origami kitchen cart (many colors- this is the one I got) PS- FOLDS FLAT FOR STORAGE!!
Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo
Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo
Our son is preparing for high school this year and, in our district, that means choosing a field of interest he might want to explore at college and selecting what option might fit his needs best. It was quite the process because it was really important to us that we pick the right thing for him. We went to hours and hours of meetings, we poured over the information that was sent home and spent lots of time talking to parents about how it all worked and their experience with the school. After all that time vested this year, we were relieved to find a school that would fit his needs perfectly. We can’t wait for this next chapter with him!
For me, the election season was like that. I never go into voting lightly and this year, I believe, was my most informed voter decision that I had ever made. I took unbiased quizzes to try to figure out what issues aligned with me most, I watched each of the debates, I spent hours reading articles from both sides of the coin, and I talked endlessly with my husband about what we were looking for in this presidential election. I was very vested when I placed my vote, as I know many of you were, and the person that I thought would do a good job did not win.
I expected what I saw on social media, but it’s been an awful scroll from both sides.
I hope you will humor me for a moment and envision the voting process a little differently than maybe the way you did before. I want you to imagine that when each person went to vote they carried behind them their luggage of issues. Maybe you came with an overnight sack of a couple of things that were important to you and placed your vote or you just had a week’s worth of stuff that was easier to roll and to manage while you were voting.
Others though were backing up moving vans of issues and trying to haul that in with them when they voted. That van was loaded, heavy, and packed to the brim.
When we got home, maybe your overnight bag was easy to unpack and you felt good about the outcome of the day. Even if it didn’t go your way, you felt good about unpacking and moving on to the next chapter. You went about making your coffee, feeling good, and you gazed out your window and saw your neighbor with all this stuff just strewn all over the lawn.
It was a mess over there.
They looked overwhelmed and they were just sitting in the middle of it looking bewildered at how they were ever going to put all this crap away.
What is your knee jerk reaction to this view?
Do you roll your eyes and tell them to declutter? You laugh and head to your computer to make a hilarious meme on hoarding- your friends are going to LOVE this!
Do you head into the house and message them a helpful article that outlines why they should have hired a moving service? They should have known this was going to happen. You always saw it coming and had shared with them lots of articles before they moved about outsourcing this. I guess they did not read them.
Do you yell out the window, “Get up and put it away! You look emotional and you need to get over it and make your lawn look like mine!”
Do you put your coffee down, get your coat on, and tell them you want to help? You’re overwhelmed with their mess, but you know it might lighten the load if you did something. You know you are good at praying, listening, and organizing. You know they are hurting and and you are good at many of these things. You can’t do the unpacking, but wouldn’t it be nice to tell them that you are their friend.
What I worry about is that some of us may have forgotten a second piece of luggage in baggage claim. It was the bag with the empathy in it that helps you see your neighbor with love. Some people unpacked those bags and used them, but I fear that others of us forgot them. That second piece of luggage was really important for both sides to be able to work together. That second piece was the key to helping unpack the first one.
I’ll admit, this family still has some stuff on their lawn so I apologize for the view. We are hoping the view will change, but we haven’t gotten everything put away yet. We will get there, but we are trying to distribute that second piece of luggage to our friends while still unpacking our own. It wasn’t a moving truck size, but it wasn’t an overnight bag.
The silver lining to this story is that I know that we ALL want this country to succeed and this is the common theme that I am choosing to focus on. I love our people and our country. I am praying that the transition is a good and hopeful one. We need it!
If you are feeling in the dumps right now, I hope that this will be an enjoyable scroll as I highlight the good in the world.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
For many years I have been dreaming about creating a Thanksgiving turkey that could be prepared in the slow cooker. I have a small kitchen and my oven doesn’t offer a lot of room for multiple dishes so my frustrations often mount when it is time to figure out timing of the bird and all the sides. If you are struggling too, I have come up with a slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey that looks beautiful AND saves you some space in the oven.
