Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

The New Flourish Boutique

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The New Flourish Boutique

We are so excited to share that our amazing site sponsor, Flourish Boutique, has relocated into a beautiful and more spacious home. Emily & I were invited to the Grand Opening event this Thursday evening and had the best time browsing all of the beautiful items that they have in their new place.

If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you will be in for a treat.  Not only does the store carry an expanded line of clothing and jewelry, they have now added shoes, beautiful handbags, bath/beauty products, and fun gifts for everyone in your life (babies, kids, furry friends, and even bridal fun!)

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

As you can see, they rolled out the red carpet for us to show you around. The new location is right next to the new Gigi’s Cupcakes on 310 West Cleveland Road in Granger.

I don’t know what you are waiting for… let’s head on in!

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

It was hard to take very many pictures to really show you everything because there were so many Flourish friends shopping that night. We had the best time browsing all of the items in the store. Of course, our eyes always go to the jewels whenever we are out and about.  Pictured here is just half of the store, if you can believe it, and an amazing little Clearance section is tucked in the back of the store.

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The New Flourish Boutique

The evening included a fashion show. If you know us, you know we love fashion. Everywhere we turned, we saw something we loved.  Flourish Boutique has a ton of new merchandise that you can order or find in their store. MomAdvice readers can get 25% off any of their regular priced merchandise using the code WEB25!

Pretty in Pleats Maxi (Flourish Boutique)

Pretty in Pleats Maxi (Flourish Boutique)

Pretty in Pleats Maxi (Flourish Boutique)

Pretty in Pleats Maxi (Flourish Boutique)

Mystree Jacket (Flourish Boutique)

Mystree Jacket (Flourish Boutique)

Scarf (Flourish Boutique)

Here are some of my FAVORITE finds that I scored last night. This Pretty In Pleats skirt in white & black are my new favorite summer item! I am barely over five feet, and a maxi like this is a DREAM COME TRUE for me. I love that the lining is also an appropriate length and adds to the breeziness of this skirt. Did I mention the belt is included? Swoon! Be sure to check out the What’s New link to see all the updates (as I am sure some of these I have pictured haven’t made it on the site yet!) You can always cash in on our coupon code- woohoo!

We feel so blessed to have this partnership with Flourish Boutique and are so thankful for their continued support and sponsorship over the years! It has been a dream come true that they sponsor and support my little business- thank you, Flourish!

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MomAdvice Summer Book Club Selection: Love With a Chance of Drowning

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Love With a Chance of Drowning

First, I just want to thank everyone for your feedback today about the MomAdvice Book Club. I hope you didn’t feel like I was coming down too hard about it, but the MomAdvice Book Club was a special project for me this year.  I have spent an unbelievable amount of time investing into reading so many books to find the perfect books, coordinating with publishing houses to get free books to giveaway, gathering questions for authors, and then posting/sharing each discussion. In all honesty, it became a little part-time job for me on top of my full-time job.

I didn’t mind doing it until the discussion and participation dwindled.

Based on your feedback, you are 1) very busy mamas 2) are waiting for library copies 3) didn’t have time to read this year.

Again, I get that! I totally do.

In order to make things more relaxed and fun again, we will be selecting a quarterly selection moving forward. This gives you plenty of time to get books, read them, and have questions for our featured authors. On alternate months, I will just share my book reviews as we have done in the past. 

Love With a Chance of Drowning

This summer we will be reading the AMAZING memoir of Torre DeRoche called, “Love With a Chance of Drowning.” It is our first non-fiction selection and I am so excited to share this book with you because I am enjoying it so much.

Not sure if you can get on board with a non-fiction pick? Just picture me laughing until tears are rolling down my cheeks ever since I picked this book up. Then picture me reading aloud almost the entire book to my husband, while trying to read it to him, still laughing with tears rolling down my cheeks and trying to catch my breath so I can read every word to him. It is that funny and that awesome.

Here is a book synopsis from Amazon…

City girl, Torre DeRoche,  isn’t looking for love, but a chance encounter in a San Francisco bar sparks an instant connection with a soulful Argentinean man who unexpectedly sweeps her off her feet. The problem? He’s just about to cast the dock lines and voyage around the world on his small sailboat, and Torre is terrified of deep water. However, lovesick Torre determines that to keep the man of her dreams, she must embark on the voyage of her nightmares, so she waves good-bye to dry land and braces for a life-changing journey that’s as exhilarating as it is terrifying.


