Archive for September, 2017

It’s the 3 Little Things: Transformation Month

Friday, September 29th, 2017


It is always a good week when I get to go out dancing with this guy and a family occasion was the perfect excuse to break out this dress I had been saving. Thank you, thredUP, for a dress I’d never be able to justify if purchased retail.

Do you ever look at routines that you have been doing and realize that they aren’t bringing you joy? One of the biggest lessons, learned from a year of counseling, was looking at these routines and asking myself if they made me happy anymore. I tend to go on autopilot and do things because I think they make OTHER PEOPLE happy or I do them because I am a MARTYR (no, no, you guys have fun- I’ll do the dishes after making this meal for you- it’s MY PLEASURE!) or I do them because I like to have TERRIBLE SLEEP (grabs the wine and starts the social media scrolling).

I can give you loads of terrible ways that I had been spending my time and robbing myself of joy, but a few things really stood out to me as things that really are robbing me of something- self-worth, precious time, my mental health, my physical health, etc…

This year is about living with more intention. I can be disciplined with my spending habits, why can’t I treat my own self with the same discipline?

This month’s intention was to get off social media by 6PM and change my martyr routine in the evenings. Instead of scrolling and being bitter about dishes, we abandoned the dishes and took a walk around our neighborhood.  After returning, we throw on a good podcast and do the dishes together. It has been such a better way to end the day!

What’s one routine you would like to change in your life? Feel free to comment below!

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy-

21 Day Transformation

21 Day Transformation

My friend, Tammy, owns a barre studio in town (B Present)  and asked if I would be interested in giving her 21 Day Transformation program a try. She knew that I had been battling some health issues and wondered if this program might be beneficial for my body.

I will be honest, I am VERY leary of programs like this because they tend to be focused on product and not on real food. I went to school for Food & Nutrition so I know how important eating well is and not relying on pills or shakes to achieve goals.

Lucky for me, this program was EXACTLY the type of program that I would recommend because it centers around clean eating. Not only do they give you a meal plan and grocery list, you also receive a guide to Dining Out and a Grocery Guide that helps navigate the store and pick the cleanest ingredients for your recipes.

ZERO product pushing.

The best part about the program is the accountability group you have with the other participants. Everyone shares pictures of their dishes and you have access to Gina Schade, a coach that can help you through the process.

Barre on Demand is also offered with the program to take online classes to keep your body moving throughout the program.

self love

My goal was not weight loss so I didn’t take measurements and such. My goal was to see if better habits might help my body feel better.

My biggest takeaway from this program is that I don’t nourish myself enough, the importance of movement every single day, and learning to hydrate myself.  I didn’t eat breakfast, ate a terrible or nonexistent lunch, never snacked, and then would eat all evening long because I had starved my body all day.

Oh, and I never drank water.

And when I say I NEVER drank water, I filled out a medical form that asked me how many glasses of water I drink daily and my response was…MEH.

With the recipes provided, I figured out great ideas for meals and snacks that are better for my body. I started eating regularly instead of my starvation routine, and I even enjoyed drinking water.

There is so much good that came out of this. I am hopeful it has changed my habits for a long time. If not, I’ll hop back in and get transformed again!

Twice I have had people come up to me this month and say…You look so much healthier or commented on how I have my glow back again. I really think it has a lot to do with this month’s program and how much better I am working on treating this body.

They are opening the program up again on Monday! Read more about it here or check out this video!

Yoga With Adriene

Yoga With Adriene

It is hard to juggle working out and working. I love going to the gym, but it has the tendency to eat up half a work day. I read about this YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, where you can do free full-length yoga classes from home.

Did someone say FREE?

Yoga with Adriene

The classes cater to all levels and even specific issues you might be struggling with. The variety is really incredible and Adriene is a gifted teacher that offers lots of great modifications. The classes are as challenging as you need them to be or can just focus on the basic fundamentals of yoga poses and beginner routines.

I love that the classes also have no music so I can play my own mixes on Spotify while doing the classes.

Between this and CycleCast, I feel really good about my home routines for busy days.

Five Foot Two Documentary

Five Foot Two Documentary

Lady Gaga is one of the most intriguing people to me because she is someone with a lot of layers and depth. Her Super Bowl halftime show was one of the best I have ever seen. She has the ability to surprise you in ways that you least expect it, as a performer, and wanted to share a different side of herself in the Netflix documentary, Five Foot Two.

