Monday Morning Shoutout To A Really Fabulous Shirt Dress.

Taking Size Out of the Conversation with Universal Standard.


Ok this dress. It’s Universal Standard. The color and feel of the fabric, a style that I can easily wear all year long, details like hidden snaps between the buttons on the chest - hello no gaping, genius! - it has me dancing in public, much to my 11yr olds dismay. 

And I LOVE that the dress is available in sizes 00-40. 

I’m always telling people to wear what brings them joy but I’m embarrassed to admit I never thought about not having access to great design. Universal standard is working to make sizes 00-40 just that - the industry standard. And in their commitment they have not compromised design or quality one single bit, I’d say they’ve even raised the design bar. Let’s take size out of the conversation and make great clothes for all women. 

Bonus bonus bonus is their Fit Liberty - buy from their Core Collection now and wear it now. Feel fabulous now. And if your size changes in the next year - exchange for your new size free of charge, and Universal Standard will donate the used items to charities such as Dress for Success. 

Use code thekirstyfiles-xusp for 20% off your entire purchase till Oct 3rd. 

dress - Universal Standard (gifted)
boots - Vintage, Seattle Goodwill Glitter Sale Score!
bag - Find it at my shop! Queen Anne Frame
necklace - all at my shop.
belt - oldie.

You can also visit a Universal Standard 1:1 space for shopping, styling, perhaps a glass of bubbly and community.  



They Will Remember How I Made Them Feel.

Empowered.  Capable.  Loved.  Worthy. 
A note to myself as I embark on being a mom to a 4th and 5th grader.  Holy cow. 

"At the end of they day people won't remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou.  

My AHA moment over the weekend.  This is absolutely true for my children too.  Of course they will also probably remember the details, because as long as it's not chore-related they have minds like a steal trap, so maybe this day will become of family legend, retold at the dinner table - remember that time...

But I'm getting sidetracked, that's not important to this post, back to the point...

Last weekend we went camping and found this awesome swimming hole on the river - like reminiscent of my childhood days in Montana good.  The boys begged Nick and I to swim across the river, so we did.  I huffed it in - is that even a word?  I don't know but I did it because I'll be darned if they think their mama can't hang, and get her hair wet.  Even if I'd prefer to stay on the shore.  And was totally gassed from that frigid river swim.

Thank you pride.

But what it turned into was so much more than that.  Once we all pushed past our fear and the feeling in our fingers, and swam across, they didn't want me to leave.  They Didn't Want Me To Leave.  So we strategized how to get the sunscreen across the river.  They felt capable and that they were contributing.  They forged a plan and executed, and adapted as needed with laughter and confidence.  I silently held my breathe as they canon balled off the rocks into the cold river depths and they felt brave.  I stayed, played, cheered.  We were a team, I wasn't telling them what to do, as I often do - a MAJOR drag of being a mom.  We laughed as Peyton game planned to rescue his beloved yet tragically water-logged stick from the river bed floor.  We chatted.  When Riese was in total turmoil over the floating aluminum can, we adventured down the river to scout where he could retrieve it.  Our only adenda to honor his need to not litter.  Then Peyton set off on a journey to track his fisherman father, and I gulped a big breathe of air and trusted that being 9 AND A HALF he was capable of walking out of sight along the shore between his daddy and I and would be fine.  AND the magical finale came when R rescued a magnificent dragon fly from drowning.  We could see the water spraying up into the air, reflecting golden against the sunset, as it beat its wings.

Seriously can't make this stuff up folks.  (you can see the video of this in my instastories today.)

I found myself praying that this moment, this afternoon into evening, would outshine all the times that I focus way too much on my children's flaws. 

I had forgotten my swimsuit top, I'm in a tank bra, feeling self-conscious about my one more cocktail please and ending every day with a s'more summer belly, but my boys don't care, the only notice that I showed up.  In that moment I felt incredibly beautiful and loved.

Earlier that day we had spent it with my dad, and reflecting back, I had felt loved and worthy and capable, humbled as I worked on a project with him that was contributing to something much greater than myself.  Loved because he just wanted to be with me, and talk.  No agenda to hurry the task along even if I felt the need to complete it.

So where am I going with all this??

I have been thinking about the significance of this day a lot and how these people I love made me feel, I will for surely forget the details, thank you 40.  But as we are about to begin this next school year I don't really know how forging across a river translates into brushing AND flossing your teeth without being reminded.  Or how we can be a team rather than opposing sides when it's well past bedtime and the giggling has to stop?  I am aware that when agendas enter back in, as they must at least partly, that I lean towards dictating and not empowering.

As a mom, at times I feel like I take on the world, often self-imposed, but also if I don't all the balls will fall.  And so what if they do?  If I'm being strategic about which balls, perhaps I need to become less so my kids can become more.

How can I empower my children in their everyday lives?

Weekly Family Meetings.
Definitely need to drop more balls.
Natural Consequences from their choices and decisions.  It is not my problem to solve but I am there to support and encourage them.  This one is SO hard!

Remember we are on the Same Team & The Value of Being Heard.

And I LOVE this quote referring to Positive Discipline...

"Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse?  Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly.  Did you feel like cooperating or doing better??"   -Jane Nelson

Happy Labor Day!  May you feel empowered this weekend and empower someone else.  I know how they made me feel is stamped into my heart right now, hopefully longer than the ode to campfire smell in my hair.  So that's a start at least.

Empowered.  Capable.  Loved.  Worthy.

Thank you for reading.


Skipping Rocks

Simple Summer Moments.

I am SURE that the boys have skipped rocks before.  They couldn't remember a time, and neither could I.  But I'm sure this can't be the first time.  No way.

