Amy’s Notebook 04.15.20

April 15th, 2020


A girl can get behind this spring veggie bowl dinner idea! Yay for more plant-based meals.

Just a reminder, social distancing is a privilege.

Your ultimate guide to baking substitutions– this should come in handy this month! 

Are you recalculating too? I hit my groove, hit a stumbling block, hit a groove. It’s okay.

Looking for a creative outlet right now? Check out this free landscape oil painting class.

6 tips to make home cooking a tad bit easier

3 tough things we need to do to be happy in tough times.

How fun is this? 23 media journeys to embark on while we are staying home. I love a good theme!



20 ways to turn a baked potato into a meal for your family. Love these ideas!

Here is what I’m reading this week

Our oven went out in the middle of our Easter dinner cooking so I’d love a redo with this Easter sheet pan meal.

Take a peek at how these jigsaw puzzles are made. This is amazing! 

This is your favorite diy project this week. I love all the hygge projects happening right now!

Speaking of puzzles, we placed orders for jigsaw puzzles and the only ones that have shipped quickly is from this company (that’s an affiliate link- just in case you need some to entertain you too!).

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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!

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

April 14th, 2020

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Stuck at home, but still looking for some fun ideas for quality time with your spouse? We have 19 creative and fun ideas for spending alone time together during these crazy days.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Remember six months ago, when we thought making time to date our spouses seemed so hard?

Or we agreed that sometimes, it’s just not possible to go out?

That because of budgets or babysitter shortages or whatever other reason that wasn’t “the pandemic,” because we had no idea that could be a real situation we’d live through, we would just have to figure out how to make a date night happen at home?

Oh, Six-Months-Ago Mary, you had no idea.

We didn’t know what was coming, but now we’re here and though our whole world feels like it’s upside down, the basic needs of a marriage are still the same.

Married people need time together.

We need the chance to look at our person, right in the eyes, and connect.

We need to remember we’re on the same team. We need everything a “date night,” whatever that may look like in this season, offers–possibly more than ever before.

Now, obviously, I could just list off random activities and add “strip” to the beginning or “by candlelight” to the end.

But in case you need a little more than that, here’s a list of 19 creative ideas for connecting during the time of coronavirus.

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Learn a new board game

Of course, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “play a board game.”

But I can honestly say I haven’t played a board game with just my husband in years, if ever.

I’m not sure he’d be too excited if I asked him to play Scattergories with me this weekend.

But maybe…maybe he’d be up for us learning to play chess together.

Or, you know, something less mentally taxing. I’m going to give it a try!


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights


Build something with cards or dominoes

Talk about working together as a team! Have you ever tried building a house of cards with a partner?

It takes some teamwork and patience — but can also lead to a lot of laughter (or pride in your accomplishment if you’re better at building than we are)!


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from


Become a LEGO Master

I know, I know, you just got your kids to put away all those pesky blocks. But why not try to make something yourselves?

Fire up an episode of LEGO Masters on Hulu or Google some ideas for using the blocks you have on hand.

Then get creative! (You could even play a guessing game, where you each make something then the other person has to figure out what it is…)


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Nothing wrong with a good ol’ movie night


I’m all about creative ideas, but the truth is, the go-to choice at my house is always going to be a movie night. (Here are a few movie recs, by the way!)

Make it the real deal with low lights, yummy snacks, snuggly blankets, and no phones. 


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Cook something new

Especially in a time where more people are in our houses more often, demanding more meals and snacks than usual, cooking can be a real chore.

But what if you start with a clean kitchen and make something TOGETHER that you’d never made before?

What if you try a copycat recipe for one of your favorite restaurant dishes?

What if you make something you and your husband will love but you KNOW the kids would never eat?


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Take an online class

You can find an online class to learn how to do just about anything.

From building a birdhouse to giving each other massages, just search. It’s out there.

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Slow dance in the living room

Pick up all the toys and papers and shoes and dishes that have made your living room their home. (Or, I don’t care, shove them in a basket and set it behind the couch! And obviously you don’t have to pick the living room…)

Turn down the lights, light a candle or two, and fire up a playlist of your favorite slow songs.