The reason I wanted to see this though is that she has come forward about her battle with chronic pain. Few people would ever know that this bigger-than-life person is battling excruciating pain every single day. In a rare, raw, and real way, she pulls back the current on what it is like to live with chronic pain.

The documentary is at the height of a very difficult season with a brand new album and the preparations for the Super Bowl happening at the same time. You see the stress and strain of the schedule on her body.

I can’t say that the issue covered made me happy, in fact, I burst into tears while we were watching it. Perhaps, this one hit a little too close to home. I will say what makes me happy is that she is showing you what it is really like to live like this, even in a larger than life world. I hope this opens people up to talk more about these struggles and that it brings empathy to those that suffer.

Catch this one on Netflix!

Outfits This Week (follow it all on my IG Capsule Account)




shop this week’s looks or visit my entire capsule wardrobe

Reading: I’m really enjoy this book this week. I love that it started out with the mother’s perspectives and the author definitely gives a fresh spin on a tired topic.

Playing: We are looking forward to hosting a family for a game night. This game is always an excellent ice-breaker and perfect for people with short attention spans (raises hand!).

Contemplating: This article and thankful someone has finally figured out what the heck it is to call a woman’s additional work. I hate emotional labor. I can’t wait to talk about this with my husband.

Can’t Wait: I have a movie date today and we are off to see this. Have you seen it? NO SPOILERS, but tell me if it is good!

Bought: This and I’m SO EXCITED!! I’ll let you know my thoughts once I use it!

Laughing: LANGUAGE, yo! This had me in stitches today.

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

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


Amy’s Notebook 09.27.17

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore source

This Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore looks like a weeknight winner!

Speaking of slow cooker dishes, my family would flip for this one.

10 hard things to start doing for yourself. Such a good list!

This was your top purchase this month– I couldn’t approve of it more!

Hmmmm….I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Madly in love with this Halloween costume idea!

The importance of being alone.

31 days of horror films for October that you can stream through Netflix. Yes!

School Paperwork Organization source

Are the papers from school bogging you down? Check out these helpful suggestions!

Here are a few easy fall DIY projects to add to your to-do list- bahaha!

I couldn’t stop watching these amazing and easy ways to decorate your pie crust.

Did you see my new capsule wardrobe? I always feel accomplished once I have my closet organized!

I love a beautiful napkin fold. This would be a fun one to get the kids to try for a fancy dinner!

5 things the “new you doesn’t need- really practical and smart advice.

A new way to celebrate a Treat Yourself Day.

What if we all spoke more honestly like this?

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread source

This chocolate pumpkin bread looks heavenly!

What a cute Halloween treat!

I can’t rave enough about this book– read it STAT.

This is the first week in YEARS that I haven’t used a hair straightener. Madly in love with my new gadget!

Can’t keep real plants alive? I feel you! Check out this awesome guide to purchasing great fake plants for your home.

“Confidence is QUIET. Insecurity is LOUD.” Let’s all work on choosing the quiet!

Five bright ideas to try– I am totally going to do #3 this week!

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

Small-Budget Crushes 09.26.17

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Mocha Cape mocha cape

tie neck scarf tie neck scarf

slouchy hobo bag slouchy hobo bag

pumpkin spice tee pumpkin spice season

cargo joggers cargo joggers- additional 25% off sale price with coupon code 48689

plaid pillows plaid pillows

plaid blazer plaid blazer


trick or treat sweatshirt trick or treat sweatshirt

blanket scarf blanket scarf

pleated midi skirt pleated midi skirt

stone necklace long stone necklace

plaid shirt plaid boyfriend shirt

black and white dress black and white dress- additional 25% off sale price with coupon code 48689

proverbs 31 & jayz tee proverbs 31 & jay-z tee

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 

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from

It feels strange to be talking about my fall wardrobe today after a weekend of record high temperatures in Indiana. I know that the cooler weather is just around the corner though and I’m really prepared this year with this fresh capsule wardrobe for fall. Fall wardrobe planning is my FAVORITE so I hope these options can give you some new ideas for your own wardrobe.

I fell off the capsule wardrobe wagon towards the end of summer, but I am back in the game again!

If you want to see how these pieces work, be sure to follow my capsule wardrobe account. I decided to start a SEPARATE Instagram account for my capsule since it feels like two separate audiences. This account is only about fashion & the capsule. You can follow me here (@momadvicecapsule) or if you just want the general usual odds & ends, you can follow me here (@momadvice). 

