Archive for February, 2018

My Year of Living Intentionally

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

a year filled with intention from

I got a few messages wondering how I am doing over here. You guys never cease to amaze me in how intuitive you are when I’m going through a rough patch. It’s been such a frustrating process of working really hard to feel better, but hitting depressing hurdles that send me back to square one.

Honestly, my body hasn’t been cooperating with my 2018 plans.

Last night, in the wee hours of the morning, I started thinking about what drives me and how to get control of that drive in my life. Typically, this reflection happens in January, but if I waited until next year than I would be missing out on improving my life in the next upcoming months.

I started jotting down things that I struggle with and what I’d love to see myself do better at. I love seeing long lists of monthly intentions from others, but I’m going to be really proud to put one intention out in the world each month and accomplish it. Setting intentions helps give my days more purpose and I love seeing what good things can come from intentional living.

Blogging has a way of holding me accountable and I thought I could journal what I learn each month as I’m working my way through these intentions. If they are things you struggle with too, maybe you might want to join me?

Here are the monthly intentions that I want to work through this year and why.

Living With Intention Monthly Challenges

march no spend challenge

March- No-Spend Challenge

It’s been awhile since my last no-spend challenge and March is the perfect month for it. I’d love to spend some time evaluating my spending habits, resist the urge to buy a bunch of stuff for our Spring Break trip, and to get our tax paperwork in order. I feel like we have been hemorrhaging money and I’m hoping this challenge will remind me how to do better with our family finances.

April Stop the Scrolling Challenge April- Stop the Scrolling Challenge

April is THE WORST for me because I start the comparison game with the Spring Break trips and often get so consumed with that, I fail to enjoy our own break. While I can’t completely detach from social media, there is no reason to spend my days endlessly scrolling. I’m going to try to reel this one in, especially since this tends to be an unhealthy habit for me in April.

I’d also love to go social media free for the first week of April to get the most out of our family trip.

may get moving challenge from May- Get Moving

I can use my illness as an excuse all I want, but I can still be moving in some way, even if I’m not doing a full-out workout. May is when I tend to start the summer slack so I thought this would be a perfect time to remind myself to get moving.

Ideally, 3-5 days a week, I’m going to be intentionally moving…even if it is just a walk around the block.

june declutter like a boss

June- Declutter Like a Boss

Despite all appearances, there is a lot of clutter in our house and I’d love to reign it in. Closets, pantry, dumping spots (for us it is the laundry room & garage) all could use some organizing.

I also am queen of abandoned projects so I’d love to get a few of those done during this month of organization.

new year in july challenge from July- New Year in July

I love to make New Year’s resolutions…and then abandon them.

This month will be the perfect time to revisit what I put out in the world and try to actually check a resolution (or two) off my list.

august be creative challenge

August- Be Creative (For Myself)

I would love to get back to being creative and I have plenty of tools to do it. There are a few items on my crafting bucket list and I’d love to set the intention to actually do something creative for myself each week.

put down the wine challenge from

September- Put Down the Wine

I love sharing drinks with friends and with my husband over the summer, but it quickly becomes a nightly habit after enjoying it so often in the warmer months.  I’d love to do a dry month and see what I can learn from a month without my wine.

october better start better sleep from

October- Better Start Better Sleep

I know how much better I feel with good sleep and a great morning routine. I’d love to focus on that by getting my sleeping habits back on track. I have the tendency to sabotage myself by hopping on my phone at night or staying up too late with a good book. I’d like to see if I can feel better by being intentional with better sleep habits.

november connect with people challenge November- Connect With People

I’m an INFJ and I have the tendency to REALLY introvert when the months get colder and my body isn’t feeling as good. I’d love to set the intention that I will work harder to connect with people in my life during this challenging time.

december self-care month from December- Month of Self-Care

The holidays run me down (as I am sure they do you too!) and I would love to be more intentional about self-care during this challenging season. It won’t be extravagant luxuries like spa days, but setting intentions AT HOME to take care of myself.

