Seams and Sprinkles

A sweet and fashionable life, one post at a time.

A Very Merry Cranberry Martini By Tracy of Suite & Savory

Happy holidays everyone! I am back for another quick holiday guest post to assist you in closing 2015 with a bang- *cheers*, *clink*, *fizz*! Today I would like to introduce a new creative friend, Tracy Memoli. She is an amazing food-driven blogger at Suite & Savory as well as an on-air correspondent for Dessert Professional Magazine. She has an amazing talent for finding amazing eats all over the place and even creating her own scrumptious treats. She is sharing a new holiday drink recipe with us today that will brighten up your day in the merriest way- enjoy!

XOXO
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'Tis the season to enjoy festive cocktails! This Very Merry Cranberry Martini promises to win over your guests this holiday season. Just follow this simple recipe to add a little more holiday cheer to your next party!


A Very Merry Cranberry Martini


Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 3 oz of vodka
  • Splash of cranberry juice

Directions:

  1. Start by making the cranberry simple syrup - just combine the water, sugar, cranberries and the juice of an orange to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries are tender - approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Next, using a fine mesh strainer, strain the cranberries. Set aside the liquid and let cool for about an hour. I like doing this step in advance of entertaining, that way it saves time and has the opportunity to cool. I also never waste a thing, so reserve the cranberries in a container and use it in any of your holiday dishes or on top of pancakes the next morning!
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, cranberry simple syrup and a splash of cranberry juice - add more or less of the cranberry juice depending on how sweet you like your martini. Shake and serve in a chilled martini glass.
  4. For a festive look, I like to garnish the martini with cranberries threaded along a sprig of rosemary. Happy Holidays!

Don't forget to stop by Tracy's Blog, Suite & Savory, check her out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and contact her via e-mail to collaborate some time. We hope you enjoy every moment of these martinis! 

Christmas Kitchen Tour Blog Hop!

Happy holidays dear friends, both old and new! I am so excited to be celebrating with you by sharing the new additions around my kitchen for today's Christmas Kitchen Tour Blog Hop. Grab your jingleiest bells and let's get to dashing through the tour, shall we?

The first area on the tour is my dining room, lucky for me my modern rustic style fits in perfectly with the holiday dashes of panache! I added red, green and gold plaid place mats and napkins. To make the napkins even more charming for Santa, I grabbed an 8 pack of wired bows from the dollar store with little bells to wrap around each one. It is such an affordable way to enhance the decor and even reusable for each year to make new memories with!


My centerpieces are a beautiful bouquet of flowers that I added a mini stocking to, flameless candles and alternating red and gold round ornaments. These flameless candles are one of the most amazing house items I have. They add a great charm and relaxation to any event. If you have nothing on your holiday wishlist yet, do yourself a favor and ask for a set from Santa.

 

Around the kitchen I have added in multicolored round ornaments in several glass pieces I have. These are slowly losing space on my tree each year as we get more and more personalized ornament gifts and this gives those old ornaments a new life and purpose! It really brightens the area up and adds extra cheer while I am working around the clock these holidays. They also pair wonderfully with my multicolored gingerbread house. I don't know about you, but I adore this nostalgic activity every year and I am so fortunate my husband had enough patience to sit with me so we could do it together!


Next, I want to swing over to my most favorite newly updated area of my kitchen- the hot cocoa corner! I have finally changed up my chalkboard wall for the holidays and it has become the highlight of my holiday events, I think I should just bring in my pillow and blanket and camp out here! I also added a short icicle lights that creates a perfect outlining border for the writing- I just love when this stuff comes together! I have all the essentials stocked to build the most delicious and epic of hot cocoas ever: mini marshmallows, peppermint marshmallows, candy canes, dulce de leche, homemade salted caramel sauce, salty sugar crystals, chocolate flakes, whipped cream and holiday paper straws. Give your guests options for their concoctions (see what I did there ;)) To make the most delicious crock-pot hot cocoa ever follow the simple steps below.


Epic Holiday Crock-Pot Hot Cocoa
  1. Gather your ingredients:
    • 1.5 cups of heavy whipping cream
    • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
    • 6 cups of whole milk 
    • 1 package of milk chocolate chips
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  2. Mix all ingredients in the crock-pot slowly until combined (it will be chunky still). 
  3. Cover the crock-pot with the lid and cook on high for two hours.
  4. After two hours, remove the lid and mix well. Turn to the warm setting and serve all your guests a fresh cup at the cocoa bar to add all their favorite toppings! 

