Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for Fall!

To celebrate the Fall weather that has finally arrived in San Diego (72 degrees and cloudy!), why not bake a batch of these tasty pumpkin, oatmeal & chocolate chip cookies? Just go ahead...and bookmark this recipe (or pin it!)...they are super delicious and my husby's favorite. Ryan would love for me to make these year round, but for some reason I can only bring myself to make them during here there are! Enjoy one (or two!) with a glass of milk or hot coffee!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
created by Megan Mullen

1 Cup Flour

3 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats *added 1/2 Cup from first recipe edition
1 Cup Butter
1 Egg
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Pumpkin (canned or fresh)
2 Cups Chocolate Chips
A dash of pumpkin spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.)-use more for "pumpkin pie" taste

Mix all dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix wet ingredients, slowly stir in dry ingredients. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown.

love love, 

Monday, October 8, 2012

headband & hooter hider winners!

and the winner of this beauty is:
Megan Knight!

and the winner of this beauty is:
Erin Moffit!
Thanks to all of you who participated last week and who supported my shop opening! I appreciate all the love and encouragement!

Bri-I promise to have an update soon on little E, who is not so little anymore! :)

I'll also be updating on the Red Door women's retreat from last weekend and all that the Lord was teaching and speaking to come back soon!

love love,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

giveaways for the weekend!

Here's your final chance! the beautiful, handmade, crocheted, bow headband/ear warmer is still up for grabs! Enter below to win!
And the final giveaway for this week is from another sweet, dear friend, Lindsey. Back at home (Washington for Lindsey) they call these "Knocker Blockers," but here in Southern California, we call them "Hooter Hiders" or I guess...nursing covers? Lindsey has been making these for quite some time and you can always count on one being gifted at a baby shower. She has great taste in fabric and makes these with lots of love :) She might be opening up a shop on etsy (I'll keep you posted) but for now...she's just making them for go say hello and meet her ;) This fabric is the same as the "Plum Waffle" car seat canopy that's in my etsy shop!

To enter to win either the headband or the hooter hider ;) please leave a comment below with which one you would like and what you'll use it for (ie. gift for a new mama, headband for my sister, etc.) The drawing will end on Sunday evening at midnight (PST). Winner will be announced Monday morning!

Thanks so much for checking out my new Etsy Shop and sharing the love this week! I really appreciate all of your support and encouragement!

Tomorrow we leave for a women's retreat with the ladies from our church. I'm looking forward to spending time in the Word, worshipping God with these ladies, and enjoying some quality time with them. I'm sure there will be more to share on Monday! Happy Weekend!

love love love,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a winner and another giveaway!

and...winner is...
(selected by
Melissa Nickerson!
Congrats! I will email you the details.

To continue with celebrating opening my Etsy Shop this week, we have another giveaway!  
My sweet friend Alysia is just starting to sell her cute crochet items through Instagram and via email...I didn't even know you could do that with cool! She's been crocheting for as long as I've known her (probably longer too!) and she is super talented. She even made Eleanor a beautiful turquoise and red baby blanket (which I LOVE!). I love that her items reflect her style while also taking in to consideration the person she's making it for. She is a great friend from my church community and another Proverbs 31 woman, working with her hands and taking care of her family! She just had her third baby in June! Three under thirty...and looking fabulous! :)

Today we're giving away a cute headband/ear warmer specifically made for this giveaway! It's a new style that she recently started making...a cute bow incorporated in the middle of the band...with two colors. This is perfect for the cooler days (that are hopefully coming soon!) in Fall and Winter...I'm crossing my fingers for San Diego ;)
the prize!
If you'd like to see more of Alysia's products you can find and follow her on Instagram: @seetheartinme or you can send her an email at Right now, all of the items are made to order (one size, fits most) contact her if you have something specific in mind! The headband/earwarmer is $12 plus shipping.

Two ways to enter the giveaway today:
1) To help get my Etsy shop going, check it out (please!) and let me know in a comment below, what is your favorite car seat cover.
2) bonus point- If you're on Instagram, go ahead and follow @seetheartinme and let me know which is your favorite color combo.

Giveaway closes on Thursday at midnight (EST) and the winner will be announced Friday!

Thanks so much!

love love,

p.s. a regular What's for Dinner? post is coming soon! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 1, 2012

Open Sesame! (and a giveaway!)

The time has finally come! I am opening my Etsy Shop...TODAY! Bah! I can't tell you how excited I am! :) The shop is up and running and now I get to share it with you!

Here's the story behind my shop; "Rooted Love, Handmade with Heart"...
This little shop was conceived on the eve of my little one's birthdate. I was sewing a car seat canopy for her and getting ready in the last days leading up to her birth. She was due on June 8th and she came just one day early. Luckily for her, I finished the canopy in the nick of time!

