Archives for February 2014

10 Cold Weather Layering Essentials

10 Cold Weather Layering Essentials -


Think fashion ends with the frigid temps? It can definitely be difficult to stay fashion forward when you’re more concerned about frostbite!  Even though your needs change with the weather, your day-to-day style doesn’t have to freeze. A few wardrobe staples will warm things up and get your fashion back on its feet. Here are 10 cold weather layering essentials to get you through the winter months.

10 cold weather layering essentials -

1) Skinny Jeans

Why you need them:  A nice pair of jeans is that clothing item a closet simply can’t do without. Plus, skinnies fit so close to the body that there are no inconvenient gaps or wide legs for cold air to blow into.

How to wear them: Choose a go-with-anything color, dark blue or black, and they’ll go with any other color. Dress them up or down — tuck them into dressy or casual boots with a sweater, toss on a pair of flats, a t-shirt and cropped jacket for a lunch date or pair with a drapey top, heels and statement earrings for a night out.

2) Cashmere Sweater

Why you need it: It’s a super soft, warm staple that can mesh with almost any bottom — skirts, printed trousers, skinnies or leather pants.  It can make you appear pulled together in an almost preppy way.

How to wear it: Choose a neutral color — gray, beige, nude, camel or navy are no-fail options. A crew neck that is slightly fitted and hits at your waist is perfect for layering with just about anything. Try it over a collared oxford shirt, chambray button down, soft cotton t, long blousey top,  or under a blazer.

3) Super Thin Long Sleeve T

Why you need it: It’s a great way to easily add a bold color to your outfit. It comes in handy in nearly any season.

How to wear it: Put it under a chunky knit sweater with slacks or jeans. Layer under v or crew neck cashmere sweaters.  Add warmth by wearing under a sweater dress.

4) Chambray Button Down

Why you need it: It’s this year’s replacement for the common white button down.

How to wear it: A chambray shirt in a light color and classic cut will work well with almost anything. Dress it down with dark skinnies and a bulky open sweater. Dress it up with a maxi skirt and 3/4 sleeve blazer.

5) Bright Coat

Why you need it: During cold months the first (and sometimes ONLY) thing people see will be your outerwear. Make it fun! A bright pop of color is eye catching and makes a statement. It can also be the perfect piece to complement a neutral-toned outfit.

How to wear it: Over everything!  Make sure to throw on a scarf with a great print.

6) Knee-High Boots

Why you need them: They keep you warm and dry while making nearly any outfit chic.

How to wear them: Leather or suede boots in black, brown or tan are perfect worn with almost any other color. They’re great for tucking in your skinny jeans, leggings or printed straight leg pants, but are awesome paired with tights and skirts as well. The sky’s the limit as far as options here — flat styles are perfect for casual looks while stacked heel versions amp up your outfit. Buckles, fringe cuffs, zippers and laces — when done right — can add a lot of texture and interest. Straight and sleek or slouchy versions are both in style.

7) Knit Sweater Dress

Why you need it: It’s a cozy option for when you’re sick of pants.

How to wear it: Form-fitting styles are more dressy, while there are also more laid-back versions for casual wear. Layer it up — wear tights or leggings, throw on a bulky infinity scarf, wear a blazer or fitted jacket to the waist. Pair your dress with knee-high boots.

8) Printed Scarf

Why you need it: There’s really no better way to add color and texture to a winter outfit. Bright, vibrant colors and fun patterns lend interest while keeping you warm. Plus, they’re a relatively inexpensive way to update your outfits.

How to wear it: When tucked into a winter coat it completes a look, while layered over bulky sweaters or long-sleeved button downs it can boost style-factor. What’s more, you can get scarves in nearly any print, color and “feeling” — from whimsical and cute polka dots, to super trendy chevron, to artsy and free-form “watercolor” type styles, to the classic and chic animal print.

9) Tuxedo Blazer

Why you need it: It’s a great cold-weather coat alternative that’s dressy and modern. It’s not as masculine as a boyfriend blazer and looks more polished than a leather jacket. When a casual bulky sweater won’t do, this jacket goes the distance.   

How to wear it: Pair it with a gown for uber dressy occasions. Wear it with a blouse and shorts or a skirt. Wear matching slacks and make it a suit!

