Sisters with Flair

Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days- Photo organizing

31 days!! Can you believe we organized and blogged for that many days? I gotta admit, I didn't think we'd make it!
So the last thing on our agenda is photo and video organizing. I'm really good at taking 400 photos a month (wish I was exaggerating) but what do you do with them after you take them? I wish I could say that I have up to date scrapbooks for each child and additional copies for them to take when they grow up, but you've seen my closets and pantry by now, you know that's not like me. What I can tell you is I have a great desire to document my children's lives and prove I was a fun mom even though they'll deny it through their teens. So in my opinion, it doesn't matter how many photos you take, what's the point if you don't do anything with them? I used to spend an hour per scrapbook layout which included only about 3-4 photos of the same event. But that only lasted for the first child. It's pretty overwhelming to do that for multiple children. So now I use I should probably work for them or at least buy stock in this company because I love them! I scanned in my baby photos along with my siblings and some of my ancestor photos and then uploaded them to Now, if something should happen to my oroginal photos such as fire or water damage I have them backed up. Shutterfly also promises to never delete my photos or projects and doesn't require a minimum purchase to keep my account open, unlike other companies. There is so much peace knowing that my family photos will always be safe and I can reprint any of my previous photo books if I ever need them. (I promise they're not paying me for this blog post- I just seriously love their quality and they're easy to use!)

Here's a great idea for the non-scrapbook people. Document what your child is into on each birthday. Here is a sample of mandy and my 3 year old boys:

So what do you do with your videos? Now that our phones, camera's and iPads all have video recording , I have plenty of videos but have to watch them on my phone to view them. I've just started playing around with iMovie app for the iPad or iPhone. My 9 year old opened the program and made a video with photos set to music without a single tutorial. I needed a little more help but am starting to get the hang of it. Clipping videos and setting them to music is a little trickier but so much more fun to watch than 20 min of a baby sleeping. In this fast paced world we need more exciting home movies and iMovie is the perfect solution. (Again, not getting paid for my opinion) I'm loving it and the kids feel like movie stars when I show them the finished projects. Here is a quick sample of what I mean. I uploaded to but you can use Youtube & even Facebook. I still have to figure out the whole music copy rights so I had to go with some cheesy music, but you'll get the idea....

So in the long run, the most important thing you do with your photos is to DO SOMETHING with them. Print your favorite photos AND frame them. Turn your home movies into fast paced movies or in the very least, burn them to CDs to enjoy. Create digital photo books or paper scrapbooks. Whatever you decide, the best thing you can do is enjoy the photos and videos that you take of your loved ones. And then after that, use to back up your computer nightly. It's only $50 a year and cheaper than an external hard drive. Trust me, this back up has worked many times for us!

Happy Halloween Peeps! I hope you enjoyed organizing with us. Since we're no pro's at this I think it's safe to say, we learned alot this month! For instance, I learned that we have a whole lotta clutter and chocolate makes cleaning easier. My next 31 days will probably consist of a diet. Boo.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30- Finishing those pesky projects

In my quest for organization I have come across many an unfinished project. Frames with nothing in them, fabric waiting to be curtains, wood to fix our fence, a canvas for a pinterest project, a wreath waiting to be made. You get the idea..... I'm a craft hoarder. Good intentions with about 75% of them completely finished. I dream of crafts all night and get about half way through with them and then get bored. That's when my parents come in handy. They come into town full of energy and completely excited to take on my projects. They're my biggest fans! (and my cheapest labor- just have to pay them in chocolate & jokes:)) This time my mom tackled the drapes. My dad and husband worked on fixing our fence and then they hung some curtain rods and some art. I worked on unwrapping the chocolates to hand feed them. With their hands being tied up in fabric & power tools, it's the least I can do. Quite literally, The. Least. I. Can. Do!

Ok- let's have a moment of silence for this not so dearly departed wall paper.....

Ugly eh? But not anymore!!!!

This office has been my "unfinished project nemesis". I just need to figure out the deer head collage wall and it will be complete. But it's almost there and OH! how this room makes me happy!

Do you see that? A clean counter top? You have no idea how miraculous this is! It's just screaming for a project to be made on it! Magnet board was a project my husband and I did earlier. The light fixture is from Ikea.
These are the curtains my mom completed. The fabric is from It cost under $50 to make both panels!
Doesn't this faux deer head make you happy? I've been dreaming of it for the 8 months and finally took a trip down to Z Gallery. I know what you're thinking, "it's missing something". I think so too, so my next project is to make it a yellow bow tie! The frame I got from Ikea about a year ago and spray painted it white. When I cleaned out my closets I found the frame. YAY for organizing!!! Isn't it the perfect size?!