My last stop on my kitchen tour is my trusty oven, Betty. It is the epicenter of my being and the thing that has kept me trying new things and being braver by the day to venture out more and also invite more people in to share the fruits of my labor of love with me. My darling husband got me these festive decorative towels that remind me to smile the whole time I am working away like a busy bee with Betty all over the kitchen during my holiday peak season!
  

I hope you enjoyed seeing my little holiday cheery editions during this edition of the Christmas Kitchen Tour Blog Hop! Be sure to make a few more pit stops to catch the other ladies on the tour today for more rocking around the clock to get your Santa hat filled with even more inspiration: Carrie of Carrie's Creations, Heather of Sweet Tea Jubilee and Claire of Cherries on the Hill


I wish you every happiness this holiday season and look forward to sharing a wonderful 2016 with you!

Poncho Average Fall Day

It just so happens to be poncho' average fall day over here at Seams & Sprinkles! As the weather is slowly changing I have started to collect my new favorite layer accessories to stay warm and snuggly, and also have the option to let a little breeze flow in when it gets a little stuffy in there! Don't pretend that you are not sweating to death under that puffy vest (I know I always am)! This fashion truth is why I absolutely love layering to maintain the temperature I do so please. I think Goldilocks had the best idea when she tested out everything until it was "just right" and you can follow her lead by layering my friends!

I thought the arrival of my new adorable and cozy poncho in the mail was the perfect time to showcase this piece with a favorite look around the town. It is always important to me to have pieces that can be multi-functional and also not cost a fortune! Are you ready to get this poncho' average fall day started? Well, let's go!

For this rainy Sunday morning around Sacramento, you first need your delicious coffee! My current holiday favorite is the Salted Caramel White Mocha from Starbucks- those sugary-salty-nomnomnom-sprinkles are to die for! So now that I have my coffee, we can talkie! 

For my first layer, I have paired these sleek yet simple pleather leggings with a cream turtleneck from Forever21. I added my favorite brown boots because they not only match with everything they also add that dash of sass with the gold skull studs on the side and although you can't see, I have kitty socks on underneath those... ME-WOW! I chose a longer gold and white layered necklace so it maintains its simplicity but also helps bring all the colors together. I then topped off the whole shindig with my wonderful and cozy new red and black plaid poncho from Zyania. I am keeping my makeup simple for this day to really let my outfit shine.


I hope this helps generate some fun and sassy attire to showcase your own fall flare! Tell me all about your favorite places to get your layered looks in the comments below- I would love to try new places that you know are ah-maze-ing. Stay warm snuggly bears!

Three Ingredient Oaty Pancakes by LaceyFitspo

Hello everyone and welcome to a guest-written post from one of my new friends from The Blog Bar! I am excited to share this yummy and healthy post with you and introduce you to Lacy and her amazing recipes! I hope you enjoy her simple, no-excuses, fit-spirational approach to life!
XOXO
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Hi there everyone! This is Lacey from LaceyFitspo with my first recipe! I hope you enjoy your pancakes.


Three Ingredient Oaty Pancakes


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (porridge oats)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular for non vegans)
  • 1 large banana

Instructions:
  1. Chop up the banana and add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend until completely smooth and leave to sit for a minute.
  3. The liquid should thicken to a slightly batter-like texture.
  4. Have the pan on a low/medium heat.
  5. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or add butter (depending how healthy you're feeling).
  6. Pour a small portion into the pan, around 10cm should be okay.
  7. When the batter starts to solidify, flip.
  8. If it doesn't seem to be cooking quick enough, placing a lid over the pan. This helps to quicken the process.
  9. When the pancakes are a golden brown color they are finished cooking. 
  10. Finally, add your choice of toppings.
Enjoy!!!


If you found the recipe helpful and would like to check out more from my blog, then feel free to visit my website at www.laceyfitspo.tumblr.com

Black is Such a Pretty Color, Darling!