First, What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style.

Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

What Trends Did You Embrace For Fall?

I am loving the feminine details this season from ruffles to bell sleeves. I incorporated those details into my pieces and also made a couple of smart investments in higher quality sweaters since warmer layers are a must in the Midwest.

My colors this year are in the red family (blush, burgundy, red), mustard, and green.

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule. Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you. When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in.

That’s been the best place to start for me.

Do Accessories Count in the Capsule?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like.

For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

What Are the Rules for a Capsule Wardrobe?

Here are my modified Project 333 rules or you can go to Courtney’s website to read more about the official guidelines!

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

note- descriptions are exact matches and similar means I found a few pretty darn close to the original for you!

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from

row 1- quilted puffer vest/flannel shirt (similar, similar, similar)/field jacket (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 2- ruffled sweatshirt (similar, similar)/denim shirt (similar, similar, similar)/polka dot top (similar, similar, similar, similar, similar)/black and white gingham shirt (similar, similar, similar)

row 3- floral ruffled top (similar, similar, similar)/rose bell sleeve (similar, similar, similar)/striped bell sleeve/

row 4- camel sweater blazer/gray cocoon cardigan (similar, similar, similar, similar)/ bulky ivory sweater (similar, similar, similar)/burgundy bell sleeve jacket (similar, similar, similar, similar)

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe from

row 1- striped embroidered bell sleeve top/burgundy short sleeve sweater tee (similar, similar, similar, similar)/mustard stripes (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 2- mustard top (similar, similar, similar, similar)/ white blouse (similar, similar, similar)/ polka dot shell (similar, similar)/long sleeve striped top (similar, similar, similar, similar)

row 3- green skirt/gray dress (similar, similar, similar)/ red skirt (similar, similar, similar)

row 4- rose jeans (similar, similar, similar)/green pants (similar, similar, similar, similar, similar)/ distressed jeansblack pants

not shown- basic white & black long sleeve tee, chambray shirt, dark wash denim, and black leggings (similar, similar).

Fall 2017 Capsule Wardrobe Shoe Options from

A few of my favorite shoes for fall-

rainboots (these are warm and are great if you have a wide foot)/suede moccasins (acquired through Stitch Fix)/tan booties (most comfortable shoes ever)/leopard print flats (come in wide or narrow)/black ballet flats/velvet ballet flats/ peep toe booties (unbelievably comfortable)

Other helpful items for your capsule wardrobe-

just bought a bunch of these– they are PERFECTION

a practical bag

most worn belt

thankful for these

and these are no show, yo! also really comfortable!

a million of these– you’ll thank me!

these are fun and eye-catching

Amy Allen Clark

Browse My Capsules & Wardrobe Planning Advice

One Piece, Many Ways

Fashion Capsule Shopping on a Budget

Planning the Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall/Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring/Summer 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Creating the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe (that really works!)

How to Shop Secondhand For Your Capsule Wardrobe

Make Money Organizing Your Closet

25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printables

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Get $10 for your first thredUP purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you!

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Happy wardrobe planning!

*this post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

It’s the 3 Little Things: One Handed Blow Drying, Great Docs, & Lipstick That Doesn’t Quit

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Conair Blow Dryer Brush

Did you feel like I disappeared on you? I’ve missed chatting over here these past couple of weeks. Last Friday I spent my day having emergency dental work done, thanks to a dislocated jaw. That was a painful way to spend a weekend, but I just got a night guard and we are hoping that we can settle things down with resting my jaw in the evenings.

Last night I used it for the first time and woke up with relaxed muscles in my face and no ear pain.

I think it is going to help a lot.

That said, I’ve had so much good stuff in my life lately that it cancels out the more difficult times. I begrudgingly (feet dragging all the way) decided to go to a women’s Bible study because I know that I haven’t been in a great place in my spiritual life. For awhile, we just quit going because I was so run down all the time, but now I feel like a pew filler and not much more.

My body is there filling the pew and my heart is there because it is good for my children.

That’s about it.

An encouraging message from a group leader though lead me to a study and I’m feeling a lot more centered.

It’s a raw, gritty, look at your mess kind of study.

Real talk.

No fluff and fakery.

I’m crying a lot of tears and acknowledging my mess.

That’s just what I needed- to look at my life through a different lens.