I’m partnering this year with Honeysuckle White and, believe me, it isn’t a stretch at all. Our bird every year has been from their company because it always cooks up beautifully. I was so excited to give my dream of slow cooking a bird a spin and wanted to share with you how I did that.
As you can see from these early morning shots, I got this started first thing in the morning so that it would be ready for our dinner hour. You are going to want to aim for an eight to nine pound bird to make sure that it can fit into your slow cooker. The slow cooker that I have is called the Ninja Cooker. Since we are finishing the bird in the oven to give it a golden skin, I love that I can just pop this insert right into the oven without transferring the bird.
One year I did a beautiful turkey using Ina Garten’s herb roasted turkey breast recipe and our family absolutely loved it. I wanted to recreate that delicious flavoring, packed with fresh herbs while swimming in wine, and make it using the slow cooker method.
I am not flashy with my turkey and usually have it already sliced before our guests arrive, but I know that many love to have a beautiful golden bird to carve right by the table. Maybe I saw National Lampoon’s turkey scene too many times and that may be why I am so scared.
Rest assured, a slow cooker bird can still be beautifully displayed and you can even achieve a golden skin. As I’ve gotten more familiar with pressure cooking, it has opened my eyes that it is possible to start something in your gadgets and finish it somewhere else. The slow cooker turkey can be started in the slow cooker and finished under your broiler, but WATCH CAREFULLY. I found that it needed to be moved around quite a bit as it broiled to achieve an even color and to avoid burning the skin.
Although I have always loved the flavor of the Honeysuckle White Bird, I am ashamed to say that I did not know very much about their company until I had the opportunity to work with them. I know that knowing where our food comes from is such an important thing and that’s why it’s good to know some of their business practices better. Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised on 700 independent family farms by farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards. They even have a spot on their site where you can virtually meet the farmers- how cool is that?
They also realize that good quality food shouldn’t cost a fortune and believe everyone should be able to access it. They try to offer their products at a price point that would be comparable to other products, but with higher quality standards.
I hope this post inspires you to give slow cooking your Thanksgiving turkey a try this year and to look for a Honeysuckle White turkey (available in most states) or for the Shady Brook Farms turkeys, Honeysuckle White’s sister brand, available over on the East coast.
Don’t forget to visit this post to find out how to make ALL your side dishes ahead for your Thanksgiving feast!
This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
In 2014, I discovered the world of Project 333 and decided that I wanted to give a capsule wardrobe a try. It had a way of impacting not only my closet, but impacting my entire life. I realized the beauty in the editing, the simplifying, and the high that comes from discovering how much fun it is to make one piece work in multiple ways.
I also began to realize the importance of investing in good quality pieces since they work so much harder than they used to. The items I have in my closet are primarily from J. Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, and Banana Republic. You might be surprised to know that I have rarely (if ever) shopped in any of those places though. My discovery of an online consignment resource called thredUP enabled me to make the finer things a part of my life on a Target-sized budget.
Over 80% of my capsule wardrobe has come from this store and I love the company’s mission to not only share great quality clothing for a fraction of the price, but they also love to inspire women with their #badassmoms series. This month, for example, they profiled journalist, Megan Alexander, on how she manages the mom juggle while tackling front-line reporting for Inside Edition and even the Super Bowl. “Hard work, hustle, flexibility, and a positive attitude. It sounds simple but it works,” is her motto for life. These profiles are meant to inspire and encourage women to be their very best.
You really get a sense of the hustle in this piece and the hustle of so many other moms that are making the world a better place while caring for their family.
I love each of these pieces, but Brandi Riley’s story, in particular, resonated with my own journey It isn’t just because she is a blogger, but it is because she is a blogger doing big things for others in her community. She founded a program, Courage to Earn, that lends support to female digital entrepreneurs. It inspires me so much to think outside-the-box with my own business and how I can help support other people around me to reach their own goals.
One of the things that has helped me gain confidence and feel like a #badassmom has been learning to live with less so that we can give more to others. Having a wardrobe that really looks like me and that is easy to pull together adds so much confidence to my life and cuts the clutter in our home.
