The art of styling bookshelves had never really been important to me until I started perusing pictures on Pinterest and saw the carefully curated collections and beauty in the organized book spines. Of course, I don’t have an unlimited budget where I can add decorative books in one carefully choreographed color or an unlimited budget for fantastic looking odds-and-ends to update my bookshelves. That is why I am excited to share with you some easy ideas for updating your bookshelves with Goodwill items and a few budget-friendly craft materials.
You know people that are amazing at gardening and planting?
I’m not one of those people.
I am the girl that goes to the greenhouse and requests plants that can take care of themselves. My plants must be able to survive without water or nourishment of any kind.
Despite my black thumb, I spent many of my summers working in a greenhouse as a kid and I do know a few things about caring for plants. Thanks to my greenhouse knowledge, I know that terrariums are the perfect project for a girl with my skill set and they are also the perfect project for any gardener-in-the-making.
For those of you itching to play in the dirt, this project is a fun one that adds a bit of green to your house while you await planting season. If you are looking for a fun project to tackle with the kids, this can transform into a little fairy garden with a few novelty items.
I created this project for the Kenmore Blog a little over a month ago and my terrarium is still going strong. And I pat myself on the back EVERY TIME I SEE IT.
Yes, I do.
To find out how to create your own terrarium, visit the Kenmore Blog today for instructions on creating this beautiful Spring-filled addition to your home!
Learn how to make a DIY Terrarium for your home HERE.
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!)
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!
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 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!
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!
Although those warmer temperatures seem like they are just around the corner, here in Indiana it is still sweater weather season for awhile. Whether you are looking to switch-up your winter wardrobe staple or looking for an easy craft to beat those last-days-of-cold-weather blues, Goodwill has you covered with these fun sweater crafts you can create for a fun pick-me-up!
Sweater crafts are the types of crafts that anyone can do and the possibilities are endless. I had the best time demoing some of these fun crafts at the grand opening of our Warsaw location and now I am sharing eight more ideas with you, for fun crafts you can try with items from your own store!
I have been looking forward to sharing with you all week my new partnership with Mama Francesca Grated Cheese. The company reached out to me to share about their beautiful product and I couldn’t wait to start cooking with it and showing it off on our site.
Have you heard of Mama Francesca? It is a delicious new grated cheese that comes in five different varieties. I am showcasing three flavors that I found at my own store. The ones pictured here are: Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano), Fiero (Parmesan & Red Pepper), & Pungente (Parmesan & Garlic). As you can see from the picture, the cheese is light and fluffy while blended with delicious spices that you can see and taste in your dishes.
You can also find Audace (Parmesan & Romano), and Perfetto (Classic Parmesan) on your store shelves.
Many times when we think of parmesan cheese, we think of it as a way to just dress our dishes. With these fun cheese blends though, they offer a delicious ingredient alternative in your favorite recipes that, not only add flavor, but can save you time in the kitchen since they incorporate that perfect blend of spices.
My family is a big fan of pasta and meatballs. I wanted to create that familiar dish that we love, but in a gluten-free variety using Mama Francesca’s cheese as the inspiration for our new dish. I replaced the spices and cheese with the Aromatico (Parmesan, Basil & Oregano) cheese blend and then replaced the breadcrumbs in these meatballs with a little gluten-free panko. The replacement of spices and cheese saved me time digging through my spice rack and the cheese blend managed to still perfectly spice our meatballs. When it comes to meatballs, I recommend doubling these to enjoy a delicious meatball sub for a busy weeknight meal- topped with sauce & cheese.
With this dish, you can use any variety of gluten-free pasta shape you love. Rotini, shells, and elbow macaroni are three of my favorites in this dish. The pasta can be tossed gently in this delicate fresh tomato sauce.
Of course, just because you use the cheese in the meatballs doesn’t mean you can’t shake on the cheese liberally over your plates of pasta. Set out a few varieties of cheese and let your family member’s customize their dishes for a fun family meal!
I hope you will give Mama Francesca a try for your next family dinner! I promise that this cheese does not disappoint!
