Blog Archives

6 super tips for better vacation photos

July 22, 2014

Here’s something you might want to read before your set out on the open road this summer…whether you rely on your smartphone to snap your vacation photos or carry along a digital camera, this useful advice will take your photos to the next level.

vacation photo tips

Have you ever successfully captured fireworks on your camera?–keep reading to get the scoop on everything from special lighting situations to creating a great family photo.

Amy from She Wears Many Hats has a nice blog post on different tools and stresses the importance of getting to know your own camera.

Do your summer plans include a visit to Disney? Then get set to get wet and find  all of the photo tips you’ll need over at Capturing Magic.  A photopass sounds like the way to go :) —read all about it here.


The whole family photo thing not really working out for you?  Find out How to Look Awesome in Family Vacation Photos from Peanut Blossom (advice courtesy of Jessica Gwozdz).

I have to admit, I’ve never attempted taking a photo underwater, but after seeing the amazing results over on  The Handmade Home –I think it’s time to try. Martin of Britsnap Photography gives some very insightful tips on capturing some great shots at the pool and beach.

When those beautiful colors light up the night sky, you’ll be ready to get a great photo…just make sure your read Michelle’s post on How to Photograph Fireworks over on Decor and the Dog.

And, last but not least–once you’ve got all these great vacation photos, don’t just leave them sitting in your camera. Aniko from Place of my Taste will walk you through the easy process of organizing your photos from start to finish. Once that’s done, printing your treasured memories will be a breeze!

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get your game on in the great outdoors

July 15, 2014

We’ve found the cure for summertime blues…by now you’ve probably heard more than once, “Mom, I’m bored!”

summer fun activities

It’s time to take the fun outside and with these entertaining games you can get the entire family in on the action.

Now you can take this great family classic and play it on your lawn. Half of the fun with this DIY Yard Yahtzee is making the game pieces.  Roll on over to The Pinning Mama to get the full instructions on making this for your own family.

Everyone will love taking their turn at this DIY Ring Toss Game. Sara from Mom Endeavors points out that this is perfect for summer picnics and family reunions.

Wanna learn how to turn your backyard into a giant gameboard? Create a Giant Lawn Matching Game using cork tiles and spray paint. Kelly spills all her secrets for making this kid-friendly game on her blog, Studio DIY (along with all the printables for creating the shapes on the game pieces).

Here’s a great use for baby food jar lids (or any other jar lids that you may have saved up)…Sidewalk Chalk Checkers. According to Rebecca, all you need is sandpaper, paint/paint brushes, and sidewalk chalk to construct this gameboard in front of your own home.

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without adding a few bubbles into the mix. But, these Rainbow Bubble Snakes aren’t just your ordinary bubbles! Head over to Housing A Forest to find out how easy it is to incorporate this fun activity into your next free sunny afternoon :)


Who needs a pool when the kids can play all day with these Sponge Bombs? Splishing, puddle splashing, and sponge bomb tag are just a few of the ways Erika’s kids found to enjoy these wet wonders. She explains how cheap and easy it is to make these on her blog~Musings from a Stay At Home Mom.

Like simple ideas that make life a bit more festive?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

a song for summer adventures

July 8, 2014

I was happy to stumble upon this delightful ditty while perusing through Relevant magazine’s current collection of indie pop.

A review reads, “This Is An Adventure gives listeners a second look at a band that could have been typecast as “indie-folk;” however, they manage to successfully mix their roots with their ambitions to create a sonically enjoyable, altogether interesting and unpretentious sound.”

Take a listen to The Lighthouse and the Whaler for yourself… and get wonderfully lost in this stunning season of summer!

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7 sensational summer sips

July 7, 2014

Feeling a bit parched lately? Try quenching your thirst with one of these delicious drinks…they have summer written all over them!

summer sips

Icy, fruity, slushy, and sparkling are just a few of the fitting ways to describe these liquid refreshments. And, although not required–I would absolutely recommend plopping in a cute paper umbrella to top off your tasty beverage.

Check out the easy recipe for the Instant Vacation Cocktail/Mocktail on the Kitchen Prep Blog.  One sip and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to the islands.

This Aloha Milkshake is a coconut lovers dream come true.  Get all the details on the creamy,tropical cooler over on This Silly Girl’s Life.

Got a taste for tea? Now’s the perfect time to jazz up an old standard with some fresh flavors of the season. The Kitchen Treaty serves up a fantastic fusion of tea and fruit–Iced Raspberry Green Tea Limeade.

A Key Lime Pie Milkshake sounds like the perfect treat to enjoy on any hot summer afternoon. Becca from Crumbs and Chaos came up with this winning recipe and enjoyed every minute of her trials and taste testing (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!).

You only need three ingredients to make Peach Simple Syrup, and once you’re finished–this delightful concoction can be used to sweeten up any beverage of your choice.  Nicole from The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie suggests a tall, glass of  Peach Iced Tea (sweeten to taste by the glass or pitcher).