I get a lot of questions about my capsule wardrobe and what pieces I would recommend so I shopped thredUP to show you some of the beautiful deals I found that would make perfect capsule wardrobe additions to help build your confidence and feel like a #badassmom too!
A good collared white blouse is worth its weight in gold, BUT it took me many, many tries before I found the perfect version of it for myself. Ideally, this shirt is wrinkle-resistant, buttery soft, and fits your frame well. Not only is it a beautiful item on its own, it is the perfect piece to layer over dresses, worn under blazers, can be worn over other shirts in your capsule, can be belted, can be tied, or can hang loose like a jacket. I consider it a must-have for my wardrobe, but you need to find one that feels like YOU. This top is Maeve (from Anthropologie) and was purchased for $32.99.
Remember, stark white blouses aren’t for everyone (something I learned in the Adore Your Wardrobe series) so be sure you pick the right shirt color for your skin tone.
In the Midwest, it is all about layers and one of my favorite items for layering are cardigans. Finding the perfect cardigan can be tough and, I have learned, not all cardigan cuts are flattering. This Fall, I got a J. Crew cardigan from thredUP that became my go-to cardigan. I loved it so much that it is constantly on my radar when I am shopping on thredUP. If you find one you love, you want it in all the colors, and the way I can tell this is my favorite is that the material that is listed is Cotton instead of Wool. Always check the fabric description to ensure a cozy (and not itchy) option for layering.
I love a good flare on anything or any fun details that seem a little out of the ordinary on a sweater. This Free People option ($24.99) had beautiful buttons and a figure-flattering flare that I loved.
Although this isn’t a cardigan, a kimono can also be a smart layering piece and this inexpensive offering from Merona has an embroidered detail that can work well with your fall wardrobe basics ($7.99). I added a tassel necklace to break up that neckline and love that this looks pulled together without feeling too fancy for my usual errands.
I also loved this wool option to wear over my fall basics (Banana Republic $22.99). This is still a cardigan, but a completely different shape than the typical boyfriend cardigan I would normally reach for. I slipped a gray shirt underneath to keep this cozy and neutral. These boots are also, in fact, a thredUP find from last year. I get so many compliments on them and they are a brand I would have never been able to afford otherwise.
The military trend is still going strong and a good Military jacket can be another great layering option instead of a blazer this year. Pretty much anything olive green makes my short list of smart fall wardrobe basics this year and I found this practically brand-new Banana Republic jacket for a mere $39.99! What a dream! Don’t feel limited to just a jacket though, this same trend can be replicated in vests, pants, and button-down shirts.
There is nothing cozier than flannel and this is one 90’s trend that I can get behind again and again. I remember being a kid and borrowing my dad’s flannel shirts to follow that Nirvana-inspired grunge trend. Did you do that too? Now I prefer a more tailored look and love flannel options from J. Crew, Old Navy, & Madewell. These button-downs can be tied over a dress, added over a t-shirt, and layered under this year’s sweaters and vests. This cozy Madewell option was just $22.99!
Patterned shirts can add so much to a basic wardrobe and I definitely recommend adding just one shirt to make your wardrobe more interesting. This Mave top ($32.99), has a tie and gorgeous pleated details on it. You can still sit in your comfort zone of neutral tones while still adding a fun pattern to your basic wardrobe style.
This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
The weather has been lovely this week and I switched my reading spot to sit under this beautiful tree in our backyard with a big stack of books. The fall here is nothing compared to our New England falls, but I think Indiana still provides a great display of colorful beauty too. Don’t you?
This has also been the first week of high school shopping for our son. Our kids have to pick an area of focus for their schooling which can be a difficult task at 14 to figure out. Can you imagine where your focus may have been at that age? I’m sure I would have felt the stage was where my career destiny was! I definitely never could have dreamed up this wildly weird job. It feels strange to even be thinking about something that has always felt like a distant land when it comes to parenting my children. It feels monumental and, honestly, brings me a lot of melancholy as a mom. Everyone said it went by fast, but this feels just too soon for me. It’s a happy bittersweet moment to be moving into this realm as a mama.