We are just rolling right along this year, aren't we? Can you believe it is already October? I am still in shock! I am sure it has a lot to do with still being pretty darn hot here in California and no sign of beautiful fall colors from the trees that usually gets my mind jump-started into holiday mode. One thing I do know for sure is that one of my favorite holidays is just around the corner- Halloween!!


I love Halloween and always have and always will forever and ever till death do us part- too much, too literal? NEVER!! To this day, I am always excited to get all the fun and delicious candy and the chance to dress up without looking like a crazy person. We all need excuses to tell ourselves it is okay, right? I may be the only one, but that is fine by me! I have not had much time to plan this year as I normally would but so far I am really digging all the cool DIY ideas that are floating around. At this particular moment I cannot decide if I want to be a human gumball machine (really I'm a unicorn, so am I in costume already as a human?) or a cute little deer. I am leaning more towards the deer because I want a flower crown with golden antlers..... if the crown fits....wear it!!! More details to come once the final determination and creation has been made, so, stay tuned for that.


When getting ready for Halloween, you also need to get your home decor in order as well. A cool place that I stumbled upon recently to get into the Halloween spirit in a classy way is the Art No Particular Order store on Etsy.  I got the Morticia Addams October Birthday Gift Mac Art Print instant download file to put up and celebrate my Halloween flair in a classic black frame with some spider webs and little plastic spiders. It is a wonderful welcoming sign to celebrate the wonderful color of black year round. I plan to move it to my office for year round enjoyment and inspiration.


The owner of the shop, Krystal, has done an extraordinary job of combining the whimsical Halloween spirit with lots of fun pop influences. If you are in need of some cool prints to spice up your home, office or next party (yes, amazing invitations and props are there as well), head over to the shop and put in your order for instantly-downloadable happiness. Not many places can say that! You can connect with Krystal and her shop Art No Particular order on Facebook, Instagram or via e-mail.


Have a wonderful and safe Halloween and I look forward to seeing all of your creative, inventive and pun-ny creations for this magical holiday!

XOXO


**Photography provided by my wonderful sponsor, Yadish Ramos Photography. **

Mermadrianna's Sip & Sea Party!

Hello!

I know I am so late in posting this even though I promised a while ago to get this new party up and about for you to glean inspiration from, but please forgive me as I have not been well and trying to recover... all of the apologies... they are for you!

So, here is the story behind this unique party theme- I hope you are ready to flip your fins! My sister's name is Adrianna and I call her Mermadrianna because we both love Ariel and I think it is the best name to be having in my contact list! If there is an emergency, please don't look for serious names as the ones I love have cool names; just thought I would put that out there!



About a month ago her honey plans to show up for one day to surprise her and propose. I was a nervous wreck up into this point because I was way too excited and wanted to tell her so bad! To get out all my extra energy, I ran to Dollar Tree to assemble supplies for some crafting throughout the week until the day of his scheduled arrival. I ended up making an Instagram board for them out of foam board and a banner using miscellaneous supplies around the store and some printing and cutting. So we are all playing board games awaiting my husband to shoot over a note letting us know "the package has arrived." She was so surprised and beyond ecstatic to accept his offer of spending their life together. It was such a happy moment and now both of my sibling children are to be married in October along with my husband and I!

So what comes after an exciting moment like that? If you said party, you are my spirit animal! I start thinking what would be a fun gathering for all of her best gals- themes are essential people! So, I came up with Mermadrianna's Sip & Sea Party! A fun mermaid event for all of our favorite mermaidens to join us to sip wine and "sea" the ring! I got together a fun Facebook invite for everyone to save the date and then I ran to the largest repository of ideas (Pinterest, of course) to start making a list of what I would need to collect so I could be able to say "wouldn't you think my collection's complete" with confidence!


So I decided I would get some ocean themed items from the dollar store to decorate and make good photo opportunities as well as incorporate the standard mermaid colors- blue, purple and pink. I was able to find a lot of things fairly cheap as well as borrow many items from some really awesome friends (THANK YOU!!) and save money for more items like yummy mermaid treats! I put the table together here with mermaid fabrics over the table and incorporated a really cool treasure chest with "treasures" in it and used clear round ornaments of various sizes to resemble bubbles. I used crepe paper streamers along my walls for the waves and seaweed look and fun sea animal cutouts to put around that for the ocean feel. 