Somewhere mid-Pacific, she finds herself battling to keep the old boat, the new relationship, and her floundering sanity afloat. . . .


This sometimes hilarious, often harrowing, and always poignant memoir is set against a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations. Equal parts love story and travel memoir, Love with a Chance of Drowning is witty, charming, and proof positive that there are some risks worth taking.

Our discussion for this book will be the last Tuesday in July! I will touch base with you in the upcoming month if I am able to secure a discussion with our author. If not, I still think this is a book that is perfect for your beach bag!


In the meantime, this month’s selection, “The Bear,” is a short and powerful novel that I think you will be able to finish in just a couple of short days. It is hard to put down and is an author discussion that I am excited to participate in. I am doubly honored since Claire was featured in a glowing review from People Magazine, that she would take the time to chat with us.

I hope that you can join in and thank you for being candid in your thoughts about what works best for you!


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Winter Activity Idea: Baking With Kids

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Today is my 36th birthday and someone special wanted to bake me cupcakes for my special day. We decided to test-drive the new Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mixes and wanted to offer some pointers for getting your kids in the kitchen… so they can bake your birthday cake.

Aren’t I a smart mom?

Walmart asked me to share a beloved winter activity with you that we do with our kids. Of course, one of my favorite activities in the winter is baking. What I appreciate most about my kids is their enthusiasm for learning and helping in my kitchen.

Cooking together can teach your kids so much. Here are just a few lessons we worked on while baking a cake together.

Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Cooking Together Builds Reading Skills

One of the best parts about having your kids help you in the kitchen is that they can practice their reading skills. With picture tutorials on the back of many box mixes, it can help beginning readers navigate the ingredient list and list of supplies needed to cook.

Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Cooking Together Builds Math Skills

Cooking with your kids isn’t only helpful in just the reading department.  In fact, the biggest challenge for me as a chef involves all that math that goes into recipes. For young kids, understanding fractions and measurements of the ingredients can be tricky, but can offer an important lesson.

Don’t just have them do the measuring, but explain all those different spoon sizes or read the packaging of the butter to have them figure out how much a 1/2 cup equals.

Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Cooking Together Can Lead to Independence

One of the hardest things I have found about being a parent is having the patience to let them do it themselves. It is the same patience that I needed when teaching them to tie their shoes, to clean up after themselves, and to help in the kitchen. Yes, it is so much faster for me to just do it myself, BUT when they become adults, how will they ever know how to do anything if their mama always did it for them?

Instead of using things like stand mixers and big appliances to get the jobs done in the kitchen, invest in the time of having them mix and beat things by hand or with hand mixers. Allow extra time when cooking with your children to give them time to figure things out themselves and to create it on their own.


Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids Tips & Tricks for Cooking With Your Kids

Cooking Together Can Build Confidence

When we eat the food our  kids make we do a lot of oohing and ahhing over it. Really take in the details of their work and compliment them on their presentation and flavors of their dish.

We have always tried to do this with our kids and I get such a kick out of them when I hear them mimicking back to me what a great job I have done on dishes or on the flavors of the foods I put together for them.

 Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mix Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mix Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Cake Mix

For those that asked about this Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mix, I will be honest, and say that it really hit the spot. We baked these at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes and the cake was surprisingly light and resembled a sponge cake texture. The cake mix yielded 12 cupcakes and the cost on the mix was just $4.58.

When I shared about it on Facebook, friends chimed in with recommendations like adding a pudding mix to the cake or even a little extra vanilla, to boost the flavor. I am definitely going to have to try these additions! Layered with a thick layer of chocolate frosting though, and my daughter’s signature sprinkles, this cake was truly delicious.

If you are hosting a birthday party or need to bring in a gluten-free treat to school, I would highly recommend this cake mix for a fast and easy treat. The only difference  between making this and traditional boxed cake mixes is adding softened butter versus the oil.

Burkina Faso Fundraiser

On a personal note, I also wanted to thank you all for helping me celebrate my birthday this year by funding our wells for Burkina Faso. At this point, I am the proud owner of ONE WELL of clean water, which will give water to ONE THOUSAND people, through your donations. I am also almost halfway to my SECOND WELL. Can you believe that? In just three short days, we have collected almost $3,000 dollars! 