I guess I feel conflicted about this next stage. Proud we kept him alive this long (kind of touch and go in those toddler years- hahaha!). If you have kids this age, do you feel that way too? I’m open to your advice on high school!
Here are a few other things that are making me happy this week.
I’d love to hear if you have gotten into any of the new shows this Fall television season! It takes a lot to suck us into a show, mainly because we have far too much on our agenda to watch already, but we have gotten majorly sucked into, The Good Place. When I saw the trailer for this show, I told my husband I thought this was one we could really get into it. Eight episodes within two days confirms that, yes, this show is a real winner. With Kristen Bell and Ted Danson leading the cast, it comes as no surprise that it would be a good one.
The Good Place is a town where those who have been good throughout their life go to once they have passed away. Michael (Danson) is the architect who oversees the town, but this is the first time he has ever created one of these communities. He begins to realize that he made a few missteps, although he doesn’t know what they are, that include allowing a few people in who shouldn’t have been there. These people have to find a way to blend in or they risk destroying the good place for everyone.
It is laugh out loud funny, surprisingly sweet, and has some really smart writing. It’s also an enjoyably short show, perfect for tired moms and dads who can’t seem to commit to a full hour anymore. We have been watching it through Hulu!
I hope you love it as much as we do!
I love seasonal teas for the cooler seasons, but I don’t love how much space all of the boxes take in my small kitchen. I found this beautiful tea organizer, while out doing my shopping, and knew it would be the perfect addition to my kitchen. It also happens to be a great way to share your tea on the table with a guest.
Each of the drawers is glass and holds an entire box of tea bags. I cut the names off of the boxes to slip inside of the drawers so I knew what I was grabbing without covering up this pretty display. The drawers have a small wooden peg that keep them from slipping out and breaking. It’s surprisingly well-made especially for that price.
I love that it matches all the other patterned bowls that we have in our kitchen and it has freed up a ton of space in the drawer where I store all my coffee mugs! How cute is that?!?
This week our grocery store had Chobani Key Lime Yogurts on sale for their 10 for $10 deal. It happened to be the only flavor that was on sale so I got ten and crossed my fingers that they would be a hit.
If you haven’t tried these RUN and get them RIGHT NOW. It tastes just like the filling in a key lime pie, but with a protein punch and less sugar. I put this in a bowl with this chocolate granola from ALDI and I feel like I get to have pie in the morning. Who wouldn’t be happy about pie in the morning? Since I hate the crust anyway, this is my perfect idea of pie eating!
If you love key lime, you will love these!
Reading: Find Her by Lisa Gardner and it is a good pick if you are drawn to darker plot themes like Pretty Girls or anything by Gillian Flynn. I am about halfway through and loving every minute of it.
Browsing: The GoodReads choice nominees for this year. I can’t pick a favorite this year. It’s like choosing your favorite child. So many incredible books happened in 2016 and I was so proud to see several of the authors I interviewed this year were featured. Which books are you voting for? I will try to put together a post for you for the library again like I did for you last year!
Laughing: I hear you like the laughs each week so I thought I would keep them coming. Today’s highlights include hilarious misspellings, a Stranger Things Christmas, a raccoon cooking tutorial, and a hilarious skit on congress to encourage you to vote. Don’t worry, it doesn’t endorse any particular candidate- I’m pretty sure you can guess who I’m voting for anyway! Please note,that last one does have some language, but definitely compels a girl to get out there and do her civic duty!
I’m hoping to get my vote in early this weekend and dodge the crowds.
Loving: The tiny scarf trend! Have you tried it? I got this scarf and now I want a million more. It is a perfect trend for petite girls and I love it with my favorite striped top! I’m also loving the large barreled curling wand I scored for waves for longer locks. Beach waves without a lot of work are definitely my jam!
