Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

This post was sponsored by MARS, Inc and American Greetings. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to show someone how much you love them. Often my default for Valentine’s giving is for my family, but this holiday I’m challenging you to think outside of the box and consider someone else special in your life.

How about a little love, for example, for one of your incredible teachers?

I can’t imagine how challenging their job is to come and be the encourager, discipliner, educator, and hero to our children. Day in and day out, they are a positive force in helping our kids succeed and I am so grateful for the molding and shaping they do. What a gift that they share their time and talent each and every day.

I wanted to create a fun DIY Teacher Survival Kit filled with fun supplies with things that would be useful throughout their day, as well as some fun treats to indulge in for a much deserved break. I am sure it goes without saying, but our teachers often use their own funds to keep their classrooms stocked so I love to periodically send along little gifts. This teacher survival kit is not only meant to offer a small indulgence for their hard work, but it also provides little things like note pads, antibacterial wipes, bandages, and other useful items that they might need at their desk.

How to Make a DIY Teacher Survival Kit

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all found at Walmart- check here to find your closest store!)

1 clear plastic container with lid (the dimensions on my container are 15″L x 11 1/2″W x 3 1/4″ H)

Dove® Milk Chocolate Heart Tin

Antibacterial Wipes Drink Mixes (lemonade, coffee, cocoa, etc..)

Small First-Aid Kit

Lip Balms

Small Candle Mouthwash

Lint Roller

Stain Stick or Pen

Pain Reliever

Immunity Boosters

Notepads and Sticky Notes

Check out the American Greetings Valentines Day card selection at your local Walmart, to find Valentine’s Days cards for anyone and everyone special in your life!

(scroll down for your FREE printable label!)

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

 

 

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

Directions for DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift

1. Go to your local Walmart and visit the storage container section of the store first to select a container for your project. Having this first will help guide you as you make your selections to fit in your kit. Fill the container as you go with all of your purchases to make this Valentine’s gift special for your favorite teacher with the supplies list I have provided.

2. Assemble your container with your purchases, placing the Dove® Milk Chocolate Heart Tin in first to build your supplies around it.

3. Print our Teacher Supplies Kit label out for the top (link below). You will need to do just a tiny bit of trimming around it to trim off a little of the negative space on this one. Remove the sticker from the backing and secure it to your container.

4. Finish this project with a heartfelt message for your teacher to let them know how special they are.

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

DIY Teacher Survival Kit Gift (FREE Printable!) from MomAdvice.com

I can’t think of a teacher that wouldn’t appreciate a gift like this. I am thankful every single day for the teachers that are shaping my kid’s minds. As I see them blossom into such kind and thoughtful people, I know I can attribute it to their excellent influence.

Consider this Valentine’s Day the perfect opportunity to thank a teacher in your life!

Download Your Teacher Survival Kit Label (click the link below!)

Free Teacher Survival Kit Label

This post was created in partnership with MARS, Inc and American Greetings. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

 

 

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DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

What shows your love for someone more than something handmade by you? Today I am sharing a tutorial for an easy no-sew DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat that I created for my family. This mat makes it easy to relocate your puzzle projects when you need to use your table and it’s made with just a few inexpensive materials!

Are you addicted to jigsaw puzzles like us?

My kids are at a fun age right now where we are really enjoying playing board games and assembling puzzles together.  Right now we are tackling 1,000 piece puzzles which feels so ADULT. We haven’t had the courage to go beyond that size yet, but I’m sure we will get there.

Even after our kids have headed to bed, the hubby and I spend time together listening to podcasts or good music, while piecing together puzzles. I find it be quite therapeutic after sitting in front of a screen all day. It helps me decompress in the evening while giving my brain a break from my to-do lists.

To maximize our jigsaw puzzle collection, a couple friends and I trade puzzles after we finish them which has been great because we always have something to work on, while keeping it rather frugal in the process.  Trading puzzles has been a great way to keep our collection fresh and continue to keep our kids interested in putting these together with us.

My only gripe with puzzles is where to relocate them when we need to eat at the table. We also happen to have a, “helper,” in our house who likes to flip puzzle pieces when her mother is ignoring her (we love you, Lulu the Cat!). I thought a mat might be a great way to discourage our helper and could be a quick way to clear the table for the dinner hour!

Let’s create this easy no-sew roll-up jigsaw puzzle mat!