So go finish some of those pesky projects you have junking up your closets. They probably won't take long and you'll be so HAPPY you did! And if you can trick your family into working for chocolate you'll get it done in No time!

I've linked this up to these fabulous sites!

The DIY Show Off



TDC Before and After

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: Craft Room

Ah, the craft room. I am lucky enough to have a craft room, but the downside is that it's also my guest room, so things are a little tight fitting my long desk and a queen sized bed in a pretty small room. My room is no beauty to look at and I've taken over the closet as my craft storage. No pictures since it wasn't exactly picture-worthy. I have a bunch of different clear containers that hold my various supplies and I decided to go through everything and purge. I cannot believe how many odds and ends of projects I was holding on to! I've made a "to make" pile and hope to go through that before I start anything else (yeah right) and got rid of so many little pieces of bias tape that are too small to do anything, too small scraps of fabric, and finally found all my bobbins! I always make a huge mess when I'm crafting and so when it's time to clean up, I just quickly shove everything away. Time to change that:) On the bright side I was able to make some alphabet bean bags with all the random scraps I found!
Here are some awesome craft organizing ideas... look at that closet!

LOVE the baskets!
Oh my gosh, don't you just want to lock yourself in this room for an afternoon?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28 Wrapping Paper

WOW! It has been a week since I blogged. A whole week! It's been nice to take a little break, especially when that break entails 5 days at the Happiest Place on Earth without your children! That's right, I went to Disney Land. WITHOUT KIDS. My husband and I felt a little guilty- but every time we saw a 2 year old having a melt down, which was often, we smiled. Because that would've been us! (And was us, just 9 months ago!) So thanks Mandy for organizing for an entire week without me, especially since I roped you into this whole 31 days of it!

So onto organizing: Have you ever gone through your wrapping paper supplies and cleaned them out? Sadly, in 15 years I have not. I just keep adding to the supplies, but I never purge any of them! So it's safe to say that they may have needed a bit of an update. My wrapping supplies are tucked away in one of my master bedroom closets and the whole thing is not pretty to look at! With 3 (including my sista!) fall birthdays, an anniversary and Christmas just around the corner, it was time to think presentation. Birthday present presentation. This is not one of my talents. But I can dream of Martha-like wrapped presents under the tree right?

Do you keep and re-use gift bags? I keep them and never quite get around to re-using them. Then, they just start looking raggedy. I had wrapping paper that was too thin and would tear and I'd be frustrated using it. I had mounds of ribbon from gifts I'd been given, boxes that were torn and tissue paper that was just too pretty to throw out. Seriously, why do I feel the need to save tissue paper from gifts?

So, I'm pretty happy that I can now close the lids on these boxes. Something I'm not quite sure I've ever been able to do before! In my dream world my after pictures would look more like this below and not 3 rubbermaids.....

Image found here

Using the backs of closet doors in my opinion, is brilliant. Almost as clever as the person who invented nutella.... And since I'm being practical, and not dreaming of an actual room that would be used just for wrapping and gifts (oh but I dream of that!) here is another brilliant idea. Use a hutch or cabinet for wrapping. I have one that would work nicely for that, but would take some massive organizing to get into this shape!

Image found here:

And after I get my beautiful wrapping stations I'm pretty sure all my presents will look like these:

image found here:

Image found here:

Cupcake liner flowers and tissue flowers? Who comes up with this stuff? BRILLIANT! (that's my favorite word, by the way, especially when you say it with an evil accent)

And only 3 more days of our organizing challenge!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: Totally something about organizing

First of all, I wanted to give a little shout out to Andrea's little boy, who is turning 3 years old today! Happy Birthday K! And Andrea, there's no need to read the blog today, you go enjoy yourself and I'll take care of the organizing around here.

Ok, is she gone? Good, because I'm getting a little burned out on all the organizing bliss. I still have a couple more projects, but HELLO! Halloween is almost here people, and I've been sewing up a storm! I won't show you our costumes until after Halloween, but I made some trick or treat bags for the boys today that I'm sure they'll love for years to come! I love appliqued names on anything, but especially on bags, and I'm so happy with the way these turned out! You should have seen me sewing like a mad women while the kids napped. It was insane, but I got them done. I was sewing so crazy, I even broke 3 needles. THREE. And I can't even remember the last time I broke a needle. Aren't they cute?
Ok, so nobody tell Andrea, at least I blogged, right?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: 72 hour kits

