Amy’s Notebook 01.25.17

January 25th, 2017

Football Food Stadium from Foodie Crush

source: foodie crush

Now this is a game day spread- WOW!

I love a good foreign flick so I can’t wait to check out a few of these recommendations.

So many great lessons learned from a year without spending.

I cannot stop laughing at these obituaries. Don’t worry, I’m not awful (or am I?)! Read them!

I’m feeling inspired to paint a wooden bead garland for my mantle- this looks so fresh and modern!

This is your brain on poverty. So thought-provoking!

“It’s a scary thought, all the letting go that must happen. But it must happen consciously, and if we never get around to it, there will never be enough time….

I’m really pumped about this new small space collection. The pricing is better than their typical rates!

One Dress Five Ways

source: unfancy

Get inspired to minimize your wardrobe with this 10×10 challenge. It is making me excited about my next capsule wardrobe!

Do you struggle with digital clutter too? I love these ideas for minimizing that!

I always love a good binge-worthy series! Bookmarking this for our next binge session!

How to detox from social media without deleting your accounts- love these tips!

This article on high-functioning anxiety definitely strikes home. Do you struggle too?

Adding Greenery

 source: jones design company

I need to bookmark this list of the best indoor plants to add to your home. I need more greenery in the winter months!

I finished this book yesterday and absolutely loved it! Have you read it?

These gadgets look like they could really step up my phone photography.

These ideas are inspiring me to get our laundry area more organized.

So much style inspiration in this beautiful living room.

28 books to read in 2017- can’t wait to tackle a few on this list!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

One-Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese

January 23rd, 2017

One-Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese from MomAdvice.com

If there is one thing my children love and would eat daily it is macaroni and cheese. It has been a challenge to match that creamy macaroni and cheese we loved without paying an arm and a leg for a really good gluten-free version.

That is why I am SO EXCITED to share that we finally mastered an incredible one pot gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe after MUCH trial and error in my kitchen. If you are looking for easy, affordable, minimal dishes, and a recipe that yields a lot than I have an incredible recipe for you!

One-Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese from MomAdvice.com

As you can see, the pasta holds up to this recipe well, BUT this has been a lot of trial and error in my kitchen with many different pasta brands and types. It is VERY important that if you are attempting to make this dish that you choose the right pasta for the job.

No, this is not a sponsored post.

This is just a poor mom who has had many failed one-pot attempts before I was able to achieve the consistency that I was after.

THIS is the pasta- do not substitute. I have tried the elbows with the best results and the second best results are their rotini noodles.

One-Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese from MomAdvice.com

You will find a video tutorial below to walk you through each of these steps (let me know what you think- feedback is always appreciated!) and the first step is to rinse the starches from your pasta before you cook it. It sounds strange, but you are doing exactly what you would do if you made rice to rinse those starches away and to create a fluffier consistency. After that, you add your milk and spices, then start stirring and YOU NEVER STOP.

You know how Dory has to keep swimming? Yeah, you have to KEEP STIRRING while you make this because the pasta will release those starches and it will create the thickening agent needed to make that milk thick and creamy. I used skim milk and still had a plenty thick enough sauce for our macaroni and cheese.

The finishing touch is, of course, the cheese! If you feel inclined, freshly shredded is lovely. Let’s just say, I’m not inclined on a busy weeknight so packaged stuff it is.

I hope you love this recipe as much as my family and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Since I have made this, we have it in our weekly rotation for a satisfying bowl of comfort food.

Check Out My One-Pot Gluten-Free Video Tutorial Below!


One-Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This easy one-pot gluten-free macaroni needs to go on your weekly rotation for an easy comfort food dish that has all the flavor without the gluten. You won't believe how easy this is to do!
Ingredients
  • One Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni & Cheese
  • 3 cups gluten-free elbow macaroni (see my tips above for best brands and types)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1½ cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Pour uncooked dried pasta into colander and rinse the pasta well to remove some of the starches. Place the drained pasta in a pot with milk and seasonings. Turn heat on medium-high and stir, just as you would a risotto, until the pasta mixture comes to a simmer. Once it is simmering, turn the heat to low and continue stirring and cooking for another 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. You may need to add a small amount of additional milk during this process if it absorbs too quickly. Finish by folding in your freshly shredded cheese until it is fully incorporated. You can also add additional milk, if needed, to thin out the sauce. Serve immediately.

