Homemade Cinnamon Hard Candy

homemade-cinnamon-hard-candy-for-christmasGrowing up there were a few things I could always count on my mom to make during the holidays.  One of these things is her Homemade Cinnamon Candy.  Aside from working with boiling hot molten sugar lava, the recipe is pretty easy to make.  I had my mom make it with me (for me) for this post.  Side note, she also fed me and my son lunch while she made the candy.  I think I may make my mom a full-time blog partner.  It works out really well for me.

ingredients-for-cinnamon-candyYou just need some light corn syrup, straight up wonderful white sugar, water and cinnamon oil.  You can find the cinnamon oil at your local craft store.  Oh yeah, my mom also bought all the ingredients.  The cinnamon oil came in a pack of two, each bottle being 1 dram.  We only used one bottle, but if you like you cinnamon light-your-tongue-on-fire hot, you may want to use some of the other bottle as well.

stirring-sugarYou mix the sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan.

candy-thermometer-and-bat-manThen you add a candy thermometer and wait for the sugar to get up to 300 degrees. I think this may also be known as hard ball stage, can anyone confirm?

making-hard-candy-for-christmasIt will take a while for the sugar to get to the right temperate.  I think it took us about an hour.  And can we talk for a moment about how freaking clean my mom’s stove top is?  Gosh I wish I got her cleaning gene. [Read more...]

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Christmas Card 2012

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ninja christmas card 2012Well, here it is.  Our family Christmas card for 2012.  Some of you may know the story behind our cards.  If you don’t you will probably want to read it here.  You’ll also get to see all of the other cards we’ve done.  Except one.  I still need to add last years to the site but, well, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.  It’s only two years after the fact…

inside ninja christmas card

My oldest son is OBSESSED with ninjas right now.  He came up with the idea to be ninjas and then we turned it over to my husband to do the rest.  We are so blessed to have people who are willing, dare I say excited, to help us with our card for photography, graphic design and printing.  Sometimes I hate that we usually do these at the last-minute but overall it is a pretty amazing experience.

Thank you Direct Edge Media for printing them!!

What We’ve Been Up To

our happy family photoI’ll be starting back up posting next week but here is what we have been up to in the meantime…First off, I ugly cried today.  I went to download all the pictures from my camera on to the computer and they vanished in to thin air!! They aren’t on the home computer, they aren’t on my phone.  Boo.  I spent hours trying to recover them but I just have to be ok that I lost a lot of Christmas, 4th birthday and birthday party pictures as well as some from the Kismet PR class I hosted right before Christmas.  :(  But I’ve chosen to not dwell on it and we’re just going to proceed like nothing is missing.  I still had the pictures from my Nikon so luckily I do have photos of most of those events on there.  But only a few.

Moving on…we scrambled around getting last minute Christmas stuff together and headed to the in-laws house for their traditional Slovakian Christmas dinner.  We rarely take family photos so I was glad that we snuck one in!

Christmas presentsThe boys got to open a ton of gifts from their cousins and grandparents and then we headed home so they could get nestled in their beds so Santa could come.

Christmas morning breakfastWe had an awesome Christmas morning breakfast with my parents.  Yes, those are cookies and rice krispy treats in the mix.  Every good breakfast buffet has sweets.  Not pictured is a gruyere and ham strata!  Yum!

miles and daddy with hulk handsWe hung out at the house for several days playing with all of the new Christmas toys.  The kids don’t want to stop playing with some of them and wear them around the house for hours.

bday party at pump it upMy youngest celebrated his 4th birthday with a party at Pump It Up.  I will be following up with a post because I was IN LOVE with how Pump It Up handled the party.  For real.

4th birthdayAnd then it was his actual birthday and we had a day full of opening presents and trying to move presents around the house to allow for family to come over later that day for cakes and ice cream.  I’m exhausted.  I’m so glad that we have 5 days left before the kids go back to school!

Posting will resume next week and I’ve got some fun things planned for the upcoming months.  I can’t wait to hear about what you all have planned for 2013!!

Minted Holiday Photo Cards

minted holiday photo cardsHow rad are these Minted holiday photo cards?  As many of you know, my family puts out a themed holiday card each year.  Each year, it seems like it gets closer and closer to Christmas before we finally get our cards out in the mail.  This can be very stressful for a Type A person like myself who suggests, ever so gently, to my husband starting at the end of September that we go ahead and start working on them.  So far, we’ve always gotten them done.  But it’s inevitable that, at some point, our themed card won’t get done.  So each year, I check out the sites I like so I know I have a back up plan, JIC (just in case).  This year Minted is knocking my holiday socks off.  These are my 4 faves and apparently I am REALLY in to red.

I love how number 1 allows for so many fun photo options.  It is a great way to really share some of the fun times you have had throughout the year.  Number two has stripes.  Who doesn’t love stripes?  And that font, along with that preppy blue outlined circle keeps it classy.  Number 3 is graphic and bold.  It lets you share an image of your family, but in a really “art-y” way.  And the geometric pattern of number 4 makes me so happy.  It allows you to spotlight a special image of your kids or family, while still managing to share a good dose of good design.

Have you done your holiday cards for this year?  If you haven’t you better get a move on it.  Call Dez and Tam for your holiday family portrait session and then get moving on your Minted order.  OH!  And have you seen their new party decor?  AND their rad blog with a who’s who of contributors?  Check it out!

Disclosure: On occasion, I receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not influence my point of view or the outcome of the review. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect my experience. The opinions are my own.

Quick and Easy Holiday Lights for the Kid’s Rooms

Growing up my family had an adorable plastic gingerbread house that light up as part of our Christmas decorations.  I would sneak it in to my room as soon as it was unpacked.  Between the pale yellow light from the gingerbread house windows to the sparkle of the lights around my bedroom window my roomed seemed like a magical place in the days leading up to the holiday.  But they just don’t make charming decorations like they used to.  I decided to create a little sparkly light for my boys to have in their rooms.

All this craft requires is an empty glass jar, some Martha Stewart glitter paints where the glitter actually stays put otherwise that shit gets everywhere and sucks the magic right out of it, and a battery powered light (both lights above are from Ikea).  I hope my boys enjoy their glittered jars.  I will continue to look for a more legit decoration for their rooms, but this is the perfect thing in the mean time.

Sharon