Sisters with Flair

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Pirate PAaRrTY!

Ahoy there Mateys! This little guy turned 3 today and yesterday we had his big birthday bash. It was really nice to have the party yesterday so I can spend today grieving over how he's gotten so big so quickly. I'm just sure I'm going to wake up tomorrow and have to send him off to college. Wasn't his invite cute? My fabo sister Annie did this for me, she's always willing to help me with my photoshopping requests. Thanks An!
When the kids showed up they could put on their bandanas, tattoos, eye patches, and open their treasure maps. Below is my little (BIG!) boy licking the frosting off his cupcake before we even had a chance to sing happy birthday.

He has been loving all things pirate lately. When we went to Texas, his older cousins made him a treasure chest (made out of a diaper wipe box- clever girls!), gold dab loons, and a treasure map. He still carries those gold foam coins around everywhere. So I thought a pirate party would be perfect for him.
I went easy on the food since it was about 7 of his preschooler friends (and their parents). Goldfish crackers hit the spot.
Oranges for Scurvy
Grape Cannonballs- after the party ended we were playing outside and I realized Zeke was missing. I found him under the table with 5 empty cups of grapes- he LOVES them.
Snicker Salad aka Hidden Treasure Salad. I love this stuff because everyone always thinks it's gross potato salad and by the time they all realize it's good, I've already eaten it all!
And Cupcakes. Could not think of a clever name. Ah, oh well.
And the table set up. I bought the black and white striped fabric at the HOME fabric store (love that place!) I already had the red and white polka dot fabric and bought the creepy netting from the dollar store! I actually found a ton of pirate stuff from the dollar store. I was able to do the whole party for under $130 because of it!
I spray painted little gold boxes and their parents helped them decorate the boxes with jewels and stickers.
The hit of the party- I buried TONS of necklaces and fake coins in here. The kids played in here for a long time!
Walk the plank. My boy jumps of everything possible, so he thought this was awesome. I think I'll leave it in the yard for a while for him to enjoy.
We didn't end up even playing "Pin the eye patch on the pirate", but it looked cute anyway.
I was really glad to have my vinyl cutter for this party. I also made a "jolly roger" flag, but forgot a picture! And I cut some vinyl for my old window in my living room that said "Shiver me timbers!" I know, I know, worst blogger award goes to me.
I gave all the kids maps at the beginning of the party and we hid a big box full of their goodie bags, I found this idea somewhere on pintrest, to make them look like treasure chests. Inside I had little bags of gold (mini reeses), tattoos, party blowers, and ring pops. It was so fun to put together, but I've never done a "kids only" party before and I was EXHAUSTED after! But it was so worth it to make a fun day for my big boy! Ok, now I'm off to go look at his baby books and cry...

linking to this great site:

Design Dazzle

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Big BIG Picture!

I'm so excited about phase two of my dining room. I rarely complete a room before moving on to the next. It's kind of like finishing a good book. I never want to finish. That's how I feel about decorating. Except money is the usual stopper for me. I'm kind of cheap when it comes to decor and it has to be totally functional and sentimental. Everything has to be personal or it just feels cluttered to me. It's actually a total pain, because personalizing things ends up being a lot more work! I have loved these photos of my parents as children. They were hanging in my home growing up and have been dying to do something them. My parents both grew up in the Seattle area but never knew each other until their early twenties. There was a traveling salesman taking photos of children in costumes and on a horse. Surprisingly enough, both my grandparents purchased pictures even though money was tight. (very, very tight!) When I saw these huge photos, I knew exactly what I had to do:

photo found here at Laura Winslow Photography

I love everything about this funky room above. Brick wall, fun letter F and black & white photo. Image found here.

This water photo is quite the conversation piece. I love quirky. Image found here.

I would love to blow these shots up and have them made into wall paper, but wasn't willing to spend $300 on something I like to change up. Large prints would cost around $120 and then customize framing would be another $200. That's too much for a cheapy like me. Here's my much cheaper version: (ignore the orange scrolly thing behind the photo- painting over the bird & branch soon)

Sorry about the glare. It's impossible to get a non-glare photo with plexi-glass frames. Here's the original scanned photos. My mom's photo was actually colorized and I converted to black and white.

