Top holiday gifts for tween girls – 2013

The season is upon us! In case you are stumped for ideas of what to get a fickle tween, I’ve put together a list for you!

1) Girls love magazines and they will love a magazine that is written just for them. Here are a few options:

BYou Magazine: Their focus is to help “build self-esteem in fun and empowering ways with features on positive celebrity role models, stories about real girls making a difference, tips, advice, games, crafts, contests, jokes, and much more. Topics include friendships, bullying, inner beauty, empowerment, community service, and other timely subjects to help today’s girl glow from the inside out.” A message we can all believe in.

OMGirls Magazine: A new e-zine on the block. The goal for the magazine and website are “to create a fun, interactive and engaging experience for our female audience. OMGirls Magazine’s goal is to constantly listen to their needs which are forever changing and evolving, and find ways to bring them want they currently would like to see for entertainment.”

Tween Girl Style Magazine: Tween Girl Style Magazine “launched this publication not only for girls ages 7 to 13, but also to provide tween parents a trusted, one-stop resource for advice on raising stylish tweens. Over time, TGSM has grown to include book reviews, celebrity interviews and an amazing vehicle to showcase talented tweens across the country.”

2) Nothing could be more funky than a chalkboard wall decal in the shape of  drum set!

3) Of course the Flying Buttress Gift Packs are an easy choice.

Yummie Lunch Bag Gift Pack

Yummie Lunch Bag Gift Pack

But if those colors don’t work for you, how about one of the new Panel Packs paired with a Birdie bag?

Birdie Bag with turquoise Harriette - Fur trends in Children's Fall 2013

The Birdie Bag with the Turquoise Harriette snapped on.

panel pack for girl's Birdie Bag

This panel pack includes the Harriette in turquoise, Jubilee in turquoise and the Lily in teal.

4) Fuzzy slippers are making a comeback in a huge way. PBTeen has several great options for around $35.00. Here’s our favorite pair.

5) Did you still  not find the perfect gift? Check out the “Gifts for Girls” Pinterest board for suggestions from several people. The list is growing regularly so you’ll soon find something that is the ideal present.

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Top 5 Family Vacation Spots in the USA

With our Independence Day celebration tomorrow, I was inspired to highlight some family friendly vacay spots across our diverse and amazing country.

1) Southern California (our home) gets ranked pretty high because of the sheer number of things to do AND the beautiful beaches AND the fantastic weather. If you have enough time, hit Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego in one trip. You will need a rental car but seeing the different cities is worth it.

Start in Los Angeles to see the same sights you see in so many movies…Santa Monica Pier, the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, Universal Studios, etc. etc. Then head down to Anaheim and get that check in the Disneyland box. If you have two days, swing by California Adventure as well but you can do both parks in one day. I would stay near the beach to see some of the most beautiful coastline in southern California. Then go down to San Diego which has a much more relaxed atmosphere than either LA or Orange County. Plus, you have the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and some great museums (it’s always fun to see jets and helicopters flying overhead). In San Diego, you also have great beaches (a favorite is Seal Beach where seals are always lying out in the sun happy as clams) and more gorgeous coastline (especially in La Jolla). You’ll head home with a tan and some great memories.

Best handbag for Southern California: Birdie Bag with Kimberley Panel

Kimberley on the girls Birdie Bag

Kimberley on the Birdie Bag – best bag for So Cal

 

2) Chicago in the summer makes people forget the winter. A great city for family vacations since there is so much to do in a small area. Between Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the lake, Museum Campus and the Museum of Science and Industry – you will have easily spent a packed and fun-filled week. So when you add on a day at the beach, all of the great eating, and some lesser known activities you will find yourself planning another trip back there to experience them all. The boat cruises are a fantastic way to see the unparalleled architecture in the city and you don’t have to walk anywhere! Also rent bikes and cruise down by Lake Michigan and stop for lunch along one of the restaurants on the path. Ah….one of my favorite cities!

Best handbag for Chicago: Tommie Tote with Avery Panel

best bag for Chicago

Tommie Tote with Avery Panel – the best bag for Chicago

 

3) Hawaii is kind of an obvious place to want to visit but not everyone realizes how many family friendly resorts are there! The weather is fabulous, the activities are plentiful and EVERYONE will leave wanting to go back. Here are a few of the best reviewed family friendly resorts in Hawaii:

– The Westin in Maui: It has 5 pools, slides and an amazing beach. Aquatic sports add to the fun.

– Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach: This hotel has the largest single level swimming pool and is right in the middle of the North and South shores so you can explore the island easily.

– JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa: The architectural design of this hotel means most people get an ocean view and it is on a private lagoon with sunset cruises and sailing available. Plus there is always activities for kids of various ages.

