Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway!!

Oh how I wish I could fit into any of these lovely dresses or skirts that Shabby Apple has to offer right now.  But alas, just because I may be out of commission, doesn't mean you have to be!  Shabby Apple has been kind enough to offer Four Flights of Fancy readers a chance to win a $50 gift card to purchase anything your heart desires off their lovely site.  These are just a few of my favorites after browsing their shop a bit.

Starting at the top: the Alice dress is the most gorgeous shade of MINT!; the Jabberwocky maxi skirt in Navy; this one's been a favorite of mine for a while, the Piazza Navona maxi dress; and finally the adorable Promenade blouse.  You can have your choice if you win :)

HOW TO WIN! Open to US Residents only - sorry :(  To enter!  Head on over to Shabby Apple's Facebook page and like them, and please tell us what item you'd pick if you won.  That one is mandatory to enter :)  Additional entries for following FFOF via GFC or RSS feeds, and for liking FFOF on Facebook, for a total of 3 entries.  Only the first one is mandatory, all the others are just to improve your odds ;)  Leave a comment for each entry.  Good luck and I'll announce the winners on Friday May 4th!

What's Going On Over There

Once a week I'll be posting a quick recap of my projects and posts over at For the Love Of.  Since many of the topics I post over there I know will be of interest to some of my readers here, but they just don't have the time to check out both blogs, I thought a quick recap each week would be the perfect way to fill you in.  If anything peaks your interest, just click on over and have a look :)
On Tuesday I wrote a tutorial on creating fresh floral arrangements yourself.  Complete with tips for decorating your vases and trimming your flowers to make a simple, no fuss arrangement. 
On Wednesday I shared outfit photos from our 13 year anniversary dinner.  For the special occasion I took out a few of my favorite, most loved pieces I don't get to wear enough. 
On Thursday I wrote a review on a new product I've added to my beauty routine; the Dr. Gross Alpha Hydroxy Peel Pads.  I love them and think you will too.
On Friday I posted pictures of our new dining room chairs (remember my home goals post?), and gave a few more ideas for decorating plain glass vases.  And, for my local readers, I listed all the vendors I purchased my flowers from at the LA Flower Mart. 
On Sunday I posted my top 5 favorite nail polishes that offer the best pops of color for spring!  What are some of your favorites? 

I'm so close to reaching 100 likes on the For the Love Of Facebook page.  Thank you!  Once we reach 100 I'm giving away a set of neon rhinestone bangles remember?  Please come visit! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jump On Board! Now Accepting May Advertisers!

I'm opening up sponsorship opportunities for Four Flights of Fancy for the month of May and currently looking for blogs and small shops that want to promote their business or blog!  Since the beginning of 2012 FFOF has grown in readership and page views.  Almost doubled in fact!  And since the launching of For the Love Of, I am now more than ever just as passionate about this site as the other.  Where else can I feel so at home talking about babies and zombies?  If you've been reading me long enough, you know I've never been one to solicit the advertisers, but with the recent and consistent increase in traffic I thought it was the perfect time! 

Here's what I can offer you!
40,000+ consistent page views each month (this month is on track to reach 50,000!)
230+ Facebook fans and growing everyday!
700+ Subscribers via RSS, 80 via Bloglovin and 480 via GFC
750 Twitter followers
500+ Pinterest followers

In addition to all those stats, I've recently signed on to be regular monthly contributors at Making It Lovely and The Tiny Twig.  I couldn't be more proud or honored to be working with two talented and driven women!

Large 200x200 ads - $25/month and includes a highlighted post on your shop or blog and a giveaway if you so wish!

Small 100x100 ads - $10/month and includes a mention in the sponsor roundup post. 
Let's talk if you'd like to sign up for multiple months at a time - I offer discounts!

So shoot me a line and let's connect!  I'd love to help promote you or your shop.  I'm only taking a limited number of sponsors to keep things looking clean and everyone happy.  With limited ads on the sidebar it means more potential opportunity for your ad to get noticed!