So the cost break down is $50 for 2 Ribba frames from Ikea. And $18 for 2 20x30 photos printed at Costco. Total cost is under $70 and I can change out the photos without any guilt. Not that I'll want to- these photo's make me so happy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

T-shirt dresses

My newest obsession is t-shirt dresses. I've always secretly wanted to be a clothing designer. When I was younger I would sketch out prom dresses during church. I have one major flaw though. Sewing! I'm really bad at it. I've got no patience for threading bobbins and changing thread and dealing with knots. I'm no perfectionist either and that's never a good thing when sewing or cutting! I'm really good at dreaming though, and picking out fabrics. The new school year starts in just one week and the outfit choices in the mall are LAME! I love the girly boutiques but not a fan of the prices, especially when considering they'll somehow come home with chocolate pudding stains (even though I didn't pack them chocolate pudding). So I'm off to dream and with a whole lot of help from my seamstress mother (why couldn't she pass her sewing genuis on to me? not that she didn't try!) my girls will be sporting these unique ensembles this school year. Here are some of my inspirations:

How stinkin cute is this dress found here at Made by Lex.

Or this one found at jcrew. Even someone whose allergic to sewing should be able to pull of making this right? It will probably fall apart in the washer with my skillz....

Another one from jcrew because lets face it, they are the ULTIMATE on chic yet simple design.

Or these beauties found here ,I love the striped top! I can totally do this, right?

This is a younger version and more of the boutique style I see. Found on lily blue boo website here. Seriously, this idea is genuis. I could never sew sleeves and a proper neckline. With a simple t-shirt or tank, I don't have to!

So, do you think I can do this? I'll try anyway. Hopefully my girls won't have a "clothing malfunction" before lunch......

Thursday, August 4, 2011

cliff notes on being a mom

So this past week I had an opportunity to go to some classes at BYU, Idaho. Double bonus: I got to go with my sister Mandy Cakes and my parents. I left behind my 3 adorable, amazing, house destroying, pack rat children & hubby. And traded it in for 6 days of cupcake eating, Yellowstone "hiking" (it was more like a short walk, cause we're not so nature-y), play watching, shopping, parenting & organizing classes. I feel rejuvinated and excited to completely overhaul my home, children & parenting style. It's smooth sailing from here on out, right? Right?

Anyway, on to my cliff notes:

(image via: )

-Forget xtreme couponing and the stress it causes, not to mention the enormous amount of time. (This was my favorite piece of advice!)
-Save money by buying all necessities (non food items, toilettries, etc) and buy a year in advance. This will save you extra trips to the grocery store, which will save you much more money and time!
-If you can't buy a whole years worth of necessities, save 10 percent a week of your grocery money until you can.
-When you see a good deal on a product, buy a years worth, especially if it doesn't expire. Think of childrens shoes, socks & underwear, not just groceries.
-Where ya gonna store all of this? Under each bed in xerox boxes or plastic buckets with lids. Make sure you keep a list of what's under each bed and label the boxes on both sides!
-Remember online savings such as when buying items online. I always use this for shutterfly coupons and gap coupons.
-Start with building a 3 month food supply on hand and rotate it often. The less trips you have to the grocery store the more time and money you save!
-Base dinners on what's on sale that week and plan a menu a week or a month in advance.
-Go grocery shopping once a month with a menu in mind and shop for milk, eggs, fruits & veggies twice a month.

