Archive for March, 2020

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Header

Are you looking for some new ways to divide the daily chores and house cleaning? This weekly cleaning schedule teaches kids to participate in household chores and helps them learn valuable life skills. Use these free printable chore charts to motivate your kids to participate in achieving a clean home and learn how we have taught our kids to help at all ages of life.

Before I launch into our household routines, I just want to acknowledge that we are all in VERY different places, both mentally and physically, since this pandemic has descended up on our world.

For me, I have been very consumed by worry for our family’s health, a growing concern for my sister who works in healthcare, and about our extended family members.

This pandemic, in fact, became so all-consuming that I reached out to my physician for some anxiety medication and have found a heightened sense of insecurity with my own safety being out in our world.

Although this week is better, I do find myself hitting big waves of grief, anger over others not doing what they are supposed to, and frustration with communication from politicians.

I do believe these waves will continue, especially as more and more people around me have been diagnosed or as jobs are lost and financial struggles have increased.

What I do know is that, FOR ME, I was also feeling really unprepared with everyone being here all day, the endless food preparation, and our home feeling more and more chaotic.

Can you relate?

My husband said it would be incredibly helpful if I would start making a list of all the things that need to be done around our house and begin to split these duties.

Chore Tickets download my chore and tech tickets for younger kids

When the kids were young, I was big on the weekly chore chart and even made these punchable tickets for tackling chores and reducing screen time.

When I started to have health problems, we decided to hire a cleaning service to help me with our weekly cleaning tasks.

Anyone who has had the privilege of hiring a cleaning service knows that a lot of preparation is required before the cleaning.

I would, honestly, spend an entire day prepping for their arrival and welcomed this as part of our bi-weekly routine. #whiteladyproblems

Hiring them was more about the accountability than just the help with the harder physical tasks of cleaning.

I fully acknowledged, without this visit, our house would start falling apart.

Now that we are all home together (and practicing social distancing), I needed to figure out chore lists that would give my kids responsibilities and divide up tasks evenly so that all the chores did not fall on me.


For the record, my kids are 17 and 14 so they are more than capable of pitching in to assist. I don’t have to worry as much about kid chore charts or making sure they are age appropriate chores, they really are becoming mini-adults.

What I DID have to do though was teach them how to do these tasks so that we could all enjoy our space.

If anything comes out of this awful time it is that my kids are learning some very valuable life lessons about caring for a home, preparing food, and working more as a family unit.

I am sure these are all things that we could have been doing before, but having the space to do them has really helped our family a lot.

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Printable Example examples of tasks for my 17 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Chore Chart examples of tasks for my 14 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Example Chart examples of tasks my husband is assisting me with

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) examples of tasks I’m doing each week

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Make a List of Tasks That Need to Be Done

I started with a lined sheet of paper and wrote down every chore that I would like to see happen throughout the week.

Chores around the house were jotted down, as well as more general tasks like laundry, menu planning, changing the air filters, checking our water softener, moving the cars around, and grocery shopping.

Divide Routine Tasks So They Don’t Fall on One Family Member

Instead of telling one kid that they need to clean out the kitty litter box, for example, each family member is rotating a day on that single task.

This means that we all get a turn cleaning up our cat’s poo-poo.

How fun is that? Hahaha!

Figure Out How You Can Do These Tasks In Tandem Together

The idea of working as a family unit is that no one person is responsible for everything.

Instead of just one person working in the living room, for example, each person is assigned a task in that room or a task that is on that level in the home.

To tackle cleaned bathrooms, for example, we have the family divided working in our two bathrooms and doing one or two elements of that routine.

One person is quick vacuuming the floors, swiping sinks, and emptying trash.

Another person is cleaning the tubs, washing the throw rugs, and restocking bathroom supplies.

We do have to work together to nail the order down of task completion, but this system is already proving to be really effective in not weighing one person down.

To make this happen, I also did have to purchase some more cleaning equipment (welcome to your new cleaning caddy, kids!)  so that we all had the tools that we needed. 

If you are looking for a good online source, this is the site that I would recommend for doorstep delivery. (affiliate link, but should give you a free 5-piece cleaning set to get started!)

Daily Tasks During Quarantine

Try to Make Daily Standing Routines

While practicing our social distancing, I’m trying not to fall into a complete slump with personal hygiene, getting dressed, and moving. We made a list of things that are important to us (like, a daily walk!) that help keep us moving and help us manage our day better.

This was inspired by this incredible guidance on how to reduce anxiety while we are quarantined.

It really is incredible how much this helps.

I also will say that limiting myself to a coffee hour and a virtual New York Time subscription has allowed me to feel informed and not consumed.

These don’t have to be productive routines, just routines that you know will work well for your mental and physical health right now.

Don’t Be Afraid to Rotate Tasks

Even though I have tried to make things as evenly as possible, in our home, I have offered that the kids can switch roles monthly so that they don’t get stuck doing the same tasks over and over again.

If your kids are liking their habits though, don’t switch it up unless it is necessary.

Allow Room for Rest

I don’t want to clean on the weekends and feel like we ALL deserve to put our feet up on the weekend. That means that our routines are just outlined for Monday-Friday. This gives us Saturday and Sunday with the freedom to allow for rest and relaxation.

Once again, you do NOT need to be doing chore charts if you don’t care about this right now.


For me, establishing routines (even if it is just 15 minutes a day) makes me feel normal and helps give flow and purpose to this time.

I hope this helps inspire you to create your own routines that help you feel a little more like yourself too.

Sending loads of love and protection over each of your families. 