Listening: NEW MUSIC FROM HAMILTON!!! OMG!!
A couple of FYI’s on today’s deals! FIRST WOMEN & GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT are GoodReads Choice Award Nominees and THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT is actually a new Amazon series that I’m hoping to catch!!
FIRST WOMEN, $1.99
GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT, $1.99
THE NEVER LIST, $1.99
AN ATLAS OF IMPOSSIBLE LONGING, $1.99
COURTING GRETA, $1.99
MAUD’S LINE, $1.99
THE WHITE TIGER, $1.99
UNDER THE BLACK FLAG, $1.99
QUEEN SUGAR, $1.99
THE TYPEWRITER GIRL, $1.99
A CERTAIN SUMMER, $1.99
THE IMPERFECTIONISTS, $1.99
THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, $1.99
GHOST MONTH, $1.99
AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY, $1.99
LOVE WATER MEMORY, $1.99
THE BOOKSTORE, $1.99
WHEN SHE WAS GONE, $1.99
ANGELINA’S BACHELORS, $1.99
CROSSING ON THE PARIS, $1.99
TO FIND A MOUNTAIN, $1.99
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!
This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!
One of my favorite gifts I have ever received was a rice pillow that was handmade by my mother-in-law. Rice is such a surprisingly incredible conductor of heat and I loved that this gift could be reheated in the microwave to be used over and over again for warmth and comfort for all of life’s aches and pains. For today’s craft project, I wanted to create mini rice warmers perfect for keeping in your pocket for chilly days. Per usual, this project is completely no-sew (mic drop!) so you don’t even need to have a sewing machine to make these DIY hand warmers.
Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I wanted to create an easy hostess gift that would be perfect for sharing to thank someone for their hospitality. Not only do these diy no-sew hand warmers make a perfect gift, they also add beauty to your home when displayed in a pretty bowl!
Rice can be a little pokey if it is sandwiched between thin fabric so these no-sew hand warmers are being made with a heavier home decorator fabric from the Waverly Inspirations line. Using this saves time cutting because these little hand warmers don’t need an interior lining. Thanks to this thick fabric, it also makes it far easier to pull together with our hemming tape.
Waverly Inspirations Fabric (I used the 100% cotton duck fabric available at the store)- each hand warmer needs two 5×5″ pieces
Cardstock for Template
Iron & Ironing Board
Fabric Rotary Cutter (or you can use scissors)
1. Using cardboard or heavy-duty card stock, cut a 5×5″ template for cutting your fabric squares. Using this as your guide, begin cutting two squares for each each hand warmer. You will need four squares for each set. Don’t be afraid to mix and match fabrics, using different fabrics for each side.
2. With the print side facing OUT, line the almost the entire square with the hemming tape, leaving a small opening for your funnel to pour your rice in. Place the second fabric square on top (again, print side facing OUT), and iron the square on both sides, until the pocket has sealed.
3. Using a funnel, funnel in a 1/2 cup of rice into the pocket. Once all the rice has been added, take a small piece of hemming tape and put it in the hole that has been left open or you can finish with a dab of fabric glue to seal. Carefully iron it shut and then shake the pocket over a bowl to make sure all sides have been sealed.
4. Finish by trimming the hand warmer with pinking shears to give it a finished edge. If giving as a gift, tie these with pretty ribbon for packaging.
5. To use these hand warmers, simply heat these for 30 seconds in your microwave. Tuck these in your pockets to help warm those hands in the colder months.
This craft takes about fifteen minutes which is just about how much time I have to craft these days! We love these so much and they also happen to be fantastic for my kids as they head down to the bus stop. I love that they can be used over and over again and that these attractive fabric choices make such a pretty display in our home! I have them nestled next to my new tea organizer for a little warming station from the cold- how cute is that?
I also thought these would be such a great addition for carrying around in my no-sew hidden pocket scarf. If you haven’t caught that tutorial yet, it is probably my proudest craft moment this year!
Happy crafting, friends!