We still need to collect $1,000 for our second well. You can donate as little as $2 towards our cause. Here are four things you could “give up,” this week to help me give clean water to women & children. Just think of the lives you can help me save this week!

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me!! It has been the best year yet!








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Teaching Our Kids to Give: Inspiring Guest Post by Hannah Foust

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Teaching Our Kids to Give by Hannah Foust

As we continue to fundraise today for Burkina Faso, I wanted to share with you the most incredible young lady that has inspired me in such a big way to give to Burkina Faso. She truly helped to plant the seed for us that we wanted to raise funds for wells for Burkina Faso.


Here’s the crazy part…she is just 12 years old and she is doing it by doing small job projects. This is a great post to read to your kids and Hannah’s story inspired my own family to give in these ways too. You can read all about it at the end of her post! For now… just read this!


I have recently learned of a place, called Burkina Faso, Africa through Clay Church and Engage Burkina. Burkina Faso is the third most miserable place ON EARTH! Where water is scarce, where children have to choose between working to feed their family or going to school, and starvation, death and illness are part of daily life for so many. It is a place so overwhelmed by poverty, that we as Americans cannot even attempt to imagine the struggles they face. When I first heard of this country, I went to bed praying, please God tell me there isn’t really a place like this.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt compelled by God to help the people of Burkina Faso. I am determined to make an impact in two ways:

(1) by funding a well and

(2) by being a light of inspiration for others.

Teaching Our Kids to Give

Why a Well?

Many people in Burkina Faso travel extremely far distances only to collect (and sometimes pay for) water that is dirty, diseased and sometimes deadly. One well can provide water for up to 1,000 people and drastically improve their lives. One well costs $2000. I’m not too good at math, in fact it is my least favorite subject in school, but I know that’s only $2 per person. That’s not a whole lot of money to save a life.

Why Be An Inspirer?

I feel like this is probably the most important part of my call to help the people of Burkina Faso. I think sometimes we get tunnel vision and can’t look beyond ourselves. I think sometimes it takes another person to help us expand our vision to see a bigger picture. I hope to inspire others to see the needs of not just the people in Burkina Faso, but also people in our communities and beyond.

I believe this world has gifted and beautiful people who are “Noticers.” Noticers see things- the broken, the hopeless, the beautiful, the wounded, the tragic, the lost, the possibilities. Noticers respond by doing. Doing whatever it takes to help meet needs and create more beauty, joy and peace in the world. Noticers inspire!

Noticers help make other noticers, and together they do great things to change the world. Jesus gathered Disciples by walking along a dirty road and inviting them to become Noticers of the hungry, the sick, the lost, the forgotten and the hurt, and to help them see a tiny glimpse of the love and greatness of our God. I would like to say that I am a Noticer… but I have only just begun the process…

Will You Join Me?

I know that with Gods help, anything is possible, this means that kids and adults of all ages can impact the world, when they ask God to guide them, but you have to take the first step. The world needs more Noticers, and World Changers, and I know that, with God’s help, YOU can take those steps.

Teaching Our Kids to Give

How do you get started?



You want to know that this is God’s plan for you. Ask God to help you see the needs of others and to help you to meet those needs. My story begins with becoming aware of a need in Burkina Faso, then praying to God to help me know how to help. Now, He is helping me to do things I never thought were possible!

Tell Everyone You Know

They will be excited to see such a young person working for such a good cause. I receive letters almost every week from someone who has been inspired by my story. Teachers, friends, family, and even strangers, have been inspired by my story.

Social Media really helps! I am only 12, so I can’t have a Facebook account, but I do have a Facebook page that I use to share news about my project. I am also on Twitter.  Make sure your social media interactions are professional and that you represent your cause well. You can use social media to share your story, invite others to participate and ask your supporters to share your story. It is a great way to reach people you don’t know! Just remember to be positive!

Be Passionate

If you care deeply about something, then others will care, too! I feel a responsibility to help children in Burkina Faso, like I am their older sister. This has impacted the way I live life every day. Telling people about my project has become a big part of my life.