 

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

1 yard of Waverly Inspirations Fabric  (check out the fresh new Valentine’s Day prints,  I picked a classic pink gingham!)

1 yard of felt fabric (any coordinating color)

1 package of Waverly Inspirations Ribbon (any coordinating color)

Cardboard tube (you can use a durable mailing tube, gift wrap roll, or even use plastic PVC pipe)

Razor blade (if cutting to size)

Hemming Tape or fabric glue

Scissors

Waverly Chalk Paint in a coordinating color  and paint brush (optional, but you can paint the cardboard roll to coordinate- I decided to leave mine in its natural state!)

PUZZLES!!

How to Make a DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

1. Much like our reversible seat cushion project, we are going to begin by lining up the two fabrics with the right-side of the fabric facing INSIDE towards each other. That means the wrong sides will be facing out! Trim your fabric and felt to the same size. Remember, this mat can be ANY size that you want. If you want it be the size of your kitchen table, for example, measure that first and use this as your guide for creating your mat. I created a generous mat for our large puzzles!

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

2. Once your fabric has been trimmed, use your fabric tape and line all the sides , making sure to leave an opening so that you can turn the mat out once you have sealed all the seams. Using a very hot iron, carefully and slowly, begin ironing to seal the seam (you can see another example of what sealing this seam looks like over here!). Typically doing this requires pinning, but I did find that the felt held the tape in place and made it an easy project to do without pinning. Do this along all the sides (make sure you left that opening to turn it out!!) until the two pieces are fused together. Carefully, turn the right sides out and then finish by sealing that last opening with fabric tape or a little fabric glue.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

3. Trim your cardboard tube to the length of your finished mat. If you want to paint this, you can! I finished each end with a little tied ribbon that can be used to tie the entire mat up when we are storing it.

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat from MomAdvice.com

As you can see, you can roll up those puzzles (take your time and roll carefully!) when not in use. Please keep in mind, it is not recommended for  long-term storage since it can damage your puzzle pieces, but it is recommended for a quick relocation so you can use your table when you need it.

I am so excited to break this in and I’m guessing it is going to be a smart item to take when we rent our summer cottages too!

If you need me today, you’ll find me working on this fun new-to-me puzzle!

PS- Seriously, start a puzzle exchange with your friends. You won’t regret it!

Happy crafting!!

diy-jigsaw-puzzle-mat-9

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

15-Minute Scrappy Fabric Trees

Kid Craft: Easy Technique for Painting Gift Wrap

DIY Phone Charging Station

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

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UPDATED!! MomAdvice 2017 Book Club Selections

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

2017-MOMADVICE-BOOK-CLUB

I hope your year of reading is off to an incredible start this month!  Between my two book clubs and our MomAdvice Reading Challenge, every surface and moment is book-filled over here!

How obsessed have I got with my reading this year? Totally figured out my wireless headphones are perfect for soaking in the bathtub with a book in my ears (just avoid sliding down into the water!) and I bought a $10 plant stand for my coffee propping so I can soak until the water gets cold every single day.

I do it for you guys. You need my recommendations!

Just kidding!!

Last year our MomAdvice Book Club on Facebook really began to take shape for our readers. I envisioned a place where bookworms could gather, a good spot to share the daily book deals that happen on Amazon, and a monthly book club discussion. It’s grown SO MUCH and last week we grew to over 700 bookworms last week.

Do you want to join my book club? Let me explain how it works!

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

I will be your book club hostess this year and have selected the first seven books to get you started on a fun journey of reading.  The discussion is held on the last week of the month and posted in the group with a thread for each question. You can jump in to answer questions at any time throughout that week, interacting with loads of other fellow bookworms.

How fun is that?

This post will be updated with our monthly selections so you can join in at any time with our group! Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website. The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

In fact, I have been reading our book club picks before we get to them to make sure that not a moment of your time or penny is wasted.

For example, one of the books I selected, I did not enjoy. It has been removed from the list and replaced with a better selection. I want to make sure this book club is an enjoyable thing and that you don’t feel ripped off if you are purchasing books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed. Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

Here are the books we will be talking about this year!

MomAdvice 2017 Book Club Selections

Miss Jane by Brad Watson

January

Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

February

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

March

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

April

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

May

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

June

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

All the Birds in the SKy by Charlie Jane Anders

July

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

If We Were Villains

August

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Words in Deep Blue

September

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Sing, Unburied, Sing

October

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

November

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

The Changeling

December

The Changeling by Victor Lavalle

Touch

January ’18 (if you are getting a jump on the next year!)

