Author Archive

Baked Pecan Chicken Tenders

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Pecan-Chicken-Tenders.Header

Looking for a fresh new idea for topping those summer salads? Today I am sharing an easy recipe for Baked Pecan Chicken Tenders that you can even make-ahead and freeze for your busy week over at the Wild Oats blog!

I’m so excited to be joining as a contributor at the Wild Oats blog this year to share fresh & fun dishes for busy families. I’m not sure if you have heard of the product line before, but it is the new organic line available at your local Walmart store. I agreed to the partnership because I know that organic food is important to many of you, but I also understand how difficult it can be to eat organic on a budget. It is the two things that our family struggles with too. When Wild Oats presented at a meeting that I attended for Walmart, their enthusiasm for their products and the pride they took in them was, frankly, contagious. When they reached out to me, I knew it would be a great partnership to encourage healthy eating.  I also think you will be pleased with the price point on these products when you browse the grocery aisles and I want to show you ways to use these affordable pantry staples in a new way you might not have thought of before!

I will be sharing an idea on their blog once a month and one idea on my blog! I hope you will love these recipe creations as much as I do. The bonus is that each of these dishes will also be gluten-free! Yay!

Now that you have heard why I am so excited about this, be sure to head over this delicious Baked Pecan Chicken Tenders recipe!

 

 

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It’s the 3 Little Things (With Lisa): The Bubbliest of Baths, Highlighting the Good Stuff, & Dark, Dark Chocolate

Friday, April 10th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

I am overwhelmed with the response from opening up our 3 Little Things to you all and can’t wait to start sharing all of these fun lists from some of my favorite people! If you are interested in being a guest poster on the 3 little things, send over a list of your 3 favorites and why to amy@momadvice.com and I will share them in the upcoming weeks!

Today I have a guest happy list from one of my favorite commenters and supporters of MomAdvice, Lisa Whitney! She doesn’t  have a blog but reads several  with her morning cup of coffee and she says that this is one of her favorite parts of the day. She is a wife, mom of the sweetest 7-year old little boy and a Registered Dietitian in Reno, NV. She also happens to leave the BEST lists each week in our comments section so I am thrilled she offered to share another one today! 

Let’s peek at a few of Lisa’s favorites today!

Lush Brightside Bubble Bar

Brightside Bubble Bar (from Lush)

I don’t have a Lush nearby so when we travel and see a store I can never resist picking up a bath bomb or my favorite facial (chocolate cupcake!). This time we decided to try something new, the brightside bubble bar. The salesperson suggested I use half the bar on one bath. I cut mine in thirds and one section made a massive amount of bubbles. I cut back even more to make the bar last longer when I realized that breaking off just the smallest bit is still just as luxurious. The smell is like an orange creamsicle and it leaves the bath a beautiful bright orange (without leaving an awful film on the tub).

Mary-Lou Manizer

Mary-Lou Manizer 

I am more into makeup now than I was as a teenager and love discovering new things. This highlighter is so beautiful, it gives my face a shimmery sun-kissed glow. Bonus, I ordered mine from Amazon and it came with the softest brush for just a couple dollars more.

Trader Joe's Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bar

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bars

Trader Joe’s sells these huge bars for only $4.99. The bar is broken into several thick little blocks, one is the perfect after-meal treat. They come in several flavors, my favorite being the 72% dark chocolate. Since a high-quality single dark chocolate bar sells for $3-5 this is a bargain which amazingly lasts for a very long time. You can bake with it also although I have not done so. I don’t live near an Aldi anymore but I used to and remember they had something similar.

How fun was that list this week? I am so excited to share more great ideas from you all in the weeks to come! Thank you, Lisa, for generously sharing the happy today!

In my world… Capsule Wardrobe Ideas (current capsule HERE).  The April steal is my white blazer in the lower right corner from thredUP. Are you following me on Instagram? I post 4 outfits each week!

Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Ideas

Flourish Boutique Accessories

Flourish Boutique Accessories

 

I had so much fun shopping at our site sponsor’s shop, Flourish Boutique, this past week for some accessories to update the wardrobe. If you are looking for some fun new Spring accessories, I can’t recommend them enough for cute and affordable costume jewelry. MomAdvice readers can get 25% off any of their regular priced merchandise using the code WEB25!

Happy Easter 2015 from the Clark Family

We hope your family had a Happy Easter! I’m pretty proud of my little crew this year. I don’t know about you, but I was scrambling until the last minute gathering Easter finery for the kids and stuff for their baskets. After some last minute shopping and a heck of a lot of ironing (oh, and a lot of leg make-up…ahem), I was so proud how we shined up this year.