10) Leather Skirt

Why you need it: Leather is perfect for cold weather – it keeps you super toasty while looking sophisticated and sleek.

How to wear it: A leather skirt in black or brown can be paired with all different hues and styles of tops — from blousey to fitted, long to cropped. Put on a long sleeved t and a fitted, pull-over sweater for a casual feel.  Wear a flowy, sheer blouse and a blazer for dinner out. Leather skirts are so popular now that you can find them in an array of styles — from mini to midi, straight and elongating, a-line, pleated, etc. There’s a leather look for everyone with any body type!


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)

13 Easy Side Dishes for Winter Gatherings

13 Easy Side Dishes for Winter Gatherings

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13 easy side dishes for winter gatherings - Tipsaholic.comWith a variety of gatherings to attend throughout the winter months, you may be on the lookout for a few tried and true recipes that you can throw together in a flash. This collection of both sweet and savory side dish recipes will leave you with plenty of options. Each of these side dishes is a crowd-pleaser with a short list of ingredients!

1. Sweet Potato Casserole – no marshmallows required, this sweet potato dish may become your new favorite.

2. Cranberry “Fluff” – the little bit of extra time spent grinding the cranberries for this salad is well worth it.

3. Spinach Strawberry Salad – keep the prep for this salad short and sweet by purchasing the dressing, or make your own if you’ve got a few minutes!

4. Berry Cheesecake Salad – possibly the easiest side you will ever prepare.

5. Butternut Squash, Apple, and Cranberry Bake – literally 3 ingredients and a bit of spice!

6. Greek Tortellini Salad – fresh and classy, this salad will draw the hungry curiosity of any group.

7. Garlic Sweet Potato Mash – sweet potatoes don’t have to be sweet. This savory version is simple and has the added benefit of being low in calories!

8. Homemade Mac and Cheese – kids love the stuff in the blue and yellow box, but adults will want to lick the pan clean with this homemade classic.

9. Green Beans and Bacon – even a tentative veggie lover can go for one paired with bacon, right?

10. Confetti Corn – you’ve never had a corn dish like this one from Barefoot Contessa! Use frozen corn to enjoy the quickest prep time without losing the flavor.

11. Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad – a classic blend of ingredients makes for a take-anywhere-for-anything kind of salad.

12. Broccoli Salad with Dried Cranberries – always a favorite, throw in a handful of sunflower seeds or pecans for added crunch!

13. Goat Cheese and Cranberry Pecan Salad – you can’t really go wrong with dried cranberries in winter salads. The goat cheese gives every bite a pleasant twist!


13 Easy Side Dishes for Winter Gatherings -

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Radiant Orchid Fashion: How to Wear Pantone’s Color of the Year

Radiant Orchid Fashion - How to Wear It

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 Pantone's color of 2014 is a fun and playful option for your Spring wardrobe.  Click through to get ideas for how to wear Radiant Orchid in your normal wardrobe.

Radiant Orchid Fashion: How to wear it (30+ Easy Tips)

Pantone’s color for 2014 is a vibrant, bright purple with pink and fuchsia undertones called Radiant Orchid.  It’s taken the creative world by storm – and it’s no wonder.  This vivid hue is known for encouraging innovation and creativity.  If you’d like to imbue your fashion choices with these qualities, but aren’t sure where to start, have no fear!  There are many simple ways to slide this bright color into your normal wear.  Our How to Wear Radiant Orchid Gallery is chock full of specific ideas, but here are some tips to start:

Try this bold color for some of your wardrobe essentials – such as layering t’s or camis.  Skinny jeans are still the go to pant for everyday wear, a perfect-fitting pencil skirt  is a must in your closet and a cute cocktail dress can’t steer you wrong.  Bold colors for some of your staples will break up the monotony of neutrals.

If this bright hue is too much for your everyday springtime garb, grab a spring coat instead.  Springtime coats come in different varieties – trenches, blazers or fleeces for starters – and a bold coat is fabulous – especially as we transition to brighter, warmer weather.

Still not convinced?  Ease into Radiant Orchid by trying it out in combination with other, softer colors in a print or pattern.  Stripes and dots are classic, floral is still very popular and plaid is on the rise.  Using a bright color in a pattern can give it a more subtle quality that won’t overwhelm the clothes.