Religion has always been a part of my life so it is comforting to have the routine and support in this challenging chapter. Instead of leaning in, I was pushing away in anger. I think this has been the secret ingredient that has been missing in my life.

I started praying again and I asked for things that I need to happen in my life right now and God has surprised me by bringing in what I’m requesting.

busy The best part has been being OKAY with the slowing down part now that my mind can be quieter. I have turned down my engagement on social media and have been trying to fill my cup in different ways.

This book was a great guide for me on understanding what I really need in life to keep a good balance and feel centered. If you are a highly sensitive person or an empath, I can’t recommend it enough.

The things that are good for me- getting up early to read quietly before the kids wake up, long baths, walks or taking in nature on our patio, enjoying the process of cooking again, exercising, real time with my people, and quiet.

I’ve also discovered the beauty in FaceTime and now have a weekly date with my best friend to talk to each other. We both remarked we can’t believe we hadn’t done that before!  There is something about seeing people face-to-face that makes these calls much more satisfying.

Here are three other things that are making me happy!


Obit. Documentary

We caught two surprisingly feel good documentaries this past week!

Obit is an inside look at the New York Times obituaries desk.

Doesn’t that sound so depressing?

It really wasn’t!

It was absolutely fascinating to hear how they gather the facts and photos for these obituaries. These writers work on tight deadlines to be sure to secure accurate facts about the obituaries they share and take a lot of joy in writing about their lives. In one comment by a columnist they said,  “Obituaries have next to nothing to do with death, and everything with life.”

You can catch this one on Amazon Prime, if you have it!

Starring Adam West

Starring Adam West was an absolutely fantastic documentary about his role and life as the first Batman. Even if you aren’t a Batman fan, there is so much to be learned from his career and life, told with surprising humor and heart. My face hurt after watching this one because I was smiling so much throughout the entire film. Adam West is absolutely hilarious! His daughter’s quest to get a star on Hollywood Boulevard really brought ALL THE FEELINGS.

You can catch this one on Hulu, if you have it, or you can rent it on Amazon.

Conair Infiniti Blow Dryer Brush

Professional Blow Out at Home

I have been using my hair straightner daily for years and I am starting to see the damage that is starting to come from that. I picked up one of these Conair Infiniti Spin Air Rotating Stylers and I absolutely love it. I had one of these forever ago and I burnt it out, but I had not though how much this would help with my hands and elbows to have a brush and dryer that can rotate with a push of a button.

This version comes with two different sizes for tighter or a looser curl. There is definitely a learning curve with these, but once you get the hang of it, it is so much easier than the brush & dryer holding that I was doing before.

I should say that this doesn’t replace your blow dryer, it is more a styling tool. You get your hair 80-90% dry (air drying or with your blow dryer) and you finish with this gadget to get that professional blow out look.

The spinner rotates two ways so you can flip hair up and away or curl it under.

Conair Infiniti Spin Brush

I have coarse and really frizzy hair which is why I straighten it. This is what it looks like using this awesome tool and zero product.

The best part is the next day, you can wake up, put on a little dry shampoo (here is my favorite) and give it a little fluff with this tool. TA-DA!

Lipstick That Lasts

I know I have blabbed about this A LOT, but this matte lipstick has unbelievable staying power and I couldn’t be happier about that price. I’m also wearing it in this picture and it will look just like that until bedtime.

No joke!

I keep grabbing more of these when I see them at the drugstore because every color I’ve picked up has been so gorgeous. I’m wearing Lover in that picture.

Reading: I’m halfway through this book and absolutely loving it. Did you hear that they are making this one into a film? Can’t wait!

Inspired By: Things someone who loved you should have told you. I hope you read these words if you need to hear them.

Playing: This board game with my kids and they LOVED it!

Discovered: This fascinating piece today. I’m looking forward to the documentary!

Can’t Wait: Oh, this should be GOOD!

Eating: No way heat wave, I’m in full on FALL MODE. Bowls of this were enjoyed this week at our kitchen table.

Listening: To this audiobook right now. I’m not too sure about this one yet…

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

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


Amy’s Notebook 09.20.17

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Flower Arranging source

I love these tips for arranging flowers.

Loved his book and had no idea he was considering running for office.

Here’s a list of 15 perfect fall reads.

Want to take your Insta Stories to the next level? This article might help!

This marbled banana bread recipe looks like a great way to put ripe bananas to work.

