Sisters with Flair

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Little Switcheroo

Remember this?

Well, I thought and thought of a cute St. Patty's quote and I got- nothing. So being the lazy self that I am (and trying to put Andrea's new-found practice of lowering standards to work) I just changed one word:

Oh yeah. That was easy. And hopefully I'll be able to resist those skittles:) Because, you know, they are the official candy of St. Patrick's Day. Being rainbow colored and all. I'm out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Simplify- aka lower standards

(quote & adorable poster found here on etsy)

I've been thinking alot lately about happiness. It doesn't just come naturally for me to be positive all the time or stress free. I'm naturally dramatic. I naturally think dooms day is tomorrow. Happiness is something I work at. Constantly! But because I'm proactive about being happy it's made me a happier person. Maybe one day I won't have to work on it. Maybe one day it will be natural for me to remain blissful at all times. But until then, I've come up with my own personal recipe for happiness. Simplify. It sounds so much prettier to say that word than the real truth, which is: lower standards. For some reason women think that they should look like they're on the cover of Cosmo at all times. Our homes should be immaculate and flawlessly decorated. Our dinners should be 4 course meals served with starched linen napkins. Our children of course, should excel at everything. They will be perfectly behaved and dressed like J Crew ads. This is however, not my reality. So I used to lay in self pity, wondering why I bother trying at all. It seemed like everyone else was perfect and I was a big fat failure. Reading blogs can fill you with crazy notions of dreamy mothers with amazing sewing, cooking and cleaning skills. And then, like zombies we have to go back to our lack luster lives where we feel like failures. I say NO MORE!

Here is my recipe for happiness:
Lower standards- No more comparing. No more criticizing. No more over the top-ness! Just be happy in the simplicity of accomplishing the little things.

Ask for help- I used to think I had to do it all myself. That asking for help is a sign as weakness. Now I realize my limits and ask for help BEFORE I have a tantrum. Dry cleaners? Absolutely the best friend a girl can have. Babysitters? Umm, yes thank you. If you can't afford one, do a babysitting co-op or switch with another couple. Landscapers? Why yes thank you! No more husbands MIA or embarrassment that the yard looks awful. House keeper? I struggle with this one a bit, but I keep telling myself they are cheaper than therapy! Especially if it's only occassionally. But I hold no judgement if you're lucky enough to have one weekly.

Simplify- Declutter your life of excess clothes, toys, products, whatever. Just get rid of it. And do it often. I have a serious need to do this! It's so much easier to pick up after the kids, if they have less stuff to pick up! I'm also taking things OFF my "to do" list that are unnecessary, like folding kids underwear. Vacuuming & mopping daily. (if you had my crazy hardwood floors you'd understand) Simplified dinners are now on my list, such as soups, tacos, baked pototo bar, etc.

My new daily list of things I have to get done are simple. They are:
1. Make everyone's beds. The room looks so much cleaner if you simply make your bed. It makes me happy to look at cute throw pillows. I would love if my children made their own beds before school but that would be asking for a miracle with my girls.
2. Read to my kids. Even if for 5 minutes. They'll remember it when they get older. I love having a scripture story/devotional ready in my mind while I drive them to school. Carpool is such a good time to fill them with spiritual thoughts since they are captive! My kids are still young and they love it. I'm eating it up while I can!
3. Hug each child (and my husband!) and tell them I love them. That sounds easy but I've realized as they get older that it's more of a challenge. Feeling loved is the only way any of us will be truly happy.
4. Make dinner. No 4 course meals here, but simply sitting down for 15 minutes together eating the same food, makes for some interesting conversations. It truly is an accomplishment to be proud of when you have a busy family.
5. Go to bed with a clean kitchen and family room. Mornings are awful enough without having to deal with dried on crusty dishes from the night before.

That's it. That's my new list of what will make me happy. If I do nothing else in a day but those 5 things I can go to bed knowing that I made my family and myself happy. If by chance I sew some amazing drapes and matching pillows, then run 6 miles to keep up my amazing figure :) afterwards I come home to bake fresh bread in the oven while finishing amazing scrapbooks for my children. Well, that will just be the icing cake. But until then, I'll stick with my lower standards and call it a good day. I will be happy in the simplicity of my chaotic, unorganized, crazy life. I will be happy with mediocrity. I will be happy because I don't have it all. But I do have all I want- The love of 3 crazy kids & 1 adorable man.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So if I was more organized, I would've posted this a week ago. But that would make me an over achiever, and no one likes a show off right? I'm much better at procrastinating. In fact, I would say that it is a talent of mine to throw things together last minute and pretend like it was no big deal. This Valentines day was no exception. Some Mother's have turned basic shoe boxes into elaborate Barbie or Car themed Valentine holders for their kid's school parties. My kids got to add their name & stickers to gift boxes and call it a day. I did however, run across a cute valentine download that I had to share. It's on one of my favorite blogs. eighteen25. They were really easy to download and with a little help from photoshop, I was able to add my 3 kids pictures to them and upload them to Costco in under 30 minutes. Here is how they turned out.