Alright friends, thanks for letting me sell myself here ;)  Back to regular posting tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Mermaid Sea Terrariums

Thank you for your thoughts on my post on Monday.  I always love hearing your wise words and I'm working on responding to the comments (something I fail miserably at everyday).  I briefly mentioned the craft the kiddos did and I thought I'd share a few more about the details that went into it.  My goal with this craft was for the kids to have fun first and foremost, but also not to send the kids home with just more stuff that their moms would have to find a place for.  Hopefully these little mermaid sea terrariums will be on display for some time.  I also have a grown up, more sophisticated version of the sea terrarium up at Making It Lovely.  Please go check it out if you have a chance.  So here is what you'll need if you want your kids to make their own sea life terrariums.

Supplies: Sand (I used play sand that's you get in a 10lb bag at the hardware store for $5 - it proved to be the perfect consistency and really looks the most like ocean sand); succulents that remind you of seaweed and sea-life; succulent type ground cover to represent algae; some sea shells and pretty rocks and stones (I found all of mine at Michael's in their floral section.  Each bag was under $4), and if you wish, these fun miniature mermaids that are actually cocktail drink markers.  What?  Don't judge, you try finding miniature plastic mermaids that would have been suitable.  They come all colorful and bright, and I made a deal with Taylor that I could spray paint half of them white and leave the other half the cheery bright colors.  It was a hard sell but I achieved it. Oh, and you'll need mason jars of course for the vessels!  I used quart size with the wide mouth so the kids would have an easier time reaching in.
Pretty much just let the kids go at it, filling their jars with sand and gems.  I did have to provide some assistance with tearing off bits of the succulents to place in the jars, the girls really didn't want to harm the mermaid's future home you know. 
It was such a fun and sweet craft.  Each girl carefully chose her mermaids and shells/rocks and carefully placed them inside the jars.  They worked hard getting the succulents to fit in just so.  And the best part is, the moms didn't mind bringing them home because it wasn't just more junk to clutter up the house.
Now I do want to talk practically about these terrariums.  For succulents to truly survive they need organic rich matter to root in.  Sand will not be enough for them to grow and flourish, and eventually these will die.  For ease of the craft we just had the kids use the sand, but if you really wanted your terrariums to survive, you'd need to add some cactus soil to the mix.  I talk about this more in depth over at my MIL post.  So just beware that these will not last forever.

So far they're doing great though and both Syd and Taylor have theirs on display in their rooms. We've long been fans of succulents and if you'd like to see some of my other work with them, see this post about succulent planting tips and this post for creating your own succulent centerpiece.  And here's a sneak peek at the grown up version I created over at MIL.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Details & Thoughts - Taylor's Mermaid Party

(Taylor's mermaid themed birthday party set-up)
Every few weeks or so a blog article makes its way around the internet and goes "viral" if you will.  The last one I remember vividly was the Don't Carpe Diem blog post, and most recently one titled "Your Children Want You" has been making the circles.  It's been posted in my Facebook timeline at least several times a day for the last 2 weeks.  I finally read it this morning, although from the comments online I had pretty much already gathered the gist of it.  You can read it for yourself, it's a lovely well written article, but the bottom line is, your kids want you to be there, to be present and stress free, and not be so focused and preoccupied with being the perfect homemaker.  A beautiful and worthy message.

