My Fiber One Snackcessory Contest Submission

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UPDATE: I am a finalist! If you like my design, please vote for me! You can vote once daily through the month of October! Just click here to vote

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Why not break out your glue gun and some glitter, and enter to win a trip to New York Fashion Week?!?! Fiber One is running a DIY accessory contest, and the winner and a friend get a trip to New York Fashion Week in February 2013. Nine finalists will get a $500 gift card for the handbag of their choice. Hurry and enter, all submission are due by September 30th!

For a little over a week now, I have been driving myself crazy trying to come up with an awesome design, and then I realized I was completely over thinking it. I finally took a deep breath and came up with something that is totally me, and i love it! Here’s how I created my gold studded scorpion snackcessory:

All I used was a glasses case, plastic scorpion, and a hot glue gun. I started by giving everything a base coat of gold. Then I covered the glasses case with dots of glue, to create the look of studs. Next, I glued the scorpion in place to resemble a clasp. To finish it off, I gave the whole thing a couple more coats of gold spray paint, and a couple coats of clear for extra protection. And viola! A fashionable way to keep snacks and a Fiber One bar in my bag!

I hope I’ve inspired you, now go get your craft on!

DIY Halloween Decor : Drippy Black Candles

 

Over the next week or so Sydney and I will be crafty like crazy, creating our spooky Halloween decor. And I’ll be sure to share each and every project with you! Today’s craft is fun for the kids to admire, but not safe for them to make. You’ll need led candles in various sizes, parchment or wax paper, hot glue gun, black spray paint, and black glitter.

Start out by coating your candles in hot glue. Let the glue drip down the sides of the candles, pooling on the wax paper. Its best to keep turning the candle to let some of the glue drips cool before putting on the next layer. This creates more dimension.

Several glue sticks later, once you have the desired drippy look, carefully peel your candle off the parchment or wax paper.

Now tape or cover the flame portion of the candle, and spray your candle black. Immediately sprinkle your candle with glitter, so that it will stick to the wet paint. Be sure this step is done in a well ventilated area.

 

DIY Halloween Costume Winner, and Hula Girl Tutorial

 

Good Morning! I want to thank everyone who entered the costume giveaway, there were so many wonderful ideas! I am excited to announce the lucky winner is….. drum roll please……. Jenny Downs, congratulations!!! I am getting out my pencil and sketchbook, and coming up with some great ideas to turn your little one into a lumberjack for the night. I’m starting on it right away, and I will share the costume with you all as soon as it’s done.

While I get to work, I wanted to share one more diy costume Sydney and I worked on together. It’s a Hula Girl!

This one is so easy, and I’m sure a lot of you have these items on hand at home. You’ll need a brown paper bag, coffee filters, food coloring, and ribbon.

1. Start by dying several coffee filters in a mixture of food coloring and water. About 3 drops color to two tablespoons water. Set filters aside to dry.

2. Taking a brown paper bag, cut it open and lay it out flat. Trim off excess flaps to create an even rectangle shape.

3. Use scissors, or an x-acto and straight edge, to fringe the paper bag, creating a grass skirt. Be sure to leave a 2″ band at the top of the paper bag. This will be the waistband.

4. Glue ribbon to the inside edge of the waistband, leaving it long enough to be tied.

5. Once the colored coffee filters are dry, use them to make flowers. One large flower can be glued to a clip and worn in the hair. Smaller flowers can then be glued to a necklace or thick strand of yarn to make a lei.

Now just pair your homemade pieces with some brown leggings and a bright colored shirt, and get ready to hula!

 

Mummy Candles

 

Yesterday I apparently lost my mind and thought it was Friday. I woke up confused this morning, and then realized that I had completely skipped Thursday, which is why I posted ‘Things I Loved This Week’ yesterday. Oh well, it happens to the best of us. Right?

So, now I can officially say Happy Friday everyone! And I share with you a super easy craft to get you in the halloween spirit. Mummy candles! All you need is gauze, googly eyes, led candles, and some glass jars.

Just wrap the glass jars with gauze, securing it with either glue or tape. Then glue on some googly eyes, and insert an led votive! Sydney loves these, and can’t get enough of them. The led votive makes them totally kid friendly.

I am also excited about all the great ideas for the DIY Halloween Costume Giveaway. The winner will be announced Monday!

Things I Loved This Week

 

I love Nate Berkus! I love Target! Put the two together, and I just may end up one broke mama! I so cannot wait to to hit my local Target store for the debut of Nate Berkus’s Collection on Oct. 21st! (sorry for the excessive use of exclamation points, I’m a little excited)

So, I know Stella & Dot has been around for awhile, but now that I have a fashionista cousin who is a stylist, I have finally gotten around to checking out their jewelry. I can’t believe it took me so long! I am super loving the Renegade Cluster Bracelet. I have been wanting to try the spike trend, and this is the perfect to sport it while still being delicate and sophisticated.

