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Posts in “Christmas”

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas Hello Island Mama Photo Card DIY hello island mama Christmas family photo 2017 a

Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t believe there only 2 days to go before Christmas. I hope everyone finds peace and embraces the season with loved ones, even if it’s one of the busiest time of the year. Since I rarely post my whole family’s faces on my blog and Instagram to set some boundaries, here are my beautiful boys who always make my day so alive (starting at 6:30 AM or earlier…) and my man. Having family and kids makes my Christmas more meaningful and exciting! One of the other reasons I love Christmas now is that we can have a family photo session, even though it is quick (like I shared some editing tips in my previous blog post). Obviously, our baby was photoshopped since he sleeps unpredictably. 😉

Thank you for continuing to stop by my little blog. I hope everyone has a safe trip if you are traveling for Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas time with your family and loved ones!

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Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial

Monday, December 18, 2017

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 5

My husband Brent has always been a fan of Star Wars. I remember the first year we were married, he tried to have me watch Star Wars and I fell asleep… 😉 There is a new Star Wars movie out this month, and I will accept his invitation to watch it with him. I think that will be my gift to him. 😉  With the new movie out, I wanted to share a Star Wars inspired gift wrapping tutorial on my blog. You can use it this Holiday season for your presents to loved ones, who are avid fans of Star Wars. Whether you’re wrapping a gift for Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, etc., this idea is totally fun and easy to make.

Materials:

Kraft Paper

Darth Vader Photo (saw this free printable from this site and made a layout (See below) for you to print for your gift wrapping)

Scissor

Twine

Tape

Red Straw

Black Paper

Glue

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 1

STEP 1 Wrap your presents with kraft paper and seal with tape.

STEP 2 Use this FREE printable Darth Vader layout with a standard sized paper and cut the image out. It comes in two sizes, so that it will work with small or large gifts.

STEP 3 Glue the Darth Vader print out and place on top of the gift wrapped item.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 2

STEP 4 For the lightsaber, cut the red straw in half and cover the bottom with a piece black paper, using glue to stick.

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STEP 5 Wrap twine around the gift wrap and stick on the DIY Darth Vader lightsaber.

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Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 4

STEP 6 This is optional: You can paint the initials of the person you are giving the gift to on the bottom of lightsaber, to serve as the name tag.

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 7 Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 9

Star Wars Inspired Gift Wrapping Tutorial Free Printables Darth Vader 6

That’s it! Easy and fun to create for Star Wars fans out there.

Have you watched the new Star Wars movie already? Please convince me to watch it. 😉

Check out more of my DIY gift wrapping ideas: Christmas Wreath Inspired / DIY Christmas Wrapper / Santa, Reindeer, Star Wars 

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Baby’s First Christmas Shoot + Photo Editing Tips

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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Our baby will be celebrating his first Christmas in the next few days!! Since our baby arrived last summer, he has given us so much joy, especially for his older brothers. Having another baby taught Brent and me to be more mature, though it is really hard most of the time. However, we can’t wait for all of them to play together next year!! It will be awesome… And loud! 😉

We had our Christmas family photoshoot last week and it was the quickest shoot ever (less than 15 minutes). I wanted to share with you all a DIY Christmas box that we used as a prop with the boys. My friend Sabine suggested wrapping a box to use as a prop, for a family shoot. It was a great idea for the toddlers to make sure they stayed in the same place. Since I love doing fun and creative photo manipulation, I thought to apply some editing for our baby’s photos. I thought it was cute!

Here is a simple and quick DIY gift box to try for your Christmas family shoot.

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Materials:

Kraft Paper

Ribbon

Scissor

Hot Glue

Tape

I used a medium sized box in which ideally, my baby would fit inside. I did not put him inside though and I don’t recommend that you actually put your baby inside either. :) Wrap up the box with kraft paper or any Christmas wrapper of your choice. I wrapped the box on the inside as well just in case the camera can see the inside of the box. I used thick ribbon and hot glue to make sure everything was set for the shoot. That’s it!

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (1)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (2)

If you ever use Photoshop or are planning to learn about this software for your Holiday card, here are some tips from yours truly:

  1. Take a lot of shots of you and your props from different angles. I also use a tripod and remote to make sure everything is in the same frame and to make the shoot fast and easy (before the boys wake up!).
  2. Take photo of you and your baby in the same location to get the same lighting.
  3. I like to use a vector mask so it’s easy to remove the background or to undo it. Sometimes, I also use the pen tool.
  4. I consider the shadow of my baby as well to make it more realistic, when I overlap him onto the main image.

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (5)

babys first christmas shoot photo editing tips (6)

P.S. I also love to style myself, wear a pretty sweatshirt from Pink Blush, and put some makeup on (I love this brand! 100% natural that works! ). Santa hats are also cute to add for the shoot! :)

I hope my little man brightened your day today! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.

God bless, friends!

