Apron Full of Giveaways 03.17.15

March 17th, 2015

Linen Apron on Floral Background via Etsy

Source: Linen Life Ideas,  $38.04

 

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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Spring Wardrobe Essentials with Vera Sweeney

March 16th, 2015

I’m so excited to have my amazing friend, Vera Sweeney, from Lady and the Blog sharing a fantastic list of Spring Wardrobe Essentials with all of us. I respect Vera and her work so very much and she has become one of my go-to resources for making the most of my wardrobe. Check out this great list she created for the m challenge and be sure to use our handy list of wardrobe printables while preparing for your new Spring look! xo

Spring Wardrobe Essentials

Spring is such a great time for fashion. There’s no more hiding. No more bundling. It’s all about embracing the warmer weather and showing off some skin. Because the beginning of the season can be so transitional, there are a few key pieces that every woman should own to ensure that she is ready for any weather that Mother Nature throws her way.

jean jacket

 

The Jean Jacket

I love a great jean jacket because not only can it keep you warm during cooler days, but it can also help you get more wear out of your summer dresses. If you pair a jean jacket with a summer dress and knee high cowboy boots, you suddenly have a seasonally appropriate look that can deconstruct into an entirely different feel.

When the weather gets warmer, remove the jacket and replace the boots with some fun flats. Easy!

The Daily Find: See by Chloe Pleated Dress

 

The Pleated Dress

If you listen to Fashion Week and trends, you know that pleats are coming back strong. Be sure to snag yourself a delicate looking pleated dress for this spring. Opt for a pale color and accessories with a bold clutch. Because we are going for a dainty look, don’t go heavy with jewelry when wearing this style. Instead, choose a simple necklace and skip the bangles.

Summer Scarf

 

The Summer Scarf

I love the summer scarf because it’s the perfect addition to any spring look. It’s the one accessory you can wear anywhere – anytime. And I’m not kidding! Wrap it around any look to add as an extra layer to complete your outfit. Then when it gets cold at night, simply unravel the piece and use it as a shawl. Perfection!

Floral Spring

 

Anything Floral

I know that sounds a bit vague… but it’s true. Spring is all about flowers, right? It makes sense that floral prints would be hot! Pick up pants, skirts, shirts, clutches or shoes. Whatever you like, really! Just don’t wear it all at once. ☺

Mint & Yellow

 

Mix and Match the Bright And Bold

When choosing color combinations for the spring, don’t be afraid to mix color and color. Have a little fun. It doesn’t have to be black mixed with a bright color. You can wear mint with yellow, or orange with blue. Yes! It’s all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and making an effort to be scene. If you need a little practice in this arena, start color combining with your accessories first.

Perfect Clutch

 

The Perfect Clutch

This is one of the most underrated accessories on the block. I live and die for a good clutch but not many women I know own one. Who wants to lug around a hobo or a tote to a restaurant when all you really need is your phone and lipstick? Purchase a sleek looking clutch and call it a day. Trust me! You will get a ton of use out of it! It will be your favorite purchase of the season. I love the red options I highlighted above, but if you really want to keep it simple, a beige clutch goes with everything.

What do you think of the options I selected for you? These spring wardrobe essentials will help kick start your style in the right gear.

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Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes

March 15th, 2015

Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes from MomAdvice.com *This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

Easter is one of my favorite holidays and I love crafting, decorating, and especially the eating for this holiday.  Longtime readers know that I have a love affair with Peeps that have included a wreath made out of Peeps and I have even found a way to make Peep Martinis that taste divine.  Let’s just continue the mad love affair with Peeps and make a hilarious Easter surprise cupcake for your kids!

Supplies:

1 box gluten-free cake yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 cup assorted mini candy-coated chocolate candies, jimmies or confetti candy sprinkles
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup boiling water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 unbeaten egg whites
12 Peeps (any color)
Melon Baller

Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes from MomAdvice.com

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin tins.

Make cake batter as directed on box. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full). Bake as directed on box for cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Using melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake, about 1 inch deep. Fill each with 1 heaping teaspoonful candies.