 

Amy’s Notebook 01.18.17

January 18th, 2017

Sheet Pan Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

source: gimme some oven

I want to make this easy sheet pan chicken and veggies stir fry for some healthy lunches to enjoy at my desk!

A black female Astrophysicist explains why Hidden Figures isn’t just about history. Thinking about taking your kids? Check out our review on the site!

This budget-friendly kitchen makeover is so inspiring! I had no idea they made Formica counters that beautiful!

I spent a little of my birthday money on this cute item for my capsule! I am already seeing it in a million combos for this year!

I really wouldn’t mind doing laundry if I had this adorable room to do it in! That wallpaper gets all the heart eyes!

60 things to toss out in the next 60 days- I LOVE this challenge (and need to to do it!)

I’m going to have to try this chunky beef, cabbage, and tomato soup recipe in my Instant Pot!

Living With Kids

source: design mom

Wow! Such a beautiful family story in the Living With Kids series and, I’m sure, an encouragement to many. And that bookshelf is making me awfully happy too!

Organized entryways minus the closet- I’m inspired!

No, this is not just the way it is. Beautifully said!

Bookmarking this list to dig into more great movies this year.

Here are some new ways to use your Evernote account. I love that tip for not cluttering up your inbox!

I always feel like I am getting ripped off so this piece on cell phone plans was a good read!

DIY Message Board

source: apartment therapy

I love this diy felt message board- I think this is going to be a weekend diy project over here!

I’m listening to this adorable memoir, for the MomAdvice Reading Challenge, and laughing out loud often. It reminds me a little of Sedaris!

I am wowed by this home exterior makeover!

6 podcasts to add to your listening schedule!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

 

Lies and Lying: What to Do When Your Child Lies

January 17th, 2017

Lies and Lying: What to Do When Your Child Lies from MomAdvice.com

Editor’s Note- I’m so honored to have Kristina, from Thriving Parents, join our writing team this year. MomAdvice should offer…well…mom advice! I’m no expert, but I am proud to offer to you Kristina’s incredible wisdom on parenting. Today she shares some tips on what to do when your child lies. Can I say I’ve been doing it all wrong? So thankful to read her words today on our site! 

“It’s this way to the bathroom.”  A little girl led the other kids to the bathroom so they could all wash their hands before a snack.  As the only adult left in the room, I could hear the water running and the kids being cooperative about taking turns.  

Crash!

All of a sudden the kids started scrambling.  I heard muttering and whispers.  Then I heard this conversation:  

“Let’s go get our moms.”

“NO! We can’t!  They’ll be mad.”

“They won’t be mad.  They’ll show us how to clean it up.”

“NO!  I’ll get in big trouble!”

“For spilling something?  Accidents happen.”

“I’ll get punished and then won’t get to play.  I’ll clean it up.”

This is a true story of what happened once when we went to a playdate.  The little girl had knocked over a bottle of baby powder.  In an effort to be responsible and clean it up, she wet a towel and started to rub it on the baby powder spilled on the floor.  If you’ve never seen baby powder get wet, be thankful.  The baby powder turned into a white, pasty mess all over the floor and bathroom counter.

This was an accident.  This little girl was so afraid of getting in trouble for an accident, she lied to her mom about what had happened.

Lying is pretty common among kids.  There are a lot of reasons that kids lie.  I listed over 10 reasons on this post, Why do kids lie?  The most common thread among all those reasons is kids are afraid of getting into trouble.

It’s our natural reaction to get angry when our child lies.  We feel disrespected.  We feel like our kids are trying to be sneaky.  We do not want to raise dishonest children.  

What you may not know is lying is a developmental skill. Children usually start lying around 3 years old.   One study says when a child lies at a young age, it shows they have a higher intelligence.  It’s attributed to the Theory of Mind, where a child is able to differentiate that people have different opinions, beliefs, and desires.

So what should you do when your child lies?

Acknowledge your child but don’t acknowledge their lie (at this time).

I know this sounds foreign and a lot of you must be thinking if you don’t acknowledge the lie, it’ll encourage them to lie again.  There’s nothing further from the truth.  Let me explain.

Adults lie because of stress.  We lie when we’ve forgotten to rsvp to a birthday party, when we want to pay less for our child’s ticket to the movie theater, or when we are running late.

Children lie out of survival.  For them, it’s not about the lie.  It’s about not disappointing us.  Everyone has a need to be loved and accepted – especially children.  They feel a need to convince us they’re telling the truth so they don’t feel like we’ll take away our love and acceptance.  Now you and I know we would never take those away.  Children’s brains are still developing.  While they may say they know they have our unconditional love, their brain goes into a state of fight, flight, or freeze.  They need to know they can trust us and we’ll love them regardless of when they make a bad decision.

