Archive for January, 2018

Amy’s Notebook 01.31.17

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

DIY Pom Pom Clock source

This pom-pom clock. I DIE. SO PERFECT!

This simple perspective change is such a great reminder, even for those mundane tasks.

I had no idea that this was a good way to store my steel wool scrubbies.

Ohhhh… I just love this casting!

Cuted up my computer with these free wallpapers.

If you are trying to develop a great skin routine this year, this post offers a great cleansing 101 lesson.

Here’s a two week clean eating plan that looks doable.

Love, love, love this extension for price tracking and coupon deals. It helped with all of my holiday shopping this year!

This has been a pretty hot button topic in the blogging community. I’ll be honest, I feel conflicted.

Trying to nail crispy tofu? I’m going to have to try this cooking tip!

Bookmarking this list of places to stream the 2018 Oscar nominees.

I love this idea for adding a little sparkle to a boring blanket.

I love these comfortable booties so much that I’m dreaming of getting a few other colors.

curried quinoa salad


Doesn’t this curried quinoa salad look like a delicious idea for lunch?

Do you need a hormone reset? This is a really interesting article to explain things we may be doing that can cause havoc on our hormones.

5 easy pork marinades to mix up and freeze for a quick make-ahead meal. Not a pork fan? Here’s her round-up of chicken marinades too.

I loved this house tour so much.

I’m having so much fun filling out this printable with what I’m reading. Check out what I read this month tomorrow on the site!

Here’s a shot you can try that won’t leave you with a hangover and that will help reduce inflammation.

After a birthday shellac mani, I need to read this article on strengthening your nails.

I’m reading (and adoring) this book this week.

Great building blocks for your spring wardrobe. Anyone else dreaming of spring?

Speaking of spring, this light is helping me SO MUCH with winter mornings. Can’t recommend it enough!

Since I’ve just been playing around with stories this year, I love these 5 tips to make your Instagram stories more awesome.

donut bath bombs source

I would have never thought to use my doughnut pan to make bath bombs. How fun is this?

I’d like to up my smoothie game and these 5 make-ahead smoothie packets look like just the ticket!

I can admit it, we are obsessed with these new board games.

A simple phrase to help you stop buying things you don’t need. I am going to have to remember this one!

Bookmarking these cleaning challenges for my home– they have been full of great advice!

This bone broth tutorial is great for understanding the benefits and tips for preparation.

I sprung for this pillow to calm down my reflux and to not put pressure on my joints. I’ll let you know how it goes! #adulting #thisis40

How gorgeous is this house tour? I just love their style!

23 creative homemade signs from the 2018 Women’s March.

pantry labels source

Pretty up your pantry with these free printable pantry labels. Don’t forget, you can grab free spice printables on our site too!

This post on making your own clothes is so inspiring.

15 vegan recipes that I can get behind.

You guys have some great taste- this was your top purchase this month.

Switch up your mayo game with this diy condiment! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

Did you know our sugar consumption is now linked to Alzheimer’s?

You had me at the word taco.

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


The MomAdvice Make-Ahead 01.30.17

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

the momadvice make-ahead

My resolution to eat more at home had me prepping some dishes ahead this week. I shared a picture on my IG feed and got a lot of questions about this week’s prep so I thought I’d move that convo over to the blog.

Here were my plans for eating and prepping this week!

Menu Plan

Roast Chicken in Bulk Roast Chicken Wraps (flour or gluten-free tortillas, roast chicken, shredded cheese, spinach, & a drizzle of ranch) with carrot sticks & tortilla chips

Balsamic Pork Loin Recipe from Balsamic Pork Loin Sheet Pan Meal

Make-Ahead Brown Rice Taco Bowls (Taco Meat Recipe & Make-Ahead Rice)

homemade tomato soup

toasted cheese sandwiches homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches

Creamy Coconut Oatmeal breakfast (or lunch!)- slow cooker creamy coconut steel cut oatmeal

IMG_3357 snack- pumpkin bread (to make gluten-free, I sub with this cup-for-cup flour)

make-ahead january

What To Prep Ahead

1. Prepare oatmeal the night before prep day and turn on low heat as directed. Try this water bath technique for best results. Extra prep credit if you put together baggies of your favorite dried fruits and nuts for topping.

