roller coaster of love

We’re about 2 months late posting this, but better late than never right? We made a special set of coasters for my mom and grandma this year for Mother’s Day, and today we are sharing our DIY with you. Custom tiles make for a lovely Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, or anniversary gift. And, if you have a loved one that loves photos like our mom does, he/she will really appreciate this gift.

I had extra paper and medium {{I ordered bulk transfer kits a year ago for another project} from Tilano, a photo transfer kit/products, that transfers photos from special paper to tile, and I bought 9 marble coasters from Home Depot for $4 – that was all I needed for this special gift.

I followed Tilano directions {for more thorough instructions, read them here}, and have outlined my steps below…

How To Make Custom Photo Coasters
Find images you want to use, and mirror the images. I used Picnik, an amazing photo editing tool, conveniently {and free} on Google+ to mirror the images.
Make sure each image is 4×4 {or the size of your tile} – I had Jenna at Fleur de Lis edit each image to a 4×4 size, and next to each other {so I didn’t waste paper} onto a PDF}
Make a laser copy of my images onto the shiny side of the Tilano Imaging Paper™ with a laser printer.
Do not cut each image yet…that will come after you apply a thin coat of medium.
Shake the Tilano Medium™ before use. Lightly brush a thin layer of medium onto the laser copy of your image. Use quick, even brush strokes and don’t apply medium to any part of the image more than once because it will smear. It is easy for the ink to smear.

Apply a thin coat of the medium onto the entire surface and edges of the tile too, and let each dry for 45 minutes.
Once it’s dry, cut the image.
Using the foam brush, apply 1 tablespoon of the Medium to the entire surface of the tile.

Immediately apply your image face down and use a spreader to flatten the image so there are no air bubbles. The easiest way to do this is to push firmly from the center of the images outwards. Wipe the spreader clean each time so no Medium gets on the back of the paper.

Place the coaster on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 15 minutes at 170 degrees, then let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Rinse the foam brush so all the Medium is removed.
Fill a cup with water, and apply water to the back of the paper with the foam brush until it becomes totally transparent {about 30 seconds}. If there is an area or spot that did not become transparent, add more water and rub until it becomes transparent.

Use your fingers to peel the paper off starting where the paper has lifted on a corner.

Let the coaster dry for 30 minutes.
Once dry, use sand paper to sand the edges of the photo to create a ‘vintage look.’
{left is not filed with sand paper below, but the right is…hopefully you can see the difference}

Dip the brush in the medium and apply a thick coat to the entire surface and edges of the tile using even strokes. Let the coaster dry for 45 minutes, then apply another coat. 3 coats will provide the greatest durability {I think I just did 2}.
Stack coasters, tie with twine and add to a tray with coffee or a cocktail and snacks, and bring to your loved one. Every time they drink, they can smiles and cheers to the beautiful faces on their custom coaster set.

For any questions or more info about the Tilano kits specifically, go to for FAQs and downloadable templates.

{images via Tutto Bella}


As you know, Jodi is expecting a baby in about a month {I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it}, and we recently celebrated her beautiful baby shower {pics of that cuteness to come soon}. As a mom of 3, I of course have opinions and tips on everything related to ‘baby.’ However, there is one subject that I am very vocal about…breastfeeding. This may be TMI {too much information}, but I’ve had it all – mastitis {breast infection}, engorgement, toe-curling pain, bleeding, constant leaking, inconvenience, etc ALL THREE TIMES. I’ve managed to stick with it for many reasons {6-9 months with the first two and I’m on month number 3 with the 3rd}, but it’s tough. I’m honest about it because everyone I saw breastfeeding as a mom {before I experienced motherhood} made it look so easy and pain-free, and that wasn’t the case for me, so I wanted my sister to be “in the know” about all the things women may not always confess…

Thus is the purpose for my shower gift cleverly presented in a ‘bra-sket” complete with a Bebe au Lait Hooter Hider, cream, nursing pads, a bra filled with a pink and blue ‘boob-balloons’ and a breastfeeding poem written by your truly titled, Boobs…Your Babies Breast Friend. Jodi got a laugh out of it, as did all the women at the shower. After being asked for it several times from other women for upcoming shower gifts, we’ve decided to sell in our etsy store. You can buy it here for your new mom friend…believe me…she will love it.

