Planning for your Second Life: The New Retirement

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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It’s the 3 Little Things: Podcast Binge, A Classic, & Friendsgiving

November 14th, 2014

It's the 3 Little Things

I’m sorry I am coming out with this a little late today. I was at my real-life book club discussing this amazing book this morning. I hope your weekend is off to a lovely start over there too!

Here is what is making me happy this week!

A Charlie Brown Christmas Record

A Charlie Brown Christmas Album

Yes, I am one THOSE people that listens to Christmas music waayyy too early and I don’t care what you think about it. We purchased  A Charlie Brown Christmas Album at Urban Outfitters in the collector’s edition red for our Christmas vinyl collection. I was preparing a holiday feast this week (more about that in a few) and listened to this while I got ready. I openly admit that I was pretty teary-eyed while listening to it over my coffee. There is something magical about hearing this album and hearing it on vinyl is like the twinkle lights on the whole affair.  I may have listened to it six times over the course of the day and I loved every moment of it.

Serial Podcast

Serial Podcast

Have you heard of Serial? My girlfriend shared it with me and I started listening in and I quickly became a Serial addict. This podcast, from the producers of This American Life (another addiction of mine) is about the murder of Hae Min Lee, who disappeared in 1999 when she was a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. She was found strangled to death in a city park about a month later. Her ex-boyfriend, a fellow Woodlawn student named Adnan Syed, was convicted of killing her and sentenced to life in prison. He says he didn’t do it and Sarah Koenig is trying to figure out if he did it or not by interviewing the previous witnesses and piecing together all of the clues from the case that was established against Adnan. You can even view all of the evidence online- it is really incredible.

When I was a kid my parents watched Unsolved Mysteries and it reminds me of that except you get to feel like a detective as you analyze the clues on the site and listen to the interviews with a convicted murderer who says that he did not do it. There is a bit of controversy surrounding this podcast, but I hope it doesn’t overshadow the brilliance of this show and the idea behind it. I am hooked and I think you will be too.

Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving

Truth be told, I am a little late to the 3 Little Things game because of all the fun I had last night with my girlfriends. Did you see that I hosted my first Friendsgiving Feast? It was so much fun that I plan to do it every year for my girlfriends. I couldn’t have been happier to open my home to such a great group and writing that check today to provide 187 people a turkey dinner too is the icing on the cake. I feel so blessed to know these women and to share a meal with them, when our lives have become so busy, is a precious gift.

Three Things I Wore From My Fashion Capsule.  It’s my last week in my first capsule- I am SO PROUD. Did you catch my next capsule reveal? I hope you can join in on the fun!

pinstripes + big belt + rolled black jeans + driving moccasins

 

White House Black Market Blue Striped Collared Top (purchased second hand on Twice)/Old Navy Rock Star Skinny Jeans in Black (owned- Old Navy)/Belt (FOUND when I cleaned out my closet!)/Leather Driving Moccasins (owned- Target)

maxi skirt + tassel necklace + jean jacket + booties

The Must-Have Maxi in Burgundy (purchased- Flourish Boutique)/Not Afraid of the Dark Denim Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)/Suede Booties (Old Navy)/ Tassel Necklace (owned- Groopdealz)

white shirt + rolled black jeans + camel booties + statement necklace

Converse White Collared Shirt (purchased- Target) (owned- Target)/ Old Navy Rock Star Skinny Jeans in Black (owned- Old Navy)/ Fitbit Cuff (handmade- read here!)/Mustard Beads (owned- Goodwill)/ Camel Suede Booties (Madden Girl- DSW Shoes)

3 Things YOU Loved This Week (you, lover of MomAdvice things, you!)

Quick & Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs

Homemade Peppermint Mocha Recipe

How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker

*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?

Host a Friendsgiving Feast

November 14th, 2014

Host a Friendsgiving Feast

This post is sponsored by Walmart AND ALL PROCEEDS WERE DONATED.