Click here to download my blank chore chart

Click here to download a blank daily schedule chart

Tech-Chore Tickets Free Printable Click here to download our printable chore or tech time tickets

Click here to read how we did our chore charts when our kids were small

Looking for more help around the house? Check out these articles!

how to successfully menu plan

how to make diy swiffer pads

how to clean and stock your refrigerator

How have your cleaning routines changed now that you are all home together? 

Amy’s Notebook 03.26.20

Thursday, March 26th, 2020


What an inexpensive way to make an accent wall with books.

You don’t have to be productive right now.  You do you.

10 plant-based vegetarian sheet pan meals to add to the menu planner.

14 achievable decluttering projects you can do while you are stuck at home. Again, IF THAT’S YOUR THING.

10 of the best YouTube channels for free workouts.

7 mantras to ease fear of the unknown.

Need a show to escape with? Check out the comments on this post.

How to bridge the distance with friends during this difficult time.

Sourdough Starter Beginner Guide source

I’ve been thinking about making sourdough bread so this beginner guide with sourdough starter recipe was just what I needed.

The best advice on what to expect in our world moving forward and how to do our part.

15 kitchen projects to try now.

Some simple etiquette rules to keep in mind when grocery shopping right now.

35 feel-good movies to stream right now

5 acts of kindness to help the older people in our lives right now.

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

The 90s Family Movies To Stream Right Now

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Looking for some 90s family films to share with your kids? From sci-fi to heartwarming classics, we’ve got you covered. Stream these nostalgic movies today.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

The 90s Family Movies To Stream Right Now

A couple years ago I realized my kids were entering a magical stage, one in which they could appreciate some of the movies from my own childhood.

Finally, we could watch non-animated movies together, and they were old enough to understand but not be scared.

And, if I was lucky and played it just cool enough, they were still young enough to be delighted and entertained by the movies I have loved for decades.

Of course, there is no accounting for taste when it comes to my kids (or any kids, I suspect).

The first time I showed them The Princess Bride, they were not impressed.


Little do they know I’m planning to give it another try over spring break…

So far, my kids have loved Hook, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap.

And while I don’t think they’re quite ready for My Girl, I cannot wait to track down The Sandlot and show them that one.

Head’s up, though: While I don’t know the exact standards for movie ratings during our childhoods versus today, it seems that older movies rated PG include more language, violence, and adult references than today’s PG movies.

So while each one of these movies is rated PG, keep in mind that might mean something different than you remember or expect!

Think you might want to show your own kids a few movies from back in the day?

Start with this list of 90’s movies!

For the sports fans:

Space Jam (1996) – recommended for ages 7+

This 1996 live-action/animated sports comedy film starring basketball legend Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes characters is a fun one for your weekend.

In the film, Jordan teams up with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters to win a basketball game against a group of aliens who plan to capture them as attractions for their theme park. Be sure to bookmark the sequel for your weekend.

The Sandlot (1993) – recommended for ages 8+

Baseball, friendship, and 1960s nostalgia.

In this heartfelt coming-of-age comedy, a new kid is taken in by a group of baseball loving misfits. A reboot is rumored to be coming to Disney+ !

A League of Their Own – recommended for ages 10+

Women’s baseball, Tom Hanks, and Geena Davis.

There’s no crying in baseball! Based on the real-life Girls All American Professional Baseball League founded in 1942. A tv series based on the movie is in production for Amazon streaming.

The Mighty Ducks (1992) – recommended for ages 11+

Hockey, underdogs, and Emilio Estevez.

As a community service requirement, a selfish lawyer must coach a losing youth hockey team. A series based on the film is in development at Disney +.

For the animal lovers:

Free Willy (1993) – recommended for ages 6+

A boy, a whale, and some intense emotions.

An orphan boy befriends a captive killer whale and aims to release him back to the wild. There are three sequels: The Adventure Home, The Rescue and Escape from Pirate’s Cove.

Babe (1995) – recommended for ages 6+

A pig, a farm, and some harsh realities about where food comes from.

Can the other barn animals accept a nontraditional pig? Yes, when he’s as cute as Babe. Oscar winning piglet!

Dr. Dolittle (1998) – recommended for ages 8+

Animals, Eddie Murphy, and a whole lot of potty humor.

Once the animals in town find out Dr. Dolittle has the ability to talk to animals, they all come visit!

For anyone who loves fantasy and make-believe:

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) – recommended for ages 6+

Inventions, adventures, and Rick Moranis.

Whoops! Four kids are shrunken to the size of ants by a shrimp ray and must fight their way through the backyard, while their scientist dad searches for them. A new film, Shrunk, is in production at Disney.

George of the Jungle (1997) – recommended for ages 6+

Abandoned baby, raised by apes, grows up and visits San Francisco.

Just try and get the theme song out of your head. Tarzan spoof action adventure based on a cartoon series. The cartoon is getting a reboot for CBS All Access.

Matilda (1996) – recommended for ages 9+

Clever girl has powers in fantasy based on Roald Dahl book. includes the world’s worst principal – Miss Trunchbull. Netflix is developing a musical reboot.

Hook (1991) – recommended for ages 10+

Grown-up Peter Pan, campy Captain Hook, and kidnapped kids.

Directed by Steven Spielberg grown up Peter (Robin Williams) and Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) must face their old nemesis Hook (Dustin Hoffman).

All about friends and family:

The Parent Trap (1999) – recommended for ages 6+

Separated twins, reunited parents, and little Lindsay Lohan.

A remake of the classic 1961 Disney film.

My Girl (1991) – recommended for ages 11+

Friendship, death, and baby Macaulay Culkin.

