show to celebrate.

The night was beautiful, the cast amazing, and I sat holding this guy’s hand under the stars all these years later. The show is happening again this weekend so if you are local, I can’t recommend checking it out enough! If that isn’t enough, Fiddler’s Hearth was there serving up beverages and you can pack a picnic to enjoy together on the beautiful lawn of St. Patrick’s County Park.

It was a perfect date night and we were both a little more emotional than we expected, seeing it for the first time since that high school production.

Anyone else meet the love of their life in a theater production? That’s some sweet stuff.

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?

 

10 Questions

Friday, July 24th, 2015

In lieu of our typical 3 Little Things, I was tagged by Centsational Girl to answer ten questions today so I thought this might be a fun way to share a little with you today about some things I am loving right now! We used to do these quite often when I first started blogging so it’s a bit of a Throwback Thursday on a Friday today. Happy weekend, everyone! xo

deer-head

Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it.

I have been wanting to shape up our entryway table in our front room and I have these cardboard deer heads bookmarked for something I would like to hang above my little table. I also scored a 1964 1st Place Home Economics Trophy on Etsy this week as a place to tuck our keys and I am checking the mail every day in sweet anticipation for its arrival.

I’m enjoying personalizing this space right now and have so much fun making our space a little piece of us. I particularly love to add whimsy to our home and have been trying to add a touch of old from vintage pieces that have years of history in our house.  Unique spaces are my jam!

map-wallpaper

What’s your favorite color and where have you used it or seen it used in a beautiful way?

Oh, I love just hints of color on neutral surfaces. If I was going to model the color and style of a home in my own space, it would definitely be ANYTHING from The Inspired Room. In fact, I have more than once told Melissa that if she came to my house that it would be awfully awkward since I glean so much from her site. This map wall is something I have bookmarked for our entryway (as we have a narrow one that I never know what to do with) and I love the industrial schoolhouse lamps she has in her house. The pop of green is just perfection! I highly recommend touring her house and snagging her book for inspiration!

Burkina_Faso_2012_681[1]

If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.

As many wells as possible for Burkina Faso. Clean water for everyone!!

Books for needy kids and more time to read with them. I have witnessed the transformation of kids learning to read and falling in love with books. It’s so big and it makes my heart so happy. Can you imagine if every poverty-stricken school had shelves overflowing and grown-ups who loved to read that just had time to help them fall in love? MAGIC!

Food for the hungry- can you imagine having the funds to stock the shelves until they overflow for those in need?

And if it was possible, extra time so I could give more time to others and still manage my daily life and work. I’m ashamed how much time I waste that could be serving other people in our community. I want to do better.

And if all the needs of the world were addressed, I would finally renovate that kitchen. Of course, this post really inspired me that it’s okay to wait and put my money somewhere else right now. So that’s what we’ve been doing this year instead and I’m proud we can do that.

Share something that scares you, something that comforts you, or both.

I’m a high-anxiety person so the list can be a long one.  As a mom, my biggest worry is the safety and well-being of my children. I worry so much for them in this world.  The comforting fact though is that we have worked really hard to raise good people and teach them good stuff that I am comforted knowing that someday we will be putting two really incredible people out into the world (that hopefully won’t be highly anxious because of their crazy mother).

I’m also comforted to know genuine love. I am one of the lucky ones to have a spouse who loves me unconditionally for so many years of our life.

shrimp-boil-1

The perfect meal? Name it.

Any meal with people I love, great conversation, and delicious food is a perfect meal to me. My girlfriend’s family had us over one night for a shrimp boil and I thought, “It can’t get more perfect than this.” A spicy one-pot dish thrown on newspaper in the center of the picnic table and shared with great drinks and good friends. The best part? NO DISHES- just throw the paper away. I’m planning to post the recipe we used next week, but I think this is the perfect meal for a hostess who actually wants to hang out with her guests.

Shed-Makeover-Ideas-7

how-to-paint-laminate-furniture-5

How_To_Stain_Furniture-23

laura-ingalls

janet-hill

What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by.

Be you.  It can be easy to look at Pinterest and want to replicate someone else’s style or head to a home store and just buy everything without really thinking about what it will mean in your house. I want everything to have a story from the pieces of art we select from our travels to the handmade goodness that is our centerpiece.

Don’t let decorating hold you back from entertaining though. I still have a bucket list of projects that I want to do on my home to personalize it the way I want. I struggle with patience because I know I am capable of doing these things, but the money and time isn’t there.  Slow decorating is my new motto. I will bask in all the good stuff I am doing and be content knowing how far I have come. My friends will just have to witness the slow transformation!

chicago-mix-popcorn

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chicago Mix Popcorn, a generous pour of boxed wine, and a really good YA novel. I am working on this one right now and it’s so good!

milkshake

Tell a joke, the cornier the better, or share a meme or show that makes you laugh.

Does a t-shirt count? Although, the lack of apostrophe is slaying me right now.

Italy-Edits-20

Italy-Edits-22

Italy-Edits-23

Italy-Edits-31

Italy-Edits-33

Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to           !  Fill in the blank.

ITALY and you can bring your whole family this time. My husband and I have been watching House Hunters International, scoping properties in Italy, and dreaming of how we can save for another trip back there. This trip was a dream come true and I am so thankful I got to do it with my best friend! It also made me realize, this world is so big and so many adventures are out there for us. I can’t wait to see more of it.

What advice would you give your twenty something self?