 

 

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7 Husbands Reveal What They Want for Christmas…

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

7 husbands reveal what they want for Christmas Hero 1

I’m always clueless about what a man really wants for Christmas, and by man, I mean my husband. I mostly give him what I “think” he should have, such as men’s facial wash, moisturizer, a nice watch, etc. As it turns out, these are things he rarely uses. Today, I want to share what my blogger friends’ husbands really want for Christmas and why. And yes, I included my husband too. But oh boy, his wish is out of my budget. 😉 Enjoy browsing!

7 husbands reveal what they want for Christmas gift guide

 

1) “I’d love some leather motorcycle gloves for riding that keep my hands warm. I’d also love this beard kit from Zeus Deluxe Beard Grooming Kit for Men. Their products are amazing and help me keep my beard looking the way I like.” – Jake, husband of Bethany of Waves and Lilacs

2) “For Christmas I’d love to have a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It’s an excellent phone for jotting down notes at work, taking high-quality pictures of family, and viewing media on its huge display.” – Brent, my husband 😉

3) “A Google Home so we can link all our smart devices together and so I don’t have to get up or use an app to turn our lights on and off.” – J.C., husband of Dee of Enjoy Mamahood

4) “I’d love to get a treadmill for Christmas this year. Taking care of myself physically  is important but with two kids getting time to go to the gym is nearly impossible. If I could workout at home I’d be more motivated!” – Hashem, husband of Deseree of Vivela Mama

5) “I want a big screen 4k TV for Christmas. I like to watch movies and my favorite shows in ultra HD.” – Andrew, husband of Cristina of Style Anthropy

6) “We moved from an apartment to a house this year and we had been waiting to get a grill, until I could get the kind that I want, without apartment restrictions. We enjoyed grilling out with friends and family, and the George Foreman grill isn’t cutting it anymore. ;)” Husband of Jenn of Harper Hadley Events

7) “I would really like to have a wooden display case to put all my watches because I like to have a nice box to put them all in.” –  Husband of Maryann of Arroyo Adventures

 

 

 

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Gift Guide: 7 Pretty Gifts For Her

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (2)

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (1)

Top sponsored by Pink Blush.

I made a list on my blog post today about some of the gift ideas for the women in your life. These are great, whether they’re for your wife, mom, best friend, sister, or in-laws! There are many products popping out this season and I know it can be overwhelming. That’s why I wanted to help by giving you some ideas for your shopping list, to surprise the special women in your life.

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide

 

  1. Sleek Petite OrganizerThis a 12-month planner, spanning from January to December 2018. It comes with a gorgeous golden metallic pen and pen loop. It is sleek and would be perfect to hand-carry and easily fits inside the purse or bag.
  2. Best of brushes set  – These brush sets are perfect for gifting, including yourself (Why not?! You deserve good brushes too!). It comes with a powder brush, angled brush (to contour some bronzer), and two kinds of eyeshadow brushes. Most brushes are expensive when you buy them individually, so the set is a good deal, as you get four brushes for under $60! It’s a limited edition release, so they are only available this Holiday season.
  3. Photo Clip Firefly String Lights – If you want a gift that involves pictures, this is a great way for gifting printed photos. String together memories from the past year with these fun Photo Clip String Lights. These can be use on the living room wall, a workspace, or even bedroom wall.
  4. Poppy lip duoThis set is a perfect lip duo of lipstick and lip gloss, that are just in time for  the Holiday season.The shade of pink-red is good for every type of skin tone.  All products contain natural ingredients and are safe to use, so you are not only giving gorgeous makeup this Christmas, but are also sharing a clean and safe product for your loved ones.
  5. Fringe Boots – Neutral colored booties are easy to style and match for this season. If you have someone who loves to dress up, from casual to flowy dresses, this is fun to wear because of its boho style fringe! I like how the heels aren’t so high and can be worn by moms with little kids.
  6. Bubble Wrap Calendar 2018 – A clever and fun idea to mark each day. This poster-size Bubble Wrap Calendar allows you to pop dates throughout the year. A fun gift for women who love unique Christmas gifts.
  7. White Marble Phone CoverMarble has been so popular, and this white marble cover gives your phone a sophisticated look!

7 pretty gifts for her gift guide pink blush (4)

What’s your favorite product from the list?

 

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Christmas countdown 2017 (opening a book)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 2 Christmas countdown 2017 opening a book 4

Cheers to the first day of December! It’s that time of the year again for the Christmas countdown with my kids. Last year, we would open a paper bag with notes inside and draw one out of the bag everyday until Christmas. Each note contained a Bible verse about Christ and activities for the day (see our Christmas countdown last year) to teach them more about the true meaning of Christmas. This year, I decided to start the countdown by opening a book each day, which has been used by some moms and grandparents out there for kids. I’ve been looking for Christmas themed books that talk about the birth of Christ and/or about sharing and giving. I was able to see fine a few of them online. I’ve also included non-Christmas themed books that still talk about kindness and giving, as we as parents try to teach these values to our kids. My two and three-year-old boys love to listen during storytelling and I’m sure they will be excited to do this every morning, especially unwrapping the books. Here are a few books that are perfect for Christmas reading.

