Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oatmeal Add-ins

What's better than warm oatmeal on a cold morning?

Oatmeal is one of my favorite things to make for breakfast, but I like to make it "fancy." By that, I mean adding fruit, nuts and other delicious add-ins. If you have 3 minutes and a microwave, you can easily transform regular 'ol oatmeal into the "fancy" kind that you'll pay $4+ for at your coffee shop.

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats in a microwave safe bowl
Add 3/4 cup of your choice of milk (cow's, almond, flax, coconut, whatever) 
Microwave for 3 minutes
Carefully remove from microwave (it's HOT) 
Add in your choice of toppings, stir and enjoy! 

Here are some delicious combinations that I like:

- Dried cranberries, sliced apple, chopped walnuts, agave

- Chopped walnuts, blueberries, juice of half a lemon, honey

- Pumpkin seeds, sliced banana, pecans, maple syrup

Use whatever you like and whatever you have! Cheers to better breakfasts.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Sunshiney Apple Day

Today was such a beautiful fall Sunday! We had to get outside and enjoy it. Perfect for a trip to Whittier Fruit Farm to pick some golden delicious apples. 

Marshall was quite serious and very observant the entire time. We couldn't get him to smile or look at the camera. There was too much to see! 

I think he will enjoy it even more next year when he can walk around (gah!) and even pick the apples. I can't imagine that yet! 

I love making memories like this, with my two favorite guys. All the heart eye emoji.

I think I need to bake an apple pie...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monthly Marshall Moments: Eight

My little pumpkin is eight months old. Every month, I think he can't possibly get any cuter, but somehow he does! His smile is getting bigger and brighter and his laugh is music to my ears. Marshall is a sweetie pie and a charmer, with a growing personality. And his cheeks are simply kissable! 

He definitely likes to play and keep busy, especially with someone by his side. I love watching him inspect new objects, turn things around in his squishy little hands and discover the world. 

I had the best time introducing Marshall to bubbles. The pure wonder and expression on his face was priceless. He didn't know what to do. Then he tried "catching" them and would look for it when it disappeared. So precious. 

He is a ray of sunshine most mornings. I don't know where he gets that from! When he awakes up, we're happy to see each other and he's always ready to play. 

Andrew finally has an Eagles buddy to watch the games with. The cutest fan around! 

This summer and fall has been so much fun. We're trying to enjoy the remaining warm days and get outside as much as we can. I'm hoping for a mild winter so we can still enjoy the outdoors! 

Sitting up all the time with excellent balance
Moving around while sitting up, swivel style (not crawling yet) 
Enjoys eating baby food a couple times a day
Does NOT like his face and hands cleaned 
Starting to get teeth! Two poking though on the bottom and two on top soon
Likes to go for rides around the yard in his red wagon
Likes playing with blocks
Scratches his head/hair when he's tired 
Had his first cold :( 
Likes to be held and carried around

I know I'm going to miss this age so much. I keep saying how I love him at this stage. Well, at every stage. It's so wonderful to watch him learn new things and become more aware. I know he'll be crawling and then walking before we know it. Right now, I'm perfectly happy that he's not completely mobile yet. But, I know it will just keep getting better and better. 

Happy eight months, Marshall, you are the joy of our lives!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Home Office Tour and WeWork

Since becoming a work at home mom (yay!), having a dedicated work space and home office is vital. Earlier this year, after my son was born, I left my full-time job (which I loved) to be a stay at home mom (which I really love even more). Now, I am a freelance graphic designer and art director. For me, it's the best of both worlds. 

Almost two years ago, I did a complete home office makeover. Including building a custom desk, reupholstering my office chair, painting a chandelier, making burlap message boards, and other fun DIY projects. My combination office/craft room/reading and relaxation spot is one of my favorite rooms in our home. A few things have changed, but much has remained the same. Here is a tour of my work space and a few must-haves that I included in the design. 

My biggest must-have was a large desk with ample work space. Enough to accommodate two computers, a sewing machine, tools and still have room to work. My husband and I built a custom desk that spans the length of the room. It's awesome! Believe it or not, sometimes I still wish it were larger. I tend to make a mess when I get creative and there never seems to be a shortage of papers, folders and miscellaneous items.

Another must-have was plenty of storage. We used deep cabinets from IKEA as the base of our desk. We also brought in a large storage hutch from another room to keep craft supplies. Everything has a place and can be stowed out of sight! 

In addition to my desk chair, I wanted a place where I could sit and read, journal, sketch and just relax. This comfy chair and little side table is one of my favorite places to sit with a cup of tea and recharge. 

One of my most favorite elements of this room is the chandelier I spray-painted bright red! It definitely lights up the whole space and makes me happy. No more boring crappy lighting. I also bought a pretty little mercury glass lamp for my side table, which casts a warm glow in the evening. Proper lighting can make or break a room. Especially when you're trying to work. 