And just…dance.

It might feel silly at first, but what if you do it anyway?

Is it possible you could connect with your person in a way you both need? Maybe…!


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Break a sweat with a good workout

If you all are the exercising types, why not work out together?

You could even make a plan to try a new fitness video once a week and vote on which ones you’ll add to your regular exercise routine.

Or simply take the opportunity to cheer each other on as you try to break your personal records running around the block.


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Put together a puzzle

Did you know you can make a puzzle out of any picture?

I’ve made a couple out of photos I took in Kenya, but I’d imagine you could have some fun putting together a puzzle made from a photo of the two of you on your wedding day, during a favorite vacation, or simply making a funny face for the camera.

I made mine through Walmart Photos, but most photo printing companies do this.


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Binge a show

It doesn’t to be Tiger King.

But if it’s Tiger King, I’m not here to judge. Haha!

Pick an old favorite you want to revisit, or something that’s all the rage right now, or something that’s been in your queue for a while but you just hadn’t gotten to it. 

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Walk around the neighborhood

Speaking of all the rage, neighborhood walks are really experiencing a renaissance right now, aren’t they?

And for good reason. Fresh air, a little cardio, seeing other humans (from a distance!), and reconnecting with the world for a few minutes–it’s all good for our minds, bodies, and hearts.


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Go get groceries

But stay in the car!

Order your groceries online and drive to pick them up.

Wear your masks and use your hand sanitizer. (Or, if this isn’t safe or comfortable, don’t do this one!)

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Support a local restaurant by getting takeout

Be fancy about it.

Set the table with dishes (and, obviously, the candles).

Play some music — bonus points if it’s the same style the restaurant plays!

Put away your phones and enjoy that meal together.

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Tackle that home project you’ve been putting off

Stain the deck, re-arrange the guest room, finally create a gallery wall along the stairs, organize the garage.

Those are the things on our list, things we’ve wanted or needed to do, but haven’t had time.

Well, now we have time. Why not tackle these things together?


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Dream about the future

We won’t be staying at home or sheltering in place forever.

Even for those of us whose finances are being destroyed by what’s happening, times won’t always be quite so difficult.

Together, dream about what you might do when days are different!

Will you go visit those friends or family member?

Take a family road trip?

Go on a romantic getaway?

Make a list if you’re a list person and keep it somewhere special.

On the days you’re feeling trapped or crowded, pull it out and remember that–even if you don’t get to those particular goals–you will get to go somewhere together again!


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Write letters

Together, come up with a list of people you want to reach out to.

Maybe you decide if you simply want to send notes, or a gift card, or a photo, or even a picture you color or sketch.

Then divide up the tasks and get to work reaching out! (My husband isn’t much into writing letters and certainly not excited to get crafty or creative with paper products. But I know he’d help me make a list and stick stamps and return address stickers on the envelopes!)


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Get drinks

At home, though. Open that bottle of wine (or whiskey or whatever your beverage of choice is), and take turns asking each other get-know-know you questions or conversation starters.

Pinterest is full of these kinds of lists, by the way!

19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Go on a (virtual) field trip

So many amazing things are FREE to watch and listen to online.

Visit a zoo, a museum, or a national park. Watch a stand-up comic or listen to an orchestra.

We might not be able to physically go out, but we can still experience new places together!


19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from

Work together to help others

Assemble care packages for those in need, bake cookies to deliver to neighbors, draw encouraging messages or an elaborate hopscotch board on your driveway, or even sew masks together.

As many needs as there are in our communities right now, there are just as many ways to help. 

How have YOU connected with your spouse during this season?

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Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice:

Rules for Watching TV with Your Spouse from Rules for Watching TV with Your Husband

11 Rom Coms for the Perfect Date Night Romantic Comedies for Date Night



DIY Outdoor Movie Night from DIY Backyard Movie Night



DIY Swiffer pads from DIY Swiffer Pads

DIY Orange Sugar Scrub from DIY Orange Sugar Scrub


Weekly Chore Routines from Weekly Chore Routines

Recipes from Pantry Ingredients from Easy Recipes Using Pantry Ingredients

How are you being creative with date nights right now?