This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!Pin It
This was one of those reading months that really flew by for me and I didn’t even have time to sit down and really jot down my thoughts on all the books I read this month until today. I did some traveling this month and spent a couple of days curled up with some really great books on our little Michigan getaway so it gave some time to dive into some books that have been on my radar for awhile.
I also discovered that I really enjoy listening to audiobooks on flights which is something that I haven’t tried before. My eyes were so tired on my flight home, but I wanted to read so bad that I decided to download a book to listen to while flying. Once again those cheap bluetooth headphones pulled through for me and I enjoyed listening to a book on my flight. What a great way to sneak in another book!
I’m really excited to share with you this month’s list because I got in some REALLY incredible reads that I think you should check out. I tried to add a little variety to my stack this month so I read a couple of great memoirs along with some excellent fiction.
I heard about Hillbilly Elegy when I got the chance to share about my favorite summer reads on Sorta Awesome awhile back. Laura, who will always be Hollywood Housewife to me, mentioned that this was one of the best reads she read over the summer so I knew I needed to add this to my stack. This book is incredibly compelling and gave me so much to think about as it explores Vance’s life growing up in a hillbilly family. He writes in a very real and unflinching way about the difficulties growing up in poverty and how the hillbilly mentality seems to force people to continue living in poverty even when opportunities are presented that could enable them to finally get ahead.
There are many moments in this book that helped illustrate a few of my own life moments that helped me understand my own Southern family better. Vance’s life was far more extreme, but I still could identify with a few of his stories that I hope help me feel more compassion for my own roots.
I would highly recommend this one for a book club because you would have so much to discuss and I think anyone who reads it will be able to understand this pocket of America better.
I am always thankful for historical fiction because of how much it teaches me about times in history I was not aware of. I Will Send Rain was an absolutely phenomenal book on one family’s survival when the Dust Bowl storms hit their community in the 1930’s. Through alternating viewpoints, Meadows dives deep into what it would be like to live through these storms from eating, to farming, to raising your children, to growing up as a child, to the impact of a marriage during this difficult time in history. My hard days pale in comparison to the survival of this poor family’s daily existence as this dust covers their land and home, impacting their lives forever.
This book is so well-researched and so beautifully told that I have been thinking about it ever since I finished it. It is heartbreakingly sad, haunting, and achingly beautiful. I know you will be thinking about this one as much as I do when you finish it. If you are looking for a good historical fiction escape with a great coming-of-age story, make sure you add this one to your book stack. If you like this one as much as I did, be sure to read Mudbound. It reminded me so much of that beautiful read!
I absolutely LOVED What She Knew and I even had Gilly join me for our Sundays With Writers series. I was so excited to read her next book, The Perfect Girl, after enjoying her first novel so much. This thriller is about a teenage girl, named Zoe, that is involved in a tragic car accident that kills three of her classmates. They relocate their family, her mother marries a wealthy guy, and they try to start a brand new life.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to escape a past like that and Zoe’s secret comes to life in a very public way at a piano concert she is doing. That same evening, her mother is murdered after the secret is revealed to the family, and everyone looks like a suspect. The reader gets the chance to try to solve who killed her and what other secrets this family might be carrying as the story unfolds.
This was a solid thriller, but the big reveal of who killed the mother was a bit of a let down after the length and build-up of the story. It just didn’t seem to have the same magic for me as I found with What She Knew, but I still enjoyed the story. Macmillan is a gifted storyteller and I can’t wait to read what she brings to the thriller table next!
One of the most buzzed about books this year is, The Mothers. The author, Brit Bennett, is only 25 years old and was named to the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 this year so I have been anxiously awaiting this book’s appearance.
“The Mothers,” refer to the elderly women in a conservative congregation and their observations about their fellow church members, including observations about a girl named Nadia who is the main character in this story.