2. Prepare and bake pumpkin bread loaves as directed. Wrap and freeze one loaf (for later) and slice the other loaf and store in an airtight container for the week.

3. Prepare your brown rice in your rice cooker while the loaves are baking. Once it beeps, store cooked rice in an airtight container.

4. Chop veggies for pork loin sheet meal. I did a combo of Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes this time.  Store Brussels Sprouts separately in an airtight container. Store diced sweet potatoes covered in cold water for 24-48 hours.

5. Prepare the rosemary marinade and store in a separate container. I highly recommend this purchase for quick marinade preparation.

6. Prepare your tomato soup and store in an airtight container. I highly recommend one of these so you don’t have to dirty extra pots.

7. Prepare the taco meat as directed in the recipe. Store in an airtight container.

Once you are done, put those feet up for the rest of the dang week!

This post contains affiliate links! 




5 Pop Culture Parenting Goals for 2018

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

5 Pop Culture Parenting Goals for 2018

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Though I noticed weeks ago that this new year began on a Monday, I didn’t take advantage of it. Which is a real bummer, because it’s exciting enough for this type-A planner when a new month starts on a Monday. But the first day of a new year?! Starting on the first day of a new week?!

Well, that’s like a perfect storm…or the holy grail…or a magical unicorn!

But because I’m a mom as well as a list-maker and goal-setter, that so-called special day passed in a blur of puzzles and leftovers and pajamas and Netflix. And it was a solid week before I even opened my brand-new planner or organized my thoughts into resolutions. Luckily for my sanity, I decided years ago that if I can set some goals and take down holiday decorations before February 1, I’m doing okay.

When I finally did sit down to make some plans and set some goals for this year, I realized that not only did I have a list of things I wanted to change or improve, but I also had a list of experiences I want to have with my kids. And while several items on that list were the usual road trips and field trips and cooking lessons and finally sticking to a chore chart and allowance system, several others were related to pop culture.

This is no surprise, since books and movies and music and TV shows are pretty much my favorite things. Of course I’d want to share those things with my favorite people!

Do any of your parenting goals for this year involve pop culture? Here are 5 of mine:

1. Read the book before the movie. Last year my daughter read Wonder three times. She asked me to read it, too, and I said I would, and I wanted to – but I didn’t. That didn’t stop me from taking her to seeing the movie as soon as it came out (and sobbing for two hours straight), but it did mean a missed opportunity to bond even more with my daughter.

This year we’re both going to read A Wrinkle in Time before the movie comes out. I read it when I was younger, but decades later my memory of the storyline and characters is pretty faint. So I’ll re-read it while my daughter reads it for the first time, and we’ll discover the magic of this story together.

If you’ve already read this one or aren’t interested in it, plenty of children’s books have been and will be made into movies! You could choose an older one, like Bridge to Terabithia, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or How to Train Your Dragon. Or you could get caught up on the Maze Runner series before the third movie comes out later this year. No matter what story you choose, enjoy meeting new characters and entering a new world with your child on both the page and the screen!

2. Attend a live concert or play. Our city has tons of free musical performances, especially in the summer. Everything from barbershop quartet to a string quartet can be found playing on one stage or another. Festivals, library programs, carnivals, Friday night shopping promotions – they all have a soundtrack, and frequently, it’s live. When my girls get a bit older, I’d love to take them to not-so-free concerts to hear their favorite artists, but for now, the free shows featuring talented musicians in all genres work just fine.

We also love watching children’s theater and try to get in at least one show at year. That’s not free (and not always fun with squirmy little ones), but I love creating the tradition of making art a priority for our family.

3. Introduce my kids to old movies or TV shows. Between Netflix and Hulu and On Demand and DVDs and YouTube, my kids have hundreds of options for entertainment. This is great and fun (and scary – but that’s a conversation for another day!), but it means they haven’t been exposed to some of the quintessential children’s programming I consider classics. When I realized a while ago my kids didn’t know who Popeye or Bugs Bunny or the Flintstones were? I was shocked – and determined to remedy the situation.

In addition to introducing them to my favorite old-school cartoons, I also decided to show them some of my favorite movies. So last summer, we watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Princess Bride, and Flight of the Navigator. On my list for this year? Mrs. Doubtfire, Sandlot, Hook, Mighty Ducks, and Karate Kid (the original one, not the new one!).