I feel like such a lucky mom to have so many incredible women in my life. Most of these friendships started when I was a new mom still trying to figure out the ropes of motherhood.  Now my kids are growing up, but I need them as much as I did in the early days. Unfortunately, our schedules have all become so crazy that it becomes nearly impossible to get our group together anymore. I decided a few weeks ago that I really wanted to see them all before the holidays took over and we all began to hibernate for the Indiana winter. I invited them to my home for my first annual Friendsgiving feast to share in a meal together before the holidays and I couldn’t wait to share about it with you.

Let me disclose by saying that I wanted to make this as easy on myself as possible and, if you are considering hosting a feast of your own, I would advise you do the same. I wanted to do it on budget, make it as effortless as possible, and I wanted the cooking to be easy too.

Here is how I executed the world’s easiest Friendsgiving Feast and helped give to our community in the process.

Host a Friendsgiving Feast

Create a Facebook Event (And Get Positive Responses)

Like I said, my friends are crazy busy and getting our group together is nearly impossible. Instead of setting up an event and shooting blindly in the dark for a date or receiving a million responses and being responsible for sorting people/dates, I utilize Doodle to schedule get togethers. Simply plug in the dates and times that will work for you and send out the link to the scheduling tool for each person to vote for the days that work best for them. Once you receive the responses you can set the date for the one that received the most positive response.

Once you have the date, it couldn’t be easier to invite your friends especially since everyone (at least in my group) is on Facebook. I just put up an event and asked that everyone respond there. It was easy to create, to monitor, and gave me an accurate headcount for making food purchases. Make sure that you set the privacy to, “Invite Only” for viewing otherwise everyone who is a friend can see a response (and might not be included- ouch!) I admit, the only time I wish I had a bigger house is when I host events like this. Believe me, Invite Only for viewers is the way to go.

Herb Roasted Turkey

You Supply the Turkey, They Supply the Fixins’

Last year I hosted my family for Thanksgiving all while photographing each and every dish for the site. This year I wanted to take an easier approach so I offered to supply the turkey, gravy, and stuffing, but requested that each person bring their own dish and a bottle of wine to share. To make sure all the categories were filled, I utilized Jooners to create a sign-up sheet for dishes. Be sure to specify what you need under the, “Needed,” box. That is where I asked for side dishes, desserts, bread, and appetizers. This will help you have a well-rounded feast and since everyone can fill in the dish they are bringing, it  helps cut down on anyone bringing the same dish.

Not only did I do store-bought stuffing and gravy, I purchased turkey breasts (here is my favorite method of preparation) instead of dealing with the bones and carving. It killed me a little bit to do this when I know I could do so much more, but this also helped me to truly enjoy the evening with my friends and allowed me to not worry about laboring over dishes and missing out on all the fun together. Not to mention the cost factor that I saved on by having everyone help me with dishes and drinks.

Decorate Store Bought Pies

Of course, there is always our make-ahead feast that gets you out of the kitchen that day altogether!  Here are my make-ahead mashed potatoes, make-ahead fresh green bean casserole, make-ahead gravy, make-ahead stuffing, make-ahead cranberry sauce, make-ahead appetizers, make-ahead rolls, make-ahead pie crust, and even some great make-ahead ways to dress up a store-bought pie… just to name a few!

Knitted Leaves Centerpiece

Invest in Smart Party Supplies That You Use Over & Over Again

Over the years we have hosted so many gatherings that I have accumulated an arsenal of tools so that I can pull a get together at a moment’s notice.  I honestly didn’t buy a thing other than disposable cups for our get together, but that is because I have invested over the years and I try to create handmade items that can double as centerpieces if I don’t have time to run out and purchase fresh flowers.