I’m really excited to share with you what I learn from these challenges, starting with a discussion tomorrow about my No-Spend March. I think it is the perfect month to reset before our spring vacation, don’t you?

I’m hoping with a goal each month that I can start feeling like the old me again!

a year filled with intention from

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Amy’s Notebook 02.28.18

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

DIY-Macrame-Chandelier source

I am wowed by this diy macrame chandelier made from a simple lampshade.

How to develop a mind that clings to nothing– wow, wow, wow! I need to work on this.

Tell her first.

Also, I see you less-than-perfect kid. It echoes so much of what is on my heart.

Self-care obsessed? Add these eight self-care books to your book stack!

How about applying the KonMari principles to your digital world too? Love it!

Trying to get organized? Add these eleven Instagram accounts to your follow list.

I need to mix up some of this DIY cleaner for my kiddos and their glasses.

New erotica for feminists– hahahaha. YASSS!!

The best ways to manage stress based on your Myer-Briggs personality.

Struggling with a narcissist in your life? This post sheds light on the best way to become their worst nightmare.

I love sharing music with you so here is your weekly Amy’s Notebook album to enjoy- I promise to share more each week. We went & saw them in a show & they were phenomenal.

I thought this piece was so very brave.

I can’t rave enough about these jeggings. Crops on tall girls, perfect full-length for my fellow shorties without any hemming.

Oh, how I love this collection of parenting advice.

diy high chair mat source

I love this super cute diy high chair mat to keep your floors clean (and stylish!)

I’m queen of the best cheap sheets set club (this is my FAVORITE set) and I love these tips to make cheap sheets feel like expensive luxuries.

Here are a few smart morning habits to boost your creativity throughout the day.

50 contemporary reads every woman has to read. I spy several of my favorites on this list.

The top 100 movies on Netflix for your next movie night.

Oh, how I can relate to this. Maybe you can too?

pop up bookstore source 

Now this is a pop-up bookstore that I can get behind!

Struggling to keep your book club discussions on track? Here are a few tips to facilitate better book club discussions. I also loved this idea for a romance book swap book club. How fun would that be?

I’ve really been enjoying this compelling read this week. See you tomorrow for my book reviews for the month!

Gun reform and speaking truth to bullshit. This was a very power excerpt from her book that is quite timely.

Easy to execute tips to style your rooms.

What a great way to help your houseplants out with drainage (and I have quite a few of these in my cupboard!)

Trying to incorporate better sleep habits? I found this post to be really helpful.

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 02.26.18

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

february small-budget crushes This week’s faves! xoxo

printable wisdom

let’s stay in

swim romper swim romper (BOGO 50% off deal this week!!)

moto jacket moto jacket (several colors)

never stop growing mug never stop growing mug

beach cart beach cart

button-up tops  2 for Tuesday – 2/27/18 – 2 Spring Button-Ups for $22 + FREE Shipping w/code 2FORBUTTON 

ruffle ribbed sweater ruffle ribbed sweater

yarn-dyed napkin set yarn-dyed napkin set (take an extra 25% off the sale price!)

rima tassel necklace rima tassel necklace

iphone planter iphone planter

gingham skinny pants gingham skinny pants (use coupon code SOGOOD for 40% off)

handmade tassel earrings handmade tassel earrings

sea angel one piece sea angel one piece (BOGO 50% off deal this week!!)

striped bell sleeve top striped bell sleeve (additional 40% off- no code needed)

tie-hem jeggings tie-hem jeggings (use coupon code SOGOOD for 40% off)

patterned beach towels patterned beach towels (30% off!!)

iphone speaker handmade iphone speaker

killin it plants mug killin’ it (the plants that is) mug

monogrammed bikini bag monogrammed bikini bag

patina feather earrings patina feather earrings

skirted peplum apron skirted peplum apron (take an extra 25% off sale price)

black smock waist dress smock waist dress (so figure flattering!!)

i'd rather be reading mug i’d rather be reading mug

madewell v-neck tee


striped tee
watercolor scratch off map watercolor scratch-off map

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 02.08.17

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

lobster linguine source

This lobster linguine looks like a great Valentine’s Day dinner. Lobster not in the budget? Try it this way instead (and still wow your man!)

