FRYday

Happy Fryday everyone!

READING:

I’ll do a review post here soon, but Hillbilly Elegy HOLY COW SO GOOD. Rough language but I loved the message and it was very well researched and gives actionable solutions. Also read Maisie Dobbs (bored) and still working on The Way of Kings for a book club. Not sure why they hate me so much, but its 1500 pages. I really do like the story so I hope to get through it before the end of the month. Only 36 hours on audible to go! Oof.

SHOPPING: I did a try-on session on Instagram and thought Id put the links here since they disappeared.

Sage Green Dress // Floral Shift // Striped Dress // Sunnies

DECORATING:

That third bowl is bugging me so bad but a sneak peek of a pic from our Marazzi shoot! (They took this!)

So many questions about these silverware sets!

-They’ve been washed loads of times and the gold hasn’t faded! The powder coated white handles do chip when dropped (on tile) so be super careful and you should be fine!

-The dessert spoon is like a teaspoon. Very pointless in my world so I just ordered the forks and spoons and knives separately on Amazon, sold out but keep your eye out! You can also do that directly through Ali Express too (surprise to no one you know I’m obsessed.) I messaged the seller and asked for a custom listing for knives and they send it to me and wham bam thank you m’am. Two options!

-These stoneware plates and bowls have been out of stock since I bought them in August. They’re back!! These are so wonderful. Very heavy duty, they haven’t shown much scratching despite my kids eating like wolves with them. I love the farmhouse vibes, very Scandinavian!

TYPING: This is random but I had a lot of people ask! The ♡ emoji is my most used one and I thought it was time to move it to a text replacement. That is the setting on your keyboard (iphone) where if you type a certain phrase it will replace it with a bigger phrase so you don’t have to type certain things over and over. For example: if I do “@ @” (no space) it will auto-populate to my email address. “# #” my phone number etc. I have one for my address, for the directions to my home, my other email addresses, business addresses, and then I finally added one to add this cute little heart ♡. Here’s how (copy and paste my heart if you want it!):

ANTICIPATING:

So much going on this weekend. Lots of renovations wrapping up today for events at the venue, I’ve got a ton of work to get done for the blog– the home tour is ready and goes up Monday though!! Teaching ALL the kids at church on Sunday. Doing some styling for a friend. Russ’ birthday dinner! Some civic duties for a new bill regarding background checks for gun purchases, and the Oscars, which are my Super Bowl. Trying to breathe my way through the stress of it all and try and enjoy! Hoping the same for all of you, too!

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dinosaur party ROARRR!

Zurchers Party Store (one of three stores that Small Fry basically runs on) is working with us this Summer on bringing some of their beloved party themes to life! First up, a ROARRR party fit for all your dinosaur lovers! Zurchers has made it super easy to recreate this theme or find products and elements you love from today’s party by housing them all in one place — find them all here!
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.35 PMThey have this incredible cardboard line of brightly colored dinosaur party accessories from Meri Meri that instantly adds that festive flair. The Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece is so rad and looks great even as nursery room decor post-party. They come with Dino Party Hats seen below:Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.28.19 PMAnd then of course we whipped some up with their standard party hat, too. We like the idea of the birthday boy or girl getting a special hat and these razor sharp party toppers are super easy to make!Dino Party!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.07 PMThe food is always super important and for this party we decided to go healthy as can be. All in the name of those veggie-sauruses!Dino Party!A party activity that the we and the boys died laughing over was “Eat like a T-Rex!” Slip their arms into the shirt sleeves and watch as they eat their party food with their stubby T-Rex arms.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.26 PMOnce they were convinced that dinosaurs eat all manner of leafy greens they didn’t even ask where the donuts were. We also had green smoothies (dino juice), easy sandwiches and more veggies! (Milk Jars + Straws // Plastic Dinos + Plates)Dino Party! Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.35 PMWe didn’t skip ALL sweets though, we had a cake and cupcakes, too!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.24 PMThese toppers from the Cupcake Kit match the hats and we love the origami folded paper look!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.44 PMWe love that Zurchers carries these mini balloon letters. They have them in several colors and even though they’re crazy inexpensive they’re reusable so you can get quiet a collection going!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.16 PMThis line also has a ton of wall decals which are great for more color and interest at the party, we turned them into a Feed the Dino (Pin the Tail on the Donkey) game.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.57 PMAnother easy party game is to make your own Dino paleontologist style.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.12.52 PMThey have a million party favors so sending each guest home with something ferocious like these Dino Grabbers was a breeze and so fun to pick out!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.44 PMWe’re so happy to be recreating these themes with Zurchers and if you have any parties you want to see brought to life Small Fry style, let us know!

