Tag Archives: valentines day

Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photo Prop

valentines-day-baby-photo-ideasHaving a sweet little boy is fun, especially when you get to dress him up in adorable outfits and take pictures of him! I can already see a montage of all of these awesome pictures being played to his chagrin at his wedding. He was super awesome earlier this week and took a nice long nap so I could get crafty and make this amazing Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth Photo Prop!

Some of you know that when you click on certain links on my blog (Like the SHOP button) and make purchases through Amazon.com I make a small profit. Well this year enough of you lovely people clicked to generate the funds needed to me to buy a fantastic new camera! Thank you readers!! You’re the best in the world. 🙂 This means no more iPhone photos and you will see the images on HomemakerChic drastically improve (especially as I learn how to actually use the thing!)

how-to-valentines-day-kissing-booth-photo-prop-babyThe kissing booth was ridiculously easy to make and cost around $20 since I had a couple of the items on hand.

Everything you need can be purchased at your local craft store.

  • 1 Wood Crate
  • 2 long thin pieces of wood (this could be yardsticks, long dowel rods, or you can find these at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I happened to have some extra scrap pieces laying around.)
  • 1 piece of wood, foam board, or cardboard around 12″x24″
  • 1 Chalkboard wall decal (or chalkboard paint)
  • 1 Cute Valentine’s Garland
  • A few tacks or nails
  • Some burlap

Assembly is pretty self explanatory. Just nail the long thin wood pieces to either the front or the back of the crate. You could do this a few different ways depending on your needs. photo-booth-kissingFor example you could stand the crate up on its side so it looks more like a “booth.” This would be good if you have a toddler or a baby who can sit up on his own. I needed the crate to be open so I could place Luke down in it since he doesn’t sit up on his own yet. You could also nail the sign to the front of the crate instead of to the back like in this photo. Or even to the sides.

I found a Chalkboard wall decal for around $8. You could also use Chalkboard paint. I also found a very thin piece of wood at Michael’s that worked perfectly and was just the right size for the decal, but you could use anything for this that is sturdy enough like foam board, or cardboard, or whatever else you have lying around. I hand wrote the kisses part with chalk. Try a few different fonts in your own hand, or use a stencil. I hot glued the board onto the long thin wood pieces.

I also hot glued the garland and the little Be My Valentine wood piece. I found the heart shaped wood piece in the same section as the crate. I just painted in the letters with a little red paint. You could leave that piece off or find something else just as cute. Finally I added the burlap to give it an old fashioned touch. I got a roll of burlap for $3 and just loosely looped it through the slats of the crate. Finally I stuck a couple rolled up blankets covered with a piece of red felt to keep Luke from falling over in the crate. If you have a red blanket that would be perfect.

Now for the photography. I just put the little booth out in my yard in the early afternoon when the natural lighting was nice. I made sure not to put him in direct sunlight, and used the AV aperture priority setting on my camera. It is NOT easy to get a baby to smile at just the right moment when there is no drool, or spit up, or a hand in the mouth. And when you finally get the right pose, your camera isn’t focused! This process is fun, but hard. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, have another person with you to help wrangle the baby and make him smile while you are ready with the camera.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! We love you all!

Homemade Valentine’s Day Mints Recipe

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year I wanted to make something extra special for my friends and family. I saw a recipe for homemade Altoids a while back and decided I would make my own spin on the curiously strong mint. I’m not a huge fan of peppermint so I decided to make Vanilla Spearmint Heart Shaped Mints.home-made-mints-homemaker-chic

2014-02-06 12.10.33I have these amazing tins from SKS and I knew I just had to use for this project. You could certainly use repurposed Altoids tins but I made this adorable logo to go on the tops of the tins and the altoids containers have ridges on them and you can’t put a sticker on it. mint-to-beYou are welcomed to use my logo for free, because I’m just THAT nice :).

The tins from SKS are excellent quality and made for a lovely gift. This would also make a super cute wedding favor. I would recommend buying a big bag of ready made mints if you wanted to use the tins for a wedding because these are a scoche time consuming to cut out, and not really any cheaper than just buying mints at the store. These are just super fun to make and cute!