I am just completely floored by this routine. GORGEOUS!

I need to work on my listening skills and this post had a lot of great advice.

I’ve been craving Indian so this recipe looks like a perfect (and healthy) ticket to my favorite flavors.

Oof. So I read this article with a lump in my throat. As a dinosaur in the industry, it has been a difficult shift. Also, know I feel a little vulnerable posting this, but I just want you to know I see it too.

Which reminds me, you are never too old to make a career switch.

Adding this supplement to my beauty routine. Have you heard of it? Check out this article that explains how it can improve your skin and protect you from the sun! Speaking of skin, here are three items we should add to our skincare routines.

We have an ice cream maker and I never knew that this one-ingredient trick yields a creamier ice cream.

I’ve been wanting to try this out for a fun night out.

Trying to up your Scrabble game? This was such a fun piece!

Something no one talks about, but might be helpful information (for you, totally not for me…nope!)

14 ways to make journaling the best thing you do in 2018.

buzzed about authors in 2018 source

Trying to stay on top of the latest stream of authors? This is a great post on the next round of literary buzz. Thrilled to spy a MomAdvice Book Club pick on here (woot, woot!)

Here are 25 must-read classics women should be reading. I’m hoping to tackle a few this year!

Can’t even? CANCEL IT.

Bookmarking these money-saving apps to dig into later. I need to tighten the reins over here!

Looking to tackle a long book this year? This reading strategy looks like a great way to make that happen.

Speaking of books, so excited to dive into this one this week.

A secret to a happy marriage.

better sleep routines source

Head to this article ASAP for sleep tips and a downloadable sleep tracker. Yay!

I’m working on my evening routines so these bedtime rituals from successful people is really inspiring.

Also, I am so inspired by this encouragement to put your phones away. I actually ditched bringing it in our room at night and got this instead. All the bells and whistles and no distractions!

Now that you got your tips for bedtime down pat, these tips for a great morning routine are also great.

Here’s what beauty editors get asked the most (lots of these are questions I would ask myself!).

I know no one on here gets hangovers so I’ll just bookmark these natural hangover cures for myself.

Not sure how to style tiny scarves? I love these styling tips.

Homemade chocolate pudding made in the microwave? YASSSS!

What to say when you meet the angel of death at a party. This same advice is great too for talking with friends about a chronic illness.

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 02.06.17

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

small-budget crushes

This week’s faves! xoxo
big top tees big top tees – Use coupon code BOLD29 and it will make the price of each tee $16.95 with FREE SHIPPING. The code is valid 2/7 through 2/10!! utility shirt dress utility shirt dress (use coupon code SWEET for an additional 20% off)

modern-art-print roses modern art print

photive speaker photive speaker

ruffled stripes ruffled stripes (only $8!!)

gingham-drop-earrings gingham drop earrings (less than $6!!)

tan basic ballet flat tan basic ballet flat

goldfinch print goldfinch print

pioneer woman drawer organizer floral expandable drawer organizers

hanging-branch-clothing-rack hanging branch clothing rack

black lace swing dress black lace swing dress

commitment card commitment card

cut-out bootie cut-out bootie

food print food print

open front sweater blazer sweater blazer (this is my FAVORITE piece & they have new colors- comfy & polished!!)

puffin in bloom set puffin in bloom book set

mother daughter mugs mother daughter mugs

anorak jacket anorak jacket (several hues- love the details!)

convertible cardigan convertible cardigan (love all the ways you can wear this one piece!)

yell ding-dong doormat yell ding-dong doormat

wrapped peplum blouse wrapped peplum blouse

tote bag two-toned tote bag (goes with everything!)

patch pocket vest patch pocket vest

double dipper dip clip double dipper dip clip

wrap dress wrap dress (several gorgeous prints & hues)

lace-up sneaker lace-up sneaker

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 

January 2018 Must-Reads

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

January 2018 Must-Reads from

I’ve got big plans to tackle another 100 books again and can’t wait to hear what your reading goals are this year too!