The things that I have used the most over the years:

Centerfold Table- I bought this three years ago and I use it at least three times a year. It has a handle on it and folds down the center making it easy to pack up and take it if you need to and also making it easy to store when you don’t.  I purchased this tablecloth (you can see it here in a game day party I did awhile back) because it was stain-resistant.  To save on time ironing, I just wash it and then spread it on the table the night before since it is so lightweight and dries quickly without even going through the dryer. It helps cut down on wasting time ironing and is wrinkle-free in the morning.

friendsgiving-2

Elegant Plastic Dishes- Elegance and plastic might not seem like they go together, but plastic dishes have come a long way. I hosted a shed-warming party (totally a thing!) this summer and since we had so many guests coming, I decided to buy twenty of these dishes. If you go to Walmart, you can purchase the plates individually, which is exactly what I did.  Unfortunately (but then fortunately), they didn’t have enough in a single style so I ended up getting three different styles which adds a bit of fun to the dinner table. I love that these are lightweight and can be reused over and over again.

DIY Bar Cart

Bar Cart- This summer I transformed a tool cart into a bar cart and it is truly one of my favorite entertaining tools. Since we live in a small home (which we are very committed to) we don’t have a lot of counters or surfaces to use for putting out drinks and food. My bar cart resides in my shed, but I wheel it in when I am entertaining and it offers a fun place to tuck bottles of wine and glasses.

Inexpensive Silverware- I actually hit our local restaurant supply store for inexpensive silverware that reminds me of some of my favorite diners. There is never a shortage of forks, spoons, or knives at our home.

Decor That Can Be Used Over & Over Again- I love to craft and in the back of my mind, I am always thinking how I can weave these items into our seasonal decorating especially when it comes to the holidays. For our Friendsgiving feast my Knitted Leaf Centerpiece was perfect for my table (and is on display year-round in my craft room). This winter the table will be adorned with these Yarn Pom Pom Trees that I made. Think of creating something that you can get out every year and that can save you money when entertaining.

Friendsgiving

REALLY Make it a FriendsGIVING

I have some truly generous friends so I called upon them to assist me with giving back to our community.  First, I asked each of them to take a moment to clear out their pantries so that we could make a donation to my church’s food pantry. Right before the holidays is a great time to clear some space and make room for all of those items you will need to tackle your holiday baking and dishes.

The shelter that I have helped in the past where we achieved our MomAdvice Big Give, the Elkhart Faith Mission, is a charity that I love to support. Longtime readers may recall the MomAdvice Big Give we executed with them. Here is a little throwback footage for you.

It costs a mere $.1.79 to give a Thanksgiving meal to one person at the shelter. I left an envelope out and asked if anyone felt like giving that they could donate as little as two bucks to give someone something to look forward to for the holidays.

Consider making a true FriendsGIVING experience and find a scraps of life way to give back or gather together to make care packages for the homeless.

Faith Mission of Elkhart

Each year I like to dedicate one post from Walmart to those in need and today’s post is for the families heading to Faith Mission that need a holiday dinner to look forward to.  

I understand that sponsored posts aren’t always the favorite posts here, but the proceeds from this post today and the donations I collected fed 187 PEOPLE a Thanksgiving meal and many of our posts this year gave a community of  people clean water this year.  How cool is that? Please support our sponsors because they do help many- perhaps, more than you realize! 

I hope my Friendsgiving inspires you to give back to your community and to throw a get together with your own amazing friends!

Have you ever hosted a Friendsgiving? Any tips or tricks you would like to share!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

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Freebie Friday November 14, 2014

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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Amy’s Notebook 11.12.14

November 12th, 2014

Turkey Cupcake Toppers via Oh Happy Day

Source: Oh Happy Day

 

Printable turkey cupcake toppers- so cute!

I love learning more about the tiny house lifestyle.

Winning at pie crusts.

A great guide to craft adhesives.

You can finally edit your captions in IG.

I love anything with a yarn tassel.

Oh, Mr. Rogers, I loved you!

DIY Styled Bookcase via Centsational Girl

Source: Centsational Girl

 

Madly in love with this bookcase for so very many reasons.

Ever wonder how to get huge portions at Chipotle?

Top 10 drugstore beauty products.

How ADHD is radically mistreated- thoughts?