When you consistently acknowledge the child but not their lie, you won’t be reinforcing the lie with negative attention.

What does this look like?

You walk into the kitchen to find your 5-year-old with a cookie in her mouth.

“Are you eating a cookie before dinner?”

“No.”

Here’s where you’d normally want to say, “Open your mouth and let me see” or something similar because you just KNOW there’s a cookie in her mouth.  Instead, try saying, “I know you must be hungry.  Dinner will be ready soon.”

Later, tell her, “I know you didn’t want to admit you had a cookie in your mouth earlier.  I think you may have been afraid you’d get in trouble.  Next time I need you to be honest with me so I know I can trust you.”  If she continues to protest (“No, Mommy, I didn’t!”), let her know the moment has passed.  “It’s over now.  I just need you to be honest with me next time.”

We don’t need to harp on mistakes.  Kids will think about things after we’re done talking about them.  Adults do the same thing.  Your child doesn’t need judgment because she knows what she did wrong.  She doesn’t need to admit it out loud to know she was wrong.  Believe me – she knows.  Instead, she needs to know she has your love and support.

Lies and Lying: What to Do When Your Child Lies from MomAdvice.com

Here are some other ways you can handle lying:

Change your reaction

 

Do you make it easy for our child to be honest?  Adults can have a hard time hearing and not reacting negatively to the truth.  If your reaction is too harsh or critical, a child is going to feel less safe coming to you when they need help and have messed up.  This will lead to more lies so they can avoid your judgment.

Understand the emotion

 

There’s typically an emotion behind the lie.  Are they feeling frustrated, left out, or scared?  Find the root of the problem and you can work on strategies for handling the problem in the future.

Offer alternative solutions

 

I once watched as one of our children elbowed her sister and pushed her off of a chair.  Before I could pause, I said, “Why did you just push your sister?”  

“I didn’t,” she replied.  I had seen her do it so I knew she was lying.  I didn’t choose to walk away and discuss it later because this was a safety issue.

Instead, I handled it this way: “I think you wanted your sister off of the chair.  If that happens again, what could you do?”

There was no response.  She was embarrassed and I could see she froze in place.  I continued talking to her.

“Next time, you could either ask her to move, ask a parent for help, or move to another seat yourself.  Which one do you think you can do next time?”

Again, there was no response.

“I’ll let you think about those choices and we can talk about which one you’ll do next time later.  Remember, the choices are: you could either ask her to move, ask a parent for help, or move to another seat yourself.”

Then I walked away.  She knew what she had done was wrong.  She didn’t need me to repeatedly point it out to her.

Later that night at bedtime, I asked her the question again.  “Next time you want your sister to move from a chair, what could you do?  Ask her to move, ask a parent for help, or move to another seat?”

“Ask you for help.”

“Great!  I’ll always help you when you need it.  It’s really important we keep everyone safe in our family and that’s why we don’t push people.”

I gave her 3 choices because her brain was stuck in fight, flight, or freeze mode and she wasn’t capable of thinking of them on her own.  She was embarrassed she was caught red-handed.  By giving her 3 choices, she had the freedom to pick which one worked for her, or she could have added her own choice.  

Have your child repair a mistake

 

If your child broke something, have them repair it.  If they said unkind words to someone, have them make a list of kind things about that person.  If they threw books all over the floor, have them pick them up.   

Don’t be judgmental, critical, or negative

 

It can be difficult to hide our disappointment in our kids.  They can usually see it on our face before we even realize we’re doing it.  Not being judgmental, critical, or negative is important because you want your child to be able to come to you and be honest with you in the future – especially in the teenage years.

It’s going to take some time for your child to stop lying.  The first time you don’t react to their lie, they’re going to be surprised.  They’re going to test you to see if there will be a reaction the next time.  Keep with it!  Eventually, they’ll begin to be honest because they know they can come to you without fear of punishment.

The best thing we can do is to teach our child that everyone makes mistakes.  It’s important to own up to those mistakes and try to do better the next time.  

During these formative years, we want our kids to make as many mistakes as possible.  This way we’re available to help guide them on how to pick up the pieces and repair their mistakes, if they need it.  When they’re old enough to go out into the world, they’ll be better equipped to handle mistakes and uncomfortable situations.

