DIY Leather Stir Stick

Leather and wire drink stirrers.I’m on the fence about a cute drink stirrer. In some cases they are totally useless. Does your drink really need a quick stir? Not usually. But they do look cute. And this DIY leather stir stick was super simple. So today, I’m in to them.  All images by Tammy Mendoza.

Easy leather and wire drink stirrers. Things you need: Wooden Skewers, super strong scissors, leather scraps, wire and a glue gun (not pictured because why would you take a glue gun to the desert?)

Things you don’t need: Herpes, Ugg boots in California (yes I have them but I feel just terrible about it), Tory Burch flip-flops (let’s be honest. they are super overpriced. you know those shoes are really the same as Havianas that they’ve slapped that big gold medallion on.)

DIY leather drink stirrers.Cut your leather pieces. I made mine sort of geometric and non-matching. Oh hey, witchy old lady hands. Look at the size of those knuckles! Ok, I’m done now.

DIY leather drink stirrers.I gave each piece of leather a dab of hot glue to adhere it to the skewer. And then simply wrapped wire around it in a haphazard way.

Champagne Punch and DIY leather drink stirrers.Boom. Now your drink stirrers are too cool for school. And if you left this champagne punch sitting, it would actually separate which would mean that you could use your stir stick for its intended use. But what are you doing leaving this delicious punch sitting around undrunk? I think I need to see other people.

All images shot for Cupcakes and Cutlery by Tammy Mendoza.

 

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Custom Tiny Prints Pillows

Custom monster pillow by Tiny Print with my son's art. I’ll be sharing my son’s 6th birthday party soon but for now I have to share this custom Tiny Prints pillow. They were super generous to send it to me. The theme of the party was “monsters” but instead of using ready-made party goods, we used his custom drawings since this is what he is really in to drawing at the moment. This custom pillow was great for decor during the party but also makes a rad keepsake for him.

Custom @tinyprints pillow with custom kid art. We made this one to match the theme for my son's birthday party. I mean, he drew a palm tree and a sun with sunglasses. I guess monsters need vacation too.

Custom @tinyprints pillow with kid's art. Perfect keepsake for kids! And after the party, it moved in to his bedroom. I wanted you to see it next a normal sized bed pillow for size. These are pretty big! They come in rectangle or square and you can use their ready-made templates for more decor friendly options. But I really love that you can upload your own artwork and get a custom-made item that you can cherish forever.

You can also follow this tutorial for making a pillow with your child’s own artwork!

Thank you, Tiny Prints, for sending me the pillow!

 

Best Champagne Punch Recipe

Best Champagne Punch Recipe.This is the best champagne punch recipe. The only one you’ll ever need. It is my family’s go-to celebratory recipe and we’ve been serving it for years. But if you get the chance you really should serve it to your friends out in the middle of the desert. All images via Tammy Mendoza.

Photo shoot out in Palm Springs.Since we were headed out to Palm Springs to shoot some new head shots, we thought it would be fun if we shot a recipe post while we were out there. This is the type of stuff that is so fun for a creative person. So often I have these big ideas in my head but the logistics to pull them off are a little bit too much for one person, or on account of family time constraints. I was SO excited to be able to sneak away with Tammy and Lauren and get to do something totally different.

Champagne and the desert. Two of my favorite things. We found this gorgeous little spot to set up in and got the bottles popping.

Best Champagne Punch RecipeAnd then started assembling the ingredients. This punch is pretty citrus-y so its refreshing and flavorful.

Add the champagne.What I love about champagne punch is that it works well for a crowd and because of all the other ingredients, you don’t need to splurge on the good bubbly. A super cheap bottle is perfect. And since this is SO yummy, you will need to make several batches. Know that going in and have several batches prepped ahead of time.

Slice citrus fruits for an easy garnish for your punch.Usually the garnish is some citrus slices. If you want to get crazy, you can add fresh raspberries. The pop of pink is a really fun touch. And edible flowers would be even more lovely.

Champagne in Palm Springs.Although this is a punch and your natural instinct might be to run towards your standard punch bowl, you should change things up a bit. I like to serve this Here I decided to use a vase to serve the punch in.

Make champagne punch and serve it in something other than a punch bowl to keep things interesting. I love to use things for something other than their intended purpose.

Delicious citrus champagne punch.But if that’s not your jam, simply make several batches and serve them in mismatched glass jars. Empty wine bottles are perfect for this. And this is a great way to make sure that all your guests can get their beverage quickly without having to wait for the ladle.

Best champagne punch recipe..How gorgeous is this?! It really makes me want to throw a whole desert party.

