Archive for April, 2018

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Happy Friday!

How long has it been since I shared a few of my favorite things?

Too long, in my opinion!

It’s been all good things this month and I wanted to catch you up a bit and then share what’s been making me happy this week.

It has been a busy month of fun travel this past month! After visiting the HGTV Smart Home with SimpliSmart, I headed to Florida with the family for our first really long road trip (where we learned about team building- hahaha!), and then I headed to Whistler with the Maven Coalition.

All of these opportunities were made possible, by this amazing supplement that came in just the nick of time.

Next week I’m off again to head to Pasadena for the Mom 2.0 Conference, which was a surprise trip this month.  Typically, our ballet festivities happen around this time of year so I decided to not secure a ticket to the event. The ballet festivities got moved to June though and then this happened…

Iris Awards Nominee

There was an email in my inbox that said, “Congratulations! You were selected and recognized as a 2018 Iris Award nominee for the distinguished Best Mom Blog of the Year Iris Award®, one of the year’s greatest achievements in parenting blogging as determined by your peers and leaders in media, journalism, marketing and the creative arts.”

This is where I promptly bursted into tears with my husband.

How awesome is this?

This was worth packing my suitcase again and I am SO excited to spend some time with my friends and learn how to continue to grow this space.

For you AND for me!

I need to sit down and finish out my no-spend challenge documentation, but decided since this month was so crazy that I would halt my plans to slow down on social media and commit to that in May instead. I’ll share more about that next week, but I am excited to see how it opens my eyes to my habits. I know that the no-spend challenge DEFINITELY opened my eyes A LOT and has been making me way more conscious of my spending habits this month.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy!

Wild Wild Country Wild Wild Country

If you haven’t dug into the Netflix docu-series, Wild Wild Country yet, you will definitely want to add this to your watchlist. This series explores the controversial story of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in Rajneeshpuram community that resided in Wasco County, Oregon in the ’80’s.

Imagine a sleepy and quiet town that is suddenly taken over by a religious group that no one really understands as they fall at the feet of an Indian guru who rides in on a Rolls Royce and has a red carpet rolled out at his feet.

Unbelievable, right?

The group takes over a huge acreage of land, next to the small town of Antelope, and build a compound where they can live and grow together in their way of life. When the town feels threatened by their presence, actions are taken to protect their community that they have built and many of these actions end up having devastating consequences.

We could not plow through this series quick enough and had lots of discussions since about what it means to be welcoming to people we don’t understand and our own human natures to shy away from anything that we don’t see as, “normal.”

In the current political climate, it fits really well with many of the themes that we have discussed around our dinner table about our love and acceptance of all. That said, this piece really sheds light on a bigger picture issue of the children that were left behind and while elements of this movement made since, many were disturbing as well.

I also found this piece compelling on why people gravitate towards cults and the differences between what defines a cult versus an organized religion.

I could talk about this one all day, but I’ll just say that this one gave us a lot to chew on and I think you might find it compelling too.

Swiftkey source

Swiftkey Keyboard

I am queen of shortcuts these days, especially when it comes to my hands and fingers. I joined a life hacks group for my health challenges, and one of the posters shared about the Swiftkey Keyboard (over here for iPhone) as a great option to help people who struggle with texting and typing on their phones.

Am I the last person on earth to discover how awesome this is?

Basically, you install this keyboard on your phone and it replaces your current keyboard. Instead of pecking at your keys, you can just drag your fingers across the letters to type the words. The keyboard is very intuitive so it gets the hang of your patterns quickly and then it starts predicting your words and where spaces should be.

I’m still getting the hang of the layout, but dragging my fingers versus the tapping I was doing seems to be slightly easier on my joints.

Nuun Electrolytes

Nuun Electrolytes

I am trying to do better about staying hydrated and since I have been traveling a lot, I decided to see if there were any electrolyte options that might travel well. I ran across the Nuun Electrolytes at my local vitamin store and thought I would pack them in my carry-on bag with an empty water bottle.