Can’t quite get on board?  No problem.  Radiant Orchid is an awesome option for any number of simple, daily accessories that can work to complete an outfit.  Try a statement necklace, or if that’s still too much, go with a smaller bracelet or earrings.  Lightweight scarves are fabulous in Spring when the weather can be a little unpredictable and you always need a purse, tote or clutch.  Don’t forget shoes as well!  A bright pop of color at the feet can freshen up a drab wardrobe without making you feel like a giant raspberry.

Need more help?  Check out the 30+ tips and ideas in the radiant orchid fashion slides above!


Favorite Short Sleeve V-Neck from Gap

Essential Henley from Anthropologie

Split Neck Tunic from Nordstrom

Sisley Sheer Back Button Blouse

Shabby Apple’s Bistro Blouse

Midnight Kiss Top by Shabby Apple

Scuba Peplum Top at JC Penny


Adriana Slimfit Jeans 

Tie-Dye Slimfit Jeans from Only

Sateen Cropped Pants at JC Penny


Vivacious and Vibrant Dress from Modcloth

Champagne at Midnight Dress from Modcloth.

A Vivid Addition from Modcloth

Besame Dress by Shabby Apple

Artelier Gardeur Pencil Skirt

Drapey Knit Maxi from Target


London Fog Heritage Trench Coat for Nordstrom

Freshmade Asymmetrical Fleece

More and More Blazer

Long Cardigan from Banana RepublicCute Collar Sweater from Downeast Basics

 Patterns and Prints:

florals: Cotton Candy Dress from Shabby AppleSomedays Lovin’ Ladyland Floral Pants from Urban OutfittersPurple Flower Bardot Midi Dress by ASOS, and H&M Jersey Leggings

dots: Keep Rolling Blouse from Downeast BasicsAcademy Skirt from Downeast Basics and Ciso Sheer Dotted Tunic

stripes:  Ponte Knit Dress in navy/orchid stripes from TargetStriped Peplum Top from Old Navy, and Chevron Stripe Slouch Hat from Beaded Wire (on etsy)

plaid: BDG Waterfall Tunic from urban outfitters and Lightweight Plaid Infinity Scarf from Gillion Million (on etsy)


Pernella Fun Heel from Target

Goldfish Wedge by Sperry Topsider

Singing Scales Flats – Modcloth

Wishful Walking Flat – Modcloth

Shauna Huarachi Sandal from Target


Deena and Ozzy Hammered Crossbody Bag from Urban Outfitters

Pipa Mini Crossbody Bag from JC Penny

Gathered Matte Satin Clutch from Dessy

BAGGU Leather Shopper Tote Bag by Urban Outfitters


Top: Amrita Singh Wooster Street NecklaceAnthropologie Tonique Dagger Drops, Vibrant Twill Scarf/Wrap from Newegg

Middle: Radiant Orchid Wood Stud Earrings from Paragraph Loop (on etsy), Isadora Bracelet by Shabby AppleAnthropologie Amethyst Bead Bracelet,

Bottom: Bright Magenta Beaded Earring and Necklace Set by Deeder the Beader (on etsy)Anthropologie Painter’s Plaid ScarfChained Resin Link Necklace from HSN

Radiant Orchid Fashion

Radiant Orchid Fashion


26 Frozen Party Ideas

26 Frozen-Inspired Party Ideas

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Get inspiration for your next big bash with these fun and unique Disney's Frozen-Inspired Party ideas!

26 Frozen Themed Party Ideas!

Chances are you’re fully aware of the current obsession that is Disney’s newest animated flick.  Frozen hit theater’s last November and was instantly a box office smash.  With its catchy, modern tunes and whimsical, lovable characters it’s really no wonder why!  If your kids (and you!) were charmed by Frozen, why not use it as inspiration for a mega-fun bash?  With the ideas in this slideshow, you’ll be sure to create a party that’s just as big a hit as the movie!  From sweet treats and cakes to decorations, party games and activities we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re planning a dinner party, a “movie screening” or a “just because” hang out, Frozen offers the perfect backdrop for any get together – especially this season as we all wish for a big thaw from the bone-chilling temps!  These 26 Frozen Party ideas are sure to defrost your creative juices, at least!


Snowy invitation from Paging Supermom


White paper chain backdrop and Glittery Frozen sign from Pink Peppermint Prints and Parties.

