Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Easy Cake Batter Ice Cream

Monday, May 14th, 2012


Last summer I got an ice cream maker for $20 at our local ALDI store. I was excited to try making homemade ice cream, but wasn’t willing to make an investment into my dream Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker until I figured out if ice cream making was something we would actually enjoy doing together. I am happy to say our little $20 purchase paid for itself over and over again since we enjoyed several fun varieties of ice cream.

Last week we had a new reason to break out our ice cream maker. We finally turned in the manuscript for, “The Good Life for Less,” to my Editor. My day has felt so divided between all of my client’s projects, my children and all of their school projects/activities, the book, and the blog. We all agreed that a party would be in order for this momentous family occasion. It is bringing a small fraction of my day back to me.

This cake batter ice cream is, by far, my favorite recipe for ice cream. There is no cooking of ingredients required, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand in my refrigerator, and the cake mix can be your own favorite variety or a cake mix that you need to use up in your cupboard. It is so rich and creamy and tastes just like your favorite ice cream shop, without the hefty price tag!

Top this ice cream with a few of your favorite sprinkles and find a reason to celebrate something in your family. Perhaps, it is the beginning of summer, a great report card, or just celebrating how awesome and amazing your child is. Party hats are optional, but sprinkles are not!

Easy Cake Batter Ice Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Choose any variety of cake mix or even a brownie mix to add to this deliciously rich ice cream. Top with your favorite toppings for a fun sundae party at home!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup skim milk, well chilled
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup cake mix (you can use any variety of cake mix or brownie mix)
Instructions
  1. Place freezer bowl of ice cream maker into the freezer. Chill the freezer bowl for a minimum of 24 hours.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
  4. Whisk in cake mix, making sure there are no lumps.
  5. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until it has thickened (about 25-30 minutes). Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a separate freezer-safe container.
  6. Place freezer bowl and the ice cream into the freezer to further harden (at least three hours).
  7. Serve with your favorite sundae toppings.

 

 

Here are a few pictures of our Manuscript Done, Party for Four….

My hubby ran to the grocery store and picked up some party hats for us. My best friend contributed a bottle of bubbly grape juice for our little party. For our celebration dinner, I made my favorite Chicken Lo Mein, baked brown rice, steamed edamame, and this delicious ice cream. We finished our party, as all good parties should, with a little karaoke on our Craigslist-purchased Xbox. It was the perfect party with the perfect people!

You can always follow our family through Instagram! It is a fun little photo app for your iPhone or Droid. I am momadvice and would love to be friends with you on there!

 

Have you made homemade ice cream before? Have any recipes, techniques, or tools you use to make your family’s favorite summer treat?

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A Behind the Scenes Look at, “The Good Life for Less”

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
(found on Pinterest- original source unknown)

 

These past few months have been among the most chaotic in my life, but also have come with many great rewards. This week we hand in the manuscript for my first book, “The Good Life for Less,”  (written with Jana Murphy).  It will be such a relief to not have that looming over our heads and to finally move on to another step in the process of publishing our book in January.

I have learned that the process of writing a book is one of the most agonizing, painful, and rewarding experiences that I have ever encountered. I am thankful for the amazing team that I have had, from my literary agent who was biggest cheerleader, to my co-writer who added the polish to my words and saw the vision of my book, to my editor who has held my hand through each stage.

When it came to the cover, I had a clear idea of what I wanted on the cover of my book. I wanted something that was pastel and illustrated inside and out. When I spoke to the publisher though they said that everything on the market on saving money was pastel and illustrated right now. They wanted this book to stand out among the crowd.

Our family pictures had caught their eye, taken by my dear friend Nancy Lary of Nancy Lary Studios (photo credit for the above photo). They wondered if they could see more of our pictures. After seeing these photos, they asked us how we felt about our family being the cover of the book.

I had a long talk with my kids about how they felt about it. I have always made it their choice, especially as they have gotten older, on if they want to be photographed for the blog or any of the other media appearances that I have done. Their response?

Ethan, “I am going to start practicing an epic pose for the cover.”

Emily, “I know why they want me on the cover of the book. Because I am awesome.”

Clearly, they were not the issue.

Who was the issue with the book cover?

Myself.

Don’t love the book? That’s okay! The illustrated me can take the criticism. For a long time on the site, we only had an illustrated version of me. Which suited me fine. It has taken a lot of bravery for me to come to terms with our family on the cover, but I also understand that it will make us more real and (hopefully) easier to relate to another mom reading the book.