Touch by Courtney Maum

2017-MOMADVICE-BOOK-CLUB

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

One of my favorite dishes is a delicious green bean sauté spooned over a big platter of rice that I had discovered at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The crunchy green beans adds a fresh flavor and texture to contrast with the heartiness of the meat in this dish. You would think it would be bland, but the layers of salt and spice make it a flavorful dish that I crave often.

I can also admit that this highly addictive dish is usually ate in record time and I am always left wanting more.

Did anyone witness me slamming this dish in three seconds flat?

I hope not.

It has been on my cooking bucket list to create this dish at home to save some money and to indulge in it a little more regularly with wild abandon. What could be healthier than a big dose of veggies and protein to start your new year of cooking out right?

My partnership with Honeysuckle White seemed the perfect excuse to add this meal to our planner to share with you.

Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia

It has been a unique experience to now feel a deeper connection with our food this year, thanks to this fun partnership. I was invited out to Virginia to tour the River Hill Farms, one of the 700 independent family farmers that works with Honeysuckle White. Not only did we discover they are well-trained in animal handling practices, but they also happen to exceed the standards and they wanted to share that experience with us.

Glenn & Sheri Rhodes were so gracious to open up their farm to us and the pride they feel for the land and their animals was felt by all of us as we visited their gorgeous property.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I received the invitation and was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the beauty all around us. The farm was beautifully kept, the spaces were generous for the animals, and it is so good to know that the farm is committed to raising their turkeys without any growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.

As if that wasn’t lovely enough, Glenn made us all some good old-fashioned kettle corn that we shared over snacks and discussed his life’s work and the pride he has felt for his farm.

My great-grandfather was one of the hardest working farmers that I had ever known and I felt that same sense of warmth, family, and commitment to good work in both Glenn & Sheri. It felt a little like the summers that were spent on my grandparent’s porch after their long day of hard work and good food.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

As the new year begins, I know many are making resolutions like eating at home more and eating better food for your health. If you are trying to reach a weight-loss goal this year, it’s good to know that turkey has more protein, fewer calories, and less total fat and cholesterol than chicken. When mixed with this delicious combination of sauces and spices, you will also find that it increases the flavor and you may even forget that you are eating such a lean and smart protein.

This dish has A LOT of kick, thanks to the chili garlic sauce, but you can crank it down with less or add more for some FIRE in your tummy!

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

I was looking forward to binging on these leftovers with a Netflix marathon, but once my kids dug into this, they seemed to be overcome by the same shovel-it-all-up-in-your-face-in-three-seconds struggle that I have.

No green bean was left behind which is an awesome rarity in our house.

How can I complain about that?

You must give this recipe a try and save your family loads of money on this delicious and healthy takeout dish made at home!  I have already added it to our menu planner again for this week and hope you enjoy this one half as much as we did! A huge thank you to Honeysuckle White for sharing a little behind-the-scenes on how their products are made and their commitment to delivering the best quality at the lowest price.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Green beans and ground turkey are loaded up with delicious Asian flavors and served over rice for a healthy and delicious way to start your new year!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce (this is spicy for us, increase or decrease to your own personal taste)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 pound washed and trimmed green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice as directed on packaging.
  2. Place a separate skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté garlic for one minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add ground turkey to the skillet and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked, breaking the meat up with your spoon.
  4. In a small bowl mix together chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and soy sauce and stir to coat. Pour this sauce over the ground beef and add back in the green beans, stirring to coat everything fully.
  5. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
  6. Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.

This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

 

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The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge (FREE Printable!!)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge (FREE Printable!!)

It has been a dream of mine to put together a reading challenge for you and this is FINALLY my year to make it happen! This challenge is a 52-week challenge to help motivate and inspire you to tackle your reading goals.

I am so thankful for what reading has brought to my life.  I had such a good chat with my dad on the phone yesterday and, through our conversation, I brought up a bit of my own disappointment in myself for not finishing that college degree.

As silly as it seems, sometimes I wish I could say that I completed something that I had initially walked away from. It isn’t even a field I’m interested in anymore, but it is that sense of completion.

He said, “Amy, you have something way better than a degree. You read. Reading helps shape your viewpoints, it helps you travel, and it gives you so much knowledge to continue growing and learning. So many people don’t have that.”

