Fun New Ways to Dress Up Boots For Fall

November 6th, 2014

Fun New Ways to Dress Up Boots For Fall

As soon as the temperatures start dipping, I know it is almost my favorite footwear season… boot season, friends!  There is nothing cozier than a warm pair of boots and this season, embellished boots and boot toppers are all the rage for making your boots feel fresh again. Whether you score your boots at Goodwill or if you find the perfect pair elsewhere, I have some fun and creative ideas for making a tired pair of boots feel like new again with these 7 tutorials for fun ways to dress up your boots.

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips blog to gather some fun new ways to dress up your boots!

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Amy’s Notebook 11.05.14

November 5th, 2014

Waffle Iron Churros via Serious Eats

Source: Serious Eats

 

A new use for the waffle maker- extra-crispy churros? YES PLEASE!

Did you know you could dye yarn in your slow cooker?

The secret history of Wonder Woman- fascinating!

More inspiration towards a clutter-free life.

American schools are training kids for a world that doesn’t exist.

The Internet Archive has added a collection of 900 video games from the 1970s to 1990s that can be played in your web browser — no coins required.

Can’t wait to read this book and listen to this interview.

iPhone editing via Kelly Purkey

Source: Kelly Purkey

 

Great tutorial for editing photos right in your phone.

How to throw a tortured artist party.

The secret dual lives of people living with mental illness.

iPhone 6 tricks you probably don’t know – but should.

I needed to read this.

Avocado toast with pears, gorgonzola and cinnamon toasted walnuts- yum.

Grow someone past you- such a good reminder for this competitive soul.

amys_notebook

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

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Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

November 4th, 2014

Winter-2014-Fashion-Capsule-Wardrobe

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

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

A Modified Project 333

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  Flannel Shirt (purchased- Pitaya)

8.  Amelia Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

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

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

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

11. Brooklyn T-Shirt (purchased Urban Outfitters)

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

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

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

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

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

17. Gray Faux Fur Vest (purchased- Target)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

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

19. Gap Wool Blazer (owned- Gap)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

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

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

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

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

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

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

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

herringbone-vest

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

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

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATES HERE:

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Really Works)

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

Fall Fashion Capsule 2014

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

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

Apron Full of Giveaways 11.04.14

November 4th, 2014

hummingbird apron via etsy

Source: Lotus 2 Loaves,  $45.00

 

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

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

Good luck to each of you!

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Homemade Pork Potstickers

November 3rd, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Homemade Pork Potstickers Recipe

One of my children’s favorite things to order when we go out for sushi is a plate of potstickers to enjoy while we watch the sushi chef in his tall paper hat roll out or rice and seaweed and tuck pink-fleshed fish inside. They are second only to sushi itself in my children’s eyes.

While your children may not be on the same sushi train as mine, potstickers are rather universally delicious. A two-bite dumpling with a salty pork meatball tucked inside. But why wait until you head out to enjoy them when they can be made at home?

Homemade Pork Potstickers Recipe

Once you get the hang of getting potstickers unstuck from the pot, there’s little stopping you from making your own all the time. We like to have a potsticker party, filling and crimping as many as possible, and then freezing them for use later as a quick and easy treat, nearly as easy as heading to our favorite restaurant.

Pulled from the freezer and cooked up on the spot, these meatball-filled dumplings make a wonderful lunch option when paired with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Homemade Potstickers
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 30 potsticker wrappers
  • ¼ cup frying oil of choice
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, cabbage, carrot, onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg, salt and the black pepper.
  2. Place a small bowl of water near your work surface. Cover the potsticker wrappers with a damp cloth to prevent them drying out.
  3. Place a rounded teaspoon of the pork filling into the center of the wrapper. Lightly wet the edge of the wrapper, and then using your thumb and finger, fold pleats into the dumpling, starting at the center and going towards the cents to form a crescent shape.
  4. Set the filled dumplings on a baking sheet or cutting board, covered with a damp cloth. Continue until all the filling has been used.
  5. To cook, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a 10" non-stick skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add about 6 dumplings to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour in ¼ cup of water, cover, and allow the potstickers to steam for 5-6 minutes, until they are cooked through. and golden brown on the bottoms. Remove the lid and allow the steam to cook off, shaking the pan lightly to encourage the potstickers to dislodge themselves from the pan bottom. Serve warm.

Homemade Pork Potstickers Recipe

 

 

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It’s the 3 Little Things: New Coffeemaker, Hot Coffee To Go, & a Perfect Tote

October 31st, 2014

It's the 3 Little Things

Happy Halloween, friends. It has been a flurry of parent teacher conferences and Halloween preparations over here. My big plans this weekend only involve indulging in a marathon of Netflix-bingeing with my favorite quilt on our giant couch after our trick-or-treating! What about you?

Let’s talk about what is making me happy this week!