I was up late, pregnant with swollen feet, sitting at my sewing machine, slaving away. No one was making me do this, I just wanted a cute cover for my baby girl. And, as all pregnant women think, I thought to myself, "I have to get EVERYTHING done before she gets here." Haha. Well, at least that made for a productive night. I whipped up my canopy and had only attached one of the three buttons when I decided to call it quits for the night. I needed some rest and my husby made me stop working. I finished the canopy and tied the straps onto the carseat. It looked perfect! I didn't end up sleeping that night...instead, I went into labor and our baby girl was born the next day.

I loved using this for my daughter and started making them as gifts for friends. Those friends kept telling me..."people keep asking me where I got should sell these!"

Sew here I am ;) I've been given great encouragement by my husby, friends, community, and family and have decided to go for the gold! Thanks so much! I'm in the mindset that I'll try this and see how it goes...if it fails. And at least I put it out there and tried :) Either way...I'm going to be joyful! 

In order to celebrate the grand opening of the shop I've decided to do a few giveaways! As I was preparing for this grand opening I asked a few AMAZING friends if they would be interested in doing a giveaway on the blog. And lucky for YOU, they were excited and happy to help!!! These women are talented, Proverbs 31 women, who love Jesus and love their craft (sewing, crocheting, knitting, cooking, etc.) I would love for you to "meet" them and enjoy their handmade goods. This week I'll have two other keep coming back and tell your friends!

Today's giveaway is from the Home Story blog & Etsy shop, with my sweet friend, Jessi Burke.

Jessi is a twenty-something wife to Jared, and mama to two sweet boys. She loves Jesus, beautiful design, and decor on a budget. Her blog is concentrated on sharing great ideas that she comes across, new DIY projects, and frugal home decor. Her home is beautiful and crafty, and she's always looking for ways to make things herself when it's more affordable to do so. I love reading her blog, hearing her heart, and being inspired by the creativity that God has gifted her with. And she has chickens and a coop...that's pretty sweet ;) Please check out her blog and facebook page!

Today she is giving away a sweet little creation..."The Newsie"
The "newsie" toddler backpack is the first of 3 original designs that will be available soon in Jessi's etsy shop. It features a zipper closure, side pocket, and adjustable straps with contrast piping on the flap and pocket. Coming soon are the "scout" and "prepster" styles which are equally charming!
Also to be available in the newly re-opened shop are custom Christmas stockings!

all designs copyright Jessi Burke

Go ahead and enter to win! You have three ways of entering: 

1. Leave a comment here with how you are going to use this backpack.
2. "Like" Home Story on Facebook
3. "Like" Rooted Love on Facebook
The giveaway will be open until Tuesday at Midnight (EST) and the winner will be announced on Wednesday! Also...please tell your friends :) Thanks!

love love love!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2012

my other baby is going to college

My sister Bri and my little E

My "first" little baby, Bri, is headed off to college today! This is crazy! Obviously she's not my real baby...haha. Some of you know, but my sister and I are 9 years and some months apart in age. :) She is like my little baby! All grown up and going off to college. Woah. I feel old now. It sounds cliche but it's true! We spent a lot of time together as kids. When it was time for me to go off to college, I chose to stay closer to home (UC San Diego) so that I could come and visit and remain a part of her life. I'm glad that I did. She's grown up quite a bit since then, and it has been great to see how she is being shaped and molded into a woman of God. She has a heart and passion for the lost and she loves Jesus! I know that God has great things in store for her. My prayer is that she will continue to glorify God in her pursuits and be bold to not only proclaim the gospel but live it out daily. 
Matt, Me and Bri at Eleanor's Birthday

I'll keep this post short and sweet. I love you so much, my special seester! I'll be seeing you ;)

love love love,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's for Dinner? in 100 degree weather...

Last night we enjoyed a simple, refreshing and spicy salad for dinner. It's one of our favorite're going to want to save it to your pinboard, trust me ;) I found the recipe on the eat, live, run blog...a blog that my dear friend Rachel shared with me. It can be prepped in less than 10 minutes and fully satisfies even the meat-lover in our family. 
simple dinner prep and 6 ingredients

This recipe is great for hot days & nights, when turning on the stove or heating up the oven is not an option. Like I mentioned last week, I am hoping for this to be the final hurrah of warm weather and for cooler weather to be ushered in :) It was between 90-100 degrees in San Diego over the past few weeks...sometimes I wish I lived in Seattle ;) *my Seattle friends are probably laughing right now.
the final product! mmm delicious!