Using Frozen toys as decorations from Bubbly Nature Creations

Frozen Inspired Silver and Clear Dessert Table byHostess with the Mostess

Frozen Themed Tablescape from The Handmade Home

Icicle Table Backdrop from Bubbly Nature Creations.


DIY ice cream cake with candy “ice” by Bubbly Nature Creations

“Snowball Tower” cake from Paging Supermom

Party Food:

Snowflake cookie cutter cheese slices from Bubbly Nature Creations

Adorable Frozen Themed Sweets Table from Crissy’s Crafts.

Magical Party Dip by She Saved

Frosty Dipped Oreos from Up Country Olio

Marshmallow pops from Around My Family Table

 “Build a snowman” cookie kit from Pink Peppermint Prints and Parties

Olaf cupcakes from Spoonful

Olaf-inspired plastic milk jugs?  by Pink Peppermint Prints and Parties

Snow Cap Punch from Bubbly Nature Creations

Frozen themed water bottle labels from Paging Supermom

Activities and Games:

Sven antlers and Elsa crowns by My Sister’s Suitcase

Snowball Toss by Bubbly Nature Creations

“Kristoff’s Ice Blocks Game” from Paging Supermom

Party Favors:

 DIY GLITTER Snowman play dough by No Time For Flashcards

Olaf Snow Globes by My Sister’s Suitcase

 Snow and Ice Bath Soak  from Paging Supermom.

Complete the Look:

Frozen Themed Printable Party Pack by Homeketeers!

Movie quote printableby Paging Supermom

 26 frozen inspired party ideas collage

7 Valentine’s Day Books to Read With Your Family

7 Valentine's Day Books to Read with Your Family

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What is Valentine’s Day all about? Is it really just about exchanging cards and eating chocolate hearts? Of course not. We all know that it’s really about spending time with the people we love. One way to do that is reading a book together. These seven Valentine’s Day books are funny, sweet, thoughtful, and just plain fun to read.

7 valentines books to read with your family -

1. Where Is Baby’s Valentine?

Perfect for babies and very young toddlers, this lift-the-flap book sends you on a search for the valentine’s day gift that baby made for mom. Grab this opportunity to teach about  the shape of the heart, since you will find it on almost every page. After you read it together, you could go off on a search around your home for a Valentine’s Day gift you’ve made for your kids!

2. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!

If you and your kids love the “If You Give…” book series, you will enjoy this cute board book. Mouse decides to make a Valentine’s Day card for everyone he loves. He thinks about what he loves about them and includes it in his card for them. Written for toddlers, the story is much simpler than the usual “If You Give…” books but it opens itself to a good discussion of what your kids love about the people in their lives.

3. The Day It Rained Hearts

This whimsical story of Cornelia Augusta and the day that it rained hearts will capture the hearts of your young children. Written for 4 to 8-year-olds, the book talks about how Cornelia collected the raining hearts and turned them into special Valentine’s Day gifts for her friends. This is another book that will help your kids think about how to make their Valentine’s Day cards more personal.

4. Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

The story of Gilbert, a furry creature with glasses, and the Valentine’s Day cards that he makes for his classmates will both delight and teach your kids. Gilbert is thoughtful and sweet with all of his cards except for the two classmates he doesn’t like because they teased him in the past. What does he write on the cards and what happens as a result? A good message about revenge, forgiveness, and honesty. As a bonus, the watercolor illustrations in the book are so beautiful and fascinating to look at.

5. The Story of Valentine’s Day

Behind every holiday is an interesting origin story and Valentine’s Day is no different. This book is a good introduction of how the holiday came about, complete with colorful illustrations and even a cookie recipe. This book would be great for all ages, especially for those who thoughtfully ask, “Why?”

6. Love? Maybe.

If you have a young teenager that loves to read, this book about a girl whose birthday is Valentine’s Day is a light and fun read about finding love in unexpected places and even when you don’t really believe in love. You could grab two copies and read it along with your daughter and discuss the plot after every chapter.

7. Valentine Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family

As much fun as reading Valentine’s Day books with the family is, there are also other things to do, such as crafting and cooking. This book is full of delicious recipes and fun crafts to try during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.

7 Valentines Books to Read with Your Family -


Love books? Check out 5 Favorite Potty Books, 7 Great and Classic ABC Books, and 6 Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Love Reading.


