Archive for May, 2013

Amy’s Notebook 05.29.13 {Summer Edition}

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Welcome to the Summer Edition of my weekly notebook! I know that once summer hits you all want to spend time with the kids and not as much on the computer (me, too!), so during June, July, & August the Notebook posts will be short and sweet with one or two photos and a handful of links.

Oh, but the links will still be the same quality that I always look for, just with a summer mentality! I’ll look for ideas that are quick, fun, memorable, involve the kids (or not!) and that will help to inspire you over the summer to cook seasonally, craft, and do projects that may actually get something checked off that to-do list!


Source: Serious Eats


Like this yummy looking treat that would make a special summer breakfast. Since I’ve already got blueberries on the brain (Blueberry Sangria Lemonade, anyone?), it’s no wonder I want to try Apple Blueberry Pie-Cake!

We’re so excited to be grilling again – how about a grilled Thai Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Pizza? Yum.

kidwash water play

Source: Apartment Therapy


Hopefully, we’ll all be enjoying warmer weather soon and having some fun and creative kid water-play ideas will come in handy – like this awesome ‘carkidwash!’

Making a simple princess bed for our girls might just inspire some magical summer nights.

I’m loving these tips for adding color to your rooms for summer – my favorite is the yellow bedroom and huge painting, wow!


I hope you enjoyed this 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!

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

In the summer I am always looking for fun summer cocktails to share with my girlfriends and this blueberry sangria lemonade is the perfect summer drink to share with a good friend. You won’t believe how easy this blueberry sangria lemonade is to create and just how easy it is to drink…well, you might believe that last part of the sentence. This drink just screams summer, backyard fun, and begs to be enjoyed poolside.

Each month Walmart is challenging me to create a recipe using one of their produce items. Last month I tackled strawberries with a fun baked strawberry doughnut recipe and this month it is all about the blueberries with this easy blueberry sangria lemonade recipe.

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Blueberries are one of our favorite summer fruits and we love to enjoy our summer bounty all year long. A few years ago I started freezing my berries in a different way using the Cook’s Illustrated method for freezing my berries and I can’t rave enough about how much better my frozen berries taste. You should definitely add this to your summer to-do list this year.

As we await our annual berry picking season, I wanted to offer some advice for selecting the perfect berries at the supermarket. Be sure to select  a package of firm, plump berries with an indigo blue color and a silvery white frost. Avoid any with a green or red tint, which indicates under ripe berries. You will want to make sure there are no juice stains at the bottom of the carton or moldy or crushed berries buried inside of the cartons as well when selecting those berries.

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Now that you have the perfect berries, you can start incorporating them in this easy sangria. All of the ingredients can be found at your local Walmart store. I recommend mixing this one up the night before your gathering to really allow the flavors to incorporate together and for the best flavor.

You don’t have to splurge on the wine on this one, but make sure that you buy one that you would enjoy drinking. I love the budget-friendly and always delicious, Barefoot Chardonnay for this recipe because it fits sweetly in my budget and really tastes great for an affordable wine.

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

If you grow mint in your garden, this is another fun drink to add a little mint to for fresh flavor. And don’t forget, that mint can be put to good use in our Perfect Mojito recipe too in those long and hot summer months!

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade
Recipe Type: Drink
Author: Amy Clark
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
These blueberry sangrias scream summertime. Let the flavors meld together overnight for a truly delicious drink!
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 (12-ounce) can frozen concentrated pink lemonade
  • 1 bottle (750ml) Chardonnay, (I love Barefoot Chardonnay for this)
  • 3 cups lemon lime soda
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  1. In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients and stir. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld together.
  2. Serve chilled.

Looking for more great blueberry recipes? Be sure to try these eight ideas for blueberry recipes!


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Apron Full of Giveaways 05.28.13

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

coffee cup apron

Source: Mya Fashion,  $47


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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Chicken Gyros

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Homemade Chicken Gyros

I think there are few things in the world as yummy as a gyro. I have been making homemade gyros for years now, but was so excited to try a healthier spin with a chicken gyro this time. And what could be yummier than a chicken gyro? I say, nothing.

This chicken meat is so tender thanks to the acidic blend of lemon and red wine vinegar that helps to tenderize the meat in just one hour. With the addition of a little Greek yogurt to the marinade and a shake of dried oregano, the meat is moist and flavorful with just a few sweetly simple ingredients.

