Hello, friends! Do you see me peeking out at you behind this mountain of books?
This year I’ve got SO many big plans for the MomAdvice Book Club. Right now, I am diligently working to pick the best books for our 2020 year of reading together.
Unfortunately, that means that the reviews on here will be a bit thinner the next couple of months.
I REALLY want to surprise you with my selections this year.
I guess December’s reviews are going to be in one packed month as I reveal the 12 selections for our chats.
Not only are we doing this (!!!), but we are planning a fun project around each book. From printables, to craft ideas, to cooking the dishes (inspired by the stories)…it’s going to be AH-MAZING.
I’m teaming up with my amazing artist pal, M.J., to REALLY deliver on some beauty for your home and life.
Did I mention that I’m already dreaming up our next reading retreat.
Seriously, if you haven’t joined my FREE club, what are you waiting for?
I love sharing good books with you all. With almost 3,000 members, this community is booming!
If you are just on the hunt for Kindle book deals, be sure to sign up for my daily deals book newsletter. This is different than the weekly happy list and only contains the curated book deals for the day.
IMPORTANT REMINDER!! If you have Amazon Prime, be sure to get your FREE OCTOBER BOOK. This month’s selections expires on October 31st.
One of my favorite things to do is guest spot on podcasts. This week, you can catch me on, The Couch Podcast! Mary asked me to join her to chat about All-Things-Halloween!
We are dissecting our favorite Halloween sitcom episodes, my favorite spooky book, and my must-see list of Halloween movies. I think this episode should really get you in the mood for the season.
If that isn’t enough, Mary also wrote a great post on 8 Halloween sitcom episodes that she has loved.
I loved this one so much, she is going to be sharing one for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Just think of all the fun we can be watching while we get ready for the holidays!
Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.
Sign up is super quick over here.
I promise to never spam you.
Life is too short to spend time deleting worthless emails, amiright?
Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!
October Happy List Fun and Reviews
Are you on the hunt for the most perfect fall sweater?
The cut is forgiving, the weight of the yarn is not too heavy, and it pairs so well with everything in my wardrobe.
I ended up snagging this in blue, but had to place a second order for the other colors. You won’t regret this purchase- I promise! (true to size)
Are there any other Gleeks in the house?
I watch, pretty much, anything that Ryan Murphy comes up with so I was THRILLED to see that he had developed a new series for Netflix with Ben Platt.
If you aren’t familiar with him, this piece opened my eyes to his discipline and talent.
If Wes Anderson & Ryan Murphy had a baby together, I believe that baby would be this new series.
Platt’s character is set on winning the presidency of his high school election. He believes this win will propel his fate to win the U.S. presidency and secure his spot at an elite college.
He never expects he will go up against the guy he loves though. In a doubly cruel twist of fate, his running mate commits suicide.
If you think that secures his win though, you are wrong.
The story is reflective, rewinding eighteen months, and how that relationship evolved.
The sets, costume, and quirky writing are everything I’ve been missing on television and I am HERE FOR IT! (watch the trailer here)
Whoa Wait Walmart Magazine
Do you follow my friends over at Whoa Wait Walmart? Bethany & Amanda have this incredible account where they find and share all their cool finds at Walmart. It’s an Instagram account that I, honestly, get excited to see each day.
I promise, I’m not saying that just because they are my pals.
Want to know what’s more exciting than that though?
They came out with their VERY OWN MAGAZINE!
You can find it on the magazine stands of your Walmart store and it is filled with those fun finds that I’ve come to love, paired with incredible lifestyle pieces.
This magazine also contains a pretty cool high tech element.
If you like something, you can scan the QR code to order the item or find it in your stores. I have a feeling that this is just the start of other brands launching similar publications for their customers.
I was so honored that they sent me a copy and can’t wait to head to my store to replicate their finds!
Be sure to grab your copy ASAP!!
Our House Is Getting a Makeover
We have done all we can (for now) on the interior of our home so this has been an exciting month as we work on the exterior.
Built in the 1960’s, our little tri-level has been a bit of an exterior challenge to modernize it. The house had aluminum siding and we discovered that aluminum is very easy to paint and it weathers really well too.
A boring beige throughout, we switched it up with Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal, a popular gray exterior choice these days.
I am soooo happy how it turned out and it, truly, feels like we have brand new siding with the fresh coat.
Now we start the process of figuring out new details like a much-needed lamp post, house numbers, and exterior light fixtures.
I stumbled upon this Etsy seller who makes BEAUTIFUL cedar shutters, for a fraction of the prices I was looking at, and I couldn’t be more excited to get rid of our weathered shutters that were hanging on the front. I also am a big fan of supporting crafters so it feels like a purchase win-win to me!
I can’t wait to share our results after we finish the last details. With paint alone, I feel like I have a brand new-to-me house.