What could happen if you left social media for a week.

A shelter for women that welcomes their pets, too.

This Halloween post made me laugh (because it is true). STRESS.

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 then to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

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Putting Marriage at the Top of Your Holiday List

November 11th, 2014

Put Your Marriage at the Top of Your Holiday List

Last weekend I went out of town for a business trip. It was a good trip but an exhausting one, and by the time I pulled into my driveway I was ready to drop. After we got the girls in bed, my husband asked, “Do you want to watch a show or are you going to bed now?”

[He was being considerate, but I’m pretty sure he was also crossing his fingers that I’d vote for one more episode of Friday Night Lights, our most recent binge-watch series.]

I dropped down on the couch and he queued up our show. But then I remembered something I wanted to tell him. He paused the TV and gave me his attention. One topic turned into two turned into rabbit trails and problem solving and venting and story sharing. Four hours later as he turned out the light and said, again, “You’ve got to get some sleep!” I realized we hadn’t talked that long in . . . well, I couldn’t remember when.

My husband works nights and an extra-long shift, to boot. I work from home, and we have two children. Throw church, school and other extra activities into the mix and you’ve got two ships that would be thrilled to pass in the night just once this week. I bet some of you have your own version of this too-busy, over-scheduled life that makes couple time complicated at best and impossible at worst.

That’s why we need to put our marriages at the top of our holiday lists.

Life is busy in all seasons, but the holidays can turn that craziness up to 11. Whether you call it a bucket list or a to-do list or a countdown to Christmas or end of year chaos, it’s likely you have some sort of plan and at least a few goals for the last two months of the year. I do. Even though I’m trying to preserve my sanity and my budget by keeping plans simple this year, I still have new recipes to try, thankful trees to draw and fill up, gifts to buy (and wrap), family photos to schedule and take, cards to address and mail, schedules to coordinate and parties to attend.

Winter Evening

If I’m not careful, Mark and I won’t have another chunk of time together (outside marathons of the aforementioned TV show) until 2015. And that thought makes me feel as grumpy as a pre-ghost Scrooge.

To keep that from happening, I’ve thought up a few ways to keep my marriage at the top of my mind – and my holiday list. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Revive a pre-children tradition. The first Christmas Mark and I were married, we baked and decorated dozens of Christmas cookies. We had the best time – and I’m pretty sure we haven’t done it since! What’s something you used to do together to celebrate, perhaps during your dating days or before the kids were born? Whether it was picking a live tree or watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special or something completely different, try putting that old tradition back into the rotation this year.
  • Schedule a holiday date night. Both my husband and I have December birthdays, so we’re even more motivated to make time for a night out around the holidays. But even if your birthdays are months away, it’s still worth it to find a babysitter and get tickets or make reservations for a special, holiday date. (Maybe this year will be the one we splurge on tickets to finally see Trans-Siberian Orchestra!)
  • Plan an adults-only holiday party. This one is a little trickier, but you don’t have to coordinate an elaborate, fancy party. (Although you CAN…if you want!) But maybe you invite friends over for an afternoon open house with cookies and cocoa. Or what about chipping in for a babysitter for all the kids in your group of friends, so the grown-ups can have a Postage and Poker party (where your reward for addressing and stamping all those holiday cards is a fun game night with friends)? Really, though, you don’t have to get creative at all. Simply putting the kids to bed early, inviting friends over and ordering pizza to forget about the holiday stress for a couple hours will do the trick!
  • Have your own thanksgiving dinner. You don’t even have to roast a turkey for this dinner. Just make time to sit down for one meal together, where you tell each other what you’re thankful for. (Remember, gratitude is the one surefire way to improve your marriage!)
  • Team up for those other holiday to-dos. While it might seem more efficient to tear your to-do list or shopping list in half and attack those pesky line items separately, it might be more fun to do a few of those things together. Shop for your kids together, put up those lights together, even buy the holiday dinner groceries together. It might take a bit longer, but that time invested is worth it.
  • Exchange gifts before the kids get up (or after they go to bed). I don’t know how it is at your house, but Christmas morning at mine is all about the children. If you and your husband exchange gifts, don’t let it get swept away in the chaos of giggles and wrapping paper fights. Stay up a few minutes late or (if you’re morning people) get up early and trade presents alone. That way the tie you put into finding something special for your someone special can be truly appreciated and enjoyed.
  • Let the kids sit out on one of those family photos. If you’re having a new family photo taken for your holiday cards (or grandparents gifts!), make sure you get one of just you and your husband. Even if it doesn’t make the card this year, a shot of the two of you can still make it into a frame or your wallet or a canvas for the wall. (Valentine’s Day gift – check!)

