Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Edible Bath Paints

I had found this amazing blog post on Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails on DIY edible finger paints on Pinterest and knew it was something the boy would love doing!


I changed up the recipe slightly to fit our needs. It was so easy and a good 15-20 minute activity for us! He loves playing in the bath tub and learning how to use a spoon. He also loves trying to eat anything so being extremely edible was important.


Here's how I did it:

  • Earth's Best Organic Baby Oatmeal (filled 3/4 full)
  • Added water to keep it the texture I was hoping for (thick and not runny)
  • Three drops of blue food dye
  • Stir well. Let it sit for 5 minutes before use.
  • Paint and smear! I sat in the bathtub to help with supervision.
  • Everything washes off easily right after. We didn't let it set to make sure it didn't stain anything or anyone.

Enjoy,

Ellen




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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Organization: Closet Clean Out

I have mentioned it on here before, I could probably be labeled as someone on the verge of hoarding. I like to keep things, but not trash, don't get me wrong. I like to hold onto sentimental items. Or as of lately, clothes that I still like, but I don't like on me. That is where my dear friend Cait from Gussied Up came into play. You may remember my post about her a few months ago. She has great fashion and does some great posts on current fashion, inspiration and advice on dressing your best.

Cait came over one night after work to help me let go of the clutter. She was my voice of reason and helped me say goodbye to a few favorites and those that just needed to go (maybe a few years ago). It was a little tough at time, but she always had good rationale and made me realize potential in some items versus where some were over. It felt good to look at the end result, a clean and organized closet. She also helped organize and gave advice on items to looks for (top 50 items) and how to keep track of what I am really wearing. It took a little over an hour and made a huge difference in the space in my closet as well as when figuring out what to wear int he morning.

So without further ado, I will start with the after first! 





And what had to go...which I still need to take to donate.





You can read more about and from Cait on her blog Gussied Up. Also connect with her to stay on top of current trends and get fashion inspiration on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and of course Instagram. If you are interested in her services - shoot her a note and get the deets!

Au revior,
Jamie


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Birthday Cupcake Recipe

When I decided that I had to make the cupcakes, I knew I wanted a simple recipe that didn't take up much time. I ended up making the cupcakes two days before the party and the frosting the day before. It all worked out great and everyone thought I had bought them! They couldn't believe I made them at home and honestly, I couldn't either! Plus, I used a box mix with my own twist.



Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Duncan Hines (I used a vanilla and a chocolate)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Slice the butter and place in a heat safe bowl. Melt in the microwave.
  3. Pour in cake mix, eggs and water to the butter in a large mixing bowl (or your kitchenaid bowl).
  4. Mix on low for around 1 minute and then on high for 1-2 minutes. Your cake mix should be super thick and fluffy.
  5. Fill your cupcake papers by using a cookie scoop.
  6. Put them in the oven and turn it down to 350. Check on the cupcakes in about 15 minutes. By decreasing the heat, they will puff up like a bakery cupcake.

Vanilla Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 softened sticks of butter (not melted)
  • 4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 tablesoon of milk

Directions:

  1. Whip the butter and sugar in your bowl (or kitchenaid bowl). 
  2. At the half way mark (around three to four minutes), add the vanilla and milk. 
  3. Continue to whip. This should take around five minutes. 
  4. Add in food color as needed and whip for an additional minute. 
  5. Put in pastry bags, large zip lock bags and cut a hole (that's what I did) or just use a knife and frost on your completely cooled cupcakes.


Enjoy,
Ellen



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Thursday, November 14, 2013

W's One Year Photos


We love Rebecca! We had Watson's one year pictures this week and we love all of them (again!). Rebecca Peters Photography is amazing. 


Plus, on her blog, there are more pictures from our session.


Thank you again, Rebecca! I highly recommend Rebecca and plan on using her for all of our family images forever.



Enjoy,


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vacation in the Redwood Forest

I should begin this post with a small warning. What you are about to see and hear about, well it will never be as magical in a blog post as it was to actually experience it. To walk among the giant trees and look up for what seemed like miles to the tops, can never really be captured in a photograph/copy. But with that said, I hope this post inspires you to take a new adventure and check something off your bucket list. This was on mine!

Our trip was planned one night over a few glasses of wine with only the idea of a new adventure, yet something more relaxing than a trip to say Chicago or New York. (Love those cities, but it is sometimes nice to unwind and have that feeling like time stops in order to really rejuvenate). We found a cabin along the 101 Highway and close to the National Redwood Forest. It was a cozy little cabin that could sleep 4, with one bedroom and a futon in the quaint living room. The cabin is called Forest Haven Cottage. It was very affordable and provided a lot of great amenities like a fire pit, hot tub, stocked kitchen (not food, but everything you would need to cook yourself) and a stove with firewood to heat the entire place. The weather while we were there was about 55, but being along the water made it seems a little chillier. The stove really made it feel more rustic and camping like!

We flew into Oakland and stayed in San Francisco one night to help with the fly and drive time all in one day (although we had to do that on the way home). It is about a 5-6 hour drive to get to the Northern part of the state from the airports. One recommendation I would add if we did it again, would be to start to drive north when you land (San Fran was in the opposite direction and we both have already been a few times) and hit a few of the wineries along the way. There were some cute towns along the 101 where you could go to a few wineries and stay about half way to the National Park. There are a lot of other parks along the coast, so really you could plan a shorter trip as well, if you didnt want to drive as far and possibly spend a few days in Napa. Here is an online map of 25 things to see while visiting the Redwoods along the California Coast. Here is another great map that we used to track along the way as we hadn't really planned out our days prior. The Humboldt Forest was one of our favorites. A must see for sure!

Here are some of pictures from the trip. As mentioned the trees are huge, so huge, I could never have imagined the sizes. Everything was beautiful and really green when we were there in early October. The parks were not that crowded, so it was nice to hike and be the only people you saw for a few hours. It was a little chilly, but once the sun came out and you got moving, I would get warmed up - wear layers! We found a few semi-tough hikes in some of the forests, we walked to the beach near our cabin and just went exploring around the area. We also found our way home in the afternoons to a camp fire and some beverages before dinner. It was great having our own kitchen so we made most of our meals at the cabin. It was a very relaxing vacation and felt longer than 5 days.









Hope you enjoy the pics. Have you ever been? I was on the look out for Harry and the Hendersons, but didn't see them.

Au revoir,
Jamie

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

DIY: Easy Drink Sticks

In April, we participated in Dining by Design for DIFFA KC. It was such an amazing event! We had a couple of DIY projects that were fun but extremely easy. My favorite was our drink sticks that we ended up using with the napkins.

Dining by Design

The flags were easy to make and would be perfect to use for a shower or party. All you need are bamboo sticks (I used BBQ sticks I had on hand), glitter sticker tape and scissors.

DIY drink sticks

I used glitter tape instead of washi tape because it was thicker and I didn't need to back it. You can get glitter tape at your local Michael's in the scrapbooking aisle.  I trimmed the bamboo sticks to the appropriate length, then, halved the tape for each color and matched up. Then, trimmed as needed. These would be easy to use in food for showers, drinks, cakes and much more!
 
DIFFA

Thanks again to Allison Marie Photography for the beautiful photography from the event.

Enjoy,

Ellen

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