Nadia falls into a romantic relationship with the pastor’s son and their relationship ends when a secret that they carry becomes the primary focus of their relationship. Nadia continues to hide the secret, even from her dearest friend Aubrey, and ends up moving away to start fresh elsewhere. When she comes home though, she discovers that her feelings are still there for the man she left, but he has moved on with her best friend who has never known the secret past they carry.
This was a great read if you go into it knowing that this is more of a character piece than anything else. I really enjoyed Bennett’s writing and the unique viewpoint that, “the mothers,” offered to this.
I was excited to find this at the library, but if the wait list is too long, this was one of this month’s selections from the Book of the Month Club which is a great way to get great selections for a great price on books! Take 30% off 3 months plus a free BOTM tote with this coupon code: 30TOTE.
I’m not a big fan of books about animals so as soon as I see if a book is about an animal, I promptly dismiss it. I asked Sasha, from Pathologically Literate, to lead our book club discussion this month though and she selected, Lily and the Octopus, as her pick for us to read because she loved it so much she wanted to read it again.
I can’t tell you how much I love book clubs for this VERY reason because it pushed me to pick up this book, a book I would have dismissed, and it is one of my new favorite books. I just can’t stop thinking about this sweet story that had SO MUCH humor and heart.
Teddy is a single gay man who has found the love of his life in his sweet little dog, Lily. Sounds basic, right? It isn’t though, it is rich and laugh-out-loud funny and heartfelt and gorgeous from start to finish. Rowley writes from Lily’s perspective in the most wildly unique way that it makes your heart hurt with its sweetness. When the two of them face a big challenge together, the story really begins to build.
The ending? Sheer perfection.
If a book moves me to tears, it’s a treasure. Get those tissues ready because it’s a tearjerker!
As soon as I finished it, I wanted to pick it right back up and read it again. I’m so thankful for this gentle nudge from our book club hostess to read this beautiful book. It was, truly, my favorite read of the month!
I read about, It Was Me All Along, ages ago when Kristen from Dine & Dish recommended it on one of her reading round-ups. I was not familiar with Andie’s blog and this was not a memoir I would have typically grabbed, but Kristen never leads me astray. It also happened to be chosen as one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2015, picked as People Magazine’s Book of the Week, one of Amazon’s Best New Books of January 2015, and a finalist in the 2015 GoodReads Choice Awards.
It Was Me All Along chronicles Andie’s lifelong difficulties with healthy eating and her transformative journey of losing 135 pounds and finally finding the balance she was missing with food.
Andie really illustrates what so many struggle with and how often our best memories and our greatest comfort comes from food. She writes in a raw and honest way about how difficult it was to have a healthy perspective on eating and why so many of her hurdles with her food addiction were deeply rooted in her childhood.
I have had issues of my own with food and my weight and recognize how difficult it is to not fall back into bad behaviors. Andie’s honesty with her journey makes this a compelling read and I look forward to now being a follower of her beautiful blog too.
I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley- all thoughts and opinions are my own!
I have always enjoyed Leavitt’s books (you can read an interview that I did with her over here), but this book…this book is EXCEPTIONAL and, I believe, her best book yet. The Girls had a lot of hype (I still need to read this one), but I think this is the book that should have received the hype as Leavitt explores this era in such a beautiful and compelling way.
When I interviewed Caroline she was working on this book and she had said, “Cruel Beautiful World was sold on the basis of a first chapter and a thirty page synopsis. It’s set in the 60s and early 70s, the time when all the free love movement was starting to turn ugly, with the Manson murders and Altamont. It’s about a 16 year-old girl who runs off with her 30 year-old hippy teacher to join the “back to the land” movement that began in the 70s, a so-called-paradise that turns into a nightmare for her.”
Who better to describe it than the author herself? What I would like to say about it is that she carves such incredible dynamics between the sisters and the fear that she creates in Lucy, as she worries for her safety during the Manson murders, is so poignant as she is being held captive herself by the man she thought she was in love with. These characters are written in a way that they feel so real and you can’t help but worry for each of them after Lucy disappears from their family.
If you are wanting to step back into that crazy time in history, this book is a perfect way to do it!
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.