I am excited to share with you that I have partnered with Mrs. Butterworth today for a fun family prize pack giveaway and to share about their sweet-stakes they are hosting for their fans through April 30th! Lucky for us, I am not only giving away a prize pack for our MomAdvice readers, but I am showing you a fun new recipe you can try to put that wonderful prize pack to work in your kitchen.
This month, Mrs. Butterworth’s has teamed up with Busch Gardens to generate some more fun around the dinner table. They have launched a Family Fun Sweet-stakes where you can enter to win a trip to one of the Busch Garden parks. You can read all about their fun contest here! This contest inspired me so much that I knew I had to head to my kitchen and create something in honor of it.
I have always been a syrup-loving girl. For years, we have made it a family tradition to indulge in, what we lovingly call, “Jazzy Sunday.” Jazzy Sunday amounts to throwing on a few jazz records and making waffles and pancakes drenched in syrup for a delicious Sunday brunch.
With eating gluten-free, I have found that it takes a lot of practice to replicate my favorite pancake and waffle recipes. I began to think about the fluffiest waffles I had ever made and it was an overnight waffle recipe that my best friend shared with me years ago. I started wondering if I could replicate this with a gluten-free waffle recipe. Low and behold, after a few experiments, I found it is possible to make fluffy-as-air waffles with the overnight technique of warm milk, frothy yeast, and easy all-purpose gluten-free flour.
The batter is still dense, but it yields a fluffy waffle that no one will ever know is missing the gluten. When topped with fresh berries and Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup, it is truly a Sunday treat that will make your own, “Jazzy Sunday,” complete.
In honor of this fun contest, Mrs. Butterworth’s gave me a Family Fun Breakfast Kit that include goodies from Mrs. Butterworth’s and Busch Gardens, as well as jungle animal-themed pancake pans, perfect for the explorer in the family. If you don’t win it here though, they will also be giving away a Family Fun Breakfast kits every two weeks during this contest so there are some great chances you can win there too!
Enter our giveaway of one Family Fun Breakfast Kit using our Rafflecopter widget below and let us know one of your favorite breakfast traditions and LIKE Mrs. Butterworth’s for an additional entry! I will be selecting one winner on April 3rd so be sure to get those entries in! Grab the recipe for Gluten-Free Overnight Waffles below!
Did you know that you can paint and dye plastic eggs that look like real eggs? Me either! Today I am showing off our ideas for decorating plastic eggs and (even more importantly!) how to get all that dye off of your hands.
I partnered with Walmart on today’s project to showcase a new egg that has made its way on store shelves that are simply called, “Plastic Decorating Eggs,” made by Paper Magic and they retail for, $1.97 for a dozen eggs. I found mine over by the other egg decorating supplies tucked away on the top of our shelf.
What Do We Love About the Plastic Decorating Eggs?
I love decorating eggs with my kids, but when we do it, I wish that I could keep them longer without them spoiling or needing refrigeration. We also ran into instances of little hands being excited to dump their eggs in the dye, often resulting in cracked eggs.
These new eggs can be found over in the seasonal section of the store and are made from 100% recyclable plastic. Unlike the shiny brightly colored eggs we use for our egg hunts, these almost feel like a wooden egg with a brushed exterior, yet are lightweight since they are made from a lightweight plastic. There is a small seam that can be seen in my close-up pictures, but it does not break open like the neon plastic eggs.
Each kit comes with 12 eggs, 12 paper stands, and a dipper.
How Do You Decorate Your Plastic Eggs?
We tried a couple of different techniques with the plastic eggs. One involved our favorite Kool-Aid dying technique and the other method incorporated the 24k Eggs & Speckled Eggs kits (also found in the seasonal section).
When attempting our Kool-Aid dying we found that the eggs did not lend themselves well to being dunked, due to their lightweight plastic nature, and the dye did not adhere to our eggs. We tried our most vibrant shades and still the dye did not stick. We boosted our dye with 3 teaspoons of vinegar and only achieved the softest shade of coloring. If you have younger children, this can lead to some impatience, and the kids were ready to move on to the decorating kits we purchased.
Painting our eggs, however, yielded vibrantly beautiful eggs. We combined the sponge technique with the golden glaze, and let the kids create their own masterpieces. The colors stayed very true and bright. I would recommend utilizing one of the egg painting kits for these and Walmart does offer many different varieties and you can see lots of different examples over here of ideas for decorating them.