Mix sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites in your stand mixer bowl. Add boiling water. Beat on high until the mixture forms peaks, which should be just about seven minutes. Spoon or pipe frosting on top of the cupcaks and finish with sprinkles and a Peep on top.

Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes from MomAdvice.com Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes from MomAdvice.com easter-surprise-peep-cupcakes-17

Don’t you hate it when your Peeps lay their eggs in your cupcakes? Ha! What a funny surprise for you kids and a fun food craft to do together as a family! I hope you love this idea and remember that you can pick up all the supplies at your local Walmart store! Happy Easter, everyone!

Easter Surprise Peeps Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A fun Easter surprise cupcake that you just so happens to be gluten-free. Fill it with your favorite egg candy and top with a marshmallow Peep!
Ingredients
  • 1 box gluten-free cake yellow cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
  • 1 cup assorted mini candy-coated chocolate candies, jimmies or confetti candy sprinkles
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 unbeaten egg whites
  • 12 Peeps (any color)
  • Melon Baller
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin tins.
  2. Make cake batter as directed on box. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full). Bake as directed on box for cupcakes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake, about 1 inch deep. Fill each with 1 heaping teaspoonful candies.
  4. Mix sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites in your stand mixer bowl. Add boiling water. Beat on high until the mixture forms peaks, which should be just about seven minutes. Spoon or pipe frosting on top of the cupcakes and finish with sprinkles and a Peep on top.

Recipe adapted from tablespoon
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Sundays With Writers: The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly

March 15th, 2015

Sundays With Writers

There is just nothing like a good thriller especially the kind that keeps you up at night until the wee hours of the morning because you just can’t put it down. I was lucky enough to receive THE BULLET last month to review for NetGalley and found myself reading at a record pace because I just couldn’t flip those pages fast enough. I had a book hangover for a couple of days, trying to recover from the lack of sleep I had been experiencing while reading this.

It’s that good.

THE BULLET comes out this week (March 17th) and I want you to run right out and get it so you can experience my level of exhaustion. I really doubt you will be able to put it down.

I reached out to Mary Louise Kelly to see if she might like to share a little bit about her life as both a reporter and a fictional writer.  I think this interview perfectly captures what I imagine her personality to be which seems to fill the pages in her fabulous new thriller. Please do read through to the end so you can see her publicly challenge her brother in this interview.

She is my kind of lady.

The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly

THE BULLET  is a beautifully written mystery that echoes some of my favorite thrillers from Chevy Stevens.  The premise of the book is when a woman discover a bullet in her body that she was never aware of it, it sends her life spiraling in a direction that she never expected. The origin of that bullet and the people around her that it has affected, cause this cold case to be reopened… reopening wounds of the family and friends around her.

Despite the gravity of the case and the circumstances surrounding it, the book is laced with great humor and a cast of endearing characters. I really enjoyed this one for a quick escape and can’t recommend it enough.

Grab your coffee and let’s settle in with Mary Louise as she shares more about this book!

Mary Louise Kelly

The premise for your latest book THE BULLET is shaped around a woman going in for a routine scan and discovering that she has a bullet in her body that she never knew about. How did you come up with this unique idea for the storyline for your book?

It’s a true story! I was sitting on the sidelines of my son’s little league baseball game one afternoon, when another mom plopped down next to me, heaved a sigh, and said something like, “Well, I’ve had a heck of a week.” Long story short, she had just had a routine scan that revealed a bullet in her neck that she never knew about. She had no scar, no clandestine past, and she swore she’d never been shot. Driving home afterwards, I kept thinking, how is that even possible? I’m a reporter by training, so I dug into medical literature, looking for examples of people who have survived gunshots to the neck or head. And then the novelist in me took over:  I imagined all kinds of wild scenarios, from amnesia to witness-protection programs to CIA plots. My protagonist discovers the bullet in her neck by page 8. What follows are 349 pages of pure fiction, focused on her quest to find out how on earth it got there, and what on earth she’s going to do about it.

What is your process for fleshing out a thriller like this? Do you have the mystery solved before you write it so you know where you are headed or did you build the story and motive as you progressed through the writing?