4. Go to the drive-in. I’ve never seen a movie at the drive-in. So, obviously, my kids haven’t either. I’m determined to visit our city’s one drive-in theater this year, eat all the popcorn and candy we can handle, and sing, “Stranded at the Drive-In,” from Grease to them at the top of my lungs.

(“Embarrass my kids” is ALWAYS on my to-do list.)

5. Try something new. – Something new slides into my Facebook feed or inbox or actual mailbox every single day. Nobody can possibly keep up with all of it! But when I see a new magazine for kids or article about geocaching or a creative subscription box or local art show, I take note and try to fit it into our budget and schedule. It doesn’t always work out, but if we can try one or two new things this year, I think we’ll be doing all right!

What are your parenting goals for 2018?

Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes with humor and honesty about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places on her blog, She is the author of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She is also a regular contributor to and Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

Pin It

Small-Budget Crushes 01.29.17

Monday, January 29th, 2018

small-budget crushes

moto leggings moto leggings (several fun colors!!)- use coupon code MOTOSTEAL and it will make each pair of moto jeggings $24.95 with FREE Shipping! 

love you like chip loves jo jo mug love you like chip loves jo jo mug

ooh la la tee ooh la la tee (HUGE FLASH SALE!!)

eat and dance napkins eat and dance napkins (just $2.99!)

bell sleeve empire waist dress bell sleeve empire waist dress (extra 20% off making it around $10!!)

blue hued necklace blue hued necklace (additional 25% off sale!!)

vintage laundry signs vintage laundry signs (only $3.97!!)

the infallible tippy gordon print the infallible tippy gordon print

self-watering plant stake peace self-watering plant stake (genius!)

caffeinated as a mother tee caffeinated as a mother tee

pajama pants pajama pants (so many colors!)

striped bell cuff top striped bell cuff top (HUGE FLASH SALE!!)

library print library print

passport holder fringed passport holder (additional 25% off!!) 

woven throws woven throws ($24.99!!, free ship code BESTDAY)

you asleep yet? canvas you asleep yet? canvas

helpful magnets baby is sleeping door magnet (so smart!)

ballet flats ballet flats

classic boatneck tees classic boatneck tees (several styles, extra 20% off making these under $10)

bookish prints bookish prints

iconic jean jacket iconic jean jacket (marked down to $44 with coupon code FRESHSTYLE)

fringe earrings fringe earrings (HUGE FLASH SALE)

ruffled sweatshirt ruffled sweatshirt

dishwasher magnet clean/dirty dishwasher magnet

big books mug big books mug

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 


It’s the 3 Little Things: Amazing Expandable Table, 40th Birthday Fun, & Fiddle Leafing

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Birthday Cupcake

I know these lists typically happen on Fridays, but today I am scooting out to Nashville for a girl’s trip so I thought I’d bring the happy early. Thank you to so many of you for celebrating with me and the generous gifts to the Ehlers-Foundation! I raised $910 and the campaign is open for two more weeks, if you feel inclined to share a small donation in excuse of this special day. It has been such a great way to raise funds for a cause that is dear to our family. Thank you for all the generous gifts and birthday messages! I can admit that I was a weepy mess this week- just so thankful for my people and what God has given us.

Before I start with the happy list, I thought I would share this post with you today (in case you didn’t see it). One thing I’m working on is being more honest about my own journey and that means owning some of the shame that I have struggled with in my life. The response to this (publicly and privately) made me realize how important it is for EVERYONE to hear this.

If this is your struggle, please know that it was mine too. I get SO many emails from people wanting to start things and living in the fear that they don’t have anything to share, the fear of failure, and the fear that their voice doesn’t matter. This post I shared yesterday made me think about the labels we give ourselves, or maybe our family or friends have given us, and the importance of not owning that and creating an identity around it.  That doesn’t have to be your label. It just DOESN’T.

If you are carrying around that weight and shame or paralyzed with a fear of failure, please, please consider counseling! I was anti-counseling for a long time and then I went and I realized the reason I didn’t want to go is because I didn’t want to work on me. It has transformed my path so much to hear some of my own words echoed back to me and to contemplate the why in the labels I carry around.

For those of you that trusted me to share what you are struggling with- thank you! The things I post aren’t because I am so awesome at life, they are because I need to be reminded of these things just as much as you.