Just snagged this audiobook for my political memoir category on our reading challenge sheet.

How to breathe new life into vintage pieces. Love the tip on how to unstick sticky drawers.

Switch up your weeknight chicken with this delicious recipe. You had me at pesto.

What dinnertime looks like across the USA.

Cross-Stitched Pumpkin source

Now this looks like a fantastic way to stash bust some yarn while decorating your home.

The evolution of women in stock photography– fascinating!

I bought this clothes steamer and had no idea all the other things I can be doing with it in my home.

Perhaps, you should ponder this one in your church pew. Boom.

How much do we really believe in the possibility of human redemption?

We borrowed a tradition from a dear friend and now do roses and thorns each night around the dinner table. I love these ideas though for taking our conversations further.

Love these tips for refreshing your kitchen on any budget. I’m definitely dreaming about open shelves to replace our cabinets.

Trying this hair gadget out– fingers crossed it makes the happy list!

I love these tactics for avoiding the comparison trap.

Chai Butternut Squash Soup source

How clever to add your favorite tea to your soup. I might try that with my recipe.

Just in case Instagram and blogs are fooling you…

I had not thought about this before.

These are some fabulous tips for caring for your clothes.

If you want lipstick that stays on until you go to bed, buy yourself one in every color. It’s perfection. The word must be out because our store had nada on the shelves.

I needed to take a break from thrillers so this is the book I’m reading (and adoring) this week.

So many gorgeous details in this beautifully renovated home.

Instant Pot gluten-free spaghetti? I’m IN!

Following fashion’s fall trends? I am on board with almost all of these!

Love Anthro? Here’s how to get the look at home on a budget.

This is why we should explore crazy ideas.

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

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Small-Budget Crushes

Thursday, September 14th, 2017


‘Tis the season for fall wardrobe planning. Here are some suggestions for beautiful options on a small budget. Check back next week for my fall capsule wardrobe!

Utility Blouse utility blouse- 40% off, no coupon code needed

toms warm tan bootie

my favorite comfortable shoes- TODAY ONLY, take $25 off, no coupon code needed

essential leggings essential leggings (that won’t lose their shape & lift!)- use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

Textured Turtleneck Sweater textured turtleneck tunic sweater- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

soft bell sleeve top soft bell sleeve top- use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

Camel Sweater Blazer camel sweater blazer- this is my new favorite piece, it’s so cozy!

twist front tee twist front tee

lyocell jacket lyocell jacket- consciously made

High Rise Rockstar Jeans high-rise rockstar jeans- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

ruffled stripes ruffled stripes- snagged this, be sure to size down. This can be paired with a long sleeve tee underneath once it gets cooler.

long-sleeved jersey top long-sleeved jersey top- consciously made

wool sidewalk skirt wool sidewalk skirt in several hues- I bought this and it is the perfect length

tab roll tunic

tab roll tunic

leopard print flats naturalizer leopard print- I’ve ordered these because they come in WIDE- yay!


Classic Flannel classic flannel- use coupon code ENJOY for an extra 20% off

Intrepid Peep Toe Booties

intrepid peep toe booties- these are like walking on CLOUDS

faux leather leggings faux leather leggings (for a fun night out!!)

  textured open front cardigan textured open front cardigan- use coupon code HAPPY 40% off\ slim utility pant slim utility pant

suede block heels suede block heels-use coupon code HAPPY for 40% off

a few other essentials for this girl’s capsule-

eyeing these

just bought a bunch of these– they are PERFECTION

a practical bag

most worn belt

thankful for these

and these are no show, yo! also really comfortable!

a million of these– you’ll thank me!

these are fun and eye-catching

don’t forget your chambray



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 

Amy’s Notebook 09.13.17

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

You've Been Boozed


Now this is a neighbor tradition that I can get behind!

Um, mind blown. How the heck did I not know this?

Maybe we just need less balance. I am learning this…

These photos are breaking my heart.

Have you embraced premium mediocre in your life?

Looking to try out a new television series or movie? This list  or this list might help!

This piece arrived on my doorstep and I can’t believe how perfect it is. Did I mention, POCKETS?!?

Looking for another fun meal prep idea for lunches? This chicken shawarma looks like a winner.

23 grocery items from ALDI you are missing out on.

A little feminist humor that brings all the LOL’s.

Watching at least one of these is on my weekend agenda.