I have to say, this addition to my travel routine was such a smart one! Most electrolyte drinks have too much sugar in them and I usually have a major crash, thanks to my hypoglycemia. Most sports drinks actually have more sugar in them than two scoops of ice cream (!!!)  which explains why I crash so hard after I drink them.

These tablets have just 1 gram of sugar (you can read more about what’s in them over here) and have made drinking water a little more fun. I have loved the Fruit Punch and Mixed Berry flavors, in particular.

Not only are these great for travel, but I see these as a great hangover remedy too when I know the drinks will be flowing.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!! If you are looking for me, you’ll find me curled up with this book this weekend. Stay tuned for my favorite reads this month-


*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 04.26.18

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

orange chicken broccoli rice bowls source

I would love to switch up my lunch bowl game with this orange chicken and broccoli rice bowl recipe.

Did drinking give me cancer? This was a really compelling piece.

This two-ingredient recipe upgrades any salad– yum!

Finally, a home tour one might be able to relate to. I love the way cat vomit adds to the rug’s texture!

Bookmarking this list of the best new books to check out for Spring.

This made me giggle– can you even imagine?

Has anyone else been working through a slump? I thought this post had some great ideas to get through it!

Here are some great tips for ditching the PMS naturally.

Paint-Poured Marble Clock source

I am wowed by this paint-poured marble clock. What a fun craft project to try!

Paint-pouring seems to be very on-trend in the craft community. Check out these gorgeous dollar store chargers for another project idea.

I love this time-tracking experiment.

After reading a pile of books with heavy topics, I’m wrapping up this fun & smutty read (and loving it).

This news must be very bittersweet for many families. McNamara’s book was incredibly compelling, if you want to learn more.

A friend sent me this awesome piece- “high maintenance” things people do when they have a chronic illness.

I love this new dad-calling option.

Was anyone else a big fan of these books when they were a kid? I’m curious how this will play out on the big screen.

rugs source

I love this smart tip for adding texture to your home that won’t break the bank.

Loving the look of shiplap walls? Here is a tutorial to do a wall in under two hours.

Thinking about switching to a natural deodorant? Check out this post and comments.

This would definitely spice up our taco nights.

How the Pulitzers chose Kendrick Lamar. Quite fascinating!

Speaking of that, here are this year’s prize winners.

If you are a fan of this board game, this should bring all the LOL’s!

I can’t wait to try this two minute creamy avocado dip recipe.

This week’s listen is my workout playlist for your next leg day!  Cheers!

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 04.24.18

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

small budget crushes

This week’s faves! xoxo

adopted a plant shirt adopt a plant shirt

Kerryn Footbed Sandals kerryn footbed sandals (use coupon code SHOES for 20% off!!)

ruffle sleeve top ruffle sleeve top (on sale AND additional 30% off with coupon code GOSHOP)

one line a day journal one line a day journal

embroidered top embroidered top (several shades)

princess and the pea print princess and the pea print

bonus mom candle #bonusmom candle (great Mother’s Day gift!)

brushed fleece wrap brushed fleece wrap

eat well, travel often tea towel eat well travel often tea towel

back-away back away slowly please

ruffled hem midi dress ruffled hem midi dress- several colors

dream bathroom print dream bathroom print

dance bracelet dance bracelet (LOVE!!)

leaf supply book leaf supply book (perfect to pair with a plant for your mama!)

off the shoulder stripes off the shoulder stripes (additional 40% off- no coupon code needed)

cassidy apron cassidy apron

relaxed chambray shirt relaxed chambray shirt (30% off- no coupon code needed)

for what it's worth for what it’s worth quote

twist front sweatshirt sweatshirt with a twist-two colors (on sale AND additional 30% off with coupon code GOSHOP)

linen cushion covers linen cushion covers

white tee perfect tee (under $10 and tons of colors)

woven slide sandals woven slide sandals (use coupon code SHOES for 20% off!!)

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 

DIY Reusable Floor Pads For Your Swiffer Mop

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

DIY Wet and Dry Swiffer Pads Tutorial from

This Indiana girl could not be happier to know that Spring has finally sprung! I am so excited to throw open those windows and to get my home ready for this warmer season. In honor of all the Spring cleaning today I wanted to share with you an easy 5-minute craft to create wet and dry Swiffer pads for your mop. This idea couldn’t be easier and will cost you less than $20 in supplies that you can use over and over again.