How do you focus on your marriage during the holidays?

{Photos by Will Folsom andiRuben.}

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Apron Full of Giveaways 11.11.14

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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Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

November 10th, 2014

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

This post is sponsored on behalf of BHG at Walmart.

As part of the BHG Live Better Network, I am partnering with them this month to showcase a beautiful way to entertain for the holidays utilizing products from BHG that are available at Walmart.  Have you seen the woodland creatures line of dishes? Swoon- I am IN LOVE. These items are over in the seasonal display section of your store.  As someone who couldn’t be fonder of foxes or owls, I was so excited to see these beautiful dishes at the store and most of these items are under $3 each- what a fun way to dress up your table.

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

I used my basic white dishes as I do for every holiday and keep things economical by adding a fun design to my salad plates for the holidays each year. These owl plates are so sweet and add a little pop of color to my table. A natural table runner like this one helps add texture to my table and I used owl mugs to hold our forks and spoons for our dinner. The foxy salt and pepper shakers add a little woodland whimsy to round out the table.

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas I used driftwood log cuts from our craft store to add different dimensions to the table, added a jar of branches from our backyard, and then added my DIY thumbtack pumpkins to finish the table.

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

Crisp napkins made of stain resistant fabric are always top on my holiday shopping list for replacing each year. I found these over in the clearance section priced at a mere $1 each. I bought a package of rosemary, which adds a beautiful fragrance and a touch of green to the table, and clipped it with our free printable, “give thanks,” napkin tag and a mini clothespin.

You could also tie these napkins with a little jute twine and then clip the rosemary and, “gather together,” napkin tags to them, placing these on top of your owl plates. Print out all one variety of tag or use them both, alternating them at the place settings.

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

Even with my burlap runner, this entire table setting (minus my white dishes) costs just a little over $30 for everything. I love an affordable touch and really love these trendy pieces that BHG is offering this year for the Thanksgiving table. These would also be adorable for a kid’s table for the holidays!

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

We also have these beautiful woodland printables that you can print and hang in your kitchen or foyer to welcome your guests to match with the rest of our beautiful printable offerings this year! To help your guest feel warmly welcomed, my amazing designer & contributor, Sarah Milne with sarah m style, has created these amazing printables that you can share with your guests for Thanksgiving Day.

Grab Your FREE Woodland Creature Printables:

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

DOWNLOAD HERE

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

DOWNLOAD HERE

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

DOWNLOAD HERE

Free Woodland Thanksgiving Printables & Decor Ideas

DOWNLOAD HERE

Catch up on my other projects with BHG at Walmart:

Make a Guest Room Welcome Basket (Free Guest Room Printables)

BHG Live Better Style Showcase

BHG Live Better Network

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from BHG at Walmart for my time and participation in the BHG Live Better Network. Although we have material connection to BHG, any publicly stated opinions of BHG and their products remain my own.

It’s the 3 Little Things: Free eBooks, Netflix Binge, & Audio Books

November 7th, 2014

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week. I have big plans this weekend to paint my bedroom and bedroom furniture this weekend. I think I have been watching too many home improvement shows, to be honest.