Fur coats and champagne punch in Palm Springs.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe
 
Best champagne punch recipe. Citrusy and refreshing, this punch is perfect for all your festive gatherings.
Serves: 3 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 can (46 oz.) Pineapple Juice (cold)
  • 1 bottle (28 oz.0 Club Soda (cold)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Frozen OJ Concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 bottle Champagne or Sparkling Wine (chilled)
  • 1 lemon or lime, finely sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and serve.
  2. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
  3. Can be made the night before but wait to add the club soda and champagne until ready to serve.
  4. Should at least plan to double or triple the recipe. It is a crowd pleaser.

All images by Tammy Mendoza of Dez and Tam Photography 

*I did not create this recipe. Years ago, before blogs and Pinterest, when you found a recipe you liked, you wrote it down and emailed it to all your friends and family. The source for this recipe is long gone. If you know the source, please share! I like to credit when credit is due! 

 

Popcorn with Lavender Pepper

A delicious popcorn snackI’ve been thinking a lot about my “brand.” What am I all about and what do I want to share with you, my reader. I’ve been making lists and thinking about what I love. And one thing that keeps making it on to those lists is snacks. Wait, what?! Hey, turns out I love snacks. And here is a super easy one for you. On my last trip to Temecula I picked up some lavender pepper from the spice shop. I’ve been dying to use it and this just made sense. I’m trying to eat healthier snacks (but you know me, my quest for health usually lasts just for a few weeks) and popcorn is an awesome option. And so I made popcorn with lavender pepper.

Popcorn with Lavender PepperIt’s healthiest if you make it at home in an air popper or special microwave bowl, but it should also be noted that “lazy” is on my list of things about me. Trader Joe’s has a bag of reduced guilt popcorn that is a great base. Then all you need is some lavender pepper and sea salt. Now, I realize that you probably won’t have lavender pepper. Especially since this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. But you can pick up edible lavender on amazon or some local markets. Just add that and some fresh peppercorns to a spice mill or old coffee grinder to make your own. And be sure to taste your popcorn first to see just how salty it is before adding more.

Lavender and Pepper popcornBecause I am trying to not add calories, only flavor, I usually spritz the tiniest bit of water on the popcorn to help the spices stick. Weird, I know. But it would also work to toss the popcorn with a little melted butter or olive oil.  What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?

 

Drinking More Water with Essential Oils

Using doTerra essential oils in your water. After a holiday season (shoot – it’s been since summer) of absolute gluttony my body is screaming for me to be more healthy. A bought of the stomach flu was the perfect transition in to living a healthier lifestyle. It made me quit junk food cold turkey. And it made me not like coffee!!! I’m drinking it again, and like it finally, but I’m no longer drinking more than one cup a day and some days I don’t even finish that first one. I mean, I don’t recommend trying to go find someone with the stomach flu to infect you. But if you want to start off the new year being a little more health conscious, I suggest starting with water. Easy, right?

New to life with essential oils #doTerraWe all need more water each day. And while we need the calcium from milk, we really don’t need any other types of drinks if we are trying to be eating more cleanly. Well, wine. You HAVE to have wine. So I’ve been drinking a bunch of water but it can get a little boring. I’ve started adding a drop of my fave citrus based essential oils to my glass to take things up a notch. Oh yeah, and I totally fell down the essential oil rabbit hole. (So I’m totally in love with them and was spending so much with my dealer – I call her that because it is a little bit like buying crack – that she had me sign up to be a wellness advocate so I can now sell them. I promise this blog won’t turn in to a hard sell of essential oils, but I will share them from time to time. My mind is vibrating with all kinds of ideas of how to use them in the kitchen! {not all are ok for ingesting – read labels, yo!}) You guys! I’ve been using a blend for my allergies that has changed my life. Maybe it is a placebo but WHATEVER! They help my symptoms and headaches but nothing else it all smells amazing!

Adding Wild Orange Essential Oil to your water #doterraJust a drop of this Wild Orange oil adds huge flavor to my water. And since the oil is derived from orange peels, it tastes like real orange. I’m not going to lie, it made my lips burn a little. But really it just felt like one of those lip plumper lipsticks. Wild Orange oil has “immune-enhancing benefits and is energizing and revitalizing to the mind and body.” At least that is what my book says because I literally just started using oils a few weeks ago and am still learning what each thing does. My kids like to have it in the diffuser too which is awesome for when you are having people over. It smells like you just cleaned your house! Water with essential oils is my new jam. And wine. I won’t quit you wine!

Looking for non-essential oil ways to drink more water? Try these recipes:

Muddled Tangerine and Basil Infused Water

Muddled Ginger Strawberry Sparkling Water

Muddled Raspberry Lemon Water

Muddled Ginger Lime Water

Visit my doTerra page if you want to see more about essential oils. OMG you guys, for real, the BREATHE blend is perfect for those days when my allergy medicine just isn’t cutting it. If you have a fave oil, let me know in the comments so I can keep learning. And I thought my husband was going to freak out but he started to feel sick and asked me to put some OnGuard on to his feet! Miracles do happen. Or if you have questions, email me! cupcakesandcutlery@gmail dot com.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

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