Even as an adult, who wouldn’t want to hear that from her dad?

Books are my education and my addiction. There are so many books that have challenged my views on life and made me a better person. Challenges, like the one I am sharing today, are intended to push and stretch you even further. 

Can you imagine how differently you will view the world after a touching memoir from someone you never knew about, a book on poverty, a book about a religion you are unfamiliar with, a new look at race, or a political memoir? I can’t wait to reflect back on how much this year’s challenge has shaped my new viewpoints!

I’ll try to have a printable diploma for you at the end of this year to hang on your wall. If you read 52 books, you should have that and a printable medal too! Ha!

Not only am I sharing my reading challenge with you, but I am also sharing how I plan to tackle this challenge for myself this year! Of course, do not feel pressured AT ALL to select the same books, but just as ideas if you are looking for a little inspiration in any of these categories!

The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge (FREE Printable!!)

My Picks for the 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge

1. A book about travel- The Geography of Bliss

2. A book that’s more than 500 pages- Illuminae

3. A GoodReads Choice Award Winner (from any year)- A Tale from Time Being

4. A memoir from someone you have never heard of- Alligator Candy

5. A book recommended by a library- Nine Women, One Dress

6. A book you own, but haven’t read- Rebecca

7. An audiobook- The Sound of Gravel

8. A book that’s becoming a film- The Zookeeper’s Wife

9. A book about a culture/religion you are unfamiliar with- Pull Me Under

10. A book that takes place in your state or town- A Girl Named Zippy

11. A book that you loved as a child- Anne of Green Gables (truth be told, I never finished it, but I think I will now!)

12. A book that will help you be a better person-  An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

13. A book on mental illness- The Bell Jar

14. A political memoir- The Speechwriter

15. A book that challenges a viewpoint- Consequence

16. A PEN/Faulkner Award Nominee or Winner (from any year)- Delicious Foods

17. A book about marriage- Commonwealth

18. A classic novel- Jane Eyre

19. A book written by a comedian- The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo

20. A book written by a woman- Another Brooklyn

21. A book written by an author under the age of 30- Homegoing

22. A YA Novel- The Sun is Also a Star

23. A book you meant to read in 2016, but never got to- Lilac Girls

24. A sci-fi/fantasy book- Version Control

25. A book about time travel- Kindred

26. A book that takes place during a war- Mischling

27. A book set in a place you wish you could live- Four Seasons in Rome

28. A book by a debut author- Sweetgirl

29. A story that takes place in a bookstore- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore

30. A book published this year- Juliet’s Answer

31. A thriller- Her Every Fear

32. The first book in a new series- Red Queen

33. A true crime book- The Stranger Beside Me

34. A book you can read in a day- The Vegetarian

35. A historical fiction novel- Darktown

36. A book recommended on a podcast- Spill Simmer Falter Wither

37. A book of short stories- American Housewife

38. A Southern Gothic book- The Heaven of Mercury

39. A book from the NPR Book Concierge (any year)- Eleanor & Hick

40. A book recommended by an author- Long Man

41. A book about financial hardship- The Short & Tragic Life of Robert Peace

42. A Dystopian novel- The Handmaid’s Tale

43. A book with an unlikable narrator- A Pleasure & a Calling

44. A book recommended by a blogger- The Passage

45. A book written by an author that wasn’t alive in your lifetime- Persuasion

46. A National Book Awards Finalist (from any year)- News of the World

47. A book on race- Born a Crime

48. A book about art- The Mirror Thief

49. A book from your TBR (to be read) stack- Brutal Youth

50. A MomAdvice Book Club selection- Carrying Albert Home

51. A nonfiction book- The Latter Days

52. A book you will be proud to share you finally read this year- Evicted

Get Your Free 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge Download !

The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge (FREE Printable!!)

The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge Printable

designed by MJ from pars caeli!!

The 2017 MomAdvice Reading Challenge (FREE Printable!!)

Start your engines, friends! I hope this helps you reach your reading goals- xo

This post contains affiliate links. I promise to only recommend what I truly love!

 

 

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with CycleCast. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

Many partnerships happen organically on the site and today’s post with CycleCast happened because I became a legit fan, sent them fan mail, and then they suggested partnering together to share about their app.

Last year, after a health diagnosis, my doctor advised no more pounding on my joints and switching to a lower impact cardio routine.