Best bag for Hawaii – Birdie Bag with Kiana Panel

best bag for Hawaii

Birdie Bag and Kiana Panel – best bag for Hawaii

4) With Disney World being in Orlando, it usually makes everyone’s short-list for family friendly vacation spots. But even without Disney World it would still make my short list with Sea World, Legoland and the Kennedy Space Center (among other things) being in close proximity. This provides you with a good mix of activities for all ages of children and interests. If you are tired of being in an amusement park environment, head on over to the downtown farmers’ market, ride a bike along the West Orange Trail or swim with the dolphins in Discovery Cove. There is something for everyone here and if you are on the East Coast, it’s a lot closer than Hawaii.

Best bag for Orlando: Booie Bag with Reina Panel

best bag for Orlando

Booie Bag and Reina Panel – best bag for Orlando

 

5) New York City’s praises have always been sung by crooners and travel writers. I’m adding it to my list because it was only recently that I realized young kids can enjoy the city as much as a young couple or group of friends. The museums are amazing with the Natural History Museum and the Met being obvious favorites. The Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium are also not to be missed. Take a cruise around the island on the Circle Line (there is a whole half of the island that would make you think you were far away from the Manhattan hustle and bustle). FAO Schwarz and Central Park make a perfect afternoon combo. New York may be the city that never sleeps but you’ll find that after a fun and full day, at least your children will definitely sleep!

Best bag for New York City – Booie Bag with Jackie Panel

best bag for NYC

Booie Bag and Jackie Panel – best bag for NYC

Five Favorite Gifts for Tween Girls

During the summer, the last thing we want to do is head to a mall to find the perfect gift for a hard-to-shop-for teen girl. I am hoping this list will keep you out of the mall and having fun outside instead. 1) From Social Print shop you can order a poster print of all of … Continue reading

Contest! Win a Birdie Bag Gift Pack

Contest! Win a Birdie Bag Gift Pack

Contest! Win a Birdie Bag Gift Pack!
All you need to do is email us a photo of your decorated Flying Buttress panel and the most creative one will win a Birdie Bag Gift Pack. Send all entries to info@myflyingbuttress.com or post to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/flyingbuttressbags. Deadline to enter is June 28th, 2013 and the winner will be announced by July 1st, 2013. If you have any questions, please post on our Facebook page.

The 5 Best Accessories for Prom

It’s prom season!! It seems like just yesterday I was getting my hair done and thinking about my cute date….ahhh, memories. Anyway, back to 2013. I am always the person that has the perfect dress picked out months ahead only to realize the day before that I haven’t even thought about how to accessorize my perfect dress. So I aim to help! Here are my favorite accessories for 2013 prom goers everywhere.

1) Jewelry – Definitely an obvious way to make an impact with your dress. I found great pieces at Macy’s (little more fun) and at David’s Bridal (for a dressy look). The overall trend is to go with a statement necklace or long dangling earrings/chandelier earrings with a bracelet. While I love my chandelier earrings from Kendra Scott, I found that I gravitated to the dangle earrings when thinking of prom. There is also a lot of fantastic bracelets out there – chunky is the way to go here. Here are a couple of my picks:

Forever 21 Statement Necklace – $12.80

Claire’s Main Attraction necklace – $22.50

From Macy’s ~ Robert Lee Morris Earrings – $35

Forever 21 Ditsy Daisy Drop Earrings – $5.80

From Macy’s Carolee Pearl Bracelet – $65.00 (on sale now!)

Claire’s Shiny Stone Ovals with Rhinestones Bracelet – $12.50

 

2. The handbag! if you want to stand out, try the Flying Buttress Birdie Bag with Kimberley panel (comes in red, magenta and black – shown below).

 Kimberley on the girls Birdie Bag

Kimberley on the Birdie Bag

Then, at the after prom party snap on a more casual panel when you change out of your dress.

Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie

Birdie Bag with Gold Trixie

 

3. Shoes are another obvious thing to ponder. Most important quality in a prom shoe is if you can dance all night in it! Try wearing your shoes at home for a while so you can break them in before the big dance. The trends for prom shoes right now are lace, color and metallic shoes.

From Macy’s – Santana Gold Melody Dress Sandals – $89.00

From Macy’s – BCBGeneration Montie Sandals in bright pink – $110.00 (and on sale for $58.00 now!)

Steve Madden Dejavu Black and White Lace Pumps – $99.95

rsvp Wahiba in silver – $69.00

E! Live from the Red Carpet Daphne in Jade Satin – $159.00

rsvp Lulu lace heels in Latte and Black – $69.00 (on sale now for $48.99) LOVE THESE!

 

4. Shawls will keep you warm when you are not dancing up a storm. I love the idea of an animal print to shake things up from the standard solid color.