1 The Giving Tree

2 Did I ever tell you how lucky you are? By Dr. Seuss

3 God gave us Christmas by Lisa Bergren

4 The mine-o-saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

5 The Pine Tree Parable by Thomas Nelson

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

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Putting up Christmas tree as a family

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

putting up Christmas tree as a family 7

 

Brent and I agreed that we’d put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Although, I’ve been debating about putting it up since October (don’t judge, Filipino here ;)). What made this year’s Christmas tree different, was that our two toddlers were interested in “helping out.” That means they wanted to open and touch every ornament they could see, except we did not allow them to touch the lights. In the Philippines, it is common to use artificial Christmas trees since we don’t have fresh Pine trees there. This year, we are using an artificial tree (similar) that we bought from Lowes last year. We love it because we don’t need to spend money on a fresh one each year, though it would be nice to have one! I wanted to share some helpful notes about putting up a Christmas tree. This could be helpful for first timers… I wish I knew some of these before!

putting up Christmas tree as a family 8

putting up Christmas tree as a family 5

ADD LIGHTS

It’s helpful and makes the process easier to keep the lights on while putting them around the Christmas tree. It is also easier if you put on the lights first before decorating. I like traditional white Christmas lights, but my husband Brent likes the assorted colors. I promised him that he could pick the colors next year. 😉

putting up Christmas tree as a family 2

putting up Christmas tree as a family 3

ADD TREE GARLAND

Always make sure you have enough garland for your Christmas tree before putting it on. Try starting from the top and keep it loose, so it won’t look tight around the Christmas tree. We used ribbons last year (see here) and this year, I decided to try golden bead garland (similar) to drape on the tree.

putting up Christmas tree as a family 1

2016 ornaments – DIY photo ornament

putting up Christmas tree as a family

My eldest son’s ornament this year!

HANG ORNAMENTS

Hang the ornaments inside and outside to add depth to the look of your Christmas tree. Depending on your color scheme or theme, you can find out what to get for your ornaments. We keep our ornaments a simple mix of Christmas icicles (similar) and balls. We didn’t buy new ones this year except for our boys’ new ornaments.

putting up Christmas tree as a family 9

ADD GIFTS

Since we put up Christmas trees so early in the Philippines, my mom always loved to put gifts under it, wrapped with Christmas gift wrap. However, they were actually all fake gifts, just for decoration. 😉 So if you do your wrapping of gifts for your family and friends last minute, add a few fake gifts for under the Christmas tree for decoration purposes. It will finish up the look of your tree! I like to use simple Christmas wrappers or just kraft paper to wrap the gifts.

I love how each year, we let our kids pick ornaments that they will hang on the tree. My eldest son picked an owl since it is his favorite stuffed toy. Guess what my second son picked? A… Donut! It’s a sprinkle donut to be exact. We also let them hang their first ornaments that we made last year, homemade photo ornaments. I will have them create another one again since our newborn needs one for his first Christmas!

putting up Christmas tree as a family 6

DONUT eat kids!

How did you decide to style for your Christmas tree this year? Any favorite ornaments for your kids?

 

 

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How to be creative on your Christmas gift wrap

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

how-to-creative-christmas-gift-wrap-1

Here’s another fun way to be creative with your Christmas gift wrap. By experimenting with the texture of Christmas decors, you can get a modern, stylish gift wrap perfect for Christmas! Here’s how I made it!

Materials:

Kraft Wrapping Paper

Invisible Tape

Artificial Christmas Pine Leaf

White Acrylic

Sponge Brush

Paint Palette (or you may use a simple plate)

Twine

Scissor

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Step 1: Start wrapping your gift box with kraft wrapping paper and secure it with invisible tape

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Step 2: Apply white acrylic on the flat surface of your palette. Then, flatten it using a sponge brush.

how-to-creative-christmas-gift-wrap-8 Step 3: Press one side of the pine leaf down onto the paint. Make sure you are covering most of the area of the side you are using.

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Step 4: Dab the painted side of the pine leaf on the kraft wrapping paper. Try different angles for variation. Be sure sure to cover each side of the gift box. Let it dry.

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Step 5: When it’s dry, wrap twine around the box. Make sure there are at least 5 inches of slack remaining at each end of the twine.

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Step 6: To make the small wreath, cut two other artificial pine leaves and curve them into a circular shape. Attach them together using hot glue.

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Step 7: Put the small wreath on the top of your gift wrap, and center it. You may simply glue the wreath on top, or use any leftover twine to wrap around the wreath to decorate it.
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You may also attach a name tag with the twine you wrap around the wreath (as shown in the picture above). I recycled a cereal box to create my own tag for this Christmas gift. :-)

Any other creative gift wrapping ideas that you love to do for Christmas? Don’t forget to check my other gift wrap tutorial for a DIY Christmas tree stencil!

Merry Christmas to all! :-)

 

 

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, design, and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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