For most people, they might have been like, AWESOME, I don’t have to do that anymore!

For me, I wept.

I loved going to my cardio dance class, I loved the friendships I had made, and I loved the music so very much. I also really needed that endorphin rush that comes from a challenging cardio routine and I needed interesting music to keep me going.

My yoga studio membership has been great for building strength, but I had lost a lot of my cardio motivation. Rather than getting another gym membership (OUCH on the wallet!), I decided to research apps and a stationary bike to do my workouts at home.

When I found CycleCast, it changed my whole outlook on my new limitations.

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

CycleCast offers spinning workouts tailored to your time limits and your favorite styles of music. You can select a class if you have 20, 45, or 60 minutes and then select a coach with your favorite music style.

The volume controls for the coaching and the music are separate (I will tell you more why I love that later) so you can clearly hear your coach as they offer helpful tips throughout your routine. You are guided through a warm up, a challenging workout (in and out of the saddle), and a guided cool down. The coaches also remind you throughout about your posture, hand placement, and when to take in some water.

Basically, it is like having a coach RIGHT THERE who pushes and encourages you throughout the entire workout.

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

I’m obsessed with music and easily bored. I don’t have time to make a brand new playlist each time I workout, but this app does it for you! The music is KILLER and are such fun mixes that I often forget how hard I’m working.

Jonathan, my coach, doesn’t know me, but I LOVE HIM.

He has been a big encourager to me and the music is always incredible. I have never been disappointed in his guidance or the music.

Maybe your limitations have looked different than mine or maybe your challenges are different.

Are you intimidated to join a gym this year or struggling with your weight and don’t have the confidence to do it?

Are your kiddos still small and you can’t afford a membership and childcare?

Do you want to go, but there always seems to be a hurdle (sick kids, forgotten papers, appointments, working, etc..)?

I get it. I have these same things in my life.

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

Maybe you love this idea, but you don’t have a bike! No worries! These are cheaper than you might think.

I found, this foldable bike  and it takes up a teeny amount of room and paid for itself in just a couple of months compared to the gym membership I had been eyeing. I then used their Ride Guide to help get my bike set up and to learn to position myself better in it.

I just put the app on my iPad or iPhone and I tuck it on the table next to me, using my wireless headphones for listening and to muffle my loud breathing.

Yup, I’m one of those.

This app costs $9.99 a month, but they give you a free 30-day trial to start. I started with the 30-day trial and fell in love with the workouts I got. How much are the classes at your gym? Probably a minimum of $10 each! I can’t believe you can do a whole month of classes for $10 through this app!

On average, I have been burning about 500 calories per 45 minute workout. I feel really good about that and I love that this is a low-impact way for me to build strength again.

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

CycleCast has really given me a lot of my confidence back that I have been missing. I love being able to workout anytime I want and I love the coaching pushes me to work a little harder on my fitness goals.

Here is another secret that I must share….I use the app to KILL IT on my chores around the house. Thanks to the coaching volume being adjustable, I can silence my coach and just listen to the killer music that’s been mixed for these classes. I have used this to mow my lawn, shuttle my children, do my laundry, and clean my house.

I am not sure that’s what CycleCast had in mind, but I love it!

Boutique Workouts At Home (FREE Printable Fitness Tracker) from MomAdvice.com

To encourage you to reach your goals this year, we have a beautiful printable fitness tracker to help you set your goals for working out and hydration!  We hope this offers the encouragement you need to get back in the saddle and work on those fitness goals.

Get These Downloads

Download Your FREE 30-Day CycleCast Trial 

Download your Free Printable Fitness Tracker (printable designed by MJ from pars caeli) today! 

A huge thank you to CycleCast for partnering with me AND giving me a chance to get back to a solid cardio routine.

This post was created in partnership with CycleCast. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

DIY Phone Charging Station

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

A  new year typically brings along new organizing techniques in our home. We have been struggling with keeping track of phone chargers, remembering where we left these poor devices to charge, and figuring out a system that doesn’t require taking up my valuable counter space. I decided I wanted to create a phone charging station that could house all of these devices and be our new landing spot for our home.

This DIY phone charging station is made out of a jewelry armoire and, not only will it house all these phones, it can also be the perfect organizing spot for keys, sunglasses, watches/Fitbit devices, & a place to keep those gift cards we got for the holidays. Wait until you see how we make the most of this little piece!

