Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Flashcard Printable Tags

Posted by Devin

Next week my baby starts preschool. You can probably hear me crying from the other side of the Internet, right? At Cash's new preschool the parents take turns supplying snacks. And because Cash's name is first up alphabetically, we get to provide the snacks first! The topic for school that day is the letter "A." What better way to reinforce the lesson and provide a healthy snack for the kiddos than with some sliced apples and these cute little tags I made!


I adore vintage flash cards, so whipping up these "A is for apple" cards on my computer was so much fun. I can't wait for Cash to take them to the classroom to share with the other kiddos! These tags are great for any "snack occasion" where you might be serving apples to preschoolers or elementary school students. They add such a fun touch to snack time! To print the tags, click here or on the image below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzSnruYDpCTLYWpDTDdVY2Vic2M/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy snacking!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Just Us Four // Practically Functional //

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kimono

Posted by Tara



I'm pretty excited about this fashion post. It's my very first Kimono ( I know, a little late) but they are amazing! I love how big and loose they fit. You can add them to any outfit to add a "boho" feel to it. 



I've worn white under mine and here I paired it with a neon yellow. There are so many different patterns for kimono's out there, that I can't wait to find another to add to my wardrobe. 


I wore mine with my favorite boyfriend jeans and sandals (it's still HOT here), but you could always pair it with a dark denim and wedges. You could even add a belt over it. My pattern is pretty busy, so I let it take the focal point of my outfit. 


I accessorized mine with a simple gold necklace and a gold stack. I feel like every store I walk in lately have amazing deals on stacks (bracelets). Now is the time to stock up! It adds the perfect touch to this outfit!
If you love this look, you will love the others I am sharing today over at Brassy Apple

What I Wore:
Shirt- Target
Kimono- Heavenly Couture in San Clemente
Jeans: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Stack: Heavenly Couture
Sandals: Alloy

Linking up with: Pleated Poppy // Because Shanna Said So // Tres Chic Thursday // Fashion Informant // Mix It Monday // Stylelixir // DC in Style // Join the Gossip // 




Monday, August 25, 2014

10 Things That Help Me Be A Better Mom

Posted by Devin


Being a mom is HARD. It's a 24-7 job that sometimes throws stuff at you in a helter-skelter, machine gun kind of way.  It can also be monotonous and frustrating and make you feel like you are just treading water. Not to mention the fact that you are constantly bombarded with mommy guilt (it's everywhere, right?) and hoping and praying that you are doing a good job because after all... this is the most important thing you have ever done! These precious babes are your life and please oh please tell me I am not screwing them up! 

Phew... Ok, wait. This post is not meant to make you (or me) panic. On the contrary, I HOPE I can possibly throw a little life preserver out there and share some things I have found that make mommyhood a more successful experience for me. Because this crazy, stressful job is also the most amazing and rewarding and profoundly important job I will ever have. Like all moms out there, I simply want to be a better mom every day. None of these things are mind-bending new concepts, simply reminders of things you have all probably heard before and that I like to put at the top of my "Mom Priority List." Some you may relate with, some you may not, but hopefully you will find a little inspiration or a reminder of something you want in your own priority-list. So here are the basics for me, that I try to focus on.

1. Staying Close To My Heavenly Father 

I think the first thing I have to realize is, I can't do this on my own. I need the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life to be a good mom. I need to feel my Heavenly Father's love and support and I need to be ready to help guide my children in the direction He would have them go. Remembering to say my prayers and read my scriptures and doing these things together as a family as well are of the utmost importance. Not only do I need His daily presence, but I need to teach my children to rely on it as well. Even knowing how important this is, does that mean I'm perfect at it? No way! Sometimes I can't even call myself good at it! But I am trying every day to do my best and hopefully that will be a little better than I did the day before. And in the end, that is all He asks of us and the most excellent way I can find to be a good mother.


2. Making My Husband My Numero Uno

I believe one of the very best things I can do for our family is show how much I love and respect my husband. Which is pretty easy to do when you still think your guy is "like so totally dreamy" after 14 years of marriage. ;) But seriously, I want my boys to know that their mom and dad love each other and always have each other's backs. We are partners and we set the tone in our home. Being a good wife equals being a good mom, in my book.


3. Staying Organized

For me, a big part of being a mom is being our family organizer. I keep track of game and practice schedules, school field trips and concerts, doctors and dentist appointments, play dates and birthday parties, grocery and chore lists, etc, etc. Staying organized helps me to insure that our home is running smoothly. To-do lists and my iPhone (click here for my post on Ways My iPhone Keeps Me Organized) are two things that help me stay organized, but no matter what methods you use, putting in the effort to be an organized mom is always worth it.