As a side note, the doctor confirmed that my son is now beating me by an inch, confirming that he is now officially taller than me. As many of you have seen him grow up from the age of 1 on this site and now (almost) 13 (STOP IT), this is pretty darn shocking to me. I am now rocking the heels and bossing him around the house like usual!

Finally, here is a little LOL that I was busting up over (hat tip to Whoorl for finding this one).  What?  People don’t care when you leave FB? No way! Ha!  Happy Friday, friends! xoxo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of  It’s the 3 Little Things

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

Freebie Friday April 10, 2015

Friday, April 10th, 2015

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! As always, we would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we’re introducing our April M Challenge: focus on Loving Your Home and sharing a fun Loving Your Home Tour as well as 15 easy DIY updates to help you love the home you have. If you’ve got 5 minutes, you’ll want to make these reusable floor pads to easily clean your home, too! And our newest author interview is with Amanda Eyre Ward about her book,  The Same Sky, for our Sundays With Writers series, which I just know you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

Check out this week’s edition of It’s the 3 Little Things to get your weekly dose of happy,  find lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas in our popular Notebook, and be sure to take a look at all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways, too.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Food & Drink

Coke Zero Beverage at Target

Reese’s Candy after Coupon

Health & Beauty

Cerave Sample Gift Box

Entertainment

The Secret Garden eBook

Little Women eBook

Veggie Eating Tracker Printable

Frog Activity Pack Printable

Minecraft Story Starters Printable

The Jungle Book eBook

This Week’s Freebie Events: April 11 – 17

11th – Barnes & Noble: Join storytime featuring I Wish You More, 11 am

11th – Lakeshore Learning: Create a Sunny Days Birdhouse, 11 am – 3 pm

11th – Lowe’s: Build a See-It-Grow Gardening Kit, 10 am

 

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Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

One of my favorite features on Design Mom is her Living With Kids series. I am constantly bookmarking ideas for my own space after seeing the spaces that these homeowners create.  As a DIY-er, I appreciate all the hard work and hours that go into truly making a space your own and since we are tackling the Love the Home You Have series this month, I thought it would be fun to take you on a tour of someone’s home who has truly personalized her space.

You see, my friends are incredible designers of their spaces and I am sure there is something you have done in your own home that is incredibly YOU. If you are interested in sharing a space with me, I’d love to feature it! Just take some pictures and explain what you did and email them to amy@momadvice.com.  I would love to show off a corner in your home too that has helped you fall in love with the home you have.

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Today we are touring Anna’s home. I actually bombarded her at the gym when she posted pictures of her incredible step makeover. I begged to look at it and photograph it. One thing lead to another and somehow not only am I touring her space, but we are karaoking until the wee hours of the morning. She’s that kind of person. I’m that kind of person. Things just move rather quickly in our worlds.

Anna Drew (A.R. Drew) is an incredibly gifted painter who not only paints beautiful artwork, but shares her love of painting with others by teaching art classes to children in her own home and gives to her community through a new idea she has had called #projectblankspace. She’s been working with youth at the Center for the Homeless because, with her background as a therapist, she knows the therapeutic abilities that art can bring to our lives. She makes beautiful pieces for people’s homes and has a personality as big as her paintings.

I brought my camera so let’s take a virtual tour of Anna’s beautiful space today!

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

The first thing you see when you walk into this space are these incredible steps.  With the beautiful white canvas around them, your eye gravitates towards these gorgeous navy steps. This is one of their proudest DIY’s that she and Brian did.
Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

To create this staircase they ripped out their carpet and then ripped out one million staples (direct quote). They then used wood-filler to fill in the grain and sanded, then repeated this process three times. Next they primed with an oil-based bonding primer, added rope molding on the thread edge front and side using a miter saw and nail gun, and finished using Bondo to fill in any perfections.

Next they painted three times with the oil paint (they did have it deglossed at the paint store to have them look slightly matte and be less slippery) and added  then wallpaper as their finishing touch to this makeover. The couple said that it  took 5 or 6 weeks with the walls and painting wainscoting and about 80 hours of time, in total.

They admit that it was a ton of work, but both agree that the work paid off.

For those trying to replicate this project the step riser paint color is Naval (from Sherwin Williams) and the wainscotting is Westhighland White (also from Sherwin Williams). The wallpaper used for this project was also from Sherwin Williams and they say it cost approximately $160 for 3 double rolls, but said it only took 3 single rolls. The install cost approximately $100.

