The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

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How to Use a Selfie Stick

Have you heard of a selfie stick?  Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t really either.  It’s this great, version of a monopod that can be connected to your phone to snap group shots, taking the usual selfie shot to a whole new level.

So what exactly is a selfie stick?

A selfie stick is designed to be held at arm’s length to fit the photographer into the frame.  They can be connected to your phone using Bluetooth technology, a timer app or a cord to trigger the shutter.

Who makes them?

All it takes is a quick Google search to find these popular photography accessories.  Your choices can include connecting the stick to the Bluetooth on your phone, using a small cord to connect to the remote or a simple monopod using a timer app.  It all comes down to the bells and whistles you’re looking for, and your budget.  Here are a few that came up in my own research…

Looq

Noot (this is the one I ended up choosing)

Kootek

How can you use them?

This is the great part!  As a mom, it’s long been a challenge to get ourselves into pictures.  This is a great solution.  The selfie stick can be extended to varying lengths to include you, your family and the scenery behind you.  I know I have big plans for ours when it comes to vacations.  Most collapse to about 12 inches making them easy to tuck away in a bag or keep in the car when for when you’re out and about.

While, at first, I found myself a little self conscious using the device, it was quickly outweighed by the fun.  We’ve been documenting all kinds of adventures. Have you ever used a selfie stick? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks to using this fun, new photography accessory!   

 This article was written by Alison Bickel.

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars

We’re in the kitchen today making a healthy snack. Granola bars! I don’t even want to know what I’ve spent on granola bars at the store. But, let’s just say that my kiddos have one just about every day for a snack. And here’s the thing. They are so simple to make. You probably already have all of the ingredients you need! Today we’re making pecan cranberry granola bars.

Here’s our cast of ingredients. Ok, I take back what I just said… you probably don’t have wheat germ in your pantry. That’s the one thing I did have to go to the store to pick up. *wink

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, salt, wheat germ, cinnamon, chopped pecans and cranberries.

You don’t want to chop your pecans too fine. Small little bits is fine.

Once you have your dry ingredients in your bowl, enlist the use of your kitchen helper to mix it all together.

In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, egg, canola oil and vanilla. If you have local honey, that’s even better!

Make a well in your dry ingredients, and pour in your wet ingredients.

Stir together until the wet ingredients are incorporated throughout.

Spray the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Flatten down the granola into an even layer.

I didn’t go quite to the edge of my dish. I wanted my bars to be a little thicker, and hopefully to stay more chewy.

Bake for 30 minutes, and then let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. You want to cut them when they’re still warm so that it will be easier.

After cutting, let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Now, how easy was that? And, they’re delicious! You can change it up by adding almonds or different kinds of dried fruit. Here’s the printable. Enjoy!

This article was written by Jenn Rutledge.

Pecan Cranberry Granola Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 C old fashioned oats
  2. 1/2 C light brown sugar
  3. 1/2 C wheat germ
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 C all purpose flour
  6. 1 C cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  7. 1/2 C chopped pecans
  8. 3/4 tsp salt
  9. 1/2 C honey
  10. 1 egg, beaten
  11. 1/2 C canola oil
  12. 2 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  4. Make a well in your dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 dish and evenly spread the granola. The thicker they are, the chewier they will be.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into bars (they should still be warm).
  8. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
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loved it! (29th edition)

Did anyone else have a hard time gaining momentum for 2015?  I stopped in my tracks when I read the following words from Ann Voskamp, “I’m not ready for a new year and moving forward. I want a do-over on the last year.” That’s exactly what I was feeling. As I watched others forge ahead enthusiastically with new goals, I found myself pouting about my 2014 failures– things I’d put my heart into and gave an honest try.  If I was suppose to identify a significant accomplishment from the last year before I could move onto the next, then I just could not be ready for a new year.  Thankfully, Ann’s reflections about falling forward gently helped me recognize the learning experiences of 2014 and opened my heart to hope for 2015.

Even if you, like me, weren’t ready to start a new project on Jan 1, it’s not too late to add a creative habit to your daily routine.  Consider these two gems–

Susan Keller’s video project “1 Second Every Day” for a year  

The Artful Parent’s daily sketchbook

Are you wearing snow boots or flip flops this winter?  A recent move to Iowa has my family experiencing the coldest weather we’ve ever known. But isn’t the snow spectacular?  I love seeing clean, white winter scenes like Janice Hobbins’ stunning photo above.  @_xojanice is one of my favorite IG accounts to follow as it’s a treat to view the beautiful way Janice sees the world around her.  

While winter brings beauty, it also brings challenges to many.  I appreciate the survival strategies for winter shared by Modern Mrs. Darcy and encourage anyone suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression to seek help from a professional. 

To make your January a little brighter, I recommend this gorgeous, inspirational calendar by Tiffany Kelly.  

And to make your January a little cozier, you might like to try Our Best Bites’ recipe for chicken soup with me.

This article was written by Clair.

 

 

 

 

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