I map out the whole thing, to make certain it’s a story that can sustain 350 pages. But then I end up throwing out the road map as I go. My original outline is stuffed with all kinds of plot twists that fell by the wayside, and it never mentions characters that end up playing major roles. You get to know characters as you write them, and some prove more interesting than others (the nice thing about fiction is that you can kill off the ones who get on your nerves.) One theme that runs throughout The Bullet is that we should question how well we really know the people we love, and even how well we know ourselves and what we are capable of. I kick off the book with a quote from one of my favorite writers, Robert Penn Warren. He writes that human beings are complicated contraptions, “not good or bad but… good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost.” Isn’t that great? I agree with him, and tried to conceive all of my characters as complicated contraptions. That makes both the protagonist and the forces opposing her more interesting, and both of them kept surprising me as I wrote.

You have created such endearing characters in this book and Caroline’s family, in particular, are just the kind of people every girl wishes she had in her life. Which character did you find the most endearing??

Thank you. I have a soft spot for Beamer Beasley, the grizzled cop who helps Caroline unravel the secrets of her past. Writers aren’t supposed to admit to imagining which Hollywood star would play our characters, but Beamer is screaming to be played by Morgan Freeman, and really, wouldn’t we all want him on our side when investigating a gruesome crime? I also loved every scene with Madame Aubuchon. I could just picture her so clearly, in all her hauteur and brittleness, but also her intelligence and decency. As for Caroline’s family, a lot of readers have commented on how close she is to her brothers. They love and support her, even as they drive her nuts. I confess this sibling back-and-forth is completely autobiographical. My brother C.J. gets me riled up faster than anyone; you do not want to be in the room when the two of us get going on politics or feminism or the relative merits of tofu vs. steak. But as I note in the Acknowledgments, C.J. is also hands down the person I would want beside me in a bar brawl.

Mary Louise Kelly

Source: KPLU

How do you think your background as a reporter has helped you as a writer? What skills are you able to use from this profession to be build a good fictional story?

My journalism training helps enormously with dialogue, because when you write for broadcast, you strive to write conversationally. Most of us write in complete, grammatically correct sentences, because that’s the way our high school teachers and college professors taught us. But that’s not the way people talk, and it takes time to unlearn it. Writing for radio gave me a head start. It also instilled an instinct for storytelling. At NPR, we aim for the “driveway moment” – that moment when a listener has made it home, and he’s got the car in park, and he needs to get inside, but he’s listening to something so gripping he can’t turn it off. You want to spool out enough detail that the listener gets hooked, while holding enough back that he wants to keep listening. That’s key to writing a good novel, too, although I suppose the goal shifts to creating a  “nightstand moment” – when a reader sits up turning pages, well after he knows he should have chucked the novel on his nightstand and have turned out the light.

Caroline’s irritation with the reporters made me chuckle since you have worked as an NPR & BBC reporter. In one line she says, “Reporters. Honestly. What an exhausting profession, to be professionally trained to be relentless.” Is it exhausting?

Actually, no. It’s exhilarating. There was a great line in a New Yorker profile of Samantha Power, President Obama’s ambassador to the U.N. The writer describes Power, a former journalist, as retaining “a reporter’s instinct for amassing facts and deploying them to extract more.” That’s exactly right. You find out one interesting thing, and it makes you want to dig and find out more. Get a bunch of reporters together, swapping stories about that time on deadline on the Khyber Pass, or banging on voters’ doors in Iowa, or quizzing the President in a White House press conference, and at some point we all break into grins, and somebody says out loud what everyone is thinking:  I can’t believe we actually get paid to do this.

 Since this is your second book to be published, did you find this one easier or harder to write than your first? How long did it take you to create this story and what did you find most challenging with this book?

This second one took less time. Maybe I’m getting faster, but more likely it’s because the first time around I was working full-time as NPR’s Pentagon correspondent. While writing Anonymous Sources, I kept jetting off on reporting trips to war zones, and when I was home in Washington, I was filing daily news reports from the Pentagon. Writing fiction was my third priority, after my day job and after being a wife and mom.