For food we had crabssants with meat and cheese, fruits, crackers, candies, and Goldfish. I made moscato cupcakes with strawberry frosting, s'mores pops, funfetti cookies, candied marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels with ocean themed sprinkles and oyster cookies. Another delicious concoction I made that was the biggest hit of the party was our blue ocean punch! I combined frozen lemon aid with moscato, blue cool aid packets, tropical sherbet, ginger ale and sprite. It is so good you must try it. I think I may even tweak the recipe to fit our next event because it was just so fun and everyone really enjoyed it!

 

 

Some of the DIYs I created were the flowered letters (A & C) using dollar store flower bundles, the Disney couples poster using black foam board and chalkboard markers as well as the banner and Instagram board I used for the day of the proposal. The space was greatly decorated and also allowed me easy clean up! I had a great time and my new kitchen was perfectly in tune with our colors! I loved it!

 
 

I hope you enjoy all the photos and it helps get your wheels turning for the next event you are planning! Feel free to ask me how I did any of the items you see here in the comments and I will be happy to share the how-to with you!

 


And a big congratulations Adrianna and Chris! I love you both and cannot wait for your your exchange of vows to come along with a lifetime of true happiness!

Sweet & Savory Maple, Bacon, Potato Chip Truffles

Hi everyone! I am popping in to share that I have had the pleasure of adding a recipe to my fellow blogging buddy's recipe box over at Carrie's Creations.

Waste no time and head on over to check out all the details for my brand-spanking-new Sweet & Savory Maple, Bacon, Potato Chip Truffle recipe! I hope you enjoy this explosive flavor combination and get your September started off right- with BACON!!


What a fun experience this has been and I look forward to many more new exciting opportunities to meet new friends and share our favorite forms of creativity.

Introducing Mikal Kendricks, Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant

Hello world! I am back with round two of guest writers! Today I will be handing off my soap box to Mikal, an independent Mary Kay beauty consultant who will share her story and some tips for us. Enjoy and feel free to contact me if you want to share something on Seams & Sprinkles! XOXO
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Hello Everyone,

My name is Mikal Kendricks. I am married with a darling 5 year old daughter and have enjoyed building my Mary Kay business (part-time) since 2005. I absolutely LOVE it!!! This business gives me the opportunity to set my own hours, I’ve made some great friends and the earning potential is limitless. Mary Kay Ash founded her company on some values that I personally connect with: faith first, family second and career third. She had one goal – to help women live the life of their dreams, and with a handful of products, she helped those dreams come true. Over fifty years later, her principles live on in the more than 3 million Independent Beauty Consultants worldwide – mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. The business that Mary Kay Ash started with $5,000 in savings is today a multi-billion dollar Company that has earned the trust and loyalty of millions of women.


Mary Kay offers quality skin care and makeup products at a reasonable price point, you can try before you buy and if you’re not satisfied with your purchase you can return it at any time (even a whole year later)!!!! Here are a few things you may want to know about Mary Kay products: consumer safety is our priority, we do not support animal testing, we are committed to environmental sustainability, medical experts help with product development and we want our customers to be satisfied with every purchase.  I am always looking for more beautiful ladies to try Mary Kay products and can create a sample bag of products just for you. You can also try Mary Kay products by scheduling a one-on-one consultation, I can send you products in the mail or you can share it with friends and earn up to $100 in Free products by hosting a Mary Kay Party.

Since I know many of us are constantly on the go and multi-tasking, I wanted to share a quick tutorial with you for a flawless face. In just three easy to follow steps, you can create your own flawless look and save yourself some time! Simply apply your foundation, highlight and conceal; it is really that easy!


My next promotion starts on August 31st and will end on September 7th. Here are the details: anyone who completes the registration on my website will receive 15% all orders of $50 or more. Also, you can earn a Free Cityscape Tote Bag with a purchase of $90 or more. We all could use a cute tote bag for all of our favorite things, totes ma goats!

You can connect with me in many different ways: through my website, email me, follow me on Instagram, or on Facebook. I look forward to meeting you and introducing you to the wonderful world of Mary Kay!!!!

Creamy Lemon Pie by Carrie's Creations

Hello everyone and welcome to my first guest-written post! I am excited to share Carrie's post with you and introduce you to her and her amazing recipes! I really enjoy her style and I think you will, too!
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Hi! I'm Carrie, the writer and photographer behind Carrie's Creations . I've recently relocated to New Jersey from Virginia and enjoy sharing my recipes with family and friends through my blog. 