Want to see what else we have done to our little house? Here is our biggest renovation, here is what we did to our storage shed, here’s how I cozied up our office, and here is a holiday home tour (if you are interested in that stuff!).
Every dang day, I love my little house more.
As I’m working through our Passive Income series, I’ve been doing a deep dive into money-saving apps and new strategies for passive revenue.
It is how I discovered this service called Trim and how we just saved a bundle on our internet bill.
I will probably dedicate a post to this, at some point, but I had to share it with you now because I want you to save money too.
Trim is, basically, a bot service that negotiates rates, on your behalf, to lower your payments. You give them permission to act on your behalf and see if they can secure your family savings.
Our Comcast internet bill was $80 a month.
Trim sent me a text that they were able to get a fee refund (of $2.32) and they also applied a promotion for $9.95 off for 12 months.
That is a savings of $119.40 over the course of the year.
What’s in it for Trim? Well, they take 33% of the savings they get on the bill. We will be charged $40.17, but we still end up saving $79 for the year.
Right now they are plugging away at our Verizon bill.
They also were able to flag a few things that were monthly charges that we may not want to continue spending money on.
They even send them your cancellation requests for you so you don’t have to add it to your to-do list.
If you have a lot of personal debt, it also can negotiate credit card rates.
The app is free, but they also offer a premium service where you can pay $9.99 per month to work with a financial coach. I decided to purchase the premium so I could tell you if it is worth it.
For the most part, reviews are pretty positive, especially from the personal finance community.
Personally, we haven’t had any hiccup with the changes.
In fact, Comcast sent us a video to understand anything that changed on our bill after the negotiation.
My husband thought that was a bit of an overkill, but I didn’t hate it.
I will keep you posted on this experiment, but here is a link if you are interested in trying it now. (check out the service here)
One item I go through A LOT of, in our house, is KT Tape. Weekly, my awesome husband tapes my shoulder blades and neck in place and it GREATLY decreases my pain throughout the day.
Not only have we become experts at taping techniques that work, but we also can speak to the longevity of the tape.
Thrive Tape is a new product that launched and they were looking for people to give them some honest feedback on what they brought to the world of tape.
When I shared that I’d love to give it a spin, they sent me some to try for my pain. The condition I have is lesser known so I was blown away that they had a dedicated page just for EDS’ers.
Here are the pros and cons with this new product.
The tape is not divided into precut strips and has a paper back that reminded us of gift wrap, with simple graphing lines for measuring and cutting evenly.
I did find it more durable than its competitor. KT Tape has a threaded quality to it and this tape doesn’t have the threading that can come loose on the edges.
The tape feels like it holds my body in place more because of the sturdier nature of the tape. It feels almost like I have a brace on, without the bulkiness.
The design is attractive and not medical looking.
The adhesive is not irritating. Since I have mast cell activation disorder, adhesive is a tricky terrain.
Currently, it is only available in black. I do prefer a nude tone to my tape because it doesn’t attract as much attention and blends better with my clothing.
The tape is not as stretchy. That’s not to say it is a bad thing, but the give on it is less.
The corners are not rounded on the tape so you do have to cut those. Rounded corners tend to catch less on clothing so I prefer the tape corners rounded. If you have hand issues, it could be a little more challenging with scissors.
That’s my honest opinion. I can see myself purchasing this because it seems to have more longevity than the tape I currently use. Since I find it more supportive, I think it can benefit people like me.
I don’t really understand why tape works so well, but the best way I can describe it is that it feels like someone is putting a supportive hand on the areas that hurt.
Taping is always one of the first tips I share with chronic pain sufferers because it has become such an important part of my routine.
If you want to try it, they are giving MomAdvice readers a 20% off coupon. The coupon code is THRIVEMOM. Just use that when you go to checkout and it should take a discount off your order. No pressure, but if you use tape regularly, I think it is something to check out! (check the tape out here)
Disclosure: I received two rolls of tape to try out and give my feedback with you.
Have you ever seen these little razors the beauty bloggers recommend for getting rid of peach fuzz?
I have no idea how people on the internet can convince me to take a blade to my face, but that’s where I seem to be getting beauty advice these days.
Seriously, I decided to give it a go and made tiny cuts all over my face that bled.
My sensitive skin was so angry that I had to take a break from a lot of face products until the wounds healed.
In hindsight, thin skin that’s prone to scarring probably isn’t the best type of skin for razoring your face.
I ordered this little gadget though and it is the BEST THING EVER for peach fuzz on your face.
I have had no irritation with it and no severe facial wounds. It takes off the hair, but does not pull/hurt/stab you to death and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
I can’t recommend this enough for taming the fuzz. I’m so impressed!
ALDI’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee
If you are looking for a little fall in a cup, you have got to snag some of ALDI’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee.
