Saturday, June 03, 2017

Gimmie, Gimmie More Mac & Mia!

Life with a toddler in our house means some pre-bed snuggle sessishs. Toddler unwinds with some Seasme Street, while I unwind browsing Instagram, Anthro, Nordstrom and Amazon. I always bookmark and save so many cute kids' clothing brands and stores, but never have time to go back, browse and buy.

Enter Mac & Mia

When I heard Molly became a stylist for this kids brand, I knew the clothes had to be good. Not only does Molly have impeccable style, but her tots are always totally dressed on trend. 

While I waited in the car for long delay in a takeout order from our favorite Thai restaurant (Nicky's Kitchen), I signed up for Mac & Mia via my phone. My registration was done before our crab wantons were ready! 

My Mac & Mia box arrived in a timely manor. Let's talk about the box for a second. It's so cute! I'm big on packaging and love the dotted cardboard lol. I saved the box to store my tots' art supplies. 

When I opened the packaging I GASPED at the pineapple romper. That was a keeper (see below). 

All of the items would have stayed with us, but one item was similar to something I had just purchased (Molly knew my taste so well) and the pair of white denim Seven jorts (who knew Seven made kids jeans!?) had to go back as they wouldn't have made it one meal with my kid. Inside the box there is a simple pre-labeled bag to ship items back inside. SO EASY! 

The hubs is super map obsessed, so probably will wish I would have kept this dress once he stumbles upon this post! 

There are so many things that I loved about Mac & Mia, but one of the biggest is that there were options - dresses, separates and accessories. The shipment even included paper dolls and stickers for Lennon! As the kids say, "so extra." 

In addition to the pineapple romper, we kept the coral cross back tank...because...I mean....that COULD NOT GO BACK! 

Here's a shot of Lennon in her pineapple romper. It's a little big, but that was the plan. We want this thing to last ALL SUMMER LONG! 

Here is a link to get $20 off your first box if you'd like to try Mac & Mia! It's highly likely that I'll order another box in the late summer for some fall goodies! 

Thanks, Molly! 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Old Navy - New Items.

I’m a really annoying person (in general), but especially at a craft show, fair, festival...whatever you want to call it. Everything I see, I either verbally or mentally say “I can make that.”

Sometimes I really can. Other times I fail miserably. There are also times where i buy the “ingredients” but just never make the final product.

Recently I’ve re-imagined two pieces of clothing for my mini me using Old Navy items as a base. You may remember that I did that in the past here, here, here and here.

This time, my projects included an on-trend embellished jean jacket and WVU dress utilizing Circuit paper.

The embellished jean jacket trend has me reminiscing about the time that i begged my parents for a LA Gear jean jacket for at least two months. I saved up allowance, did extra chores and finally earned that jacket. With the help of some iron on patches from Hobby Lobby and Target, Lennon now has her very own embellished jean jacket!

This craft is so simple: Buy patches. Iron on.

I was going to buy some from Amazon, but local craft stores came through with some options! I was going to add some enamel pins, but i didn’t want to injure my child.

Next up was the WVU dress. When I saw the blue and white striped dress at Old Navy, I thought - I can turn that into a Mountaineer dress. And I did just that.

I don’t have a fancy Circuit machine, so I printed out the flying WV and cut it out from the gold paper. Then, ironed it on to the dress.

I’m pretty jazzed at how these turned out and can’t wait to create some more DIY Old Navy items!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Brandi's Brew: DIY Iced Coffee.

When I drink coffee, which for me isn’t a daily thing, I’m one of those cold-drink-year-round kinda people. So is the hubs. So when a former co-worker introduced me to the Hario Cold Brew System, I was intrigued. Now I’m hooked.

Don't ask me what that label says. I hope I'm following whatever warning it may be. 

You just drop some finely ground coffee into the filter, add cold water, put it on your fridge overnight and BAM - you have cold brew coffee waiting for you in the morning!

I’ve been experimenting with my “Brandi Brews” and so far my favorite brew is packs of flavored coffee from Nicholas Coffee Roasters in Pittsburgh with a bit of vanilla soy milk. No need for sugar! These small bags are just over $1 at Nicholas’ - so that makes my cup of homemade Brandi’s Brew about .25 cents!

I haven’t mastered the right level of adding some water to the final brew. I like it without, but it may be a tad too strong.

If you are into iced coffee, I’d recommend the $16 investment (+ some ground up coffee).

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What Dreams Are Made Of: Magically Sweet Unicorn Dip

I may have mentioned this in the past, but i have an affinity for unicorns. Growing up, I had a porcelain unicorn collection on display in my bedroom. I’ve carried the tradition on to my daughter - sprinkling in some unicorns into her bedroom. I think she likes them too - her favorite thing to do after baths now is to ride her unicorn rocker naked ; )

When browsing Facebook I stumbled upon a recipe called “Unicorn Dip” so of course I was ALL OVER that. I just needed the right time to test the recipe. Given that the dip uses a rainbow of colors, I felt like I could apply it to a St. Patrick’s Day treat.