I’m also really excited about some recent finds, which will be available in my etsy shop later this afternoon!

 

Tips For Photographing Your Kids : An Interview with Evan Kafka

I feel so lucky to have a creative husband, and even luckier that he’s worked with the very talented photographer Evan Kafka. He does amazing work with kids, and has shot for big companies including Parenting Magazine and Huggies. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit, and share some of his tips for capturing those perfect moments with your own children. Enjoy!

How do you get the perfect reaction / expression from a baby?

Be ready and shoot a lot.  Work the moment.  Don’t just stop at one or two photos.  Keep the camera close by.  Also, it helps to have a friend play peekaboo behind your head while you shoot.  It can be helpful to get in close, so you can engage your baby while you photograph.  It’s nice if you can reach them and tickle them from time to time.

How do you get your little ones to follow direction?

That’s a tough one.  When I’m shooting my kids, I just try to be ready.  Like an ultra famous movie star once said to me “you’re gonna have to work with what you get”.  It can be very frustrating.  I try to make it fun, keep it interesting for them.  When they are really small, we just try to set them up.  If we want a crawling shot, we give them something to crawl towards and then get their attention when they reach the optimal area for the photograph.  For tighter headshots it’s helpful to have someone hold them in certain ways so the adult is not really visible.

What lens would you recommend to parents who have a DSLR?

I think everyone should have at least one fast, or bright, lens.  These are lenses with a large maximum aperture or lens opening.  It’s confusing because the lower the number, the bigger the aperture, and the more light passes through.  The most affordable fast lens is usually a 50mm.  They are usually F1.8 or 1.4, much brighter than any zoom lens.  These will allow you to shoot in low light without flash.  You can use a large aperture, even in bright light, which gives you a very shallow focus effect that can help soften a busy background.

What is a fun DIY type solution to create a solid white background for your photo shoot?

Seamless paper by Savage is not that expensive.  It comes in 4.5′ or 9′ wide rolls. B&H will ship it for about $15 and many local camera shops carry it in white. We usually hang the roll up and drape it down but that requires stands and a crossbar.  It’s also possible to tape the top to a wall or the side of your garage and then sweep it with a soft bend and roll some out along the ground/floor.  You could also try it with a sheet but you will probably see wrinkles unless you can keep it very bright.  Pay attention to the light where you are setting it up.  Unless the light is exceptional, it’s probably best to set it up in a shaded area or, if you’re indoors, at about 45-90 degrees to a window with indirect sunlight.  Or, if you have an external flash, you could experiment with bouncing it off a ceiling or wall.

What is the best tip you can give for any mom or dad who wants to do a photoshoot of her child?

Luck favors the prepared.  Get everything set and ready, maybe while your baby is napping.  The worst thing, and believe me it’s happened to me, is to be having some sort of technical problem while your baby is happy and ready.  We all know they have a limited attention span.  If you’re not ready, better to wait until you are before you present the situation to your child. Also, do some test shots of a doll or stuffed animal to make sure things are looking good.  And if the phone rings, don’t answer it!

If possible, leave things set up for a day or two, incase your baby is not in the mood and you can try again later.

A big thank you to Evan for all of his great tips! If you’d like to know more about Evan, or see more of his work, please check out his website & blog:

http://www.evankafka.com/

http://evankafka.com/sensorsensibility/

* All photos in this post are property of Evan Kafka, and may not be used without his permission.

Halloween Costume GIVEAWAY : enter to win a custom costume made just for your little one!

 

Good Morning! As I mentioned last week in my DIY Costume post,  I will be giving away a halloween costume this month. But not just any costume, it will be custom, one of a kind costume made just for you child!


(1. pig in a blanket, 2. sheep, 3. garden flower, 4. bat)

Here’s how it works:

Head over to thredup.com and find a piece of clothing that sparks Continue reading

DIY Halloween Costume : Garden Flower

 

Today I am sharing a costume tutorial I put together for the lovely people at ThredUp. This is a fun, no sew tutorial that will help you turn your little cutie into a garden flower with birds and butterflies buzzing around her head! You can start off with some basic pieces, like a bright colored shirt paired with some green leggings or skirt or what the heck why not both! Then get creative with it.

Here’s what else I used:
7 sheets of pink felt for the petals (or any color you like)
2 sheets of yellow felt
some ribbon or velcro
4 pink pipe cleaners
3 yellow pipe cleaners
3 yellow craft pompoms
hot glue
a headband
floral wire
needle point pliers
and various decorative butterflies, birds, and ladybugs

1. Start by creating a collar out of a sheet of pink felt and ribbon. I cut a 6” strip of felt, then folded it in half to make it more rigid. Make your collar long enough to loosely fit your child, leaving a good amount of wiggle room. Glue ribbon or velcro to the ends of your collar.