SOURCES

Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece // Silver Letter Balloons (find all available colors right here) // Plastic Dinosaurs // Dino Party Hats + Basic Party Hat // Party Favor Bags // Dino Cupcake Kit // Dinosaur Piñata // Glass Milk Bottles + Orange Striped Straws // Dinosaur Tablecloth // Roarrr Invitations // Dino Grabbers // Dino Plates

President’s Day Sales

Here’s what Im spotting for President’s Day deals! I linked the best deal or my favorite piece for each sale as well! Scroll all the way down for a shoppable collage of images!! Happy President’s Day and also Russ’ b-day!

Anthropologie – extra 40% off sale! $150 off these outdoor chairs I’ve been eyeing.

Article – 100+ items discounted!

CB2 – Lots of new discounts, this pretty side table is their steepest at 50% off!

Cotton On – 30-50% off everything!

Free People – additional 25% off sale

H&M 30% off everything including sale!

Jcrew – 40% off. Swim anyone? Love this suit!

Gap hasn’t done this deal in ages 40% off EVERYTHING + 10% extra. Use both codes. It’s just been “up to” deals for months, stoked to see this! This striped wrap midi dress is an easy staple! Also perfect range of Spring colors on these sweatshirts. I wear a sweatshirt 3x a week so stocking up on these!

GoJane 50% off sitewide!

Madewell – Extra 30% off sale

Old Navy – 50% off storewide! This classic Anorak is a Springtime must!

Target – BOGO Swim // Spend $40 get $10 for clothing // Up to 25% off Home – eyeing these chairs and this geometric front bedside table!

Urban Outfitters – Flash Markdowns 50% off! 50% off Vans, this snakeskin boot too! // 30% off BDG Jeans which I love.

West Elm – 20% off everything + steeper discounts on things like rugs and lighting! This rug is 50% off and so on-trend.

 

metal dining table ideas

After a years long hunt turning up nothing we loved, Russ insisted on making our dining table. Trouble is, he hasn’t had a second to do it, so here we are 6 months moved-in and still no dining table. It’s totally fine and we’ve gotten away with it, but I am so excited to get this project started! Since he has made the shift toward fabrication (welding and metal work) of course he wants to have some metal elements with the table. Our kitchen is all really light wood, the floors are pretty light wood-look tile as well. So I’d love to bring some contrast in with color, and a new material. I’m leaning towards cement top with metal legs! As you’ll see metal legs can mean a million things. Thought I’d share my faves below! See if you can guess the one Russ and I agreed on!

Love this one with a thin cement top! I believe this is tempered glass here which is awesome, too! // Source

I love the wide look of this base. // Source

Metal Dining Table Inspiration

This rounded sheet metal is so rad and unexpected. I have a lot of round elements in the living room so it could go super nicely! // Source

Metal Dining Table Inspiration

Another sheet metal look. // Source

Interesting but still simple! // Source

A little heavy for our space, but so cool nonetheless! I think it would work best for an extra long 10+ footer! // Source

Close up of the legs!

Love love this one. Ive never seen anything like it and the materials are pretty inexpensive! // Source

Obsessed with this one. The mixture of materials is so glam! // Source

Closer look at the legs. If you wanted to warm it up, make it more modern farmhouse or scandinavian inspired would be rad with light wood and black metal.

Like this! Love the mix of wood and metal stacked. // Source

Very cool. If I did this with our space (7 foot table max) I’d just do the metal in one piece centered under the table top. // Source

Very cool angles! // Source

Love the weight and angles on this! // Source

Similar but with a live edge. // Source

The dimensions of our nook sadly don’t work for a circle table but this is incredible! // Source

Okay if you guessed #1 you’re right! I think it will be a great addition and play off the lines of the stair railing and be a great focal point as its one of the first things you see when you walk into the house!

you belong: valentine’s day

I talk about this A LOT on here because I know it’s so important! A sense of belonging in the home. Everything I’ve read shows that it’s the little things we do that create this. But that without it children can grow up with a myriad of emotional issues, even if there’s no presence of abuse or apparent neglect. A safe place to land, a consistent caregiver, and unconditional love are where it’s at! It’s not the fancy trips, or what toys they have or clothes they wear. Luckily it’s much easier than all that!

I know parents who are amazing at this, who have traditions coming out their ears and are always up to something fun as a family. Whether it’s a donut run on Saturdays or an (outside) flour fight when they make pies for Thanksgiving. A special birthday song, or a one on one trip when they hit a certain milestone.

Creating our own immediate family’s culture has taken a lot of work! Sometimes it feels like pressure and obligation and those are the moments I remind myself WHY we do this.