Here are some books to read with your child about lying:

Liar, Liar

Half-Truths & Brazen Lies

Telling the Truth: A Book About Lying

Ruthie and the Not So Teeny Tiny Lie

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth

Help Me Be Good About Lying

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey On His Back

Lying Up a Storm


–Kristina 

Kristina Grum is a Certified Parent Educator who has over a decade of experience working with children, including being a classroom teacher. She took the (very) long route to loving motherhood. These days she strives for ways to connect with her kids, while using shortcuts to manage and organize her home. She is a postpartum mood disorder survivor who thrives on helping others find the joy in parenthood that is just lurking around the corner. She currently teaches positive discipline parenting classes in her local area and she believes that every parent can shift from barely surviving to thriving in Parenthood. Visit her on Thriving Parents today! 

Lies and Lying: What to Do When Your Child Lies from MomAdvice.com

I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

January 16th, 2017

I have Hidden Figures in my book stack right now and I can’t wait to catch the film now with my daughter after reading this review from Mary today!

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

The first time I saw a preview for Hidden Figures, the movie based on true events in the lives of three African-American women working at NASA in the early sixties, I cried. And I don’t just mean a tear or two slipped down my face. No, I sobbed. LIKE A BABY.

The same thing happened the next five times I saw a preview, too. Clearly this was a story that moved me, and I couldn’t wait to see it. Even more, I couldn’t wait to take my nine-year-old daughter to see it.

I’ll admit, when I showed her the preview a couple months ago, she did not understand what the movie was about or why I wanted her to be excited. And, though, we talked about it a little before seeing the movie last weekend, she still went into it with a lot of questions.

Questions like, “What is NASA? Are they the best at making space ships?” and “Why are they calling her a computer when she’s a person?” and “What is that?” (It was a typewriter. A TYPEWRITER, you guys!)

But her biggest and most frequent question was simply, “Why are they being so mean?”

Over the past year we’ve had quite a few discussions about racism and civil rights, both in our country’s history and in current events. I’ve tried desperately to keep up with my daughter’s compassionate, curious nature as she asks questions that I don’t always know how to answer but know are crucial to helping her grow into a kind, educated person who makes a positive difference in her world. We’ve read some books and watched some videos, and I just knew this movie – thankfully rated PG – would allow us to take our conversations to a deeper level as we learned, together, about a previously unknown part of our nation’s story.

I’m so happy to say that I was right. (Let’s face it; I’m always happy to say I’m right – but even more than usual this time!) Hidden Figures was an outstanding movie.

I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

The writing and acting were fantastic, with realistic dialogue that included both humorous banter between friends and family and sharp, nuanced conversation between races and genders. (And the wardrobe was gorgeous. It’s possible that, in addition to her more serious observations, my daughter also noted how pretty their clothes were!) It was funny and heartwarming throughout, but also intense and heartbreaking.

Unsurprisingly, I also cried LIKE A BABY more than once.

I cried when the women were talked down to and disrespected purely for their gender and the color of their skin, when their lives were made unnecessarily difficult and yet they just kept on going. I cried when I leaned down to explain to my daughter the significance of a white woman calling a black woman by her first name while the black woman called the white woman Mrs. with her last name. I cried when the characters didn’t GET IT, and I cried when they did. I grinned so big when people simply treated others like humans, and I shook my head and said, “No freaking way!” when they treated others like less-than-humans.

But you know what? I didn’t cry one time in the car was we drove home after the movie – or as I answered question after question after question at bedtime that night. I didn’t cry when my girl asked, again, “But why did they have to be so mean? Why would they do that?” Because those conversations are exactly what I hoped for when I decided to take her to this film. Even though we don’t have answers for all of those questions, the fact that she’s asking them and we’re discussing them is a big deal.

The most important takeaway for my daughter (and for me) was absolutely an eye-opening education about these women, about the racism and sexism they faced, and an appreciation for the way they fought against those challenges. We also talked about our own racist tendencies, prejudice that we hate and want to deny but must acknowledge exists.

And aside from the global implications of this movie and its themes, I’m also hopeful that my daughter learned – from a source other than her parents – that she can do hard things. I hope she can apply what she saw to her own life and acknowledge that life is hard, but just like the women working at NASA fifty years ago, she can do hard things.

I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

On our ride home following the movie, I asked my daughter a few questions so I could share her perspective with you. Here they are, along with her answers:

Me: I’m going to ask you some questions about the movie, so I can write a blog post about it.

Her: Cool! I’m being interviewed! Wait, do you have a secret camera recording this?