Totally on my wish list– hahaha!

Pumpkin Pasta


This 5-ingredient pumpkin alfredo is just begging me to make it.

If you just need a good laugh today, I recommend enjoying this.

I love these styling options for above the bed.

Oh, this series looks like another Netflix worthy binge while I wait for the next season of, The Handmaid’s Tale!

I can’t recommend this book enough for highly sensitive souls. It has been such a good read for me.

Fun things to do with your girlfriends in the fall. I just had a mum shopping date and it was so fun to do that with someone else!

Speaking of plants, the millennials love them!

I want to try this golden milk recipe.

If you don’t know how to carve a chicken (raises hand!), you’ll love this picture tutorial.

I love a good skillet dish and this looks like a fun spin on a classic.

Pom Pom Basket


How cute is this diy pom pom basket? You know I’d love a pom pom on everything!

Looking to get your kitchen organized for fall baking season? Check out these awesome kitchen organization strategies!

Speaking of decluttering, here are 25 things to get rid of this fall.

This has become our new family weekend tradition with board games. Here are three free meals if you want to give it a try at your house.

Loving these fresh ideas for decorating your table for fall.

I’m really starting to hate the time sucks so this is a great reminder.

Some simple strategies for dealing with difficult people in your life.

This pumpkin pan pie looks like a fun way to enjoy a holiday fave.

Let’s just agree to put a tassel on everything.

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


Amy’s Notebook 09.06.17

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Chickpea Shawarma Bowls source

These chickpea shawarma bowls look like a delicious and healthy lunch option.

This is so perfectly stated– I wish I could share this with everyone I love in our life right now.

Why we fell for clean eating– very interesting perspective!

Looking for your next great thriller? I read this one this week and it is fantastic!

A few tips for handling an out of control inbox. Um, yeah, I needed those!

Now this looks like a fabulous item to keep stocked in the freezer for nights we are craving takeout.

10 documentaries to dig into this weekend. These are some of my favorite couch date nights with my hubby!

Speaking of things to watch, I’m all about this one!

DIY Bath Caddy source

This looks like an easy DIY bath tray for a little extra reading time!

“That in the end, success won’t be measured by academic performance or job placement. It will have more to do with accumulating small pleasures and filling your life with those…Your future should look like the best parts of your present.” Yup, I’m crying- I needed to read this today.

These sleeves are everything!

Have you heard of the one-touch method? I’d like to try this!

This is a devastating and honest read.

Switch up your denim game this season with these six fun options. I’m discovering the beauty in a good jumpsuit!

Wow, I would have never thought of this as a sheet pan meal– yum!

Ten style tips for the month of September.

Such beautiful life lessons from one of my favorites. It makes me long for a sabbatical.

Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe source

This paleo vegan pumpkin spice latte looks like a healthy way to sip my fall favorite.

What a great bra guide for women.

Want to really enjoy the fall foliage this fall? Check out this guide!

Wow, this is some exciting news for wine-lovers. Oh, and this too– dang!

I love seeing other people’s capsule wardrobe journeys unfold.

‘‘I would say that Teen Vogue has as much right to be at the table, talking about politics, as every young woman does in America right now.’’ What an incredible profile piece and I love watching the fresh direction the magazine is taking.

This might be a fun Saturday tradition with our kids! #throwbacksaturday

I think I could handle this microwavable breakfast idea.

I’m thinking about this equation today.

Americans have given up on public schools and that’s a mistake.

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


August 2017 Must-Reads

Friday, September 1st, 2017

August 2017 Must-Reads from

There is nothing like the kids heading back to school to get your reading habits back on track, amiright?  I’ve been trying to get up an hour early each day to get in my quiet reading time, although I can fully admit that this is quite the challenge.

I know a question we frequently get asked, especially as are looking to reset and refine our habits in the new school year, is how to get in more time to read. I encourage you to read these tips on how to consume more books, if this happens to be your goal this year. If you are looking for something you can jump into quickly, this list of books is a great start.

Hello Sunshine Book

follow me on IG!!

If you want to see more of what I am reading,  please feel free to friend me on GoodReads! You can find me right here and I am always happy to connect with people there! There is nothing more motivating than seeing what other people are raving about and my to-be-read pile continues to grow with all of my new friends on there! In fact, many of the books featured are ones that I have found through my friends on GoodReads.