4. Throwing Out The To-Do List and Playing

And with that being said, I sometimes have to force myself to chuck that old to-do list and just spend time with my kiddos. As a very task-oriented person, this can sometimes be difficult to do. But my kiddos need my TIME more than anything and I need to make sure I am giving it to them. A lot of times I feel like the to-do lists help me to get what needs to be done done so I have the time to give them, but sometimes it gets in the way and I need to throw it out for awhile.


5. Being Ooey-Gooey

This ones important to me. I like to be an ooey-gooey mom. I sing my boys little cheesy songs about their dimples or freckles or sugary kisses and I try to make sure to hug and squeeze and kiss them every day with lots of "I love you"s thrown in between. I know that what I do is more important than what I say, but I think it's good to make sure they are hearing how wonderful I think they are and how much I love them pretty often too. As my older boys are getting bigger they are starting to roll their eyes a bit more, but I still spy grins on their faces when I go into ooey-gooey mode. It's fun and playful and makes them feel loved. We'll see how well they tolerate it when they hit their tweens. ;)

6. Working Out and Finding Hobbies

As I have already mentioned, being a mom can be a little frustrating and monotonous at times. I need some "me time" and I need to "free my endorphins," as my Endomondo app puts it. Working out is a total stress reliever for me and it makes me feel better about myself. Both of which add up to a happier mama when my boys get out of bed in the morning. I don't always work out, but I feel like a better mom when I do.

7. Getting Enough Sleep

I am the kind of person that needs my sleep. Less than 8 hours means a mom who is running a little slow. Less than 6 means a mom who is barely running at all. And less than 4... well, you really don't want to meet her. Don't get me wrong, I love staying up late and enjoying the quiet time in the house, but I usually pay for it the next day. I need to be on my toes and I really, really want to be a happy and pleasant presence in my boys' lives. In order to be that, I need my sleep. Period.

8. Giving Our Family Free Time

I really don't like to have too many things on my plate at one time. If I start to feel like our family schedule is getting out of control, I become a very stressed out and snappy mom. "Get your stuff!" "Your shoes aren't on yet?!" "What do you mean you have homework, it's 10 o'clock!" "If you don't all settle down right now my head is going to explode and lava is going to come spewing out of my neck hole!!!" I may or may not have actually said that a time or two. Thankfully it usually makes the boys giggle rather than run for cover. So these kind of comments are going to happen no matter what. We are a busy family who likes to participate in lots of activities and events. But I really try to manage our schedule so that we are not constantly booked to max capacity. Sometimes we have to say no to things we'd like to do or places we'd like to go for the sake of our united family sanity. I relish our free time and our easy-going Saturdays and try to make sure that we get our fair share of it. I know this is only going to become more and more challenging as the boys get bigger, but by golly, I am going to fight for it!


9. Taking Short Cuts and Using Paper Plates

Sometimes it's good to remind ourselves that we can't do everything and occasionally we need to use short cuts to make things easier. If I am feeling like a tractor ran over me by dinner time, I may have to cut myself some slack and settle for grilled cheese sandwiches on paper plates for dinner over that fancy meal I had planned. I never thought I would say this, but I have become one of those people who cringes when we use paper plates. Have you heard about the giant floating island of garbage bigger than Texas roaming around the ocean?!! Anyways, every now and then I need to take some short cuts that allow life to run a little smoother in our home. And try not to feel guilty (sorry floating trash island!).

10. Trusting My Instincts

Sometimes things come up in my boys' lives that I need to get some advice on. I may talk to my parents or in-laws, friends, teachers, doctors, etc. to see what they think about the situation. But in the end, Jake and I are their parents and we know them better than anyone. It is up to us to trust our instincts, pray and ponder over our decisions and actions, and ultimately do what we think is best for our kids. There is never any harm in getting more information and opinions, but I like to make sure Jake and I are trusting ourselves to do what we feel we should when parenting.

There are probably a thousand other things I could add to this list that I think are important to remember to do as a mom (and let's not even get started on all the things I need to focus on NOT doing), but I hope maybe a few of these spoke to you. I don't pretend to have all the answers, every day is a new challenge and a new opportunity to do better, but I love to read when other mothers share their insights with me and my purpose in writing these words is to possibly do the same for you. Keep up the good work, mamas!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Practically Functional // Just Us Four //

Friday, August 22, 2014

Our Top Picks for Phoenix Fashion Week

Posted by Tara and Devin

We recently had the opportunity to attend the Shop Garment District Event for Phoenix Fashion Week. It was incredible getting to meet all of the designers before the show and discuss their style and pieces they've designed for this season. Each one of them are so kind and extremely talented. We decided to share our 3 Favorite Designers for the upcoming Phoenix Fashion Week in October!