After it was decided that we would be the cover family, it was a flurry of activity to pull everyone and everything together. Outfits were selected for the kids, I ordered and shopped for a dozen different options for myself, coffee was drank, our fabulous photographer was secured, more coffee was drank, a location was selected (my girlfriend, Andy, offered her beautifully renovated kitchen to us), and my best friend was on standby to take all my meltdown calls about dresses not being shipped, what props to choose, and how I was going to coordinate all these people on a Sunday afternoon.

Some small miracle occurred and everything came together. I still can’t believe our luck.

My baby girl looked amazing on this special day. The hairspray was flying and the curling iron was on full blast. After much primping, my Emily looked like a cover model. We are so thankful to Jesica Keller at, “That Hair Place,” in Mishawaka, Indiana, for coming in on her day off to make Emily & I look so fabulous. She is a fantastic hairstylist and I can’t recommend her services enough. If you live in the Michiana area, please hire her for your hair. You won’t regret it!

I am also so thankful to Gabrielle Thompson, from GabGlam,  for doing my make-up for this shoot. Gabrielle did my make-up for our Redbook Magazine photo shoot and I knew she was just the girl for the job. She is an amazing make-up artist with endless talent. If you live in the Michiana area, please keep her in mind for your next event! She is truly a miracle worker, especially for this tired mama with big bags and circles under her eyes!

I was so lucky to get to have my sweet friend Nancy of Nancy Lary Studios shoot this for our family. She has become one of my dearest friends and I was so happy that we got to have her capture our family. She does amazing lifestyle portrait sessions for families in the Michiana area. I would highly recommend hiring her for your next family photo.

My best friend, Becky, came and helped with everything from food props to doing the behind-the-scenes photography. She is truly the best and the first person I call when something big goes on in my life. I am so thankful to her for being a part of this day for our family. I could not imagine my life without her!

Here is my whole team- Andy (Nancy’s “assistant,” maker of great coffee, provider of the most awesome kitchen, a fantastic cheerleader always), Nancy, myself, & Becky. I am so lucky to have got to share this day with my amazing friends. I am truly, truly blessed.

Of course, the biggest supporter to this day was my husband. I never get tired of this guy. He spent hours and hours playing board games with the kids while I was changing outfits and getting my make-up touched up. He pushed me when I was ready to give up on this project and he believed in this book from the day we talked about it. I am forever grateful that God gave me such an amazing life partner.

I can’t wait to see what the cover ends up looking like and can’t wait to see it on bookshelves in January ’13!

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Our Top 11 Posts of 2011

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

What a wonderful year 2011 was for our site and our family. I am so happy that our readership continues to grow and this year I wanted to highlight our top 11 posts from 2011.  Thanks to a little thing called Pinterest, I am finding recipes and projects are being shared in a really big way and that makes my heart so happy.

Thank you for sharing our site with others.

Thank you for your continued support.

Thank you for your comments.

I can’t tell you what they mean to me.

Here are the top 11 posts that happened on MomAdvice this year:

 

1. Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

There was a latte of latte loving this year as I tried to recreate every possible coffee creation that I loved from Starbucks. Apparently, you all were looking for a few homemade creations of your own. This is some yummy stuff and lots of helpful comments on this entry to customize your Salted Caramel Mocha Latte to your own level of latte perfection.

 

2. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

The latte loving all began with this drink and recreating my favorite pumpkin treat at Starbucks. I can happily say that I rarely ordered one of these this fall thanks to this handy little recipe. It’s nice to know when Starbucks pulls a drink off of their menu, I can still get my midday fix.

3. DIY Tissue Paper Pom Poms

I love homemade decorations for my parties and these tissue paper pom poms were a big hit at our parties this year. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t show you how to do it yourself? These are unbelievably easy and so inexpensive to create. Visit our picture-by-picture tutorial for the scoop.

 

4. 36 Handmade Gift Ideas

I am pretty proud of the assortment of inexpensive and beautiful gifts we create over here.  This round-up of just 36 of my favorites was a hit this holiday season as everyone was hunting for unique gifts to give this year.  I am excited to add many more handmade gift options to our site in 2012. For now, I hope you can create a few of these for upcoming gift exchanges.

5. A Yarn Wreath For All Seasons

This year I started working with Walmart working on their DIY channel and sharing projects you can create from their store. I have always wanted a yarn wreath you could enjoy all year long and this was my brainchild for homes with small storage (like mine!). I can’t wait to gussy her up for Valentine’s Day and share how you can continue to accessorize this wreath for your door. For now, find out how to make one of these easy creations for your home!

