Hello friends! What a week around here - I hope yours was good. The big news this week is something you may have noticed (unless you're reading in an email - click over to see what all the fuss is about) - AOC got a makeover (and so did the Three Things format)!
Which is why the week has felt like a whirlwind to me - there was lots of time with the developer and working through glitches, making adjustments, etc. There is still a lot to be done behind the scenes, but I hope you'll take a look around and let me know what you think!
On to this week’s things I’m loving – and a few links I think you’ll love! (as always, some of the links I provide are affiliate links)
The new design of course. The main goal of the update wasn't a prettier site - there was a lot of bloat and clunky stuff in the backend of the website that comes from 8 years of blogging - but I do love the sleek new look that was a by-product of the process. Two of my favorite things are the "New? Start Here" button and an easier-to-find search bar. I also like the fact that the email subscription box was moved down and looks more cohesive with the site.
I'm also enjoying the extra space on the home page to highlight some older articles. In the sidebar, the popular posts section will usually hold what my analytics are telling me is popular seasonally (sometimes though, they just may be what's popular with me, ha!). And the lower homepage sections are a nice way to highlight other categories within the general "Cook," "DIY," and "Garden" categories. Right now I have it set to display some Pantry Basic recipes, home makeovers, and the vegetable 101 series.
You'll also find a new "Three Things" category in the drop-down menu under "Life" so you can look back for book recommendations or other things you'd like to remember.
And I'm serious about feedback - let me know your experience with the freshened design!
A new lip stain that's a balm, too. This is really a thing - and I think I'm late on the bandwagon with this! I bought this Revlon Color Burst Balm Stain in the shade Honey about a month ago, and you know how you see a bunch of cars the same as yours right after you bought it, but didn't notice them before that? Yeah, that's this lip color - I've seen this in a number of places now (blog posts, Instagram, etc). It seems like a lot of people are using this - are you?
I like it because it really isn't drying like other lip stains. It's very smooth and definitely a true balm when it goes on. The color I got is almost the same as my lip color so it's very natural - just a hint of color. Sadly, it's not really that long-lasting of a stain - at least in this color. I'm going to try a slightly darker shade and see if that lasts longer. But no matter, this is my new lip love because it goes on so nicely and does last awhile.
Two more books read! Both of these books were so very inspiring and encouraging - a nice way to start the new year.
The Magnolia Story: I feel like I'm just joining the choir in singing the praises of this book and this inspiring couple - maybe some of you are tired of hearing about them already? Here's the thing, though - oh my gosh, we need people like them who are not afraid to take chances and follow their dreams! There are so many inspiring moments where they followed their hearts (and sometimes God's calling), went out on a limb and did something out of their comfort zone. And because of that we get to enjoy the Magnolia phenomenon (which I totally do!). This is a quick and fun read!
The Happiness Dare: I love stumbling on things through my library audio app (Hoopla) like this book. I listened to it in the morning while getting ready for the day and I ended up thinking about not only what makes me happy, but what makes others happy around me throughout the day. It's sort of like personality tests or The Five Love Languages that way - what you learn applies to those you love as much as to yourself. The author encourages us to live in our "sweet spots" of happiness and starts off talking about what happiness is and why it's something worthy of striving for (and no, it's not just joy).
I took a "Happiness Style" test (you can to, right here) - and it's no surprise that I'm a "Doer" (my love language is Acts of Service), but it was interesting to see that my secondary sweet spot is "Experiencer." Surprising mainly because I don't see myself as adventurous, but I do plan most of our vacations and want to go places. What do you think you would be?
Links To Check Out:
A DIY chandelier spray-on cleaner that works.
Don't throw away those leftover herbs stems.
25 recipes for those times you don't feel like cooking.
I'm in love with everything about this DIY garden edging using pruned raspberry canes.
A budget bathroom makeover with a great before-and-after.
I absolutely love all the organizational ideas in this room.
I want to make most of these chocolate recipes.
I've made beans for the freezer for years - can't wait to cook them with this now.
Now this is one way I'll eat brussels sprouts.
Inspiration for simple home decor.
Organize your freezer with these tips.
Oh yeah, I would enjoy soaking in that tub.
8 ways to read a lot more books this year.
Like these links? I'm always pinning these and lots more - follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I'll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)