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

I love how Anna has her beautiful art displayed up the stairs to personalize this space. What could be more personal than your own artwork? The eye is naturally drawn to these paintings with the fresh crisp paint they have chosen.

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

The cabinets were painted a fresh white and the kitchen was painted the most lovely shade in Stratton Blue (from Benjamin Moore). I’m such a fan of these vintage theater seats that line the wall and this cool satellite photo of San Francisco, both affordable finds from thrifting and antiquing.

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Anna’s studio is so light-filled that I had a hard time taking photos in here, which is just the kind of bright and lovely space you would want as an artist to create your work. Not only is this her space, but it is a communal space that she shares art with kids and teaches them to release their own inner artists. In every corner there is something beautiful to look at and it is one of my favorite spaces in their home.

 

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

The home is spacious and they had a room that they decided to transform into Anna’s own dreamy closet, complete with a seating area so she can have friends (or her awesome photographer sister) over to gab while they try on clothes. The wall was wallpapered with wallpaper from Target (who knew?) and the ladder and the vanity were created using thrift store items and painted to create this cohesive set. They had someone install this thrifted ladder to really complete the space.

I told her about my capsule wardrobe project and she was like, “No.”

Now I know who to borrow clothes from when I have an event. I kind of want to drag my 33-pieces and set up shop right in here.

Love Your Home Tour (With A.R. Drew)

I hope you enjoyed this home tour and please, please give A.R. Drew a LIKE on Facebook. She’s an incredible artist (who also teaches locally)  and that is one way we can thank her for this beautiful home tour and inspiration! What is your favorite spot in this space?

 

 

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15 Easy DIYs That Will Help You Love Your Home

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

15 Easy DIY Updates To Help You Love Your Home

It’s no secret around here that we’re not living in my dream house. But in the last few years, thinking about all we have and our many blessings, this house has become our little-home-that-could. We love it more and more. That’s one of the reasons I am so excited to be focusing on Love Your Home for our April M Challenge – it’s been a life-changer for us!

Besides the change in mindset, one of the biggest ways we’ve increased our contentment with the home we have is by tackling small DIY projects that have had a big impact in our life in this home. Do it yourself projects always come with a great sense of accomplishment, but when that feeling also helps you love your space more? That’s a win-win.

So I’ve collected 15 easy DIYs that will help you love your home more from our archives and inexpensive ideas from other great blogs – let’s all find a way to love the home we have! (note: I’d love for you to pin the title image for this page, but for each project, please pin from the original sources – thanks!)

Easy Home Updates from Mom Advice:

Transforming-Corners-In-Your-Home

Simple updates to refresh corners – or any spaces!

Shed-Makeover-Ideas

Turn an unused shed into a hideaway, guest room, office, or anything you need!

How_To_Style_Bookshelves

Refresh your space by styling (and decluttering!) your bookshelves.

Craft_Room_Organization

Make your craft/office space work better with these organizing solutions.

Fabric_Lined_Bookcase_Makeover

Change up standard bookcases with an inexpensive fabric makeover.

Make-A-Guest-Room-Welcome-Basket

Make guests feel welcomed to your home with a sweet basket (& free printables!).

 Other Easy Home Updates

Spray Paint Door-Knobs via Handle The Heat

Spray paint knobs & pulls @ Handle The Heat

Painting Tile via Live Love DIY

Paint your dated tile @ Live Love DIY

DIYBudgetBathReno-via Beautiful Matters

Redo your bathroom inexpensively @ Beautiful Matters

DIY Framed Bathroom Mirror via Liz Marie Blog

Or just frame out a builder mirror for a big impact @ Liz Marie Blog

$1200 Farmhouse Kitchen Remodel via An Oregon Cottage

Paint, add counters, sink and accessories to remodel a kitchen for under $1200 @ An Oregon Cottage

Peel-Stick Backsplash Tiles via Thrifty Crafty Girl

Or simply update your backsplash with peel-and-stick tile @ Thrifty Crafty Girl

DIY-Plank-Wall-with-Fence-Boards via Fox Hollow Cottage

Create an inexpensive plank accent wall @ Fox Hollow Cottage

Install a new light fixure via Sawdust and Embryos

Easily change out your light fixtures (this makes a huge change for low $ !) @ Sawdust & Embryos

Painting vinyl floors via Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body

Paint right over ugly vinyl or linoleum @ Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

So many great ideas! How are you learning to love the home you have?

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Amy’s Notebook 04.08.15

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Home Tour via Design Sponge

Source: Design Sponge

 

I’m swooning over this beautiful home tour.