Do Some Research

I jumped into sharing my story in front of large and small audiences all over Indiana pretty quickly. At one of my first churches, I was asked questions I could not answer (where exactly is Burkina Faso and how deep are the wells.) It would have been great if I knew those answers. Sometimes “why” we are doing things is more important that all of the tiny details, but it helps to build support when you can clearly articulate all of the details.

Work Hard

Don’t just ask people to give you money. Find a job in the community, or start a club at school, to raise money and awareness of your project. I have raked leaves, shoveled snow, watched pets, and cleaned yards. When my neighbors need something done, I am the first one they call! I live in a very religiously diverse community. People of all faiths and backgrounds have been inspired to help in some way. Continue working, until you’ve raised enough money. Better yet, keep working until God tells you to do something else.

Get Your Friends and Family Involved!

I earned most of my money raking leaves in the fall. The jobs kept coming, and I needed lots of help! My whole family pitched in to help.  At first, my younger sister, Emma, felt left out as we talked about Burkina Faso over meals and in the car. Now, she feels like she’s part of the project, and she is! I really believe this project has brought our family closer together.

For my birthday, we invited friends and family to hear about Burkina Faso and the well project. Instead of gifts, friends donated to my project. We had a traditional West African meal and even had a time of worship! It was the best Birthday party I ever had! Since my birthday, friends have told me they have been inspired to live differently. Getting your friends involved helps them to make a difference, too!

I hope this list of ideas helps you to get started. Now, I have to ask! What are you waiting for? You can make a difference TODAY!

Teaching Our Kids to Give

Isn’t Hannah the most inspiring kid? I have learned so much from her and so have my children. What an example she is leading for other kids her age. I love her idea of becoming a “noticer.” What if we all made it our goal to be that type of person? It really would make the world a better place.

Teaching Our Kids to Give

Teaching Our Kids to Give

Hannah’s idea that we all have some skills that we can use to help the world truly resonated with me. God gave me the ability to knit and I thought that might be a great way to donate to Burkina Faso. While we were snowed in, I knitted up some baby hats to get a future Etsy shop going. It will be called, “A Well of Hope,” and all proceeds (minus my materials cost) will go directly to Burkina Faso.

Hannah’s story inspired me that we all have time & talent to share and what better way to use it then giving the gift of water to those in need. I hope I can knit my way to another well. Wouldn’t that just be amazing?

Won’t You Give Us a Present?

Let’s make a global impact for MomAdvice’s birthday and give clean water so that children, mothers, and fathers may live. Let’s celebrate doing something bigger than ourselves. Let’s make miracles happen!  I can’t do it without you! 

Just as Hannah has shared, every little bit helps. The best part about making a donation to Burkina Faso is that you can donate as little or as much as you like. Consider just one replacement of a Starbucks coffee, a movie ticket, a dinner out with your family, or just one less birthday gift this year. Any amount (great or small!) will help us reach our goal to providing Burkina Faso clean water!

DONATE NOW PLEASE!  To read more about why we chose Burkina Faso, check out our initial post over here!


Happy Birthday, MomAdvice: A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014


Did someone say it is my BIRTHDAY WEEK? I don’t know if you know it or not, but this week I am celebrating my 36th year on this planet and I am also celebrating a decade of running this little corner of the internet.


Something so special calls for something big. Last year, my husband just made the biggest deal over me to celebrate my first book and my 35th birthday. I said that this could never be topped.

I have a feeling that I am going to be wrong about that. You know why?

Because this year it isn’t about me. 

This year it is about helping others in the biggest way that I know possible.

A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

I’ve decided to celebrate this moment and help those in need this year, by focusing all my efforts this week on fundraising for Burkina Faso. Have you heard of Burkina Faso?

I had never heard of it until this became the passion project for my church. It is the third poorest country in the world and more than anything these people need something so simple…something we take for granted every single day…

They need CLEAN WATER. 

Why Did We Choose Burkina Faso?

There are few things that break my heart more than children in need. The United Nations ranks Burkina Faso as the third poorest country in the world. The population of Burkina Faso is approximately 14.8 million people, the average income is only about $400 per year. The average life expectancy of men is 51 years and women is 54 years.

One out of three children will probably die before they ever reach the age of ten. The deaths are mostly due to a lack of fresh water. The women of Burkina Faso often walk several miles to a dirty stream or stagnant pool, just to fill a bowl with water.