“Make mine a margarita”, if you crave the tangy taste of this summer staple–make sure you try out the Watermelon Margarita that we found on Cook Like A Champion. Courtney came up with her recipe after enjoying some delicious fresh watermelon sprinkled with salt.

Simply follow the directions on Rebecca’s Living Better Together Blog and she will show you how easy it is turn a carton of store-bought lemonade into delicious Sparkling Mango Lemonade. It’s fruity,refreshing and fizzy!

Like out of the ordinary recipes that get wows?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

perfectly portable food for a summer picnic

July 1, 2014

Remember last winter? For some of us, it’s kind of hard to forget…subzero temps and lots of snow. But now, the great outdoors is calling my name and I’m making it a point to soak up every last drop of this beautiful summer. Of course, a picnic is on the agenda–and for a great picnic you need the right food. Things that are easy to whip up and travel well.

picnic foods

Here are a few choice recipes that you might want to include in your picnic basket, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

This Honey Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Salad Sandwich is super easy to put together (you use store bought roasted chicken!). Head over to Mommyhood’s Diary to find the full list of ingredients.

crunchy asian slaw from how i pinch a penny-1

Once you prepare this delicious Crunchy Asian Slaw recipe that we found on How I Pinch A Penny–just pack it up in a jar and you’re good to go! Chopsticks are optional :)

Prefer pasta as your side dish? Then by all means, try out the Creamy Italian Herb Pasta Salad from the Sweet Phi Blog. You can even make a more nutritious version of this by substituting in veggie or whole wheat pasta.

Here’s a classic lunch standby transformed into the perfect picnic item~Mini BLT Sliders. Becky from The Cookie Rookie says these really hit the spot!

Feeding a few people at your picnic? You’ll definitely want to have a look at the Brick Compressed Sandwich over on Simply So Good. It’s one big sandwich layered with deliciousness and compressed with bricks on top so that all the yummy flavors blend (for a few hours or overnight). Then all you have to do is slice it up and wrap individually.

Try this new twist on the traditional turkey sandwich…Turkey Club Tortilla Pinwheels. Just looking at the recipe on Baking With Blondie you can see that they are bursting with flavor…turkey, bacon,cheese and a secret spicy mayo.

I believe that lemon is one of the official flavors of summertime, so it only seems right to include a sweet finish to a picnic with these Lemon Chewies. You can find out how to make this vegan cookie recipe over on Endlessly Inspired.

Like out of the ordinary recipes that get wows?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

bring on the butterflies

June 30, 2014

Inspired by our little trip to see tropical butterflies this spring, we decided to plan a summer window around these pretties.

butterflies After some google image searches and a few cartridges of color ink… we created our own colorful flock.

butterflies display windowOur Finnish daughter, Iitu is returning home soon, so I couldn’t pass up utilizing her mad skills for creating clever dresses out of plastic table cloths.

butterflies store windowsWe added these great play wings available at our stores on the back of each mannequin.

butterflies wingsAnd ta-da… our fantastic shop window filled with flying fancies!

butterflies display window

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wine time giveaway

June 26, 2014

wine time giveaway

Tis the season of relaxing long evenings on the deck enjoying friends, family and of course wine. Keep your glass safe from spilling and insualted from the heat with this handy tumbler you could use anywhere outside.  Remember your favorite bottles of grape by keeping the corks on display in this clever shadow box.  Impress your friends by making wine taste even better with this magical VinoVinti tool.

This wine lovin’ trio could be yours if you enter below ($94.85 value!)
We’ll select the winner’s name and announce it on our blog Wednesday, July 2, 2014.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have fun, good luck and thanks for playing!  

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7 sweet strawberry recipes to tempt your tastebuds

June 24, 2014

It’s time to take advantage of one of the great gifts of the season, strawberries! Since I was a kid, these juicy berries have always been my favorite fruit–so I am always on the lookout for a new way to enjoy them.strawberry recipes

Here’s a sampling of some of the delicious fare I came across in my search…

This Baby Kale and Strawberry Salad is just right for a light lunch or dinner.  You’ll find the complete list of ingredients for this easy-to-make salad over on the Eating Bird Food Blog.


While I’ve never attempted in the past to make any type of homemade jam, Heather from French Press may have sold me on the idea with her recipe for 10 Minute Strawberry Jam.  According to her it’s kid approved and the best part yet, it’s made in the microwave!

Now you know, we can’t have a strawberry recipe post without some kind of pie…this Strawberries and Cream Pie is a delicious alternative to the traditional. If you love chocolate-covered strawberries, this one is for you (there’s an Oreo cookie crust and chocolate drizzled on top). Head to the Butter With A Side Of Bread to get the full recipe.

Did someone say Cannoli Strawberries?  Yes, and I’ve died and gone to heaven! Lori  reveals her recipe for these scrumptious treats over on the blog, Foxes Love Lemons.