Get ready for all the feelings watching Anna Chlumskey play an 11 year old being raised by single dad Dan Ackroyd.

A couple lesser-known (but fantastic) animated legends:

Anastasia (1997) – recommended for ages 6+

Long-lost princess, evil Rasputin, and more fun than facts.

Includes the vocal talents of Meg Ryan, Angela Lansbury, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd and John Cusack.

Hercules (1997) – recommended for ages 7+

Gods and heroes, a gospel Greek chorus, and intense animated action.

Disney animates Greek mythology!

Treats for the holidays:

Hocus Pocus (1993) – recommended for ages 10+

Halloween, witches, and spooky stuff.

One of the best Halloween movies ever. Reboot announced for Disney +.

Home Alone (1990) – recommended for ages 10+

Mouthy kids, careless parents, and holiday hijinks.

More Macaulay Caulkin, but this time he is battling Joe Pesci. Also includes the fabulous Katherine O’Hara and John Candy. Yes, also on reboot list for Disney +.

Do your kids like movies from the 90’s? Which ones are their favorites?

Note: Age recommendations come from Common Sense Media.

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Don’t miss these other great stories from MomAdvice:

5 Reasons I Let My Kids Watch TV /

Reasons to Let Your Kids Watch TV

How to Monitor Tech Time /

Screen Time Rules for the Middle School Years

teaching kids the importance of failure /

Teaching the Importance of Failure to Children

Book Series for Harry Potter Lovers /

More Book Series for Harry Potter Lovers

Watching TV with Husband /

Rules for Watching TV with Your Spouse

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night /

11 Romantic Comedies for Date Night

We hope you love this list as much as we do!

17 Movies From the 90's You Must Share With Your Kids

45 Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Are you looking for quick and easy pantry recipes that your whole family will love? Check out these simple meals to incorporate your canned & dry goods into your recipes. Feel free to pin and bookmark this post to make the most of your budget.

Here is some honest truth, I have never been good about tracking what I have stocked in my pantry. Just like most moms, I am often in survival mode and am just proud if I get our grocery shopping and menu planning done for the week.

With this unique experience of being home more, I have been taking stock of what we have and how we can make the most of it in these upcoming days.

I loved these printable kitchen inventory sheets for helping figure out our meals, as our grocery stores struggle to keep so many items stocked.

Free Spice Label Printables

We also have free printable labels to organize your spice rack. I plan to revisit my spice cabinet this month too!

This is a great time to take inventory of all those items that we seem to forget to purchase (or have multiple items if you are anything like me!). Jot down all those spices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, salad dressings, and all those other condiments that you might forget to track.

I also am trying to stock items like bottled lemon juice and lime juice, in case we don’t have access to citrus fruit. These can really add another great layer to your recipes.

I wanted to offer some new ways to use those pantry ingredients today so I reached out to my blogging friends to create this fun list of recipes to try.

Click on the image or header to access these incredible recipes!

45 Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

Pasta Recipes

Pantry Recipes / Pesto Chicken Pasta from The Toasty Kitchen

Pesto Chicken pasta is an easy, 20 minute meal that’s made with just five shelf-stable ingredients. Bow tie pasta and chicken are coated in a rich and flavorful pesto sauce.

Pantry Recipes / One Skillet Baked Ziti from Good Life Eats

One skillet baked ziti with meat sauce is the perfect, easy comforting pasta dish. Baking it in a single skillet makes for quick preparation and very minimal clean up. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Pantry Recipes / Almond Butter Red Curry Noodles from Fried Dandelions

Almond butter red curry noodles come together with pantry staples! The noodles are packed with flavor, and have a gorgeous orange color!  Perfect for an easy weeknight meal.


Pantry Recipes / Spinach and White Bean Pasta from Rachael Hartley Nutrition

This garlicky white bean and spinach pasta using a surprise pantry ingredient for a flavor booster!


Pantry Recipes / Easy Parmesan Pasta from Neighbor Food

This easy parmesan pasta can be pulled together with whatever canned vegetables you have on hand. Add chicken sausage or make it meatless!

Pantry Recipes / Instant Pot Taco Pasta from Shweta in the Kitchen

Taco pasta is a delicious one-pot meal made using Italian pasta and Mexican flavors. It is a nutritious, delicious crowd pleasing recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Pantry Recipes / Easy Tuna Casserole with Egg Noodles from Unsophisticook

This easy tuna casserole with egg noodles is a definite go-to recipe; it is quick to prep, tasty, and versatile!

Pantry Recipes / Instant Pot Goulash from Posh Journal

This American goulash is delicious, filling, nutritious and very inexpensive to make.

Pantry Recipes / MomAdvice Gluten-Free Macaroni & Cheese from MomAdvice

I am SO EXCITED to share that we finally mastered an incredible one pot gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe after MUCH trial and error in my kitchen. If you are looking for easy, affordable, minimal dishes, and a recipe that yields a lot than I have an incredible recipe for you!

Soups & Stews

Pantry Recipes / Instant Pot Lentil Soup from Urban Bliss Life

Make a healthy, hearty meal using common pantry ingredients! Instant pot lentil soup is a fast, easy, oh-so delicious vegan dish that will keep you warm and toasty.

Pantry Recipe / MomAdvice Hazelnut Soup from MomAdvice

This is a rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts. It is a quick weeknight soup and the recipe can easily be made vegetarian. 

Pantry Recipes / Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup from Simple Bites

Slow-cooker coconut curry lentil soup is an easily adaptable pantry recipe, designed to get a hearty, nourishing meal on the table with minimal effort.

