Monday, April 28, 2014

My Top Picks for Mother's Day Gifts

Posted by Tara

I can't believe Mother's Day is just around the corner!! I feel like this year is flying by and I'm just trying to catch up. Lately on my Instagram feed I have been seeing all of my friends and fellow bloggers post some incredibly cute stuff for Mother's Day. Since I'm always in a panic to either purchase or make gifts for the "Moms" in my life, I thought I would share some great ideas for the upcoming holiday!

Moms are always on the hunt for new decor pieces to add to their home. I recently saw a beautiful print from that would be amazing to have framed on a wall. Ruth is always showing her work on Instagram and recently added a new piece to her shoppe for Mother's Day! Isn't it lovely!?

You can never go wrong with jewelry for moms. The one thing I love about Lisa's jewelry is that it can be personalized. Whether you are looking for a gift for a new mother or an experienced one, there are so many pieces to choose from that speak to every mom!! Lisa Leonard Designs has you covered for Mother's Day.

Perhaps you want to take the "do-it-yourself" route and make something personal for your mom this year... Here is a cute project that won't take too much time to whip up! Shanty 2 Chic always has the cutest wood projects!  This would be a great piece to add to any home. The Shanty 2 Chic ladies have a simple tutorial on their site and also offer various printables to choose from (ones with Sister, Daughter, etc.). 

Even if the mom in your life is done having kids and no longer needs to carry around a diaper bag, Better Life Bags has something for everyone. In addition to diaper bags, you can create made to order laptop bags, camera bags, or clutches and everything is completely customizable. The fabrics are amazing and you can add leather to most bags. These bags are adorable!! I have been following Rebecca through Instagram and her blog and she is amazing! Every Mom would look stylish carrying one of these around.

Wanting to involve your kiddos in a gift? I found this one at Simply Kierste. This is so cute and how fun would it be for the "Grandmas"? They could keep it in their living rooms for a foot rest or in their kitchens for a stool! I know it would come in handy in bathrooms with tall counters. She shares all the details on how to make this fun gift on her blog!

Every Mom needs some pampering. There is nothing more relaxing then letting your feet take a rest in some Homemade Lime and Mint Soak. Tidy Mom shares the recipe to the foot soak as well as the printables for the jars on her site. This is definitely an inexpensive route to take for Mother's Day and moms will love it.

This one is for all those Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper drinking mamas. If you have't tried a "Dirty Coke" yet you are missing out! 30 Handmade Days shares the quick recipe as well as these awesome printables to attach to your gift. I love how they threw in a matching mason jar cup to sip this yummy goodness!
If you were stumped on Mother's Day gifts before, I hope this helped you out! I know this mama would be thrilled to receive any of these awesome gifts. And if all else fails, write your mom a note telling her how much you love and appreciate her. You can never go wrong with that. ;)

Linking up with: The Creative Collection , 

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Feeling Springy in Pink Chambray

Posted by Devin

As you may know if you follow our blog, I am a big fan of chambray. So when I spotted this light pink chambray button up shirt at the thrift store, I knew I needed to grab it. And for under $4, I thought it was a steal!

There's something about a nice button up, collared shirt that says "casual-sophisticated" to me. If I want to look a little professional and grown-up, but still comfortable and "mom-ready", a button up always does the trick.

Pink is one color that I always think favors me (probably because I'm a pale-skinned gal). I should really wear it more often but for some reason I don't seem to end up with pink items in my bag when I go shopping. Yet another reason I was excited to find this shirt!

I paired my shirt with one of my favorite pairs of jeans. I bought these from Alloy and I couldn't be happier with them. Light denim wasn't in for awhile, but I hope it is now because I love it!

My large hoop earrings are from Fresh Picks and they match my shirt perfectly! They are gold with pink-dipped tips. So cool! If you haven't checked out Fresh Picks, Annette has great stuff!

Thanks for stopping by this week to check out what I wore! Also, if you're interested in my double-braided hair band, stay tuned to the blog as I will be posting a tutorial in the next few weeks!