I used this recipe from Delish.

Overall the recipe is easy, there aren’t too many ingredients and I had most of the items already in my pantry. Things were going super great until the food coloring.

I wanted to use some bold colors to show the rainbow…

Let’s just say the blue food coloring squired all over me and the cup (which I didn’t know until I picked it up). It’s been 24 hours and my hands are still a bit blue. Soap and water didn’t help and the internet suggested rubbing alcohol and that was useless. I tried hand sanitiser and surprisingly The Honest Company variety worked better than non-organic stuff. I’m now down to pastel blue spots. Hoping that shampoo helps. (The internet also suggested bleach! And nail polish remover).

Back to the recipe.

Delish suggests layering in the colors and then swirling with a knife. Using bold colors didn’t pay off here because they turned a little brownish. If I do this again, I’ll keep the colors a pastel and not use the multi-colored sprinkles.

Excuse the ugly plastic container here, but I wanted to use something that could show how the colors layer in.

While my unicorn dip may not be the prettiest, IT IS SO GOOD. The recipe is a keeper with some modifications!

Next Up (from Delish):

Unicorn Dip (Copied from Delish)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 c. marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • pink food coloring
  • Purple food coloring
  • green food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
  • rainbow sprinkles
  • NILLA Wafers, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and powdered sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until evenly combined. Add heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Divide mixture between four small bowl (or one bowl for each color you're using) and add a couple drops of a different food coloring to each bowl. Stir to combine, adjusting color as desired.
  3. Add spoonfuls of the dyed dip into a serving bowl, alternating colors until you’ve used up all the mixture. Swirl the colors together with a knife.
  4. Top with sprinkles and serve with graham crackers.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

You're The Pun For Me: Kid's Valentines Day Ideas

If you’ve been following this little blog for awhile, you know that I have a thing for paper goods. So I’ve been browsing around for customized Valentine's for my daughter’s day care party for the last months. Yes. I’m crazy.

While searching the Tiny Prints website, I kept thinking - this card would be perfect paired with a treat. So I bring you this blog post of ideas! Note that it is in no way sponsored by Tiny Prints - just some free publicity from yours truly.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gift Ideas: Frosty The Snowman

So I did a little research and it turns out that Frosty the Snowman was recorded in 1950 after the success of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

My friends at Wikipedia actually point out that Frosty the Snowman is regarded as a Christmas song when in fact the song doesn’t mention Christmas (or the holidays) at all!

Anyways, let’s have some fun with this song. I gotta say that there are some really great items that people will use on this list.

“Frosty The Snowman”
We’ve only had a touch of snow and as a parent I know that it’s important to have A LOT of activity options on hand during a storm. One fun thing to give or buy for your kits - a snowman kit! Because who keeps carrots for a nose on hand anyways!?

“It must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found”
A silk hat would be a little aggressive - especially if you plan to wear it during snow or rain. This cute floppy hat would be great for your bestie or sibling. I may need to add it to my list...

“Thumpety thump thump, over the hills of snow”
If you are climbing hills of snow, you need some boots. I visited good ole West Virginia University earlier this month and thank god I put Bean Boots on my Christmas list this year because that is all everyone is wearing now a days.

“Frosty The Snowman, knew the sun was hot that day”
Okay, so there is a lot of snow, but the sun is hot? Sounds like wacky Pittsburgh weather. For those days that start out super cold, but turn out hot, how about this North Face coat. It features a fleece liner that unzips from the outer coat. Bonus - it’s currently on sale at Macy’s.

“Let’s run and we’ll have some fun”

Just like the boots, you really can’t run unless you have the proper footwear. And who really likes running? Well, I may if I had these metallic Nikes. They look a little frozen, right!?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gift Ideas: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is one of those classic songs that was turned into a television special...or was it the other way around? Regardless, this song inspired some fun gift ideas. 

“You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen”
1. To keep track of all of these people you “know,” it sounds like you need an address book. I love this one from Rifle Paper Co!

“The most famous reindeer of all”
2. I was trying to think of who, in my opinion, was the most famous person in the world. The only name that jumped out was a celebrity who shall not be named on this blog (K family has E! Reality show), so I went to Google. It told me that the most famous person is Marilyn Monroe. And that’s how I ended up on this Marilyn Monroe Warhol! Call me crazy, but a little over $1,000 is lower than I expected for an authentic Warhol!

“Had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it. You would even say it glows.”
3. I know, I know. Gifting someone an exercise class can come across offensive, but for the yogi in your life (in Pittsburgh) Amazing Yoga has an upcoming “Glow With The Flow” class that combines techno music, yoga, heat and a blacklight!