You never know when an emergency might come up and you'll need a 72 hour kit: flood, earthquake, hurricane, friekishly crazy snowstorm (most likely to happen here in Idaho). And for some reason I have these visions of me acting like a psycho person trying to pack an entire house of contents into 2 school-sized backpacks. Top ramen packets flying, water jugs busting open, me barking out orders; it's quite the scene I've envisioned in my head. Lately I've been seeing some awesome 72 hour kit ideas via Pinterest and I've been excited to put ours together. I've decided to just pick up items little by little, so I don't have a finished product to show you all, but I read this great article from HowDoesShe?
A couple weeks ago I gathered my whole little family together and forced everyone to throw water bottles, top ramen, tuna fish, and some hard candy into a large backpack that we decided Daddy will have to carry when we need to evacuate (those water bottles can get heavy!). Now everyone go and get your 72 hour kits all together and we can all feel a little more prepared for the unexpected.:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: Junk Drawer

When we first got married, I bought this bread box at Target because I saw in a magazine how they drilled holes in the back and charged cell phones and ipods in there. Hmmm. Let's be honest. I never did that. This bread box has always ended up as the place where we hurry and throw all the junk before company comes. So this is the before.
Mostly it's just a bunch of stuff that should be put in it's right spot. What I really need it for is for all the little office supplies that I want up in the kitchen. So I cleaned it out and put back just what I needed.
Here's my after. Scissors, tape, stapler, pencils, pens, post its and a notepad. Let's just hope it stays this way!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: My Favorite Things

I always love seeing people's favorite things on blogs, so I thought I'd show you all a few of mine. First up, my beloved steamer. I absolutely love this thing. A year and a half ago we put laminate flooring in our kitchen, dining and living rooms. You know. The three rooms we're in ALL the time! For the first year I did the spray and wipe thing, but I didn't really feel confident that my floors were clean. My steamer just uses plain water and it has a pad on the bottom that you just wash when you're done. I feel confident that the hot steam is really sanitizing my floors and my little guys can crawl all over and I don't really worry about. If you know me at all you know I'm a bit of a germaphobe, but I really am a lot better now that I have 2 kids. (My mom is totally rolling her eyes right now)

I don't know what my issue was with keeping everything that people gave us for wedding gifts. I was looking at our rag situation the other day and it was pathetic. All the rags were mismatched and really raggy-looking. So guess what I actually did? I threw out a bunch of my rags and bought a big pack of white terry cloth ones at Sams Club. It was 60 rags for 24 bucks. And since they're white I can just bleach them clean. Looking in my rag drawer now makes me so happy. It reminds me of the organization class Andrea and I took this summer and she really emphasized "getting rid of the uglies" and my rags were really "uglies."
And my final favorite thing for you today, my triple-divider laundry hamper. I got one of these when we first got married almost 7 years ago and I finally had to say goodbye when my three year old decided to jump inside and hide. One of the plastic connectors broke and so I replaced the entire thing. This new one has actual screws, so I think it will survive in this house of boys. I have it in my laundry room right underneath my laundry shoot and it really helps me stay on top of my laundry. I totally recommend it!
Ok, so that's it for today. Hope you guys are hanging in there and organizing along with us! Tomorrow I'm tackling my "junk drawer." Dun, dun, dun....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Food Preservation

When I used to hear about people getting food vacuuming machines, I always thought that was something I would never do. Something about it seemed kinda "granola" or something. But when my father-in-law brought about 20 huge steaks for my hubby's birthday, Zac decided that we should get a food saver so we could save the steaks without freezer burn. Ever since, I've been hooked. I am using up so much more food and in turn it's saving us money!
Here's the kind we got. We got it at Sam's Club. I have used it for so many different foods, I've done cooked ground beef, grilled chicken, onions and bell peppers that I blanch beforehand (I've really loved doing the onion and bell pepper mixture because it makes mealtime prep so fast!), and other veggies. After watching Suburgatory the other night (does anyone else remember this part?), I suggested that I vacuum up the boys' blessing outfits so they will stay white for when they have boys, hubby thought I was borderline psycho for suggesting that. I still think it's a good idea, though!
Obviously, Food Saver has not paid me to endorse them, but I would totally recommend it to anyone!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22: Cleaning Supplies

I'm lucky in my house that we have tons of little closets and I have a cleaning supply closet which is nice for keeping the supplies out of kid's reach. Apparently I'm a cleaning supply hoarder. I love trying out new cleaning supplies, and I had lots of half-used bottles of concoctions promising that I'd never have to scrub again. Womp, womp. They were wrong. Cleaning out the cleaning supplies was awesome, and I no longer have to search around for the soft scrub.
I also got myself one of these caddies that is so handy for when I'm cleaning bathrooms. They seriously sell them everywhere. So, go on and clean out your cleaning supplies people. Oh, and I'm not one of those all-natural cleaning people, but I do have to share with you this idea I found on pinterest. For all of you with glass-top ranges, it's really annoying to clean all the time, so for a great time saver, go to this blog.
See you tomorrow. I'd better go figure out something else to organize! 31 days is a lot!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21: Meal Planning

