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.

One Hope Wine BBQ Pack is the Perfect Summer Hostess Gift

Wine and BBQ gift pack Hope at Home and One Hope Wines teased me on Instagram this weekend.  They shared this amazing picture of a delicious looking sangria.  When I asked where to find the recipe, they pointed me to this wine and barbecue gift pack.  And I instantly fell in love with it.  I think this would be the perfect hostess gift for you to bring along or send to your gracious host.  The pack comes with 3 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc (my fave!), 2 bottles of Pinot Noir, sangria recipes, a spice rub and recipe packet.  You can order the kit from their site.

*This is not sponsored, I just thought this kit was super cool.  And I like wine.  And BBQ.

My Favorite Gift – a Becomb Bracelet

rose gold and black becomb watch braceletMy birthday was a few months ago but I wanted to share one of the presents my husband got me.  It looks like a watch, right?  It is actually a bracelet and here is the story behind it.  He first handed me a card and told me to read it.  I quickly scanned it, as you do when there is a wrapped present waiting to be opened.  Kind, sweet words filled the card.  I opened up the gift and just looked at it.  Like, what?  So he summed up what the card had said, had I paid attention.  He told me that he could tell that I was really enjoying my blog right now and all the things that go along with it.  And when you are doing something that you love, time shouldn’t matter.  Hence, it is not a watch but rather a piece of jewelry to remind me to keep going on the track that I am passionate about.  The time it takes to get there should not matter and it shouldn’t feel like work to get there.  Remember the journey.  How rad is that?

rose gold and black stingray jewelry braceletThis bracelet, by Becomb WARNING THERE WILL BE A PRETTY SEXY PIC WHEN YOU CLICK OVER.  NOT GROSS BUT IF YOU HAVE A 13 YEAR OLD SON BY YOU, THEY WILL PROBABLY LOVE IT (pronounced be – comb), is rose gold with a stingray band.  It is gorgeous in person and I absolutely love wearing it.  I hadn’t heard about this brand before but love their philosophy.  Watch this quick video for more of their story.

becomg bracelet black and rose goldIt comes in a few different colors but I am in LOVE with the rose gold.  I am truly lucky to have a husband who supports what I do 100 percent.  This bracelet is a symbol of that love and the journey that my life is on to live fully and passionately.  What are you most passionate about?

Images take by Lauren