“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.” Please check out my blog What the Vita!

10 Secrets for Radiant Winter Skin

It’s no secret — winter is murder on soft, supple skin. Turn the heater on, and instantly your skin is robbed of natural moisture — which results in tight, uncomfortable, painfully dry skin on face, hands and feet. Worse yet, it can lead to flaking, cracking and even eczema in some extreme instances. It’s a harsh reality, but cold weather months are not skin-friendly, and it’s time to FACE it so we can take back our glow!

10 Secrets for Radiant Winter Skin -

10 secrets for radiant winter skin -

1.  See a specialist

Truth is, you won’t find skin experts at your local department store. When faced with aisles upon aisles of shelf after shelf of products, it’s hard to know what you’re looking at, let alone what you should be looking for. A dermatologist or esthetician can analyze your skin type, help with your current skin care regimen and give you the skinny on what skin care products you should use. You don’t have to go high-end, but after consulting an expert, you’ll know what ingredients to look for and which to avoid.

2. More moisturizer 

Just because a moisturizer works for you in the summertime, doesn’t mean it will be enough in the winter. Your skin’s needs change with the harsher weather, so you’ll likely need to change your skin care routine. Instead of water-based moisturizers, find an “ointment” moisturizer that’s oil-based which will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Choose an appropriate oil for facial use, though. Look for “non clogging” oils. Avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil or almond oil are all good ingredients to look for. You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances (including glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids) that attract moisture to your skin.

3. Keep using sunscreen

Sun protection isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun — combined with snow glare — can still damage your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.

4. Protect your hands

The skin on your hands is thinner than other parts of the body and has fewer oil glands, so it’s much harder to keep them moisturized. Be sure to wear gloves when you go outside, and avoid wet gloves at all costs (keep an extra pair in your purse). Moisturize overnight with a thick layer of oil-based moisturizer and wear cotton gloves or socks over your hands to keep the lotion from rubbing off.

5. Break out the humidifier

Central heating systems (as well as space heaters) blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. Small humidifiers, like the Crane Warm Mist Humidifier, can be placed throughout your home — in areas with the highest traffic — to create a better environment for your skin.

6. Limit facial masks

If your face is uncomfortably dry, skip the harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents. They will strip vital oil from your skin. Instead, find a cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and masks that are deeply hydrating rather than clay-based. Use all masks less often.

7. Skip the super hot bath

Of course the best way to battle the outdoor temps is to take a scalding shower, but the intense heat actually breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, which leads to a loss of moisture. Water in general can actually be somewhat drying in the winter months. Skip your super hot shower and opt instead for warm shower temps for a shorter amount of time.

8. Don’t forget to exfoliate

Exfoliation is an important part of your skin care regimen. Exfoliating rubs away dull, dry or dead skin cells and helps to prevent clogged pores. Use a gentle exfoliant without harsh chemicals or alcohol. Fruit and vegetable based exfoliants are best.

9. Hydrate from the inside out

Although the idea that drinking more water will automatically give your winter skin a healthy glow and prevent it from cracking and tightening, those who are dehydrated will feel the benefit of water consumption, even in their skin. A normal 10-12 glasses a day will keep you healthy, inside and out. Flaxseed oil can help from the inside out, as well.

10. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Once you’ve moisturized your hands, feet and face, don’t think the task is complete. You’ll want to continue to re-moisturize throughout your day, instead of simply in the morning and at night as you may normally do.

Below you’ll find links to some DIY skin care products that can help retain that soft, radiant skin:


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)

7 Romantic Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day

7 Romantic Movies to Watch on Valentine's Day

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Does a night of snuggling up with your love and watching a romantic movie together sound like the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Here are seven great movies to watch with your loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

7 romantic movies for valentine's day -

1. When Harry Met Sally

This movie consistently tops most lists of Valentine’s Day movies and for good reason. This romantic comedy is about a man and a woman who wonder whether two people of opposite genders can truly be platonic friends. Even if you’ve seen this movie before, a re-watch is always worth your time.

2. Crazy Stupid Love

Sometimes you already have love, but you forget or abandon it. This is another romantic comedy that’s a must-see. A sweet man is heartbroken when he finds that his wife wants to leave him and takes the advice of a ladies-man to woo her back. That ladies-man also goes on to find a love of his own. You’ll laugh and you’ll hug your loved one just a bit tighter.