If you visit our house, you will find a Swiffer behind almost every door in our rooms. I find that these are such a great way to tidy up quickly before guests arrive or to swipe a room after getting ready in the morning. Pairing these with these DIY Swiffer Pads make this an environmentally-friendly investment that you can use over and over again in your home.

Let’s get started by first making our DIY Wet Swiffer Pads with this easy tutorial.

DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

How to Make DIY Wet Swiffer Pads

DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

Supplies Needed for the Wet Swiffer Pads

4 cups of vinegar

6 cups water

1 tablespoon dish soap (I chose a Mrs. Meyers in a fresh lemon scent)- PSST- Use this coupon from Grove for a Mrs. Meyer’s five-piece set for FREE with your first purchase.

1 gallon size freezer bag

11×11 utility dishcloths (This is the EXACT match to what I purchased- as you can see in the picture below, these are ALMOST the same exact size as our purchased pads, but you won’t have to do any sewing to achieve it!

Measuring cup & spoon

Swiffer mop


DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

In a gallon size freezer bag, mix together your vinegar, water, and dish soap. I used a measuring cup to help hold the bag in place as I filled it and then sealed and swished the bag to mix the ingredients. DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from
Insert your utility cloths into the solution until they are submerged. DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

When you are ready to use them, simply wring out a little of the solution and then place on your Swiffer as you would the purchased pads. Clean your floors and then shake any debris into the trash can and throw them in the wash when you are done. DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

As you can see, these do a great job of gathering crumbs from our floor.  These would also be great for wiping down surfaces in lieu of those throw away wipes that you might be using to clean your home.  The best part though is that these do not streak my laminate flooring like the purchased pads did. My floors have no residue and the vinegar smell dissipates quickly, leaving a clean and natural shine.

Now that we have made our DIY Wet Swiffer Pads, let’s start whipping up our Dry Swiffer Pads for our rooms. Again, this tutorial couldn’t be easier!

DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

How to Make DIY Dry Swiffer Pads

DIY Dry Swiffer Pads from

Supplies Needed for the Dry Swiffer Pads

1 yard of fleece (this site has very affordable prices)


A dry Swiffer Pad to use as a template or you can use the 11×11 utility dishcloths for a template for your pads

Swiffer mop


DIY Dry Swiffer Pads from

Using a dry Swiffer pad or your 11×11 dishcloth as a template, cut your fleece to the same size. Repeat, making as many as you like. DIY Dry Swiffer Pads from

Place on your Swiffer just as you would do with your purchased pads. Do a dry dusting of your floors with your reusable pads to gather dust, debris, and hair. Shake off any loose debris in the trash when you are done. Wash and reuse. DIY Dry Swiffer Pads from

As you can see, these also do a great job of gathering hair and dust.  I love to use these in my bathroom where it can be difficult to trap the dust and hair.

I love my shiny floors and look forward to replacing all of those pads with these easy DIY alternatives. Since these just take about 5-minutes to create, you have no time to lose and will have a beautiful home in no time flat!

  DIY Wet Swiffer Pads from

I hope you found today’s project inspiring! Have you ever created your own DIY Swiffer Pads? Feel free to leave your ideas below!

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MSM Supplement to Treat Joint Pain

Friday, April 20th, 2018

MSM Supplement to Treat Joint Pain

I am not a doctor. Please speak with your physician if this supplement is right for you or if it will interact with any medications you may be taking. 

I have been meaning to sit down to write this post for you for a couple of months, but I also wanted to be sure that what I shared with you was an actual experience with a supplement and not something I wasn’t informed on. If there has been any privilege in going through this experience, it has been hearing that something I have shared has helped you or your family members in some way.

I am so excited though to share with you about a supplement that has GREATLY decreased my joint pain and, truly, given me my quality of life back.

The craziest thing though is that NO ONE is talking about it and it is an affordable solution that has allowed me to kick my pain medication habit to the curb and given me the ability to return to travel and take on work projects again.