Best online fabric sources.

World’s most adorable growth chart.

A great piece on the power in minimizing.

One of the best articles I have read on how to not over schedule your family.

This sounds promising.

A new way to look at giving- hat tip to Hollywood Housewife for this great find!

10 things productive people do before bed – oh, I want to be one of them.

The home I have is enough.

Travel Tips with Google Maps via Kelly Purkey

Source: Kelly Purkey

 

Everything I didn’t know about Google maps.

I love invisible jokes.

An inexpensive kitchen refresh.

Where did the litter box go?

I need to learn the art of jewelry stacking.

Design Mom goes blonde.

If you wouldn’t do it for free, don’t do it for money.

An interesting perspective on my new favorite show.

Yoga pants are ruining women.

amys_notebook

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!

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DIY Reusable Floor Pads

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

DIY Reusable Floor Pads from MomAdvice.com

DIY Reusable Floor Pads from MomAdvice.com

DIY Reusable Floor Pads from MomAdvice.com

Are you as in love with your quickie mop as I am? I have been feeling guilty about the amount of disposable pads we were going through to tidy our hardwood floors and I was super unhappy with the streaky finish we were getting on our flooring. In an effort to have streak-free floors AND be a little more loving towards our environment, I have the quickest and easiest tutorial to DIY both the wet and the dry pads for your floors!

Head on over to the Kenmore Blog today to get this quick recipe and tutorial for all of your cleaning needs. As a bonus, these also work brilliantly for wiping up messes on your countertops or bathrooms!

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m challenge: Focus On Love Your Home

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

the m-challenge

Welcome to our fourth month  in the m challenge series.  If you missed our focus on Fashion last month, be sure to visit the syllabus where we have gathered everything you need to get caught up! I don’t want you to miss a single moment of this inspiring series. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am and I look forward to tackling another topic with you!

m-challenge-max

For this month, our site focus is on Loving the Home You Have. I will be sharing some ways that we have made the most of the space we are living in, tutorials for cleaning and caring for your home, as well as updating existing items in your house to make the most of them. We will also have some guest posts from others with advice on making the most of what you have. I am really excited about this month because this project has been so personal to me. Our little fixer-upper has taught me the challenges of really making the most of what you have and I have really been falling in love with our little house over the last few years.

Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

This month’s book club selection to go along with the topic is Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room. Melissa will be joining us with some tips for loving the space you are already in (no matter what kind of space it is) and I have found this book both inspirational and motivational in making our home the best it can be no matter what your budget.

I look forward to another fun month of learning and chatting with you this month!

Apron Full of Giveaways 04.07.15

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Chicken Apron via Etsy

Source: Quince Pie,  $18.42

 

Welcome to our Apron Full of Giveaways! I hope everyone is having a great week this week! As we do each week, here is our round-up of giveaways for our readers. We hope that this is beneficial to you and your family! Please let us know if you guys win anything- I love to hear the success stories!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we are not giving away the aprons just showcasing them! Please put your site name and then what type of contest you are hosting. For example, “MomAdvice (Kid’s Movies).”

Good luck to each of you!

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Sundays With Writers: The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Sundays With Writers

Happy Easter Sunday! I hope that you are all enjoying celebrating this season with your family! Today I am excited be interviewing Amanda Eyre Ward, in this week’s Sundays With Writers, about her beautiful and haunting book, The Same Sky. It made my must-read list for last month’s round-up of great reads and today I am learning a little bit more about the story behind the story.

The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

 

Ward alternates two stories in The Same Sky- one of a typical middle-class woman who is struggling with infertility and becomes a mentor to a struggling teen and the other story of a young girl and her brother who face the harshest kind of poverty and are trying to get to America where they can finally be reunited with their mother and safe. The story of her journey to America is harrowing and devastating to read. Ward doesn’t hold back on setting the scene, giving you an eye-opening look at the real struggles of coming to America. Their lives intertwine and provide a satisfying conclusion to this sad story.

I found this book disturbing in some parts and I have been carrying some of the scenes around with me this month. There is poverty and then there is POVERTY. We are talking, eating flour and water for dinner (if you are lucky), addictions to glue to feel full by small children, parents abandoning a child to take care of another child and head to America. It was really heartbreaking. I knew after reading it that I had to reach out to Amanda and see if she could share why this story was so important to tell and what we, as readers, can learn from this book.

Ward does a great job of contrasting the struggles of a typical middle-class white suburban mother against the struggles of a child in poverty effectively without being mean about it. It made me think about how my struggles are so minor compared to the struggles of others.