If you are looking to save money and control the quality of ingredients in this dish, you can make everything from the pitas to the tzatziki (recipe below).

If you are looking to save time, you can buy everything from the pitas to the tzatziki.

I will not judge you either way!

Serve these delicious chicken gyros with some fresh veggies and hummus for an easy summer side dish that everyone will love. I also recommend double or triple batching this meat because these gyros magically disappear pretty quickly. At least they did in our house!

If you are looking for another fun spin on gyros, be sure to check out these Grilled Ground Beef Gyros for the summer, or visit my Get Grilling Pinterest board for many more great ideas for outdoor grilling. I also highly recommend this easy tutorial for getting your grill clean while you sleep!

Happy grilling, friends!

Homemade Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Amy Clark
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Give these easy chicken gyros a spin for a fun weeknight meal that your whole family will love.
  • 16 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the chicken: 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1¼ lbs. chicken tenderloins
  • Toppings: Pita bread
  • Fresh tomato slices
  • Red onion slices (optional)
  1. To make the tzatziki sauce,shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together your Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. You want to avoid marinating longer than this due to the acidic nature of this marinade.
  3. Grill your chicken strips on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked completely through. Set aside for five minutes.
  4. Heat pitas for 15-20 seconds in the microwave to warm.
  5. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats



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100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board- 2013 Edition!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

100 Days of Summer 2013

Summer is just around the corner and I am so excited to share with you that I have gathered another 100 Days of Summer activities for you to do with your kids in the summer months. These are 100 activities that are all low to no cost, screen-free, and a fun way to build truly memorable moments with your kids in the summer months.

I had the best time creating our very first 100 days of summer activities board for our family to do and share with you and then last year’s 100 Days of Summer was another huge hit. It was so huge that I just knew I had to repeat it all again this year for you.

100 Days of Summer 2013

I am looking forward to tackling our own summer list and will be documenting our projects through mobile pictures.You can catch me on Instagram, where I am documenting our summer. Just search for the username momadvice and you will find me there. Just as a side note, I try to always answer all the comments on my pictures if I can. If you have questions about projects we are doing or just want to say hello, I will do my best to respond!

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays again like we did last year.

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

I still will be sharing our apron full of giveaways and our notebook of inspiration each week. I will also have fresh content through my freelance writing jobs this summer with Kenmore, Goodwill, Jack’s Pizza, & Walmart that will keep our site fully loaded with great ideas for your summer.

For the rest of my entries, I will be sharing what we are working on from our summer list through mobile pictures and quick notes on what fun activities we are doing at our house. I am hoping it will be an inspiration to you to get out and enjoy the summer with your children. I can’t say we will tackle a hundred activities, but I will be awfully proud if we do one cool activity a week.

100 Days of Summer 2013

This year’s list is AMAZING and my favorite so far from making chevron friendship bracelets, to building race tracks, to painting techniques on rain days, to creating popsicle light sabers. There really is something for EVERY age group this year.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for inspiration for your meal planning, home, reading, wardrobe and more! I am one happy little pinner!

Happy summer to each of you!



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Amy’s Notebook 05.22.13

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013


Source: Oh My Handmade


DIY dotted tea towels (and striped wood spoons) would make such an awesome – and personal – hostess gift!

These three tips on finding your unique style using what you have is full of great information.

Here’s a few more great tips – this time geared towards decorating for families with kids.

A cheese and wine party just seems made for outdoor entertaining, doesn’t it? I love these how these six steps for hosting a cheese tasting party make it seem easy!

Chipotle Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Source: The Stay At Home Chef


Don’t these twice baked sweet potatoes look amazing?

Making an orzo salad with spinach pesto instead of basil sounds like a great way to get a few more vegetables into our diet – I can’t wait to try this!

This list of 14 classic cocktails is just plain fun.

Now might be the time to try making Chocolate Espresso Macarons – yum.


Source: U-Create Crafts


Cupcakes made from burp cloths would be a such a cute way to decorate for a baby shower!

This kid’s outdoor play kitchen is not only sweet, but reuses things you’ve probably got laying around your house somewhere.

There are a ton of great ideas for boy’s bedrooms in this “undone” room reveal.

Freezing different themed toys into ice blocks = super summertime outdoor activity.

Oh, wow – these diy lace crowns are seriously adorable!