In fact, after sharing a post on my personal page on Facebook about how much it had helped me, I  had three friends reach out and share with me that they have been able to discontinue their medications for arthritis pain or that this has decreased their symptoms significantly.

The supplement is called MSM and it has helped me SO incredibly much with my joint pain and many of the issues I struggle with when it comes to my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

MSM Supplement

What is MSM?

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane (that’s a mouthful) and has been nicknamed the, “miracle supplement,” because of its ability to lower inflammation, fight the effects of stress and pain, raise immunity and increase energy levels.

At its root it is an an organic sulfur-containing compound that can be contained naturally in some green vegetables and other food products, but not at the levels that you would find within the supplement itself. While its presence can be found in many of the foods we eat, it is quickly lost during the cooking process. That is why it is so valuable in supplement form.

The reason so many benefits are attributed to the MSM supplement is because MSM provides biologically active sulfur, which is the fourth most plentiful mineral in the body and needed for many different critical bodily functions every single day. MSM is especially popular as part of an arthritis diet and supplementation plan to treat arthritis or osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease since it helps form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons and ligaments. (source)

Is it Clinically Proven to Help Anything?

Supplements are always a tricky territory, aren’t they? I am a big believer though that many supplements have the ability to improve the quality of our life.

Clinical trials though have been done with MSM and you can read about the medical study over here. In this clinical trial they tested the effects of MSM on joint pain in 118 patients with osteoarthritis and found that compared to a placebo, MSM supplements taken over 12 weeks resulted in more improvements in pain, swelling and joint mobility.

In reference to dosage, in this trial, the MSM supplements were given in 500-milligram doses three times daily along with glucosamine (also taken in 500-milligram doses three times daily). Together they both seem to safely reduce inflammation and pain intensity without causing side effects for the majority of people.

Ideally, adding MSM along with Vitamin C (which improves the absorption)  and Glucosamine (see the study above) is the perfect combo to achieve optimal results.

With regards to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, what I have, I found this medical advice given- “We therefore hypothesize that the symptoms associated with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may be successfully alleviated using a specific (and potentially synergistic) combination of nutritional supplements, comprising calcium, carnitine, coenzyme Q(10), glucosamine, magnesium, methyl sulphonyl methane, pycnogenol, silica, vitamin C, and vitamin K, at dosages which have previously been demonstrated to be effective against the above symptoms in other disorders.” (source)

How Much Should You Take?

This, again, is another tricky territory and would be great to speak to your physician about. You can take anywhere between 500mg on up to 10,000mg, but starting small is always ideal.

What Has it Helped Me With?

My Joint Pain Has Decreased- Vicodin has been the only pain medication that has worked for me and we all know that this isn’t a sustainable solution and not a great one for a mom who has to run her kids around town.  Since starting the MSM, I have been able to use this daily (with the exception of some of the really bad days) instead of my prescription pain medication.

The effects, for me, were rather immediate and amazing. I felt like I had taken a pain pill, but wasn’t struggling with the foggy head and exhaustion that I experienced while taking Vicodin.

Coupling this with my favorite chronic pain gadget (read all about it over here), I feel like I have found two great solutions that I can live with.

The best part, I’m traveling again because of the decrease in pain. How awesome is that?

It Has Decreased My Hair Shedding- I am not sure if it was the medications I was taking or if it has been the stress that my body has been under, but I was losing A LOT of hair. Since taking this supplement, I am only shedding a few strands (versus clumps) and my hair feels thicker and seems to be growing much faster. In a similar way, my nails are thicker and growing faster than they were before.

I discovered that it is also referred to as a, “beauty mineral,” because of how much it helps with your hair, nails, and skin.

The only plus to this connective tissue disorder is that I do not have struggles with my skin, but if you are struggling with things like age spots/pigmentation issues, this can help with that too. It also helps with acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

I Am Bouncing Back Better From My Workout Routines- It has been really awesome to get back to my workout routines and not be hobbling around for a couple of days after. I feel like MSM was the tweak in my supplement routine to help my body build back some of its strength.