6. The Perfect Pink Barbie Cake Tutorial

This past year was the year of the Barbie at our house. I won’t lie. I was pretty pumped about this party. Before she was a twinkle in my eye, I wanted to do a Barbie cake and I finally got my chance. This tutorial documents how to create a really fun pink Barbie birthday cake for a special little girl in your life.

PS- This picture is still one of my absolute favorites of all time of her. Isn’t she the cutest?

7. Homemade Gingerbread Latte

I really thought this was going to be the year of the donuts on the site, but you proved me wrong.  This Homemade Gingerbread Latte was a big hit for the holiday season and just think about how much money you save every time you make one of these at home. The best part was sipping this and never getting out of my pajamas. You can’t beat that!

8. Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Truth be told, the Peppermint Mocha is still one of my all-time favorite drinks at Starbucks…but… once I started making these at home,  I am not loving the Starbucks version as much as my homemade version. This post offers a recipe for a simple peppermint syrup that you can add to your drinks and keep on hand in your fridge whenever the Peppermint Mocha Latte urge hits you.  These are so delicious and one of my favorite recipes on our site.

9. Grilled Ground Beef Gyros

All I have to say to this is that you have some very good taste. These grilled ground beef gyros are as good as my favorite gyro joint and I even share a few secrets for making those pitas in your bread machine. I am thrilled to see that these made the top eleven posts on our site.

10. Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

I am excited to see that I am not the only one enjoying the sweet and salty combinations that are trending in the food world this year. These dark chocolate & sea salt brownies may have made me famous in some small circles. These are absolutely heavenly and are one of my favorite creations I made in the kitchen this year.

11. 100 Days of Summer

I was inspired to share with you 100 activities you could do with your children over the summer break this year. The response to this board was overwhelming and it was so fun to see everyone gaining summer inspiration through this board. We actually used the board ourselves and documented our summer through Instagram.

I was excited to do this for me, but also for my kids. It was a fun way to share with you our summer in a more informal manner. I am so glad you loved this one as much as we did!

(First Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios)

 

What would you like to see happen on MomAdvice in 2012? I look to you for my inspiration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Holiday!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours. God has blessed us in incredible ways this year and one of those blessings happens to be you. Thank you for supporting our family, for reading my ideas, for taking a chance in the kitchen with a recipe you saw here, for firing up your glue guns from the projects I have crafted, for hitting your library with my reading list, for incorporating our family traditions into your family traditions, to simply affirming my work here with your sweet comments. I am so thankful for you!

Our family is on a holiday this week and we hope you enjoy the holiday with those you love. We are excited for gingerbread waffle eating, cocoa sipping, tackling a few holiday puzzles, singing lots of carols, and just being together. I have a stack of library books, a pile of yarn, and a coffee cup with my name on it this week.

Happy Holidays with lots of love from our family to yours!

 

xoxo,

Amy

 

(All images taken by Nancy Lary Studios)

MomAdvice Monthly Recaps: October ’10

Monday, November 1st, 2010

I just want to say a special thank you to each of you for visiting my website and sharing it with your friends, family, and your own readers.  We are very blessed to have each of you here and without you, doing this site just wouldn’t be possible for my family. If there is anything you would like to see on here, please contact me (amy@momadvice.com) and let me know what you would like to see in the upcoming year.

Are you on Facebook? Please be sure to Fan our MomAdvice.com Page. We would love to continue to share and interact with you! If you are on Twitter, you can find me there too sharing about our daily life and what is happening on our site. There are so many ways to connect regularly with the site and I would love to interact with you daily!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs and you can even subscribe to my article feed. Everything is right at your fingertips and we want the site to be a daily destination for you and your family!

This month’s top referrers were:

1. Facebook

2. Freebies 4 Mom

3. Swagbucks

4. Tip Nut

5. Wisebread

6. A Soft Place to Land

7. Our Best Bites

8. Living Locurto

9.  Feels Like Home

10. Ronald McDonald House Charities

This month’s top articles & entries were:

1.  Apple Pie Muffins

2.  Deliciously Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

3.  Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

4. Eight Ways to Use Canned or Fresh Pumpkin This Year

5. Cloth Diapering 101

6. Presto Pesto Pasta Con Pollo

7.  Throwing a Baby Shower on a Budget

8. Make Your Own Mixes & Convenience Foods

9.  I Did It My Way: Long-Term Blogging Success Tips

10.  Great Reads for Moms: October ’10 Edition

Please take some time this month to check out each of their sites. They are amazing at what they do and we are thankful that we have such great supporters!