Love in the Time of Corona[virus]: 19 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights

Amy’s Notebook 04.09.20

April 9th, 2020

How to make your produce last longer

This is a great tutorial on how to do a men’s haircut. We are really going to need that over here!

These images from the pandemic are breaking my heart right now.

We can accept ourselves, and expect more from ourselves. These are such good reminders.

How to actually enjoy staying home all the time.

10 exciting ways to challenge yourself this month. I love so many of these ideas.

How to host a virtual graduation ceremony. This is the sweetest idea!

I’ve been listening to this audiobook and it has been, surprisingly, good!

I need to plan a virtual game night with our friends

How to stop binging and boredom eating. Eeek! Probably should work on that one!

I want to try this technique for making crispy tofu.

Are your kids jumping on this sidewalk chalk art trend?

Questions to ask when everything isn’t okay.

I’m reading this phenomenal book right now. She is always such a solid author to choose.

How to cook and not waste a thing.

This looks like a great list of shows to watch while we are staying home.

Sign up for my newsletter to get more great reads!

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!

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained

April 8th, 2020

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained Header

Looking for new crafts to keep kids entertained in these upcoming weeks? Today I’m sharing super easy craft projects for kids of any age. If you are looking for super cute paper crafts, diy science projects, or homemade craft activities made from kitchen ingredients, MomAdvice has you covered!

This week happens to be our Spring Break and, I have to say, this is quite an unusual for most families.

I wanted to gather some fun ideas for keeping the kids entertained, if you happen to be looking for a few great ideas for boredom busters.

While many of these crafts rely upon common household items, I do want to share a list of my favorite resources for purchasing craft supplies right now.

Where to Buy Affordable Craft Supplies Online

Where Can I Get Supplies Right Now For My Projects?

First, be sure you are signed up (or signed in) with your Rakuten account to get money back on all your purchases. 

If you haven’t signed up, this referral link should give you $10 to put towards your craft supplies. 

Haven’t heard of it?

Here is a whole post on why this is a great app for receiving cash back rewards, especially as we all have switched (mostly) to online ordering.

Once you have that set up, here are some of my favorite resources to check out!

Bluprint If you are looking for even more craft ideas, Bluprint is offering their classes for FREE through April 16th.

I have taken so many fun classes through this platform. In fact, that’s how I finally got the hang of food photography!

Oriental Trading Company- This is one of the most affordable sites for good deals on shopping for kids crafts.

They offer so much in bulk, which is perfect for bigger families or even splitting the cost on craft materials with a friend or neighbor.

Dollar Tree Did you know that you can order your arts & crafts supplies online from this budget-friendly dollar store? 

In fact, the store has even more offerings online than they care on their store shelves.

Etsy Did you know that you can shop Etsy for your craft supplies? Crafting has been a huge part of my job and one of my favorite discoveries is how affordable it is to buy my supplies in bulk from Etsy sellers.

To make sure that I receive my orders in time, I try to filter by results that are within my own country, just to reduce those long days waiting to do our projects.

Michael’s Of course, this has always been my go-to in town so this will continue to be my go-to online.

Be sure to download their app or subscribe to their email list to receive coupons to put towards your craft supplies.

JoAnn Fabrics Order online or take advantage of their curbside pick-up to grab your craft supplies.

Also, don’t forget to download their app so you can take advantage of additional coupon savings!

Now let’s get crafting!

We have arranged these projects by age groups today.

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained Header

Easy Crafts for Kids to Keep Them Entertained

Arts & Crafts Ideas for Early Childhood

Bubble Snakes from How to Make Bubble Snakes from MomAdvice

You are going to be amazed at the difference in this solution versus what you buy at the store and the staying power of your bubble snake. Not only are making bubbles and bubble snakes fun, but they are also a lesson in science.

Boredom Busters / How to Make Recycled Crayons from Good Life Eats

These Easy Recycled Crayons are a fun project for to do. Plus, you’ll get the bonus of your art supplies getting dejunked and reorganized in the process.