The Bullet took me 16 months, from sitting down to write Chapter One to handing in a full draft of the manuscript. Then come months of editing and polishing and proofreading. As for Book Three… we shall see how long it takes. Right now I’m ramping up again on journalism; I have dearly (insanely?) missed the daily deadlines, and being engaged in the national dialogue on everything from race to politics to technology. My hope is I’ll end up with loads of fresh ideas for my fiction; my agent fears I’ll end up taking a decade to produce another book. But another side effect of being a reporter is that I write fast, so watch this space!

If you could tell anyone to read one book (other than your own) what would that book be?

I would tell my brother to read Birdsong, the 1993 novel by Sebastian Faulks. It’s about a British soldier in France during World War I, and it is the most gorgeous epic of love and war and regrets. I’ve been telling my brother to read it for twenty years now, and he keeps refusing, at this point out of sheer orneriness. C.J., consider yourself publicly challenged.

You can connect with Mary Louise Kelly on GoodReads or through her website! I’m always thankful for these moments with writers and I hope you will pick up this amazing book! You can always connect with me on GoodReads,through our books section of our site, and you can read our entire Sundays With Writers series for more author profiles. Happy reading, friends!

*This post contains affiliate links!

 

 

 

 

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It’s the 3 Little Things: Comfy Leopard Flats, Hilarious Television, & Gluten-Free Wrap Happiness

March 13th, 2015

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! We had a whirlwind of a week this week and are looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with good friends! I was so excited to unveil this month’s capsule wardrobe to you as well as share some of our favorite resources for  Spring wardrobe planning.  With temperatures feeling a little warmer this week, it is making me so excited for Spring in Indiana!

Here is what is making me happy this week!

Hush Puppies Leopard Flats

Comfy Ballet Flats

I had to take inventory of my shoes for Spring and I have been torturing myself for years with cheap ballet flats that don’t fit my feet. Did I mention my feet are probably as wide as they are long? That is a true statement and I now have to embrace old-lady stores to get shoes that are comfortable. When I pulled out my leopard flats for the year, I realized that were falling apart and I also realized that life is too short for terrible fitting shoes. I ended up ordering a pair of these Hush Puppies Chaste Ballet Flats and they are making my fat feet so much happier.  There was no breaking in with these,  I just slipped them on, like the world’s comfiest slippers, and they feel like a dream.  I am planning to take these on my anniversary trip to Italy because they offer great support and comfort while looking pretty darn stylish!  If leopard isn’t your thing, they come in a variety of fun prints and styles. Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes, friends!

ALDI Gluten-Free Wraps

ALDI Gluten Free Wraps

I am loving ALDI’s gluten-free line of products and have been trying to pick up one or two things every time I am there to try from their  live G free line of foods. I decided to pick these gluten-free wraps up so I could make our make-ahead breakfast burritos and divided my filling in half and filled the kids with the regular tortillas and treated myself to six wraps, crossing my fingers the whole time that these would be easy to wrap/fill and that they would freeze well. I am SO happy to report that I had an incredible breakfast all week because these tasted just like the day I got them when I reheated them from freezer to table.  If I am being honest, I actually preferred these to the texture of the flour tortillas because they didn’t get gummy at all.  The bonus is that a package of these only costs $3.99 so it made my week of breakfasts VERY affordable!

Make Me Laugh Until I Cry Television

I adore Tina Fey and I could not wait to dive into her new television series, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” that debuted last Friday on Netflix.  This trailer doesn’t do justice to its hilarity. The writing is solid, the actors are all likable, and the show is pretty darn family friendly considering how outrageous some of the shows are on television right now.  I can’t recommend this one enough as the perfect Netflix escape. My husband and I both love this one equally!

Ryan's birthday

Our son took this blurry picture of us on my husband’s birthday. I debated if I should delete it because it was out of focus, but I’m glad I didn’t.   This guy also makes me pretty darn happy and celebrating his birthday this week was such a treat!

