Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MomAdvice Friday: Is Your House “Small”?

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I was watching Oprah the other day and they had a great show where they showcased homeowners who were their own decorators and had created beautiful living spaces without the aid of a designer.

One of the houses that they showcased was a 1,700 square foot home that they referred to as “small” and they shared how amazed they were that the homeowner was able to make their home feel so large when they were living in such a small home. The homeowners had lived in another country before so they said they had adapted to the European home size.

To be honest, I just sat scratching my head wondering what I was missing . My home is 1,800 square feet and while it is certainly no McMansion, it isn’t as though we are living in a tiny shack either. We have four people in our house and I feel like it is a comfortable home size for us. A family that lived in our house before us had five children in this space!

When I think about buying a larger home, I think about how I often feel that I can’t keep up with my house that I have right now. If I can’t keep a house tidy this size, why would I ever buy a bigger house that would require more cleaning?

I also think of all my brainstorms for how we can maximize the space we already have by creating more built-in pieces and being more creative with the walls and corners in our home.

Am I alone in this thinking? What are your thoughts about McMansions and the American way of super-sizing everything? What size of house is considered small to you?

Freepeats

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

One of my favorite mommy bloggers, Angie from Baby Cheapskate, has started a community where you can freely trade mommy and baby gear through your local community. Her new program is called Freepeats.

Since she is an Atlanta resident, her first target for her community is her local area. She is offering a free membership to join Freepeats through December 31st. After this date, she will be offering memberships for a one time fee of $4.95! How awesome is that?

She has goals to expand the program to other areas of the country so if you are not an Atlanta mom, do not despair! Other big cities should be added in the future. She has plans to launch six more communities by 2008!

We thank Angie for her contributions towards making our mommy lives a tad more frugal!

Set Your Recorders: The CBS Early Show

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

I should be on The Early Show tomorrow morning (Friday) on a work-at-home piece that they are doing. I am quite nervous about this so please send up lots of prayers that it portrays my work here in a good light. We were so happy to be included and to be on national news.

The approximate time for airing is 7:40 AM!

Please pray that our site can handle the traffic!

Thank you all for your continued support and kindness. I couldn’t do it without our awesome community!

The Motherloot!!!

Monday, November 5th, 2007

We are finally live with our product review site, “The Motherloot”. I still need to work on guidelines and specifications for companies that would like to be featured, but we now have a separate home for these and I hope you can visit it!

Recent additions to the site include:

Family Facts Organizing Products

DaBibs

Let us know what you think and how you like the design! Many thanks to my designer for making this possible!!

I will be working on more reviews and am hoping to include lots of holiday shopping ideas for the families.

More Difficult Than It Should Be

Monday, October 29th, 2007

We had to bring a snack to the Halloween Party that we attended and I was so excited to make Scribbit’s witch hats to bring with us. What an easy and fun idea…this SHOULD have been.

I didn’t realize it, but after visiting three grocery stores, I was unable to find the chocolate cookies that I needed to complete the project.

I had to get a little more creative than usual so I used Christina’s Chocolate Crinkles recipe and patted the cookies into a very flat shape. To insure that they stayed flat, I patted them when I removed them from the oven.

The shapes were still not even so I used my great-grandma’s biscuit cutter (a favorite piece in my kitchen) to cut out perfect circles.

I found Hershey Kisses filled with caramel and used these to rest on top. A frosting bow did complete the look.

The kitchen was short of a disaster and this turned into a little more work than I had intended to put into the snack.

I must say that the results were great and I was proud of how they turned out. The cookies probably tasted better than the store-bought version and who couldn’t appreciate how festive they looked?

Thanks to Michelle for the great treat idea!! I just thought I would share my substitute in case you have as much trouble as me finding these cookies!

All Around Our House 10.25.07

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

My son stayed home with a belly ache today so I took a few pictures of things going on around our house and what we are up to. I was having difficulties with the memory card on my camera so I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do this week for my blog. Here is my way to make up for it!


This first picture is the bench that I purchased for our entryway. I found it at our local Meijer and was pleased with the quality of the piece and how comfortable it is too. I am trying to work on making our home more inviting and making guests stand to take their shoes off didn’t seem too inviting to me. This is the first step towards the direction of what we would like to do for our entryway. We are also planning to wainscot the entrance to make it feel more inviting and get a new light fixture to replace the seventies version that is currently there.

We also relocated our own shoes and belongings and hung some hooks for our coats now in the garage. My bench was moved out there so that the kids can sit down to pull off their shoes. I got a couple of cheap milk crates to throw our backpacks and bags in there.

Yesterday we finally got a chance to do some leaf crafts together. While Emily took her nap, Ethan and I got some special time together to pick out leaves from our front yard. Even though I mowed this past weekend, the yard is filled with leaves. We brought them in the house and traced them, colored with them, and decorated our kitchen window. Ethan wanted to hang part of them upside down since they were “falling from the trees.” This was a fun craft to work on, to practice his cutting skills, and gave us an opportunity to talk about nature. I don’t feel like I do enough of this with him so we both really enjoyed ourselves yesterday.