One evening a few weeks back, I was watching a new show on HGTV, America's Most Desperate Kitchens, and saw Britney's episode. I felt drawn to her episode in particular because of the fact she enjoyed baking and blogging and she had the best personality! Later on, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that Anthony Carrino reposted Britney's picture. Of course I clicked on her name, found her blog, started following and the rest is history!

This Creamy Lemon Pie will have you holding onto the last bit of summer with its perfect blend- not too sweet and not too tart.

Creamy Lemon Pie
Carrie's Creations


Ingredients

For the Crust
  • 13 graham crackers, finely ground
  •  ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4½ lemons)
  • Fresh lemon zest, to taste
  • A pinch of salt

For the Whipped topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bourbon extract

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a glass bowl, melt butter then stir in the finely ground graham crackers and sugar.
  2. Press mixture into a 9” pie plate, firmly pressing the bottom and the sides. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
  3. Whisk together eggs, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt into a bowl. Pour filling into the prepared crust and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
  5. With an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes on speed 8. Dollop onto the pie. Garnish with more zest and lemon slices.
Enjoy!


Be sure to also connect with Carrie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.   

Red Velvet Magic Layer Bar Donuts

Someone who has been inspiring me since the day we exchanged our first embrace is my [soon-to-be] sister-in-law Dana! She is so unique fun and easy going, I cannot wait for her to make the official jump into our family this October and start our ritual of craft date nights all of the time for fun and blogging! By the way, if you need help with crafts and adorable organization, please visit her blog at Charmingly Chic Organization; it is the cutest inspirational page ever. Trust me, you will really want to get your life together after reading it.

We have a good long distance thing going right now, but I know our adventures will really grow once we can finally be together. Ha! It almost sounds like she is marrying me, but really she is my soul-sister! One of the things she has been keeping me regularly updated on is all of her mom's baked goods via mouth-watering text images! I would say something she has really been enjoying are the different types of layer bars that her mom has tested out. I am simply basing this conclusion on the statistical frequency of these messages! So as we are talking one day back and fourth I decide she really needs to have a recipe inspired by and created in her honor and so the Red Velvet Magic Layer Bar Donuts were born! All girls love red velvet (am I correct in this assumption?) and I had to throw in the layer bar in the mix just for my special girl!

I hope you enjoy this recipe that crosses all the best things that encompass the donut, a red velvet cake and a magic layer bar! Without further adieu, let's do this!

Red Velvet Magic Layer Bar Donuts


Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Cookie Base
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbs chocolate flakes (usually found by the sprinkles) 
Red Velvet Donut
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil 
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs red gel food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c heath bits
Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 tbs salted caramel dessert topping
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese
Layer bar topping
  • 1/2 c toasted nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
  • 1/2 c toasted coconut
  • 2 tbs chocolate flakes  

Directions:

First assemble all these delicious ingredients and your donut pans to get started and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the Graham Cracker Cookie Base:
Beat butter, salt and sugars together until smooth using a stand mixer or a mixing bowl and a hand-held mixer. Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until well incorporated. Add in the graham cracker crumbs and chocolate flakes and mix with a spatula until combined.

Using a pastry bag or Zip-loc bag with a hole cut in the end, pipe a thin base into the bottom of your greased donut pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.


For the Red Velvet Donut Layer:
Mix the flour, salt, cocoa powder, sugar and baking soda together in a large bowl and set aside.

Using a large bowl and hand-held mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg, oil, milk, vanilla, food coloring and vinegar. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until incorporated. Using a spatula, mix in the mini chocolate chips, heath bits and Be careful not to over mix or the dough will be tough. Using a pastry bag or Zip-loc bag with a hole cut in the end, pipe a layer of the donut mixture over the graham cracker cookie base after it has baked for 5 minutes as directed above.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a Silpat mat or parchment paper to cool and decorate.

For the Layer Bar Topping:
Toast the nuts in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until they are a little darker and fragrant. Toast the coconut in the oven until brown. Let both cool and then chop the nuts and mix with the coconut and chocolate flakes in a medium bowl and set aside.