I was able to fit 2 on a 4x6 picture and then cut them in half. Next, I taped them to sweetheart candy boxes. (That's the only candy left 2 days before Valentines- on a positive note, I will not be tempted to eat any left overs!) Maybe next year I'll be one of those super over achieving mom's and won't save ALL the details til the night before. But then again, whose kidding? A talent at procrastinating should not go to waste! Next on my v-day list: Fondu night. It's our favorite valentine tradition. Crossing my fingers there's some strawberries still left on the shelves!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mint Oreo Truffle aka How to get a fat face

So, it was a big day at our house yesterday. We blessed Max at church and had brunch for family and friends after. Then we ended the day with a big Superbowl party. Also at our house. With cold and flu season in full force, let's just say my new motto is, "I can't kill every germ, but at least I can try!" Lots of cleaning going on with that many people at the house. But we had a great time and it was fun to catch up with everyone. So to make it to the blessing, everyone had to be to our church at 8:30 AM! Super early. And most people live at least 1/2 an hour away. So I wanted to show them all how thankful I was that they came. So I started with a box.

Tied it with a string and inside I tucked some of these bad boys in there.

No, seriously, mmmm. I've made 5 oreo boxes worth of these amazing creations in the past few weeks. And let me tell you, I'M PAYING FOR IT!!! My sister in law snapped some pics of us and I quickly realized I've got a bad case of FAT FACE! Believe you me- this is the most facially slimming picture of the bunch!

Aren't my three boys so cute though. Zeke was running around like a madman with all his cousins here, so he wasn't really into pictures. Oh well.
So I suppose you are ready to get a fat face yourself? I made these football shaped oreo truffles ala Bakerella last year for the Superbowl and love them so much more with mint oreos. Just crumble up a 1 lb. box of mint oreos (I used the food processor) until they're superfine. Then mix in 8 oz. of softened cream cheese and mix really, really well. Then make a bunch of little balls. Mine are about 2 teaspoons for each ball. Then freeze them. To dip them in white chocolate, melt half almond bark and half white chocolate chips. I've tried the dipping a couple different ways and found that using a toothpick to dip works pretty well. You'll have a little hole when you take the toothpick out, but just cover the hole with a little more white chocolate. And add some pink heart sprinkles cause they just look cuter that way. And people, seriously, learn from my mistake and try to have some self control. ;/I'd better start putting that biggest loser video game I got for Christmas to good use, eh?
P.S. FYI: They taste much better if you keep them in the fridge or freezer before eating. They're a little too soft if left room temperature.

Friday, February 4, 2011

We May Not Survive Another Snow Day!

WOW, what a week! No doubt you’ve heard about the horrible mess that has spread across most of the U.S. One of the reasons we moved to Texas was to escape the cold ice and snow that we grew up with in the Pacific Northwest. Apparently even Dallas isn’t exempt from Mother Nature.

The ice storm hit Monday night and we eagerly anticipated the first “Snow Day” of the school year and that was pretty fun. By Wednesday we were beginning to experience rolling power outages and with four kids out of school and David working from home, the novelty was definitely beginning to wear off. Cabin fever has set in and both little boys have bruises to prove they are utterly and completely done with each other and sharing one small room.

Still, the ½ of ice was not budging with the temperatures in the teens and another snow day was announced for Thursday. Not only was my patience completely gone, now the pipes have frozen in the seldom used bathroom off the game room. It was definitely time for a craft project and one that in theory could make me feel a little warmer.

A couple of years ago I picked up a few 100% wool sweaters at Goodwill for $3 each. After felting the sweaters by washing them in hot hot hot boiling water and soap and then drying them a couple of times and steaming them with a hot iron the sweaters were nicely felted. The arms were then cut off and sewn at the end to make sparkling cider covers and the tops were tied with ribbon.

I purchased a new laptop this semester for school and decided it was time to put the felted wool pieced to good use. I just measured my computer and added a ½” for the seam allowance. While I love the color gray, it was a bit boring so I cut some yellow circles out of another piece of felt and stitched them to the front. Next I ran a few stitches along the front and back to give the overall piece some detail. Finally, since I didn’t want a bulky feeling from the seam I didn’t turn this inside out I just sewed along the outside edge and added a flap with Velcro to keep it snug and secure.

At least something in my house is warm….it’s now Friday with yet ANOTHER snow day. This morning we woke up to 4 inches of snow covering all the ice and I’m beginning to think it will never end. I just went to clean up spilled hot chocolate and found this mess by the back door.

We may not survive another snow day!