(picture via: Better Homes & Gardens)

-Take care of yourself first. This is so foreign to moms & seems selfish. But when we don't take care of ourselves physically & spiritually we have very little to give and get run down & depressed much easier.
-Take care of your husband second. Make the little time you have count. Invest in your relationship and your whole family will reap the rewards. Do small things with great love!
-Make sure that everyone who is important to you gets individual time once a week. Look for clues when someone needs you. Asking silly questions is more likely that want your time not that they dont know the answers.
-Be flexible, if you're always rushed you're stressed when things aren't perfect. Understand what's important vs what's urgent.
-Live life twice. Once in your mind and then again during the day. Start your day with a list of what you want to accomplish, in what order and how you'll get it done. Find your "prime time" to accomplish the most. Do you have more energy in the morning or are you a late nighter? Schedule to get the most done during those times.
-Give yourself rewards, set time limits. ie: check emails, facebook AFTER you shower and empty dishwasher. Give yourself 15 min of free time, then back to your checklist. After you've accomplished a few more things on your list, give yourself another 15 minutes. Do the same for your children. They make their beds and get dressed then get breakfast. They do their jobs and take them somewhere fun, etc.
-Do the things you like the least- FIRST, you'll accomplish more and faster that way!
-Learn to say no. Don't take on too much and stress your entire family out. Know your limits. Take time to decide what's most important.
-Eliminate & deligate!
-Finish what you start!
-Play. It gives you energy. Brings health. Gives you the desire to enjoy life more. Have hobbies. Do something fun for yourself at least 10 min a day. ie: crosswords, internet, read a book, etc. You'll be a happier person.
-Alternate between work and play to give you more stamina, otherwise you'll burn out.

( picture via: )

2-6 yrs old:
-One job per year old they are.
-Kids feel valued when they feel like they contribute to the home/family.
-Make it POSITIVE! Set timers, turn on music, work as a team.
-Train this age for 7 days, watch for 7 days.
-Compliment them x 3 & make it specific. Let them overhear you telling your spouse or grandparents how good they are at cleaning mirrors or setting the table.
-List daily jobs on 3x5 notecards, add graphics if they can't read, laminate and put on a ring for each child.

6-12 years old:
-Use their name and don't ask them to help you. Make it their responsibility. ie: "Morgan, it's time to clean your room" -always sound positive and nice. Treat them as equals in the cleaning of the home. Make them feel responsible for their surroundings.
-If they struggle, say "I've got 3 minutes to help you set the table. Do you want me to get the plates or the silverware?" Make it their responsiblity and help them feel in charge of getting it done.
-Summers: First week off for just playing. 2nd week- train for 5 days of jobs.
-List all the steps on a 3x5 card of what's needed to clean that room. Post on mirror in bathroom or inside closet/cupboard door so they know exactly what's required. Make sure they don't work for more than 40 min a day.

12-18yrs old:
-Schedule individual time to relax with each child once a week.
-Remember what's more important, a messy room or tattoos. Choose battles wisely.
-Give them problem solving jobs. Fixing a bike, a lawn mower, show them they can do it!
-Teach them to finish a job everytime.
-Teach once, watch once.
-Compliment and reward.
-Treat them like adults.
-Continue to make it positive.
( image via:

-if you get 10 percent more organized you'll save 90 minutes a day!
-get rid of HALF of your stuff. Especially clothes, toys, linens.
-look your prettiest in your home. Don't just get dressed and showered when going out. You should feel your best when you're in your home.
-Finish the job. Start laundry and get it folded AND PUT AWAY in the same day. Even better, try to get it put away warm!
-Get rid of any clothes that require ironing! Love this idea!
-Dry cleaner is your best friend for men's dress shirts. (my idea, not the teachers)
-Don't feel guilty about getting rid of expensive items that you don't use. Think of the rewards of finding a good home where the item will be more appreciated.
-Don't hold on to items that maybe one day you'll need. Think of passing on those items and maybe one day those items will come back to you when you need them.
-Less stuff= less stress= less time spent organizing/cleaning!
-Your marriage is more important than getting rid of your spouse's pack rat ways. Make sure that your pack rat spouse has a separate spot for themselves. A drawer to place all their keys, wallets, receipts when they walk in from work. Contain their messy space and don't make it an argument.
-Make organizing POSITIVE. If you stress your family out by organizing, you're defeating the point.

So there you have it. Everything I learned, minus the fun I had learning it. Sorry you couldn't come with me, but your pants will thank you. I ate so many amazing cupcakes, chocolate covered cinnamon bears, cafe rio pork salad, and 5 guys burgers for all of us. My new favorite quote is "people who like to eat are more fun". SO TRUE! And the cleaning begins......