It is my new favorite coffee and I think it will be yours too.
This coffee smells heavenly, has just the right amount of spice, and has been a wonderful way to wake up.
If you are still on the coffee pod game and thinking about switching to drip, this has been an incredible greener alternative for us.
I am linking to Bed, Bath, & Beyond because that’s where I now buy all my kitchen appliances because of their great return policies.
As silly as it may sound, we do keep a folder of receipts for all of our small appliances because you never know when one will quit on you and if you still might be able to return it or if the warranty is still active.
I’m Off to the Races to Pick the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club Selections
Did you catch my Instagram picture this week? I reserved 20 books, that I think have MomAdvice Book Club potential, to start making next year’s selections.
While there has been joy in reading along with everyone (and not pre-reading everything for you), I am excited to make a little space to fully screen these.
Instead of choosing brand new books and buzz books (that always seem to lack the buzz), I’m going through best-of lists, from prior years, to make our picks.
I wish I could tell you more, but half the fun is in the surprise. Not only are the books going to be amazing, we have another amazing bookish surprise to go along with next year’s selections.
As I’m awaiting the announcements, I have three friends that have agreed to be my “beta testers,” and read the books so I can get some good feedback before I share them with you.
If you don’t see me chatting as much, now you know why!
I know this is a crowd that can get behind a good day of reading though.
Have you ever slept with a weighted blanket? Corala Blanket reached out to me to see if I would like to try one out for our family.
Personally, I have always been curious if they could help my pain and insomnia at night.
I was also really intrigued that it came with a spring/summer and fall/winter duvet cover that could be switched up for the seasons (and WASHED). I took them up on their offer and I have had such good sleep since I started using this in my nighttime routine.
Not only is this blanket beautifully sewn, but it really does help me to settle down at night.
Why would a weighted blanket help with chronic pain?
Well, it provides deep pressure that helps calm down your nervous system.
I also quickly realized what a great thing it is to curl up with at night. I never realized how busy I am and the pressure of this has me being still for the first time.
It, honestly, felt really weird.
As a busy mom, I don’t do a lot of sitting and the weight of this kept my body quiet…with a book, of course!
Honestly, I can’t rave enough about how beautifully this is made and how beneficial it already is to me!
PSST….My husband was slow to jump on the ol’ weighted blanket train, but last night he gave in and slept the best he has in a lonnnggg time. I think I have converted him this week to that weighted blanket life. – Shop This Blanket
If you keep up with MomAdvice online, you may have already heard this one. I still have to tell you how proud I am to have started my own retirement account.
I have been a small business owner for sixteen years and have never put money away for my own retirement. I didn’t really know what my options were and never made time to get the answers I needed.
This series has PUSHED me really hard to come up with practical ways to save.
It was through that research that I found the perfect spot for investing in myself and I’m so excited to see YOU investing in YOURSELF.
It is worth reading my article (linked above), even if you are all set with retirement.
The company I used also has smart ways you can create buckets for what you want to save for.
Dreaming of a great trip?
Want to own your own business?
Have kids (like, whoa, expensive)?
You can set up accounts like that and more.
Put it on automatic and you don’t even have to think about one more thing.- Here is $20 to get you started!
Are you looking for a fresh documentary series to sink your teeth into?
Unnatural Selection is an absolute must see.
With so many breakthroughs with genetics, it is no surprise that the laws are far behind on where they need to be on this topic.
There are so many incredibly amazing things that can be done, but it is also a Wild West with people taking their own genetics in their hands.
This one brought out strong opinions and a great discussion. It is balanced and thought-provoking.- See the trailer
Top Ten Most Visited Articles in October
- Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
- Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint
- How to Make a Blanket Scarf
- Minecraft Costume Ideas
- How to Make Glow-in-the-Dark Jell-O
- How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans
- Gluten-Free Cake Mix Cookies
- How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath
- The Best Homemade Non Stick Spray in the World
- 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
Top Ten Most Purchased Items in October
- Prison Mike Air Freshener (best stocking stuffer ever)
- Jumbo Wooden Knitting Needles (you guys must be whipping up my big fat hygge blanket this month!!)
- Flannel Fabrics (and you must be making blanket scarves)
- Support Your Local Library Shirt
- Bookshelf Bullet Journal Printables
- Shaker Stitch Sweater
- Buffalo Plaid Earrings
- Rib Trim Longline Cardigan
- Faux Leather Leggings (so much cheaper than the Spanx version!)
- Grove Awake Essential Oil (MY FAVE!)
Top Ten Amazon Purchases in October
- The Lying Woods
- I Miss You When I Blink
- The Name of the Stars
- Cruel Beautiful World
- The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
- Facial Hair Remover
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies
- The One
- An Unwanted Guest
- Korean Skin Care Snail Cream
I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of October fun. I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!