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of  It’s the 3 Little Things

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

 

Freebie Friday March 13, 2015

March 13th, 2015

freebie friday Happy Freebie Friday, everyone! 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 I am super excited to reveal our bathroom makeover which I am loving so much! For our Focus on Fashion M Challenge, I’m sharing my Spring Capsule Wardrobe and you can find the 6 Wardrobe Essentials as well as 25 of the Best Wardrobe Planning Tools & Printables. I’ve got a fantastic recipe for gluten free shrimp scampi as well as a great interview with M.O. Walsh for our Sundays With Writers series.

Check out this week’s edition of It’s the 3 Little Things to get your weekly dose of happy,  find lots of inspiring DIY, food, decorating and craft ideas in our popular Notebook, and be sure to take a look at all the contests you can enter on our weekly round-up of great giveaways, too.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Food & Drink
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25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printable & Tools

March 12th, 2015

25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printables and Tools

As I’ve been upping my fashion game over the past year by becoming intentional with my wardrobe and shopping – and embracing the capsule wardrobe concept – I’ve come across some amazing tools. These printables, guides, and tips have helped me whittle my once out-of-control closet into one that makes sense and helps me feel fashionable every day. So for our M Challenge Focus on Fashion, I thought it would make a great resource for us to bundle these together with even more of the best wardrobe planning printables and tools that are available.

So whether you’re looking to build a wardrobe from scratch, whittle what you have into a capsule closet, or even get ideas for packing smartly for a trip, you’ll find some great tools here to help you! (note: please pin any photos below from the original source)

General Wardrobe Tips & Printables

Build a perfect wardrobe via Into-Mind

Source: Into Mind

 

How to build the perfect wardrobe: 10 basic principles @Into Mind

Building a Grown-Up Wardrobe :: purging, planning, and the perfect shopping list @AJ Wears Clothes

Building a Basic Wardrobe @Living on the Chic

How to Build a Wardrobe + Basic Wardrobe Checklist @ Jo-Lynne Shane

Infographic decision tree for wardrobe editing @Modern Eve

How to build your best spring wardrobe yet @Into Mind

 

101 fashion tips via StyleCaster

Source: StyleCaster

 

101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know @StyleCaster

My favorite source for fashion on a budget: Twice

My other favorite source for my fashion capsule on a budget: ThredUp

Which Fashion App Is Right for You? @Brit + Co

How to Maintain your Wardrobe throughout the Year @Into Mind

Essential Work Wardrobe with Printable Shopping List @tixeertne

 

Capsule/Minimalist Wardrobe Tips & Printables

Capsule planner via Unfancy

Source: Unfancy

 

Free Capsule Wardrobe Planner Tool @Unfancy

Project 333 Start Guide @Life Your Way

5 Things that do not Belong in Your Capsule Wardrobe @The Project 333

All Seasons Capsule Wardrobe Plan @The Lovely Laura Life

The 40 Hanger Closet- minimize your wardrobe for maximum style @Living Well Spending Less

 

Capsule guide via Inside Out Style

Source: Inside Out Style

 

How to create a wardrobe capsule: 12 garments = 72 outfits + printable guide @Inside Out Style

Rule of Three: add variety with this trick @Unfancy

The Bare Minimum 30 Piece Wardrobe @The Everyday Minimalist

Capsule Wardrobe Checklist @The Fitenessista

A 30-piece wardrobe with sample wardrobe pics, tips, and free printable shopping list @House for Five

 

Travel & Packing Tips & Printables

Travel fashion planner via Travel Fashion Girl

Source: Travel Fashion Girl

 

How to Plan your Travel Outfits: 5 Style Tools Show You How @Travel Fashion Girl

Packing Checklist and Outfit Planner @Pretty & Fresh

How to Plan a Travel Capsule Wardrobe for Vacation @Lady Light Travel

 

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi

March 12th, 2015

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi from MomAdvice.com *This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site! 

Last month I shared with you that I have been on a quest to replicate some of our favorite restaurant dishes in our kitchen to help cut down on our dining out budget. Shrimp Scampi is one of those dishes that I absolutely love when I go out for seafood, but I don’t always love the price tag that comes with it. Today I wanted to share with you an easy Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi that is a delicious dish you could share during this Lent season for a Friday night feast that the whole family will love.

