Sweet Treats Just Because

*This post is sponsored by Rich’s Products as part of their Give Bakery Because program.  A grocer’s bakery is the convenient and ideal location to purchase delicious baked goods that can be customized for any gift giving occasion.  Rich’s and I encourage you to head to your local in-store bakery the next time you need delicious, sweet treats – or just because.  But all these opinions are mine.
Sometimes it is nice to surprise your babysitter (often my mom in law) with sweet treats while she watches my sweeties.  #givebakery //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI totally lucked out in the mom-in-law department.  My mother-in-law, Marie,  is very good to me and my kids in so many ways and is always willing to go out of her way for us.  A few months back I asked her for some help with watching the kids one day a week so I could really focus on things that needed to get done for the blog.  She didn’t hesitate to commit and pretty much runs all over town for me taking care of the kids every Friday, so I can put together photo shoots, set up meetings or even just have a wonderful long lunch with a girlfriend.  Because she already helps me that day, I often hesitate to ask her to watch the kids on other days if something else comes up.  I never want to over step my bounds or take advantage of her and her generosity.  But she often steps in to watch the kids more than just that one day a week.  And I am forever grateful of her willingness to drop what she is doing to come help us out.  So sometimes I like to leave her a little sweet treat, just because.  Sure she gets extra love around her birthday and mother’s day, etc.  But sometimes it is nice to just let her know we are appreciate her.

Easy DIY star food picks to add flair to store-bought baked goods. #givebakery //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m actually typing this post from wifi on a plane.  And if you do any sort of traveling without your family, you know that just to be able to get on the plane requires lots of planning ahead and prepping.  So the last thing I wanted to add to that prep was a lot of crafting and fuss.  I wanted to leave my Marie a little treat to thank her for picking up my slack while out of town. Since I had to make a grocery store stop anyway, I just made sure to swing by the bakery section before I checked out.  I saw a variety pack of sweet rolls, that I knew my mom-in-law would like, and knew they would be perfect to leave for her to snack on while at my house with the kids.  I didn’t have to bake it and I didn’t have to spend a lot of money.  It proved to be the perfect base for a little flair and the message that I am thankful for her.  I mean really, these picks took almost no time at all.  But they’re pretty cute, right?

DIY straw flag to tell your babysitter where to find the milk.  #givebakery //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSince she wouldn’t be expecting treats I wanted to make sure she knew that we had ice cold milk in the fridge to go along with the rolls.  Just a super quick note on the computer, printed out and strung on a straw is all you need to elevate the store-bought goods to a truly special moment. [Read more...]

Kid’s Birthday Banner DIY

Make a wall-sized birthday card for your kids.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo here’s the deal.  I know there is a typo in this banner.  And no, I didn’t want to go back to the print store just to have them reprint it.  I’m lazy and cheap.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, isn’t this kid’s birthday banner DIY SO cute!  My oldest guy just turned 8, can you believe it!  I decided that such a special occasion needed a super special card.  So I took a photo of my son against a blank wall and then added the text in Illustrator.  I saved the image to a file and took it to my local Kinko’s/Fed Ex store to have them print out a blueprint copy.  This size is 4′ x 3′ and cost $9.  They printed out some smaller sized ones for me as well (I think the 3′ x 2′ option was only $4 and still perfectly large enough to hang on a wall.)

DIY birthday card for kid's birthdays.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe all signed the card and then I used Scotch tape to hang it on the wall.  I found that super cute paper garland at Target to frame it with.  Is it just me or is Target killing it lately with their Spritz line of party goods?! 

Fun ideas for kid's birthdays.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThen we waited around for my son to get home from school and so he could see his big surprise.  We were all pretty excited about this wall card. 

Giant birthday card DIY for your kid's birthday parties.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe loved it!!  But really who wouldn’t love seeing their face this large on a wall in their house?  ;) We put this up a few days before his birthday but would also have been great to put up after he had gone to sleep the night before his actual big day.  This would also be a really great way to acknowledge a big accomplishment for a kid like a great grade on a test or listening to their parents for the first time…Gosh dang it I love that sweet little face.

 

DIY Holiday Garland using Kids Photos

kids craftsI have a really easy DIY holiday garland for you today.  (Yes grandmothers, I made extra sets for you guys too).  Simply take photos of your kids, add letters in an editing program (I used illustrator but I think Pic Monkey works too) and have the photos printed in an hour (try to find a place that do a matte finish).  String it up and you have a super simple but totally adorable holiday DIY.

supplies-for-holiday-photo-garlandTo get the background, I taped wrapping paper to the wall.  I set my camera up on a tripod to try to get consistent shots.  I found the plain long sleeve shirts at my local Walmart (under $4 a piece).  One child gave good face for the camera.  The other barely allowed me to photograph him.  Isn’t that always the way?

DIY-Christmas-DecorI love this because the kid’s personalities really come through in these photos.  Using the holiday colors makes it festive and perfect for the holiday season.  But this would totally work for a birthday garland too (um, how awesome would this be for a teacher’s birthday using pics of the kids in the class?!)

easy-photo-garland-for-ChristmasKids can even help put these together with you.  Boy do I love easy crafts.