Animal Print Shawl – $11.00

Pashmina in many colors – $16.00

Satin Wrap in many colors $20.00

 

5. Hair Accessories are a fun new trend. How about a pretty bobby pin or head wrap?

Twisted Chain Headwrap from Urban Outfitters – $14.00

Jane Tran – Ivory Chiffon Flower Pin Set – $39.99

Jane Train Braided Sparkle Headband in silver – $55.99

 

Have a fun and safe prom!

 

 

 

 

5 Easy Recipes to Cook for the Family – Crockpot Style

We all know that figuring out a meal for the kids (that’s somewhat healthy) is always a challenge after a long day. This is one of the reasons that we all love the crockpot!

I have put together a list of tried and true recipes for when you need some inspiration:

1) Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue from Allrecipes.com

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I tried this recipe out a couple months ago and was amazed at how tender the chicken was. I know that there is some discussion as to whether you should throw frozen chicken breasts into a crockpot or not…I did with this recipe and it turned out great. You can’t go wrong with bbq chicken sandwiches. Pair that with some salad and or green beans and dinner is done!

2. Bachelor’s Creamy Pumpkin Soup from Allrecipes.com

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This is a new must-have at our Thanksgiving dinners but I don’t know why you can make it year round. The recipe calls for you to cook it on a stovetop but why not throw it on low in a crockpot? I switch out the water for chicken broth to add a bit more flavor. If you want to make it healthier, substitute the heavy cream for milk and some greek yogurt. I have also added chunks of sweet potato and/or butternut squash to this recipe. YUMMY!!

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwich from Chef-in-Training.com

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I have only made this once before but it literally keeps popping into my head so I’ll be making it again very soon. This was incredibly easy and so good. The leftovers are possibly even better! If you want to go low carb, throw the chicken onto some romaine lettuce and there you go ~ a delicious salad.

4. Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef from Sixsistersstuff.com

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The great thing with this recipe is that you can throw a ton of veggies into it so you don’t have to eat the rice. I think you should add mushrooms, red bell pepper, asparagus, string beans and more! It’s a good base recipe to allow you to play if you have time.

5. Mom’s Lentil Soup – from Yankeeteatime.com

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The first time I made this, I didn’t do it in the crockpot, but again, there is no reason that you can’t.  This soup has protein, fiber and will FILL YOU UP!

Drink Holder Gift Basket {4 Tweens}

What a great idea and read! Enjoy!

 

Drink Holder Gift Basket {4 Tweens}.

Children’s Fashion Trends for Spring 2013

One of my favorite parts of working in the fashion world is viewing the updated trend reports. This Spring’s trend report was no disappointment. I have put together all of the trends I saw in a two-part series. And I have to give a shout out to my favorite summary from Red Tricycle.

Here is our first installment of the Spring 2013 Trends:

1. It seems every brand has created a cute Graphic Hearts Tee. A few of my favorites:

2. As you know our logo is based on a butterfly so you won’t be surprise that my favorite trendy graphic for Spring is the butterfly! Here are the favorites:

3. Two tone leggings! I love this trend, what a fun way to mix up an old (and comfy!) basic. Here are the faves:

  • From Blumarine – pricey but soooo cute! 

    Trends to go with your Flying Buttress bag for tweens

    Blumarine Two Tone Leggings

  • Sequin leggings from Joe Fresh

    Trends to match your tween's Flying Buttress handbag

    Joe Fresh Sequin Leggings

  • These have faux leather to “make” the two-tone look

    Cute Leggings to rock with your girls' Flying Buttress bag

    Lester’s Two Tone Leggings

4. The denim trend is obviously our personal favorite trend since all of our handbags, tablet sleeve and lunch bags are made of denim! Here are some cute clothing to match our bags:

Janelle_Harriette_Suzette_Hope

  • These jeans from Gap Kids marry the graphic heart and denim trend perfectly.
  • Tilly’s has the perfect shorts for summer.

    Denim Trends that go with Flying Buttress girls' bags

    Tilly’s Denim Short

  • I want this adorable denim jacket from The Children’s Place in my size!!!

Follow our blog now so you receive the second installment of our trend recap!

10 Pinners to start following

With Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media sites out there, sometimes it is hard to sort through all of the clutter. That is why I have put together a list of my favorite people to follow on Pinterest.