In reading it however, and more so reading people's comments and reactions to it, I can't help feeling like either way as a woman, you just can't win.  If you aren't the perfect baker or decorator or hostess extraordinaire, you feel crappy.  But if you do in fact excel in some of those areas and spend time making things pretty and lovely, well then your priorities are out of whack and you're missing the whole point of this motherhood thing.  I just wish that either way, we would all just give each other a break and accept each other, and ourselves, for who we are.      
Taylor's 7th birthday party was this weekend.  Last year we had a small family party and kept it simple, and for Syd we celebrated in Yosemite.  I tend to take every other year off for parties, and this year I felt good and rejuvenated to throw the birthday girl a fairly good sized party.  She asked for a pool party with a mermaid theme.  I searched Pinterest for a few minutes and got some inspiration, mainly this party here.  I mainly used a color story as the focus of the party, with a few doses of sea life thrown in.  Sugar cookies cut out in the shape of sea stars or dolphins, mermaid stamped goodie bags, and, mermaid terrariums.      
Instead of goodie bags, I sent each child home with a homemade sugar cookie, either in the shape of a dolphin or a starfish.  We frosted the cookies together on Friday afternoon after school.  I always bake a few extra for this tradition, and the kids really love sitting there with me creating their own works of art.  Taylor also stamped each card herself.   
The craft idea just sort of came to me the week before the party.  With succulents mimicking seaweed and grasses for algae, the girls created little mermaid fantasy terrariums, filling their jars with sand, succulents, pretty rocks, stones and shells, and some mermaids of course.   
I will admit the cake caused me some stress.  Taylor saw it on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens and requested it.  It's pink, it's ombre, it tastes like pink lemonade!  Of course, what little girl wouldn't want it?  Baking cakes from scratch always stresses me out, but she was pretty excited for this cake and so I obliged.  It came out great and she loved it.  And hey, it saved me some cash - have you seen how much bakery cakes are these days?  Ridiculous!  
Taylor had a great time at her party.  She swam all day with her friends and cousins, got to eat all the pizza she wanted (the only thing I made was a salad - and just ordered pizzas), and got to beat the crap out of a fish shaped pinata.  Every 7 year olds dream birthday, right?

Of course I didn't have to make the tissue pom poms or bake and frost 40 cookies from scratch.  But the thing is I love doing that stuff.  I love creating pretty things, and for the most part, it is fun for me and not stressful.  

But there are other ways I fall short as a mother every day.  I snap at them too much, I'm not patient enough, I wish I could let go more like Art does and play trains and Legos with Syd for hours on the floor.  I read other blog articles, that don't contain pinnable pictures mind you, written by what seem like the most patient, loving and understanding of mothers and I think to myself, darn, I could be doing this better.  But overall, I think it all balances out.  Sure maybe someday the kids will say "Mom was so cranky sometimes."  But hopefully they'll also say "Wow, mom sure was a good baker", or "Remember those cookies she used to make for every occasion?"  It's sort of how I remember my Grandma Tita.  She in all honesty, could be a bit harsh.  She wasn't the most gentle of women, but she showed her love in other ways.  For me I always felt her love through her cooking, and still do.  I can't fault her for that and begrudge her for the type of person she was.    

Scrape away the title of "mother", and we as people all excel at something.  For some it's patience by the buckets full, for others it's creating things.  I hope I can achieve a balance of all things admirable that a mother should posses, but for now I do the best I can and between the snips and snaps, I make sure to give my kids lots of hugs and kisses and tell them a thousand times a day how much I love them.  That's all any of us really can do, and anything beyond that is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.    

Friday, April 20, 2012

No Filter

"Are you high?"  follow me on Instagram @fourflights
Whoa man thank goodness it's Friday.  This week I have another reason to look forward to the weekend, besides the extra set of helping hands from my husband; the start of a fresh week is soon upon us.  Is anyone else looking forward to the start of a new week?

Guys, this week I've been sort of crazy.  Not quite bitchy, or in a bad mood, just crazy.  Like easily irritated and when irritated, I just say whatever comes out of my mouth.  Some would probably blame it on "pregnancy hormones", but I think that's crazy.  I blame it on just a sheer lack of sleep due to pregnancy insomnia, and also being asked to pay $210 for a decent pair of colored denim maternity jeans.  I told the sales girl she was high.  Not the store, or company selling them, but she herself was high.  See.  No filter.

Two nights ago I yelled at my husband about tweezers.
Me: "Hey have you seen my tweezers?"
Art: (answers immediately) "I have no idea where they are."  
Me: "You have NO idea?  Like, could you give it some thought?  Did you maybe put them in your overnight bag when we went to Utah?"
Art: "Oh, maybe.  Check."
I check and yup, find tweezers.
Me: "You had NO idea where they were huh?!? (as I hold up tweezers)" 
Art: "Sorry, I forgot about them."
Me: "Well next time could you not be so damn dismissive of me when I ask you a question and just think for a moment?!"
Art: "It's just a pair of tweezers."
Art: "Okayyy."  And quietly goes back to reading about Katniss and District 13 trying to overthrow the Capital.  I think he knew this was a losing battle...