Last Friday's dinner was a bit of a debacle (defined as fiasco by Merriam-Webster...haha *our friend Beau's favorite word)! There were FOUR short power outages on Friday afternoon due to the heat and high usage of power for ACs and fans. As I mentioned on facebook, putting your crockpot out on the porch is a great idea for hot days. The house stays cool and you have a delicious meal by the end of the day. Unless your power goes out. Four times. And, you didn't think to check the crockpot outside. Woops! It wasn't until the fourth outage that I realized it might be a good idea to see if the shredded beef was still cooking. The crockpot  lights were blinking, waiting for me to select a choice...high, low, warm. Oh man! At the same time as all of this was going on, our dear guest called to see if we should cancel dinner because "it's just so hot outside!" It was 104 degrees that afternoon. I assured her that we could still have dinner together, but that it may just have to be out on the porch in the shade of the trees. It didn't occur to me until after we had concluded our conversation that the beef might not be fully cooked...oh no! I panicked for a moment. Then Ryan helped me change plans and we decided to take our friend out to dinner instead. Thank goodness for flexible people!

The dinner was good. It wasn't the beef tacos that I had originally planned on, but it was still good. Our friend did not cancel and we were able to share a great Thai meal together. She insisted that "that was a lovely evening!" I, however, felt a little discouraged as I had been trying to feed Eleanor during dinner and then was running around with her outside when she started to get antsy. I felt a bit distracted and unable to participate in conversations. I wanted deeper conversation and relationship with our friend.

I wanted to be in control of the evening. I though that if we had had dinner at our place, I could have put Eleanor to bed, let her play with toys, and have deep, intentional conversation with our friend...wait a second...that perfect, ideal scenario is just not what God had in mind for that night. I needed to be the flexible one that night.  God is still good and in control, even when our plans don't go the way we intended. His plans always go through, and they are good. Our friend loved the evening and even sent a "thank you" email that same evening. How sweet. I am thankful to be in this lady's life, and I look forward to more "debacles" where God can be glorified and magnified. He is great and in control, so I don't have to be!

love love love,

Monday, September 17, 2012

the quarterly: 15 months

Baby bear,

The monthly photo is back by popular demand haha ;) After your 1st birthday people asked me if I would keep up with the monthly photos...I wanted to, really, I did :) but, it just didn't happen. We took this one, a week after you turned 15 months...but it still counts ;) and I figured if I couldn't keep up with the monthly, I could try for a quarterly it worked out perfectly that you are now fifteen months old! ;)

A lot has happened since you turned one! You now have 4 love to use them to eat your food, and occasionally you try to bite mama in your anger or defiance...ahh! More on that in a minute. You started showing an interest in walking around 14 1/2 months. It started with short distances and a few steps between mama and papa or other friends...and as you got the hang of it, your desire for walking became greater. You practiced on your own quite a bit, and it was cute to see you so determined! Now you are fully walking, with a few stumbles here and there. 

You definitely have a lot of energy and like to play with other kids. You're just learning how to interact with other kids right now and it is interesting to watch you play :) There are lots of teachable moments during these play dates, where we usually get to talk about sharing toys, being gentle with baby's faces (and hair) and not screaming/demanding our own way. You and I are both new to this...I'm learning to parent and you're learning to be obedient to mama and God. It's definitely been challenging at times to know what is the right thing to do in each situation. I'm definitely tempted to give into caring too much about what other people think of me as I try to discern the right response for each situation that we find ourselves in. Prayer is usually a  great start. For my heart and for yours. I'm reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart," by Tedd Tripp right now and I am excited to learn more and be equipped with how to shepherd you well :)

Your favorites right now include:
toys-little teapot from carry it around with you in one hand and have a tea cup in the other
food-you're eating a lot of healthy snacks, but not as many meals...usually you'll eat a whole peach each day...and string cheese 
music-you love the xylophone and the little drum at Siena's also love to worship! whenever there is worship music playing, at the Sunday church gathering, or on the raise your hands and it's the cutest thing!
prayer-you know when we're praying and you fold your hands together! I think you just picked this up from watching people? and then every time we say "AMEN!" you clap!
words-for a little while you were saying "yeahhh" for everything and it was so cute! "Did you just bite Mama?" "yeahhh." "Are you sorry?" "yeahhh." "Are you going to do that again?" "yeahhh." haha. And within the last couple na na! Oi vei! The No's are getting sassy :) We're working on it. This morning when I asked if she wanted cheesy eggs, she had an enthusiastic YEAH! So...there's hoping ;) Haha.
place- you love going around the zoo, watching the fish in the pygmy hippo exhibit and sitting next to gorillas. You smile whenever I point towards the elephants and make the elephant sound with my arm as the know the gesture? ;)

Right now, you and I (and your papa), are in a new phase of're more active and inquisitive, and we're navigating this whole parenting thing. At times it has been difficult figuring out how and when to discipline you (ie. in Trader Joe's when you throw a fit, bite me on the shoulder and then scream and arch your back, just for example). Ahhh! Part of it, like I said before, is me giving in to the approval of others...and desiring their approval of me as a great mom. I am not a perfect parent. As we were reminded in one of our Red Door Church parenting classes, "There are no perfect parents. There are no perfect children. Just one perfect Father and one perfect Son." Phew...that's a relief ;) So I get to shepherd you, and point you to Jesus, and I get to look to Jesus too :) this is good news!

