Saturday, March 19, 2011

Days of Play: Family Movie Night {Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs}

I recently came across family movie nights from Plugged In and I have to say I'm hooked!  Once a month I'll share a movie night we've done and loved!

Why have a family movie night? 

Well, besides having some good quality time with your kids and a fabulous excuse to eat popcorn, Plugged In states:
"A Movie Night is a golden opportunity for parents and children to have a meaningful, biblically based discussion about one of the better films coming out of Hollywood. It's also the term we use for the downloadable curricula we've created to help you accomplish that."
Did you catch that?  There is downloadable curriculum to help you create a successful family night.

First up: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (PG).

Start your family night off cooking dinner together.

Make meatballs, spaghetti, and salad for dinner.
 If you need a good meatball recipe, click here.

Next, pop up some popcorn, make a cushy spot to snuggle as a family, and watch the movie.

At the end of the movie, hold a discussion with your kids.  Some sample questions from the Plugged In Movie Night curriculum:
  1. What kind of problems does our community face and how can we help?
  2. What does Sam pretend that she isn't smart?  Why do kids make fun of Flint?  What should you do when kids don't use kind words?
  3. What are some difference's between Flint's dad and Cal's dad (the policeman)?  How can I be a better mom or dad?
For more information on this movie or to look through movie lists for your own family movie night, please check out Plugged In Family Movie Night!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What I Saw in Vegas {5 Spring Must-Haves}

To finalize my week of Las Vegas inspired fashion, I'm going to leave you with the top 5 trends I foresee for Spring.  Sometimes scouring thrift stores for "retro" items work like a charm.  So enjoy these "inspirational" snippets and see what you can put together on a dime! (And then e-mail me a photo so I can enjoy you!).

5.  Gingham and Stripes
Fun patterns will be all around this Spring/Summer.  Classic stripes and gingham will be popular.  Wear a yellow gingham top with denim capris, neutral flip flops, and red jewelry.  Or wear white pants with a green top and a purple gingham scarf.  Or simple add a boldly colored striped canvas to an already fabulous outfit!

#4 Denim and Navy
Denim (chambray) shirts and dresses were summer staples last year and the trend continues.  Whether it's a skirt, capris, shorts, or a jacket, denim is easy to wear.  If you don't want to wear denim, consider navy--a classic, timeless color.  Perhaps pair a navy top with white pants, a red gingham bag, red sandals, and a jean jacket.

As you go shopping or look in second hand stores, look for items or accessories in navy or denim!

#3 Florals
If you just went "Ewwwww" I don't blame you.  I'm not a floral girl.  However, this spring florals will be all the rave.  You can find dainty feminine floral tops to pair with skinny cargo pants or find a bold, eclectic floral pattern to wear with denim capris.  If all else fails, a floral accessory-like a purse or scarf--might add a lot to a denim dress!

#2 Polka Dots
Not just for your itsy bitsy teeney weenie bikinis!  You're gonna see polka dots on dresses, shoes, shirts, and accessories.  Polka dots are a cute pattern that can be overdone.  If you wear a large polka dot piece (say a dress or shirt), keep you accessories small and simple.  However, if you are using small polka dot pieces (purse or scarf), don't be afraid to mix patterns (click here for some mixed-pattern examples).  For instance, to white capris and a navy tank top, try mixing a red polka dot scarf and yellow striped bag.

#1 Coral
The color coral was in every shop I browsed through in Vegas--from Gap to Pucci!  Look for coral to be the "IT" color for Spring.  Lucky for us, coral was also HOT in the early 90s so second hand stores are likely to have a top or accessory!  If not, I found an awesome coral sweater at Gap for $8! (happy dance!).  Coral looks great with white, denim, teal, turquoise, navy and especially "pops" with gold jewelry!

And a bonus!
To come full circle on this week o' Vegas fashion, let me remind you to wear BOLD colors.   

Did you know that you can click on ANY of the products featured on this site and it will give you buying information? And just so we are clear, I do NOT get kickbacks!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What I Saw in Vegas {Trendy Accessories}

It's no lie that adding an accessory here and there can make or break an outfit (click here to read a post on why you MUST have accessories). So if you want to be in the know as to what hot accessories I saw in Vegas, here you go (and if you want to know why the heck I'm talking about Vegas, click here).

Canvas Bags

Yes, yes, clutches are all the rage ... right now.  But be looking for that to change as soon as the warm weather strikes making it a necessity to tote towels, sunblock, sunglasses, and chapstick.

This spring/summer canvas bags are making a splashing comeback!  Yay!

Get one in stripes, military infused, bold colored, dressy, or classic khaki.

Gold jewelry will be hot this summer.  Of course, silver will always be classic so hang on to your silver jewelry.  But this spring/summer when you are wearing your bold colors or girly military gear, pair it with gold, if you want to be golden!

"Look at me" necklaces are going to continue in popularity this spring/summer.  BUT if you want a switch up, be on the look out for bold bracelets.  Wood, leather, and other "earthy" bracelets will be hot.   

Don't wear bold bracelets and big necklaces together unless you aren't afraid to be mistaken as a chandelier.

DO stack bracelets of various shapes, sizes, mediums, and colors (think pearls with gold bangles, with coral crystals).

Super strappy, gladiator-type sandals are going to continue to be "it" shoes this spring/summer.  Also HOT will be "cuffed" sandals, wedges, and unique thongs (beads, colors, ruffles ...).