Looking for a new strawberry cake recipe? Erin baked this Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake for her wedding anniversary celebration (her original wedding cake was also strawberry).  She recommends enjoying it with a cup of coffee or big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Believe it or not, you can make this impressive Triple Berry Tart with Coconut Cream in 30 minutes. Heather from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes explains how to prepare this dessert using store bought puff pastry–it’s a real life-saver and will save you lots of time and clean-up in the kitchen :)

Cool off on a summer night with the sweet taste of Strawberry Margarita Sorbet. This frozen dessert comes complete with a little kick of tequila and lime. Ready to break out the ice cream maker?  Click here to find the recipe on Erica’s Sweet Tooth Blog.

Like out of the ordinary recipes that get wows?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

2014 travel gift guide

June 23, 2014

Whether your calendar is filling up with weekend trips up north, road trips to a few states away or you are flying off to some place fantastic… we have a some terrific travel finds for you.

Shop all TRAVEL goods HERE.

Planning Your Adventure

fun gifts for travel lover

1.  Don’t wait to go on a trip of a lifetime until you’re too old!  $11.99

2.  Experiencing other cultures is a great way to expand your horizons (and also can give you a good laugh)  $15

3.  Put your future globe trotting dreams on paper in this funny & inspriring travel listography book $16.95

4.  Who knew so many mysteries & oddities are right in our own neck of the woods?!  $19.95

5.  Haven’t decided where to go yet?  This best of list will give you some great ideas!  $19.99

6.  This book could turn your 3 star trip into a 5 star experience with all its super helpful tips & advice $14.95

Preparing to Pack

travel lover gifts

1.  Do you have scary stuff growing in your toothbrush travel case?  Keep it simple & clean with this clever     toothbrush protector  $6.95
2.  Keep your jewelry organizied & safe in this useful & pretty travel pouch  $15.95

3.  Check the back of your hair & spot hiding poppy seeds with this lovely little mirror  $3.95

4.  Stash your ibuprofen for unexpected headaches in this compact and cute pill box $4.95

5.  Need to share a bathroom for a week? Might want to grab a bottle of poo-pourri $9.95

6.  Don’t sweat about forgetting something with the use of this helpful ‘pack this’ pad $6.95

Road Trippin’ With the Kids

road trip gifts for kids

1.  Create fabulous family memories during your time together away from normal life $14.95

2.  Bring back a slice of entertainment from the 70′s with this classic water game $13.95

3.  Spark memorable conversations that may never have happened without the help of chat pack $10.95

4.  Take a break from the electronics and go old school with these fun girl & boy activitiy books $12.99

5.  Silly stories and an English class refresher in one!  A classic way to pass the time  $6.99

6.  Remember fashion plates?  This compact version is perfect for back seat fashionistas $9.95

More Fun Travel Finds

618 travel other goodies

1.  Keep you car smelling fresh with some help from your guardian angel  $8.95

2.  A curly girl quote is sure to add some inspiration to your luggage $12.95

3.  Be green and pack smart with this zippered tote that fits perfectly under an airline seat.  $16.95

4.  Slip one of these small nail files in your carry on for any hang nail emergencies  $5.95

5.  Document your trip and save your ticket stubs during your adventure  $14.95

6.  You won’t have to worry about running out of power mid-flight when you have this power bank $19.95

Do you like finding gifts that are outside of the box? We’re happy to share some of our unique ideas.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

top travel tips for your summer getaway

June 17, 2014

Have you already booked your tickets to an exotic locale? Or are you taking to the highway for an unforgettable road trip? Either way—now is the time to get out and explore a new destination. Go somewhere you’ve never gone before, visit an old friend that has relocated, or make some new memories by traveling to see family members in another state or tips

Whatever your plan, don’t leave home without brushing up on a few travel tips from these fabulous bloggers…

We spend a lot of money on our hair care and beauty products–The Beauty Department reveals how a little square of saran wrap will save you from the disaster of spilled liquids and lotions on your next vacation.

Jen from I Heart Organizing has got it all figured out if you’re tight on space. Check out her post on maximizing space and more travel tips here.

Find out how to maximize your travel budget and get more bang for your buck by reading all the pointers that Ann-Marie shares on the Chaos Is Bliss Blog.

If you’re heading out of the country, you’ll definitely want to check out the Best Ways to Stay Connected Globally post that we found courtesy of  Hitha On The Go. You’ll really be glad you did when you’re just itching to share that instagram pic of the Eiffel Tower!


Ready to hit the road with the kids? Buying in bulk and re-packaging snack size portions is just one of the many tips that Emily from Live Renewed shares on her blog. Head here to see the rest.

Considering a cruise in the near future? Take a few moments to read up on How to Survive and Thrive on Your First Cruise.  Emily  covers everything from room selection to souvenir purchases, over on her blog–The Thinking Closet.

Like discovering helpful tips on the world wide web?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our brightest finds.

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty.  Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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