2014-02-06 11.39.47The recipe only calls for a few simple ingredients:

  • 1lb Gum Paste
  • Confectioner’s Sugar (powdered sugar) For a sugar free version of these mints try Xylitol.
  • Flavor Oils or Essential Oils
  • Food Coloring

 

Prepare the gumpaste following the instructions on the bag or carton. You can also buy ready-made gum paste. Either will work for this recipe.

valentines-mints

Cut off an egg sized portion of the dough. Add a bit of food coloring (I used a little green for a nice mint color) and 5-6 drops of oils. I used 6 drops of Spearmint Oil and 1 drop of Vanilla Oil for a sweet mint flavor. You could really get creative with the flavors, as long as the essential oil is food safe you can use it as flavoring. Or you can try Lorann flavoring oils in flavors like Wintergreen, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Orange, even Root Beer! The Oils are dirt cheap so get a bunch and try them out. Knead the dough until the oil and coloring is well incorporated. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Now you are ready to cut out your mints!

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I found these fantastic heart shaped cutters with plungers. The plunger makes it super easy to get the dough out of the cutter. The set I found came with 5 different sizes so you could easily do a super adorable mixed size batch of mints. They have other cool shapes besides hearts like stars, circles, squares and more. You could also use a large straw to cut these out if you don’t have the cutters.homemade-mints

2014-02-06 12.38.20Once you’ve cut out your mints, toss them in a little more powdered sugar so they don’t stick to each other, and lay them out on waxed paper to dry overnight. Allow them to dry for 24-48hrs for a nice hard, crunchy candy.2014-02-06 12.48.26

Line your tins with some tissue paper in a complimentary color to your mints. One egg-sized portion of the dough yields about 100 mints which will nicely fill up one tin. The entire container of gumpaste will make about 600-700 mints. You’ll want to make all the mints within a day or so of preparing the gumpaste because it will dry out and harden. I hope you have lots of fun making mints! I know these will make such a lovely valentine gift for all my friends. 🙂

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Pink Champagne and Strawberry Cupcakes

champagne-and-cupcakes

pink-champagne-strawberry-cupcakes

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and if you’re looking for a fabulous and delicious dessert, then I’ve got one for you! What’s more romantic than Champagne and Strawberries… how about cupcakes? Throw it all together and you’ve got one sweet treat for your honey. You’re going to L-O-V-E this recipe.

pink_champagne_cupcakes

Now I’m not a big fan of boxed cake mixes because of the ridiculous amount of junk they pile into those boxes. But I was in a bind today and needed to get these cupcakes made quickly. I happened to have a boxed cake on hand and this is a great way to doctor up a mix. You can also use this in a home made mix just replacing the liquid called for with Champagne. The good news is that the recipe only calls for one cup of champagne, so someone is going to have to help you drink the rest of that bottle. 😉

Here’s what you need:

One vanilla cake mix

1 Cup Pink Champagne (or sparkling wine, or you could totally use Sprite or Fresca for this if you don’t want the booze, don’t worry though, the alcohol does get cooked out.)

1/3 Cup Cream

1/3 Cup Melted Butter

3 eggs

1/2 cup strawberry jam

For the Frosting:

2 sticks of butter

4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

1 T Pink Champagne

2 t Clear Vanilla Extract

¼ cup Strawberry Jam

Here’s what you do:

strawberry_champagne_cupcakes

Combine the mix, champagne, cream, eggs, and butter. The Champagne will fizz up and the batter will sort of expand, just be prepared for that. I added a bit of pink rose food coloring to my batter just to give a soft pink color to the cakes. Just a touch of pink. Generally one mix will yield about 24 cupcakes. This mix yielded 18 regular sized cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes for me. So I’m thinking that the Champagne really makes the batter go a little further. It does

not, however, affect the rising of the cake so fill your cups the normal 2/3 full. Drop about a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the center of each cupcake. Use the spoon to push the jam down a little bit into the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes on 350.

For the frosting:

In a large bowl cream the butter and the vanilla. Slowly add in the cream and champagne. The cream will get whipped and this w

ill give you a light and fluffy frosting. Add the jam and mix. Start adding the sugar one half cup at a time. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

champagne-cupcake

I made this rose design using a 1M tip, starting at the center of each cupcake and piping a circle moving outward. It so easy, but very elegant. You also don’t even up with too much frosting on the cupcakes. Its the perfect amount. I hope you all enjoy this light and delicious treat! Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you all!