We love you so much baby bear! Until next time...

love love,
Mama Meg

A few extra cute photos from the past months:
Daddy brushing your little teeth before bed time

 A little play date with your friend Siena Joy!

 Grandpa Bockman feeding you some tasty yogurt

 A little sick or tired? You fell asleep on me within five minutes! This never happens!

Just eating some snacks at Fred's house after the epic pool party celebrating 2 years of Red Door church!

Your morning routine: tousle those locks, sign for food, and head to the fridge!

Celebrating 3 years of marriage with a night at the Old Globe theater!

we work well together :)

Anniversary weekend and our first time to Cabrillo National Monument

Mission beach and kite flying...oh no! E may have knocked Meredith out..

Favorite spot at the zoo...look at all the fish!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's for Dinner? with a special guest

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos by GimmeSomeOven blog
These look pretty amazing!!! I've made these once before and they were fantastic! I'm bringing this recipe into the rotation this week, especially since the Chuck Roast is on sale at Henry's for $4.49/lb...which I think is a good deal? Someone tell me if I'm wrong :)

This Friday we're having a lovely dinner guest. She has quite the palatte as she has traveled all around the world and enjoyed lots of authentic meals. This friend also introduced us to the Rolando neighborhood restaurant that has authentic Mexican food,Carnitas Las Michoacanas. They are located on University Avenue near Aragon Drive. Their food was AMAZING! and very affordable! I may stop by and get some of their authentic ;) salsa for our little dinner party.

I love having dinner guests...but I am a little nervous for this one!  We love sharing our stories with people and love to hear theirs. Our friend does not know Jesus, but we hope and pray that she gets to see a glimpse of Him during our time together. I'm nervous because  I've definitely struggled with the idol of approval and desiring to please people. I want our friend to feel welcome, see our life, and feel like she can come over any time...but I'm also tempted to try and win her approval. We do have an age gap of about 53 she may know a thing or two that I don't ;)

In the area of hospitality, people pleasing looks like this.. I am cleaning the house (for hours) in a frenzy to make it look clean and "perfect" for our guests, sometimes even getting grumpy (no way!) at people who get in the way or things that disrupt my "perfect plan". Every other day, our house is less than perfect. We have messes...we have piles...I'm embarrassed to even say it, but it can just get cluttered some times! I do believe that "everything has a home," but that's for another post ;) My version of "perfect" presents a problem for the guests who come...they see a performance that I put on for them, not the every day life. This can often put unnecessary pressure on them to perform the next time we visit them and pressure on myself to perform just as well as I had the previous times. I definitely don't want that!

When we've had friends come over in the past, I've always tried to clean really well and hide the messes. It's not  that it's a bad thing to fact, I'm learning to clean-up more consistently to maintain, but, if it's only to impress others or get their approval, it becomes sin. If you've been to my house recently it has been less than perfect...and I'm okay with that (and I hope you are too haha). I am still growing in this area though. I'd like to say that if you called last minute and let me know you were stopping by, that I wouldn't be embarrassed by the pile of dishes in the sink...from two nights ago...but, sometimes I still get embarrassed or try to clean-up real quick before you get here. I would rather just invite you in, with complete joy, and a sink full of dishes, then turn away an opportunity to potentially encourage and spend time with you. 

Over the past few years I feel like God has taught me a lot about this. Our home should be a place where people can drop by on a whim, come in, feel welcome, and stay at as long as they like. They can use our things...even break them, and we should be okay with that. We are called to be good stewards of the gifts he has given us...but like we're always saying to kids who are having trouble sharing..."Who does that toy belong to, Eleanor?" "Jesus!" All of our things belong to Jesus and we get the joy of being a blessing to others. 

All of that to say, I am excited to have our friend join us, and excited to not be consumed with our house being perfect or "nice" enough for her standards, so much so that it distracts me from loving, serving and encouraging her. I was reading just yesterday in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 "...but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts." I don't need to try and please our friend...I just need to please God! woohoo!

thanks for reading all of that ;)
love love love,

ps. What's for Dinnner? next week: this tasty looking salad may be a good end to our's still a toasty 90 degrees here in San Diego! I'm going to enjoy this refreshing salad, and hope that fall comes soon!!! and by "fall" in San Diego, I mean...pumpkin spice lattes, watching Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, boots with tall socks, and semi-pea coats.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What's for Dinner? (Mexican Polenta Pie)

I'd like to continue with my series...
(food drawings from Nina Chakrabarti)

Every Wednesday I plan the meals for the week and head out to buy groceries (usually at Sprout's-for double ad Wednesdays and great produce, and Trader Joe's-tried and true, trusty store!). Most weeks I go with a friend or two, babies in tow, and we get it done! Each week I'd like to share recipes and meal plans that I've found to be helpful and tasty for our family...I hope you enjoy!