I am so excited to be sharing my first month of reviews for 2018.  This month ended up being a slower reading month for me, thanks to tackling some of the bigger books that I have had on my reading agenda. It slowed my roll a bit, but a couple of these larger books ended up being my favorites this month so I’m really glad I invested my time in them.

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.

MomAdvice 2018 Reading Challenge Printable download our free reading challenge worksheet!

Looking to add some variety to your stack? Feel free to join our book club! I can’t believe we have over 1,500 bookworms in this group. Our discussion this month was AMAZING and it is so much fun to have so many participating (and enjoying) the books that I selected to share. I announced our selections (here is what we will be reading in February) and you can find them pinned at the top of the group page. These will be added in a blog entry for January, but book club participants get the list a little earlier. It’s just one more perk to enjoy with this free club!

Need another challenge to push you out of your reading comfort zone? Be sure to download this year’s Reading Challenge Worksheet.

Before we chat about books, this month’s Book of the Month selections are AWESOME this month and I have to share about them with you!

book of the month

The Book of Month Club Selections Are Out!!

This month’s special:

Get your first month of BOTM free with code YESPLZ

February Selections

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (I already had this as an advanced reader- everyone is raving about this!)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (this is the one I got!)

The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller (this is the other one I got)

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James—a BOTM exclusive!


Here are 6 must-read books that I tackled in January!

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Fierce Kingdom shares the terrifying story of a mother and child that are visiting the zoo, as it nears closing time, when a shooting occurs and they must hide their to remain safe. Phillips builds the tension quickly as the book opens almost immediately with the shooting. You then follow the two as they try to find safety in the zoo and the story then begins to unfold with other points of views from other people who find themselves trapped there too.

The plot on this one was a bit thin and had a few loose ends with some characters that made this a quick read, but not necessarily a favorite. Had Phillips lead in with a bit more backstory and then moved to the shooting, I think I would have connected with it more with the story. She does craft believable characters and the struggle is real when her son is hungry and tired, but still has to remain quiet.

This wasn’t a thriller favorite, but it was an easily digestible literary escape for the week.

3 Out Of 5 Stars

The Last Mrs. Parrish

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish has been on my radar, after a few glowing reviews, and I couldn’t wait to dig into this fun thriller as my first book for January.  Constantine pens the story of a woman, Amber Patterson, who feels slighted by society and thinks she deserves more recognition than she is receiving in the world. Daphne Parrish has the life she always wanted and she begins to plan how she can steal this glamorous life from Daphne because she deserves it more than she does. #YOLO

Pretending to be her friend, she works her way into Daphne’s home and heart, all while pursuing her husband in some really conniving ways. A predictable Single White Female plot begins to unfold, but there is more to the plot than meets the eye.

Wait for it…PLOT SWITCH.

I’ll admit that the writing felt a bit juvenile in the beginning and I did not love Amber Patterson (or her viewpoint) when the book began.  I had thought about abandoning it, but Constantine develops a really well-crafted twist as I dove deeper into this one. I think you would enjoy this one a lot!

4 Out Of 5 Stars


Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

So many of my readers said that this book made their top ten and I can see why! This book was beautiful from start to finish and told the sweeping story of several generations of a Korean family in Japan and the cultural struggles that they face over the years.

The book begins in the early 1900’s with the unplanned pregnancy of a Korean girl, named Sunja. Sunja faces a lot of humiliation when she discovers she isn’t the only one who has captured her lover’s eye. When her path crosses with a tubercular minister, he offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life as thanks for helping him through his difficult illness.