“All of the other reindeer. Used to laugh and call him names.”
4. Sounds like you need a book about bullying. I’m going to recommend this book called “Pushing Isn’t Funny” because I may need this (or DO NOT BITE YOUR FRIENDS) version for my 16-month-old and her “friends.”

“They never let poor Rudolph. Join in any reindeer games.”
5. Rudolph needs to take things into his own hands with some new games. I love adding a board game to my list because honestly wine, snacks, beer and a board game are totally my ideal Saturday night. I’ve got my eye on Trivial Pursuit Harry Potter edition, Trivial Pursuit 2000s, and the Oregon Trail card game.

“As they shouted out with glee, Rudolph the red-nose Reindeer. You'll go down in history”
6. I do love to give someone the gift of a book (not on an e-reader). Typically history
books are boring, but this year Hamilton is rather “hot,” so how about the book Alexander Hamilton.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gift Ideas: Jingle Bell Rock

The theme of this year’s Shot of Brandi* Holiday Gift Guide is Christmas songs!

Jingle Bell Rock” is like regular “Jingle Bells” cooler cousin. It has similar lyrics, but with a more upbeat spin. While the song has been covered by a lot of artists, I think my favorite pop culture moment with this song is the famous Christmas pageant scene in Mean Girls.

“Jingle bell swing and jingle bells ring”
1. It’s very festive if you have those bells ringing from your door. Make that happen with this jingle bell wreath from Williams-Sonoma.

“Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun”
2. Sometimes snow is fun. You look at it coming down and laying a beautiful blanket of white fluff on your lawn. A sled is necessary to play in the snow! There are a lot of sled options out there, but I’m going to pick this one from L.L. Bean based purely on the fact it’s cute.

“Dancing and prancing in jingle bell square”
3. I don’t know where jingle bell square is, but if you are going to be dancing you need some dancing shoes. Let me suggest these bedazzled beauties from Kate Spade.

“What a bright time, it's the right time”
4. If it is a bright time, you need some new sunglasses. All of the bloggers that I follow are always posting their Quay shades, so they must be “in.” They are reasonably priced a little over $50. Finally something fashion bloggers over post that’s under $500!

“Jingle bell time is a swell time. To go riding in a one-horse sleigh.”
5. You don’t even need a horse to ride in this most amazingly awesome motorized Disney Princess Carriage. This is totally one of those “why didn’t they make that when I was a kid” moments.

“Jingle around the clock”
6. This one was almost too easy. How about a clock! This gear clock is pretty rad!

Monday, November 14, 2016

2016 Shot of Brandi* Gift Guide: The Songs of Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Shot of Brandi* Holiday Gift Guide!

When late November rolls around, I turn off my Drake radio and put on the Christmas tunes until December 26! Fun Fact: For the last 10+ years I’ve been making my friends Christmas CD’s and handing them out around the holidays!

When thinking about a theme for this year’s Shot of Brandi* Holiday Gift Guide, I decided to turn to those popular holiday songs for shopping inspiration! I’m starting this a little earlier and plan to post once a week until around December 15th. If you are like me than you get your shopping done early!

While finding time to blog while juggling being a mom, having a job and, I always look forward to brainstorming a holiday gift guide. It allows me to explore gift options for family and friends and also add a few things to my list! I hope you’ll enjoy following along!

Let’s kick things off with one of my favorite songs to brainstorm - “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

I remember singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in our elementary school holiday show. Looking back, perhaps the lyrics were a little risque / confusing for a say nine-year-old! I mean isn’t the song basically saying that mom was cheating on dad with Santa? Or maybe the lyrics were just ahead of our time and mom and dad weren’t together but still living in the same house? Regardless, this song provided some fun gift ideas!

“I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus.”
1. Mommy needs to make sure her lips are looking hot, so I’d suggest some lipstick. I’m a big fan of Marc Jacobs makeup and love the holiday gift sets like these lipsticks.

“Underneath the mistletoe last night.”
2. I’m actually in the market for a mistletoe. This one from Kohl’s is a good, glittery option!  

“She thought I was tucked up in my bedroom fast asleep.”
3. West Elm has been my go-to for bedding. A new comforter is a somewhat odd gift, so let me recommend this Ugg throw. I’m a big blanket person and I’ve had my eyes on this one for awhile now!

“Then I saw mommy tickle Santa Claus. Underneath his bear so snowy white.”
4. After researching ideas for this lyric, I did NOT realize how many Beard-related products were out there! From oils to powders to trimmers, there are a lot of products to keep your man’s beard looking fly. I’m going to recommend a shaving kit and beard wash from the Art of Shaving because...well, it looks cool lol.

“Oh, what a laugh it would have been. If daddy had only seen.”

4. Sounds like Dad could use some new glasses or binoculars. Or a hidden camera spy system. I’ve been a fan of Warby Parker for my last two glasses purchase. They have affordable styles and their customer service is amazing. For a man, I’m digging the Durand frames.