YumOH! We recently made Mexican Polenta Pie for dinner and it was amazing! The recipe originally came from my dear friend, Jennifer Holm. Man am I thankful for her (and that recipe)! The recipe is super easy to put together, it feeds several people (or provides lots of leftovers) and has amazing flavors! I find that most recipes for Mexican food can be flexible too with adding or subtracting tomatoes, bell pepper, olives (not  my fave), etc. depending on what you have on hand. The total cost for the recipe is approximately $10-12 and has at least 10-12 servings...$1 per serving...not bad at all!

The recipe was found at, via Jennifer Holm.

Before this recipe I had never used or had polenta. Polenta is quite tasty! It absorbs the full flavors and spices in this Mexican dish and is a great source for protein. This recipe is great for: large groups, baby dinners, leftovers!

Try it out, pin it to your recipe board, and share it with others!

Have any recipes you want me to try out? Or any special requests of what you'd like to see more of here on the blog? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

love love,

Monday, September 3, 2012

...and I'm back in the game!

Just look at these beauties! You may have seen my sneak peek on facebook...I'm super excited to announce I'm sewing again "...and I'm back in the game!" (anyone remember 10 Things I Hate About You?!) I'm starting up an etsy shop (opening date tbd) and getting my inventory ready! I've gone back and forth and back and forth again and have decided to just go for it. Who cares if my shop isn't perfect or if no one ends up reading this blog? It's not about those things anyways.

So, to get back in the game...I'm giving away a beautiful handmade car seat canopy (soon to be in my etsy shop!) on my dear friend Megan's blog/website, Out of Her Heart. Today she is launching her new website and hosting a giveaway with lots of goodies...including:
I will be opening up my etsy shop soon (thanks for being patient!) but in the mean can snag one over at Megan's blog :) Keep checking I'll be opening shop soon!

If you're new here, thanks for stopping by! Please stay awhile! I'll also be updating on the Rooted Love facebook page...please head over and LIKE it, for updates and photos!

love love love,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the yearly: one! year old

Dearest baby bear-Eleanorcita-Elegator-eNew-mamas,

Today is a BIG day! You are ONE! I remember your actual birth day, just like it was yesterday! Almost every detail is fresh in my mind. We were so excited (and a little nervous) to finally be heading to the birth center to meet YOU! You are such a blessing and a joyFULL little baby/girl...we had no idea what life would be like with a little one. We knew it might be tough, with lots of sleepless nights, but I don't think we could have ever imagined how blessed we would be.We've even witnessed you being a blessing to others...bringing joy and laughter in times of both happiness and sorrow. The elderly people (including your great grandparents) definitely lit up when they would see you and your big smile. During the funerals and memorials of both your great grandparents (this past April and May) you brought smiles and laughter to the family.
There were lots of momentous occasions this past month. None of which will be recorded sadly (mama forgot to charge the camera battery!)You've grown a bit this last month, and your hair is coming in curly!!! WOOHOO! I think (and hope!) that it will stay that way ;) but your papa thinks that is wishful thinking. Ah well ;) We shall see. 
We put the baby gates up last month. This month you are all over the place! The park is more of an attraction to you now. You love the slide and the swings. You start giggling uncontrollably when on the swings and at other random times...bringing such joy! You are always pulling yourself up onto things and standing. You're slowly getting interested in walking, mostly with the help of mama and dada or your trusty green dino.
You must be growing a lot...because you sleep A LOT and eat A LOT! You sleep 12-14 hours a night, with at least a 1-3 hour nap during the day :) And you eat all of the food that we serve you, plus "second breakfast" or "second dinner" aka half of whatever mama's having. :) That's okay though...we like to share! You love to smile (still with a toothless grin) and play games with people. You learned how to sign "all done" but sometimes you only do one hand and you use that as a "hello" wave also. Some of mama's friends think you're doing the beauty queen wave ;) You love love LOVE being around people and getting their attention...I don't know where you got that one from haha. You're learning to share the spotlight, but with other babies around you get a little fussy...oh no! haha...we'll  have to ease you into the idea of siblings, but it will be good for you ;)
We're pretty sure you also said your first word, other than mama or dada. The other night you were ready for dinner and you started getting fussy. You started saying "mama mom Megan". Twice. WHAT?! Megan? Bah! You will only call me mama or Mom ;) Maybe it was a fluke, but papa said he heard it too :)
We just love you to pieces! Our hearts have been expanded and stretched in so many ways with you in our lives :) In this past year God has shown us so much JOY through you. Your name means "God is light" or "light of God" and we've definitely seen that in this past year. We are learning how to be more like Christ and  how to be that light of God as we raise and nurture you. We pray and hope that you will grow up to be a godly little lady and one day, woman! (like the Proverbs 31 woman :)

Unfortunately, we can't keep up this routine of monthly photos any more though ;) you are too wiggly! I'll try to keep your photos and life stories updated so that you can look back on it later!

lots of love to you,
your mama (Megan) and dada (Ryan) ;)

ps.  I guess there were a few shots from this last month :) Some of them were taken by your auntie for her photography class ;)

"No one will notice if I eat this...will they?"

