Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new way to organize - the Family Binder

Thanks to my friend Sarah, I had the "in" to the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group she's in. They have a waiting list for this particular chapter so I was excited that she could put in a good word for me! MOPS offers a community of mothering support, personal growth and spiritual hope. It helps all the moms involved be the best mom possible. (All their words and I'm a believer.)

We've had two meetings since the semester started. The first meeting, we had a speaker that preached "Love and Logic" ( I really like the subject and I completely see how it could work. I plan to follow up a little more.

The second meeting , the speaker, Linley Phillips from was there to talk about the Family Binder. At first I was a little skeptical. Would this be for my family? How could I make it work for us? I'm a fan of the basket of paperwork, take-out menus, loose magazine tear outs, etc. You know what I'm talking about. I know you have an area like this too. Just because the pile is a disorganized mess doesn't mean I don't know what's in it.
After hearing Linley speak about how she uses the binder and how other friends use it, I started to think about what I would change. At the end of the session I was sold. I came home telling Adam that I was going to reduce this pile and that pile and that bin. It's still a work in progress but I think he's coming around. As soon as he sees the piles diminish I know he'll see the light.

Note: I got to use some of my scrapbook paper and my label maker. Craft supplies + organizing is a winning combo.

Schiffman Family Binder :)

My category tabs:
-Calendar - I'm gonna use the month at a glance
-To Do
-Family Info - includes emergency info, info sheet for babysitter, quick reference phone numbers and addresses, info about our house
-Eat - take-out menus, menu planner, pantry and freezer inventory (to use for shopping), lunchbox ideas, recipes and dinner suggestions from magazines or web
-Holidays/Gift Planning (my favorite) - birthday and anniversary list, gift ideas planner, gift closet inventory (I buy gifts throughout the year and forget who they're for and where I put them), and holiday budget
Violet - any school paperwork, records, etc
MOM - my section! I'll probably keep Groupons, personal to do lists, etc
Ideas/Inspiration - magazine and web pages of things I want to remember and try

Some hints:
-Put most things in a sheet protector so you don't have to make a million copies. Write on the sheet protector with a Vis-a-vis (overhead projector pen)
-Keep a zippered pencil case in the front of the binder with a pen, pencil, calculator, hole punch, post-its...

If you're interested in starting a Family Binder check out these links:
See other links on Lynley's blog

Other organizing blogs with free printables: (love love love this one!)

This is just the beginning. I'll update as I make changes or find that something might work better a little differently. Please let me know if you start a Family Binder and what you put in it. I would love to hear!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Parent's Day Out

Violet started Parent's Day Out 2 weeks ago. What a big girl!

This sparked the need for a few projects immediately. First would be the school bag. She wouldn't roll in to PDO with the same lame bag the other tots had. She had to have a cute little tote made by her momma.

This fabric was purchased at Hobby Lobby. Great colors! Same fabric her birthday dress was made from.

Then there was the issue of lunch. The kid hardly eats anything so whatever I sent with her had to be in an ultra cool box. In comes the Bento box. This WILL be my next hobby and collection. Cute little sandwich shapes and containers.

These little cuties were found at a little Japanese grocery in Plano called Minoya.

I plan to make her a great top for picture day too. She is the cutest kiddo in her class. No, really, she is! There are 5 kids total in her class - 2 girls and 3 boys. Violet hasn't cried, needed to be held and she has slept longest during naptime. Crazy that the 2 teachers get 5 toddlers under 2 to nap at the same time in the same room. I need to see a picture of that!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


After watching the Royal Wedding, like all the other viewers, I was fascinated by the hats worn by the guests. I had to have one! I was lucky to have an occasion coming up where I could wear something a little outrageous. Etsy was my first stop. I searched and searched for the perfect fascinator - of course it would be black and have feathers. The artists on Etsy are incredibly talented and they charge a pretty penny for their work. I'm sure there was a slight increase in the prices since the Royal Wedding was the topic of many discussions. But... I could't bear to pay someone else for work that I was fully capable of doing.

So, I scoured the web for ideas, inspiration and instruction. I checked out one of my favorite sites - PS I Made This. The team of ladies on this site are amazing! They had exactly what I needed! I made a list of the supplies I thought I'd use and headed off to Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Jo-Ann had a few things that I needed. I bought some tulle and two packages of feathers. Turns out that I already had a headband adorned with a big round feather. Perfect!