Let’s move on…how about some happy?

P.S.- See what made me happy this year and my word for 2018!

Janet Hill Lady Luck Painting

Unreal Birthday Happiness

My husband is definitely upping the game for his gifts for his 40th after his birthday surprises yesterday. The love and thought that went into the gifts was so sweet that I had to share it with you.

40th birthday surprise


40th-birthday-gift (5 of 7)

40th-birthday-gift (4 of 7)

40th-birthday-gift (3 of 7)

40th birthday gifts

Did I mention he’s an incredible web designer and we are art junkies? Since we do the want-need-wear-read gifts for the holidays, he wanted to do 4 gifts for my 40th with the same themes. The need was a laptop since mine was on its last leg and a girl has to have that if she wants to write a blog. The wear was the cute necklace that you can sort of see peeking out in the first picture.

The real surprises though just blew me away.


It’s no secret that I am obsessed with Mary Poppins. In fact, when we went to Disney and met Mary Poppins, I started bawling.

I know this isn’t the real Mary Poppins, but I love her so much.

I was kind of like this, but a lot less adorable.

That’s why the Read gift was so special…

40th birthday gifts

This is my Mary Poppins book. A first edition that he had been working to secure this year. Not only did he do that, but he watched a ton of YouTube to figure out how to clean it and had it wrapped in the appropriate paper and a box so it won’t fade from the sun. Isn’t this the coolest thing EVER?

Also, this guy. I mean it, he is the real deal. I know I brag about him a lot, but only because it is true.

But, wait, there’s more.

40th-birthday-gift (7 of 7)

I am OBSESSED with Janet Hill. We have seven of her prints in our house and I never get tired of looking at them.

I subscribe to her notifications for original work, but as soon as it is listed, it is gone in about five minutes flat. This is no exaggeration, she is that good and coveted.

This guy actually snagged one of her originals, called Lady Luck, and gifted it to me as my Want.

I repeat, he got one of her paintings before anyone got to it (a nearly impossible feat). 

There is something so different about seeing a real painting versus the prints. I am madly in love with this and that the message around it is about hope and luck for the future. Who could use a little of that this year?

A birthday card from Janet Hill (I mean SERIOUSLY?) was the icing on the cake.

And now I am sweating about his birthday next year because who the heck could top this?

Truly, the most special day ever.

transforming x coffee table review


transforming x coffee table

My Transformation Table

I am SO excited to show you my incredibly cool coffee table that I got. First I just want to say that I plan to spray paint the legs when it is warmer because the finish doesn’t match our house, but it will when the paint can actually dry.

I found this table and it is SO amazing that I had to share it with you because it is a small space lover’s dream!
transforming-x-coffee-table-review (8 of 9)

This table can be a coffee table, like I have shown you above, but it is has a handy lever that allows the table to move up and down so it is height adjustable. You can adjust it to any height and then swivel the lever to lock it in place.  The adjustments can all be done one-handed and the lever moves easily.

transforming-x-coffee-table-review (3 of 9)

Here I have pulled it up to show you how it can narrow and adjust to a table for my laptop or, let’s be more honest, a good old-fashioned TV tray.

But that’s not all…

transforming-x-coffee-table-review (4 of 9)

transforming x table transforming x table review

It turns into a DINING TABLE FOR SIX.

We keep a stack of these metal chairs in the corner of our living room for the kids and their friends to play video games. These chairs fit comfortably around the table and now we have two tables for our lower level, giving us seating for ten people in our little space in our family room (!!!). I do a lot of entertaining and love hosting our Thanksgiving meal so now we will have a place for everyone without the hassle of hauling folding tables up and down the steps.

I have learned the beauty in buying really smart small space furniture over the years. This piece is a workhorse in our bathroom, these replaced mirrors on the walls (can’t believe that price because I paid a heck of a lot more!),  stackable chairs are my jam, this helps our small bedrooms gain more storage, and this foldable item is unreal awesome if you don’t want to overhaul your kitchen for an island (be sure to use your coupon!).

I have been wanting this table for a really long time and took the plunge when I saw this incredible price on it PLUS you can use your Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupon on it. If you haven’t signed up for their coupons yet, it is worth it. If you use this link, it will help us pay for our table because I didn’t realize we were broke from my birthday (hahaha!)