What accessory trend are you most/least excited for?

Are you an accessory newbie?  If you want to learn how to add accessories to make an outfit go from "nice" to "chic," click here for my 3-2-1 fashion formula!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I Saw in Vegas {Military Infusion}

If you want to know why I'm referring to Vegas, click here.

Since I'm a gal who tends to love neutrals, I'm a shoe in for drab olive greens and khakis.  I've even been known to wear camouflage in a non-goose killing kind of way.

So hip, hip hooray for continued military infused fashion!

Bags, pants, dresses ... you name it I saw it "militarized!"

Here are some of the best ways I saw military dress rocked in Vegas!

When you think cargo pants if you think "frumpy" think again!  This season cargo pants are S.K.I.N.N.Y!  

Whether in camo, khaki, brown, or white, pair them with a feminine top and bold accessories.  Oh ya, and you can wear them with ballet flats, wedges, or sandals.

It might seem counterintuitive but the HOT way to wear military now is to make it feminine and girly.  Pair cargo skinnies with a sequin top.  Wear a military jacket with a floral dress.  However you wear it, make the military v. girl glam contrast stark! 

Military dresses are gonna be hot this spring/summer.  They'll come in sleeved and tank style and in a gamut of military infused colors.  Wear them with heels, sandals, or wedges.  Pair with feminine scarf, colored belt, and a great bag!

Coats this season will have buckles and pockets galore.  Try to find a fitted trench coat or a slimming blazer.  Pair it with skinny jeans, a flowy tank top, great shoes, and a bold bracelet for a classic "I didn't even try this morning" look.

The sky is the limit when it comes to military inspired accessories (kind of ironic if you think of it).  If you don't want "big" military items then consider a fun bag or hat to add a bit of flair to your spring/summer wear!

Military style--Like it? Love it? Hate it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

What I Saw in Vegas {Glam Colors}

I went to Las Vegas this past weekend for a romantic getaway with my smokin' hot husband.  {sigh}

We hit the spa, the best clubs, and some great restaurants. And of course we did some serious window shopping (we even took in a Guess fashion show!).

My hometown is a little behind the fashion scene.  Or a lot behind.  Whatever.  Anyhow, I got so inspired seeing new spring lines so for the rest of the week, I'm gonna gush about some of the trends I saw!

First up--BOLD COLORS!

Everywhere I looked there were bright reds, purples, blues, and yellows.  Colors were combined to make really bright, bold outfits!  Orange and fushia were perfect mates and purple and turquoise took the cake.  As if the color wasn't good enough, awesome 70's psychadelic prints were to be found in almost every store!

Here's how Big Money talks:

Here's how to work it on a budget!

Orange and Blue

Teal and Red

Purple and Yellow

If you want more information on how to rock colors, please click here to go to an earlier post that will give you the 411 on wearing color!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Favorite Posts {DAY 7}--Hows and Whys of Meal Planning

For no particular reason than to simply take a break from blogging as I gear up for a fun filled  romantic getaway with my hot husband, I'm going to share some of my favorite posts from 2010.

Meal planning can be pretty daunting at first but relax; it's not that bad!  I generally do Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) for dinner meals BUT I still use a meal plan so I know what food to defrost, etc.  In addition, I meal plan breakfast and lunch so there is never any food time guess work or last minute trips to the store for a "must" have ingredient at my house.

First, let me discuss some benefits of meal planning.  Meal plans mean you'll be:

  • Eating out less often and eating pre-packed meals less (this means you'll be eating healthier!)
  • taking fewer trips to the grocery store and ALWAYS having the groceries you need (no frustration or $50 "impulse" buys)
  • throwing away less produce (you'll use the broccoli you buy if it's on the list--this is a HUGE money saver!)
  • enjoying meal variety (no reverting to college quick food days of tacos, sloppy joes, and spaghetti)
  • Less stressed.  You will never have to freak out at 5:00 because you have NO IDEA what's for dinner.
Sounds pretty good, eh?
So how do you meal plan?  Follow these steps.
Step #1--Planning
  • Start with just one mealtime a week (dinner) and gradually work up to planning breakfast/lunch/dinner.  If you over plan at first you'll go crazy!
  • Plan a 6 meal week (which leaves wiggle room for left overs or eating out).  
  • Find 6 dinner recipes you'll want to use for your dinners.
  • Get out a calendar and write down the tentative order of what you'll be eating (as a reminder to you and to stave off the annoying "what's for dinner?" questions).
Step #2 --Shopping list
  • Look through each recipe one at a time and compare ingredients to your pantry to see what ingredients you have and which you'll need to purchase. 
  • ONLY write down ingredients you need (and the general necessities like milk, bread, and eggs).
Step #3--Shopping
  • Grab your coupons and go shopping.
  • Only buy what is on your list.  No impulse shopping (unless there is an amazing sale like chicken breasts on sale for 1.50 a pound, etc.)
Step #4--Cookin' it up
  • This is the best part!  When it's time for dinner, gather the ingredients (you know, the ones that you definitely have on hand), whip up a delicious and healthy meal, and sit down for a quality meal that cost less!
And really, that's it!  As you get more advanced you can start planning for breakfast and lunch too.  If this still sounds like too much work there are TONS of blogs (including mine) that offer meal plans.  Some more advanced blogs come complete with meal plans that have recipes and photos.  This is one of my favorites!

Happy meal planning!