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi from MomAdvice.com

The shrimp can be dredged in a gluten-free flour to add a little bit of coating to the shrimp or they can just be quickly sauteed in the delicious wine and butter sauce, then tossed with fresh Italian parsley. I love to put the shrimp scampi on top of some gluten-free pasta and serve it all with a side of roasted green beans. Thanks to the garlic in the scampi, it coats and adds flavor to your pasta beautifully.

In case you have been on the hunt for the gluten-free products at Walmart, I actually have found the section at the end of the candy aisle. They have a section dedicated specifically to gluten-free eating that includes a lot of my favorite snacks, pastas, cake mixes, and even loaves of gluten-free bread. I have found the prices really do beat out the ones at other supermarkets and specialty shops so I stock up when I go.

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi from MomAdvice.com

Slice up a few lemons and dress the plates with a sprig of flat-leaf Italian parsley to really make it feel like restaurant dining. This isn’t the only dish that we have here that would be perfect for a meat-free evening or to be enjoyed on your Fridays during the Lent season.  In fact, I have quite a gathering on the site.

30 Fish & Meat Free Meal Ideas from MomAdvice.com.

If you are on the hunt for more delicious dishes, be sure to check out this link for 30 Fish & Meat-Free Meal Ideas! I have tried to include a big variety so that you are never bored for your evening meals. I hope these dishes inspire you and that you can give this easy shrimp scampi a spin for a quick weeknight meal!

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi from MomAdvice.com.

Gluten-Free Shrimp Scampi
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (2½ oz./75 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (found the gluten-free section of the store), can omit if you prefer to not have a crispy exterior to your shrimp
  • ½ tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1½ lb. (750 g) jumbo or extra-large shrimp, peeled and
  • deveined, tails intact
  • 12 Tbs. (1½ sticks) (6 oz./185 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, the ½ tsp. salt and the ¼ tsp. pepper.
  2. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil.
  3. Toss half of the shrimp in the flour mixture to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. Add to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining shrimp, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 2 Tbs. of the butter and the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic softens and is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to very low. Whisk in the remaining 10 Tbs. butter, 1 Tbs. at a time, letting each addition soften into a creamy emulsion before adding more. It will become very creamy, like a sauce.
  6. Return the shrimp to the sauce and mix gently to coat well. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and gluten-free pasta.

Walmart Mom Disclaimer

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Amy’s Notebook 03.11.15

March 11th, 2015

Foyer via Pink Little Notebook

Source: Pink Little Notebook

 

Wowed by this foyer makeover.

I love this article on how punctuation has changed.

A great list of apps to check out for your phone.

A few words on passive influences, social media envy and the downside of inspiration.

This: adopted as a child, now a mother, finally ‘Lucky.’

Simple guidelines (and printables!) for allowing kids to stay home alone.

I love this new mama care package.

What a beautiful way to photo journal. I’m inspired.

How to see more of what you want to see on Pinterest.

Smoothie Kits via The Kitchn

Source: The Kitchn

 

How to stock a smoothie drawer.

I want to read all of these before I see the movies!

How to make flying coach feel like first class.

Sex IS tricky.

Finally, we have an answer on how much Joey owes Chandler.

Oils can save us from the zombie apocalypse.

I need this extension for my email.

How to banish FOMO from your life.

amys_notebook

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

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Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

March 10th, 2015

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

Spring is knocking on our door in Indiana, I just know it, and today I’m sharing my 2015 Spring Fashion Capsule Wardrobe with you. I pushed this capsule out a few weeks after having a false start with my Winter wardrobe and then feeling that March would be better timing with a Spring wardrobe switch. I wore the last capsule almost four months and I was still finding new ways to wear things, even up until the final week. It is amazing what you can do when you are forced to really think about how to make the most of the items in your closet.

 I am really excited to share this new capsule wardrobe with you and am really proud that 90% of this wardrobe was purchased secondhand through Twice & Thredup. The rest of the items were smart investment piece purchases from our site sponsor Flourish Boutique and a t-shirt update from Old NavyMy big investment with this capsule was having a few pieces altered to fit me better. Jeans were shortened, waistlines were taken in, hems raised, and shoulders were adjusted on items that needed it.  I am really thrilled with how these items fit me and I know it will add to my happiness and longevity of the pieces I selected.