MomAdvice Monthly Recaps: September ’10

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I just want to say a special thank you to each of you for visiting my website and sharing it with your friends, family, and your own readers.  We are very blessed to have each of you here and without you, doing this site just wouldn’t be possible for my family. If there is anything you would like to see on here, please contact me (amy@momadvice.com) and let me know what you would like to see in the upcoming year.

Are you on Facebook? Please be sure to Fan our MomAdvice.com Page. We would love to continue to share and interact with you! If you are on Twitter, you can find me there too sharing about our daily life and what is happening on our site. There are so many ways to connect regularly with the site and I would love to interact with you daily!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs and you can even subscribe to my article feed. Everything is right at your fingertips and we want the site to be a daily destination for you and your family!

This month’s top referrers were:

1. Facebook

2. Freebies 4 Mom

3. Tip Nut

4. Wisebread

5. Swagbucks

6. A Soft Place to Land

7. I’m An Organizing Junkie

8. Hoosier Homemade

9. Twitter

10. Frugal Dad

This month’s top articles & entries were:

1. I Did it My Way: Long-Term Blogging Success Tips

2. Apple Pie Muffins

3. Picky Eater Dinner Ideas

4. Chicken, Broccoli, & Fusilli in Garlic Cream Sauce

5. Make Your Own Mixes & Convenience Foods

6. Ask the Frugal Momma: Planning a Baby Shower on a Budget?

7. Aldi Menu Planner

8. Pesto Chicken Tortellini Soup

9. Great Reads for Moms: September ’10 Edition

10. Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Please take some time this month to check out each of their sites. They are amazing at what they do and we are thankful that we have such great supporters!

MomAdvice Monthly Recap: August ’10

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

I just want to say a special thank you to each of you for visiting my website and sharing it with your friends, family, and your own readers. This month was a big move for us over to a new WordPress blog and we hope that you are able to find everything easier, that you are enjoying the new full feed, and that the site is continuing to be a fun and inspirational destination.

If there is anything you would like to see on here, please contact me (amy@momadvice.com) and let me know what you would like to see in the upcoming year.

Are you on Facebook? Please be sure to Fan our MomAdvice.com Page. We would love to continue to share and interact with you! If you are on Twitter, you can find me there too sharing about our daily life and what is happening on our site. There are so many ways to connect regularly with the site and I would love to interact with you daily!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs and you can even subscribe to my article feed. Everything is right at your fingertips and we want the site to be a daily destination for you and your family!

This month’s top referrers were:

1. Facebook
2. Freebies 4 Mom
3. How Does She?
4. Swagbucks
5. A Soft Place to Land
6. Hoosier Homemade
7. Organizing Your Way
8.  Tip Nut
9.  Like Merchant Ships Tumblr
10. I’m An Organizing Junkie

This month’s top articles & entries were:

1. Perfectly Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Root Beer Floats
2. Picky Eater Dinner Ideas
3. Grocery Shopping Tips
4. One Month of Slow Cooking
5. Giving With the Scraps of Life: 10 Painless Ways to Give to Charities
6. Creating Beautiful & Frugal Treasure Chests
7. Back-to-School Recipes, Organization Tips, & Other Hidden Resources
8. Great Reads for Moms: August ’10 Edition
9. A Darn Good Chocolate Cake
10. Ask the Frugal Momma: Throwing a Baby Shower on a Budget?

Please take some time this month to check out each of their sites. They are amazing at what they do and we are thankful that we have such great supporters!

MomAdvice Monthly Recaps: July ’10

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I just want to say a special thank you to each of you for visiting my website and sharing it with your friends, family, and your own readers. This month was a big move for us over to a new WordPress blog and we hope that you are able to find everything easier, that you are enjoying the new full feed, and that the site is continuing to be a fun and inspirational destination.

If there is anything you would like to see on here, please contact me (amy@momadvice.com) and let me know what you would like to see in the upcoming year.

Are you on Facebook? Please be sure to Fan our MomAdvice.com Page. We would love to continue to share and interact with you! If you are on Twitter, you can find me there too sharing about our daily life and what is happening on our site. There are so many ways to connect regularly with the site and I would love to interact with you daily!