I also wanted to add a unique touch to this station with some of the beautiful Waverly Inspirations Fabric that I was sent this month. I have never added fabric to a furniture piece before, but not only is it super easy, it also adds a gorgeously unique detail that makes an inexpensive piece look a little more high end. It’s been on my craft bucket list to try this and now I want to add this special touch to a few more pieces in our home.

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

Jewelry Armoire (you can browse all the options here)

Waverly Inspirations Fabric  (I used the 100% cotton duck fabric available at the store)

Waverly Chalk Paint in a coordinating color (I am using Agave)

Mod Podge

Paint brushes & Foam Brush

Fabric Rotary Cutter (or you can use scissors or a razor blade for trimming)

Rotary Mat

Drill

Scrap Wood

Screws

Surge Protector

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a DIY Phone Charging Station

1. Begin by assembling your jewelry armoire, but leave all of your knobs off the fronts of the drawers for now.

2. Using your chalk paint and a small paint brush, paint all of the knobs with a coat of chalk paint. Set aside to dry and then add a second layer of paint.

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

3. Using the front of your drawer as a guide, cut the fabric carefully and as closely as possible, around the drawer. Repeat with all of the other drawers.

4. Before you attach your fabric to the drawer front, make sure any loose threads and lint are removed from the piece (I went over mine with a lint roller to make sure the surface is clean). Dip your foam brush in the Mod Podge and add a thin layer of glue on the front of the drawer. Carefully line the fabric up on the front of the drawer. Once again, add a layer of Mod Podge OVER the fabric, making to seal all along the edges and across all the fabric. Repeat on all the drawers and then repeat with a second layer.

5. Add your painted knobs on the front of the drawers.

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

6. Drill holes in the back of your drawers and then a hole in the back of the piece. The size and amount of holes needed will depend entirely on how many devices you have and how wide your charger end is.

7. On the bottom of the unit, attach a scrap piece of wood that can be used to attach your surge protector. We attached the surge protector with a couple of screws to mount this scrap wood.

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com \ DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

DIY Phone Charging Station from MomAdvice.com

 

 

I realized after we took the pictures how much it could benefit from a little dusting with all our drilling we were doing.

Stretch your imagination a bit for that part as we are still dismantling our home from all these festivities!

I wonder if you are in the same boat today?

Seriously, how cute is this fun diy phone charging station to act as an inexpensive organizing solution for a small space? I decided to tie in those painted handles with a little color on the trim of this piece.  I really think the paint and fabric details really make this piece feel really unique and I love how practical this is for helping everyone stay organized!

A huge thank you to my hubby for his assistance on this DIY.

There is nothing like crafting in your pajamas and coffee with someone you love!

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

15-Minute Scrappy Fabric Trees

Kid Craft: Easy Technique for Painting Gift Wrap

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

Word of Mouse (BOOK GIVEAWAY With a $50 Visa Gift Card!!)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Jimmy Patterson Books. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

It should come as no surprise that when I was a kid, I was crazy about reading. There was nothing I looked forward to more than library day, spent curled up in an aisle with my nose in a book. I adored Beverly Clearly and the shenanigans of Ramona Quimby or those exciting adventures with Ralph & his motorcycle.  The books were wholesome and had fun illustrations that helped bring to life the stories that I had in my head. In fact, they were so memorably illustrated, I can still recall the words and pictures that I saw from all those years ago.

Good quality middle grade books with that charm and innocence have often been a challenge for our family. I long for my daughter to have the same sweet experiences that I have recalling those adventurous stories with good messages. I have relied a lot on the books of my own youth to share with her, but I am always on the hunt for new books that offer this kind of promise and messaging that so many of my own books had.

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

That’s why I am so excited to share about a new book that came out this week called, Word of Mousethat I believe has all of that old-school charm with thoughtful messages from a rather familiar author. As a reader, I’m sure you have heard of James Patterson, but you might not know about all the good books he is trying to put out in the world for kids! He happens to be a tireless champion for the power of books and reading. In fact, he has created a new children’s book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, with a very simple mission: “We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say, ‘PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'”

This sweet story, written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein,  is about a blue mouse named Isaiah who has the ability to communicate and feel the same things as humans. He goes on a mission to rescue his mouse family and finds a clever assistant in a sweet girl named Hailey. As they partner together to help save Isaiah’s family, they find the beauty in true friendship together that transcends their own differences.