I know it isn’t the prettiest piece in our house, but I have plans to do a little painting when the weather warms up. For now, it is just perfect as is and is already being used for date nights at home, board game nights, tackling work, and I look forward to entertaining my friends around it!

fiddle leaf fig

Unlocking Highest Hipster Levels (With Plants)

Say hello to my first Fiddle Leaf Fig. My girlfriend happened to find these at HOME DEPOT and sent me a picture to let me know that these were under $20!!

I feel like I have unlocked another hipster level in my game by owning one of these. I got some great advice on caring for this plant. Please pray for it while I’m on vacation. I am hoping to keep this plant alive for a long time. Not sure what the fuss is all about with the Fiddle Leaf Figs? You might enjoy this piece on how this plant became this year’s “it” plant!

I wish I could chat with you more, but I have some packing to do! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thank you again for all the birthday love! It has been one for the books!


*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 01.17.17

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Kimchi Fried Rice source

This kimchi fried rice looks like a fun way to spice up a tired lunch routine.

The blow dry mistakes you might be making (and how to fix them).

This diy waterfall countertop made from $90 in supplies is a genius idea for your laundry room.

4 things you need to know about digital detox.

These blankets look perfect for these chilly days.

Wow, I learned so much from this interview with the bra whisperer.

How adorable is this vision board party! This looks like the perfect day with girlfriends.

Working on productivity? Here are 12 productivity books from 2017 to get you started on changing your mindset.

Be sure to say what you mean to say. A good reminder!

I donated my birthday this year on Facebook– it is such a fun way to give back to the organizations we care most about!

This financial advice is so, so good that I may have read it twice.

Observations from being a selfish mom for a week.

Ohhh, this beef stroganoff soup looks like a pressure cooker winner.

This technique for perfectly cooked chicken breasts is going to be tested in our house. Dealing with frozen chicken? I use this strategy weekly.

I’m all over this ramen recipe.

Do you have enough white space in your daily routines? I want to work on a well-designed day.

This might be a little *too* extra– hahaha!

organized pantry source

New strategies for home organization– I would have never thought to divide pantry shelves by meals- so smart!

This post also offers some smart and affordable pantry storage solutions.

Excited to dig into this book this week!

This has some great advice if you are parenting and in the creative industry.

I may have laughed until I cried when I saw these.

Not getting good sleep? This article might provide an answer for you about what’s going on.

This really moved me. I’m not ashamed to say it made me cry and acknowledge my own struggles with this role.

Since I’m crying, let’s just ugly cry about this.

While we are ugly crying together (right?!?), this display of compassion really moved me too. Could you do it?

DIY Clay Barrettes source

How cute are these DIY Clay Barrettes? This would be a fun craft to do with my girl!

I bought a houseplant (you can peek at her over here), and am loving seeing the plant trends for the upcoming year.

These dusting hacks are awesome for tidying up your home.

This idea for anti-resolutions is such a fun way to celebrate accomplishments instead of focusing on what you didn’t do.

Had no clue you can make your own vegetarian meat for recipes. I’m going to have to try this!

This detox chicken soup looks like a great way to get your diet back on track after a trip.

Some language in this, but this response to someone who wants to find out how to overcome their laziness is just everything.

I love oatmeal in the morning so I’ll have to try this oatmeal technique. Looking for a bigger batch? I LOVE this recipe!

How to nail a crispy chickpeas snack– love the spice ideas too.

Welcome to the age of abundance.

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


7 Things I’ve Learned That Save Us Serious Money

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Amy Clark

Hey, hey! Today is my big 4-0 and I keep wondering how I got to this milestone so quickly. In many ways, I wonder when I will feel like an adult. In other ways, I can see how much better I feel in my own skin and the wisdom that has been gained, especially in this last decade of years.

Before I launch into my list, I’d love to share that I am doing a birthday fundraiser on Facebook. I’m asking for donations to Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation. The diagnosis of myself and my children has made the research from this organization an important one for us. I am donating this occasion in hopes that more funding can help provide those needed answers we are in search of.