3 Ingredient Cloud Dough from 3 Ingredient Cloud Dough from MomAdvice

Here is an easy 3-ingredient Cloud Dough recipe that you can make for your kids! This fluffy dough is a great sensory activity for kids and is so fun to play with that even adults want to get on the action.


Boredom Busters / Amazon Alexa Games for Kids from Living in a Happy Place

20+ fun and learning games kids can play with Alexa! Get a free printable list.

DIY Chalkboard Door from DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Door from MomAdvice

Here is an easy DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Door that I created to entertain the kids! Give your kids some chalk and the chance to create their own welcome sign for your guests outdoors! The best part is the hours of enjoyment they get and the lack of dirt showing on my outdoor door in the backyard.

Boredom Busters from Nerf Gun Games with Target Printable from Crafting with Kids

Learn how to create your own nerf wars with targets made from household items.

Homemade Playdough Recipe from Easy Homemade Playdough Recipe from MomAdvice

Homemade playdough lasts forever and can be created in whatever vibrant shades your heart desires. This homemade playdough recipe is an easy one to create from items you already have in your pantry and homemade playdough with a big stack of cookie cutters? Well, that just equals hours of fun in our house.


Boredom Busters from Fizzy Dinosaur Egg Play from Simple Everyday Mom

These fizzy dinosaur eggs are a fun dinosaur STEM project that your kids will want to do over and over again.


Shower Curtain Art Canvas from Shower Curtain Art Canvas from MomAdvice

A day stuck inside is the perfect opportunity to break out one of my dollar store activities for our kids. I bought a shower liner ($1) and had the kids decorate the shower curtain with whatever their heart’s delight was. I don’t know about you, but my children like to go through a million pieces of paper a day so this was the perfect canvas for their artistic souls.

Boredom Busters from Soccer Fun Cootie Catcher from Rock Your Homeschool

Now, your soccer fans can enjoy awesome indoor fun with this free printable soccer cootie catcher!


DIY Pom Pom Bunnies from DIY Pom Pom Bunnies Craft from MomAdvice

You can create the cutest craft to celebrate spring! We are making DIY pom pom bunnies from a few common items you probably have in your craft supplies and recycling drink containers.

Boredom Busters from Easy Salt Dough Recipe for Kids from Unsophisticook

This simple and easy salt dough recipe is the perfect rainy day activity… Kids will master valuable kitchen skills while learning how to make salt dough, and then spend hours playing with it! 


Rainbow Science Experiments from 3 Easy Rainbow Experiments from MomAdvice

These rainbow experiments are not only fun, but also educational. We know we are guaranteed spectacular rainbows with these 3 fun activities.


Boredom Busters from Lego Challenge: 30 Days of Play Calendar from That Brick Life

Keep the kids busy with this 30 day LEGO Challenge!


Sidewalk Chalk Paint DIY from How to Make Chalk Paint from MomAdvice

This is 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.

Easy Arts & Craft Ideas for Tweens

DIY Elephant Toothpaste from How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from MomAdvice

Who doesn’t love a crazy chemical reaction? Since we have older kids, we have found it takes a lot to wow them so I wanted to create some science fun that they had never seen before. Grab your safety glasses and dive into a fun science experiment with us as we make Elephant Toothpaste and learn a heck of a lot of science in the process.

Boredom Busters from 10 Patterns Perfect for Kids to Embroider from Swoodson Says

Help kids learn how to hand embroidery with one of these simple patterns for kids to stitch!

DIY String Art Tutorial from DIY String Art Tutorial with Heart Template from MomAdvice

With tiny nails, embroidery floss, and our free heart pattern, you have everything you need for your first string art project. Learn how to make your own heart shapes with this easy diy project for you or for your kids.


Watermelon Pirate Ship from Watermelon Pirate Ship from MomAdvice

I have crafted up a watermelon boat that you can share with your kids for your family night together. This fun food craft can be created together, adding your own personal pirate touches, or you can create it to surprise the kids for your family night.

DIY Dream Catcher from DIY Dream Catcher from MomAdvice

Here is a DIY dream catcher that is a fun way to capture dreams and wished. This was an easy one hour project that really gave me and the kids some time to bond and talk about our wishes for the upcoming year. 

