Archive for the ‘Money & Finance’ Category

Freebie Friday November 21, 2014

Friday, November 21st, 2014

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

This week on MomAdvice Kelly Whalen is sharing her last feature for us all about the new retirement – you’ll want to check this out, it’s full of great info! I’m also sharing how to make a blanket scarf, which I’m totally excited about – you can save a ton of money on this quick and easy craft, and it would make a terrific gift! On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Our regular feature,  Amy’s Notebook, is of course filled with lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas, and be sure to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty

Nivea Lotion Sample
Sensodyne Toothpaste Sample (Costco members)
Tums Chewable Tablets Sample (Costco members)

Entertainment

Audiobook download of Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst
Christmas Baking Recipes ebook
More Than Things: A Children’s Book About Gifts ebook
Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater Printable Pack
Thanksgiving Math Printable Pack
Pillsbury Calendar (for current members)

This Week’s Freebie Events

November 21 - 27

22nd - Half Price Books: Enjoy storytime and take home a free children’s boo, 1 pm

22nd - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Giving Thanks Centerpiece, 11 am – 3 pm

22nd - Toys “R” Us: Build an amazing winter city scene with Lego bricks, 12 pm – 4 pm

 

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How to Make a Blanket Scarf

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

I am madly in love with blanket scarves. My obsession started as all good obsessions do. It began on Pinterest. All of these fabulously fashionable women were rocking these gorgeous scarves, but they were out of my price range or lacked the fullness & beauty that was captured online. I decided I wanted to make some for my minimalist wardrobe because it would add so much. Did you know you can make a blanket scarf with no sewing skills required?

Let’s begin by taking a peek at the coveted $44 Zara scarf (that sells out in minutes, not kidding).  I want to zoom on in it so we can take a closer look.

Zara Blanket Scarf

The thing I want you to see is that the edges are frayed on their version too. Guess what? You can achieve that with a little flannel and pulling. The best part is that this version will cost you quite a bit less than $44. I am going to make a big stack of them to show you and then I am going to show you some fun ways to tie them.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

The first thing you will need to do is shop for your fabric which is so much fun. I went to a few shops to check out fabric and ended up finding it at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Head over here (a great coupon affiliate of mine!) and check to see if flannel fabrics are on sale. If not, that same link will provide you a 40% off coupon. You will DEFINITELY want to use this because it makes these scarves budget-friendly. Don’t forget your coupons.

Head over the Fashion Flannel…at least that’s what they call it in Mishawaka (oh-la-la!). Select your favorite patterns,tell them the amount you need, have them tell you they don’t have that much on a bolt, go grab another one, try again… Be annoyed. Decide to do two sizes because you want you what you want, that’s why you brought it up there. Got it?

I am going to show you what a 2 yard scarf looks like and then I am going to show you what a 2.5 yard scarf looks like below. I love them both for different reasons and what you can do with them. The price (with no sales or coupons) is $8.99 per yard. That’s why it is great to see the two version (for cost-savings) and also really great to bring a coupon to save a bit on the fabric.

I wouldn’t recommend anything more than that or your scarf will choke you and you will die from scarf blanket suffocation. It will be all over the headlines. They will be laughing at you in those ridiculous segments on the radio where they try to shock you at the stupidity of Americans.  Your family will miss you. It would all be very tragic.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Blanket Scarf

1. Purchase 2-2.5 yards of flannel fabric.

2. Using the patterned flannel edge as a guide, trim the edges of each side of your scarf.

3. Grab the loose threads on the side and pull them down gently, fraying the edges of the scarf. Keep doing this until there are no loose threads and you have a beautifully frayed edge. Repeat on each side of the scarf. DONE!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This is what TWO YARDS of fabric looks like. You can see that it has a lot of fullness, but is not as long or as much to tie or knot around. Do you want to see how to tie it to look like this? Okay then.

How to Tie a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your Two Yard Blanket Scarf

1. Fold the scarf in half, lining the edges up evenly.

2. Make sure one end is shorter than the other and tuck it up over your shoulder.

3. Loop around once with the long end (or possibly twice depending on your neck size!).

4. Fluff and puff. Fluff and puff.

how-to-make-a-blanket-scarf-9

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here is the same size, just not puffed up so much. Seriously, cute stuff!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your 2.5 Yard Blanket Scarf

No need to reinvent the wheel…I just headed online to figure out a couple of fun ways to tie these longer blanket scarves. I tried this braided technique on Classy Sassy and really loved it. It is a little more complex than the one above, but it adds a beautiful detail to the styling.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This half-tied technique couldn’t be easier and was a cinch to pull together and added just the right amount of fullness to the neckline.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here are a few other blanket scarf techniques I am looking forward to trying!