If you spend a lot of time in a room, you should surround yourself with things that inspire you and make you happy. I have all types of items in my work space that make me smile. Milk glass vessels, antique cameras, jars of buttons, ribbons and supplies, photos of family and friends, cards and keepsakes, inspirational quotes. Being surrounded by pretty things makes me enjoy working and crafting (and even paying bills). 

Your space doesn't have to be huge and it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be someplace you like to be and can accomplish what you need to get done. Functional as well as fun. As simple or as fancy as you like. As long as the basics are there - a desk, chair, (electricity if you need to be plugged in), paper, pens, etc. Maybe sunlight and fresh air are all you need some days. A change of scenery. A coffee shop. A bench at the park.

If you don't have your own work space or would like to network and connect with others, WeWork offers shared office locations around the globe. They also offer discounts and benefits to their members. If you run your own business, or you're a freelancer like me, sometimes a professional office space is beneficial. To learn more, visit WeWork.com. I have not had the opportunity to use one of their office spaces yet, but I definitely plan on keeping them in mind. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Monthly Marshall Moments: Seven

Seven. Months.

You guys. I'm not even going to say a word about how time is flying and I can't believe how much my little boy is growing. I won't talk about how I was looking at his one and two month photos and he looked like a different baby. I also won't wish for time to stop. Nope, not one word about it. Ha.

I will say that I adore this sweet little love more and more every single day. I mean, just look at that smile and those pudgy little arms and legs. What's not to love? 

My photo shoots are becoming increasingly challenging. This one was tough. I was happy to get a couple good shots. For one thing, I need more fabric - one yard won't do anymore! Especially since Marshall is wiggling and moving and grabbing like crazy! There was no keeping the fabric smooth this time. I need to come up with a new strategy for the next 5 months. 

In case you were wondering, this is what handsome looks like. (That's what his onesie says. It was a gift, and I think it's adorable. And fitting, of course). 

I took a few photos outside in our yard and I love these! Marshall is wearing his business casual outfit. 

He really likes to be outside. I hope this means that he'll like playing outside when he's older. 

Marshall watched Andrew's volley ball team practice at the park. 

He sat in a shopping cart for the first time, like a big boy!  

He discovered grass and dandelions. I hope Marshall will pick weeds flowers for me someday.

Look at this FACE. How am I going to say no to these eye? I'm in big trouble!  

Sitting up! He is balancing so well in just a few weeks time
Starting to rock on all fours (no crawling yet)
Rolls over all the time
Very coordinated and good at picking up toys (and grabbing everything he can)
Started eating oatmeal cereal (likes to chew on the spoon)
Fascinated by our cats and tries to grab their fur
Does well at the church nursery
Babbles, "talks" and shrieks 
Good at exploring his surroundings and looking at new things
Lights up when Daddy comes home from work
Knows when I enter or leave the room 
Good sleeper 
Wiggles, squirms and moves his arms and legs all the time - he rarely sits still! 

How did we get blessed with such a sweet boy? Thank you, Lord!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mini Coffee Station


If there's one thing that will always be a staple in our kitchen, it's a coffee maker. My husband is an avid coffee drinker and he has been since the day we met. Morning, noon or night, he's almost always up for a cup (or two or three). 

I've seen many different types of coffee stations or coffee bars all over Pinterest. I was especially inspired by Katie Bower's desk turned coffee bar. Our kitchen isn't big enough to dedicate much counter space to making a true "station", or add a large piece of furniture, so I kept thinking of other ways to create something on a smaller scale.  

I've had this wooden wine rack in our living room for a few years. It feels like a tall end table. It's been serving as a wine-magazine-candle rack for quite a while. I wondered if it might just work as a mini coffee station. 

It's one of the first things you see when you walk into our house and is snugged right behind our kitchen table next to a bench. Anything bigger would be too much. 

I really wanted to incorporate shelving above to keep mugs and a sugar bowl. The shelves were already there, so all I had to do was re-style them. All you need is some type of stand - it could be an old dresser, hutch, desk, island, table, shelving unit, anything! Add your coffee maker and a basket or tray with supplies - coffee (of course!), filters, stir sticks, whatever you like. And lastly, some pretty mugs, sugar, and other fixin's. That's it! Cute, right?

Make sure you have something underneath your coffee maker if it's a wooden surface or something you'd rather not get wet. I used a round place mat. Andrew's favorite coffee is Wawa hazelnut. He buys some every time we go to Pennsylvania to keep his supply stocked.

I can also store my cookbooks and still use it for wine bottles. A perfect little multipurpose stand! I bought this inexpensive wine rack at Big Lots years ago. Check out the miscellaneous furniture section at similar stores for little gems like this. 

Cheers and happy coffee drinking!