Looking to add some variety to your stack? Feel free to join our book club! This month we will be reading this book (you can see the full list over here).

Not enough variety? Print out our Reading Challenge Worksheet! I’m having a blast working my way through it!

Here are 9 must-read books that I tackled in August!

See What I Have Done

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

I received an advanced reader from NetGalley- all thoughts and opinions are my own!

See What I Have Done explores one of the most infamous murder cases of all time- the Lizzie Borden murders. I was familiar with the general story, but Schmidt fills in the gaps from one creepy detail to the next, utilizing the timeline that is known about the time leading up to the murders and the aftermath.

The author crafts a twisted and dark story, creating the insecure world of the Borden sisters and their angry and awful parents. Using four points of view (the housemaid, an observing stranger, and the two sisters), Schmidt brings the story together through very different points of view.

It is a claustrophobic type of read and no one is really likable at all, with the exception of Lizzie’s sister. It can be confusing, at times, as Schmidt jumps through the timeline, instead of ending with the trial, which seem to interrupt the flow.

That said, I learned a lot more about the Borden family and the circumstances surrounding this gory murder!

Reading Challenge Category Completed- A book with an unlikable narrator

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Well, dang! This was such a charming read from start to finish.

Ginny Moon is a beautiful story from debut novelist, Benjamin Ludwig. Ludwig shares in his bio that he is the foster parent of a teen with autism and it is through his own experience (and fellow parents of autistic children) that helped him carve out his character, Ginny Moon.

Ginny Moon had been taken from her neglectful mother and has been living with her new Forever Mother and Forever Father. When her birth mother starts creeping back into her life, Ginny will stop at nothing to get back to her mom and goes to shocking lengths to make that happen. When a new baby then is added to her Forever Family, Ginny becomes increasingly more of a burden to her strained foster parents and they must decide if this is the forever family THEY want. Ginny will stop at nothing though to get back to where she believes she really belongs and there is a pretty surprising reason why. It’s a real page-turner!

Ludwig really sheds light on the difficulties of finding adoptive families for teens of special needs and your heart just breaks for Ginny over the confusion of who her real “forever family,” is.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

This thriller writer proves she is no one hit wonder with her second thriller, The Breakdown. I love an unreliable narrator and Paris crafts an unreliable one in a pretty brilliant way.

This book, as the title says, is about a woman who witnesses a breakdown of a vehicle during a storm and is scared to pull over to help, for fear that it is some type of trap. When she finds out the woman has been murdered, she feels enormous guilt, especially when she realizes she is an acquaintance.

Someone knows she did nothing and wants to make her pay.  The worst part though is that she is experiencing memory loss that mimics her own mother’s early dementia. Strange things begin happening and Cass begins losing pockets of time. The reader is then left to fill in the holes to try to figure out just who is harassing her.

Call me gullible, but even as a seasoned thriller reader, I had no idea what the heck was going on through most of the book. I couldn’t put this one down and enjoyed it as much (if not more) than, Behind Closed Doors.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

All Our Wrong Todays

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

If Dark Matter was your jam, you will absolutely love this fantastic debut novel that is filled with humor, heart, and adventure. It is no secret that I am time travel obsessed so I couldn’t wait to dig into All Our Wrong Todays. Mastai is a screenwriter and this book plays out like a movie (it is no surprise the movie rights were quickly sold) as Tom Barrens time travels from the 2016 we *thought* we would be living in and then must time travel into the 2016 we really live in.

Remember The Jetsons and the futuristic cars and ways of living we believed we would be experiencing? Yeah, so that is the reality that Tom is living in, where everything is automated and easy as people rely on incredible technology to live. When he loses the girl of his dreams and has a time machine at his  disposal, he decides to time travel to find her again. This 2016 is the world we inhabit now and Tom is annoyed and baffled at our slow progression. It is there though that he finds his family life in a very different place, a flourishing career, and he has captured the heart of a wonderful girl.

What’s a guy to do?

Prepare for the adventure! Smartly written, finely crafted, and laugh-out-loud funny- I couldn’t put this one down. It will definitely be one of my favorites this year!

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Option B

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant

This nonfiction book is about Sandberg’s sudden loss of her husband and her struggles to find joy again in her life, after this devastating loss. Sandberg shares her own personal struggles and Grant helps to fill in the research behind our ability to cope with adversity in our lives.

