We are thrilled to have the most talented Jeran from Oleander and Palm here on the blog today. She is sharing the adorable art work craft project she put on Tiny Prints mugs for Father’s Day gifts, and a mouth-watering recipe for Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows. YUMMY!

unique father's day gift

When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, I’m often stumped. Men are so hard to buy for. But, you really can’t go wrong with a fun personalized gift for you Dad. I love to find ways to preserve my kid’s art work, so this year we’re hooking Dad and Papa up with mugs with my kids art on it. And we’re filling the mugs with drinkable treats and homemade Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows (keep reading for the recipe).

unique father's day gift

Tiny Prints is so much more than just adorable invitations. They have a lot of great gift ideas that allow you to add images and also personalize them. You can use any image, it can either be scanned or even just take a picture of it with your phone. I had my artistic 11 year draw a picture of some of the adventures he and his dad had last year when they went to Indonesia for almost two months. I had him draw his picture within a 8.5 by 3.45″ rectangle so that none of the image would get cropped when we uploaded it the Sheer and Dear Mug.

unique father's day gift

Olivia also did a couple of paintings for the other two mugs. Because these were more abstract art pieces, I allowed her to fill a full 8.5 by 11″ sheet of paper. Her art filled the Mostly Mine Mug really well.

unique father's day gift

unique father's day gift

And to sweeten the deal, it’s important to fill that mug with Dad’s favorite treats.  We filled ours with coffee, hot cocoa mix and yummy homemade Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows.  I love the combination of sweet chocolate with a little heat.  These marshmallows melt into wonderful gooey-ness and give hot cocoa a grown up twist.

Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallow Recipe

Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows

Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows
Chocolate Chipotle Marshmallows
Ingredients for Step One:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 5 tsp. unflavored gelatin

Ingredients for Step Two:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

Ingredients for Step Three:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa mixed with 1/4 powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions for Step One Ingredients:

  1. Begin by dissolving the gelatin in the cold water. After it has sat for a few minutes, microwave it on high to completely melt the gelatin.

Instructions for Step Two Ingredients:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in step 2 in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on low-med. until there are no lumps.

Instructions for Step Three Ingredients:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in step 3 in a small pot. Bring to a boil and using a candy thermometer, boil just until it reaches soft ball stage or 250F.
  2. Turn on the mixer with step 2′s ingredients. Add step 1′s ingredients and leave the mixer running on low. When step 3′s ingredients are to 250F, remove from the heat and slowly poor into the mixer that is running. When all the ingredients are in the mixer bowl. Turn to mixer to med. speed and beat for 5 mins. Then turn up the mixer to high and beat until the mixer triples in size. This could take up to 10 mins. Add the vanilla during the last minute of mixing.
  3. Prepare a 9×9″ pan by coating it generously with vegetable oil and then dusting with

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Marshmallow Madness!

Both this recipe and this one are great marshmallow recipes as well.

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Category: Baby & Family
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We are thrilled to have Kim from Newly Woodwards here today to sharing her train themed birthday party inspiration

Planning birthday parties for kids is such an adventure.

And choosing a theme that the birthday boy or girl loves is the best part. This year, my son is turning three and the party theme was a no brainer – Henry lives, breathes and loves trains. So we decided to throw a choo choo party for our little train engineer.

Luckily for me, there is so much great inspiration out there for a fabulous train themed birthday party. And it all started with a great photo and invitation.

Train Themed Party Invitations

The Birthday Express invitation has the perfect classic color scheme of red and blue for a traditional train party. The colors and style perfectly coordinate with a photo of the birthday boy in his train overalls.

The invitations corners were cut to resemble a ticket stub, which is the perfect touch to set the mood.

Once I had the invites mailed out, I narrowed down the ideas to make this train party come to life. Here’s some of my favorite inspiration.

Train Themed Party Decor Ideas(1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

The decor: I’m using the invitations as the inspiration for the train party – using the colors red and blue and classic patterns like stripes. Luckily, I can use pennants, banners and flags from patriotic holidays to begin.

I also love the idea of sharing some great photos of my son in his train overalls (which he wears a lot). I love the idea of framing black and white photographs to hang at the party. I’ll be able to share a lot of photos of him over the past year, so all the guests can see how much he’s grown.

Finally, I’ll add a few train touches – like antique lanterns and a chalkboard train schedule.

The food and drinks: For kids parties, I believe simple is best. I plan to serve some of my son’s favorite foods – including sandwiches, fruits and veggies, and chips. Around the food, a train track will carry a motorized train.

For drinks, I love the idea of water and iced tea – labeled as the “water tower” and “diesel fuel.”

The favors: I’m excited to send home each of the youngest guests with a train hat and whistle. I plan to set this up as a “baggage claim.”

And because I find that I always have leftovers of dessert, I like to bag the sugar cookies for guests to take home for later.

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Category: Party Ideas & DIY
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