Pantry Recipes / Gluten Free Instant Pot Taco Soup from Seasonal Cravings

This gluten-free instant pot taco soup is packed with kidney beans, corn, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Make a double batch and have soup to fill your belly all week!

Pantry Recipe / Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili from MomAdvice

Once you try this chili, you will never make any other type of chili again. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice are the secret ingredients that make this chili a standout recipe!


Pantry Staples

Pantry Recipes / Best Black Bean Burgers from Eat Plant-Based

This black bean burger vegan recipe makes firm patties and can even be cooked on the grill with our falling through!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers from Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers from MomAdvice

Looking for an easy recipe that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Look no further than these Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers for a fun weeknight meal. You will love these bell peppers for a meatless dish that is packed with protein and very filling with just the right balance of sweetness, from the peppers, and spice from the enchilada sauce.

Pantry Recipes / Homemade Tuna Sushi Bowl from Run Eat Travel

If you are looking for a hearty, easy, and budget friendly sushi inspired meal, this is the one for you! This healthy homemade tuna sushi bowl is med with canned tuna and the most cooking you’ll do is the rice!

Indian Vegetable Rice Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice from MomAdvice

This gluten-free side is so easy to create and happens to be easy on the wallet too! If you prefer your dish spicier, add an additional teaspoon of curry to bring on the heat!


Pantry Recipes / Roasted Garlic Hummus from MomAdvice

Once you try homemade hummus, you will never go back. Make this easy dish with canned chickpeas.

How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice

You will never have to babysit a pot again if you use this simple technique for cooking quinoa in your rice cooker. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe is the most pinned item on our site and we can see why. Not only am I sharing this easy rice cooker technique, but I’m also sharing loads of recipes- from quinoa main dishes to quinoa salads. 

Pantry Recipes / High Protein Spicy Chickpea Bowl from All Nutritious

This spicy chickpea meal prep is loaded with protein and fats! Full of flavors and will last in the fridge for days.

How to Make Perfect Brown Rice in Your Rice Cooker from Perfect Brown Rice in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice

Brown rice is something I really rely upon to round out my meals because I am gluten-free.  I use it to make taco bowls. In lieu of making gluten-free pastas, and I toss veggies and meat with it to make hearty bowls for filling lunches. Try this super simple cooking method for perfect rice every time!

Pantry Recipes / Gluten-Free Meatloaf from MomAdvice

A perfectly light meatloaf with the most surprising binding agent! Try substituting the sweet sauce with tomato sauce for an Italian kick!

Pantry Recipes / Instant Pot Rice & Beans from The Belly Rules

Loaded with bold flavor os salsa and spices, this hearty dish is a delicious addition to taco night. This Mexican instant pot rice and beans recipe would also be the perfect base for a burrito or burrito bowl.



slow_cooker_black_beans Slow-Cooker Mexican Black Beans from MomAdvice

Beans in the slow cooker though are surprisingly easy and frugal to create in large batches for your family.Here’s a foolproof and delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans. This cooking tutorial is going to take you through the in’s and out’s of how to cook beans and how to freeze them. 

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step Best Instant Pot Risotto from MomAdvice

Risotto can be a very labor-intensive dish, but it doesn’t have to be with a pressure cooker. Here is my step-by-step tutorial for creamy gluten-free risotto, made in your Instant Pot. Ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this easy weeknight dish.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Poured On Cookie Sheet Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix from MomAdvice

Need a snack with lots of protein? You can make this sugar & spice candied nut mix to satisfy both your sweet and savory snack cravings.


Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal With Sliced Apples On Top Slow-Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal from MomAdvice

Try this slow-cooked apple oatmeal that you are going to love for a warm and satisfying breakfast on a cozy morning. The best part about this is my incredible tip for getting creamy oats that won’t burn or stick to your slow-cooker!

Pantry Recipes / Gluten-Free Orange Creamsicle Pancakes from MomAdvice

A delicious gluten-free Orange Creamsicle Pancake recipe for a fun breakfast treat! What makes these special is that we are replacing the milk in these with Florida Orange Juice. I love how small switches like these can yield a completely different pancake flavor, don’t you?



Pantry Recipes / Gluten-Free Overnight Waffles from MomAdvice

A light, fluffy, and super delicious overnight waffle recipe that is also gluten-free!

Pantry Recipes / No-Bake Gluten-Free Granola Bars from MomAdvice

An easy no-bake gluten-free treat that makes the perfect snack. Full of oats, peanut butter and chocolate chips!

Pantry Recipes / Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice

Fuel your brain with these delicious energy bites that provide vital nutrients and vitamins. Packed with quinoa, these gluten-free treats are satisfying and filling!

Pantry Recipes / Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal from MomAdvice

Dairy-free? No problem! This easy slow cooker oatmeal is made with canned pumpkin milk!

How to Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte Pumpkin Spiced Latte from MomAdvice

It is so easy to make your pumpkin spice lattes at home. Today’s coffee drink is made with real pumpkin purée, your favorite milk, with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and coffee. You won’t believe how easy it is to diy this expensive treat at home. Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t just for October anymore!

homemade vanilla chai mix recipe Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice

Mixing up a batch of this DIY Vanilla Chai mix for yourself can help to keep your pockets nice and warm with a little extra money. Most of the spices, dry creamer, and dry milk are already stocked in your pantry.


Pantry Recipes / 5-Ingredient Gluten-Free Pizza Crust from MomAdvice

I am SO excited to share with you a foolproof gluten-free pizza crust recipe that is as easy to put together as your standard crust. These results for the perfect airy crust rival any pizzeria you have been to.