Rayan

 (Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

The first collection that we immediately fell in love with was the clothing line from Rayan. She makes dresses look elegant and very fashionable. We love that her dresses were also modest and can be worn to any special event.

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

It was incredible watching these models walk the runway in these gorgeous dresses. We particularly fell in love with this last piece. The color, the print, the cut, the lace detailing... swoon! We wish we had one of these dresses in our own closets!

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

 Misha Mendicino

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Next we liked Misha Mendicino Designs. With her lightweight and flowy pieces, this line of clothing is perfect for the Arizona heat. Our favorite from the runway was this elephant print dress. It looks classy and effortless and who doesn't love elephants?! Plus she has a great cause behind her designs. 

 (Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Her next dress would be perfect for relaxing pool-side at a resort. Love the print and color.

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Jaqueline Nicole

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Our third pick was Jacqueline Nicole. She is a young and determined new designer. We love her style and especially her sequin skirts! The sequins on these skirts are reversible so you can change the color of your outfit at any time by simply running your hand over the material in one direction or the other. It's so beautiful! If  you look at the image above you can see how the skirt is rubbed all over to create a opalescent look. We visited with Jaqueline and she showed us this skirt in a black/emerald color as well. It's amazing. 

 (Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

We love all of the pink in her current line and can't wait to see more from this up-and-coming designer in October!

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Accessories

In addition to these fabulous designers, we'd like to mention two of our favorite accessories designers as well. These designers had their pieces featured in the show and we fell in love with them and their designs. Here we are at the Clutch Jewelry booth with owner and designer Stacy Eden showing us the versatility of her pieces. We loved her originality and flair.


(Photo courtesy of Desert Rose Images)

Next we really liked the Tom Horn Collection. These handmade bags and clutches are simply divine! This collection is marketed as "rugged, classic, and timeless" and we couldn't agree more. 

(Photo courtesy of James Almanza Photography)

Tara had her eye on a cobalt blue clutch we saw at their booth and Devin is pining away for the cow hide bag coming to the Fall collection, shown below. Gorgeous!

(Photo via tomhorncollection.com)

We had a fabulous time at the Shop Garment District Event and can not wait for the official Phoenix Fashion Week to begin in October! Good luck to all of the designers, we know you're gonna bring it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ModestPop Dress

Posted by Devin


Lately I have been loving a clean and simple look to my wardrobe. And the color I have been gravitating towards the most is white. So when I saw this beautiful, all-white dress from ModestPop, I knew I had to have it.


ModestPop's mission is to bring modest clothing in a variety of styles to the consumer at great prices. As a woman who always strives to dress modestly while still staying fashionable, I know what a gem it is to find a clothing store that specializes in what I'm looking for! Especially when the clothing is affordable too. And ModestPop has so many great products in their store, everything is adorable!

This dress is called the Take Note dress. I love the fit and flare cut, it has such a pretty movement to it when I walk. And the fold over neckline is such a beautiful detail. The dress is made from a heavier, woven fabric so I don't have to worry about it wrinkling easily on me and it is fully lined which is always a plus with a white dress. We are going for modesty here after all, right?


I paired my dress with a simple brown Steve Madden belt, brown pumps, my plaid Dooney & Burke purse, and a turquoise drop necklace. One of my favorite things about this dress is that I can add so many different accessories in different colors to it and feel like I have a whole new look each time I wear it! A white dress is so versatile!


Thanks so much for stopping by! And don't forget to cruise over to ModestPop to check out all of their great products in their store! You will get 10% off all purchases with coupon code: SALT10 .


What I Wore:
Dress - ModestPop
Belt - Ross (Steve Madden)
Heels - Ross
Purse - Gift (Dooney & Burke)
Necklace - Charming Charlie
Earrings - Charming Charlie

Linking Up With: The Pleated Poppy // Because Shanna Said So // More Pieces of Me // Rhea Et Cetera // Fashion Informant // Tres-Chic Thursday // Style Elixir //

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Posted by Tara

I recently went on a date with my husband to a place called St. Francis in Phoenix. We didn't plan on eating there, we just stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad we did. It was delicious! Everything on the menu was placed in a wood fire oven. For our appetizer we got their Crispy Fingerling Potatoes. These potatoes were crispy with tons of herbs on them and they had a lemon aioli for dipping. I didn't think I would like the aioli (because I HATE mayo) but I was surprised to find myslelf dipping my potatoes in it constantly and really enjoying it! Today I thought I would share the recipe I came up with to re-create that appetizer!