This will be one of the hardest times in your life- you will get married while your friends are still doing keg stands, you will have a baby and think you are ready for this parenting thing (and you aren’t), you will have a hard time financially, you will have a hard time professionally because you don’t know yourself yet, and you will have debt that will make you cry. You will get through it. Those moments will shape you, your marriage, your new business, and your new financial path… you will be better because you went through this.  The important thing is to never forget those moments because those are the moments where you can connect with others facing those same hardships and truly be empathetic. You will have so much to give to others so take a nap now!

This morning I tag: Hollywood Housewife, Redefined Mom, Blushing Basics, & Dine & Dish to answer the same ten questions!

1. Share something you’ve pinned (or bookmarked) and why you love it.

2. What’s your favorite color and where have you used it or seen it used in a beautiful way?

3. If money was no object, what’s something you’d buy right now.

4. Share something that scares you, something that comforts you, or both.

5. The perfect meal? Name it.

6. What’s one decorating piece of advice you swear by.

7. What’s your guilty pleasure?

8. Tell a joke, the cornier the better, or share a meme or show that makes you laugh.

9. Congratulations, you just won an all expenses paid trip to           !  Fill in the blank.

10. What advice would you give your twenty something self?

 

It’s the 3 Little Things: Addictive Shows, A New Way to Consume Books, & Distraction-Free Days

Friday, July 10th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday to you all! After so many fun guest posts for the 3 Little Things, it’s so great to be back sharing with you today! On this weekend’s agenda? Host a sleepover for my son in honor of his THIRTEENTH birthday (hold me!). Luckily, the only request is video games and takeout pizza- I would say that is completely doable!

This is 13

I started this site when he was just one- barely, toddling around and filling up his mama’s days chasing him. I know many of you have witnessed him growing up online over the years. He is now bigger than me and I keep turning around and thinking, “Who is this man in my house?”

I feel blessed to call this sweet boy mine and I know God has BIG things planned for him. We hosted a family cookout to celebrate where we consumed this chocolate cake again, big buckets of fried chicken, and grilled corn on the cob. It was a sweet celebration! I still can’t believe I am OLD ENOUGH for this. So crazy! When they say that time with your kids goes by fast, it’s really true. I blinked and here we are.

Let’s get on to the happy list this week!

Orphan Black

Orphan Black

If you are looking to get sucked into  a series this summer, I can’t recommend Orphan Black enough. When browsing through what was available with our Amazon Prime membership we found this show on there. I suggested we watch it one night and it was one of those…How about one more? Well, maybe one more. Okay, seriously, last episode tonight….I mean it…Okay, just one more.

If you are late to the party like me, this series has everything in it it. It’s about a girl who is down on her luck financially. When a woman jumps in front of a train and commits suicide in front of her she happens to leave her purse behind.  The girl decides to go through it to grab some money, yet, the picture on her identification looks just like her so she decides to use her identity to break into her apartment. What she doesn’t know is that the lady was a cop…and that she isn’t the only one who looks like her.

What is amazing is that the same actress plays ALL the roles (I was counting them on IMDB and it’s about a dozen) and every single one feels like a completely different character. It is absolutely incredible how they shoot it and how amazing this actress is.

Get sucked into this one if you haven’t already! Luckily, Season 1 & 2 are on Prime so we should be set for about three days! (FREE-ish, With Amazon Prime)

Scribd Membership

Scribd

My Scribd membership had lapsed and I went to dig into another book and realized that I need to update my account information. I lasted about one day without it. I learned about it through working with them on a campaign, but now I am just an enthusiast for myself.  You can read my review of the services over here, but one new thing they now offer is unlimited audiobooks with your membership.

I have started utilizing my membership to listen to business books while I tackle the business of running this house (that sounds a lot better than cleaning toilets, doesn’t it?) and working on photography for our site.

I’m also challenging myself to dig into some books that might not be current, but should be on my radar. Next on my reading agenda is Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. It is coming out in a film this fall (check out this trailer below- I’m in love already!) so I want to read this one before it hits the big screen.

If you haven’t tried Scribd, I can’t recommend it enough. As you put together your book lists of things you love, your preferences on the page for recommendations really begin to shape and it’s a lot like Netflix where you learn and discover new things based on what you like. Even more awesome is this kid’s selection which has helped keep my little bookworms busy this summer. Series books that are never available for my daughter have the entire series listed on Scribd (hundreds of Nancy Drew books!!) and you can read as many books and listen to as many books as you want all month long for about the price of one Kindle book.  We are loving it! (8.99 per month)

Kill News Feed Extension

Distraction Free Facebook

I can’t give up Facebook since most of my work relies upon social media sharing, but I found myself trying to update my Facebook page and I would be down a downward spiral of emotion trying to update my page. I felt like I should like and comment on EVERYTHING which is absolutely impossible and I was losing valuable hours of my day, oftentimes on things that no one would have noticed if I said anything or not. I was also losing out on time with my kids and my work was falling behind.

Enter Kills News Feed extension (available on all the different browsers- I’m just linking to Chrome). This throws up this message (see above) on my Facebook feed now and I don’t see anything at all. I can work, update, share on my pages and see comments on my own stuff, but I’m not being bombarded by the newsfeed anymore. Now when I have moments at appointments, downtime at the pool, or time to kill while running errands…I can see the newsfeed on my phone and like things, but it isn’t interfering with my day.

This is a WAY better idea for someone like me and WAY better for our family too. My productivity skyrocketed (well, sort of…) and I do feel a lot better without the weight of the world running in my head all the time. (FREE!)

*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?