Mullen Family - May 2012

Great Uncle Paul and Eleanor looking at the rhinos

Eleanor and mama at the zoo on her birthday day

Monday, May 7, 2012

the monthly: 11 months old!

hey little elegator!

The day you turned 10 months old you finally found an interest in crawling. You started getting up on your hands and knees more, and rocking back and forth. You never actually crawled too much, scooting was faster for you. You also started pulling yourself up onto things. You've been hiding your strength this whole time ;) You pulled yourself up to a standing position in your crib and freaked me out! I saw you on the baby monitor, and during your "nap" you were happily standing, looking out in to your room. Now that you've found a new trick, you like to practice it every chance you get. Most nap times I can be sure to find you hanging on to the crib railing.

You still like to bounce your head back and forth, mainly with music. You've also started singing/humming from time to time, in the bath and when you're eating, and it's the cutest thing. We think you're going to be musically inclined...who knows ;) you didn't get it from your mama (or papa). You like to clap too!

By mid-month you were crawling around quite a bit, and even found the stairs! You scaled the stairs in no time at all, and without help of mama (although, I did stay right behind as the safety net ;). You managed to make it up the stairs twice in one day...what a great workout! We purchased our baby gates that same day. Now we'll teach you how to climb down safely and then we'll be good to go!

You love your sleep, little snoozer ;) Most nights you're out for 12-13 hours! and you have a nap or two during the day. So, you're still sleeping more hours than you're awake...but that's okay, you're a growing little lady!

It's the cutest thing to see you meet an older person and give them a proper handshake. You just smile and laugh. You also like to wave and sometimes mix that with your signing "all done"...when you're finished with a meal, we've been trying to teach you the sign for "all done". We're not sure if you actually know what it means, or if you just like to shake your hands and wave :)

You also really like your books (as seen in the photo). That book, The Grown Up Day, was one of your grandma's books when she was a little girl. You can't read yet, but you sure do like to sort through your books and occasionally give them a little love bite.

"Mama" and "Dada" or "Papa" come out of your mouth on a more regular basis now...but we're still not sure if you actually know what those words mean, or if you just like making noise! :) You are a little talker and you like to sing and hum too.

We are retiring the outfit that you are wearing in this photo. You got a good 5+ months out of it, but now it's a tad too small (Size 6 months). Your big cloth diaper booty makes these shorts a little small...ahh! :) But the outfit was just too cute to stop wearing. Please forgive me ;)

You are one month away from being one year old! And teeth. That's okay :) I like your gummy smile and curly locks of hair :) You're a keeper. Your birthday party plans are in the mind is full of ideas...but I just don't want to get too caught up in it (or stressed) :) We know that you will have a fun time (as long as you catch a snooze beforehand) ;) You are LOVED!

lots of love,

ps. here are some photos from this past month:
 Bath time in the kitchen sink at Great Grandpa Bockman's house
 Your 1st Easter
 Pool day with Ezra-you refused to get out!
At Piatti's in La Jolla, celebrating Mama's birthday (early)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1 Roasted Chicken, 3 Tasty Meals

A few friends and I were talking about good recipes and we happened to discuss cooking whole chickens. I'd never really given it much thought before. I liked buying rotisserie chickens from Costco ($6) and using the meat for enchiladas or chicken tortilla soup. I'd never really thought of roasting my own chicken and making not one, but THREE meals from it. I think that's pretty resourceful, if I do say so myself :) I thought I'd pass along a great recipe, that I've tried and loved, so that you can ENJOY too!

I am LOVING this new recipe, from the blog 100 Days of Real Food,  found on pinterest. How to cook a whole a crock pot. It was amazing! The recipe was easy to follow, simple, and delicious! There weren't any complications or delay in times and the end result...tender chicken full of flavor that just falls off the bone.

Here's how it worked out for us:
I searched pinterest and found a recipe for the crock pot (think: quick, easy, and NO oven heating up the house). I purchased a whole chicken (approx. 5  1/2 lbs.) from Henry's Sprout's for $1.49/lb (great deal!). We already had all of the spices on hand (also purchased in bulk, from Sprout's). Got home, mixed the spices, pulled the whole chicken out of the bag (yuck-definitely the worst part of the whole deal, in my opinion), and rubbed the chicken with the spices. Placed it in the crock pot and put the lid on. I forgot to buy an extra onion to chop and place under the chicken...oh well! The timer was set for 4 hours and I checked the meat 3 1/2 hours was fully cooked and so tasty! There were no added oils or fats, just chicken and spices.