Here are your ingredients:
1 1/2lb bag of Fingerling Potatoes
1/4 cup+ olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of Rosemary
1 tsp+ Kosher Salt

For the Aioli:
1 Cup Mayo
1 Lemon juice and zest
Salt






















I first preheated my oven to 500 degrees. While that was getting started I rinsed my potatoes and cut them length-wise.

I then put all of the potatoes in a bowl and coated them with olive oil. You want to make sure all the potatoes are evenly coated. I poured quite a bit on them, because I wanted them to bathe in it! Then add your kosher salt. I used a couple teaspoons. You won't need any more than a 1/2 TBSP. Just make sure all of the potatoes are evenly coated with salt.  I then added my cloves which I had cut into large chunks.

For the rosemary, I pulled all the leaves off one sprig and roughly chopped it, then added it to my potatoes, olive oil,  and garlic.

Cover your baking sheet with foil, then pour your potatoes on it and spread them out. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.


While they are cooking, get your mayo and lemon out for the aioli. I played around with this recipe a bit. If you really want a strong lemon taste, use more lemon juice than I suggest. My kids loved the strong lemon (sour) taste but Seth didn't. It's 1 cup of mayo with 1 juice of lemon and zest. Add salt to taste, stir, and it's ready!





















After the 20 minutes of baking turn the oven off immediately and put the potatoes under the broiler for a few minutes. Don't walk away from the oven or they will burn. I'm talking like 3-4 minutes, just to crisp up any potatoes that didn't get amazingly golden!


The potatoes are ready to serve! This makes a great appetizer with the holidays around the corner, and let me tell you, they will be begging for seconds! It was soooooo good! 

Linking up with: Moonlight and Mason Jars // Practically Functional // Just Us Four // Food Folks and Fun // Link Party Palooza // Creative Collection // Your Whims Wednesday

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY Cabinet Door Chalkboard & Rustic Magnet Board

Posted by Devin

A few weeks ago I showed you all my new Family Command Center. As promised, here are the tutorials for the two boards I included on my wall! These are SUPER simple, so I decided to put them together in one post.

Cabinet Door Chalkboard

What You Need:
Old Cabinet Door
Chalkboard Paint
Painter's Tape
Paint Brush (I always use Purdy brushes)
Furniture Cleaner
Paint (if you want to paint the outer edge of door, or you can also leave as wood)

Step 1 - Paint the outer edges of the cabinet door desired color. I used Valspar La Fonda Mirage for a pretty blue and it took me two coats to get good coverage. As I stated above, you can simply skip this step if you prefer your chalkboard to be a wood tone on the edges. Because of the metal details on my door, I had to do quite a bit of taping for this step.

Step 2 - Once the edges are dry, tape around the center of the door and paint it using the chalkboard paint. I wanted to get a good solid black surface for my chalkboard so I painted three coats with the chalkboard paint.

Step 3 - When the chalkboard paint has dried, simply remove the tape and put some hanging hardware on the back of the door and you are ready to go! I think it turned out great! I love having a chalkboard in my kitchen now! 


Rustic Magnet Board

What You Need:
Picture Frame (You will want one with metal tabs on the back. I bought mine with an ugly picture in it for $2.99 at Goodwill.)
Metal Sheet (Cut to size.)
Paint 
Sponge Brush
Hanging Hardware

The only tough part of this project is getting your metal sheet. I found my metal in a junk heap among my father-in-law's things and my husband cut it to size with an electric saw. If you don't have access to a junk heap or a handy husband with power tools, I suggest running down to the hardware store to see what metal sheets they have available. Most of the time they will cut things for you right at the store so you can get it to the size you need for your frame. But I really love the rustic, old look of my metal so I highly recommend procuring said junk heap and handy hubs if at all possible. ;)

Step 1 - Remove the glass and back of the picture frame. Paint desired color. Because I was going from wood to off-white, it took me three coats to get good coverage.

Step 2 - Put your metal sheet into your frame. I had to hammer mine a bit to get it to fit. Then fold down the metal tabs so the sheet stays in place.

Step 3 - Install hanging hardware on the back of the frame and you're all done!


These projects could not have been easier and I love the functionality and style they have added to my kitchen! Good luck with your own DIY board projects!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Just Us Four // Practically Functional //