I hope you enjoyed this 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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9 Ways to Spice Up a Goodwill Lamp

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013


One walk through the aisles of Goodwill and I guarantee you will find a handful of great lamp choices just begging for a fun DIY lamp makeover that can dress up a corner in your home.

To inspire you, I have gathered 9 of my favorite ways to spice up an old lamp.

These lamp makeover ideas are so inspiring, in fact, that I can’t wait to snag a lamp for myself!



Be Bold With Paint

There is no need to go overboard if you lack the craft skills to tackle a more complex craft project and one way that you can easily spice up an old lamp is just to add a bright pop of color to it with spray paint.

With all of the fun colors in the spray paint aisles, the only hard part will be choosing your favorite color.

Be sure to browse around the Housewares section for other fun additions you can add to a table in your home and can spray paint in the same hue.

One bottle of spray paint will go far with a fun project like this. (Source: Mr. Kate)



 Make It Into a Bird Bath (Say What?)

Sometimes one has to rethink the original purpose of a thrift store item, that is why I am IN LOVE with this idea to turn a lamp into a birdbath for the backyard.

With this DIY, you simply spray paint your base in a fun color to match the colors in your patio set, and then add a bowl on top to create the perfect little birdbath for the backyard.

Why spend a fortune at the garden center, when a birdbath can be made for a fraction of the price? (Source: Thrifty Rebel)



 Add A Whimsical Accent to Your Game Room

Do you remember all of the fun I had with board games over the Fall?

If you remember how much fun I had with that, I am sure you will understand my enthusiasm for this adorable lamp for a family’s game room.

The best part about this one is that not only can you pick up the lamp from Goodwill, but you can even pick up the board games there too.

This is a lamp that you could definitely make together as a family and would be absolutely adorable in your game room, family room, or kids playroom. (Source: Apartment Therapy)



Make it Sentimental

Map crafts are just as popular as the book crafts we highlighted last month and I absolutely love this DIY lampshade makeover made from a map.

Select a map from a location that is special to you, perhaps where you honeymooned, where you grew up, your favorite family vacation, or where you live right now, and make an homage to that location with this sweet lamp.

Finish it with a grosgrain ribbon or an embellished edge ribbon trim from the craft store. (Source: Silver Boxes)



Rethink Your Fixture

Who says you need a lampshade to even create a light.

Have you ever thought of using a cake or jelly mold for a fun industrial fixture.

It is rare that I stop in a thrift store and don’t spy a cake mold with pretty fluted edges and they are often priced at a dollar or less.

Add a spray paint that adds a hammered metal appearance to them or go vintage with a pretty aqua blue.

These light fixtures are not only unique, but they utilized an item that is frequently donated. (Source: Poppytalk)



Add a Stenciled Accent

Stencils are all the rage in home decor whether it is a stenciled accent to a wall, to stenciled window treatments, to stenciled accessories in your room.

You can find beautiful stencils to choose from at your local hardware store in the paint aisle or you can create your own if you have a craft cutter, like a Cricut or Silhouette.

This stencil adds texture to the fabric, thanks to the Tulip Soft Fabric paint.

I love the fun bow and cute additions made to this lamp from a scrap of burlap and fabric.

I am sure you will love this one too! (@ Tatertots & Jello)



Add a Ruffle

Don’t sew?
No problem!
There are so many fun ways to add fabric to a tired lampshade that you might just be overwhelmed with the choices and few of them involve more than fabric and a glue gun.
This lamp that I created replicated a lamp spotted in Anthropologie, but was made at a fraction of the price with a little burlap and a hot glue gun.
This lamp redo is a great one to add to a craft room or to a little girl’s room for a feminine touch.
Spray paint the base any color to match the room and add a burlap ruffle in whatever shade you can find on sale at your craft store. (@ MomAdvice)

Add Some Script

I love when bloggers are inspired by expensive lamps they see in store catalogs and find  a way to replicate that beauty in their homes.

A $159 lamp might not be in your budget, but one created for less than $10 just might be.
Who wouldn’t love a love letter written right on a lampshade?
I am all about sentimental decor in my home and I have a feeling that this lamp makeover is as sweet as it gets (@ The Shabby Creek)


Rethink Your Shade

Industrial lighting is very in right now and one way that you can incorporate that industrial feel to your lighting is by simply creating a different lampshade from other items you might find lurking at your Goodwill store.
A metal basket is the perfect way to add that industrial touch to a lamp and when they are both spray painted in the same shade, it is a match made in heaven. (@ DIY Wilma)

Have you ever spiced up a lamp? Let us know in the comments what you have done with this frequently donated item!