  • Cool Mom Picks (coolmompicks) will always show you the newest and the greatest gadgets and trends for children and their moms. You’ll soon see why they have over 12,000 followers. Currently they have 2,500 pins that you’ll love scouring.
  • Irene Cole (sweetieyee20) is a photographer with a fantastic eye and a new mother. This combination will give you great ideas for kids and great design and photography ideas. With 570 followers and over 2,500 pins there is a lot of inspiration here!
  • Lindsay Newton (pinkfabby) is a girl who loves all things pink and all things fabulous. If they are fabulous AND pink, even better! Her fashion style is classic, feminine and she shows a great mix of high and low fashion. Over 1,200 pins on everything from DIY to cooking to fashion trends.
  • Kimmy Erin (kimmyerin) has recently joined pinterest but you’ll enjoy getting in on the ground floor with her. She is an LA-based stylist whose style has a touch of boho chic. My favorite board is “my style pinboard” because you see what she actually we wears. The best part is you’ll get a heads up on the contests and giveaways that she regularly promotes.
  • Flying Buttress (fbbags) is an obvious choice! We focus on party ideas, tween trends, makeup tips and girls bags. You can always count on vibrant colors, great party ideas for girls and on-trend pins.
  • Cynthia Maxwell (cynthiamaxwell) is a place where you will go to see all things beautiful. It’s amazing how you her page always seems clean amongst the constant stream of pictures. You will quickly see why she has 7,300 following her 3,200 pins.
  • Katrina (kparkhill) is a teacher with devotion to Twilight and Hunger Games. She is a wealth of information in her 2,600 pins and 491,000 followers agree! You can find ideas for holiday decorating, home organization or activities for your child.
  • New Dress A Day (marisalynch) is an amazing story: Marisa was laid off from her job and feeling down so she went back to an old hobby from which she had always found joy – sewing. Since she didn’t have any money for fabric she started buying super cheap (usually ugly) pieces of clothing at thrift stores and re-vamping them to wearable and envy-worthy duds. She has some great DIY crafts, recipe suggestions and gift ideas on her page. She has almost 800 followers and 450 pins available for browsing.
  • Nancy Boes (nancy1761) is another pinner with a variety of categories. You can browse through food, home decorating and travel ideas…it’s almost like a wikipedia made of images. She has 443,000 followers so you know that she is doing something right!
  • Ree Drummond (thepioneerwoman) is another giant of Pinterest. She started as a food blogger so you can count on her for great recipes. She is also a mother of four so you can refer to her for some educational tips and fashion suggestions for real moms.

Hopefully this will help you cut through the clutter and you’ll get straight to the pins that interest you most!

Top 8 Things Teen Girls Need to Have for Back-to-School

It’s Back-to-school time! The leaves on the trees will be changing color soon and what a perfect example of how we live today. These days it’s all about choice and transition. And now our choice doesn’t even have to last an entire day. More and more companies are designing products that can easily and quickly change looks.  However, we all know that as much as things change, they stay the same. Read on for some of our favorite innovative and classic items that will get you ready for back to school.

 8. Lip gloss in a sheer color. No matter how long a school day it has been, the powers of a pretty lip-gloss always work. Our favorites are: Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Bamboo Pink ($15.00) and Revlon Super Lustrous in Foiled ($7.00).

7. You care. Let your best friend know with a BFF necklace. They always make you feel as good as they look. There are some really fun new styles out. Some of our favorites are pieces of pie (so none of your BFFs are left out), Yin and Yang and sprinkled donuts.  One brand we love is Dogeared. All of their dainty jewelry is unique yet timeless, especially the Loving Heart necklace from the Best Friends collection. Check out our Pinterest board for even more ideas.

6. A Flying Buttress bag is the perfect bag to tote around your school supplies. Our favorite is the Booie Bag, the extendable strap allows you to wear it as a cross-body bag or on one shoulder. But the best part is that there are snaps on the outside of the bag onto which you can attach various ‘bag bling’.  Flying Buttress has over 30 different “panels” allowing you to change the look of your bag easily. You don’t have to pick between a cheetah print bag or polka dot bag. And every day your handbag will go with your outfit for a polished look. Another great option is the Yummie Lunch Bag for your lunch. Why be boring when you can have your lunch bag match your outfit.

5. Emi Jay hair bands are our new favorite girls hair accessory. They are so cute they double as bracelets especially when layered with multiple colors. We all hate when you can’t take your hair down because then it leaves a weird looking crease. These don’t leave a crease in your hair – so feel free to mix it up! We also love the new Goody Spin Pin – stop putting all those bobby pins in your hair and just use one! The craziest way to change your hair without going to the salon is to add some color extensions from Snazzy Lites. It’s a great way to show school pride.

4. Mogo sunglasses have an awesome selection of bright and basic sunglasses with shapes and size for everyone. What’s even better – you can attach decorations to the sunglasses for a little extra bling.

3. What is your favorite pen? We all have a favorite. So make sure you stock up on yours before the year starts. My favorite right now is the Uni-ball Jetstream ($25.00 for 12). Also, check out the Pen Addict blog for a regularly updated list.

2. Tom’s shoes are the perfect way to look cute while giving back to the world. We love that they have such an inspiring vision. Our new favorite is the Wool Dot Youth Cordones as they are perfect for Fall ($42.00) You’ll feel good and you will look good as well.

1. All you really need to have a good time going back to school is a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new things!

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