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs and you can even subscribe to my article feed. Everything is right at your fingertips and we want the site to be a daily destination for you and your family!

This month’s top referrers were:

1. Freebies 4 Mom
2. A Soft Place to Land
3 Swagbucks
4. Facebook
5. Hoosier Homemade
6.  Tip Nut
7.  Like Merchant Ships Tumblr
8.  Feels Like Home
9. Organizing Your Way
10. Mommy Snacks

This month’s top articles & entries were:

1. A Week of Summer Fun on $20 or Less
2. Notebook Experiments: Are Homemade Bubbles Better?
3.Great Reads for Moms: June ’10 Edition
4. Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
5. Wafflepalooza: 6 Amazing Waffle Recipes & Tips for Getting Your Waffle On
6. An Old-Fashioned Birthday BBQ Bash
7. Blueberry Muffin Cake
8. Easy Entertaining: Summer Recipe Ideas
9.  Throwing a Baby Shower on a Budget
10. Finding a Mom’s Group

Please take some time this month to check out each of their sites. They are amazing at what they do and we are thankful that we have such great supporters!

Welcome, Parenting Magazine Readers!

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I would like to extend a warm welcome to this month’s Parenting Magazine readers. You can find our blog in a great round-up of 3 Great Family Blogs that can help families save money in their August 2010 Early Years issue. We are so thrilled to keep company with such amazing bloggers and I will admit…awfully flattered that the site offers, “sumptuous photographs,” and that we make “saving money seem stylish.”  Oh-la-la!  We only hope to offer great inspiration to families on ways to save and make simple living approachable and every bit of glamorous that it possibly can be! I promise, it really can be that way!

If you are visiting from Parenting Magazine this month, I would love to take a moment to introduce myself!

My name is Amy and I am the Founder of MomAdvice.com. I am a busy mom of two and live in the beautiful Midwest with my web designing husband and our two children. I love to cook, knit, drink coffee, take pictures, and am a total bookworm. I am dedicated to anything that will help make my life simpler, keep me on my budget, and that promotes family time!

We started this site six years ago as a platform to share about all of those topics that I had been searching for when I became homemaker. How do I cook? How do I clean this house? How do I keep my children entertained without breaking the bank? How do I manage a daily routine? Most of all though…how do I do all of this on a limited income?

Please grab a cup of coffee and let me shake the dust off of a few of my favorite reads on the site. If you like what you see here, you can subscribe to my feeds and never miss another thing on our site again! We have a landing page where it makes it easy to subscribe to our blogs and you can even subscribe to my article feed.

I love staying connected with my readers so you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and Ravelry…just to name a few! Chances are, if you search for someone named momadvice, you will likely find me there!

Regardless, I am so thankful for your visit and I hope only to offer inspiration that will make your life easier!

Simplify

Simplify Your To Do List
Boosting Energy by Transforming the Paper Clutter
Boosting Energy by Transforming Your Clutter
How to Get Back in the Groove of Reading
Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
My New Year’s Goal: Get Happy

Save

A Week of Summer Fun on $20 or Less
Our Debt-Free Party
Vrooming Through Our Debt
The No Spend Experiment
Six Easy Ways to Save on That Weekend Getaway
At-Home Hair Color Savings
Price Book 101
How You Can Help the Unemployed Today

Home

Making An Addition to Our House for Less
Our Kitchen Makeover
Patio Renovation on a Budget
Weekend Project: New Workspace

Eat & Drink

The Frugal Mom’s Guide to Good Coffee
Boxed Wines: An Eco & Wallet-Friendly Choice
The Cost of a Homemade Happy Meal
One Month of  Slow Cooking

Family

DIY Rainy Day Survival Kit
Just Call Me Ticketmaster
Fun Ways to Make Outdoor Living a Priority
Being a Crafty Parent… When You Just Aren’t
Cloth Diapering 101
Finding a Mom’s Group

This is just a tiny sampling of what our site has to offer! I hope you will stick around and enjoy our site for years to come.

I would just love to be a part of your day and hope that the site can empower you to simplify your life and your home management routines!

Bad News!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

I am so sorry, but our power has been down since Friday and I am unable to do any work this week. We had a rough storm with hurricane winds on Friday evening that knocked our power out. We are very blessed though and our house is fine and no trees fell on our property. I hope to be back soon and thank you for your patience!

Update- Our power came back on late last night. We are so thankful! It will take a bit to get back in the swing of things, but we are very happy for those little luxuries in life! Thank you for your patience!