Pantry Recipes / Dutch Oven No Knead Bread from Joy Food Sunshine

Easy Dutch oven no-knead bread recipe is made with only 4 ingredients and takes 5 minutes of prep time! If you want to make delicious homemade bread that looks and tastes like it came from a fancy bakery, but actually takes very little effort, this Dutch oven bread recipe is for you!

Pantry Recipes / Buttery Dinner Rolls from MomAdvice

You won’t believe how easy it is to make these buttery rolls in your bread machine. This is our favorite roll, served up with melted butter and garnished with dried herbs. 

Pantry Recipes / Homemade Bagels in 5 Steps from Spices N Flavors

The only 5 simple steps you need to know to make the best homemade bagel recipe that is dense, soft, and chewy on the inside and crusty on the top. Make in the comfort of your kitchen in just one hour.


Pantry Recipes / Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread from MomAdvice

Did you find a can of pumpkin in your pantry? It’s not just for Fall!  Add this yummy spiced pumpkin bread to your agenda today! 


Desserts & Sweets

Pantry Recipes / Chocolate Hummus from Joy Food Sunshine

This healthy chocolate hummus recipe is easy to make and ready in 5 minutes! It is a nutritious dip, appetizer, dessert, snack, or spread that everyone will love.  This dessert hummus recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, has no refined sugar, and is vegan!

Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookies Recipe from Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookie Recipe from MomAdvice

This Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookie recipe can be made into beautiful sugar cookie rolls with just a few simple ingredients. This easy freezer recipe for gluten-free cookies is such a great item to keep stocked in your fridge or freezer!


Pantry Recipes / Microwave Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mug from Cupcake Project

These mug cakes taste like the best molten chocolate cake that you would get at a restaurant, but you can make them at home in minutes using your microwave! This mug cake recipe uses both melted chocolate and cocoa powder so it is extra chocolatey!

Pantry Recipes / Cake Without Eggs from Dessert for Two

Out of eggs, but still want cake? Check out this cake without eggs recipe collection including chocolate and vanilla cakes, brownies, and cupcakes all made egg-free!


Pantry Recipes / Chocolate Wacky Cake from The Good Hearted Woman

Chocolate wacky cake is the easiest scratch cake you will ever make! No eggs, no milk, no butter and no clean-up. Made exclusively with pantry staples, this surprisingly moist, delicious snack cake mixes up in a jiffy, right in the pan!

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Here are some other great recipes from

A Lentil Stew - Anyway You Want It | Lentil Stew


Presto Pasta Presto Pesto Pasta Con Pollo

Slow Cooker Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Slow Cooker Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Honey Sweetened, Applesauce Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins #recipe via Honey Sweetened, Applesauce Cinnamon Breakfast Muffins

Happy cooking!

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February Happy List

Friday, March 6th, 2020

Amy Allen Clark

How are you? I am so sorry it has been so long since I have shared a Happy List with you. 

Just so you know, these little gems are delivered into inboxes on Friday and I’d love to send you a happy list too. 

Crafting the happy list has, honestly, become one of my favorite elements of my job. I promise to only send you unique fun and refuse to spam you.

If you would like to receive my happy list newsletter, just sign up over here!

Want to see more posts like these? Check them all out over here!

Before I share MY list, let’s check out YOUR favorite things on MomAdvice!

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from make this chunky blanket with my free knitting pattern

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in February

  1. How to a DIY No-Sew Blanket Scarf
  2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  3. How to Make a Homeless Care Package
  4. DIY Chunky Knit Blanket
  5. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
  6. Easy Fruit Infused Water Recipes
  7. DIY Minecraft Costume
  8. How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath
  9. How to Organize Board Games
  10. The Best Books of 2019

you must get one of these- it is GORGEOUS


Top Ten Most Purchased Items in February

  1. True Body Racerback Tanks (I’m OBSESSED with these)
  2. Novel Teas
  3. Loops & Threads Jumbo Knitting Needles
  4. The Giving Plate
  5. Time & Tru Coatigan (pictured above)
  6. Mainstays Washcloths (I have a feeling you must be making your own DIY Swiffer Pads)
  7. RBG Paint By Numbers Kit
  8. Goodee Mini Projector
  9. Political Pottery Pieces
  10. Nevertheless She Persisted Puzzle

Top Ten Amazon Purchases in February

  1. Photo Storage Boxes (you must be organizing those board games)
  2. RIT Colorstay Dye (you must be dying those faded jeans)
  3. Sagely Pill Organizer
  4. Rice Storage Bin
  5. Rust-oleum Spray Paint Trigger (are you spray painting furniture this month?)
  6. Luxury Bamboo Bathtub Tray
  7. Light Therapy Lamp
  8. Glass Meal Prep Containers
  9. The Productivity Project
  10. Facial Hair Shaver

February Happy List

The Dream Podcast

The Dream Podcast is Back

Last year one of my absolute favorite podcasts was, The Dream.

If you haven’t listened to season one, it really is a must!

The first season explores MLM (or multi-level marketing) companies and they really dive deep into the reasons why women are attracted to join them, what they are really looking for (friendship, a community, financial freedom), and the predatory nature of how these companies operate.

I was so excited to discover that this podcast is back and this season is tackling the health & wellness industry.

I’m no stranger to feeling targeted by snake oil companies, after dealing with my own health issues, and the intent is to tell us if the things we are buying work or if we are just flushing our money down the toilet.

Although this season hasn’t been as strong, I still have learned a lot and think it brought a great new perspective on the buzzy products and claims that are happening in the wellness industry. 