2. Fold the remaining pink felt sheets in half, and cut out your petal shapes.  Trim pink pipe cleaners to size, and use hot glue to adhere them to the center of  6 petals. Set the other petal aside for now.

3. Gather the felt at the base of each of the 6 petal to create dimension, and secure with hot glue.

4. Glue these petals around the outside of your collar, about halfway up. Shape the petals as you glue, and be sure to also adhere the petals near the top of the collar. This will give them extra support.

5. Glue the remaining 6 petals to the bottom of your collar, positioning them below and in between the top 6 petals.

6. Fold over and glue, or trim, and extra petal felt.

7. Now, Cut a 6” strip of yellow felt, fringing it on one end. Glue this strip to the inside of your collar to give the illusion of the flower’s center.

8. Time to make the stamens! Glue the three pompoms onto the ends of the yellow pipe cleaners.

9. Tightly wrap the three pipe cleaners around the center of the headband, while also twisting them together.

10. And now onto my daughter’s favorite part. Add springy wire to your headband and attach all sorts of garden friends to the wires. We used butterflies, a humming bird, and ladybugs. Be creative and have fun with it!


(last image courtesy of thredup.com)

I will also be doing a DIY costume giveaway next week. Check back for the exciting details!!! UPDATE: Click here to enter the giveaway!

Fall Pasta Necklaces

 

Today we are making jewelry! Fall pasta necklaces, to be exact. It’s a simple and inexpensive project that’s guaranteed to keep you and your little one entertained this afternoon. And the best part is I had everything we needed on hand, so this craft cost us $0. All you need is an assortment of pasta, yarn, rubbing alcohol, food coloring, sandwich baggies, and some tape.

Start by coloring all the pasta. Put a mixture of rubbing alcohol and food coloring in a baggie, about 1Tbsp : 10 drops, then add the uncooked pasta. Zip up the bag and shake, making sure all the pasta gets coated with color. Let sit for anywhere from 2 – 20 min, occasionally shaking the bag as you wait for your desired color.

Empty the pasta from the bag, and onto an old towel or several paper towels, and allow to dry. Use a strainer if necessary. Dry time is about 5 – 10 min. Remember, food coloring can stain, so protect surfaces, hands and clothes.

Once pasta is dry, I had Sydney help me divide all the pasta by color and put them into small bowls. The perfect opportunity to squeeze in a color lesson!

Now it’s time to get creative! We used yarn for our necklaces, but you can use any type of string you like. With the yarn, it’s helpful to wrap one end with masking tape, making it rigid and easier to thread the pasta.

Mix and match all sorts of pasta and colors for pretty jewel tone necklaces, perfect for fall! This is also a great project to teach kids about patterns and how they’re created.

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Multiples Mom

Movie Review : Won’t Back Down

 

The other night, I was lucky enough to be invited by Circle of Moms to a screening of the new movie Won’t Back Down. I decided to turn it into a girls movie night, and took one of my dearest friends along. We found ourselves laughing, crying, smiling, and biting our nails. It had all the makings of a great movie!

The film is a drama about two mother’s Continue reading

Things I Loved This Week

 

Happy Friday everyone! We are so looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home. We finally don’t have any plans to go out of town for awhile, and boy does it feel good. Time to get somethings done around the house, and enjoy the great city we live in!

While we do that, here are a few things I wanted to share:

These Spiced Pear Lollipops from Vintage Confections sound super yummy and perfect for fall! They also have fun Halloween options, some of which include creepy crawlies and even blood!

Continue reading

Fall Artwork : Finger Print Trees

 

I am beyond ready for fall weather, so I think it’s time to break out the apple and pumpkin spice candles. And, time to decorate the house with some autumn artwork made by cute little hands, literally! Today, while Sydney is hard at work fulfilling my wishes, I wanted to share the first project of the day with you. We broke out the finger paints and rolled up our sleeves to make this cute little tree!

Her hand and arm create the trunk and branches…

 

and her little fingers are the leaves.

A squishy ball helped her create the grass to finish off her masterpiece.

Halloween Round Up

 

Fall may not be in the air just yet, but I already have Halloween on my mind. While I come up with my own festive ideas for decorations, crafts, and recipes, I wanted to share a few great ones I found and added to my must make list. Enjoy, and please feel free to share any great ideas you have!

These Peekaboo Pumpkins via hgtv.com are adorable, super easy to make, and I know Sydney would get a kick out of them!

 

This recipe from Nestle for Pots of Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cream Pie sounds irresistible. I MUST make this. Continue reading

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