This one is similar to the half-tied technique, but no tying, just tucking. I can do that!

This chunky scarf technique would work really well with a 2-yard scarf so you could let the ends hang.

The 2.5-yard one would look great as a poncho or even pulled together with a belt.

This poncho style leaves the scarf folded making a smaller poncho version.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

I’m Petite & Want to Make a Smaller Version- What Can I Do?

I’m pretty petite, but I know big scarves aren’t for everyone!  Shave 6-7 inches off the width on a 2 yard version to make a more petite version of this scarf with a little less bulk or experiment with your own sizing by creating your own custom version. Just cut, try on, adjust. There are no wrong or right lengths- it is what fits YOU or your recipient best!

I hope you have a blast making these quick scarves for yourself or for holiday gift-giving. Check out this list of 54 handmade gifts you can make for the holiday season to inspire you even more! Happy crafting!

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Apron Full of Giveaways 11.18.14

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Cross-Back Denim Apron via Etsy

Source: Larklin,  $64.26

 

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

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

Good luck to each of you!

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Planning for your Second Life: The New Retirement

Monday, November 17th, 2014

From our money & finance contributor, Kelly Whalen.

Note: This will be my last post as a contributor for MomAdvice. Thank you for all the thoughtful comments, support, and most especially thank you to Amy for the opportunity. My hope is that if you look through the archives of my posts you will get a clear financial education from beginning to end. It only seems fitting to end our journey with retirement.

Planning for your Second Life The New Retirement

Most of us grew up with the notion that retirement came after 40+ years in the workforce and came with golf, social security checks, and retiring to somewhere warm. For most Americans that dream of the ‘golden years’ has disappeared. Somewhere during our recent recession it became more obvious that the idea of traditional retirement wasn’t going to be an option for most people. In fact over 60% of Americans have under $25,000 saved for retirement. *

That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. You no longer have to tie yourself to a cubicle or labor every day and then sit on your buns from 65 on. Instead you can plan for a second life that will be just as fulfilling as your first career — a second life that may even start sooner than you think.

Planning for your Second Life: Financial Planning

Start Saving Now

Saving early means your savings have longer to grow. If you haven’t started saving now is the time to start. If you have been saving for retirement consider ramping up your savings for 2015.

Take Advantage of your Retirement Options

  • 401ks are popular for companies and they offer a great advantage—free money in the form of matching from your employer.
  • Roth IRAs are another great option. In addition to using the funds for retirement you can also use them for educational costs. This allows you to bank money for your kids’ college educations, but if they don’t need or use it you can continue to bank on it for retirement.
  • If you’re self-employed look into a self-employed 401k. They offer you the ability to save more than most retirement options and have low maintenance costs.

Live on Less
It’s always good to live on less, but especially when you start to think about retiring. Cutting back on expenses now not only means more savings to grow, but you will become accustomed to living well within your means.

Planning for your Second Life: Work

Don’t Stop Working
The reality for many of us is that we will continue to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65. While you may not be suited to your current career there are other opportunities to use your skills to earn an income. Below are a few options to consider.

  • Finding a Work/Live Job: House sitting, live-in jobs such as caretaking or management can provide you with a place to live rent-free. This can be a great option in retirement to slash housing costs, and allow you to earn an income.
  • Offering your Skills as a Consultant: While you may leave your 9 to 5 gig you can still use your skills to earn income as a consultant. Whether you work with a consulting company or strike out on your own you may find you can earn even more than your typical paycheck as a consultant.
  • Bartering or Work for Trade: Relying on your skills and hobbies will allow you to barter or trade services with others. For instance, a former CPA may do taxes for a small business client bartering for their services. You can also trade your time for services such as working the front desk at your local gym for 5 hours per week in exchange for free membership.

Planning for your Second Life: Housing

Go Multi-Generational
As housing costs and expenses soar it makes sense to share housing costs, but instead of renting out a room to a stranger, or downsizing consider living with family members. While it may not work for everyone it can be a huge money saver and a way to stay connected with your family members. The big benefit comes in divvying up the housing costs and the household chores.

Planning for your Second Life: Phase Two Begins

Start Phase Two Now
Instead of waiting until your kids are all grown and you’re in your 60s to retire take a hard look at what it would take for you to be able to work less, downsize, or move somewhere more affordable now. While you may not be able to retire in the traditional sense you can realign your budget and thinking to fit a lower stress phase two of life and possibly even find room in the budget to take on a project or build a new career based on your passions instead of the need to climb the corporate ladder.