Grab your morning coffee and let’s settle in with Amanda about her hauntingly beautiful book!

Amanda-Eyre-Ward-Headshot

Can you share a little bit about the research you had to do on immigrant children and children at the Mexico/US border to start shaping this book and the story of Carla?

Yes. When I first became obsessed with the children who ride the Beast to find their parents in the US, I had no idea how on Earth I would research the topic. (I actually have an almost magical belief that the right topics come to me at the right time…as do the people/books/travels I need to understand the topics…but that’s another question entirely!)

It turns out that another mom at my children’s school runs many of the shelters at the US border for unaccompanied minors was apprehended trying to enter the US. She was kind enough to bring me to Brownsville and San Diego to talk to the kids about being a writer. I was also able to ask the children about their journeys to the US. To a one, their stories were harrowing and amazing and brave and sad…their voices all combined to create Carla’s voice.

I hope it is okay to say that I have been carrying the story of Carla and her brother around for the last few weeks and I can’t stop thinking about the horrific poverty they faced. First, how hard was it for you hearing these stories and then shaping this story into a book and, secondly, how do you think your readers could help change the real story of immigrant children?

Of course it is OK! It’s one of the reasons I wrote the book, in fact. It was incredibly hard to hear these kids’ stories…especially being a mom myself. I had a hard time turning off the kids’ voices. I still struggle with holding the knowledge that every night, as I tuck my children into bed, there are children sleeping on cardboard boxes by train tracks…and there are kids clinging to the tops of trains, or trying to sleep after another day with no food and no hope, or unable to sleep because they are terrified that the local gang will come for them. The list goes on. But crafting the novel helped me make sense of one girl’s story…I was able to bring Carla to safety.

There are many practical ways to help these children–some on my website. But I tell readers (and friends) that the most important thing is to remember that these are children–like our children, like we were children. It is a humanitarian crisis, and these kids need and deserve asylum, kindness, care, and the ability to dream of a safe life. It is all too easy to turn away from the “surge” or “waves” of kids (as they are portrayed in the media). But you must try to remember that these are sweet, individual children. Then it’s harder to turn away.

There is a really effective use of contrast in creating Alice, a relatable middle class white woman, in this story. Why do you think this contrast is so necessary in the telling of this story?

Father Alejandro Solalinde

Source: CUSLAR

In the course of my research, I watched talks given by Father Alejandro Solalinde, who runs a shelter for migrants in Ixtapec, Mexico. He said that these kids have the spiritual capital the US is lacking. This struck me, and became one of the major themes of the book: though Carla has no material goods, her faith and spiritual capital is something Alice (who quite literally has achieved The American Dream) is lacking. I wanted to show that these kids have so much to teach us about the power of faith and courage.

Whose voice was harder for you to craft- Carla’s or Alice’s? Why?

I am currently working on a book with two voices (though 3rd, unlike Alice and Carla’s 1st) and it’s funny: some days I want to write one character, and some days, another.

I wrote Carla’s section very fast…I couldn’t bear to have her linger along her journey, and was obsessed with getting her to safety. Then I inserted Alice’s sections later.

Almost every morning on NPR, I hear stories about immigration from both points of views, regarding immigrants in the US and immigration laws. Although this book is not political, do you hope people might walk away with a different viewpoint by crafting Carla’s story?

Yes–I want readers to open their minds and hearts and listen to one child…then they might find they have different views on many issues. (I did.)

In this novel you paint so many heartbreaking scenes that pulled at my heartstrings. I am wondering, as a mother, what was the hardest scene for you to write?

The scene after Carla leaves the hospital, when her mother is bathing her in their tub in the Ace Motel. I still cry thinking about that scene.

I have read so many great books this year about the struggles of immigrants like Americanah, The Book of Unknown Americans, and your beautiful book. Do you have any other book or film recommendations (fiction or non-fiction) for people interested in learning a new viewpoint on this topic?

Enrique’s Journey and The Beast are two amazing nonfiction books…I also adored the movie Sin Nombre.

If you could tell anyone to read one book right now (other than your own) what would that book be?

My favorite book last year was Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. It’s dark, riveting, gorgeous, important.

You can connect with Amanda Eyre Ward on GoodReads or through her website! I’m always thankful for these moments with writers and I hope you will pick up this amazing book! You can always connect with me on GoodReads,through our books section of our site, and you can read our entire Sundays With Writers series for more author profiles. Happy reading, friends!

*This post contains affiliate links!
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