3. Love Actually

Several stories, both happy and sad, intertwine to form a beautiful picture of the various types of love in this world. This is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day movies of all-time. You can watch it again and again and take away a different lesson every time.

4. Notting Hill

Can two people from vastly different backgrounds fall in love? Yes, of course they can, as we’ve seen from countless movies and books. But can they stay in love in spite of their differences? The love between a famous actress and a regular guy who owns a bookstore will make you smile with its interesting take on fame and romance.

5. 50 First Dates

This movie has all kinds of comedy in it: laugh-out-loud funny, crude funny, heartwarming funny, and slapstick funny. It tells the story of a woman whose memory only lasts a day and a man who falls in love with her and gets her to fall in love with him every single day. After all, isn’t that really what we should be doing with our significant others?

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Sometimes love can be brutal and so painful that you think you just want to erase it all and forget. This fascinating movie tells about a couple who erases their memories of each other, but despite the mind scrub start remembering details about each other. This thought-provoking movie provides an entertaining combination of science fiction, romance, and mysticism.

7. Moonstruck

You could watch this movie for a romantic story about a woman who falls in love with her fiance’s passionate and moody brother, but the lines in the movie are priceless and the Italian family living in Brooklyn is unforgettable.

Did I hear someone say movie marathon? Count me in!

7 Romantic Movies to Watch on Valentine's Day -

gallery images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

25 Great Hot Chocolate Recipes

Hot chocolate is such a nice treat on a cold winter day!  These 25 fabulous hot chocolate recipes will keep you coming back for more for years to come!!

25 Great hot Chocolate Recipes To Try!

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Great HOT Chocolate Recipes!

25 great hot chocolate recipes

  1. Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate Recipe
  2. Thick Italian Hot Chocolate Recipe 
  3. Oreo Hot Cocoa Recipe 
  4. Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Recipe
  5. Hot Chocolate Floats Recipe
  6. Mexican Hot Chocolate with Dulce De Leche Recipe
  7. Raspberry White Hot Chocolate Recipe
  8. Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate Recipe 
  9. Green Mint Hot Chocolate Recipe 
  10. Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe
  11. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Recipe 
  12. S’mores Hot Chocolate Recipe 
  13. Hot Chocolate Spoons Recipe 
  14. Cookies and Cream Hot Chocolate Recipe
  15. Malt Ball Hot Chocolate Recipe
  16. Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipe
  17. Lavender Hot Chocolate Recipe
  18. Hot Malted Vanilla Recipe
  19. Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe
  20.  Spicy Maple Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe
  21. Vanilla Bean white Hot Chocolate
  22. Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Recipe
  23. Toasted Marshmallow Cream Hot Chocolate
  24. Belgian Hot Chocolate Recipe
  25. Pink Valentine’s Hot Chocolate Recipe

 What is your favorite hot chocolate recipe?



6 Simple Ways to Lose Weight

It can be tough to lose weight when you already have a lot of other things on your plate like work, hobbies or family. Here are some simple tips that you can use in every day life to burn or save some extra calories.

6 Simple Ways to Lose Weight -

6 simple ways to lose weight -

1. Find exercise in daily life

Whether you just can’t find the time or motivation to exercise or you’re already at the gym five days a week, find ways in your daily life to burn a few extra calories. Take the stairs or park your car farther away are two simple, but widely known ways to fit some extra cardio in your day. If you work at a desk, get up every hour to take a quick walk around the office or to get a drink of water.

2. Use smaller plates

Dinner plates are gigantic these days. If you use a small salad plate instead and load that up, you’ll think you’re eating more because the plate is full. Plus, if you’re using a large plate it’s easy to over-serve yourself. With a smaller plate, there’s a chance to stop and think if you’re really still hungry before going in for seconds.

3. Drink water all day

Not only is staying hydrated good for you, it’ll help you eat less. Often people will mistake thirst for hunger. Keep a glass or bottle of water next to you all day and you will drink it because it’s close. Before you sit down to eat a meal, drink at least half a glass of water and there won’t be enough room to over eat without feeling extremely full.