A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

I started this fundraiser on Pure Charity to raise $4,000. Every penny of this goes to fund wells that can provide clean water to thousands of people in need. Each well costs $2,000 to give clean water to 1,000 people. My goal is to raise enough funds for two wells.

I have partnered with Clay Church (our congregation) who partners with a variety of organizations to assist with establishing wells for Burkina Faso:

Who Are You Helping With Your Donations?

Engage Burkina is an organization that has come alongside the Burkinabe leaders, providing access to clean water, educational opportunities, and sustainable financial opportunities for widows and young women, while also serving those with malnutrition and bringing hope and a future to the people living there.

Clean Water in Africa, Inc. is an organization that is committed to making a difference in the country of Burkina Faso, Africa, by engaging the community and providing clean water resources. Its mission is to build over 1,000 wells in Burkina Faso, which is the third-poorest country in the world where one in three children die due to a lack of clean water.

Hearts for Burkina is a group of people with a heart for spreading Jesus’ love that continues to fund more wells in Burkina Faso, and develops ongoing relationships with the people of Burkina Faso who desperately need both literal water and the life saving living water of Jesus Christ.

Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development helps provide clean water through various partners and churches as well as research & studies to discover how wells impact these communities.

A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

How MomAdvice Is Helping? has pledged for one well and we are hoping you will give us a birthday gift this year of ANY AMOUNT to help us raise the funds to dig two more additional wells for Burkina Faso. Just imagine, what a difference we could make if we could give water to 3,000 people in need.


A Well of Hope for Burkina Faso

Won’t You Give Us a Present?

Let’s make a global impact for MomAdvice’s birthday and give clean water so that children, mothers, and fathers may live. Let’s celebrate doing something bigger than ourselves. Let’s make miracles happen!  I can’t do it without you!


We realize, typically for a blog celebration, I would host giveaways and give back to you. Over the ten years of our site, we have never charged you a dime for your experience here. I wouldn’t think of it.
If you have learned one thing on here, if one of my recipes has become a family favorite, if you saved on your family’s bills with a tip from our site, if Christmas was extra special because of a handmade idea on here… consider this just a small way to repay us for the research and time.
I beg you to make this year the birthday to remember. I beg you to impact these women and children.
I beg you. 

MomAdvice 10th Anniversary Gift Reveal from Clay Church on Vimeo.

Meet The New MomAdvice Contributors

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Contributor Collage

I am so excited to announce that we now have an amazing team of contributors for the MomAdvice website. As I shared with you last week, it is time for me to loosen those reigns on the site and allow some new voices in that can really showcase what MomAdvice is all about… empowering you and giving you the tools you need to live a great life on a budget.

We had over two hundred applicants and I really prayed hard about really bringing you what you might need as a mom. With that in mind, we now have contributors to assist you in food preparation, money management, and advice on parenting & motherhood.

MomAdvice Contributor Team

Money: Kelly Whalen (The Centsible Life)

DIY/Craft: Sarah Milne (Daffodil Design & Sarah M Style)

Marriage/Parenting: Mary Carver (Giving Up on Perfect)

Food: Shaina Olmanson (Food For My Family)

Food: Diana Bauman (My Humble Kitchen)

Managing Editor/ My Right Arm: Jami Boys (An Oregon Cottage)

Our contributor’s posts will be going live starting in the month of February! I can’t wait to share their words and ideas with you- I have no doubt that they will be awesome.
Thank you all for weathering the changes this week as we redesigned the site. My husband and I have looked like two zombies for the last week and with the snow storms blowing through here, I am enjoying a week to get back on my feet again.
snow_storm-1 snow_storm-2 snow_storm-3
Speaking of weather…holy snowfall! We are snowed in over in Indiana! I am hoping that I can resume a normal work schedule (if my kids ever return to school!)
In the meantime, one more big announcement coming your way on Monday! Did you know it is my birthday week (yes, that is a thing!)? We are giving myself a big birthday gift for our ten year MomAdvice birthday and my 21st birthday…
A girl can dream.
In all seriousness, I can’t wait to share that with you! In the meantime, be sure to browse our new contributor’s sites! They are AWESOME!