Each chapter begins with a quote from Isaiah that offers thoughtful advice for your middle grade reader to chew on.

One of the quotes we loved was, “Those who give have everything. Those who don’t have nothing at all.” 

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

We love giving to others and the happiness that comes from sharing what we have with those in need.  We all have taken up new projects this year that help benefit our community. The kids loved participating in a community project with their school to rake the yards of homes that surrounded their school’s campus. We ring bells for the Salvation Army through our church each holiday season. I picked up a weekly gig stocking and organizing food pantry shelves. I got the chance to help serve a holiday feast at a local women and children’s shelter this year.

Do you know how much this cost us?

Zero.

Do you know how much we get back?

An immeasurable amount.

It builds awareness for all the needs we could help meet.

It also builds awareness for the blessings we have.

These are the messages I like to see in the pages of my kid’s books and that is why I’m very proud to share about this new book with you.  This book is geared towards readers ages 8-12 and is beautifully illustrated by Joe Sutphin.

Today I get to host a fun giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of Word of Mouse as well as a $50 Visa Gift Card! Please follow the rules in the widget below for entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for entering and best of luck to each of you! To learn more about Word of Mouse, the author, and JIMMY Patterson Books, check out these links:

Word of Mouse

Visit JamesPatterson.com

Follow JIMMY Patterson Books on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Follow James Patterson on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Word of Mouse for Middle Grade Kids from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Jimmy Patterson Books. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

Kid Crafts: Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

You may recall that last year I decided to buy a lifetime of kraft paper for wrapping our holiday gifts. It should come as no surprise that we are still using this giant roll of gift wrap in our house. I have found it is a useful item to have on hand, for all of life’s occasions,  and there is so much that you can do with kraft paper to make your gifts unique.

I also consider pretty gifts to be part of the decorating so it thrills me to come up with new ways to use the same paper each year. I love these gorgeous detail under the tree.

As a crafter, I really never got into acrylic paints until this year. It has been so much fun trying new crafts with these fun paints. I love discovering something that I have walked by for years in the craft aisle and finding my own uses for them!

Today  I wanted to come up with some creative ideas to get kids on the action of decorating the paper as a fun winter craft. I love screen-free activities with them so I thought this would be a fun one that you could have them create, even after the holiday season.

There are so many beautiful hues that you could mix and match any hue that you like. I have a big crush on a metallic Rose this year so I am demonstrating this craft with Waverly Inspirations Metallic & Glitter paint offerings in Rose Quartz (in the Metallic) and Rose Gold (in the Glitter paints!) for a pretty modern look.

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

 

3 Fun Painting Projects for Kids to DIY Your Gift Wrap

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

kraft paper

Rubber Stamps

Small Ornaments (just the inexpensive ones that come in a tube!)

Waverly Inspirations Ribbon

Waverly Glitter & Metallic Paints (in stores)

Paint Brush

Plastic Cups, Bowls, or a Plate for Paints

Directions for Fun Painting Techniques

Make sure to cut off a section that will be generous enough to cover at least one gift.

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Stamp Your Paper

Pour a small amount of your paint into a disposable cup, plate, or bowl. Using your paintbrush, brush the paint on in an even layer and then place stamp down and pull directly up to try to get as clean of a design as possible. Repeat across the paper or combine this with other designs for more variety. You want to use the Waverly Inspirations Metallic Paints with this technique because the glitter paint doesn’t create that clean image like the metallic paint.

If you don’t have rubber stamps in your craft supplies, you can use odds and ends around your home for stamping. Shapes can be cut into the ends of potatoes, you can cut up sponges into shapes, the eraser end of  a pencil can make adorable polka dots, the edge of a disposable cup can create rings, or a cork could create a dotted technique. This is a great opportunity for your child to explore painting in fun ways.

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Create Glittered Swirls

If your child lacks the eye-hand coordination for stamping, give them a paintbrush and let them add swirls to the paper.  Paint strokes are layered in glitter thanks this fun glitter paint. I found with this one, it was best to have a fully loaded brush to bring out both the color and the glitter. Repeat your swirls throughout the paper or have your child come up with their own abstract design.

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

Add Painted Embellishments

Acrylic paints are so fun and make many inexpensive items look high end with modern color choices. Inexpensive ornaments can be painted in coordinating colors and tied on with string to your package. While the rubber stamps are out, stamp up your own diy gift cards on white cardstock and trim with ric-rac scissors or put your own creative spin on the tags. Finish your gift with a beautiful bow.

Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com
Easy Techniques for Painting Gift Wrap from MomAdvice.com

how-to-decorate-gift-wrap-with-acrylic-paints-4864

I hope your kiddos enjoy this boredom buster! I am the queen of craft stockpiling so I have tons of paints, ornaments, and gift wrap (BOY, DO I HAVE GIFT WRAP!) to keep the kids busy on our next snow day.

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

15-Minute Scrappy Fabric Trees

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

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Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

I love adding a few homemade touches to our home each year for the holidays and especially those items that can be repurposed in a variety of ways.  For example, one year for Valentine’s Day I made a festive tree from cupcake liners and it got lots of love during that season. Perhaps, a bit TOO MUCH love (ahem!) as they began to wilt and wrinkle.  The beauty in that project though,  and in today’s project,  is that the materials were pinned to the same styrofoam base which allows you the opportunity to reuse this same tree year after year in brand new ways.

I wanted to create some festive holiday fabric trees to fill an empty space in one of our corners so I created this easy 15-minute fabric tree that is so simple that you could have your kids even do it for a holiday craft.  I just know you are going to love these fabric trees as much as I do and I’m really loving the finishing touches on this one with a fabric pom-pom and a touch of shimmer on the edges.

How to Make a Scrappy Fabric Tree

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

2 kinds of Waverly Inspirations Fabric in coordinating fabrics (I used the 100% cotton duck fabric available at the store)- this craft does not require a lot of fabric so even 1/4 yard should be plenty!

Small or Large Clover Pom Pom Maker (I used the large option for my trees)

Styrofoam Cones (any size!)

Straight Pins

Waverly Glitter Paint (in stores)

Paint Brush

Directions for Scrappy Fabric Trees

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

1. Begin by cutting into the long-side of your fabric by an inch or an inch and half. Once you have your cut, begin pulling the fabric with your own bare hands (ROAR!!! TAKE OUT THOSE HOLIDAY FRUSTRATIONS HERE AND IMPRESS YOUR KIDS WITH YOUR HULK STRENGTH!) and ripping it all the way down until this strip of fabric is completely separated from the fabric. If you have any loose strings (and you will!) pull them off the strip before beginning the next step.

2. Take this strip and pin it along the bottom edge of the cone to cover the styrofoam core.

3. With the remainder of your fabric strip, begin cutting notches into it, as evenly as possible, as I have shown above in the picture. Do this down the entire length of your fabric.

4. Starting at the very bottom, and layering over that first layer we laid, begin wrapping the tree, cutting once it has met the other side, and pinning into place.

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

4. Continue doing this layering over each layer to cover those pins and also staggering the pieces so that each layer has a little leaf peeking through. Do this until you get to almost the top of the tree. You may need to cut and repeat this process again if you have run out of material to work with. REPEAT HULK MOVES.

5. Once you get close to the top of tree, rip another strip of fabric and use that to cover the top of the tree as I have shown you in the picture. You want to criss-cross the material so that you don’t have any of that styrofoam cone showing. Now wrap more of your layers over that to disguise the pins and to continue the ruffling on the tree.

6. In your other fabric, tear a 1/2″ strip just as you did with the tree, but this time we are going to be making a pom-pom out of it. If you have not used the Clover Pom-Pom Maker before you are going to love it. It’s very easy to use and I have a great step-by-step tutorial if you are new to pom-pom making. When making this, take care to not wrap numerous times or get the material so thick that you are unable to cut it. Just a nice even layer down each side should work. Cut the pom pom out and then use another fabric strip to tie it tight to secure.

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

7. Pin your pom-pm to the top and check to see if you need one more layer underneath to complete the tree. I liked adding just one more ruffle to finish.

8. Using your Waverly glitter paint and a tiny paintbrush, dip the paintbrush in the glitter paint and paint just the edges of the torn fabric on the pom-pom and on the tree to add a finishing shimmer.

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

Scrappy Fabric Trees in Just 15 Minutes from MomAdvice.com

Why make one when you can make three?

I’m in love!

The best part is that you can switch these materials out with the seasons and make this same object look different from season to season. Who knows? You just might see these out again around Valentine’s Day with a brand new look on the site!

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers

DIY Ottoman Serving Tray

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

Pin It