With careful and strategic planning you can move into the next phase of your life and find it just as fulfilling (if not more so) than your first life.

*Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute

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Freebie Friday November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14th, 2014

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

This week on MomAdvice I’m sharing probably the cutest holiday table we’ve ever had – it’s a woodland themed Thanksgiving table complete with a wonderful set of FREE printables created by our own Sarah Milne. We’ve also got another article full of ideas for dating your husband from Mary Carver - how to put your marriage at the top of your holiday list. On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Our regular feature,  Amy’s Notebook, is of course filled with lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas, and be sure to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty
Food & Drink
Entertainment
This Week’s Freebie Events: November 15 - 21
15th - Barnes & Noble: Join Storytime featuring The Great Thanksgiving Escape, times vary
15th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Family Picture Tree, 11 am – 3 pm
15th - Toys R Us: Play with Nerf Blasters and other Hasbro Toys, 12 – 4 pm
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Apron Full of Giveaways 11.11.14

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Yellow Linen Half Apron via Etsy

Source: Linen And Tailor,  $49.00

 

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

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

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday November 7, 2014

Friday, November 7th, 2014

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

This week on MomAdvice Shaina is sharing how to make pork potstickers at home – no need for takeout! And I’m super excited to be revealing my winter fashion capsule – including what I’m keeping from fall and what I’m changing up. On the topic of fashion you’ll also find some fun diy ideas for dressing up your boots using Goodwill items. This week’s edition of It’s the 3 Little Things has new things that make me happy, 3 capsule outfits I wore, and more. Our regular feature,  Amy’s Notebook, is of course filled with lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas, and be sure to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty
Food & Drink
Dunkin Donuts Medium Beverage (when you sign up)
Entertainment
This Week’s Freebie Events: November 8 - 14
8th - Barnes & Noble: Join Storytime featuring Padington, times vary
8th - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Harvest Headdress, 11 am – 3 pm
8th - Lowe’s: Build a Science Lab, 10 am
8th - Michael’s: Make a Thumbprint Reindeer Ornament, 12 – 3 pm
8th - Toys R Us: Play the new Skylanders Trap Team Game on Xbox One or Tablet, 12 – 4 pm

 

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Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Winter-2014-Fashion-Capsule-Wardrobe

Thank you guys for indulging me so much in my fashion capsule project this year. Today I wanted to reveal my Winter fashion capsule wardrobe that I will be wearing the next three months and hopefully inspire you to create a capsule wardrobe of your own. This capsule launches on November 22nd for me, but I wanted to share it with you early in hopes that some of these items might inspire you. As always, follow me on Instagram and check our It’s the 3 Little Things to see the outfits I create with these items.

After doing a little research this time around and feeling like even though I had minimized my wardrobe A LOT, I still felt like I could minimize a bit more. Here are last month’s rules I created if that works better for you. In all honesty, this is about minimizing so follow rules that fit well with you and consider stages like I am doing. This time I am doing a modified Project 333 project similar to what I did last month. Here are the rules I am following this month.

A Modified Project 333

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximise the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colours.

This project was inspired by Project 333 & the Unfancy fashion capsule challenge, but I am making a few of my own rules for my own personal challenge.

33 Piece Wardrobe- The wardrobe can have 33 pieces  in it. This wardrobe does not include pajamas, workout gear, undergarments, or camisoles (something that is a necessity for me).  The capsule is made from items I already own, some purchased to be workhorses in my wardrobe (since I fail in this department greatly), and purchased second hand at Goodwill or through Twice. All of the items I am not wearing and still love are being tucked in storage for the next fashion capsule.  I have created a Fashion Capsule Pinterest Board to help inspire me with the pieces I am using.

Choose 3 More for Rotating- You may choose three additional items and put them aside in your closet. You may rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to rotated out. Consider donating those items.

No Shoe Shopping- I am not including my shoes for this challenge, but I am challenging myself to not buy any more shoes and use what I already have.

One Steal Per Month- Things and events come up and I am allowing myself one steal per month from items that I already own. I may find I don’t need this, but I think it might help with the shopping bug.

No Shopping For Clothing- I will wear the clothes I have selected and not shop for three months and only shop two weeks prior to the next capsule for items for the next season if needed. This is going to require a lot of discipline for me and I am planning to unsubscribe to shopping newsletters and avoid the shops as much as possible.

This month’s Project 333 Wardrobe is listed below. The ones with TWO asterisks are carrying over from my last capsule. To me, these are the best pieces to buy since they are making a reappearance! The ones with a single asterisk are still in route to my house. I will photograph them when they arrive!