I’m Not Needing to Brace My Joints as Much- My PT had instructed me to brace my fingers since we discovered the pain in my fingers (from being hypermobile) was causing my elbow pain. Guess what? I’m not wearing my finger braces anymore unless I have a really long day at my desk. This has been absolutely incredible to be able to use my fingers again for longer periods of time.

Any carpal tunnel issues I have been having seem to have decreased, if not completely resolved.

My heart is so hopeful that I will be knitting again soon!


My MSM Routine

After going through so many capsules daily, I decided to purchase the MSM powder instead. I add a 1/2 teaspoon (2,000 mg) to my smoothie in the morning. In the afternoon, I add the same amount to my La Croix, and in the evening I add this to my Calm with warm water.

I am disclosing, it is horribly bitter. It takes a bit to get used to, but totally worth it for the benefits it provides.

If you prefer, you can take MSM in a capsule format instead.

I Am NOT All Better Though

I don’t want to mislead anyone because this is helping, but I still have bad days. I was excited to be traveling again, but I still was hurting and needing to rest when I got back. The thing is… I can travel again.

I feel much, much better and anything that keeps me off pain pills in the winter is a GREAT thing.

I am focusing on that.

Here are some other articles you may find helpful:

Life Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

11 Ways to Naturally Relieve Joint Pain

The Life-Changing Device I Found for My Chronic Pain

Burning Mouth Syndrome? Maybe Not!

Living in the Gray

Follow all my medical adventures (and more!!) on Instagram.

Have you tried MSM? I’d love to hear if this supplement has helped you? Please share!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Amy’s Notebook 04.19.18

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

lets stay home printable source

How cute is this free printable for your home? These sentiments match my personality perfectly.

Teeth whitening treatments aren’t cheap. Loving this diy version made from all natural ingredients!

Oof. I do this a lot and needed this reminder.

Here are ten easy things you can do in a weekend to update your space.

This site always has the best teacher appreciation gift ideas. Looking for more? Check out this sweet idea or this one (it was a huge hit!) or even this. Yeah, we really love our teachers!

I’m so ready to put together my spring capsule wardrobe. These spring outfit combos are really inspiring.

Be sure to check out this list of books recommended by 22 ambassadors that they encourage you to read before visiting their country.

If you are white and struggling with empathy on the topic of these shootings, give this exercise listed a try. #eyeopener

Here are nine plants that will help you get better sleep. I am becoming quite the houseplant addict!

Some exciting developments are happening at ALDI. Woot, woot!

I’d really like to make this switch.

Not sure how many of you craft, but Craftsy is offering unlimited courses for two weeks for one dollar. Pretty sweet!

Bedroom Styling source

Freshening up your bedroom for Spring? Check out these bedroom styling tips for some inspo.

Since I have been seeing a TMJ specialist, these exercises for relieving jaw & neck tension are so up my alley!

I am going to have to add this to my carry-on bag when I’m traveling and steal one of these the next time I’m staying at a hotel.

I am swooning over this new line.

Looking for a new morning devotional to dive into? Check out this list.

I’m so happy to see this lady back to blogging again and peeking at her favorite books.

Bookmarking this list of best-of television shows for my next lazy day.

Jute Bag source

Turn placemats into a cute jute and leather tote. ADORABLE!

I finished this book this week and was blown away.

Thinking about making a purchase? This simple list of six questions might guide your decision.

I’m feeling like my kids are starting to develop some allergies towards us so this read was reassuring.

Here are four classes to revive your side hustle. Who couldn’t use a little help with that?

I can’t stop laughing. I am TERRIFIED of birds. Seriously. Also, if you haven’t read this interview, you really should (and read the book).

One Pan Moroccan Lemon Chicken source

This one-pot Moroccan Lemon Chicken recipe looks like a weeknight winner.

I found this piece to be really compelling about the pluses and minuses of building your following on Instagram. On a very small scale, I get this.

This gorgeous basic top is on my spring capsule wardrobe agenda.

I’m also eyeing this classic piece.

What if your kiddos could rewrite the house rules. This was such a fun piece!

This week’s album share below! Happy listening!