Welcome to the NEW

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

10yearcelebration Happy New Year, friends! This is a big year for us as we celebrate the site’s tenth birthday. My husband and I have both been working behind-the-scenes on a brand new website for you.

Well…he’s been working and I have been nagging.

I digress.

As you can see, we are still a website under construction, but our foundation has been laid for all the new things to come… and there are oh-so-many great things to come!

Bear with us as we get settled into our new home. It has been no easy task for my husband to create all of this while maintaining his own full-time design job. We are still working out some kinks and will be adding on more layers as we get settled. For now, I hope you can browse and click around to see the site in all of it’s beauty. I may be biased, but I think it is pretty incredible.

Along with these design changes, in the upcoming weeks we will be announcing a fresh list of contributors who will be blogging along with me on all of the topics you care about- family, marriage, parenting, recipes, DIY, and personal finance. We had almost 160 applicants for these four positions and I have a feeling you are going to love the talent that we unleash on here. It will be just what you might expect from me, but even better because each one of these contributors is an expert in their topic. I can’t wait to blog along with them and to allow myself to finally let go a bit of all the creative control.

I am looking forward to what they will bring, what this new site will bring, and how we will grow with this new foundation in place. I am looking forward to celebrating’s 10th birthday with you on January 12th. The year of surprises is not over! Thank you for your love and support over the years- this would have never been possible without you! amy_signature

My Top 20 Posts of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Thank you all for another fabulous year of sharing on MomAdvice. I am so happy to share with you our annual round-up of the most visited posts on our site. If you would have told me I would be spray painting furniture, making wreaths out of Peeps, knitting up boot cuffs, making flowers out of book pages, grating soap in my food processor for laundry detergent….all while sipping Peep Martinis…well, I would have told you that you must be crazy.

And I need an intervention.

I mean, seriously. That’s too much drinking.

Thank you all for your continued love and support! Many good things are coming this year, I can just feel it! I am thankful for each of you and that I get to call this my job.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

1. How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Teach Your Child to Tie Shoes

2. A New Way to Teach Your Child to Tie Their Shoes

Sashay Boutique Yarn Knitted Ruffled Scarf

3. Easy Knitted Ruffled Scarf with Sashay Yarn


4. The Best iPhone Apps to Organize Your Family


5. What Do You Do All Day? The Real Story Behind My Niche Blog


6. Our Annual 100 Days of Summer

Rosette Bib Necklace

7. DIY Rosette Bib Necklace Tutorial

Knitted Boot Cuffs

8. Knitted Boot Cuffs

Peep Martinis

9. Peep Martinis

Chicken Ceasar Pasta Salad

10. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from

11. Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole

9 Baked Donuts MomAdvice

12. 9 Awesome Baked Donut Recipes

Peanut Ginger Chicken Noodles

13. Peanut Ginger Chicken Noodles

Fabulous Fall Drinks

14. Fabulous Fall Drinks Round-Up

Make Ahead Gravy Recipe from

15. Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe

Book Page Flowers

16. Book Page Posies

DIY Peep Wreath With Rolled Rosette

17. Peep Wreath With Rolled Ribbon Rosette

Snowflake Tutorial

18. Tips for Making Paper Snowflakes With Kids

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

19. How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

20. Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

Did you try something this year from our site? Feel free to share something you found helpful this year! We look forward to bringing you oh-so-much-more in 2014!

Sharing My Heart With You Today

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Sharing My Heart With You Today from

I don’t dive into my personal life too often on here, but I think it is important to keep you in the loop on a few things. For the last year, I have been a very sick girl. Almost every day this year I have felt like I have been under a fog, have no energy, and have been sick to my stomach. My weight dropped dramatically and the stress of managing this site and publishing my first book seemed to contribute towards my stomach issues. I have felt like I have been on a downward health spiral.

I went to see doctors, a food allergist, and two dieticians and the general consensus was that I had IBS. I felt like it was more than that though and continued to look for answers to resolve my health issues. I didn’t want to take medications and the nutritional advice offered didn’t seem to help me at all.

After seeing a dietician who had a focus on whole foods, she suggested that I try a diet to heal my intestines, but over the holidays to try a Paleo approach towards eating.  The very first day, I felt miraculously better and am continuing to feel better each and every day since. A removal of gluten from my diet has made me feel like a brand new person. A family history of celiac disease (despite testing negative on my blood work and still needing to go in for an endoscopy for a truly solid answer) leads me to believe that gluten has been the culprit all along.