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize 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.

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style. Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

I tend to be a pretty colorful person so you will find color mixed in with basics in my wardrobe. Monochromatic isn’t my thing, but can be yours if you are trying to simplify your wardrobe. Many people begin their capsule experience very monochromatic and then find they are comfortable branching out into color after figuring out how to make everything work together.

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule.  Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you.  When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in. I suggest peeking in your closet and selecting what makes you feel beautiful and start your planning around those pieces. That’s been the best place to start for me.

Why This Capsule Will Be a Challenge

Weather changes are always a challenge in the Midwest. Today the high is 41 degrees which feels like summer after the negative temperatures, but I know the weather is just going to get warmer. I have weaved in sweaters in preparation and items that will transition well between the seasons. I will be attending my first conference in my capsule wardrobe and….we are going to ITALY in May, all in this wardrobe.  It is a lot to think about, but I love that Project 333 allows me switch out an item each month so as the months progress I picture some of these trousers turning into shorts and sweaters into tank tops. I’m hoping I am prepared for all of this with these pieces.

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

I am planning to show you how I am wearing these items on here as well as through my Instagram account so you can see how I am putting my outfits together with these pieces. Here is an example of what I will be doing in IG each week. I’m no stylist though, this is just how I am dressing throughout the week with my edited closet! I was modeling them, but THE STRESS.  I just don’t have time to do that, but I am happy to piece together a template on my floor for you! Ha!

Do You Count Accessories As Your 33 Items?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like. For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

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 be 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 an asterisk are carrying over from my last capsule. To me, these are the best pieces to buy since they are making a reappearance!

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

1. Kelly Green Cardigan (Gap)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

* 2. Not Afraid of the Dark Denim Jacket (Flourish Boutique)

* 3. Utility Vest With Faux Leather Details  (Groopdealz)

4. Navy & White Striped Blazer (J. Crew)-  Purchased secondhand from Twice

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

 

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

*6. Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in White- (Old Navy)

7. Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in Dark Gray- (Old Navy)

8. Polka-Dotted Sleeveless Silk Blouse (J. Crew)-  Purchased secondhand from Twice

9. Striped Navy & Cream T-shirt (J. Crew)- Purchased secondhand from Thredup

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

* 10.  Scarlet Swing Skirt (Anthropologie)

11. Palm Tree Skirt (Anthropologie)-  Purchased secondhand from Twice

* 12. Black A-Line Skirt (Gap)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

* 13. Black Pleated Maxi Skirt (Flourish Boutique)

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

14. Black Shirt Dress (White House Black Market)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

15. Chambray Shirt Dress (Anthropologie)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

16. Navy Jersey Tunic (J. Crew)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

17. Black & White Patterned Tunic (White House Black Market)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

18. Out of the Woods Floral Tunic- Flourish Boutique

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

19. Denim Jean Shirt (Express)- Purchased secondhand from Thredup

20. Black & White Boat Neck Striped Shirt (Banana Republic)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

*21. Blue Striped Top (White House Black Market)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

22. Black & White Sweater (White House Black Market)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

23. Navy Open Knit Sweater (White House Black Market)- – Purchased secondhand from Twice

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

24. White Long-Sleeve T-Shirt (Ann Taylor Loft)-  Purchased secondhand from Twice

* 25. Mossimo Short Sleeve Coral Shirt (Target)

26. Comfy in Crochet- Flourish Boutique

27. Western Adventure Tunic- Flourish Boutique

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

28. Black A-Line Dress (J. Crew)- Purchased secondhand from Thredup

29. Red Halter A-Line Dress (Banana Republic)- Purchased secondhand from Twice

30. Gray Striped Green Dress (Target)

Spring 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

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

*32.  Dark Wash Skinny 7 Jeans-  Flourish Boutique

33. Black Skinny Pants (Ann Taylor Loft)

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!

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Here are some tips for creating the perfect capsule wardrobe and feel free to browse my fall & winter capsule selections while you are gathering ideas for your own capsule! Follow me on IG for fresh outfit ideas each week! xo

 

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

 

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