Archive for June, 2011

Amy’s Notebook 06.29.11

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I want to make these red, white, & blue pancakes (@ i am mommy)

These patriotic parade streamers would be a cute addition to any bike (@ alphamom)

This Mexican sangria looks like the perfect addition to summer entertaining (@ design sponge)

I want to make this roasted tomato bruschetta (@ Table Talk)

Making car s’mores would solidify my cool mom status (@ Family Chic)

These confetti firecrackers would be cute to make with the kids (@ How Does She?)

These toasted s’mores are an adorable little snack (@ best friends for frosting)

These fuzzy slipper cookies would be adorable for a sleepover party (@ Hungry Happenings)

I would love doing this paint by number art (@ under the sycamore)

These tips for photographing kids sporting events is great (@ i heart faces)

These gluten-free monster cookies look like a fun treat (@ Cooking With My Kid)

These s’mores bars look sinfully delicious (@ the party blueprints blog)

This blueberry pie ice cream looks delicious (@ she wears many hats)

My kids would flip for these yogurt covered pretzels (@ babble)

100 days of summer: homemade fudgesicles & key lime ice cream

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

It was another fun week of summer fun at the Clark house, although we didn’t get to many of our planned activities this week. The kids finished up their last week of swim lessons and we did a fun pirate-themed VBS at our church. Our children are so blessed to have such a fun church and VBS was stellar this year with tons of crafts and activities for the kids to do. We collapsed every night after swim lessons and a jam-packed evening of VBS activities.

I managed to squeeze in a Father’s Day date with my hubby, two birthday parties, a trip to a bounce house, attended a musical, had a slurpee celebration for finishing our swim lessons, two days at the pool, and one ice cream excursion. No wonder we didn’t have time for crafting this week!

For a fun Friday night treat this week, I made homemade fudgesicles for a fun way to finish off our pizza night together. These fudgesicles, from Smitten Kitchen,  were so creamy, rich, and delicious made with such a seemingly small amount of cocoa and chocolate chips, that you really can’t believe how rich the flavor is.  I doubled the recipe, but quickly realized that I did not need to double this for the amount of popsicle holders that we had. This makes a ton of popsicles and we still have another tray in the freezer for another weeknight treat.  My husband said they were just as good as the store-bought variety and I loved them even more.

Proving that I will gain a million pounds over the summer, I made this key lime ice cream from goodLife{eats}, guest posted by Jamie from My Baking Addiction and let me tell you,… it is perhaps one of the best bowls of homemade ice cream I have ever eaten. I decided to play with the recipe a little and used fat-free sweetened condensed milk, the zest from a lime, and regular lime juice since key lime juice proves to not be plentiful in my Midwestern store.  I find my father-in-law is the kind of guy that I want to work really hard to impress and I think our dinner, this dessert, and my present this year offered a triple wow factor that I will never be able to replicate again!


Stumped for ideas this summer? Have no fear! I have you covered this year with our 100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board.  There are 100 ideas for crafting, eating, and creating with your children of all ages.  We promise to keep it carefree on Tuesdays and share what we tackle through our mobile uploads and you can even follow our adventures in real time through Instagram or on Twitter(my name is momadvice).

Our family is on the move and we want you to be on the move too.

Do something cool together this week.

Your kids will love you for it.

What did you tackle this week from your summer list?

An Apron Full of Giveaways: $50 Container Store Gift Card Ends Today

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

This evening will end our $50 Container Store Gift Card giveaway and I have been hard at work at tackling my organizational challenges around our house. Last week I shared my pantry before and this week I wanted to share with you what a couple of hours of hard work equaled in our house.

In case you forgot what my pantry looked like before, here is the shot of of my pantry.

After spending an evening picking out exactly what I wanted in our pantry and two hours of tossing out food and organizing the chaos in our pantry, this is what it looks like after.