Jodi is framing her copy because it matches her nursery, it’s chevron and when she’s breastfeeding her baby, it will make her laugh.

If you can’t read the words, please let us know and we will fix it so you can properly read it and laugh!

{images via Tutto Bella}

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jackson’s debut

As you know, we welcomed a beautiful, new little man in our lives at the end of July. While we are adjusting to life at home with 3, it can be quite busy and stressful at times, but the priceless time of having a baby is fleeting and we are trying to take it all in. Yesterday, Jackson was smiling and cooing as I was talking to him, and I had tears of pure joy in my eyes. I was so incredibly happy as he looked at me with so much love and wonder. So, in light of my blissful {and sleep deprived} state, I wanted to share some pics of our family photo shoot back in August. The talented Meredith of Meredith Moran Photography, drove up from Denver to spend the day with us. After many poop stained blankets {during the naked shots, Jackson’s insides were definitely working}, and unsuccessful props {Jackson refused to sleep most of the shoot, especially posed in a cowboy boot and cowboy hat} Mer was able to capture some great shots. Here’s a sneak peek.


For those of you interested in a family photo session, Meredith is offering Tutto Bella readers $50 off a mini photo session. Just mention our blog, and you can schedule a 1.5 hour session {and cd of images} for only $99. And since its time to order holiday cards, once you get your adorable photos, call Jenna and Jodi at Fleur de Lis to order your holiday cards today. Even if you live out-of-state, they will design and/or find a card perfect for your family.  And, lucky you, Fleur de Lis, is offering 20% off all orders through the month of October.

{images via Meredith Moran Photography}

push gifts

I never heard of a ‘push gift’ until I had my first child. Now, I am fully aware, and a fan of the idea. Of course, a healthy baby is the ULTIMATE AND BEST gift, and second to that is help, love and emotional support from a partner…but if anyone deserves a little pampering, it’s a new mom who just survived labor!

For those of you who do not know what a “push gift” is, let me educate you…it’s a present your hubby or partner gets you for carrying and generally pushing the baby out (C-section moms definitely deserve one too).

I jokingly asked my hubby before the birth of our son, “What’s my push gift going to be?” At the time, he was building our first home, so he simply and confidently replied, “A house.”

Okay, so that was more than enough and I LOVE our home. It’s beautiful.

Well, now I’m a candidate for a “push gift” again as I just had our 3rd child. So, I’m on the look-out for that sweet, fabulous and WELL-DESERVED “push gift.”

Here’s what I came up with…

{I’d love to hear if you’ve received any great “push gifts” and what they were…please share!}

Diamond Stackable Band
If you have the budget for it, I love the idea of adding a diamond band above or below your wedding ring for every child, or designing a “mom ring” with all the children’s birthstones in one unique design.

Calendar Bracelet, Dalla Nonna Jewelry, $125
{necklaces available too}

Numeric Stackable Ring, Gorjana-Griffin {$30}
{buy the number of kids you have…or will have post birth} 

Birth Photographer or Newborn Photography Session
{if she is open to people being in the delivery room, having a professional photographer capture all the unforgettable moments during labor and the first moments you meet your new baby is priceless}

If she is not open to having her birth documented, a newborn photography session is a wonderful gift idea and a nice way to capture a newborn sweet face, cuddle poses and the moments of sweet new life…which moms know doesn’t last long!

Art Date Print, The Memory Gallery via Etsy

Cartier Love Bracelet, $5,575
{a girl can dream, right?}

Designer Diaper Bag, Kate Spade, $348
{help the new mom feel fashionably fabulous with a designer diaper bag}

{images via Harry Winston via Pinterest, Meredith Moran PhotographyDalla Nonna JewelryThe Memory Gallery, Cartier, Gorjana-Griffin, Kate Spade}.

happy mother’s day

You are our sunshine,
Our only sunshine,
You make us happy when skies are grey,
You’ll never know dear,
How much we love you,
So, please don’t take our sunshine away.

To our mom, who we think is the greatest mom in the world. She gives of herself all the time, and if weren’t for her, we wouldn’t be the women we are today. We love you, mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms out there who teach profound wisdom, give selflessly and love unconditionally everyday!