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 04.17.18

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

small budget crushes

This week’s faves! xoxo

pony pin badges pony pin badges (how cute are these for birthday gifts?) vintage soft sweatshirt tee vintage soft sweatshirt tee

tassel pyramid necklace tassel pyramid necklace

the power jean the power jean (today only- 30% off)

probably at target welcome mat probably at target welcome mat

striped tassel bag striped tassel bag (today only- 30% off)

peplum sweatshirt peplum sweatshirt

book party mug book party mug

rattan chairs rattan chairs

pillow covers pillow covers (several designs and currently HALF OFF!!)

custom vases custom family portrait vases (what an amazing Mother’s Day gift!!)

naturalizer sandals naturalizer comfy sandals (several colors and widths- half off!)

gingham one piece gingham swimsuit (use coupon code SWIM for 25% off!!)

wall planter wall planter

library card coasters library card coasters

macrame picnic tote macrame picnic tote

the cat gets everything the cat gets everything mug

mixed stripe flare dress mixed stripe flare dress (use coupon code FRIENDS for 40% off!!)

call me big papaya dishcloth call me big papaya dishcloth (just $3-cute hostess gift!!)

double planter double planter (under $20!!)

national park checklist national park checklist

embroidered wrap romper embroidered wrap romper (use coupon code FRIENDS for 40% off!!)

memory foam travel pillow memory foam travel pillow

water bottle tracker water tracker bottle

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 


Trends You Really CAN Do at the 2018 HGTV Smart Home (With SimpliSafe)

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Affordable Spring Decorating Ideas from

I had the opportunity to head to Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina to tour the 2018 HGTV Smart Home last month. It has been one of those bucket list items that I have always wanted to do so when SimpliSafe asked if I would like to go, I couldn’t have been more excited.

Today I wanted to share with you the 2018 home decorating ideas that I spotted at the HGTV Smart Home and share a little bit about what SimpliSafe is all about.


If you haven’t heard of SimpliSafe before, you aren’t alone! It was, actually, new to me too. This is a smartly designed security system that is meant to integrate seamlessly in your home and offer smart technology protection to keep your home and family safe. It is so seamless, in fact, that SimpliSafe was integrated through the entire Smart Home to showcase just how seamless in design it could be.

Before accepting the trip offer,  I went through the materials about their security system and just knew that I would need to pass on the opportunity to come to this event. I do my best to only feature budget-friendly buys here so when I finally dove into the prices on their units, I was surprised to discover they were incredibly affordable and a perfect fit for a MomAdvice reader. Even as they continued to make improvements to the designs, the costs have remained low for their customers.

In fact, the security subscription service is half of their competitors and they pride themselves on keeping the costs for these home security systems low!

Since we live in a small home, I love the options that are available to customize these to your own space and your own personal needs. Many packages are hard to match with our square footage and what we REALLY need so I loved the build-your-own option choices. Of course, they have conveniently bundled a great starter pack (priced as low as $229) or you have the option to choose your own security adventure and build a package that fits your needs.

2018 HGTV Smart Home

Often when I think of security, I am only thinking about keeping the doors locked and watching for intruders. Security systems are about so much more than that though and one item, in particular, caught my eye. We have had issues with water in our basement, after a few brutal storms, and this very unobtrusive water sensor on the floor, would be an incredible investment for our family. They also offer a Freeze Sensor that can alert you when temperatures drop below 41 degrees to protect your pipes from bursting.

Yeah, that never happens in Indiana.

Cassie and Amy

I can’t rave enough about these smart products and the amazing team that introduced me to them (you can see one of my favorite team members, Cassie, above)! Who knew all of this could be so affordable? Definitely, check them out!

Speaking of affordable, let’s take a tour of some of the other affordable trends that I spotted while touring the 2018 HGTV Smart Home.

2018 HGTV Smart Home

2018 HGTV Smart Home

2018-hgtv-smart-home (3 of 28)

I thought we could start with the exterior of the home. I loved the simplicity of the window box in the front and the beautiful greenery in the beds.

Around the back of the home is an absolutely stunning patio. These tall plant stands with ferns were such a beautiful addition without taking up as much space as flower pots would on the floor and added a little color to this area.