I was so struck by the magic of the light this particular evening.  And the simple moments of discovering how to skip rocks and hunting driftwood that became extraordinary.  At least to this mama, I don't know if the boys particularly feel this way but I'm banking on these memories settling into their hearts to someday be retrieved and cherished.

How lucky we are to live in a place where this exists just over an hour away from our bustling city lives.  This is where I have been this summer, working hard to be present and adventuring with my family.  It's not lost on me that our boys will not want us around much longer, no matter how I woo them with fireside s'mores and my famous campfire bean dip - seriously nothing to it but a heaping dose of ambiance and spinach.  So it's a lot of UNO - which I whole-heartedly prefer over Exploding Kittens, seriously I don't get that game.  And sleeping in a tent (max of TWO nights), I'm all in.  I have even discovered the pleasure of wearing socks with Birkenstocks.

I know. 

Until I am back in full here, you can see more our summer adventures on my instastories

So THANK YOU for continuing to visit my blog.  Expect me back in full force in Sept.  I may get around to posting again this summer but Sept, lets say the 10th,  I think I should make it official by doing a giveaway...mark your calendars, I promise to make is simple and worth it.

Thank you thank you for visiting The Kirsty Files, from the bottom of my heart.



Embarrassment, A Rad Bag and A Striped Jumpsuit.

Today's Look, A Neutral Jumpsuit with Pops of Contrasting Colors.  

Something that I still haven't gotten comfortable with is passerby's observing us taking photos when it's my 10year old snapping the shots.  Not going to lie, I get super embarrassed, and try to stall any snaps from happening until they pass.  I live in a small enough community that chances are we may know each other, at least by sight.  This first photo was captured as my neighbor from two blocks over, you know far enough that they DON'T know I'm a style blogger and take photos but close enough that we stop and chat when walking past, was walking by.  I cordially smile hello, and CRINGE inside.

Just another day in the life of mom who often relies on her children for photos snaps.  

So there you go.  These shots were taken by my not so patient 10 year old.  But this neutral striped ruffle jumpsuit was worth the embarrassment.  I thought it paired really well with a coral bandana in my hair and pistachio colored tennis.  I was quite proud of my outfit.  That is the best part of a neutral outfit - there are so many ways to accessorize.  This jumpsuit would be so fun with heels and blinging jewelry for any evening out or a jean jacket and ankle booties come fall.  

And my bag is the newest addition to Queen Anne Frame & Gift and I am so excited about it.  Not only is the style fabulous and has me dreaming of every memory we want to make this summer, living in the city - this bag also empowers a coop of women in Bangladesh to create better futures for themselves and their families...AND I get to sell it in my shop!  


jumpsuit - Traffic People c/o
shoes - Brooks c/o no longer available darnit!
bandana, earrings and bag - Queen Anne Frame & Gift

So that's all folks.  Just a quickie.  Trying to be better about sharing on my blog again, not just instagram.  Can a blog post just be short and sweet and you will still want to read it??   



For The Fairy Princess In All Of Us.

DIY floral crowns using pipe cleaners.  Genius.  

This is the kind of DIY activity for anyone young at heart.  It's beautiful, fun, easy to do in groups while gathered around a table.  And YES anyone can wear a crown.  

Think about your next event...baby showers, bridal showers for sure, book club, cocktail club (if anyone wants to start one of these I'm totally in.), just because, summer solstice...ooh what about a holiday brunch - I mean why should warm weather have all the fun??

Recently Jenn and I hosted an afternoon at Pacific Place, the theme was a Spring Pop-Up and the plan was to make floral crowns. (if you live in the Seattle area, you can follow Pacific Place to see their upcoming events)  Having made them in the past, I was a little hesitant at how this was going to go down with 50 people in attendance, thankfully Holly Yee Floral had a plan.  And it was brilliant.

The brilliant piece was the headband that your start with, Holly had woven two pipe cleaners together to create the long headband base.  Because it was pipe cleaners it was soft and comfortable against the head but sturdy enough to hold up to the weight of flowers, and flexible.  You guys isn't that so smart??

The second brilliant piece was making small bouquets of flowers and greenery, about 7 total BEFORE you start attaching, this way you have all your flowers ready to go before you start wiring.   So the middle bouquets will be the front of your crown.  Holly chose a wonderful assortment of flowers...carnations and roses, billy balls, freesia, wax flowers, mums, eucalyptus, asparagus ferns...really any flowers that you can gather into small bouquets will work, and in my opinion the more greenery the better.  Do your research and choose flowers that can hold up to being outside of water for a long time.

Once you have your 7 bouquets ready, start at one end of the woven pipe cleaner headband, leaving at least an inch to tie the ribbon to, and begin wiring the flower bunches at the stems using floral wire.  Make sure that the blooms are nearest the end of the pipe cleaners, so when you add the next bouquet you are slightly layering it over the stems of the previous bouquet.  Do them all in the same direction.  Make sense?  Hold your mini bouquet all together against the pipe cleaner and wrap round and round - you don't need to worry about weaving the wire through the holes of the pipe cleaner, simply wrap the wire tight around the flower stems/pipe cleaners a few times till it feels securely attached and then grab the next bouquet and continue the wrapping process.

When you have reached near the other end of the pipe cleaner you are done.  You can always add a few extra pieces to hide the end of the stem, or just role with it - stems are pretty too.  Attach ribbon to both ends, place the crown on your head and tie it.  Done!

Bonus, this thoughtfully planned DIY makes any gathering more beautiful with flowers everywhere, and the best part is how different everyone's crowns will be, yet all equally lovely, and the instant the crown is placed on an individuals head, their eyes will sparkle.  You can't help it. 

if you make these crowns I would LOVE to know!  email me (kirsty@luciakjewelry.com) or tag me (@thekirstyfiles) in your post, it will make my day!!

photos by Saskia