Mattress Shopping

We spent a day yesterday ordering and purchasing new mattresses and bedroom furniture for everyone in the family. My son has outgrown his loft bed, my daughter has had the cast-off furniture that we purchased before we had kids, and we haven’t had a new mattress in almost 15 years. Of course, we have put all of this off for years because the idea of breaking down all of this furniture, finding new homes for it, the expense, and ridding ourselves of old mattresses sounds a bit torturous. The time has come so we are pressing forward. Did I mention I decided to do this the week I host all of my friends for a Friendsgiving dinner? Sure! Why not?

Here is what is making me happy this week!

Overdrive

Instant Reads

I never thought I would be the type of person that could read a book regularly on electronic format, but Overdrive through our library is transforming how I consume books. There is something so lovely about searching and instantaneously enjoying your book without leaving the comforts of your home… all for free. The best part, for me, is how many books are available that I want to read and that I can take them with me on my phone while waiting for my kids to get out of their lessons.

We decided that Santa will be bringing Kindle Fires this year for the kids so that they can take advantage of free books through the library too. It’s a big deal to get an electronic in our house, but the parental controls on it will help us manage how long they are on it for purposes other than reading. Since they each have their own library cards, they can check these books out on their own accounts and will save us some hassle wrangling books each week to drag back to the library.

I will still always love a good old-fashioned book, but electronic books are helping me consume more and saving me some time running back and forth to the library!

I read this book and this book this week through it and absolutely loved them both!

Rehab Addict

Netflix Binge Sessions

I have been binging on Netflix these days thanks to a huge release of Food Network, HGTV shows, TLC, and DIY Network offerings that have found their way on Netflix. If you haven’t been indulging,  you may be missing out on wasting a ton of time like me.

Here is what I am indulging in this week:

Rehab Addict- This is seriously my new favorite show. This woman is amazing and refurbishes old homes back into their former glory. Both my husband & I have learned a ton on restoring your home and furnishings. It’s my new favorite thing and I’m sad that I am almost through all of the offerings on Netflix already.

The American Scream- Fantastic documentary about a neighborhood that decks their houses out for Halloween. They make their own homemade haunts and have such passion for their creations that they spend all year preparing for this one evening of fun for their neighborhood. Not for the kiddos due to a couple of language moments, but I absolutely loved this one.

Restaurant Impossible & Cupcake Wars- Need I say more?

The Caller- One of the best psychological thrillers I have seen in a long time and reminded me of some of my very favorite Hitchcock films. The ending is open to interpretation and sent me on a hunt on IMDB to see what people thought about it. Seriously, it’s a can’t miss if you enjoy a good thriller.

Audio Books

Knitting & Audio Book Sessions

I took a little knitting hiatus because I have been so busy with other projects. Tackling my felted knitted pumpkins has me back in the mood again though. I feel rather ambitious to be tackling my first knitted poncho. I purchased this pattern and am currently working on the front of the poncho right now.

Knitting in silence isn’t my thing and this pattern requires a bit of concentration so I decided to try my first audio book on Overdrive (again- love it!!).  I am listening to this one and enjoying it so much. I always have felt like I have to make a choice between knitting and reading so not choosing is making me very happy. I like that I can crank up the speed on the book too. I’m a fast talker and a speed reader. This helps me to keep my usual pace while tackling a big project at the same time.

In fact, I will probably be doing that while I paint this weekend!

Three Things I Wore From My Fashion Capsule.  Did you read what I am learning from this project? You must!  Grab more inspiration on my Fashion Capsule Pin Board and minimize that wardrobe!

Winter-2014-Fashion-Capsule-Wardrobe

 I was too busy preparing this for you to snap any selfies this week. I hope you enjoy taking a peek into the next collection!

 

3 Things YOU Loved This Week (you, lover of MomAdvice things, you!)

Rainbow Cake in a Jar With Cloud Frosting

Knitted Snowflake Scarf Pattern

How to Make a Homeless Care Package

Bonus Happy! This made me laugh until I cried. So true, so true…

 

*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?

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Freebie Friday November 7, 2014

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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