The story then unfolds as generation after generation deal with their own cultural challenges, the discrimination they must face, and the poverty that threatens to take everything away from them.

This story is RICH in beauty and detail. Lee’s writing is just gorgeous and she weaves this tapestry of characters so very well.  At almost 500 pages, this one is a bit of a commitment, but I finished it in just a few short days because I had to know what would happen to these characters. I highly recommend adding this one to your stack!

Reading Challenge Completed- A book about refugees or immigrants

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Alias Grace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Last year I read and loved, The Handmaid’s Tale and couldn’t wait to dive into another Atwood book this year. Our first MomAdvice Book Club selection happened to be Alias Grace and lead to one of our best discussions we have had in the group.

This book is based upon the actual case of Grace Mark, a woman convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper, in 1843. Atwood tells this story effectively through sessions with an up-and-coming expert in the field of mental illness, as many believe she is deserving of a pardon, as he tries to uncover the truth. Told from alternating points of view, from the doctor and from Grace, Atwood builds this story and leaves readers on shaky ground on Grace’s innocence.

This was a slow starter for me and didn’t pick up pace until about halfway through. Once it did though, I felt a bit more vested in the story and spent a lot of time reading about the actual case that inspired Atwood.

Since this has book has become a Netflix series, it would be a fun one to read before catching the series. I’m looking forward to diving into this series soon- I hear it is quite binge-worthy!

Reading Challenge Completed- A MomAdvice Book Club Selection

3 Out Of 5 Stars

Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon has been on my radar for a long time, but I had a feeling that this true-crime story would be a difficult one to swallow. If you are unfamiliar of what this story is about, this book explores the murders that happened in the Osage Indian Reservation in the 1920s. The Osage people ended up being very wealthy when the land their reservation was located on happened to be rich with oil.

Basically the Osage people ended up rich and lived happily ever after.



You can’t imagine the corruption that occurred to try and rob these people of their land and money. From execution-style shootings to poisonings to exploding homes…it is unreal the amount of suffering these people endured.

The book explores the details behind these murders and the birth of the F.B.I. as they scoured the territory for clues and J. Edgar Hoover’s role in launching this bureau and the prestige and power he gained from this case.

This story reads like fiction, but it is anything BUT fiction. Fans of true-crime thrillers will love this one and won’t be able to put it down.

Reading Challenge Completed- A book based on a true story

5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Year of Less

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

If you are looking for a how-to book on how to live on less, then this would not be the book for you. If you are looking for a surprisingly poignant, raw, and honest account of one woman’s challenge to not spend money for a year and the parallels she began to see in her life to her need for acquisition, you will LOVE this book.

This memoir really showcases our deeply rooted attachments and the emotional reasons why we buy the things we do. As she whittles away at her belongings, she has time to reflect on everything from her childhood to her struggles with her alcohol addiction and see how these purchases intertwine with her habits and items she has acquired.

Fans of The Happiness Project will really love this one- it was deeply honest and highly motivating to rethink your spending mindset this year. I highly recommend this one!

Reading Challenge Completed- A memoir from someone you never heard of

5 Out Of 5 Stars

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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.

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No Big Deal… Just a $1,200 Stitch Fix Gift Card Giveaway!!

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Stitch Fix Giveaway

I am SO excited to share with you the chance to win a $1,200 Stitch Fix gift card to help you really invest in some beautiful wardrobe staple pieces. Spring will be just around the corner and what could be more fun than a FREE shopping spree?

I’ll TRY to contain my jealousy, but no guarantees!

How awesome would winning this be for establishing a beautiful capsule wardrobe?

To enter to win, please follow the instructions in today’s Rafflecopter. The more people you follow, the more chances to win this incredible prize!

Bonus… You get to follow some REALLY amazing bloggers that are sure to inspire you this year!

Best of luck, friends!

Stitch Fix Giveaway

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Enter to Win HERE:

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