What I Wore:
Pink Chambray Shirt - Thrifted (Old Navy)
Jeans - Alloy
Hoop Earrings - Fresh Picks
Sandals & Cuff - Gifts 

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Campout Tin Foil Dinners

Posted by Devin
Our family recently had a backyard campout complete with a tent, a campfire, and s'mores and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to eat our favorite "camping dinner." Have you ever heard of tin foil dinners? They are the very best meal for camping EVER. Number 1, they are delicious. Number 2, you prepare the whole thing at home before you head to the great outdoors, making dinner time super easy on your campout. (Ever tried to prepare a meal while camping? Boy do you start missing your kitchen sink and sterile countertops fast.) Number 3, they are simple to cook and require almost no equipment to take with you. Awesome, right?!!

Here's what you need to prepare your dinners:

Ground Beef (about 1/4 pound per dinner)
Potatoes (about 1/3 of a large potato per dinner)
Baby Carrots
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and Pepper

All amounts used are subject to taste. If you like a lot of meat and aren't too keen on carrots, put more meat and less carrots into your dinner. You will be able to see by my pictures about how much of everything I used and ours turned out fantastic!

Step 1: Par-boil your potatoes and slice them. My potatoes were rather large so it took about 15 minutes to par-boil them.

(Tip: You know your potatoes are ready when you can stick your fork in them without too much difficulty. You don't want them crunchy, but you don't want them super cooked or mushy either.)

Step 2: Form your ground beef patties and season to taste. I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder on my patties.

Step 3: Slice your onions. I like to cut my slices in half as well.

Step 4: Assemble your dinners on a sheet of aluminum foil. First place your patty on the aluminum foil. Next add your potato slices, then your baby carrots, and your onion slices. Finally top with cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 5: Wrap your dinner up in the foil.

Step 6: Wrap your dinner in another sheet of aluminum foil to double wrap it and make sure no food leaks out during cooking. If you want, label the dinners with a sharpie so you can tell whose is whose. (It's always fun to let everyone assemble their own dinners and label them.)

Step 7: Cook your dinner directly on hot coals from your camp fire. Depending on the heat of your coals, the cook time can vary. Our coals were pretty hot so it only took our dinners about 25 minutes to cook. Simply use tongs to grab one out of the fire and check to make sure the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are no longer crunchy to see if they are done.

Once they are finished cooking, simply unwrap your dinner, set it on a paper plate for stability, and eat! Thankfully the aluminum foil cools quickly so you don't have to worry too much about burnt fingers. (Good to Know: You can also cook these in your oven at home, if you are ever so inclined. 1 hour at 375 degrees will get the job done.) Happy camping, everyone!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Homemade Wipes with Scott Towels

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scott Brand, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Scottvalue

Posted by Tara & Devin

Have you ever gone to change a diaper and found that you are COMPLETELY out of wet wipes? It's almost like a scene from a horror movie. Everything is fine, you are probably talking to your baby, maybe coo-ing at them or singing a little song, just doing your normal thing and then... NOOOOO! The wipe tub is... (gulp) EMPTY!

Ok, so maybe that's a bit dramatic, but it kind of feels like that when you have a giant mess on your hands and there are no wipes to be had. We have a quick and easy solution for these times when you find yourselves in a parental bind. Homemade wet wipes! With just a few simple ingredients you can have a whole tub of wet wipes ready to go in minutes! Here's what you'll need:

2 TBSP Baby Wash
2 TBSP Baby Oil
1 roll Scott Paper Towels
2 cup Warm Water

Scott Paper Towels are a great choice as some paper towels do not hold up for this kind of job. Scott Towels have the durability to keep their shape and strength even when soaked with our wipe mixture. We also like the fact that they come in the "Choose-A-Sheet" sizes as these are perfect for wipes.
We bought our products from Kmart and you can check out Kmart's Shop Your Way Rewards for great coupon offers on Scott Tissue products this week!

To make the wipes, you first cut your paper towel roll in half.

Set one of the paper towel halves in your Tupperware.