When I think of organization, I definitely think of meal planning since buying for, preparing, and eating meals is a big part of my life as SAHM. Lately the 3 year old has not been a big fan of grocery shopping. Any shopping. You should've seen the stares I was getting at Walmart yesterday with him screaming. So fun. So I try to avoid grocery shopping as much as possible.
Here's how I do it: meal planning. I try to do an entire month's worth of meals because I really don't want to go to the store. We also get bountiful baskets every week, so that takes care of a lot of the produce we need. Obviously we do have to go to the store a little bit for milk, bread, and chocolate so I have patience to handle said 3 year old. So, I just draw up a little grid of my basic plan. Sometimes I change up what we're having when, but it's mostly just a list to help me see what food I have to make what meal. I just cross each item off as I go.
After I make my grid of meals, I just write out my grocery list based on what ingredients I already have at home. And that's it! Shopping for a month at a time has simplified my life a ton and I don't usually have to run to the store at 5 o'clock because I'm out of ingredients:) Tomorrow I'll show you what has "saved" me so much time and money in my freezer!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 20- Guest room

My guest room is being used tonight! Our guest room is conveniently the room that we shove things into when we hear the doorbell ring. It's also most often used when we have 10 min before company's arriving and we don't quite know what to do with random toys & mail. I'm furiously trying to tackle the clutter as I prepare for my parents to come. While grocery shopping today, I realized that the only thing a guest really cares about is clean sheets & a clean bathroom. The room isn't the prettiest. The bed is nice, the comforter is cute but the night stands are plastic bins. Hmmm, not much to see there. So since I couldn't give the room a makeover in 2 hours and buy new nightstands, a dresser and some drapes, I went for the next best thing........... Chocolate and flowers.

image found here

image found here

So go grab some fresh flowers, put them in a vase, fluff those pillows and make your guests feel welcome. They may even overlook the plastic bins as nightstands and the massive food storage buckets in the closet!

Mandy is taking over for the next week as I vacation in California with my hubby and no children! Can you tell I'm extactic?!!!!! So don't stop organizing while I'm gone or if you're already done, because you're an insane over achiever, then go buy some chocolate and flowers for yourself. You deserve it!

Day 19: Storage Bench

Through all this organizational bliss we've been going through, I've really been throwing out tons of stuff and realizing the best locations for things. Why have I been keeping hats and gloves in the upstairs coat closet when we need those things downstairs? So, I'm working on a little revamping of my storage bench and opened it up to find this:
No words people. Maybe hubby has a valid point when he can never find things:) So, I took everything out and in the process moved my hats and mittens down here. The entire process took just a few minutes.
I think it was a brilliant idea on my part (love to give myself credit!) to put the basket inside the bench, this way I can always know to keep the gloves in this area. Hopefully when we're looking for our cold weather gear this year, we'll actually be able to find it all in one spot!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 18- Attacking the Car

If any of my friends were to look in my car at any given time, I would assure them that my car had been hijacked and this crazy mess of fast food wrappers, socks, misc shoes, water bottles, missing homework, lost library books, 11 matchbox cars and 7 missig hair bows, is a new version of carjackers gone wild. Because my 3 adorable munchkins couldn't possibly do this much damage in 5 days! And yes, it's only been 5 days since the last time I vacuumed and washed the car. Could you imagine how bad it would be had I gone a week? Oh! The horror! And because I don't want you to have nightmares tonight of critters nibbling at your feet while you're driving, I'm nixing a photo of my car/garbage truck. With all the goldfish, raisins (man I hope they're raisins!) and half full water bottles, I could quite possibly survive 11 days of being stranded in a ditch. At this point being stranded, without children, seems like it would be more of a vacation than a 6pm news story. :)

So today I attack the car mess and find solutions to my messy children that don't include leaving the children on the side of the road and making them walk for the next 7 years. It's quite tempting though......

This is a much cuter version of my grocery bag (found here) that I hang on the passenger armrest. It's just an inexpesive purse! A garbage bag in the car at all times is KEY to avoiding a nest of mice from making your car their home. It's quite scary how many times I've heard of mice doing this in people's cars...... ewww

This is a clever solution to just shoving everything in the big pocket of the chair, never to be seen again. It would be prettier in a canvas shoe organizer but the clear one makes it convenient to locate items. Source found here

Now if in case of an emergency stranding here are some good solutions.
Because every good car emergency kit should have UNO cards, peanut butter and clorox wipes! Source found here:

And this is a great solution to holding your emergency kit or groceries so they don't roll all over the place! Source found here. So I'm off to clean out my car, since half my waking time is spent in it! And I'm one day closer to this folks......