If you have a buck or two to spare, I’d be thrilled to share this with the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation

In honor of this day, I wanted to share 7 things that I’ve learned that save us some serious money. As we continue to embrace our simplified path, I can see how being open to learning new skills and continuing to research new strategies has really paid off for us. As I get older, I find more and more joy in the life we have chosen and I’d love to share some of my favorite strategies today. 

birthday reflections

7 Things I’ve Learned That Save Us Serious Money


I Nailed a Restaurant-Worthy Steak

Steak dinners and fancy date nights were hard on our budget and learning to master making a perfectly restaurant-worthy steak has saved our family oodles of money. I’m not pro enough that I can touch it and distinguish its degree of doneness, but I do know how to work my digital meat thermometer like a boss and that’s almost the same thing. Our cast iron skillet (another frugal and wise investment) really sears our steaks so beautifully and the butter finish is a decadent treat.

Instead of paying over a hundred dollars for a filet dinner out, my hubby and I take trips to the supermarket and purchase a couple of steaks and a bottle of wine for less than the price of one meal at a restaurant. This recipe has been a go-to for our dates and for special occasions when we are celebrating our kids. It takes about ten minutes to pull this off (with a little roasted asparagus on the side) and everyone gets so excited about this meal.

My secret?

Loads of Kosher Salt, baby, and a screaming hot pan.

Let me know if you can give this technique a spin in your kitchen!


I Gave Up My Magazine Subscriptions

Magazines have been a weakness of mine and discovering our library has the Flipster app has made me SO incredibly happy this year. Basically, you can get a digital subscription to just about every magazine, check them out digitally, and read your magazines on your tablet or phone.

The best part has been being able to take screenshots of recipes and ideas for myself and as inspiration for our site as I page through them (soooo handy!!)

So far the only catch has been the length of time that you are allowed to check them out (it varies per magazine), but usually I can plow through one in a day and it costs ZERO bucks.


I Brunch Like a Boss…At Home

Brunch used to be a big weakness for me, but we rarely go out to brunch anymore now that I finally have a few smart brunch recipes up my sleeve.

I call this year the year of the egg because mastering a few techniques was on my cooking bucket list. The omelette, for example, was something that I just couldn’t get the hang of. It usually ended up into messy scrambled eggs over here.


Not anymore though.

Here’s a little picture proof because I know you don’t believe me!

I watched a YouTube video tutorial, found the perfect skillet for the job, and discovered how awesome coconut oil is for creating a nonstick surface for my omelette making. This has become a go-to for busy nights when I don’t feel like making dinner and is the new tried-and-true for a satisfying weekend brunch at home. It’s also a fantastic way to use up the odds and ends in your refrigerator.

If we aren’t in the mood for an omelette, this Chicken Pesto Frittata, Sausage & Vegetable Frittata, Gluten-Free Overnight Waffles, or these Light & Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes (I just sub with this flour now to make them gluten-free) are all in our brunch rotation.  Don’t forget this diy drink mix recipe for a delicious drink (with or without alcohol!)

Movie Pass

I Go to the Movies All the Time For Cheap-As-Heck

I’m wondering how long this offer will last, but this girl got on the Movie Pass train really early and it has been a highlight of the year. A membership is $9.95 a month and you can see a movie EVERY SINGLE DAY of the month at a REAL theater (should you so choose!) by only paying the membership fee.

If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll try to explain it as briefly as I can. You sign up, they mail a card that looks like a debit card (can take awhile, fyi!), you download the app, head to your theater to check-in on the app, and it says something like, “enjoy the show!” When you head to the counter, you just use the pass instead of your debit card and that’s it.

Obviously, the big catch is being at the theater to check-in and the availability of seats. I aim for the weird times (like 1 PM in the afternoon) and don’t see the movies as soon as they come out. You also can’t see 3D flicks, but that’s NBD because I’m not into action films.

My goal this year is to start feeling brave enough to go to movies ALONE since my work schedule is so quirky.

It is accepted all the theaters near me and I bribed my sister and neighbor to get a pass too so we could have movie dates together for cheap-as-heck.

Capsule Wardrobe

Honey, I Really Did Shrink My Wardrobe

If you would have told me five years ago that I would embrace a minimalist wardrobe, I would have laughed until I cried. Seriously, I was a dedicated fashionista that loved a good deal. What I’ve learned though is that shrinking my wardrobe has brought me a lot of peace and calmness to my mornings. It feels so good to have everything working together and to look in my closet and have it make absolute sense.

Was this hard? Absolutely!