Homemade Cinnamon Coffee Creamer Recipe

Homemade recipeThis is the recipe for the Homemade Cinnamon Coffee Creamer that Kristin made for the geometric brunch I shared yesterday.  As I type this I am drinking my coffee with this creamer in it.  I feel warm and fuzzy.  I feel inspired.  I feel nice.  I feel pretty.  Yes.  This creamer makes me feel all those things.  OK, maybe not but it IS really good.

diy-cinnamon-coffee-creamer-recipe-ingredientsKristin followed this recipe for the base and then modified it a little more to suit her taste.  There really are an endless varieties that you can make following this basic recipe.  I intend to make a ton.  Except that I will probably gain, like a million pounds (I don’t blame the creamer – I have a terrible diet in general, I love me a bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn).  The key here is good quality ingredients to really let the flavors come through.

blend-milks-in-blenderFirst you will add the condensed milk and Half & Half to a blender to combine.  I have used condensed milk before but never really paid attention to it.  I was surprised by the smell.  I figured it would smell sweeter or something.  But it is a milk based product after all and it smelled, well, milky.  I don’t know why I am telling you that.

add-spices-and-vanilla-to-blenderNext add the spices and vanilla to the milks and blend again until well combined.  At this point inhale deeply.  It smells amazing.  And imagine you are swimming in it.

homemade recipePour your finished creamer in to whatever jar you want to store it in.  If you put it in one of these super fancy mason jars it is also ready to gift.  Take some to the neighbor.  Take some to a teacher.  Or hoard it for yourself like I did.  I won’t judge.

Home-made-cinnamon-coffee-creamerI am so in love with this recipe.  I am almost out and plan on making some more tomorrow.  It takes next to no time at all and is crazy good and so worth the calories in my opinion.  And when I used it in my iced coffee at the geometric brunch photo shoot, it tasted just like my fave Mocha Cappuccino Blast from Baskin Robbins!!! YUM!

DIY-cinnamon-creamer-for-coffeeHomemade Cinnamon Coffee Creamer Recipe

Ingredients

14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

1 3/4 cup Half and Half (you can really use whatever dairy you like)

1 TBSP vanilla

1 heaping tsp good quality cinnamon

1 TBSP white sugar

Add condensed milk and half and half to blender and combine.  To the milk mixture, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and white sugar.  Blend until well mixed and cinnamon is fully incorporated.  Store air-tight in refrigerator.

That’s it.  Easy.  Kristin suggested adding  1/2 tsp of butter extract (did you know that was a thing?!) to make it taste more like a cinnamon roll!!!  Just be sure to shake it up really well before you use it.  The cinnamon tends to settle at the bottom of the jar.

Thank you, Kristin for sharing this recipe with us!  And a very special thank you to my mother-in-law, Marie, for helping me shoot this recipe.  I paid her in coffee creamer.  See how the creamers were used in the geometric brunch with Paper and Cake.

 

Raskullz Helmets Photo Shoot and Rad Swim Gear

*Not a sponsored post.  This is straight up mom style.  My kid’s were in a photo shoot for Raskullz helmets (set up through my husband) and I wanted to share that fun experience with you.  And because we love Raskullz and think every kid on the planet should have one.  And wait until you see the SWIM stuff!

green dinosaur helmetPlease tell me your child owns a Raskullz helmet, or bike or scooter?  Aside from keeping their heads safe, they are the most fun, creative, just plain rad helmets on the market.  And the characters that they make in to bikes and scooters are beyond!  You may remember that my kids got to be in a photo shoot for them before.  When my husband asked the kids if they wanted to be in another one, they were super excited.

boys-at-the-beachThe photo shoot took place down by the beach earlier this summer.  The boys were super excited to be there.  If I have one regret as a mother it is not taking my kids to the beach more.  I mean, we live about 15 minutes away and this was their first time at a beach other than playing around the tide pools.  Mom fail.  In my defense sand is just, so, sandy.

Raskullz helmetsThe photos will probably be used for line sheets and other company materials as well as online(?) I’m really not sure and we really don’t care.  The boys just love getting to check out all the helmets (I don’t think some of these are out yet) and new products.  I’m pretty sure they wore each one of the helmets at one time or another.

rasullz-transportation-helmeyYou guys!  It is a plane!  And I didn’t get a photo but the tank helmet is also pretty amazing.

raskullz cool kids helmetsI mean…

cool kids helmetsMy younger one had some trouble staying focused (and he couldn’t smize to save his life) my older one really enjoys this kind of stuff.

helmets for kids

raskulls-helmet-photo-shoot-There were action shots.

swim goggles and masksRaskullz got the cutest and coolest kids to come down and be in the shoot.  It was pretty much like one big beach party.

raskullz-swim-maskNow let’s talk about Raskullz Swim!!!!!!!  How awesome is this swim mask?  The kids absolutely loved them.

shark-swim-mask-from-rasullzShark!!!!!!

swim gogglesThey do goggles too.  I’m totally kicking myself for not taking photos of the girl’s swim too.  Freaking adorable!!

behind-the-scenes-for-raskullz-swimThe little one finally decided to sit still and get his photo taken.  I’m pretty sure he is pouting here but luckily the mask hides it.

playing-in-the-water-at-the-beachAnd then they let them loose in the water.  This is where my heart did a little flip flop.  I hadn’t planned on them going in the water so my type A was in full effect thinking about not having a change of clothes for them.  Or towels.  Next came the “oh fu*k” they don’t really know how to swim, a rip tide is going to pull them in and I’m going to have to save them even though I am afraid of water and it’s cold.  Thank sweet baby Jesus I hadn’t seen Sharknado yet.  But I forgot all of that when I saw how much fun they were having.  There were shrieks, there were shouts of “this is AWESOME” and laughter.  We have started swim lessons and hopefully I will feel better about their swimming real soon.  I vow to take them back before the end of summer.

The kids don’t know it but I’m probably going to go buy them some swim masks this weekend (I hear Walmart has them).  How can I not?  They are so fun!!

See more from our day at the beach with Raskullz here, here and a little video here.