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Showing posts from December 10, 2012


Five Tips for Better Holiday Photos
This season is the stuff that cameras are made for: holiday lights and decorations, brightly wrapped presents, kids anxiously darting around the tree. Your camera is probably getting excited just thinking about the opportunities you're going to give it in the next few days. So as you get ready for the veritable Olympics of personal digital photography, consider these five tips for taking better pictures. Also, if you're shooting outdoors, don't forget my advice on winterizing your camera. And since you'll be taking a lot of pictures indoors, be sure to review my tips for taking better pictures of people and how to get better results in difficult lighting.    Finally, before I get into the nitty-gritty of this week's holiday photo tips, I want to wish each of you a warm, safe, and happy holiday.

1. Set Your White Balance There are few lighting situations trickier than Christmas morning, with a cacophony of lighting sources competin…


This diy comes from . These are real simple, just add your favorite paper or fabric. Even make them different sizes and shapes. Enjoy!

What inspires you? Sometimes I find inspiration in books, in nature, and in dreams. Sometimes I find it in the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. Today I found it while playing home preschool with my daughter.

During an impromptu tree craft I was doing with my Ms. Noodle (which can be seen at the end of this post) a lightbulb went off and I realized an easy way to make some pretty little trees. These trees can be tucked along a mantel, in windows, in nooks, on end tables, as part of your holiday table... I even thought they'd make cute gift tags. They take less than 5 minutes to make, too. Oh, and they are practically free. Sweet.

Somehow they manage to look vintage and modern at the same time. My favorite mix!

Since our mantel area is literally under construction right now {tile and hearthsto…


Most people can agree on what Santa Claus looks like---jolly, with a red suit and a white beard.  But he didn't always look that way, and Coke advertising actually helped shape the modern day image of Santa.
   2006 marked the 75th anniversary of the famous Coca-Cola Santa Claus.  Starting in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola featured St. Nick as a kind, jolly man in a red suit.  Because magazines were so widely viewed, and because this image of Santa appeared for more than three decades, the image of Santa most people have today is largely based on their advertising.

 Before the 1931 introduction of the Coke Santa Claus, created by artist Haddon Sundblom, the image of Santa ranged from big to small and fat to tall.  Santa even appeared as an elf and looked a bit spooky.
   Through the centuries, Santa has been depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to an elf.  He has worn a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin.  The modern day Santa is a combination of …


Here's another great treat from  With all of the people that drink coffee, this would make a great homemade gift along with some of their favorite coffees and maybe even a nice mug to go with it and some biscotti to dunk with the coffee.  I'll be coming out with some of my favorite biscotti recipes real soon.  I always make alot during this time of the year.  People just can get enough of it!

Homemade Peppermint Mocha Creamer

I warned you when I made homemade pumpkin spice creamer that I would be trying a peppermint version during the Christmas season. I only lasted a few days after Thanksgiving before I gave in to the demand of Christmas flavored treats. And this homemade peppermint mocha creamer is the perfect way to add some Christmas spirit to your morning coffee. Or hot chocolate for that matter – this would be equally delicious in both.   As with the pumpkin spice version, this is incredibly easy to make and has been a big hit around here. I …