This post contains affiliate links.


Don’t miss these other crafty ideas from


DIY Lampshade Ideas



How to Reupholster a Chair


DIY Ottoman Serving Tray


DIY Bulletin Board


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Apron Full of Giveaways 05.20.13

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

gingham chicken apron

Source: Mikasa Su Casa,  $12


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 Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe

Summer is just around the corner and before it gets here I wanted to share my favorite homemade sidewalk chalk paint recipe. Making DIY sidewalk chalk paint couldn’t be easier and many of the supplies are likely lurking right in your cupboard.

Today’s project is sponsored by Walmart and you can find all of the supplies you need to create this easy recipe, right at your local store, from the brushes to the food coloring to the paint storage containers.

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint RecipeDid you know that you can make sidewalk chalk paint from three simple ingredients? Homemade sidewalk chalk paint is made from a mixture of cornstarch, water, and food coloring. When visiting the baking aisle to get your food coloring, be sure to pick up the brightest and most vivid colors you can find to really make the colors pop on your sidewalk.

Homemade_Sidewalk_Chalk_Paint_Recipe_4 Proper storage of your paints will help them go farther. I love to grab lidded disposable containers to store the extra paint in and with a quick rinse of your brushes, your supplies are ready for the next day of painting.

Summer Bucket List

Of course, this isn’t the only recipe we have to keep your kids entertained in the summer! I am so excited to share with you that I will be doing another 100 Days of Summer AGAIN (third year running!) on Pinterest and will be sharing 100 SCREEN-FREE, FREE or PRACTICALLY FREE activities to keep your kids entertained this summer. Be sure to start following on Pinterest so you don’t miss the big reveal and so you can begin adding a few of these ideas to your summer bucket list! 

I think this year’s list will be the best one yet, but in the meantime, here are a few of our favorite activities we did this past year to get you inspired!

Summer Fun Inspiration

Glow-In-The-Dark JELL-O

The World’s Greatest Homemade Bubbles

Homemade Butterbeer Lattes

Easy Coffee Filter Posies

Easy Homemade Playdough

How to Make Car S’mores

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint Recipe
Recipe Type: Kid Recipes
Author: Amy Clark
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Skip buying sidewalk chalk paint and make your own with this easy DIY recipe!
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • Food coloring (as much as you desire)
  1. Mix equal parts of cornstarch with water. Add your food coloring. This mixture will be thick. Use your paintbrushes to paint your sidewalk or driveway. Store excess paint in airtight containers.
I can’t wait to share more fun summer ideas with you and in the meantime, I hope you can give this easy sidewalk chalk paint recipe a spin in your kitchen!


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Amy’s Notebook 05.15.13

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013


Source: Design Sponge


I absolutely love the gorgeous fabrics and fun look this patchwork shower curtain brings to the room.

Using a machine stitch to make diy vintage tea towels seems an easy way to create beautiful and unique gifts.

You know I love a great vase, and this glitter dipped vase would sure add a bit of sparkle to our table.

This diy mdf-mounted photo only looks expensive – what a great way to show off a beautiful photo!

mini fabric lamps

Source: It’s Taylor Made


Here’s a fantastic way to use the ever-growing pile of fabric scraps! I can just see these mini fabric lamps decorating a girl’s room or a colorful porch.

Speaking of porches, I loved how this post about creating the ultimate backyard breaks the planning down to four areas and helps make landscape planning not so overwhelming.

I think the kids and I need to make a chalkboard summer bucket list like this one to plan some fun things for the summer!

Making some diy watercolor art with the kids looks like it would be so fun (and easy!) that it should be one of the top things on our summer list.


Source: Skip to My Lou


Dont’ these whole wheat and flax pancakes look delicious? I’m glad they’re healthy, too!

Got ant problems? This all-natural ant killer may be the solution.

I really like to up the nutrition in regular dishes, and this recipe for meatballs with zucchini added seems like a winner.

These strawberry coffee cake muffins are making me drool – what a great way to use seasonal strawberries!


I hope you enjoyed this 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!