It’s made me hyper aware of what other parents do around us and I get so much inspiration from it! I guess the point of this intro is that I hope you know that these efforts do not go unnoticed by me, and to also keep up the amazing work!! Each small act of love weaves together this amazingly important environment that kids thrive in!

So this is the inspiration for the YOU BELONG series. In Alison’s Brand School she talks about how to create a successful brand, and without it seeming reductive — dare I say that a family has it’s own brand, too? And the trick to being successful according to her is to be consistent and then do something to occasionally delight. This is why I think Holidays are the perfect place to occasionally delight and our daily routines create the consistency kids thrive off of.

YOU BELONG: VALENTINE’S DAY

I’ll be sharing a few super easy things you can do in your home to occasionally delight each month! Just to get ideas rolling for my own self or hopefully to help or inspire you in your own homes.  If you have ideas of things you do in your homes for this holiday or any other, let me know I’d love to add them!

  1. LOVE LETTERS: Write a Valentine for each of your kids telling them all the amazing things you love about them. What you hope for them as they grow. A list of the funny things they’ve said the past year. I keep a note in my phone and anytime they say something good I drop it in! This printable is darling as well! A perfect yearly interview you could keep and watch them grow through the years!
  2. IN THE ROOM: You know you’ve succeeded when your kids wake up with a “Whoa!” and blowing up 10 balloons in their room is the easiest way to do that. Most people do this for birthdays, but I think you can get away with it any holiday you choose! Another fan favorite is covering their door with the rolls of crepe paper so they have to bust through it. The smiles on their faces is worth it, I promise!!
  3. ONCE A YEAR: Having something that kids only get, but can always expect once a year is why Christmas is so freaking fun. (And also the presents) Maybe it’s a special treat, a dinner out, a movie you watch just this one day a year.
  4. GET IT ON FILM: One thing I hear as a parental regret from friends (and myself) is that they wish they had more on video. Asking your kids questions about mom and dad’s love story, or just doing a little yearly interview is something they will cherish forever. My kids ask to watch family films at least once a week. My only tip is FILM HORIZONTALLY. You could also film your love letters to them! If you need ideas for questions, might I suggest our viral video. 😉

5.  COOKIE CUTTER: It might sound stupid, but having something as easy as a cookie cutter goes a long way! Cut out shapes for food. Trace paper for decor or cards. When you wake up the day of the holiday and realize you haven’t planned a thing, you can always make heart shaped toast. HA!

 

 

family culture

FRAME FAMILY – FRESH COURAGE TAKE

We are kind and gentle with ourselves and others.

We do not need to be perfect, but we always show up.

We are on the same team and we are each other’s biggest fans.

We respect ourselves and others and the belongings of ourselves and others.

We work hard and we clean up after ourselves.

Our best words are thank you, please, you’re welcome, I’m sorry and I love you.

We can always start over with each other. Have a do-over, or a reset.

Life should be fun and filled with laughter, and if we’re not having fun, let’s examine why.

We keep our agreements and we are honest.

We love and celebrate what makes us unique in our family and in the world.

We always listen to problem solving ideas.

We gift experiences over things.

Routine: We pray and study uplifting things together everyday. We have 1 hour to watch or play on our screens. We eat well balanced meals and take care of our bodies, and we eat as a family with all screens put away and turned off. We get plenty of sleep. We clean our own spaces each week and the spaces we share. We work for our money and privileges. We look for ways to help others and we wake up with fresh courage every single day.

Valentine’s Duds for Kids

GIRLS

BOYS

Amazon pulling through with some cool tees!

Queen of Hearts tee in a bunch of cool colors! // Emoji tee in unique colors so you can keep wearing it. // I love a random graphic and this Dino Tee is right up that alley. // PJs

Valentine's Duds for Kids

no candy valentines

It’s back! One of my favorite posts to work on all year! Each year since the beginning of Small Fry we’ve made printable Valentine’s and here are 5 more to add to the archives!

I got these toys either at Dollar Tree or Walmart and my main purpose with the style of the printable is that you don’t need colored ink, you can easily swap out whatever color paper you choose, and the dimensions are flexible so if you find a toy or treat that you like more you can typically make it work with the way these will print off!