Yesterday I called a meter guy a jerk after he gave me a ticket.  I actually yelled it at him as he walked away, but loud enough for him to hear (I was too chicken to actually say it to his face).  "Jerk!"  Who am I?  And most importantly, can meter guys arrest me for confrontational behavior or something?  I'm sure I wouldn't get away with calling an actual Police Officer a jerk right?

It's not that I'm angry or feeling particularly upset or down.  Just easily set off.  I don't like it though.  Not one bit.  I've got to settle down you guys, quick, before I end up saying something I really regret.  Speaking of settling down, we say Kimbra this week at a tiny little show.  She was amazing!  The pregnancy bump got us upper level VIP seats and we sat next to this actor.  Anyhow, she's my new girl crush.  Her album comes out soon and we've preordered it already.  Art btw, has a HUGE crush on her.  This is what I wore to the show.
Full outfit post at For the Love Of...
Speaking of outfit posts, would you guys like to have me do a weekly recap here of all my posts over at For the Love Of?  Or is that too much like me pimping it out?  Be honest.

So what do you all have planned this weekend? Anything fun?  Any advice on how not to be such a crazy pregnant lady?  I'm all ears... 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Giveway - Neon Rhinestone Bangles

Because I'm not a total jerk, I didn't want to hijack my daughter's birthday post to tell you this news, so apologies for the multiple posts in a row.  But I did want to share with you that I'm giving away a set of my neon rhinestone bangles!  Aren't they pretty?  Perfect way to add some neon into your life for spring!  All you've got to do is like For the Love Of's Facebook page (sorry for the 'catch', did you think I'd do this out of the kindness of my heart?) XO

Details here.  Go straight over and like the darn page here.  Thanks guys!

Happy Birthday Taylor!

It's Taylor's 7th birthday today.  I'm unusually un-weepy, and obviously can't think because I know that's not a word yet I'm still writing it anyhow.  I feel like since I've been blogging regularly for almost 3 years now, I'm no longer required to write the emotionally charged, sentimental and sappy posts.  You all know how much I love this girl.  I don't need to pour tears out to tell you all ;) Not that I don't still feel sappy, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really enjoy seeing my kids grow up.  I know we all do, but for me I've never felt much of that whole "stop growing please!".  I love having a 7 year old, and I quite enjoy her company with each passing stage more and more.  In a nutshell, she's pretty awesome to be around.

So happy birthday sweet girl.  My first born, and quite possibly my only girl.  You are amazing, and may you always believe that, even when some jerky kid tells you otherwise.  And may you come to know and always feel the warmth, and strength, of God's love.  I love you!  Oh, and may you someday have a pony of your own.  
     (Taylor tacking up Waffles - the horse she trains on.  
Which reminds me, I need to post about horse riding lessons soon!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY Neon Bow Bag

For some reason this cute little DIY never made it in during Neon Week, but it's just too sweet not to share, so in case you're needing a little neon added back into your life, here's a simple and fun project.
You'll need fabric paint in your choice of colors, your bow paper punch from this project, freezer paper and a plain canvas tote.
Cut out your strips of freezer paper and punch out your bows, then iron on your bag and start painting.  Same exact concept as the heart punch bag.
Let paint dry and the carefully peel off freezer paper, and you're done!  Yes, another bag DIY, but I JUST CAN'T STOP! :)  Have fun and enjoy!  To see the rest of the NEON WEEK Projects, please visit my other blog For the Love Of under the tag Neon Week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Letter to Pea In the Pod

Dear Pea In the Pod,

I highly doubt many of your pregnant customers are doing much rocking of the 4 inch spiked slingback heels, while sticking their asses out to the side, with hand in pocket, these days.  So just stop it.  And get some new online photo shoot stylists.  Oh and P.S., I doubt your model here is even pregnant.