Everything is now much more organized and this is my pantry AFTER our grocery day so the cupboard is fully stocked. I moved my baking ingredients all together and bought an inexpensive spice rack shelf for items like baking powder, baking soda, cooking spray, salt, and a few commonly used spices. All other items were grouped together and expired items were tossed out.

The majority of my budget was spent on jars and containers to house some of the ingredients in our pantry. I like clean lines on my jars and the items that I might get mixed up have labels on the bottoms of the jar so I can make sure I am grabbing the right ingredient. The glass jars were on sale at our local Meijer for $4.99 so I used these for items like oatmeal, whole wheat flour, brown rice, and crackers.  For items that need a little more crunch and freshness, I got the lock-top containers for $14.99. I only got two of these though because I didn’t want to waste my entire budget on them.

The shelves were all lined with nonstick gripping contact paper. My shelves had taken a royal beating from the cans and my pizza stones so I got some contact paper in a neutral tone to line the bottoms of the shelves.

On the floor of my pantry, I purchased two baskets for $14.99 each. One basket is dedicated to juice boxes and the other is dedicated to all of the small random snacks that we might take to the pool with us that had been taking up an entire shelf of boxes in my pantry before. I buy “fun” snacks for the kids to take with them when we go on summer excursions and they can select one big snack or two small snacks from the basket to take to the pool each day. This has helped us a lot with concession stand requests and is a convenient way to grab a snack on the go.

We are still working on our garage entry, but I am proud of my newly renovated pantry and hope the changes inspire you

Today ends our giveaway with Apartment Guide to help you tidy up a cluttered space in your home. Through this partnership, I am giving away a $50 gift card to the Container Store that you can use for online shopping or at your local Container Store. Head on over to the giveaway to get your entry in!


Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t 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).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

Bubbly Raspberry Lemonade

Monday, June 27th, 2011

I love sweet and refreshing summertime drinks and this raspberry lemonade fit both of those bills perfectly.  As we celebrated Father’s Day last weekend with our family, I decided to make my Presto Pesto Pasta Con Pollo, a tossed salad, french bread, and I wanted a fun drink to round out the dinner.  This concoction was something I dreamed up out of a few items I found at our grocery store. A little pink lemonade, a little raspberry white grape juice, a lot of Sprite, and a little vodka (should you so choose). Each cup was filled with a few fresh raspberries and a colored straw, which my kids loved doing in preparation for the big dinner.

Tart, sweet, bubbly, fancy, and fun. Our dinner guests all agreed that these were magical. A second round was ordered all around and complimented our light summer dinner perfectly.


Bubbly Raspberry Lemonade


1 (12 ounce) can frozen pink lemonade

1 (12 ounce) can frozen white grape raspberry juice

5 cans Sprite

1 can vodka (or you can substitute with an extra can of Sprite for a mocktail)

Juice of two limes

1 pint fresh raspberries


Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher.  Serve over ice and garnish with extra raspberries.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 12 servings

What is your favorite summertime drink? Please feel free to share a link to those recipes!

Amy’s Notebook 06.22.11

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I am so inspired by this amazing reading tent (@ tatertots & jello)

These paper towel butterflies would be a fun rainy day activity (@ Skip to My Lou)

I am saving my to-go Starbuck’s cups to make no spill paint cups for the kids (@ Muffin Tin Mom)

I can’t wait to implement some of these tips for a perfect home manicure (@ Petite Elefant)

My kids would love these grilled pizza pockets (@ $5 Dinners)

I can’t wait to try this key lime ice cream this summer (@ goodLife{eats})

I am going to have to make a thrifty chalkboard for our kitchen (@ Lark & Lola)

These chicken gyros look like another fun spin on a delicious gyro recipe (@ The Way the Cookie Crumbles)

We will have to try this recipe for homemade ginger ale this summer (@ Food for My Family)

This sunburst mirror is a beautiful addition to the wall (@ Twenty-Six to Life)

This lavender lemonade looks like a refreshing summer drink (@ Centsational Girl)