Combine the water, baby wash, and oil in a large measuring cup or bowl. Stir the ingredients together and gently pour the mixture over the paper towel roll.

Cover your tupperware with the lid.

Let it set for 30 minutes.

Now you can remove the cardboard insert from the center of the roll and you are ready to go! Not only are these great to make when you are in a bind, but they also feel and smell fantastic. You may find that you want to make homemade wet wipes all the time!
Diaper duty is never really fun, but it's a whole lot worse when you are out of wipes. Not a problem any more, let diaper duty commence! Don't forget to check out Shop Your Way Rewards for great offers before you head to the store!

Linking up with: I'm Lovin It Party // Pinworthy Projects // Creativity Unleashed // Link Party Palooza //

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Outfit in under 5 Minutes

Posted by Tara

Sometimes when I am heading into town or going to a gathering I look in my closet to pick something out and end up standing in there for WAY too long. Have you experienced this? I try on a shirt that I like, but then I don't like the pants I put them on with, so I take the shirt off and try another, but end up changing my entire outfit way too many times! Lately, I have been getting dressed a whole lot quicker.... Want to know my secret?!

The secret is COMFORT. No matter what I wear, I want to feel comfortable. In this post I wore my new dark denim skinnies from Forever 21. They fit perfectly (I'm a shorty, so sometimes it's tough). The top is from Seven and Co Boutique. I loved the Aztec pocket and all of the colors it brought to the outfit. It's light (which is needed in this Arizona heat) and fits loosely. 

I paired the outfit with my tan sandals that I got 2 years ago from Alloy. It's a magazine that I started to get in the mail and every summer they have killer prices on their flip flops and shoes. I couldn't resist when I saw these. They go with everything!

Since I was wearing something with Aztec print, I decided to go with my Aztec necklace from Forever 21. I tried on a few other necklaces that I own, but they made the outfit too busy. I just needed a simple necklace for this top.

If you stress about your outfit matching, don't worry, I think every girl does! I have started to tell myself that with the way fashion is now days, EVERYTHING matches. So don't be afraid to go outside your comfort zone on an outfit!

Simple pants, tee, necklace and I'm ready to go! Thanks for stopping by today and don't forget to pin this to your fashion board on Pinterest!

What I Wore:
Necklace: Forever 21
Sandals: Alloy
Bag: Rip Curl (Bought in CA)


Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY Mirror Window

Posted by Tara

I've had this mirror for years. It has been sitting in my garage while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with it. The other day Jamie from I Heart Naptime posted a picture of her Spring mantel and above it was an adorable mirror window. I started thinking about how I could get my hands on one of those and then thought, "HECK! Why don't I make my own?!!"


First start with a rectangular mirror. Mine is from an old dresser, but I am sure if you looked at Goodwill, you could find a rather cheap one.

I decided I wanted the frame around my mirror to be white. Since it already had a dark paint/stain on it, I thought it would look great for that to peek through after I distressed it. Pick whatever color you want for your own project! Tape the mirror off with painter's tape and paint the frame. I applied two coats of a generic white paint to the frame.

after first coat

I went to Lowe's and grabbed a long piece of  1/4 x 3/4" molding. I made sure the bottom side of it was flat, so it would be flush with the mirror when attached. If you want to see the details on the molding, here is the link.  I bought the simple wood finish trim so I could paint it whatever color I chose.

Cut a piece of your molding to the length of the mirror. Then cut shorter pieces for the vertical panes. I had my husband help me out to make sure everything lined up perfectly! After cutting them, I painted them. Again, I applied two coats with my white paint. When the frame and moulding pieces were dry, I lightly sanded and distressed everything.

 The next step is to glue the moulding pieces into place with silicone (Liquid Nails).

Allow at least 30 minutes for the glue to dry. Once it's dry, you can hang it and add your favorite wreath!

I have been eyeing this wreath from Target for quite some time now. It's a little pricier than I was hoping for, but it gave my window the look I really wanted!

