One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to live more authentically. A horrible goal because it’s so abstract and totally unmeasurable, but I know exactly what that means to me. I had read the Happiness Project and although a lot of it I sort of read and discarded, the underlying essence stuck with me and I was determined. To only hold onto things that make me happy and that represent a life I am proud of. To create spaces that bring my family joy and harmony. To open a drawer and know exactly what I’ll find there. A place for everything and everything in its place. So I went through room by room, re-thinking anything that didn’t work for me. Re-evualuating systems that couldn’t be maintained, chucked a ton of stuff and felt so great. I had success in every room and was all but finished, except for this darn closet. You can see the before on this post, but the tricky part about this closet is that it’s dual purpose. It is not only clothes, but toys and books, too. Even though I consider myself a super organized person, I was truly stumped on how to make the space work. This is where Kelsey came in. Fresh eyes with a ton of experience. I think most people hire Kelsey and then go do something else while she works it out, but I was so fascinated with it I stayed and was probably super annoying and we tossed around ideas like giddy idiots who love to organize. Here’s what I learned from Kelsey:
1. Take EVERYTHING out. A clean slate will help you utilize what you have so much. It might look like a tornado hit, but you’ll be glad as you start filling it back up that everything is out of the way.
2. Plastic Bins over Fabric. I had a lot of those canvas bins for toys and they are crap. They don’t hold their shape so it never really looks super clean. Lids are everything and so far the space has stayed much cleaner. With lids they don’t spill or dump out when my kids are pulling them down.
3. Label it. That is one thing that was missing from our systems that we needed. Baby-sitters, play date friends, even daddio, didn’t know where anything went so they put it back wherever they wanted. I have since gone on a labeling spree, even into my fridge and I don’t care who knows it.
One awesome piece Kelsey brought in for me was this stackable tupperware. She put all our art supplies in several and stacked them up nice and neat. I love that I can easily grab the whole stack for an art project, or separate them and take just what I need as well.
Find even more before and after of the space as well as several more tips from Kelsey on her blog right here.
With St. Patrick’s right around the corner, here’s a super quick garland to add to your decor! Here’s how you’ll do it: All you need is card stock, twine, and tape! We used 4 inches as a general rule for cutting so they would all end up roughly the same size. Cutting favorite charms like a horseshoe, heart, stars, wishbone, moon and of course a four leaf clover! We’re not sure how they’re lucky, but if they made it into the cereal, they’re good enough for us! Then tape or glue it to the twin and stick up for extra luck this month.Stay tuned for more lucky ideas this week!Need more?
For the party of freshly turned 3 year old Sunny, there is only one theme suitable theme: Big Hero 6. Here’s a peek at the awesome spread Nicole prepared for him for his big day!
Welcome to San Fransokyo!Steam some rice and edamame, pick up your favorite Chinese Food take out and hit your local Asian market for yummy drinks and snacks! Take out boxes and chopsticks included of course.Like Banana Milk with Strawberry Boba, perhaps?Pocky Sticks, Mango and Lychee juice boxes and hard candy, too!Fortune cookies with Baymax’s favorite encouragement, Ba La La La La.
The cake was a no-brainer, Nicole used a favorite local bakery, ordered their simple $12 8 inch round cake and they added the eyes free of charge. Awesome!
For activities, there isn’t anything better than a birthday party Piñata! Nicole had this one specially made to look like Baymax, which was surprisingly hard to hit that sweet face. The party goers used extra take out boxes to collect their Piñata candy in.Then grab a few tubes of black icing and you can make your own Baymax Faces with Oreo cookies:And for Baymax masks, simply grab a stack of paper plates, black circles (punched out with this), small strips of black paper, glue and tongue depressors.
Sunny was in awe the whole party and as always Nicole makes it fun for all ages (especially with those take out boxes of yummy food!)
We have another awesome guest post this week from Brecke of @purefitfood. We LOVE following Brecke and are so excited to have her on Small Fry today. You will love her Instagram, so be sure and follow here!
Hi I’m Brecke! I have 3 kids my newest baby is 3 months old. I’m a certified personal trainer and have been training for 10 years. I love fitness. I think the worst thing people can do is push it too hard right after a baby. It’s important to move your body when you are ready, but make sure you are doing the right exercises. For example, jumping into planks and crunches too soon after baby can do more damage to your stomach than good. Your stomach needs to heal. We need to retrain our muscles and build up the strength again in our core. I have three awesome exercises that can get more intense when you are strong enough. Think about sucking in your navel to spine the whole time you are doing these exercises. Core work can be in almost any exercise we do!
Totally doable, right? With Summer around the corner we are looking for just about any motivation to get swim suit ready! If you’re like us and find that extra boost in some new excretes apparel, here are a bunch of cute options — all on sale! — from around the web. (Except the sneaks, those never go on sale it seems.)
One of the hardest parts of moving to California was no doubt leaving my best friends behind. When I think of where we all were and how well we knew each other when we started Small Fry, I never imagined that bond could grow to the place that is. Together we’ve weathered a lot of storms and celebrated a lot of joy. I don’t have hardly a memory of the last few years without Nicole and Emily in it. They are some of my family’s greatest cheerleaders so when we welcomed our precious new baby in to our crew–I was definitely missing their presence in my life. But being the selfless friends they are, they arranged to leave their kiddos behind to come and help me with mine. Such a sacrifice that I will always feel so endlessly blessed by!!Emily:Blouse // Pants // Zara Bag (similar) // Flats (similar) // Valley Eyewear SunglassesNicole:Hat // Sweater // Leggings // Backpack // Sneakers // Sunglasses // Marc Jacobs Disc Earrings // Jenna:Tunic // Elastic Waist! Pants // Bag // Sneakers // Sunglasses
When they flew in to LAX I picked them up in my sexy mini-van and we ate at 26 beach. Ever been there? It’s only 15 minutes from the airport and always worth it. There is every kind of french toast on the planet, and well…french toast. I of course collapsed in to their arms and they began to lift my spirits right back up! Hard to believe there was so much to catch up on, even though we talk several times a day.
We ate and ate and ate and ate with friends, (hi Melanie!) and snacked some more. It’s what we do best!
The next couple days were just bliss I wish I could live them all over again. These girls changed bums, did bed time, played legos and snuggled all the kids with so much love. They filled in the holes I’m lacking as a new crazy mom to three kiddos–we all miss them so much.