This strawberry brushetta looks like a fun summer dish to bring to a potluck (@ Annie’s Eats)

These custom cabinet knobs would be a great way to personalize your furniture or a door (@ infarrantly creative)

100 days of summer: root beer icees, corn syrup painting, & tortilla bowls

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

It was another busy week for our family. The kids started swim lessons this week and I have a feeling that the time and effort we are putting into this summer’s swim classes is really going to pay off this time.  We tried to work in a few fun activities this week including a fun fire pit night roasting s’mores over the fire, our favorite Jazzy Sunday routine with homemade whole wheat waffles topped with blueberry syrup, and lots of time spent working on the yard and playing outside.

I also implemented a chore chart for the kids and allowance program. I will let you guys know how that works out after we have been doing it for awhile.  Surprisingly, the kids are quite enthusiastic about this and money is proving to be a powerful motivator in our house.

From our 100 days of summer activity list, we tackled two fun food items and one craft idea this week.

This week we tried our hands at corn syrup painting that was featured on eighteen25 as a fun activity for the kids to do together. I mixed up a tray of paints and dug up some paint brushes and foam brushes for the kids to use to make their pictures. They each drew out their pictures in black crayon and then we painted them with the paints. The colors were beautiful and vibrant using ingredients right from our pantry.

The kids loved doing these paintings and I covered all of the paints up with plastic wrap and have put them away for a rainy day activity to keep them busy. It seems we are getting a lot of rain here in Indiana, so I am sure we will have these paints used up in no time at all.

I loved the idea of creating Coke Icees that was featured on Bake at 350 for a fun summer treat. We happened to be serving my favorite pulled pork sandwiches and the recipe calls for only 12 ounces of root beer. Instead of making root beer floats, I put four cans worth of root beer into my ice cream maker and let that churn for twenty minutes until it was nice and slushy.  We all loved these and I can’t wait to make them again with other types of soda. These were a big hit at our house so I highly recommend that activity.

Finally, we tried making baked taco bowls for our taco night this week courtesy of Annie’s Eats. I didn’t realize until I started making the bowls that I had the wrong size of tortilla. It was too late to hit the store so they were truly taco bowls rather than bite-sized taco treats. Regardless, the kids absolutely loved these and my husband & I both agreed that these were a fun addition to our taco night. I will have to give these another try with the right tortillas.

It seems that the hour is never too early to begin thinking up more daring things to do together. Emily brushed up on her daring activities in her robe and with her morning slice of toast. We couldn’t be more excited to tackle fun this summer if we tried.


Stumped for ideas this summer? Have no fear! I have you covered this year with our 100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board.  There are 100 ideas for crafting, eating, and creating with your children of all ages.  We promise to keep it carefree on Tuesdays and share what we tackle through our mobile uploads and you can even follow our adventures in real time through Instagram or on Twitter(my name is momadvice).

Our family is on the move and we want you to be on the move too.

Do something cool together this week.

Your kids will love you for it.

What did you tackle from your summer list this week?

Giveaway Results: $50 Container Store Gift Card

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Sorry this giveaway is now closed! We would like to congratulate Janet (Comment #27) on winning this $50 gift card to the Container Store from to organize her space. Thanks for all of your entries and we hope to have many more giveaways in the future!

Summer is here and this is the season in my life where organization seems to fly out the

window and chaos ensues. I was excited when Apartment Guide contacted me to see if I would be interested in making over a corner in my home that could use a little TLC and good-old fashioned organization.

“Oh, I think I will do the office,” I told them.

“Wait. My craft supplies really could use a little organization.”

“Do you mind if I change my answer? My entryway.”

“Oh, and my pantry.”

They  have graciously offered to be open to any of these scenarios and are giving me a $150 American Express gift card to spruce up one spot in my home as part of a Smart Solutions: Control the Clutter Blogger Challenge. Of course, I have to share the organizational love too and I will be giving away a $50 Container Store gift card to get you started in controlling the clutter in your home.