Cuisinart Brew & Grind Coffeemaker

A New Coffeemaker

My coffeemaker died last week. I did everything I could to get that thing to hobble along, lovingly flushing it with vinegar periodically and caring for it. I would have to hit the power button three times to get it to brew, the water never fully went through, but then the coffee just stopped being hot.  You cannot imagine my stress levels. To get up THAT early and have no HOT coffee was a travesty.

I am thankful that I can rectify this so quickly though thanks to our Amazon Prime membership. The next day I had a brand new coffeemaker sitting on my front step and I am happily having the hottest coffee with my favorite Michigan cherry coffee beans. After reading all of the reviews, I settled on this Cuisinart Grind & Brew because my last one held up so well for so long and it was still under $100.

This one is loud when it is grinding so I grind the beans at night and then turn off the grind for my morning when I program it. I no longer have to hit the power button three times to finish a brew and the ratio of beans to water is much smoother thanks to the grinder.  My mornings got oh-so-much better

Diva Vacuum Thermal Cup

HOT Coffee To Go

I started volunteering at school again and I always like to take my coffee with me when I visit there and read with the kiddos.

Confession time.

My husband went to an event for some kind of prize drawing for Lexus because he has a used Lexus and gets the fliers from the dealership. He didn’t win the drawing, but he came home with a thermal mug that he said would be perfect for my coffee. And I hated it. I hate carrying around a mug that advertises a car that we got for less than my Subaru, but seems like we are part of some kind of weird exclusive club.

So I keyed it.

I did.

I know. I have issues.

I scratched the logo off, but I could still see it and I was planning to craft something out of washi tape over it because it bothered me that much.

Instead, when I went to Celestial Seasonings shop I found this amazing carafe and I snagged it for my mornings.  My coffee is brutally hot (just the way I like it- I did admit to keying things!) and it has a lock on the top to doubly insure that your coffee doesn’t escape. Did I mention it vacuum seals? It’s seriously awesome and has made my mornings at school better. And now I don’t have to carry around that awful mug so…winning!

Urban Outfitters Small Vegan Tote

The Perfect Tote for a Petite Girl

I have been eyeing tote bags for awhile now that I could use for travel and for the errand running that I do throughout the day. We popped into Urban Outfitters this weekend because I have been eyeing this bag online forever. When I saw it, we laughed hysterically because it is as big as me. I tried to sling it over my arm, but I could have probably crawled inside it. I love the concept of the reversible vegan leather, but the bag was too big for this petite gal. I was thankful I did not add it to my Christmas list since I was not in the market for a beach tote.

I did spy though this mini tote in the corner and it is just perfect for me. The $49 price tag fits well for me since I am usually a TJ Maxx purse shopper and I plan to use this until the straps fall off.

cape + black leggings + boots + camel purse

It has a crossbody strap too that you can use when you are out running around and it sits upright when rested on a table. I mean, it really is that perfect and a far better price than most bags that look like this.  I am a happy, happy girl! It goes well with my vintage Forever 21 cape I have had since the store opened in our tiny mall. May herringbone capes never go out of style. Amen.

chambray shirt + statement necklace + black skirt + mustard tights + booties

On a personal note, I have been one proud mama this week! My daughter had her first guitar recital and she played her songs beautifully. I have never seen her more scared and then more proud than she was on this day.  We have the best guitar teacher in the world and it was so fun to see all the kids play and sing so beautifully.

I went to conferences this week for both kids who truly rocked their report cards with the best grades a mom could ever hope for.  More than that though, they all remarked on just what good people they are. I want to raise good people. I think the world needs more of those.

Three Things I Wore From My Fashion Capsule. I will unveil the next capsule on November 3rd to hopefully inspire you on your own fashion capsule journey. 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!

black tunic + black leggings + green cardigan + nude booties + long necklace + belt

Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic Dress in Black (purchased- Flourish Boutique)/The Essential Leggings in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Forest Fairy Cardigan (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Nude Booties (Old Navy)/Black & Gold Necklace (owned- Flourish Boutique)/ Fitbit Bracelet (make it here!)/ Black Belt (one of those ones that came attached to something else! ;)

chambray shirt + statement necklace + black skirt + mustard tights + booties

Chambray Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Gap Black Skirt (purchased second hand on Twice)/Camel Suede Booties (Madden Girl- DSW Shoes)/Lace Slip Skirt Extender (owned- Flourish Boutique)/ Pearl Statement Necklace (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Fitbit Bracelet (make it here!)/ Leopard Print Belt (owned- Target)

blanket sweater + gray shirt + black leggings  + belt + brown boots

FINAL WARDROBE STEAL- Angora Blanket Sweater (owned- Flourish Boutique)/The Essential Leggings in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Long Sleeve Seamless Layering Piece in Gray  (owned- Flourish Boutique)/ Brown Boots (6PM- Naturalizer/Brown Belt (owned- Maurices)

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

3 Benefits of Using Household Subscription Services

How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker

7 Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

Bonus Happy! How awesome is this? My kids were simply amazed.