(check out the podcast)

Coloring My Hair Got Even Easier

I have been coloring my hair for years and had switched to Madison Reed when I started to really have to put on my gloves to fight the resistant gray.

Despite coloring my hair for years, I have never bought myself a proper cape or tool set.

With this month’s order I threw in their coloring tool kit (brush, bowl, clips, etc..) and a proper hair coloring smock.

The brush has made application SO MUCH EASIER and the smock made me feel like I am having a real salon day experience at home.

Of course, saving my clothes from disaster is also incredibly awesome.

They give out coupon codes, so here is $15 if you ever want to give coloring at home a spin.

I did notice that they now offer highlighting kits too, but this girl has never been brave enough to attempt that one on her own.

If you have a sensitivity to smells or harsh chemicals, this is one of the only ones that doesn’t trigger a reaction on my scalp and it doesn’t have a strong scent.

It is surprisingly gentle while still being effective on those grays. 

(check out madison reed)

The New Mocktail I’m Sipping

I’m not sure why I had never discovered that they make Diet Ginger Beer, but now that I know it, I am looking forward to many mocktails without the guilt!

I had my neighbor over for a sushi and mocktail night and wanted to make something fun for us.

For this Moscow Mule Mocktail, just add crushed ice to a copper mug, a can of diet ginger beer, the juice of half a lime, and a splash of club soda or lime-flavored sparkling water.

These were just as refreshing as the real deal and I loved the zero guilt about calories with this one! 

(shop the diet ginger beer)

Temperature Blanket

I’m Working On My First Temperature Blanket

Have you heard of a temperature blanket before?

The idea is that you assign a range of temperatures to a yarn color and knit a row a day for the entire year to make a blanket that shows the weather patterns.

I wanted to make this uniquely mine so I’m developing a knitted pattern and will share it with you when I’m done.

This has definitely kept my mind busy as I’ve been working through different stitch patterns and trying to come up with a pattern that isn’t overly complex, but also interesting enough that you would look forward to doing it each day.

Obviously, with all the color switches, I had no idea how I was going to manage the yarn situation.

Stitch Happy Knitting Bag shop similar products to my yarn boss

Luckily, I got a Yarn Boss and it has made it SO much easier.

If you knit or crochet, and like to keep a couple of things going at the same time, you would absolutely love this solution. It has kept my yarn tangle-free and my cat away from chasing it.

Honestly, I think this one would be a fun project to do EVERY year, but in the same color scheme to see how the weather patterns change over the years to have a visual representation of global warming.

Look for my blanket at your next gallery showing- hahaha!

Yes, I am a nerd and, yes, I’m loving doing this each week!

(learn more about temperature blanketsshop products similar to the yarn boss that is out of stock)

Unbelievable on Netflix


My sister-in-law moved into a new house and asked if I wanted to come stay the night for a girls night in. I can’t tell you how much fun we had- ordering sushi, watching true crime, and staying up wayyyy too late gabbing.

slumber party

Fun fact? We shared a locker in high school.

Who knew I would be 42 and having a sleepover at her house in this late age of life?

I married into an amazing family!

Of all the things we watched, Unbelievable (a limited series)  was absolutely incredible.

I know I am late to the Netflix party, but if you haven’t seen it yet, it is a MUST.

The story is heartbreaking, but the way these women detectives work on this case is phenomenal and showcases how important it is to believe women.

I don’t want to give anything away, but know that I could not stop watching these episodes and am blown away that this was a true story.

I doubt you will be able to stop once you start this show too. 

(watch the trailer here)


Skyr at ALDI

Did you see me spill ALL my ALDI shopping secrets?

Don’t miss that post!

Have you tried skyr before?

When we visited Iceland, our hotel provided a beautiful buffet breakfast every morning.

It was one of those breakfasts where we discovered skyr, an Icelandic yogurt. 

This article explains the difference between Skyr and our yogurt, but it boils down to the cultures that are used and what is achieved with the different cultures.

To achieve their version, they need more milk so it ends up being more protein-packed than our version of yogurt.

Skyr is creamy and not as sour as our version and it became a morning treat we looked forward to each day.

Although I have tried a few different versions, sold at our grocery stores, we found them lacking.

Luckily, I stumbled upon the skyr that is now available at ALDI.

If you haven’t tried it RUN TO YOUR STORE. Every flavor is incredibly delicious and super affordable too.

My trick for the ultimate skyr snack?

I put this in my cold drawer, in my fridge, and it gives it almost an ice cream taste.

It’s my new nighttime not-so-guilty pleasure.

All the flavors are delicious, but the blueberry version is, by far, my favorite.

Did you know ALDI delivers groceries too?  The best part? They list all those ALDI finds now so you can have them grab you a workout mat, for example, AND your groceries.

Now that’s amazing and dangerous! 

(get $10 off your first Instacart order)

Long Shot

Long Shot

We had a lazy date night, last week, and decided to just order in sushi and watch a movie at home. 

Long Shot was not really on my radar this year, but we were just in the mood for something light and funny.

For the record, if you like a clean movie, then skip this one.

Now that I’ve said that, I haven’t laughed this hard in a movie in ages.

The premise is that, Charlize Theron’s character, is running for presidency and ends up running into an old friend from high school.

She hires him to be her speech writer and the two end up falling in love.

As implausible as this pairing is, I had a big cheesy grin, plastered across my face, at the end of this one.

It had a great plot, the soundtrack was so good, and the potty humor was just the escape we needed.

(watch the trailer)

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

A Cold Brew Gadget That is Saving Me Serious $

I got some really amazing gifts this year and one of those that has made my week is this Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker.