Apartment Guide is committed to cutting the clutter and offers a lot of valuable information for others who might be looking to make the most of their space. They have compiled a ton of articles to help you organize and make the most of the space in your home. I love that many of the ideas are low or no-cost ideas to make the space you are in organized and manageable. You can check out their articles here.

Let’s take a peek at my summer hot spots of hideous clutter.

No one sees this travesty since the only people that enter the house through our garage is ourselves, but it provides hurdles getting into the kitchen in our house. I would love to find a solution to our shoe mess, get the plastic bag chaos controlled, and streamline activities that are happening in our home through this entryway.  This should be an inexpensive solution so I can spend the rest of my money on our pantry.

I love my bigger pantry, but items do have a tendency to get lost in there. I have found myself buying repeat items and would love to add a little organization to this space. I know that if  get this spot in our home in shape that it will save me a lot of time and money in the kitchen.

Next week I will be sharing with you what I did with my gift card, but in the meantime, you can get your entries in to organize your own space. Good luck, everyone!

To enter to win a $50 Container Store gift card from Apartment Guide.

Leave one comment for each item that you complete to enter:

  • First Entry: Tell me one spot you would like to organize in your house or a helpful tip on how I can revamp these two spots in my home that have worked for you.
  • Additional Entry: “Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook for helpful organizing tips for any room in your place.
  • Additional Entry: Follow Apartment Guide on Twitter for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

One winner, chosen at random, will receive a $50 Container Store gift card that can be redeemed in the store or online. Please submit your entries by Tuesday (06/28) at 8PM EST.  Our winner will be drawn at random. Good luck, everyone!

Apartment Guide Disclosure: Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Smart Storage Solutions: Control the Clutter” Blogger Challenge.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “Smart Storage Solutions: Control the Clutter” Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

MomAdvice Giveaway Guidelines: Want to know more about how things are handled here at MomAdvice? Be sure to read our Disclaimer which clearly states how things work and know that we will always offer only the best reviews and giveaways to our readers. In full disclosure, the email addresses that are collected for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner(s), and will never be sold or given to anyone. This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Entries that do not follow the above criterion will automatically be disqualified. This giveaway will close Tuesday, June 28th at 8PM (EST). I’ll announce the first name of the winner(s) that will be added to the top of next week’s post and contact the winner(s) by email. I will draw the names of the winner(s) by using the random number generator at from the eligible entries received. If a winner does not contact me within 72 hours by email, I will draw a new winner. The winner(s) will receive their prize from the PR agency/company  responsible for this giveaway.

An Apron Full of Giveaways: $50 Container Store Giveaway

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

loverdoversclothing, $28.65

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!

Today we are kicking off a giveaway with Apartment Guide to help you tidy up a cluttered space in your home. Through this partnership, I am giving away a $50 gift card to the Container Store that you can use for online shopping or at your local Container Store. Follow the link below to enter this contest. NO ENTRIES HERE. ENTRIES HERE WILL NOT QUALIFY FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Below are the contest links-if you are hosting a contest please link it up below. Sorry, we aren’t 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).”

Please let me know if you have any questions and good luck to each of you!

Grilled Shrimp With Garlic & Herbs

Monday, June 20th, 2011

The grill has been humming this season and I have been trying to make a habit of getting our marinade ingredients ready to go in the morning so we can relax by the pool until the evening hours.

The intention is always to relax by the pool each day, but so far it has turned into a swimming lesson mania of running back and forth to get the kids to swim lessons & other activities.

Then trying to keep a normal gym routine.

Then baths.

Then towel washing.

Then collapsing in the fetal position at the end of the day.

Let’s hope that next month offers a few slow days so I can do what my body is intended for…which is relaxing.