Me: No. … Moving on … What did you think about the movie?

Her: It was good! I liked it a LOT. (*sings* I don’t like it. I love it!)

Me: What was your favorite part?

I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

Her: They were so smart! And they fought for the right to be equal. And that one guy was really nice when she told him how far away her (colored women’s) bathroom was. I liked it when they said funny things, too. Oh, and John Glenn.

Me: Why did you like John Glenn?

Her: Well, he was really cute, but I guess that’s not the point. (KILL ME NOW, FELLOW MOMS. Although, she wasn’t wrong.) I mean, maybe it’s part of the point…

Me: Was there anything you didn’t like about the movie?

Her: I didn’t like how mean they were! And it was kind of scary. I mean, the going to space part. (Like mother, like daughter.) And the kissing parts.

Me: Are you glad we went to see it?

Her: Yes!!!

So, there you have it. My daughter and I both highly recommend seeing Hidden Figures – and taking a young person along with you!

  I Took My Daughter to Hidden Figures and This is What She Said

MOVIE SYNOPSIS from 20th Century Fox, via IMDB.com: As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

 Have you seen Hidden Figures yet? What did you think?

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It’s the 3 Little Things: Sock Storage, Fighting Hard Stuff, & Welcome Escapes

January 13th, 2017

la-la-land

It’s become a bit of a joke around here that whenever my husband takes a day off for my birthday the kids figure out a way to ruin it. God bless them. Two years in a row we got the dreaded call from the nurse’s office. One year we felt like we finally pulled it off and a child burst through the door puking off the bus. This year we patted ourselves on the back because everyone was healthy and we were FINALLY going to get our day date that we had been dreaming of.

That is, until my son looked at my husband bewildered last night and said, “It’s teacher record day tomorrow. Didn’t you know that?”

GOD BLESS THEM.

We are proceeding as planned without the enjoying the whole lounging in our quiet house thing together. I’m off to see La La Land, stuff myself silly with sushi, and antique with my handsome fella today!

Happy birthday to me a couple of days early because the kids are off for the holiday on my actual day too.

I mean, GOD BLESS THEM.

To show you how old I am, you will appreciate my old lady happy list today! I mean, only old ladies get all the feels about sock storage, amiright?

Here are 3 things that are making me happy today!

Under the Bed Shoe Organizer for Sock Storgage

Organized Sock Storage

We don’t have a lot of drawer space so I have been using an under-the-bed organizer for my sock storage. Our bed sits low so these inexpensive risers allow me to make the most of the storage underneath the bed.  I feel like risers on beds are a small bedroom requirement- it’s amazing how much you can organize under there.

I’m not sure why I had not thought to use an under-the-bed shoe organizer for sock storage, but when I saw these organizers at the store, I grabbed one for my socks. The compartments allow me to separate the types of socks I need into groupings. One has my short gym socks, one for long, one for my boot socks, one for furry pajama socks, one for tights, and two hold my belts and smaller scarves. The top is clear and it has handles on each side for picking up and grabbing.

This inexpensive little tweak is making getting ready for the gym in the mornings so much easier!

Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets

A Clean Dishwasher

Hard water issues plague us and my dishwasher has been looking rather disgusting. The vinegar cleaning jobs that I had been doing became no match for whatever was gunking up this dishwasher and so I researched cleaners that could clear the gunk better so I wouldn’t have to replace our appliance. These Affresh Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets cleaned it out in a single normal cycle and it is even safe to run it through with your dishes. For the first round, I used two tablets, but typically a single tablet should get your dishwasher looking like new again.

My gunky dishwasher looks like new and I plan to run a cycle with these once a month to keep things humming along in our home! I highly recommend them if your dishwasher is looking a little sad too!

It’s Gonna Be OK Playlist

I am really glad I subscribed to theSkimm for my morning news especially this week. It does not mean, however, I am living in complete oblivion of what everyone is talking about on Facebook. Shortly after the election, my husband made a playlist as a lyrical form of encouragement. My husband has a real talent for picking meaningful music and he says that this playlist was meant to be listened to in order (turn off that shuffle, yo!) to encourage the listener.

I wanted to share it with you this week if you are not feeling okay about all of this. Even if you are like, “I FEEL JUST FINE, LADY” you still might enjoy it.

I hope this is a bright spot in your Friday as it has been for me.

Namaste.