Long time readers may recall that I did a cold brew coffee tutorial on my blog.

While this is easy to do, it can be messy with straining the grounds and we often didn’t have room in our fridge for a big pitcher.

This little gadget is so cleverly designed that it has made this process a million times easier.

It has a fine mesh strainer that just screws right into the lid.

You add your coffee, attach it to the lid, fill it with cold water, give it a shake, and the next day you have delicious cold brew coffee. No mess, no straining, and perfection every dang time.

I fill mine with crushed ice, a splash of flavored coffee syrup, and a little almond milk. It is my new favorite afternoon treat.

If you love iced coffee, this gadget is under $20 and I can’t recommend it enough to save serious Starbucks cash. 

(shop it here)

Ronny Chieng Destroys America

Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! 

If you are looking for an absolutely HILARIOUS comedy set, I can’t recommend Ronny Chieng’s new comedy special on Netflix enough.

If you were worried it is just a presidential rant, than you will be pleasantly surprised that it is not about that, but just about his own observations about Americans and the things that Americans take for granted.

With a lot of humor and heart, it reminded me of the abundance we have available to us that I didn’t even think about.  

Tears were rolling down my face as he shared these poignant observations with absolute hilarity.

We also took in the new Seth Meyers comedy special that had one of the most clever little Netflix features.

When he starts to rant about politics, a little button pops up that allows you to skip his political rant which was pretty freaking genius. We stuck around for that section, but you don’t have to.

I loved his special, but Ronny’s special was absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

You can catch it on Netflix, but click my link to watch one of my favorite clips that will have you dying with laughter.

(watch this clip for the perfect friday lol)

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of February fun. My goal is that my happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.

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February 2020 Must-Reads

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

February 2020 Must-Reads Header

If you are looking for a good book to read, I have you covered with my February book reviews! From twisty thrillers to fascinating memoirs, this book list has something for everyone!

Are you ready to talk about books to check out for March?

Today I’m sharing what I read in February and can’t wait to hear what you have been reading too.

follow me on instagram follow me on Instagram for book reviews AND giveaways!

Before we start, here are a few things you might have missed:

Be sure to join our FREE online book club! You can check out the 2020 MomAdvice Book Club picks over here

Don’t forget to send me a friend request over on GoodReads for more great book reviews.

Also, did you know Prime members get a read for free every single month? 

Grab your FREE books over here.

Check out the March Book of the Month Club Selections:

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (Contemporary)

Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk (Political Thriller)

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver (Romance)- read my review today!

The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson (History)

Writers & Lovers by Lily King (Literary Fiction)

February 2020 Must-Reads

Here are 6 must-read books I tackled in February!

The Reckless Oath We Made

The Reckless Oath We Made by  Bryn Greenwood

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Greenwood has a knack for writing unique love stories and this one was just exquisite.

Zee is down on her luck with medical bills, chronic pain, and a hoarding mom.

Although she is no princess, she ends up meeting her knight in shining armor. 

Gentry, who is doing his best to be a real knight, hears the call that he is meant to be Zee’s champion. Gentry decides to keep a close eye on Zee and he landed in her life at just the right time.

When an abduction occurs, in Zee’s family, Gentry comes to her aid.

What neither of them could have ever expected is how these consequences could cause change the course of both of their lives.

Honestly, I had very conflicted feelings about Greenwood’s first novel, because I felt like the love story normalized having a romantic relationship with a child. 

This love story though was beautifully written and so unique.

Gentry’s viewpoints capture his world and are written from his “knightly” point of view.

At first I found this confusing, but then you begin to understand Gentry more and more as the chapters unfold.

I love stories with shifting viewpoints and this one has many.  You would think that the inclusion of so many voices would make it a confusing reader experience, but that just isn’t the case. Greenwood pulls all of these stories together almost seamlessly.

I have a feeling that you won’t be able to put this one down.

While I found it to be a heartbreaking read, it delivered on building gorgeously flawed characters and a love story you could root for.

I am so glad I took a chance on this one and highly recommend it for your book stack.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Reckless Oath We Take,  you might like these titles:

Where the Forest Meets the Stars (currently free on Prime)

Where All Light Tends to Go

Nothing More Dangerous

Wild Game

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

If you on the hunt for a captivating memoir, this is the book you need in your stack. 

One night, as an adolescent, Adrienne is awakened by her mother confessing that she has kissed another man. The husband (and his wife) happen to be their oldest friends and she needs a confidant to spill her secrets to and assist with coordination of her secret rendezvous. 

Adrienne loves having the attention of her mother and lends her ear, tirelessly, to hear the stories of her mother’s infidelity. She also becomes the decoy for many of their secret meetings. Adrienne loves feeling like and being chosen to be part of her mother’s other world.

The affair goes on for years and what was once exciting starts to cause strain on Adrienne. She is forced to constantly lie and her guilt starts to infiltrate her daily life.

It is when Adrienne begans confiding in others that she realizes how inappropriate her involvement is and how this secret than begins to threaten her own relationships.

I could not put this one down and was captivated from page one.

If you have a challenging relationship with your mother, this might be a difficult one to read.

That said, Adrienne’s lessons learned through this experience contain so much wisdom, as she begins processing the actions of her narcissistic mother.

I would put this one at the top of your book stacks. This memoir is gorgeous, haunting, and a beautiful coming-of-age story.

5 out of 5 Stars

If you like Wild Game,  you might like these titles:

The Sound of Gravel

Three Women

The Electric Woman, $1.99

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This fantastic love story happens to be available as a Book of the Month this month! After enjoying her first novel so immensely, I couldn’t wait to see what romance Silver cooked up for us next.