Here are the eggs we created with our kits. Some of the most beautiful eggs actually resulted from dyed fingerprints that added color and texture to them. My daughter loved doing the speckled eggs, while my son painted his fully with a brush. We let them dry in the carton and they now have a spot in our front room in a bowl to be admired all season long.
Although I am lucky that my children do not suffer from any food allergies, these eggs would be perfect for a child that has an egg allergy and could have an allergic reaction to the eggs.
I would recommend this kit for little hands that have a hard time handling delicate eggs, children with egg allergies, and moms that might like to keep their decorated eggs from year to year.
That was a messy job so I am sharing our tried-and-true recipe for removing egg dye & paint off of your hands. We can attest to this formula as we may or may not have used everything in our house from rubbing alcohol to oil to try to figure out how to get the pesky dye of our hands. Smarter people might wear gloves while decorating. We risk it all for our art. That’s how we roll.
How to Remove Dye From Hands
1 squirt whitening toothpaste
1 squirt face or body exfoliant
1 squirt baby oil
Scrub well. Add a little water and continue scrubbing. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Maybe three times if you look like a Smurf.
At the beginning of the year, I get the strong urge to donate everything in my house and start fresh. I am also always on the hunt to find new strategies for organization in my home that don’t cost a lot. Thankfully at Goodwill, you can organize your home and declutter it all at one store!
Today I am featuring some great ideas for organization from commonly found items at their store. I am so inspired by these bloggers that I have a trip to Goodwill planned for myself this week to try to snag a few of these items.
When I went gluten-free I never realized how exciting it would be to recreate some of my favorite gluten-filled dishes at home. Today I am sharing a Gluten-Free Pad Thai with Shrimp recipe that you can create in your own kitchen and your guests will never know that this delicious dish is gluten-free!
This month Walmart challenged me to create a delicious Lent recipe that you could enjoy with your family. I am no stranger to creating fun dishes for the Lenten season. You can see last year’s round-up of 30 fish and meat-free meal ideas.
For this challenge, I wanted to recreate one of my favorite takeout dishes. Have you ever had Pad Thai? If you haven’t, you are in for a delicious treat. Pad Thai, according to Wikipedia, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts.
While I love the delicateness of the rice noodle, I prefer a more linguine-style noodle in this dish to balance the lightness of the shrimp and because these hold up well to a lot of reheating. Just like my chicken noodle soup I made last month, I am relying on the Tinkyada noodles to create this dish. You are looking for the Fettucini Style Pad Thai Noodles.
Be sure that you are using a gluten-free soy sauce and fish sauce. I rely upon the La Choy Lite Soy Sauce as my soy sauce substitute, but there are reports that some people have a reaction to this. I have not, but be sure to do your own research on what product will fit your gluten-free needs best.
The fun part about sharing this with your family and friends is that you can also create a variety of toppings so everyone can personalize their dish. I love roasted chopped peanuts, sriracha, fresh limes, and cilantro on mine.
I hope you love this dish as much as we did and can enjoy this during the Lent season…or any season, really! We polished this dish off in no time at all and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks to these sturdy noodles, the dish reheats beautifully and can be eaten for your lunches or a late night snack!
A gluten-free Pad Thai dish that you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own home.
1 package (14 ounces) Tinkyada Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons gluten-free fish sauce
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
12 oz frozen peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed (raw not cooked)
Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
¼ cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
¼ cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles as directed on package. After they are done cooking, drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir lime juice, ⅓ cup water, the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil until well mixed; set aside.
In nonstick wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook shrimp for approximately three minutes and remove from pan; set aside. Next cook mushrooms and then set aside.
Using the same oil, cook garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until starting to brown. Add eggs. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently and constantly, until scrambled but still moist.
Stir in noodles and lime juice mixture. Increase heat to high. Cook about 1 minute, tossing constantly with 2 wooden spoons, until sauce begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, tossing with 2 wooden spoons, until noodles are tender.
Place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with additional chopped dry-roasted peanuts, and lime wedges.