Meal #1: Chicken, wild rice and steamed zucchini

Meal #2: Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup
The next day I pulled the remaining chicken from the bone and added it to a homemade (chicken) tortilla soup from the Pioneer Woman...I love her recipes! Mmmm! We made some fresh tortilla chips, by slicing tortillas and baking in the oven at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. Yum! I told Ryan that I'll probably make our own chips from now on...they were so good (and simple)! And another bonus?...We have a HUGE pot of soup leftover for lunches and dinner tonight.

Meal #3: Homemade Chicken stock for soup/meals
The chicken carcass (eww) was used with this recipe (also from 100 Days of Real Food blog) to make chicken broth for another large soup or additional meals. I followed the simple recipe and let it sit overnight in the crock pot. Our house smells like chicken broth this morning, but I now have the base for another complete meal (saving us approx. $4...$2/box of chicken broth). Woohoo!

For $8 we were able to make 2 solid meals, plus leftovers, and broth for another meal! I am definitely doing this again (maybe even this week...too soon? haha!). I hope you'll try it out! Stay tuned...I'm working on more blog posts like these, with recipes worth sharing :)

with love,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

the monthly: 10 months old!

dearest Eleanor,

You are ten months old! We took this photo, in your PJs, after we got back from Grandma and Grandpa Bockman's house. You had a long day! We got smart though, and this time we brought the pack-n-play so that you could take a nap during the visit.

You are eating three meals a day, with mama and papa. I am so thankful that you are open to trying lots of foods, and even mama's spicy turkey chili! We welcomed this transition to solid foods because it meant easier food prep (mostly) and more fun for your taste buds! You also take one or two naps a day, depending on your growth spurts or daily activities. You continue to bring so much JOY to us. We love love LOVE you!

You have been so active in your crib at night. It's always fun for your papa and I to put you down to sleep and find you (on the video monitor) in the complete opposite corner of the crib later that night. Other times you sleep solid like a rock. You generally get 12 hours of sleep a night...I don't have any complaints about that! We (mostly mama) like to be stealthy and plant kisses on you when you are sleeping, without waking you up. Most of the time you stay asleep ;)

Scooting is your main form of transportation these days. You still like to keep your right leg raised as your left leg does all the work in pushing and scooting you along. Dad thinks you will be a lefty, just like him :) You get up on your hands and knees and trick us into thinking you'll do a crawl, but you end up just scooting around instead. It seems to be fastest for you. You have definitely been a great help in cleaning our kitchen floors too ;) Who knew they could be so dirty so often?! You just scoot scoot and attract dust to your belly. Next time I'll attach a swiffer to your onesie so we can both be more efficient :)

You love your activity table with all the music, Spanish, and noise! We stand you next to it and you love to close and open the little's super cute, and sometimes obnoxious at the same time haha. We've been going to the park a few times during the week and you have actually started liking the swings. At first it wasn't really interesting for you. Your eyes would squint because of the sun, and when I pushed you back your face looked as if your stomach looked so scared! Now, you giggle! We've even done a "party swing" where you sit with another one of your little friends sitting with you, back to back.

You love to smile :) Almost all of the elderly people we come in contact with try to get your attention or make you smile or do a trick. I love to see their smiles as you look in their presh!

The months are flying by and you are growing so fast! I probably forgot some milestones from this last month (ah well)'re just so busy! We LOVE you so much!

love you lots,

ps. notice a few changes around here? :) lots of exciting things happening! I have a friend helping me with graphic design and we are working to get a logo for my little business (you rock Melissa!) I'll keep you posted and let you know when there is an official debut :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the monthly: nine months old!

oh baby bear,

Today you are 9 months old! You sure have changed in this last month! You scoot and move quite a bit (as evidenced in your monthly photo...ha).We have to keep a close eye on you as you make your way around the house...your favorite spot has been the wall heater...oh no! The bottom of the heater has a convenient little door that you've already successfully opened several times. I know it looks fun, but it's dangerous! We're working on teaching you so that you don't get hurt :) You also like the fireplace and if you're not on the rug, we know where to find you! You sneak behind the recliner chair and tap on the fireplace glass...probably just checking out your reflection ;) cute as a button!

You love to sleep in the corners of your crib, all curled up with your pink blanket. When we go to get you from a nap, you are never found in the same position that we put you down in. You also like to pull on those bumper pads, using them as a little pillow for your head or as a way to boost yourself up to see out of your crib. It's cute. I feel like we just put those up, and now it's time to take them down already!

Your hair has grown a lot this past month. You can (finally) wear bows! I have 2 bows and 1 birdie clip (thanks Joanna!) for your hair. I need to make some more for your cute little hair do ;) Some days you have a little mohawk and look more like your papa. Other days, right after a bath, we can see those little curls like mama. I hope you keep the curls!