Reading: I am loving working through our first MomAdvice Reading Challenge! This week I started this book and I am so thankful for what it is teaching me. Much like, Just Mercy, I am finding myself frustrated with this broken system as the story follows eight families that are struggling to keep the roof over their heads. This was my selection that I will be proud to have said I read this year and I am finding I already feel that way in just these first 100 pages.

Eating: This green bean & turkey saute on repeat for a healthy version of takeout at home. I feel like this dish is going to be our new easy weeknight jam!  

joy-movie

Watching: This is the last week of my free 30-day HBO trial and it has been so much fun to catch up on movies and shows I’ve wanted to see. This week I finally watched the movie, Joyand I loved it so much, I watched it two times in a row (once by myself and once with my husband). I think this would be a GREAT movie to watch with your tween or teen daughter because it’s about a woman entrepreneur and how she never gives up on our dream of designing and manufacturing a product.

It also is a great discussion builder on how much of your success is built around your team and those who support you. It’s a feel good flick of a truly successful business woman.

La La Land

I’m off for a little La La Land magic! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

Happy Fri-yay!

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

MomAdvice 2017 Book Club Selections

January 12th, 2017

2017-MOMADVICE-BOOK-CLUB

I hope your year of reading is off to an incredible start this month!  Between my two book clubs and our MomAdvice Reading Challenge, every surface and moment is book-filled over here!

How obsessed have I got with my reading this year? Totally figured out my wireless headphones are perfect for soaking in the bathtub with a book in my ears (just avoid sliding down into the water!) and I bought a $10 plant stand for my coffee propping so I can soak until the water gets cold every single day.

I do it for you guys. You need my recommendations!

Just kidding!!

Last year our MomAdvice Book Club on Facebook really began to take shape for our readers. I envisioned a place where bookworms could gather, a good spot to share the daily book deals that happen on Amazon, and a monthly book club discussion. It’s grown SO MUCH and last week we grew to over 700 bookworms last week.

Do you want to join my book club? Let me explain how it works!

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

I will be your book club hostess this year and have selected the first seven books to get you started on a fun journey of reading.  The discussion is held on the last week of the month and posted in the group with a thread for each question. You can jump in to answer questions at any time throughout that week, interacting with loads of other fellow bookworms.

How fun is that?

This post will be updated with our monthly selections so you can join in at any time with our group! Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website. The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

In fact, I have been reading our book club picks before we get to them to make sure that not a moment of your time or penny is wasted.

For example, one of the books I selected, I did not enjoy. It has been removed from the list and replaced with a better selection. I want to make sure this book club is an enjoyable thing and that you don’t feel ripped off if you are purchasing books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed. Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

Here are the books we will be talking about this year!

MomAdvice 2017 Book Club Selections

Miss Jane by Brad Watson

January

Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

February

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

March

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

April

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

May

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

June

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

All the Birds in the SKy by Charlie Jane Anders

July

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

August-December TBA!!

2017-MOMADVICE-BOOK-CLUB

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

 

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Amy’s Notebook 01.11.17

January 11th, 2017

Chicken Pesto Bowls

source: damn delicious

I want to dive into one of these chicken pesto bowls face first.

Here are 10 books to read before they hit movie theaters!

A 31-day healthy comfort food planner- these dishes look so good!

Understanding the line between frugality and deprivation- what a great piece to read as you recommit to your financial goals for the year!

I’m in love with this happiness jar idea. What a great reminder of the best moment of your day!

Follow 6 people as they tackle real 2017 resolutions- could you take one of these on?

Customized Turntable

source: a beautiful mess

I’m in love with this customized turntable!

Entitlement is optional.

I dug into this book for my reading challenge this year. It’s incredible and important!

If you have always wanted to learn to knit, this looks like a great series to follow!

I’m all for a hygge marathon to get me through this winter.

Okay, it’s official. Getting hygge obsessed.

Empty Drawers after Kon Mari

source: thrifty decor chick

This is just the declutter post I needed.

I’d also like to embrace digital minimalism this year.

A 4-step wardrobe edit for the new year!

I find making new friends as an adult very challenging!

“I started to look at the other people I was trusting to know what was best for me. Maybe they didn’t know after all.” I needed to read this today!

The most anticipated books of 2017- what are you excited to read?

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté

January 10th, 2017

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

One of my favorite dishes is a delicious green bean sauté spooned over a big platter of rice that I had discovered at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The crunchy green beans adds a fresh flavor and texture to contrast with the heartiness of the meat in this dish. You would think it would be bland, but the layers of salt and spice make it a flavorful dish that I crave often.