Of course, giving up dairy and giving up gluten is really hard, especially around the holidays. I almost caved when I saw my grandmother’s chocolate cream pie and my mother-in-law’s world famous sugar cookies. I didn’t though because I am determined to heal and to be a healthy mom.

This may change the focus of some of our recipes, but it will not be a blog devoted towards dairy-free & gluten-free eating. The rest of my family still happily fills their bellies with the things I can’t, but I do think we will be able to offer more recipes that may cater to families who face the same issues as me.

MomAdvice- Coming Soon!

As for work, it has been the best year of my career yet. I have truly found the projects that I do to be so rewarding and I am so grateful for every project that has come my way. We are excited to be revealing a brand new design on the website that my husband has been working sporadically on the last six years on to create and I am so excited to continue offering the content you crave to keep you on budget and thinking creatively in your home & kitchen.

That being said, as we celebrate our tenth anniversary, I feel my heart is pulling me in a different direction. Perhaps because of the health issues, I am feeling creatively tapped out and I feel God has called me to do something bigger this year.

As you may have seen, I am hiring contributors for our website to assist with covering the topics that I know you want to see, but I can’t cover alone. I have done this for ten years alone with no one contributing, and I think it is time to give you more than that. After all, how many new things can I say after all this time?

We already have almost eighty applicants and I am reading every single blog and trying to pick the absolute best fit for our site and what you have come to expect from me. They will cover topics like parenting, craft, food, and home/decor, money, and health. These are all so essential to our site, but I just can’t do it alone anymore.

There Will Be Miracles

I will still be running our brand new book club and sharing crafts & the dishes you have come to expect from me. I will also be handling the sponsored content that pays my bills. Just as you see in a magazine with the advertisements, these sponsorships allow me to run this website. They pay for the web hosting, an assistant, contributors, an accountant to manage all the craziness, and everything else that we are able to offer for free to our readers. I am very honest about all of this over in this post.

Don’t just think of those sponsorships as my bill-paying opportunities though. I can’t wait to show you what I am able to do with the money from one of those sponsored posts I did last year. I was able to buy a birthday gift for myself that will bless 1,000 people. Although we can’t do that with all of our sponsored content, our family consistently uses the money from these projects to bless others and we have a commitment to continue doing that as long as our site affords us that luxury.

As for feeling a higher calling, all of that will unfold the week of January 12th. The site will be celebrating it’s tenth birthday and we want to do something big for a community in need. We will be calling upon you to help. Everything we have done here, has been free and we would love to celebrate our birthday with you by blessing others.

Sharing My Heart With You Today from

I will also be crafting nonstop, but not for my own financial gain this year. As we reveal this all on January 12th, I will be working to stock an Etsy shop called, “A Well of Hope,” filled with knitted hats, scarves, gloves, and coffee/tea cozies to sell to dig wells in Africa. 100% of my profits will go towards this passion project in giving children & mothers clean water. I feel like God gave me these skills for a reason and it is time to bless others with them. 

Right now I am in the beginning stages of getting permissions on patterns (to sell my wares), shopping for supplies, and pattern-testing. I’m so excited about sharing this with all of you once I get everything up and going. I hope you will think of my shop when selecting your holiday gifts for next year.

I felt it was time to confess to you what is on my heart and where I am at right now. I hope you will stick around to see it all unfold and ask that you pray for us as we take these big leaps with our business. It is scary to give up the creative control that I have had for so long, but it will give me time to focus on the bigger things.


Hiring Contributors for

Saturday, December 28th, 2013


I am looking for four new contributors to add to our team in anticipation of the relaunch of our site next month. I am interested in expanding our audience and would love to add some fresh voices to our site. Some of the topics that we are interested in covering are Food, DIY/Home Decor, Fashion/Lifestyle, Craft/Sewing, & Parenting.

I will pay $50 per post and am looking for an individual who could contribute once monthly a unique post for our site. Upon publishing your post on our site, you could publish the content on your own site, we just ask that you wait three months to republish it!

If you are interested in writing for my new team, please fill out this survey and I will be in touch with you. Please note, the application will be closed on Friday! Thank you so much for considering this!