Was it worth it? Absolutely!

One of my biggest inspirations is this lady and her beautiful book just might be the ticket for you to whittle down your wardrobe (and a few other things!) in your life this year.

I have been documenting my journey on the blog and you can see where I started and where I’m at now over here.

My one smart investment has been Rent the Runway for special occasions. This girl isn’t into one-trick-ponies anymore so I enjoyed their Unlimited services for the holidays and it was a blast, without taking up a lot of closet space as a commitment.


I Learned to Cook New Things For My People

If you think bloggers don’t get into meal plan ruts, you are quite mistaken. I think burnout happens a lot with this job and we often ended up repeating the same meals over and over again so we don’t have to invent one more thing for the day. I got a subscription for the summer to Blue Apron and it has widened my perspective on so many things and brought me a ton of joy.

How does spending money on a meal subscription service pay off, right? I know! I didn’t think it was a good use of money either.

I *may* have made fun of people who did these.

The thing is,  it REALLY broadened my perspective on fruits and vegetables we had been neglecting at the grocery store and taught me some valuable cooking techniques that I would have NEVER tried or figured out on my own.

Blue Apron

The night that my kids and hubby were raving about eggplant about knocked me out of my chair. I was like, “WE ARE DOING THIS FOREVER.”

The biggest lesson I learned is how invaluable high heat is for roasting our veggies. I am now cranking my stove up to 450 degrees to roast everything and it has made everything taste like it is roasted and not steamed.

We have taken a break until next summer on this subscription so that I have the time and slowed down day that I need to get my most enjoyment out of this, but I enjoyed almost every minute of it.

Tackling the challenge that I’m showing you, in the picture above, nearly did me in while they were doing the Master Chef challenges promo for their customers to try at home. This TEAM challenge was pulled off by ONE sweaty mom, but was declared the best meal of the bunch.

I’m not sure if that was true or everyone felt sorry for me after I tackled a TEAM challenge SOLO. I did that challenge though, LIKE A BOSS.

By the way, if you use this link, it should give you $30 off your first box and you can pick all the quick meals so you don’t look crazy like me.

It is almost like it’s your birthday too, amiright?


I had coffee with a friend and she shared such a valuable piece of wisdom with me that I wanted to share it with YOU too, as I wrap up my birthday post today. She said that 40 is where you are easing into the second half of your life and you realize who and what is important as you move into this second phase of your life. Who wants to spend the second half of their life keeping up with the Joneses, investing time into shallow relationships, making small talk, and living a life of overcommitment?

Nope, not this girl.

I want all the good stuff- the deep and the meaningful stuff. I want to savor these moments with my kids. I want to be present in this lucky partnership I have with my hubby. I want my friendships to be real and not flighty. I want to continue to give myself grace that life has looked differently, in many sobering ways, but I still have the ability to transform lives by sharing our story. I want to allow people in to see the cracks and brokenness, both online and offline. I want to work on my commitment to believe in God’s plan and timing… even though it looks nothing like the timeline I’ve drawn up.

My word this year is MINDFUL- mindful of my time, mindful of my words, mindful in my role as a mom and wife, mindful of where I invest my time (in my personal life AND business), mindful of our money, and mindfully being my authentic self.

I hope you’ll stick around because having you here has given me purpose in my steps MANY, MANY days!

Can you celebrate with me and share what’s one way you have learned to save your family money or a fun tip that has changed a routine? It would be a fantastic present today!

This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 


Small-Budget Crushes 01.14.17

Monday, January 15th, 2018

Feminist Gift Giving

You might recognize the theme today for our small-budget crushes! Thank you to all the women who have stood up to say #metoo in such brave and courageous ways!

Today’s crushes all celebrate women and girl power!

listen to women tee listen to women tee

ruth bader ginsburg tote ruth bader ginsburg tote

female hero female hero pillow her face launched a thousand ships print her face launched a thousand ships print (janet hill)

girly karate bag girly karate bag (pick from several sports that girls love!)

more like jane more like jane bossten travel mug

empowered women pillow empowered women pillow

malala cards malala print

fight like a girl tote fight like a girl tote

women of the world shirt women of the world shirt

frida travel mug frida travel mug

making herstory pillow making herstory pillow

formation print let’s get in formation

the future is inclusive tee the future is inclusive tee

mantone mug mantone mug

angela davis print angela davis print

female protagonist mug female protagonist mug

the handmaid's tale art print the handmaid’s tale print

maya iphone case maya iphone case

exhausted feminist mug exhausted feminist mug

time's up pin time’s up pin

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 01.10.17

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Roasted Cauliflower Soup source

Sign me up for a bowl of this roasted cauliflower soup– yum!