Your Average Hormonal Pregnant Customer

Friday, April 13, 2012

Kiss Me

(a rare kiss from my son, thankfully caught on camera)
Hey there friends, it's Friday the 13th (in case you haven't checked your calendars yet).  While this is normally a day steeped with bad luck and superstition, today is National Kissing Day, making it slightly less creepy.  We had plans to spend the day touring the recently opened Butterfly Exhibit at the Natural History Museum, and then lunch at the Everleigh.  But because of rain, we'll be staying local.

I hope your weekend plans are great.  It's the last day of Spring Break for the kids, and my best friend Lea is in town for a couple of days.  We're reunited and it feels so good.  I'll tell you though, her 8 month baby girl had a screaming meltdown in the car on the way home last night and it made me so anxious.  Screaming babies in cars always hit a nerve with me and make me a nervous wreck.  She's the first baby I've had in my car since my babies were babies, and it freaked me out a little.  I'm not the best in the baby stage, and my kids usually tend to hate their car seats for at least 6 months.  Made me a bit nervous about how well I'll handle it this time around.  Here's hoping with a bit more grace and muster than the last 2 times!

What was your worst memory of the "baby stage"?  Screaming babies in cars, middle of the night feedings, colic?

Happy weekend and see you back on Monday!  Go kiss someone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


My how things change from one year to the next.  Last year I was kicking up my heels at a fun birthday party in my honor to celebrate 35.  Today, there's a munchkin in my belly that's kicking away (yes! I can feel him/her kick now!), and I have an impromptu and very mellow trip planned to the desert.  Yes, things change indeed, but this year definitely for the better :)

I'm taking the next two days off but I did want to share with you a post I wrote about some of my beauty essentials over at For the Love Of.  I know I have professed my lack of beauty "prowess", but I do have a stock pile of some essentials I count on every day to help me look presentable.  I know many of you love dishing about products so I thought it might be a fun read for you guys and I'd love to hear some of your essentials.  So please pop on over!  It's my birthday so you kind of have to ;)
Oh, and the one thing I asked for for my birthday?  Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer.  Is that silly?      

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

Am Easter recap if you will starting from the top rolling to the bottom:
- Syd actually wore a tie to church, without fuss.  He took it off almost immediately after getting home, but never mind, he wore a tie to church.  He looked adorable (Daniel & Andrew, my nephews, wore matching neon coral polo shirts and looked pretty fantastic too).
- Speaking of church, thank you for your comments on my last post.  I have some things to say to those that responded and am thinking of writing a follow up post later in the week.  This has been a big subject for me lately...
- I tried the Katniss braid on Taylor and for the most part it worked!  It looked even better the first time I tried it for Easter pictures.  We were in a hurry Easter morning so it came out a little pokey, but the effect was still achieved. 
- Taylor and Syd's outfits were from the Gap.  Her dress was $14 and his pants were $16.  Sweet!
- 9 grand kids will soon be 10!  And baby #3 is mystery baby - we decided not to find out the sex!
- Isn't my nephew dapper in his fedora and bow tie?
- Syd changed shirts half way thru Easter and we ended up matching.  Just as well.
- I love her toothless smile.  Syd and her were playing on the ground the morning we left for Park City and he accidentally kicked out her 2nd top tooth.  Now we'll always have a story about her brother kicking out her tooth.
- The majority of our Easter decorations got eaten up in the great mouse disaster of 2012.  One lone twig bunny survived that sat on the front porch.  I relied this year on some fresh floral arrangements in pastel spring colors to set an Easter tone.  I'll go to Home Goods today and snatch up whatever Easter decor remains at half off.  I already checked and Target is cleared out.
- I made those birds nest things using this recipe, and they were all right.  Looked cute enough, but way too sweet for my taste.  Photo op achieved, now to try something different next year.
- The day was gorgeous and in the high 70's, and the pool has naturally heated up to the high 60's.  The kids (and Art) swam most of the day, leaving my house relatively clean and mess free.  Hooray!  It was a lot of work to put together this week, but there really is nothing better than hosting a family gathering and seeing everyone enjoy themselves.  It was a blessed Easter.  I truly hope yours was too friends. 

You can hop on over to my other blog to see some other pretty pastel pictures of desserts!


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