For the Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using a large bowl and hand-held mixer or stand mixer (yes, my stand mixer has been exhausted by this point, but the show must go on!), beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in the salted caramel dessert topping and powdered sugar. Add in 1 tbs of the milk at a time and beat until smooth. It will be runny.

Dip each donut upside down so the top is dipped in the frosting. Let the excess run off and place on the mat or paper. Sprinkle the layer bar topping on top and allow donuts to set.

Enjoy your Red Velvet Magic Bar Donut deliciousness and don't forget to cheers Dana for being this magical and delicious dessert food's inspiration! Happy baking, friends!

 

My HGTV Experience: Not So Desperate Anymore!

Remember way back when, [not] so long ago when I said I would tell you about my kitchen but I had to wait? Well..... I am so excited that I can now share my story with you and not be keeping these secrets. They don't make friends, I know, but this was necessary (and also the rules)!

So last year around October/November, we got a tip from my wonderful friend, Jennifer, who knew we were looking to do something with our kitchen since I bake all the time and our old 1970s original kitchen just wasn't cutting it for me. It was small, outdated and some things were  even completely nonfunctional. A serious baker cannot have that, it is unacceptable! So Jennifer let us know that there was an audition/casting call opportunity for a new show that would be on HGTV called America's Most Desperate Kitchens. The name itself was a calling from above I tell ya!


So my husband I and made our tape to submit, we figured the worst that could happen is that we don't get selected and go about our lives doing remodeling as our savings would permit. We heard back from the company about a month later letting us know that they enjoyed our video and wanted to come by the house and check it out and meet us. Everything seemed to go well and we were able to share our story of humble beginnings that have influenced us to keep our hearts humble to this day!

The next few months were a whirlwind. We went through several steps in the process and never really knew along the way that we had been the family selected for the show until they showed up at our door a few months later! As you can see from the episode, we had no say, no control and had to completely trust The Cousins who do this show, America's Most Desperate Kitchens!

So we had to be away while the work was being done over the course of three, yes THREEEEE, days. It was stressful, we were stuck away from our comfort zone and were dying with anticipation for what the final product would be. When we got the call to come home and have the reveal my stomach was literally, well I can't confirm nor deny, in knots. This felt insane, nothing like this happens to us. I am so used to working so hard for everything and it was such a blessing to know these people were about to change our lives but we had no idea what to expect! 

We closed our eyes and walked hand-in-hand and The Cousins revealed to us a total transformation of our kitchen, living room and dining room. Everything was completely opened up and modernized to make for a more fun and engaging entertaining space. The first thing I noticed were the beautiful Edison lights and then the amazing teal cabinets- so unique and so us! Check out all the photos in the gallery to see exactly what I am talking about! I think my husband said it best when he was quoted, "It was everything we ever wanted, but never could have imagined." It was so beautiful and the modern rustic style with pops of color completely encompasses our style! Everyone was extremely nice and helpful along the way, which made the reveal even better, as if we had added new family members!

 

We have happily been enjoying our un-desparate living quarters for the past few months and have even been inspired to start doing other parts of our house starting with our family room following the same style. It is still a work in progress, but I will share that room with you once it is complete to help get you motivated to do the same! I wish I had all the money in the world so I could do everything, but at least I know I have some projects to keep me busy when I need a break from baking!

Feel free to check out the episode online on HGTV's Website to see the fun in action with The Cousins. We were also fortunate enough to make it into the July/August Issue of HGTV magazine, so be sure to pick that up and check out pages 18-19 to see more details!


You can now say you know "someone who got on one of those shows" as many of our friends and family are saying! I hope you enjoyed our journey through this magical process and can really appreciate all the space that allows me to make up these baking novelties for you. And to all those that helped us get here from our family and friends, to all those involved from the network- Thank you so very much; we love it!

Yadish Ramos Photography

I like to surround myself with the creative, crafty and inspiring types- wouldn't you agree? They help make the most mundane situations fun and keep you out of the rut of normalcy. One person who is a crafty, absorbent sponge is my dear friend, Yadish. She will do anything with me even if it is out of her comfort zone and that has helped inspire me to do so much more.