I am sharing this delicious grilled shrimp recipe because I absolutely loved it so much. The brown sugar and paprika add a hint of sweetness while the garlic offers some bolder flavors to this shrimp. The lemon juice pulls all of the flavors together and adds that certain freshness to an otherwise pantry-inspired dish.

I love this shrimp and it offers a great variation to my usual (and still absolute favorite) grilled shrimp recipe.  Serve this one on a bed of brown rice and with vegetable kabobs with all of your favorite veggies on them.  It is a light and delicious meal that your whole family will love.


Grilled Shrimp With Garlic & Herbs


2 lbs extra large shrimp, peeled deveined

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon sliced fresh garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon basil

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Mix all ingredient in a bag and marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Prepare grill to high heat and grill for 5-6 minutes turning to char all sides.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: Six Servings

Recipe Source:

Father’s Day Gift Basket: A Fun Movie Gift Basket

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

It’s no secret that I love my dad like crazy! This week we got the opportunity to celebrate him at a dinner in honor of his 35 years of employment with Bayer. This picture of my sister & I with him is one of my favorites from that evening together.  Sadly,  for us, our brother hit the road to start a fresh new life in New Orleans so one piece of our puzzle was missing in this picture. We are missing him a lot already.

Regardless, this gave me an opportunity to give him his dad’s day gift a little early and shower him with love for all of his hard work our entire lives. I shared with you this week, a power-packed punch of a gift to give your favorite superhero dad. I hope that gave a few of you a fun idea for a quick gift to pull together. Now I wanted to showcase one other cute idea I have for a Father’s Day gift basket that I thought you guys might like.

For your basket, look for a popcorn bucket or tub that you can use to fill it with your movie supplies.  I found this tub at our local dollar store, but you can check near the popcorn aisle or over by the popcorn poppers for another fun tub that you can use for the base for your gift.

Next fill the bottom of your popcorn tub or bucket with a little shredded paper or tissue paper. Someone shipped something to me in a million pounds of this shredded paper so that is why I am such a fan of it for a free filler in our house. Whatever you might have in your wrapping supplies will work beautifully for this project.

Fill your popcorn tub with your dad’s favorite snacks. My dad loves black licorice and movie theater popcorn so we filled his up with those snacks to enjoy while he watches his favorite movies. I spent roughly $5 on snacks, but you can spend however much your own budget allows on the snack portion of this present!

Now comes the fun part. Grab your kids and take a few pictures of them pretending to watch a movie. Use your movie bucket for a prop and snap a few pictures that you can use for your gift.

Upload your photo to Picnik. Under the CREATE tab,  select EFFECTS, then select the BLACK & WHITE option to change your picture to a a black and white image. While still under the CREATE tab, select the option for TEXT. Once you are in text, put in your message for your dad. Make sure not to put your text all of the way to the edge of the photo because it may cut it off when you print it. It is better to get it a little further in to assure that you don’t waste ink, paper, or your time!

You can choose from a variety of fonts and colors. The font I choose for these images was Budmo Jiggler. I loved this font because it looked a little like a movie theater sign with one’s name in lights. Add a fun movie message, as we did here. You can do all of this with a free membership to Picnik.

Save your image once you have finished it. If you have a photo printer, you can print these out at home. I printed mine on 4×6 Kodak paper with my photo printer. Attach this image to the front of your movie tub.

To include in our movie tub, we added a gift card for two month’s of Netflix for only $15.98. With our five dollars in snacks, this gift is just a little  over twenty dollars, but is worth two month’s of fun! We tied the gift card with this photo that we also printed on 4×6 paper and finished it all with a little red ribbon.

This quick and easy gift is ready to go and can be pulled together in just a few minutes!  I hope this gift will offer a little more inspiration to your Father’s Day gift ideas and we wish all of our dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day from us!

We happen to have a pretty amazing dad in our midst that we are looking forward to showering with love this year! I feel so incredibly blessed that our children have such an awesome father and am a lucky girl myself!

Happy Father’s Day, Dads!