I hate that I always forget to take pictures during my projects! I did it here too. Bummer.

The fascinator was awesome and it made me feel so sassy! Several people asked me about it - not sure if they really thought it was cool or wanted to tell me we weren't in Europe. Whatever! Congratulations to Dylan and Tracy Boyer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Violet is ONE!

I was planning Violet's first birthday party before she was even 6 months old, tearing out ideas from magazines and bookmarking webpages and blogs. I'm a little crazy when it comes to parties and I will be especially crazy when it comes to Violet's birthdays. All along I wanted a rainbow theme, centered around a rainbow layered birthday cake. The whole idea was sparked by this cake on Martha Stewart's website. What an inspiration!

Homemade birthday cake!

I made these pinwheels and used them for centerpieces. Cute!

These cookies were sealed up in celophane bags as the party favor. :)

I forgot to take a before picture! This is a during, not an after. The after was demolished!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SINGER Sew Very Easy House Party!

I was so excited to be selected as a host for a House Party - a SINGER sewing party of all things. After I received the email telling me I was selected, I immediately started planning. House Party was sending a box full of goodies - 4 yards of fabric for the sewing project (a brush roll), project instructions, coupons to buy anything needed that wasn't included in the box, party favor items, and a few Martha Stewart decorations (I secretly squealed). The jist of the whole House Party thing is to introduce consumers to a new product - in this case, a SINGER Confidence Stylist sewing machine.

In order to prepare for the party, I attended a training for the sewing machine at the Viking Sewing Gallery, inside Jo-Ann Fabric on Forest Lane. Amy, the manager, called me to give me the date of the training and also let me know that if I was interested in purchasing the machine then I would get 20% off. This was a great deal especially beause the machine was also on sale! I didn't NEED a new machine but I had my old one for at least 10 years and it was a very basic model. So, I just kept that little nugget in the back of my mind. The machine was AWESOME! It was digital, had a needle threader, it was quiet, and IT HAD AN AUTOMATIC BUTTON HOLE SETTING. The SINGER Confidence Stylist had my name all over it! I was sold.

I scheduled my party for Saturday, May 7th and used evite to send out the invitation. Over 10 friends were on the list. I had great success in getting them to RSVP since there would be sangria, lots of finger foods and goodie bags! Of course they'd come!

Assembling the party favors

The day of the party:

I assembled the goodie bags. They included a coupon for the sewing machine, lots of coupons for Jo-Ann's, 3 spools of thread, 3 patterns, and some other information such as a little reference card for how to measure if your sewing clothing.

I made lots of food and named each dish after a sewing term. We had Singer Sparkler, Thimble Fizzler, Stitchin' Strawberry Bread, Confidence Pie, Sew Simple Breakfast Pockets, and Cute as a Button Cupcakes.

A few of the lovely sewers enjoying lite bites - Angela K., Nikki C., Trista P. of MommyUpgrade, Laura W., Becky G.

I had previously cut out and pressed all of the fabric needed to make the brush roll. So off we went! There were 8 party goers - some completely new to sewing, a few with some sewing experience, and one that was fairly familiar with sewing. My goal was to introduce and explain the machine. This involved describing the parts of the machine, advantages of this particular machine, and some techniques. We were having so much fun! We ran out of time and unfortunately not everyone got to finish their project. Luckily, most everyone had a machine at home so they could give their brush roll a few finishing touches.

Sarah H. - a first time sewer!

Sew excited to have had this party! It sparked some friends' interest in sewing. One friend purchased the SINGER Confidence Stylist, one purchased a different machine and 5 ladies dusted their machines off and got to sewing again. The party was a success! Thanks to all the wonderful ladies who came!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Many Mini Movies to catch up!

So... I've neglected the blog. Now we're back! Check out these movies from the past several months. Videos are much better than words even if they are out of order. She's a cutie!

First time feeding (Nov. 19)

Rolling over (Dec. 15)

(Jan 27)

I love when they do this! (Jan 9)

Snack time (Jan. 5)

Getting up and ready to move (Jan. 5)

Jumping bean! (Jan. 12)

Starting to pull up (Feb. 3)

(Jan. 5)

Little punkin was so tired but fighting her nap. She fell asleep sitting up. See if you can hear her snoring! (Feb. 2)

This all happens too fast!!!!!