Option B is an incredible book for anyone who has experienced  hardship from an unexpected detour in life. I think this one would be particularly helpful for anyone who is dealing with a difficult medical journey or the loss of a loved one.

The passage on what and what not to say to someone who is grieving was particularly helpful to me. As someone who finds herself unexpectedly on a Plan B in life, I found a lot of solace in her words and encouragement.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains happened to be our book club selection this month and I was excited to dig into the mysterious death of a Shakespearean actor that happens to mimic the same type of themes that Shakespeare explored in his own work.

The opening to this one didn’t grab me and  I blame a lot of that on my unfamiliarity with Shakespeare’s work and the dialogue being so heavily crafted around lines from his plays. When it hit the Second Act section, it moved more into the strange dynamics between these friendships and the villain that no one liked, but had to deal with. Since he was so unlikable, anyone could have killed the guy and the book shifts from the man who was accused of the crime and served time to the decade long mystery that surrounded his unlikely confession.

In the end, this was a great whodunit that I’m glad I read, even if I had to skip over a lot of the Shakespearean themes that had been so finely crafted for the reader.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave

Eight Hundred Grapes happened to be one of my very favorite chick lit reads so I could not wait to see what Dave would write next. While this one was cute, the themes of coming home after a breakup are similar to her previous book and lacked that depth and charm that I had hoped for.

Sunshine (yes, her name!) is a culinary star that becomes victim to a smear campaign that leaks all her dirty little secrets. The destructive nature of the tweets end up shedding some light on a lot of missteps and a few Hollywood secrets that cause her to lose her career and jeopardize her marriage.

Facing your demons is always a challenge and the reader gets to follow along and think upon our own inauthentic photos and the nature of living in the social media age.

This is a great one for the beach bag if you are looking for something lighter to read.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Reason You're Alive

The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick

Best known for his novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, Quick takes a sharp detour with his new novel that can really challenge a reader’s viewpoint.

Told from the perspective of  a sixty-eight-year-old veteran, we see a very sharply opinionated view on the world and from someone who has sacrificed it all. Unlike many books though, Quick doesn’t gloss it over and his character repeatedly says inflammatory, racist, and controversial things OUT LOUD and often. It is absolutely cringe worthy and will probably remind you of every offensive racist older person you have ever met.

What it did though was show you how he has come to this viewpoint and what veterans must overcome just to exist in society after serving. It challenges you to look beyond the comments and see that David’s heart is often in the right place, even if his words aren’t always there.

Was this a tough read? Absolutely! As a bleeding heart liberal, there was so much in here that I could not always swallow. It did though make me think of the challenges that face those that serve and how this viewpoint could even exist. I’m thankful for books that challenge me and Quick does this quite effectively.

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours absolutely blew me away and is a book that brings ALL THE FEELINGS, if you are looking for a historical fiction escape that will absolutely crush you.

Wingate shares the story of two little girls who become a part of one of America’s most notorious real life scandals of children being kidnapped and sold to wealthy families by Georgia Tann, a director of a Memphis-based adoption organization in the late 1930’s.

I was unfamiliar with the scandal or the heartbreaking stories of children being separated from their families and the tragic things they had to endure while under Tann’s horrific care.

This fictional story is built around the stories of real-life orphans and will just rip your heart to shreds.  Moving backward and forward through time, the reader gets to solve the mystery of two unlikely women with a bond that could never be broken and the granddaughter that must unravel it all, even at the expense of her family’s high society position.

This will definitely be in my top ten reads this year. Beautifully written and researched, it pulled all the right heartstrings.

Note- triggers include physical and sexual abuse.

5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out

September 2017 BOTM Selections

If you are a BOTM member, this month looks AH-MAZING!! You can use this link though, if you aren’t, to get 1, 2, or 3 months for just $9.99.

September BOTM Selections

Lies She Told by Cate Holohan – Judge Stacey Armand

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – Guest Judge Krysten Ritter

Sourdough by Robin Sloan – Judge Dana Schwartz

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – Judge Kim Hubbard (loved this one- read my review HERE!)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – Judge Elizabeth Kiefer

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Amy Allen Clark

Read With Me This Year:

January 2017 Must-Reads

February 2017 Must-Reads

March 2017 Must-Reads

April 2017 Must-Reads

May 2017 Must-Reads

June 2017 Must-Reads

July 2017 Must-Reads

August 2017 Must-Reads from

What did you read this month? 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.

Pin It