I threw a chicken in the slow cooker for our dinner tonight. We have been doing really well this month with our menu plan. This will be our first month really on my husband’s once-a-month pay schedule and doing my menu plan has really helped us from going out so much and it has been much easier to figure out what to make when entertaining our friends & family.
I am also finally getting around to reading “Eat Pray Love”by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is hard to explain the book, but it is truly has been a great read for me and an interesting look into another person’s travels and spiritual journey. Everyone had been telling me to read this, but I had other books in my to-be-read piles. I am so glad I am finally sitting down to read this- it is a fascinating and fun read.
I also finally found a place to store some of my ribbon so it will be more organized. The pretty suitcase that my “sister” sent from that sister swap is the perfect place to keep all of it. It looks so pretty in the case and it is a clever place to store it without it taking up additional room.

Big Lots Deals

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

I hit Big Lots this week and I am so glad I did. They had beautiful bolts of grosgrain ribbon (5 yard rolls) marked for $1 each. I bought 22 rolls for my ribbon stash. This might sound excessive, but it will be a great investment for making bows for my daughter and for my little side business. Thanks to Meredith for the mention on her blog because now I am filling a few out-of-town orders too! (Note: For all my local friends, I have just started back up since my mom was sick so if you are still wanting to place orders with me, just shoot me an email at amy@momadvice.com. I apologize that I had to take a break, but am hoping to get the ball rolling again).

I bought all the red and greens that I could find, in anticipation of the holiday season, and also bought some pretty autumn colors for my daughter. The ribbon bolts were hidden away in a small box by the gift wrap and gift bags.

Another steal of a deal were the boxes of hair color. Since I run my own beauty parlor over here, $2 for a warm fall shade seems like a reasonable investment to me. They had all different brands marked between $2-5 a box.

It looks like I will have some fun projects this weekend-hair bows and hair color!

The stores are putting their holiday decorations and goodies out this week. They had lots of holiday linens, mugs, gift sets, and lots of other fun treats.

MomAdvice Friday: Dyslexia?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

My Freebie Friday is not very interactive so I thought it might be fun to do a MomAdvice Friday where you all can share your advice on different issues. People can send questions to me (send to amy@momadvice.com) and I can post them each Friday for our community to answer.

I thought I would get the ball rolling with a question about our son. Ethan has been doing really well recognizing his letters and numbers. I have noticed though that all of his papers have his name written completely backwards. Not just the letters written the wrong way, but written in such a way that if you held it up to a mirror, it would be perfect.

He is five years old and I know that with time, this will hopefully straighten itself out, but I was wondering when does his become dyslexia and what can we do to work towards resolving this problem?

If you have had a child that has done this when did this become diagnosed as a disability or when did this correct itself?

I know nothing about this subject, but I am hoping someone else does.

Help!!!! Please!!!

Just One More Year…

Friday, October 12th, 2007

My poor laundry hamper has been looking pretty sad these days. We bought this hamper the year that we got married and each year it looks a little worse than the year before.

Somehow the top of the hamper got a tear in it and I noticed weird pieces of fuzzy stuff lurking all over my daughter’s room. It appears that someone in our house had now made it a mission to pick out the foam interior and shred it all over their room. I can’t say who this person was, but I am pretty sure that I can narrow it down to two little people. It was becoming necessary to replace this item or fix it.

I did happen to have some vinyl fabric leftover from recovering my dining chairs so I thought I could use some of this excess fabric and recover the top of the hamper.

Within a half hour, I had the whole thing apart and had recovered the top with the pretty chocolate fabric.

The hamper is still very stretched out and I doubt I have more than a year before it will be completely worthless, but I bought myself a year to look for a new one while I am at the thrift store. This was completely worth the time and effort and I can’t wait to keep my eyes peeled at our stores to find a good deal on a new one.

Operation Foam Destruction has been disabled!

Clinique Freebies & Free Amazon Gift Cards

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

I just wanted to share a couple of freebies that are being offered right now. The first one is for college kids, but I figured there might be some moms out there with college students who might like to cash in on this freebie.

Clinique Freebie: Clinique Consultants have been visiting select universities this fall with their 3-Step Skin Care System. They been on hand giving expert skin care advice and providing samples to college students in all majors and school years. This is a free event and great opportunity for students to learn how to address their individual skin care concerns.

Students on campus who visit the Clinique team will walk away with a FREE 3-Step sample. The first students to register also receive Clinique “Sleep In” pajama bottoms. More information on Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System can be found by visiting:www.clinique.com/3step. If you’re unable to attend the event, you can enter online to win a $500 shopping spree by visiting this website & following the on-site instructions.

The deadline to enter is November 15, 2007 by midnight.

Below is a list of upcoming Clinique college dates:

Oct. 15: University of Maryland – College Park
Oct. 16: University of Central Florida
Oct. 17: Boston University
Oct. 18: James Madison University
Oct. 22: Illinois State University
Oct: 29: University of Mississippi
TBD: George Washington University

This second freebie is a current promotion that Coinstar is running.

Coinstar Freebie: Coinstar is offering a free $10 Amazon.com gift card, if you cash $30 in change. The directions are:

1. Bring $30 of coins to a participating Coinstar® Center
2. Cash it in for an Amazon.com gift certificate… and get FREE coin counting!
3. Complete the printed receipt & mail in to receive your $10 Amazon.com gift certificate.

For more information on this current promotion visit their website.