Freebie Friday October 31, 2014

October 31st, 2014

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

 

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Review & GIVEAWAY: Empowered SAFETY Membership

October 30th, 2014

How to Keep Your Family Safe by Monitoring Product Safety Recalls from MomAdvice.com.

*This post is sponsored by the Empowered SAFETY. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When my children were small, I was absolutely obsessed with tracking recall information. Let’s face it; the sheer amount of equipment needed to keep your baby safe in that first year is astounding.  Back then I subscribed to Parents Magazine and would skim the magazine for the latest recall information. Over the course of those first few years as a mom, there were many recalls, but I was so busy and so tired that I struggled to stay on top of that and keep up with it all.  Thankfully, there are faster and easier ways to stay on top of recalls now.

This week I am partnering with a fantastic site called Empowered SAFETY to share with you all of the great advantages of a membership & how it can help you keep track of legitimate complaints & recalls when it comes to items you use in your home and the food you consume. We are giving everyone one free month to try this service and giving one lucky reader a six month subscription.

  How to Keep Your Family Safe by Monitoring Product Safety Recalls from MomAdvice.com.

What Does Empowered SAFETY Offer?

Did you know that there can be hundreds of complaints made to government agencies about child-specific products before a recall is actually issued?  Instead of waiting for the recall to occur, a subscription to Empowered SAFETY can alert you of the complaints prior to the recall even is issued.

With a premium membership you can simply match the products in your home with the half-million child products in Empowered SAFETY’s database, and you will receive an email notification on that product should complaints be made against it. It is as easy as that!

How to Keep Your Family Safe by Monitoring Product Safety Recalls from MomAdvice.com.

We aren’t just talking car seats and baby equipment though; the service also offers valuable information about food safety which, as we know, can be potentially life-threatening to a child with food allergies. You can receive the food recalls in the area where you live so you can stay on top of potential allergens and safety hazards in your home.

How Can This Help You When Making Purchases?

When I make purchases for my family, I spend hours online trying to decide which item will be the best for us based on the reviews of other shoppers. I hate wasting my money or time on purchase that don’t have longevity in our home. When it comes to purchases that keep our family safe, I really want to know that the items that I am choosing will do their job well and that I won’t find myself needing to replace them later.

Empowered SAFETY can let you know if the product you are thinking of purchasing has had any complaints on it, allowing you to be a more empowered consumer and saving you valuable time.

What Do They Monitor For You?

Complaints can come in many different ways and Empowered SAFETY monitors all the different sources so you don’t have to. Not only do they monitor actual consumer complaints, and product and food recalls and warnings to government agencies, they also follow news reports, legal filings, press releases, blog postings, federal & state agency websites for outbreaks & health alerts, as well as member-reported product issues.

As a busy mom, I certainly don’t have time to monitor all of that so a membership like this can save your family a lot of time, hassle, and unnecessary clutter from items that are potentially unsafe and won’t have longevity in your home.

Everyone is a Winner

Today I am giving EVERY reader a free 28-day promo code to try the Empowered SAFETY site. Just enter code the code ES28DAY93  (Expires 11/30/14) upon sign-up on Empowered SAFETY.

Follow the instructions below in our Rafflecopter widget to enter to win a FREE six-month premium membership to Empowered SAFETY.  Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post is sponsored by the Empowered SAFETY. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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DIY Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkins

October 29th, 2014

decorative-thumb-tack-pumpkin-tutorial-header

decorative-thumb-tack-pumpkin-tutorial-15

decorative-thumb-tack-pumpkin-tutorial-18

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to decorate the holiday table that are festive while staying easy on the budget. The gold trend has really been catching my eye this year so I wanted to create something beautiful and gold that anyone can do, no matter what your craft level. Today’s tutorial is for a decorative thumbtack pumpkin that requires just two items for a fun and festive touch to your table.

Head on over to the Kenmore Blog to learn how to make these easy ZERO CRAFTING SKILLS REQUIRED DIY Gold Thumbtack Pumpkins!

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Amy’s Notebook 10.29.14

October 29th, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies via Half Baked Harvest

Source: Half Baked Harvest

 

Are you drooling over these simple oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too?

Dear world: Let’s stop giving our crap to the poor.

What kids around the world eat for breakfast is making me rethink our breakfasts.

8 ways we often overspend. GUILTY.

It’s time to kill school picture day- agree or disagree?

Next year’s costume- hilarious.

Braided Hair Tips via Cupcakes and Cashmere

Source: Cupcakes & Cashmere

 

I’m hoping these tips will help me become better at braiding hair.

A sibling portrait every year for 40 years? Inspiring and beautiful.

Chicken Caprese pasta recipe- yes, please!

Do you love someone who has ADD? Check out these 20 things to remember to help you.

15 minimalist hacks to maximize your life.

12 words even smart people get wrong. Whew.

amys_notebook

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

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