  1. DIBS! Was this just a thing at my high school? If you’re with your group of friends and you saw a cute guy or girl you could say “Dibs!” to get a first shot at love before your vulture friends started in as well. You might strike out either way, but the head start was always appreciated! These little candies are actually markers from Walmart! // SIMILAR ONLINE: EtsyDibs! Valentine || No Candy Valentines Printables
  2. AWFULLY FOND OF YOU! Saw these darling rubber duckies and couldn’t stray too far from the classic Sesame Street song! Ducks via Walmart. ONLINE SIMILAR: Yellow Set // Tons of Options here via Oriental Trading!RUBBER DUCKIE valentine || No Candy Valentines Printables
  3. TKO – You voted here’s what won! These are Dollar Tree “Finger Fighters” and I didn’t want to unpackaged them because it helps illustrate what they actually do, so I opted for a tag. You could staple, tape, or glue dot these right on! Hayes chose this toy to give out to his school friends! // Buy them by the case here or individually in store!Total Knock Out Valentine || No Candy Valentine Printables
  4. OUT OF THIS WORLD! This one was Cal’s pick! Dollar Tree has the by the buckets full! Buy online in packs here!Alien Valentine || No Candy Valentine Printables
  5. COLOR MY WORLD! These colored pencils come in 5 packs at Walmart and each heart pulls off to reveal a new color!  BUY SIMILAR ONLINE: Heart Shaped // Crayon Balls Style // Standard Stacker // ErasersColorable Valentine || No Candy Valentines Printables

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLES BELOW! If you use these I’d love to see! We have our #smallfryDIY hash tag that I live for!

Favorite Super Bowl Food

3 SLAM DUNK RECIPES for your SUPER BOWL PARTY!

HAM AND CHEESE SLIDERS

Ham & Cheese Sliders

24 good white rolls
24 pieces good honey ham  (thick cut, not deli-style)
24 small slices swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup miracle whip

{Poppy Seed Mustard sauce}

1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 T. yellow mustard
1 stick butter, melted
1 T. minced onion
1/2 tsp. worschestershire sauce

In a small bowl, mix together mayo & miracle whip. Spread into both halves of each roll. Place a slice of ham & a slice of swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls & place into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Let sit 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover & cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.

SUPER NACHOS — Rachael Ray’s recipe and honestly the at home nachos I’ve ever had!

PICO DE GALLO SALSA
4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, for medium to hot heat level
1 small white onion, chopped
1⁄4 cup cilantro leaf, finely chopped

BEEF AND BEANS

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12teaspoons dark chili powder
  • 1 12ground cumin, half a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce, giving you medium to hot heat level
  • 1(14 ounce) can black beans, 15 ounces, drained
  • CHEESE SAUCE
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 34lb monterey jack pepper cheese, shredded, about 2 1/2 cups
  1. Arrange a mixture of 2 varieties of corn chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.
  2. Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.
  3. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and sauté 2 minutes, then add meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.
  4. In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.
  5. Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. UBER NACHOS! Serve immediately as is or, garnish with your choice of extra toppings.

GREEN CHILE ARTICHOKE DIP — a fan favorite around here. My friends and family request this from me for all our parties! I love it with soft french bread or baguette.

Ingredients
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese room temperature
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
2/3 cups mozzarella cheese
2 (4 oz.) cans of hot or mild green chiles
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts quartered

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayo and sour cream with a wooden spoon.
Mix in mozzarella, parmesan, and green chiles and artichoke
Bake for 30-35 minutes uncovered until bubbly and golden brown.

easy family game night

This post is a paid sponsorship by Goldfish® Crackers, but all opinions are my own.

It is so easy for me to slide into the after-school routine rut, to push through ’til bedtime and forget that there can be easy fun to be had!  Check out these Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Special Edition Disney Mickey Mouse Cheddar crackers!  Perfect to use for a family game night. We came up with a handful of minute or less games where all you need are some household items and, of course, your Goldfish crackers!Easy Family Game Night

Not only do these crackers add fun to our family game night, but they are delicious too! Baked with 100% real cheese, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and with color sourced from plants, these are a yummy snack you can feel good about serving your kids.

What I like about the timed games is that you can easily tailor the skill level for each kid. The game doesn’t have to change but, depending on their age, they have to complete it faster! We thought of a few games using Goldfish crackers and your everyday drinking straw.Easy Family Game Night

EASY GAME IDEAS

-Using a straw, suck up all the crackers in the bowl and transfer them to a new one!

-Goldfishing! Using a straw, blow your Goldfish cracker across the finish line faster than your opponent or under the time limit set for each age group.

Easy Family Game Night

-Hockey! Split your team by colors: yellow Goldfish and red Mickey crackers. Set up your field with equal numbers of crackers, either by randomly scattering or using strategy. The rule is simple: you can only pass through two opponents to get to the goal. Use a finger or straw to kick the ball through the pairings of opponents until you get to the goal!

Easy Family Game Night

-Stack-a-Mickey. Partner up and stack as many Mickey crackers as you can in the time limit. Just try not to laugh or wiggle!

Easy Family Game Night

We’re obsessed with these cute crackers and the reminder that mixing it up and having some family fun doesn’t have to take a ton of effort or planning! Got any other game ideas with easy household items? I’d love to add to our list!