Longtime readers know that I’m a big fan of two things- time travel and anything with a Sliding Doors theme. This novel falls into the Sliding Doors camp beautifully and is perfect for anyone who ever wonders, what if?

The story opens with a tragic accident that takes the life of Lydia’s future husband and soulmate. 

Emotionally devastated, Lydia’s doctor prescribes sleeping pills to help her through this difficult time. 

What Lydia discovers though is that Freddie’s life continues on in her dreams. In this sleeping world, she is still preparing for her wedding and savoring every continued moment with Freddie. It is everything she could ever hope for.

Lydia’s life begins to fracture into two quickly- her awake life and her sleeping life. 

It is in the fissures of these cracks that Silver builds such a beautiful love story.

After all, we do have the ability to immortalize people and erase faults when they pass away.

As Lydia heals, her time in her sleeping life really begins to separate and Lydia discovers that her waking life might be just as beautiful.

I really enjoyed this one and it ended up being a perfect Valentine’s Day read this year.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you like The Two Lives of Lydia Bird,  you might like these titles:

The Life Intended

I Liked My Life

Time of My Life

The Wives

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This novel is one of those buzzy thrillers that ended up being picked as a, “best book of the month,” by many syndicates. As you know, that can be a hit or (often) a miss.

Thursday is married, but only really married for one day out of the week. The rest of her husband’s week is spent commuting back and forth to visit his two other wives. 

Thursday is curious about the other women, but Scott thinks it is important to keep these worlds separate. In her head, she is the sexy adventure-seeking wife that he needs to visit to get away from his boring wives. She begins to wonder though, what if that isn’t actually the case?

When Thursday stumbles upon a scrap of information, about one of his other wives, she can’t help but try to find out more information about them on social media. 

She, in fact, becomes obsessed with finding these women and hearing more of their stories.

As her curiosity grows, she decides to schedule some in-person meetings so she can learn more about why Scott insists on keeping them in his life.

It is when she travels down this rabbit hole that the stories frayed ends really begin displaying and Thursday realizes that Scott might not be who he says he is.

This started with tons of promise and I flipped through the first half rapidly. The ending promised a “bumpy, twisty, exhilarating ride,” but I found it more of a fizzle. 

Honestly, this might not be a reflection on the writer and just the tired theme of the unreliable narrator.  When executed well, it can be so fun.  When it doesn’t though, it can be a bit chaotic and confusing.

For me, this felt a tad too disjointed, although the first half was a blast. 

3 out of 5 Stars

If you are looking for an unreliable narrator story that really delivers,  you might like these titles:

The Other Mrs.

My Lovely Wife

The Wife Between Us

This Terrible Beauty

This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann (this one is priced at just $4.99!!)

Thank you to the publishing house for providing a review copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a historical fiction novel that you can really sink your teeth into, this is the one! 

Set on the shores of an East German Island, Bettina is struggling to figure out her new life, now that World War II has ended.

She ends up marrying an older bureaucrat, Werner, who seems to adore her.

Shortly after their marriage though, he joins the secret police, a role he never expected to receive.

This task force is on a dark mission though and the power and notoriety quickly go to Werner’s head. 

He begins to see Battina as a belonging and is increasingly disappointed that she can’t be like other wives. Battina’s passion for photography and flightiness are things that anger Werner and he becomes more unhappy and controlling through the years.

This is when Battina finds love, with a pastor’s son, and discovers what being truly happy looks like. 

This affair is dangerous though because Werner holds the power in town and isn’t afraid to use it.

As the two fall more and more in love, they know that they have to do everything they can to escape Werner.

Not only do we get to see what Battina’s life is like then, we also see her as celebrated photographer now living in Chicago. 

Despite her success, she can’ stop thinking about what (and who) she wants to reclaim back in Germany.

This was such a beautiful read with all the right elements mixed in.

Usually my historical fiction reading is centered around World War II books so it was incredibly fascinating to read about the time following the war and the realities of what it was like in Germany.

Since this one is just $4.99, it is a no brainer to pick it up for your stack.  I hope you love it as much as me!

5 out of 5 Stars

If you liked This Terrible Beauty,  you might like these titles:

Those Who Save Us

The Things We Cannot Say

All the Lights We Cannot See

How to Do Nothing

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

I always love to peek at Obama’s book lists and this book ended up making his list of 2019 favorites. 

Looking for a digital detox book? 

This isn’t it.

Rather, this is a well-developed set of essays that explore how our attention continues to become fractured as more tech is available to us. 

Odell challenges us to think about how we are dividing ourselves online and how these divisions make us less productive, limiting us from building real human connections.

A big focus of this books is spent on valuing our time better. In it she says, “I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out,”

I could use a little more #NOMO in my life, how about you?

Odell stresses that it is necessary to have time alone to build relationships, creativity, and space in our lives.

If you need any motivation, in this department, definitely check this book out.

Not only is this a well-developed reminder of the disservice we do to ourselves and others, by not building real connections, it also has loads of fascinating historical information too.

4 out of 5 Stars

If you liked How to Do Nothing, you might like these titles:


Big Magic

Braving the Wilderness

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Read With Me This Year

January 2020 Must-Reads

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enjoy these reviews? here are a few other reads you’ll enjoy this year!

The Best Books of 2019 from the best books of 2019

53 historical fiction novels to escape with 53 historical fiction novels to escape with

19 thrillers to keep you up all night 19 thrillers to keep you up all night

Happy Reading!

February 2020 Must-Reads Book Covers