I can also admit that this highly addictive dish is usually ate in record time and I am always left wanting more.

Did anyone witness me slamming this dish in three seconds flat?

I hope not.

It has been on my cooking bucket list to create this dish at home to save some money and to indulge in it a little more regularly with wild abandon. What could be healthier than a big dose of veggies and protein to start your new year of cooking out right?

My partnership with Honeysuckle White seemed the perfect excuse to add this meal to our planner to share with you.

Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia

It has been a unique experience to now feel a deeper connection with our food this year, thanks to this fun partnership. I was invited out to Virginia to tour the River Hill Farms, one of the 700 independent family farmers that works with Honeysuckle White. Not only did we discover they are well-trained in animal handling practices, but they also happen to exceed the standards and they wanted to share that experience with us.

Glenn & Sheri Rhodes were so gracious to open up their farm to us and the pride they feel for the land and their animals was felt by all of us as we visited their gorgeous property.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I received the invitation and was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the beauty all around us. The farm was beautifully kept, the spaces were generous for the animals, and it is so good to know that the farm is committed to raising their turkeys without any growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.

As if that wasn’t lovely enough, Glenn made us all some good old-fashioned kettle corn that we shared over snacks and discussed his life’s work and the pride he has felt for his farm.

My great-grandfather was one of the hardest working farmers that I had ever known and I felt that same sense of warmth, family, and commitment to good work in both Glenn & Sheri. It felt a little like the summers that were spent on my grandparent’s porch after their long day of hard work and good food.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

As the new year begins, I know many are making resolutions like eating at home more and eating better food for your health. If you are trying to reach a weight-loss goal this year, it’s good to know that turkey has more protein, fewer calories, and less total fat and cholesterol than chicken. When mixed with this delicious combination of sauces and spices, you will also find that it increases the flavor and you may even forget that you are eating such a lean and smart protein.

This dish has A LOT of kick, thanks to the chili garlic sauce, but you can crank it down with less or add more for some FIRE in your tummy!

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

I was looking forward to binging on these leftovers with a Netflix marathon, but once my kids dug into this, they seemed to be overcome by the same shovel-it-all-up-in-your-face-in-three-seconds struggle that I have.

No green bean was left behind which is an awesome rarity in our house.

How can I complain about that?

You must give this recipe a try and save your family loads of money on this delicious and healthy takeout dish made at home!  I have already added it to our menu planner again for this week and hope you enjoy this one half as much as we did! A huge thank you to Honeysuckle White for sharing a little behind-the-scenes on how their products are made and their commitment to delivering the best quality at the lowest price.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Green beans and ground turkey are loaded up with delicious Asian flavors and served over rice for a healthy and delicious way to start your new year!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce (this is spicy for us, increase or decrease to your own personal taste)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 pound washed and trimmed green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice as directed on packaging.
  2. Place a separate skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté garlic for one minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add ground turkey to the skillet and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked, breaking the meat up with your spoon.
  4. In a small bowl mix together chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and soy sauce and stir to coat. Pour this sauce over the ground beef and add back in the green beans, stirring to coat everything fully.
  5. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
  6. Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.

This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

 

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It’s the 3 Little Things: 5-Minute News, Getting a Weave, & the Fanny Pack Life

January 6th, 2017

christmas-decorations

Well, hey, there! Have you missed your Friday happy? So good to be getting back in the swing of things this week. We are concluding a rather lazy and lovely holiday break. It was filled with documentary marathons, board game nights almost every night, trying new recipes for our family meals, and pajamas.

A lot of pajamas.

Before I forget, I was VERY honored to be featured in Design Mom’s Living With Kids series to share a holiday home tour last week. It is always a little scary to open your home and life up for critique, but it has been really incredible to receive emails from parents who are struggling with similar health issues and feel like they just might have their answer.

If you were one of the people that emailed me, I have thought of you a million times and prayed that you are down a better path too.

We have so many unfinished projects here and I have put off for years sharing this house because of that. Guess what? There will ALWAYS be unfinished business in our home though so I put aside my doubts and opened it up anyway.

I am so glad I did.

Enough about me, let’s talk more about ME! I love a good narcissistic post so enjoy! (wink, wink!)

theSkimm

5-Minute News Without the Angry Stomping (Sort Of)

Turns on news, gets super angry, and stomps around the house shouting headlines at husband with hands in the air, “CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS?”