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

1.  J. Crew Emerald Green Blouse (owned- second-hand purchase)

2.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic in Chocolate (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 3.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic Dress in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)

4.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic in Gray (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 5.  H&M Black & White Striped Top (owned- Goodwill)

6. White Mossimo Thermal T-Shirt (purchased- Target)

7.  Flannel Shirt (purchased- Pitaya)

8.  Amelia Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 9. Chambray Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

10. J. Crew Red Plaid Tunic  (purchased second-hand on Twice)

11. Brooklyn T-Shirt (purchased Urban Outfitters)

12. Camel Colored Cowl Tunic Top Sweatshirt (purchased Target)

13. Hunter Green Floral & Lace Hoodie (purchased- Marshall’s)

14. Rust Colored Bird Print Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

15. ya Gray Wool Sweater Vest (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

16. Anthropologie Felted Sweater Coat (owned second-hand from Clothes Mentor)

17. Gray Faux Fur Vest (purchased- Target)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 18. Old Navy Plaid Flannel Shirt (owned- Old Navy)

19. Gap Wool Blazer (owned- Gap)

20. Papillion Yellow Mustard Circle Dress (owned- Flourish Boutique)

21. Anthropologie Yellow Mustard Sweater (purchased second-hand on Twice)

22. Anthropologie Scarlet Swing Skirt (my splurge- Anthropologie)

23. Ruffles Have Ridges Top  (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

24. J. Crew Khaki A-Line Skirt (purchased second-hand on Twice)

25. White House Black Market Knit Black Dress  (purchased second-hand on Twice)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 26. The Essential Leggings in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)

27. The Essentials Leggings in Brown  (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

28. Matilda Jane Willow Tree Rider Pants (purchase from Amanda Petit, Matilda Jane Independent Trunk Keeper)

29. Burgundy Knit Leggings (owned- Ann Taylor Loft)

** 30. Seven Skinny Jeans (owned- Flourish Boutique)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 31. Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in Gray- (Old Navy)

herringbone-vest

*Houndstooth Puffer Vest J. Crew Knockoff (purchased- Groopdealz)

*Not pictured yet! Red Puffer Vest (purchased- Groopdealz)

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Current Coupons for Old Navy (I am a big fan of their jeans and basic t-shirts)

Current Coupons for Target (their wardrobe is on the smart minimalist side this season- yay!)

Current Coupons for Gap (blazers, chambray shirts, collared shirts, jeans- oh my!)

Get $10 for your first Twice purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Use web code WEB25 for 25% off your purchase at Flourish Boutique (this is our site sponsor and where I get the majority of my clothing). You can also catch a sale daily on the Flourish Boutique Facebook Page)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you! Be sure to note in your file EXACTLY what you are looking for when scheduling your fix.

Again, I won’t be daily documenting, but you can find me on Instagram sharing ideas and I showcase three ideas every Friday for you to try. I promise though to fully commit to this and I know this will be very good for me this year.

UPDATES HERE:

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Really Works)

It’s the 3 Little Things (Three Outfits Posted EVERY WEEK in each entry- happy browsing!!)

Fall Fashion Capsule 2014

Would you like to do a challenge with me? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if you want to join in on the fun or if you are doing a similar challenge of your own!

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

Apron Full of Giveaways 11.04.14

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

hummingbird apron via etsy

Source: Lotus 2 Loaves,  $45.00

 

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

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

Good luck to each of you!

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Freebie Friday October 31, 2014

Friday, October 31st, 2014

freebie friday Welcome to a Halloween edition of Freebie Friday! We hope you have a great holiday – and wouldn’t some freebies get it off to a nice start? As always, we would like to thank Couponing 101 for assisting us with our freebies each week for loads of deals, savings, and freebies!

This week on MomAdvice we have a thoughtful article from Kelly Whalen discussing college costs and if you really need that degree. I’m also sharing a review of Empowered Safety, including a giveaway for a free membership to this service that alerts you to product and food recalls. You’ll also find a super easy craft project that makes me so happy – Gold Thumbtack Pumpkins – as well as a new Sundays with Writers interview with Kathryn Craft, author of The Art of Falling. On this week’s edition of  It’s the 3 Little Things I’m sharing what’s making me happy and hope you’ll share yours, too!

Our regular feature,  Amy’s Notebook, is of course filled with lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas, and be sure to check out all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Health & Beauty
Food & Drink
Entertainment
This Week’s Freebie Events: November 1 - 7
1st - Home Depot: Build a Pallet Coaster, 9 am – 12 pm
1st - Lakeshore Learning: Create a Scarecrow Puppet, 11 am – 3 pm
1st - Pottery Barn: Join the Pajama Jam, 5 – 9 pm

 

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