4. Save it for later

Whether you’re at a restaurant or at home, keep a reasonable portion on your plate and pack the rest up for later. As soon as the waiter brings your food to the table, ask for a to-go box and stash half of it away. If you’re at home, quickly serve yourself and then put the rest away to deter yourself from going in for second.

5. Snack

Eating throughout the day keeps your metabolism going and prevents you from feeling famished at meal times. If you keep healthy snacks around there’s less of a chance that you’ll go looking for food between meals and end up eating something unhealthy.

6. Eat your vegetables

Your mother told you to, but you may or may not have listened. Load your plate up with veggies! Pile vegetables on your plate first and then everything else rather than the opposite. If you fill your plate half way with vegetables first, there’s only half a plate left for everything else.


Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.

10 Cute Valentine Crafts for Kids

Help your kids craft their way to Valentine’s Day with these 10 cute, creative and quick ideas! These Valentine crafts are simple enough for any age with a bit of adult help, so make some Valentine memories that will warm hearts for years to come.

10 Valentine Crafts for Kids -

10 valentine crafts for kids -

1. Glittery Snow Globes – Photo and tutorial via Real Simple

2. Paper Heart Garland – Photo and tutorial via DIY Studio

3. Valentine Bird Feeders – Photo and tutorial via No Time For Flashcards

4. Stained Glue Hearts – Photo and tutorial via Holiday Crafts and Creations

5. Heart Friendship Bracelets – Photo and tutorial via The Purl Bee

6. Pipe Cleaner Heart Wreath – Photo and tutorial via Pottery Barn Kids

7. Valentine Heart Lei –  Photo and tutorial via Makezine

8. Toilet Paper Tube Valentine Animals – Photo and tutorial via Ziggity Zoom

9. Crayon Heart Sun Catchers – Photo and tutorial via Martha Stewart

10. Candy Heart Bracelet – Photo and tutorial via Lolly Jane


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)

12 Love Notes For Your Valentine

12 Love Notes for Your Valentine

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‘Tis the season of love, my friendswhich means it’s time to step up your romance game. Not great at expressing your feelings? Kind of hate those corny valentine cards? Never fear! Here are 12 easy ways to write love notes for your valentine, now or any time of year!

tipsaholic title divider - 12 Love Notes for Your Valentine

3×5 cards

Small enough that you don’t have to write much, 3×5 cards are perfect for short, sweet love notes. Write down a few things you love about your valentine on different cards and leave them in places you know they’ll be found.

The bathroom mirror

Lipstick on the mirror is romantic and makes a big statement, but cleaning it off can be a pain. Using your finger to write on a fogged-up mirror after a shower is sweet and spontaneous, but your message won’t be very easy to see. A dry-erase marker is a great middle ground: easy to see, easy to clean, and it definitely won’t go unnoticed.

Sidewalk chalk

This is another high impact, low effort way to write love notes. Draw some hearts on the walkway to your front door, leave a big cheesy message in the driveway, or write “I love you!” on the back patio for them to find later

Napkin notes

Write “I love you!” on a napkin and tuck it in your sweetheart’s lunch. Bonus points for including a couple chocolate kisses with their PB&J!


Hershey kisses, Sweet Tarts, and other candies make for easy love-related puns. Use your honey’s favorite candy to express your love. “I love you to (Reese’s) pieces!” or “You’re my favorite person in the Milky Way!” Get creative!

Fortune cookies  

Make your own fortune cookies using this tutorial, or order cookies with custom messages. Then treat your love to a Chinese feast–homemade or takeout–with a sweet surprise ending.

Magnetic poetry

When you only have certain words available, you have to get a little creative. This set is perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you can also write loves notes for your favorite geek, attempt to channel your inner Shakespeare, or even get a little risque with your poetry, if that’s how you roll!

Mix CD

Not good with words? Express your love through song and make a mix CD! You could include the songs you danced to at your wedding, hits from his or her favorite band, or compile the cheesiest 80’s ballads you can think of. Then slip it into their car for them to listen to on their morning commute.

Calendars & to-do lists

If they use a phone or tablet to keep track of their calendar, set up a reminder at a random time on a random day. When it pops up unexpectedly, they’ll find a sweet little message from you. For those who still use paper planners, write your note on a future date so they’ll find it in a week or two.