How to Make the DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe With These Fun Slime Ingredients Header DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe from MomAdvice

Looking for a new DIY recipe for making Fluffy Slime? Making slime is a lot of fun and a great way to teach your children how to measure ingredients.

Boredom Busters from Lego Coding Activity from Brain Power Boy

Use LEGO bricks to learn to code! Easy to pull together activity to get them learning coding while being offline.


3-ingredient-star-cakes from Mini Star Cakes from MomAdvice

Check out these mini star cakes that you can prepare out of just 3 items from your pantry. These cakes are easy enough that your kid can put these together and impressive enough to share with your friends.


Pom Pom Flower Bouquets from Pom Pom Flower Bouquets from MomAdvice

What could be more fun than a bouquet of pom pom posies that you can enjoy all year long? You won’t believe how easy it is to make pom pom flowers for a special someone in your life. And it is a great way to use up scraps of yarn!


Book Series for Kids who Love Harry Potter from Book Series for Kids who Love Harry Potter from MomAdvice

I know I’m not alone in navigating the challenge of a tween who loves books and can read at a higher grade level than she’s in – or ready for. So just in case you have a kid who loves Harry Potter (but has already read them all or isn’t ready for the next book in the series) in your life, I’ve got a few other series that might keep your bookworm busy.


Boredom Busters from Harry Potter Brain Breaks for Fantastic Fun from Rock Your Homeschool

Your Harry Potter fans can enjoy magical fun with these special brain breaks. Includes prompts for hands-on activities & to get kids up & moving!

Coffee Filter Flowers from DIY Coffee Filter Posies from MomAdvice

I have been dying to make coffee filter flowers and wanted to share with you just how easy and inexpensive it is to make these for a fun table centerpiece or just a few posies on your nightstand to brighten up your room.


How to Make a Minecraft Steve Costume from How to Make a Minecraft Steve Costume from MomAdvice 

Got a Minecraft fan? Here is a fun Minecraft Costume you can create for your very own little Minecraft-addict. DIY Minecraft costumes are fun to make with your kids and give you a chance to spend time together.


Easy Arts & Craft Ideas for Teens

DIY Terrarium from DIY Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice

Succulents are my kind of plants because they are so low maintenance and they don’t require a lot of water. Here is an easy DIY showing you how to make a succulent terrarium as budget-friendly as possible.

DIY Book Page Flower Tutorial from MomAdvice

Learn how to make book page flowers out of old books to brighten someone’s day. These book flower bouquets are beautiful to display or to give as a treat to someone else!

How to Dye Canvas Shoes from How to Dye Canvas Shoes from MomAdvice

I am such a fan of fabric dying and we wanted to show you a way that you can customize your style. This is a fun way to customize your gym shoes or to refresh an old pair of sneakers.


DIY Watercolor + Digital Art from DIY Watercolor and Digital Art from MomAdvice

Does your child love to watercolor? Have them create their own water color and teach them how to transform into their own digital print that they can share with someone they love. You can also snag this free DIY Watercolor Printable that we made for you for Spring! 


DIY Slowcooker pumpkin spice candles from DIY Slow Cooker Candles from MomAdvice

Learn how to make your own DIY candles in your crockpot or slow cooker. Did you know you can make pumpkin spice scented candles at home with just wax, a wick, and essential oils? This easy tutorial will have you make large batches of candles in no time. Just switch up your oils for a different scent!


How to Knit an Easy Warmer Headband from How to Knit an Ear Warmer Headband from MomAdvice

Learn how to knit this chunky cable knit headband. This is the perfect beginner pattern to lean how to cable. The best part? No cable needles required! Use this free knitting pattern to make these this gorgeous knitted craft, perfect to stash away for people in need! 


DIY Book Tote with free printable designs from DIY Book Tote with Free Designs from MomAdvice

A good book bag is essential, isn’t it?  Here are some awesome book totes for you to take along using a simple set of canvas tote bags and our free set of printables. Simply print and iron on your own canvas tote bags for a fun craft day! These also make for such a great gift for the book lovers in your life – there’s a grown-up quote, a floral heart and an adorable gal or guy fox to choose from.

