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

Monday, February 6, 2012

make this: Homemade Granola

YumOH! Last week I was looking for a good homemade granola recipe to pair with my plain yogurt. I had all the essential ingredients lined up in the pantry: oats, nuts, raisins, honey, brown sugar, dried coconut. Mmmm! Google came up with a few (thousand) recipes, and I peeked at a few of them...I scanned the recipes and judged the photos. With no personal references to any of these recipes, it was hard to tell which one would be just the right one. I wanted a keeper. And I found one!

I baked the homemade granola and it was AMAZING! The recipe was simple and flexible. I like flexible. I try to be flexible in baking (and I'm totally comfortable with not sticking to the exact recipe :) but I understand that's not for everyone. I made a double batch to make sure there would be plenty to share. Actually, scratch that. I accidentally poured 1/2 cup of honey into the bowl instead of 1/4 cup. It worked out anyways...I try to stay flexible! :)

When I checked my iPad later, to save the was GONE! The page was closed. Boo! I quickly wrote down the ingredients and measurements that I had remembered. This was a recipe worth remembering and making again!

I wanted to share it with you :) it's flexed a bit, to what I used (and I can't take the credit!)...but you can substitute several ingredients to your liking and make it your own :)
Homemade Granola Recipe:
4 Cups Oats
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
6 Tbsps. Canola Oil
1 tsp salt (or less)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/4 Cup chopped Pecans 
Handful of dried coconut (to your liking)
1/2 Cup Chocolate chips 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix oats, honey, and brown sugar with oil. You may need to use your hands! Add the cinnamon, salt (less is more, but it's a great salty-sweet combo), and continue mixing. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, scrape pan and flip granola. Add remaining toppings (but hold the chocolate chips). Place in oven again and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Use your best judgement on the crispy-ness of the granola. The granola will bake a little bit longer after it is removed from the oven.  Let the pan cool and then store in an airtight container. Add chocolate chips and mix. 
and then...ENJOY!

I hope you make this!