Looking to try something new with your friends? I LOVE these ideas (Pssttt- I’m in for a wine walk or day of reading quietly side-by-side ANY DAY!)

Speaking of reading, after hearing all your rave reviews, I can’t wait to dig into this one. Oh, and this one because BOOK CLUB!

If you need me, I’ll be listening to this list of the 50 best podcasts of 2017.

Less stuff, more adventure. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this.

What the men DIDN’T say at the Golden Globes.

I can’t wait to try this tip for better tasting chicken.

I’m all about self-love this year and this list of self-care resolutions really resonates with me. I hope it does with you too!

I’m inspired to try a few of these dishes from this vegetarian batch cooking post.

“We stuck a smartphone in every 14-year-old’s hand and told them it could make them famous. Little wonder that the kids who won that lottery don’t know when to turn the camera off. ” The social media star and the suicide.

Rock Bookends source

Love this easy DIY to glam up rocks into bookends.

Smuggling in toppings for your popcorn? Now this combo is genius!

10 wellness trends everyone will be talking about in 2018.

Here are also 7 books that will put in the right mindset for 2018.

This is also a great to-do list for making 2018 your most healthy year ever.

Maybe she’s born with it…maybe it’s something else.

This update made me so happy to read about.

Know anyone who is highly toxic? This list explains 50 devious ways you are getting played (and why they do it).

This is a fun spin on cakes that I can get behind.

Struggling? I have been thinking about this advice a lot this week.

Bible Study Planner source

Planning to read the Bible more? This free printable planner might help!

Wanting to consume more books this year? I love this article (especially those tips in the comments section). Here are a few of my own strategies.

Do you love Settlers of Catan too? This post should give you a good laugh!

Is decluttering your inbox on your resolutions list? This should help.

Just stocked up on some sweet deals at this unmentionables shop. If you haven’t tried their bralettes, you are in for a treat!

Want to stick to your resolutions? Consider phrasing it differently this year.

Say what? This grocery store is really upping their game.

I bought this printable and I’m having a blast tracking my reading goals now.

If you haven’t watched this show, what the heck are you waiting for? Also, check out this interview with the set artist (SWOON!)

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


Readers Recommend: A Book About Refugees or Immigrants

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Books About Refugees or Immigrants from

I thought it would be fun to work through our 2018 Reading Challenge worksheet together! I asked our amazing book club members to share their favorite reads about refugees or immigrants and wanted to share their favorites with you today. This list is such a great place to start when thinking about tackling the first category together.

Looking for more reading challenges to join? Here are a few that look like winners to me!

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 Reading Challenge

2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge

Tale_Away 2018 World Reading Challenge

Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge

GoodReads Around the Year in 52 Books (don’t forget to friend me!)

Last year’s MomAdvice Reading Challenge Worksheet


Books About Refugees or Immigrants To Check Out

Americanah Americanah

The Book of Unknown Americans The Book of Unknown Americans (read our author interview)

Saints for All Occasions Saints for All Occasions (featured in our Best Books of 2017)

Brooklyn Brooklyn

Refugee Refugee (this was the MOST recommended book!)

Behold the Dreamers Behold the Dreamers

Pachinko Pachinko

Behind the Beautiful Forevers Behind the Beautiful Forevers

We Were the Lucky ONes We Were the Lucky Ones

A Good American A Good American

The Sun is Also a Star The Sun is Also a Star

The Leavers The Leavers

American War American War

Stealing Buddha's Dinner Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

The Illegal The Illegal

Exit West Exit West

Little Bee Little Bee

Breath Eyes Memory Breath, Eyes, Memory

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

We Never Asked for Wings We Never Asked for Wings

Shanghai Girls Shanghai Girls

Weeping Under the Same Moon Weeping Under the Same Moon


Books About Refugees or Immigrants

What books would you add to this list today? Don’t forget to print out your free Reading Challenge Worksheet and join our FREE book club!


Pin It