DIY Vintage Book Page Art from DIY Vintage Book Page Art from MomAdvice

Make some beautiful Springtime art to hang in your home, use for cardmaking or crafts. 


Easy Arts & Craft Ideas For Any Age

Create a Family Cookbook from Create a Family Cookbook with your Kids from MomAdvice

Have you ever wanted to tackle making a family cookbook with your kids? I’m so excited to show you how we made a scrapbook of our favorite foods and food traditions together. Making a cookbook with your kids is a fun activity that any family can do together.

How to Find & Write Pen Pals from How to Find and Write Pen Pals from MomAdvice

Pen Pals are a beautiful thing in a digital age where pen, paper, the process of writing, and waiting are so hard in our fast moving culture. Here is our experience with finding and writing pen pals that I hope will inspire you to find a pen pal of your own for your child.


Boredom Busters from 150 Educational Shows to Stream on Netflix from Homeschool Hideout

Create a separate profile on Netflix for these upcoming homeschool days. Name it “School” and add ONLY educational materials to this profile.


DIY Herb Garden & Markers from DIY Herb Garden & Markers from MomAdvice

Gardening is a hobby that is great to share with children. The herbs are small and easy for them to take care of. You can make extra and drop them off as gifts to neighbors!


Boredom Busters from How to Regrow Vegetable Scraps from Simple Bites

Check out this earth-friendly craft for turning kitchen compost scraps into pretty spring greens.


How to Make Homeless Care Packages from How to Make a Homeless Care Package from MomAdvice

Blessing bags for the homeless are such a beautiful act of kindness for those in need. This post will show you how to make homeless kits for those in need. These hygiene kits are handy to keep in your car, for those that live on the street, or can be given as gift bags for your local homeless shelter. Be sure to print out our free printable supplies list for your homeless care kit.

How to Make Car S'mores from How to Make Car S’mores from MomAdvice

Have you ever ate a car s’more? No? Well, in my opinion, you haven’t lived until you have tried this fun food activity together. I guarantee that your kids will flip for this and I am betting that years from now my kids will be talking about that one time when their crazy mom let them make s’mores in the car.

Boredom Busters from Cardboard Tube Bird Feeders from Glitter on a Dime

Recycle those toilet paper and paper towel tubes into easy bird feeders.


DIY Outdoor Movie Night from DIY Outdoor Movie Night from MomAdvice

Have you ever wanted to create your own DIY Outdoor Home Theater? We have had this on our bucket list for years and this summer we decided to finally put together our very own DIY outdoor movie night together with our kids and are sharing it with you! There is something truly magical about watching a movie together under the stars and I love that you can do this right in the comfort of your very own backyard.

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Here are some other fun craft ideas from The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial



Chunky Knit Blanket from Chunky Knit Blanket with Free Pattern




How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from DIY Yarn Pom Pom Wreath 



Crafting with vinyl from Crafting with Vinyl Records


DIY Bike Makeovers

DIY Bicycle Makeover Ideas

Happy Crafting!

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Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

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

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.

Sign up for my newsletter to get more great reads!

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!

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

March 26th, 2020

Looking for some fun family time? Sharing favorite movies from your childhood with your kids is a great way to embrace the nostalgia. Whether you love sci-fi, box office mega hits or an academy award winning tear jerker, 90s movies had something to offer everyone. Here are some of our favorites that we can’t wait to share.

From our marriage & parenting contributor,Mary Carver.

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

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!

90's Movies

For the sports fans:

Space Jam (1996) – recommended for ages 7+

Bugs Bunny, Michael Jordan, and alien basketball.

Bugs and friends have to win the world’s most important basketball game, so the enlist none other than Michael Jordan to come to their aid. A sequel is coming out in 2021!

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 +.

90's Movies /

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!

90's Movies /

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).

90's Movies /

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.

90's Movies /

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!

90's movies /

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

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

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

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.

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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!

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

Happy Reading!

February 2020 Must-Reads Book Covers