Computer desktop

I had a college roommate who loved to surprise me with notes like this. She’d scrawl a random message in Paint, save it, and replace my desktop image with her message. You can do the same thing in Photoshop or any other image-editing software to make it look a little more polished, and can use your image as a background for your valentine’s laptop, tablet, phone, or all of the above.

Social media or email

Send your significant other a quick “thinking of you” message via his or her favorite social media platform. Not comfortable with PDA? Even Instagram has private messaging now, so you can be as mushy as you want without worrying about who might read it. (Be careful when sending messages to work email accounts, though, as some employers have strict email policies. You don’t want to get anyone in trouble!)

Snail mail

Who doesn’t love getting actual mail in their mailbox? Send a handwritten love note via the good ol’ USPS, the way people did before all this technology made letters such a rare treat. Even the shortest letter feels extra special when it has a stamp on it.

Do you have a favorite way to leave love notes for your valentine? Share in the comments!


12 Love Notes for Your Valentine -

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Jen is the mother of two sweet girls; her days are filled with Dr. Seuss books and laundry, block castles and pink tutus. Reading is her first passion. Finding and testing out delicious recipes is a close second. She and her husband are working on making their fixer-upper home into something amazing. It’s a satisfying but painfully slow process. Read more from Jen at her blog: Nothing Can Come Of Nothing.

How to Keep That New Year’s Motivation: 5 Simple Tips

It’s been a month since we made our New Year’s resolutions — time to take stock: how are your resolutions coming?  Most resolutions are abandoned within 10 days of making them!  If you want to get over your metaphorical hurdles and master your goals, staying motivated is key!  So how do you keep that drive you had early in the year?  For starters, follow these 5 simple tips!

How to Keep That New Year's Motivation -

How to Keep that New Year's Motivation

1. Think small and simple 

The larger the goal, the more unattainable it seems.  All resolutions take work, but if you bite off a huge bite, you’ll never be able to chew it all at once!  So break it down and make it simple.  Work backwards.  Think about your overall goal and figure out what will lead you there.  Then take that secondary goal and divide it into smaller steps you can take to reach it.  Do this as many times as necessary, breaking your ultimate goal into as many small, simple steps as you can.  A basic, step-by-step approach will be much more manageable than trying to do everything at once.

2. Set it in stone

So to speak.  Writing your goals down serves a three-fold purpose.  First, writing things down makes them much more concrete. Goals begin to have form and substance when they’re not just a thought in your head.  Second, you’ll have something to refer to so you can remember all of your mini-goals; your step-by-step approach.  Third, there’s nothing more satisfying than putting a solid check mark next to the things you accomplish!  Write your ultimate goal at the top, and each smaller goal beneath.  Look at this list often.  Tape it up where you can see it daily: on a bathroom mirror, on the fridge, or right by your bed.

3. Talk it out

Tell your family and friends about your plans.  Don’t keep it all bottled up!  It might be something highly personal, but sharing makes the work easier.  Ask someone you trust to help you focus and hold yourself accountable.  That way, not only will you have someone to talk to about your progress, your regression, your mistakes and triumphs, but that person can also help you refocus, regroup and recharge when you lose sight of the endgame.  Find others who are working towards the same goals.  Whatever your resolutions may be, there’s bound to be someone else working toward the same things.  The more you talk about your goals and progress, the more likely you are to find someone who shares them.  Talk it up on Facebook.  Talk it up with family and friends and at church and work.  Ask around.  Seek out “groups” and “communities” that serve your ultimate purposes so you can help each other.

4. Be positive

Don’t let yourself be dragged down by negativity.  Do all you can to surround yourself with positive thinkers, positive actions, and positive thoughts and mottoes.  Print out your favorite quotes and create an inspiration board.  Read these affirming thoughts daily.  Positive words, thoughts, and actions will lead to a more can-do attitude.

5. Reward yourself

Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!  Whenever you’re able to check off a mini-goal, a larger goal, and finally your ULTIMATE goal, give yourself positive rewards that are meaningful to you.  For goals that are particularly hard to accomplish, step up the reward — make sure the rewards match the corresponding goals met.  Rewards can be anything from allowing yourself to download extra music off iTunes when you meet a workout goal, to getting yourself a new wardrobe piece whenever you meet a weight goal, to putting the kids to bed 5 minutes early a few times to give yourself a “break”.  Anything you connect with, that you desire, and that speaks to you can be a reward.


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)