What a great way to start the day!

batman

Obviously, this news listening is not helping me start my days in a healthy way so I switched my routine and became a subscriber to theSkimm. Have you heard of it? So many of my friends are subscribers so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon after my NPR listening was causing undue stress during my mornings.

Each morning, I have a 5-minute email to read that breaks down the important news I need to know including references to the back stories on each of those headlines. theSkimm was founded by 2 friends who are former NBC News producers and has a polished wit about the headlines that is sure to make you feel smarter just to read it. It’s intention is to deliver an unbiased look at the news with a healthy dose of snark. It’s kind of like having your best friend share the headlines with you!

They also share quick and lovely book reviews, an important note for my fellow bookworms.

It gives you everything you need to know to remain informed and hold conversations, but delivers it in a funny way so you don’t have to be stomping around your house maybe as much.

theSkimm

Like the idea of someone else skimming your news and you getting the important stuff? You can sign up to receive the free daily newsletter over here.

 

Namaste.

Basic Loom

Learning to Weave

My mom and dad got a loom for me for my Christmas gift and it has been SO MUCH fun to start learning to weave. Per my usual crafting routines, I get SUPER obsessive when I learn something new and it consumes me. This has been my new relaxing evening routine as I try to figure out the world of weaving.

One of our top selling items on the site last month was this loom set that I had linked to when sharing that I had asked for this for the holidays. If you happened to have bought a loom for the holidays too, here are a few things I am finding helpful as I teach myself how to use it.

Weaving for Beginners Series from Creative Bug- This free 5-part YouTube course was great for learning some of the basics on my loom.  If you don’t want to purchase a loom, she also shows you a way to make one yourself. The big takeaway I got from this series has been that many of the tools needed can be made from inexpensive things we already have around our house. This is such a solid intro to weaving and it is beautifully shot.

DIY Woven Art Book- This book on weaving offers great step-by-step instructions for beginning weavers. Although I find videos are a better medium for me for learning, I have found that I am enjoying seeing the materials and ideas for construction that this book offers.

Modern Weaving Book- This book is another beautiful one that offers step-by-step tutorials. I love how this one breaks down each of the stitches.

So far I have figured out how to set my loom up, how to do basic weaving, how to add tassels, and how to remove it from the loom. I have just been practicing with some scrap yarn in the evenings and I am finding it so calming. The best part is that I can pair this with a great audiobook to stay on track with my reading goals.

I look forward to figuring out how to do more with my loom!

My Tagalongs Fanny Pack

The Yardwork/Housework Fanny Pack

I didn’t want to pay anyone to help up with our leaves this fall, but ended up paying for it when my phone fell out of my pocket, shattering my screen. These giant phones are annoying to carrying around, but I found this fanny pack is PERFECT for wearing my phone around the house to listen to my audiobooks or music. Since my headphones are wireless, I almost forget that it is there and it protects my phone from another inevitable drop.

Did I ever think I would sing the praises of fanny packs?

Nope.

Do I now realize how dang practical they are?

You bet.

As a side note, the phone I have is the iPhone 6, just in case you are wondering what I’m able to fit in this! I also love that this is washable so if I wear it for a workout, I can run it through the washer and air dry it to remove my perfume-smelling gorgeously sweet sweat smell.

family

Reading: I am loving working through our first MomAdvice Reading Challenge! I just finished a really heavy book so I needed to break up my reading a bit. Late last night, I started this thriller and I’m already intrigued. His last book was so solid for me so I am hopeful this one is just as good!

Eating: 7-Minute Risotto is always a winner over here in our Instant Pot! I served it up with baked salmon topped with pesto and lemons. Whenever I make it, I feel like we are back in Italy again.   floyd-norman-an-animated-life

Watching: We caught Floyd Norman: An Animated Life this week on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, it shares the story of the first black animator for Disney and his incredible career as an artist. Portions of it are animated (with true hilarity) by Floyd and it is really an eye-opening look at what it was like to work for Walt as well as his blossoming career for lots of other animation companies.

We watched this one with our kids and there were a couple of things that could have been bleeped for little ears, but other than that my kids both felt really inspired to take up a drawing class at our local museum after watching this one.

I HIGHLY recommend this documentary for your weekend plans!

Writing Down: My intentions for fitness this week, with our free printable fitness tracker,  and I can’t believe what a difference it has made in my motivation levels. I have one more workout to do and I will have reached my goal this week. Go me!

Well, I’m off to make birthday magic happen for my daughter this evening with an epic sleepover party.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Fri-yay!

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