This project is definitely something anyone can do. The supplies cost me under $10 (except for the wreath). You could also spray the mirror with the mercury spray paint to give it more of a vintage/old window look. I thought about doing it, but opted for more of a clean look. I couldn't be happier with my new Spring window!

Linking up with:  Link Party Palooza // Practically Functional // Pinworthy Projects Party // Super Saturday Link Party \\ Sunday Soiree // Show Me what You Got // Tip Me Tuesday // Fluster's Creative Muster  // Moonlight and Mason Jars //  I'm Lovin It Party


Monday, April 14, 2014

"Frozen" Ombré Party Cake

Posted by Tara

My only girl just had her first real birthday party. She turned 5 this month and has always wanted a princess party. For all of her previous birthdays we have done something low key with just family invited, but this year I wanted to do something special. We invited her two favorite girls and had a simple Frozen party. I didn't want anything too high maintenance, so we stuck with easy stuff!

For her cake, I wanted to make something I hadn't attempted before. I had seen this super pretty frosting technique online before and thought it would work well for this Frozen cake. Here is my first attempt!

I started by buying and preparing a Vanilla Cake box mix. I first made two cakes in 8 inch round pans, but didn't think the cake had enough height when stacked. So I ended up making one more 8 inch round cake for a triple layered cake.

After the cakes cooled, I trimmed the tops of them with a serrated knife so they would be more level when stacking.

I had tossed around the idea of using chocolate buttercream for the filling, but opted for something easier. I had just made Freezer Strawberry Jam earlier in the week and had plenty to spare. I spread the yummy jam in between each layer and was sooo happy I did! It added the perfect touch of fresh sweetness to the cake!

Once all the layers were ready to frost, I made my frosting and started by filling in any big gaps on the sides of the cake with frosting. See how there are some gaps in between my layers? I filled in those as well as any on the top or bottom I may have had. You'll want a nice smooth surface of frosting before beginning the decorative frosting elements.

To make my frosting, I just googled a butter cream recipe that I felt was simple. Mine was:

4 sticks of unsalted butter
2 lbs powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp of vanilla (if its pure)
4-6 tbsp of milk or whipping cream
Cream butter till fluffy. Slowly add sugar and salt. Then add vanilla and slowly milk till consistency desired.

After I finished the first frosting layer, it was time to make the scalloped design on the sides. I used gel food coloring to make my two shades of blue because I was worried regular food coloring might change the consistency of my frosting. The frosting needs to be prety firm and not runny to hold it's shape after being applied to the cake. The color I choose was Wilton's Royal Blue gel food coloring from Party City.

To add this type of food coloring, I simply insert a toothpick into the gel and remove the desired amount. For the darker blue frosting, I used 2 toothpicks with quite a bit of gel on it. For the lighter blue, I only used 1 toothpick with gel on it. I thought about trying to do one more layer of color, but felt I was running out of room and time. Neela really wanted the top to be white, so I finished the top with the regular white butter cream. 

This was my first time, so the close up looks worse then from far away, lol! I started on the bottom with the darkest color. Fill your piping bag and put a large dollop on your cake using a large round tip. It should be about the size of a marble. Then using a small spoon, press the dollop to one side and drag away in the opposite direction. Do that all the way around the cake, making two lines with each color. Once I got in the rhythm of pressing the spoon after each dollop, it went quicker than I expected.

I wanted to top the cake with some Frozen figurines, but let me tell you how NO STORES have any in stock. So if you decide to do your own cake and want something on top, make sure your local stores carry them or get them online from Amazon or Walmart beforehand. Or you can make your own by following Devin's Frozen Peg Dolls tutorial!

Regardless of how much I worried about the cake or how well it turned out, Neela loved it and was so excited! She didn't ask about figurines up top, she was just excited about her Frozen-colored cake!

Not only was this cake pretty but it tasted delicious! This is an easy and simple cake that you could do with any color and for any birthday!

Linking up with: Sunday Soiree // Simple Supper Tuesday // Tuesdays with a Twist // Link Party Palooza

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