A few of your favorite toys, besides the fireplace and heater, are the little purple phone, your little play table with music, the toy house, and any board books we read to you. The musical toys always get you dancing and talking. Papa thinks your first word was "dada" but I don't think you've actually said a real word just yet. You like to mouth vowels, like "Oh" and "Ah". Your little friend Oliver goes by the nickname "O", so it seems like you calling for him from time to time...super cute!

You laugh a lot! It's fun to tickle you and get a continue to bring us so much joy! You are such a happy baby and you sleep through the night (praise God!), most every night. The last couple nights though, you've woken up in a panic, crying and there has been no rhyme or reason to it. Perhaps another growth spurt? Teething? Haha...doubtful on the teething. There are no teeth in sight. :) Maybe by the tenth month?

love you lots baby bear!
your Mama bear

Thursday, February 23, 2012

new business ventures? :)

I am a full-time employee as mama and what is this "new business" all about? Well, I may have some ideas up my sleeve (or whispers into my ear) about a few things that I could end up doing for a little extra work...or fun! I love being creative and love people. Enter "new business": photography and sewing baby things (mainly car seat canopies).

Last week I took photos for Sarah and Beau, as they were expecting their first baby boy. Sarah was ready for the baby to be here was his due date after all. He wasn't budging. We took the photos and you can check them out here...Baby Oliver-Due Date Photo Shoot. We had so much fun walking around the neighborhood and taking photos in the nursery. The photos got a lot of positive feedback and compliments. Here are a few of my favorites...

The other business venture...sewing baby things :) Many people have been encouraging me to start-up my own etsy site or sell my handmade car seat canopies. I've been making them for baby shower gifts for friends, but haven't had the extra time (who has that anyways? :) to start-up a shop. If I'm going to do something I want to put my ALL in it :) That means, for now, as full-time mama, I want to make sure I'm putting my ALL in it :) and I think I have thus far. I know the etsy shop would require a LOT of time and energy to make it a success, etc. and that might take away from other responsibilities I already have. I've been sewing gifts thus far because it is handmade with heart (which I love!) and it's less expensive than products sold in the stores. More recently, I saw on The Baby Exchange facebook page, that they sell handmade baby items. I randomly decided to ask if they would sell my car seat canopies, thinking it's a long shot, and it looks like they might do it! :) We are currently discussing it. In the mean time I've already had two people (random strangers) ask me if I would make one for them. I also have some gifts on back order ;) sorry Erin...they are in the works...promise :)
Oliver's little car seat canopy

All that to say...I love my full-time job right now as Eleanor's mama and wife to my husby. I would also love the opportunity to bless others with photographs or baby items, on the side, for fun...but we'll just see how it goes or grows. I'll definitely keep you posted :) I'd love your feedback and prayers!

ps. a little preciousness to enjoy...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the monthly: Eight months old!

Oh Eleanor(cita),

You are growing up so fast. People are always saying "oh kids, they grow up so fast," and I know this is true...but wow! You have changed so much since you were first in my arms 8 months ago. You are mobile! Yesterday you finally figured out how to get from a sitting position to your tummy. Now I'm in big trouble! Gone are the days of just letting you hangout on a blanket while I run to the bathroom or fix something in the kitchen. But that's okay! I'm excited for the adventures to come as you explore...everything! You like to use the kitchen chairs as your personal jungle gym and you love putting shoes (and everything else) in your mouth...even Mama's nose and chin. 

You love being around people! You smile and reel them in with that toothless grin of yours. You also do this cute head tilt back and forth from side to side (see photo above...haha). The tilt varies in speed and people just die laughing. You even like to rock your head to the beat whenever there is music on in the background. I'm not sure where you got that cute trick, but I'm pretty sure we've reinforced it by mimicking it every time we see you! 

You also love spending time with your great Grandpa and the elderly ladies of the Rolando Community Council. I love seeing the elderly people light up when they see brings them so much joy to see a happy baby!

This month you will have 4 new baby friends...and your little "cousin" Oliver, should be arriving any day now! Uncle Beau-Beau (who you can thank for the nickname Eleanorcita) and Aunt Sarah have been loving on you in preparation for their little man, and now the time has finally come! Aunt Sarah showed you how to clap just the other day and you just started doing it! When you are proud of yourself or happy, you start to clap and it's the cutest thing ever!

We have been truly blessed with you, little one! God has been so gracious with us! Everyone always comments on how you are such a "chill" baby, always pretty content (unless you're hungry!), and friendly as ever! That is all by God's grace! We can't take any credit for that :)
There are probably so many things I am forgetting, but until next month...I look forward to seeing more of your personality and exploring the world with you!

love you,

ps. more photos from this month:
you and your buddy Ezra

 playing with Amos

bear buddies, Lily and Eleanor

tilt that head! you look like you're stretching

quality time with great Grandpa

all smiles with Auntie Ang

hanging with papa after church