I am so excited to share a delicious Gluten-Free Rainbow Bundt Cake recipe that you can make using a simple boxed mix, a little food coloring, and a few odds & ends from your pantry. This Rainbow Cake is made in a tube pan, versus a layered cake, and is a fun addition to your St. Patrick’s Day spread.
Walmart challenged me to share a St. Patrick’s Day project that you could create out of items from their store. You may remember my rainbow cakes in a jar that I created a couple of years ago. Now that I am eating gluten-free, I wanted to replicate the idea of a rainbow cake, but I wanted to do it in one pan and I wanted to make it a quicker process by using a cake mix.
To make a vibrantly colored cake, I want to point out that it is really important to use good icing colors to achieve your rainbow cake colors. Over by the party supplies, you will find professional cake decorating supplies at Walmart. You want to purchase the Wilton Icing Colors. These concentrated gels offer a much brighter color than what you will find over in the baking section of the grocery section. I just use a toothpick to dip in the gel and then swirl it through my cake batter. You may need to do this a couple of times to achieve this level of brightness, but it still will take a lot less than the other brands of food coloring.
When I decided I wanted to make this cake, I went through tons of tons of cake recipes to figure out how to layer the batter. My inspiration for creating my rainbow arch was from not martha and her Leprechaun Trap Cake that she created a few years ago. Her arch is so much more beautiful than mine. I highly encourage you to read her tutorial for a perfect arch and read mine for a just meh arch. That being said, do prepare this in a tube pan versus a bundt pan to achieve the best arch.
Do you have a digital scale? I highly recommend purchasing one because it will make projects like this a million times easier. I have had mine for many years and I use it for both weighing packages and as a food scale! Be sure to tare it with the bowl on top to begin your measurements each time.
I used the measurements outlined by not martha for measurements for my batter:
6 ounces – red
5 ounces – orange
4 ounces – yellow
3 ounces – green
2 ounces – blue
1 ounce – purple
The remainder of the rest of the batter, leave it white.
To scoop batter into the bowls, I relied upon an ice cream scoop to scoop it into the bowls on the scale. To make pouring the batter easier, place the cake batter in a baggie in a tall glass and hang the opening over the sides of your glass. Pour your batter in and then seal the baggie. Just snip a corner of the baggie to begin pouring your batter into the pan.
Gluten-free cakes tend to be more delicate so you definitely want to let this fully cool before trying to work with it. The side that has all the beautiful vibrant colors is not the top of the cake. It is the bottom of the cake. I accidentally iced this side so don’t make my mistake. If you find that your cake is puffy on the bottom, use a serrated knife to even it up a bit so your cake is not lopsided.
I posted a picture of this cake as I was glazing it on Instagram. To quote myself, “I never go easy on the sprinkles. I consider them the jazz hands on my desserts.”
Who quotes themselves? Sorry about that!
Glaze and sprinkle this cake liberally!
I was disappointed that I had iced the wrong side and that my purple didn’t get perfectly centered. I think it is one of those cakes that might take a little more practice. My friends didn’t seem to notice or mind my errors though because this was one yummy cake! I doubt your kids would notice or care either. It might be a fun one to try together!
I hope you love it as much as we did and I hope this tutorial helps you while you make your own gluten-free rainbow cake!
A gluten-free rainbow cake perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day
1 Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix (over by the gluten-free ingredients in the candy aisle of your store, not in the baking aisle)
½ cup butter softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package of Wilton Gel Food Colorings
1½ cups confectioners' sugar
2½ teaspoons milk (or milk substitute)
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan liberally with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter until soft. Add cake mix and blend completely.
Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and beat until completely blended. The batter will be thick.
Divide your batter into eight bowls using the measurements in this post and tint accordingly.
First pour the larger amount of white batter into the pan. Then pour the red batter in, making it a wide ring of batter. Then pour the orange over that, keeping it inside the red. Pour in each color, creating smaller and smaller rings.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, testing with a toothpick to check when the cake is done.
Once the cake is cooled, prepare your icing.
Melt the butter and add to rest of ingredients. Mix until creamy.
Spoon the glaze over your cake and finish with rainbow sprinkles.
Enjoy this tasty treat with a DIY Shamrock Shake and our free St. Patrick’s Day straw printable!