I am a big fan of these statement chairs that have been placed at the end of the table,  paired with the simplicity of these wooden folding chairs. While I don’t know the price tag on these statement chairs, I did spy some beautiful ones over here that I have my eye on that could replicate a more affordable look. We also, typically, have bought our dining chairs from this affordable shop, but now you can find gorgeous chairs just about anywhere and add two beautiful chairs at the end to have that mismatched look for less!

The styling with brown paper covered books and candle lanterns are beautiful (and also so doable!)

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018-hgtv-smart-home (33 of 7)

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018-hgtv-smart-home (34 of 7)

This house was filled to the brim with greenery. Plants, plants, plants EVERYWHERE. It was absolutely dreamy. Houseplants can be pricey, but I try to justify it by reminding myself how long a bouquet of flowers last. Even with my black thumb, I can usually get more longevity out of a plant than a bouquet and greenery makes such a beautiful statement in a home.

The mix and match of greenery in this house really caught my eye in every room. If you can believe it, all the greenery (in the vases),  had been purchased from a local Kroger (!!!) so this look is definitely on a budget. I will be referencing these pictures for a great how-to on beautiful mixing because I think that was key with these green displays.

Again, a pair of chairs adds visual interest and I loved the matching blanket and velvet pillow combo that adorned both of them.
2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

These industrial shelves framed the kitchen sink and I loved the styling they did with them.  I, genuinely, have a hard time styling shelves so I wanted to be sure to snap pictures in here too. Jars of dried beans and colored rice make a lovely display (that can be eaten) and books really made the house.



I did find it interesting that this heavy shelving was built in front of the windows.

Once again, they are KILLING IT with their greenery. This big glass vase was a beautiful statement piece on the kitchen island.

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

Here are a few of the details that I loved in the bedrooms.

Suitcases for Storage- This would be such a smart place to tuck an extra set of sheets or blankets for guests.

Floor to Ceiling Curtains- We raised our curtains in our bedroom, but not as high as this. Moving them up to the tippy top made the room feel dramatically bigger and taller.

Wooden Beads- Must invest in millions of strands of wooden beads for decorating. They add such beautiful natural tones and they added these in almost every room.

More Books- Wrapping them in paper is such a beautiful touch and I loved how they are paired with a colored glass vase for a simple pop of color.

Styling Around a Wall-Mounted Television- I loved that the frames were incorporated around this television so it made it blend in more and made the framing of the television more natural.

Smart Touches Above the Beds- In particular, the use of two frames and then the cow OVER the frames made for beautiful visual interest without looking cluttered.

Candlestick Holders- A collection of three was perfect for an ottoman display and added a touch of metal to the room.

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

Heading into the bathroom… This was a SMART home so you can see that the mirrors are also allowing you to surf the web or watch the news while you get ready. You could swipe on them to browse just like you would your phone.

If you have the space, this was such an adorable display for a robe. Also, that painting in the corner is adorable and I loved that it was on an easel display to add some interest around the tub.

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

Gallery walls make me so happy and I loved the use of mismatched frames and different styles of artwork that helped to achieve this stunning wall. As a perfectionist, I get hung up on the placement and the matchy-matching, but this shows you that they don’t need to match and staggering them adds more beauty to this wall.

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

I love when a home uses every nook and cranny and I do think this house did that. This little room has a bookcase with a hidden gaming room tucked behind for the kiddos. A window seat adds a little perch for reading books too.

Once again, I’m in awe of the gorgeous styling on these shelves. The use of just one color of book throughout the bookcase is just stunning.

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

2018 HGTV Smart Home Tour

Truly, no corner went to waste in this beautiful space, even in the trickier corners. I loved every inch of this space!



Group Shot

Group Shot 2 Mom Trends * Family Focus Blog * Well-Connected Mom * Christine Koh

The bonus to this beautiful weekend was getting to spend time with some really wonderful friends.

Another huge thank you to SimpliSafe for giving me the opportunity to sneak peek the HGTV Smart Home. It was, truly, a dream come true.

I was provided travel accommodations to attend this event by SimpliSafe

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