When she decided to get back into her photography and allowed me force my help on her I was beyond thrilled! The first task is brainstorming a name- if you can start anything with your name or ideal brand concept you have struck gold! So we get to thinking and she decided that she wanted her concept to be around fond, captured memories. We scour the internet for inspiration, use the thesaurus in Word until our hands bleed (metaphorically of course) and even make comical relief ideas to keep us sane in the process. Sometimes brainstorming can feel brain damaging and we don't want that.


One especially humorous idea comes to mind quite often from this day, when we started to think of Titanic amidst our brainstorming. The part of "never letting go, Jack" seemed fitting for the memories that we don't want to forget. I just wish Rose would have given me that necklace if she didn't want it! Then we joked maybe the photography business could be called Heart of the Ocean Photography and the tagline could be "We never let your memories go." I think I laughed at this until I almost peed my pants, I am glad I didn't, but it made for a time we can use as an ice breaker!  


She didn't end up going with this name of course, but instead chose to use her name and came up with Yadish Ramos Photography. I think it is very fitting as her name, Yadish, means remember or recollection and perfectly aligns with her vision of captured moments to remember! She has been working with me to keep each other motivated and getting creative projects completed and out into the world. Hooray for being sponsored by a fellow creative, self-made friend!


I asked her to share some tidbits with us so you can get to know her world of Yadish Ramos Photography a little better and this is what I uncovered:

S&S: What is your favorite type of photo and why?
YRP: My favorite types of photos are candid photos. There is something unique about candid smiles and eyes that you can’t achieve from posing. This is why I love photographing children so much. It’s unrealistic to expect a child to pose or even remotely do what I would expect them to do, so with children’s’ photography sessions, I always advise the parents to just let the kids play while we keep our distance. This way we watch the kids make the lasting memories themselves that I have been entrusted to capture.

S&S: What type of camera do you have and why did you choose it?
YRP: I wish I could say I’ve been through many different cameras and the one I use now is the best one out there. But the truth is, this is my very first camera! In 2009, my brother and I started talking about pursuing a photography “side-gig”. He did all the research (because guys will not complain about researching anything pertaining to electronics, go figure) to find out if we should be Canon advocates or Nikon advocates. After spending quite a few weeks researching and debating between the two cameras, we decided to go with the Canon Rebel T1i and I absolutely love it! I personally feel like it’s the perfect camera for a beginner that wants to pursue photography. As far as why I went with the Canon? Well…simply because I trust my brother’s judgement when it comes to electronics. I do have a guilty confession though: I don’t know if my next camera will be a newer Canon...or a Nikon…but this time, I’ll be doing the research myself before making a decision

S&S: What keeps you inspired?
YRP: In all honesty, two things inspire me the most. One, other photographers and their creativity. When I look at their work and see what they were able to create, it makes me want to challenge myself and bring out the creativity that I have in me! And two, the passion I have for making people smile and knowing that I was able to contribute to their smiles by capturing priceless moments of them and their loved ones on their special occasion.

S&S: What are your ultimate goals with your photography business?
YRP: My ultimate goal is to be a full time photographer with my own studio and team! I know I have a lot to achieve before I get there, but I’m determined to get there! Until then, I will be working on building clientele, relationships, experience and knowledge.
 
So far our collaborations have been the best and I have had nothing but the most positive and supportive photography sessions with her. She has listened with a patient ear to my thoughts and ideal outcomes and keeps things moving to make the most of our allotted time. I have been really impressed with the passion and dedication she has to making each photo unique and expressive to that moment in time. I have especially enjoyed seeing her family photo work- I cannot wait to have her shoot my pregnant belly (when that day comes) with flowing white gowns and flower crowns! Yadish, are you hearing me? When you schedule your session what will it be for? Please share your ideas with me so I can give them a try!


If you live in or are near the Sacramento, California area and need an affordable, versatile photographer, please get into contact with her and schedule some time to keep your memories for a lifetime and don't be like Rose and throw them into the ocean, please! I hope you have enjoyed some of my favorite moments with her throughout this post and feel the same way when you look back on your special times. Feel free to send her an e-mail or check our her Instagram feed using the links below to find out more:



Don't forget to keep inspiring, supporting and collaborating in all you do! We need more creative energy in this world to keep the dull days bright and the opportunity to savor the magic of sharing the pieces of ourselves with each other! Now, go out into the world and get your photo taken so you can always have your special moments to fondly look back on!