Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

Thursday marks the beginning of a brand new adventure for me. It will be scary, amazing, exciting and I’m sure a little exhausting. I’m starting design school, and I’m doing it all from home, while taking care of my super active 9 month old baby. Luckily, my little family has plenty experience with handling challenges, and we know how to operate on little to no sleep.

Since I will be doing all of my studying, homework and designs from home, I will need a whole lot of motivation, coffee and tools to keep me focused. Also hoping for a little babysitting help too, but I’ll start small. Here are some of my favorite things I found to keep my nose to the grind come September.

Image belongs to Dean's Beans

Image belongs to Dean’s Beans

Organic coffee from Dean’s Beans: Although I am a supporter of purchasing organic coffee and knowing where you get your coffee from, I usually cringe at the price tag attached to it. Alas, there is a savior for those of us who want to buy organic, but literally can’t shell out the big bucks for it. One lb is $8.59, which is half the price of a similar bag of Starbucks. You can also choose your own blends, and you can virtually meet the growers. And if you want to go full DIY style, you can even choose the “green” beans, and roast your own! Another thing I need to look into…home roasting!

Image belongs to Tara Fuller

Image belongs to Tara Fuller

Mood Boostin Yoga Moves from Life Without Bacon – I can already picture myself doing this before I delve into my study sessions, or if I need a little break from the computer. She offers all sorts of nutritional facts, workouts and stretches, and recipes, like The Ultimate Guide to Grilled Cheese, from Greatist (which also happens to be where she works…lucky).

Image belongs to Fry Sauce and Grits

Image belongs to Fry Sauce and Grits

Back to School playlist from Fry Sauce and Grits – I’ve come to realize that if you listen to a Pandora station long enough (sometimes it doesn’t even have to be that long), you will probably hear the same song played a few times, and you will definitely hear the same artist, especially if the station is created after that person/band. So, sometimes it’s nice to get a little taste of something different, even if I’ve heard it before. I know just about every artist on this list, but some are new to me.

Image belongs to Apartment Therapy

Image belongs to Apartment Therapy

Functional caddy on wheels from Apartment Therapy – Now, this photo is from a roundup of a roundup. Does that make sense? I first found it on a dorm room roundup on Decorator In a Box, which included this photo from a roundup of imaginative craft rooms, and from there I’m lost. I can’t seem to find the photo anywhere on Apartment Therapy, and I don’t want to be spending too much of my baby’s naptime on finding a photo. Nevertheless, it has given me an idea to get a caddy like this where we can put our computers when they’re not in use, and I can put all of my school supplies.

Something I’ve learned a long the way is that you cannot always control what’s going on around you. But, if you can control as much as you can, you will have a pretty good handle on things. I have no idea what tricks my baby will be up to starting next week, but now that I’ve got my coffee hookup, a new yoga routine, some good tunes and storage ideas, I’ll be armed and ready to start the school year. All I need now is for my books and supplies to come in! It’s like going back to school shopping, without leaving the house! I think my goal is to eventually never have to leave the house.

Whether you are returning to school, have children who are going back to school, or you have a few educational notches in your very worn belt, you know the feeling. Please feel free to share anything that helps you stay motivated, especially if it pertains to online school. I need all the help I can get! And of course, if you have any ideas for Fridays are for Favorites features, please share. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and share your ideas with the hashtag #notoocoolforschool

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

To say that we use a lot of hot sauce in our house would be a serious understatement. The good thing about that is that I have a serious amount of peppers in my garden right now. I can barely contain them all. In fact, I’m having a really hard time doing so. Although I know the summer heat will be looming around for a while, I need to start preparing for the cold weather, and therefore, the end of my beautiful pepper plants. So, I have found the perfect solution: homemade hot sauce! I know I shared a recipe for homemade hot sauce in my Father’s Day post, but I wanted to share a few more recipes I found. Also, I happened upon a new site for finding recipes! Don’t worry though, Pinterest and I are still very much in love.

The new site is called TasteSpotting, and although there are ads on the site, you can click on the food icon, and it will take you directly to the site. No “image links,” just the real, original recipes. At least that’s what I’ve found so far in my hunt. It also led me to a beautiful site called Honest Fare, which is where I got my first recipe.

Image belongs to Honest Fare

Image belongs to Honest Fare

Homemade Hot Sauce from Honest Fare – I’ve found myself gravitating toward really clean, natural sites that make me feel relaxed once I land upon them. She shares recipes for both green and red hot sauces, and they both look amazing and delicious. She also happens to co-own a food truck called La Empanada Food Truck, and she has her own apron line, so I take it she is pretty busy, and pretty awesome.

hotsauce_web1

Image belongs to Illustrated Bites

The Hotness from Illustrated Bites – The super unique – and awesome – thing about this blog is that Heather Diane, the creator of this blog and recipe, is also an illustrator and uses her skill to illustrate all of her recipes, like this one. As a person whose heart flutters every time I see a good design, I love this site. If you are into the design aspect as much as I am, you can check out more of her work at heatherdiane.com.

Image belongs to Allyson Kramer

Image belongs to Allyson Kramer

DIY Hotsauce from Allyson Kramer’s Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes – First of all, I would like to applaud Allyson Kramer for taking on the hard task of creating recipes that are both gluten-free and vegan. Those two weeks that I was a hardcore vegan were probably the hardest two weeks of my life. Now, I wasn’t cooking then, just eating black bean tacos every chance I got, and a whole lot of fake meat. So I was the worst vegan in town. I digress, she has a really good recipe, and even a hotness chart for the peppers. She also has a couple cookbooks and she’s an artist. Sometimes I’m lucky to clean the house AND take a shower in the same day, so I’m always flabbergasted by people who can pull of more than that.

Do you have a hot sauce recipe that you would love to share? Or did you use one of these recipes to make your own? Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #homemadehotsauce. Check out more of my inspiration on Pinterest and feel free to pitch any Thrifty Thursday ideas. Stay thrifty, my friends.

Gettin Fit: Interview with Toni Jones

Image belongs to Toni Jones

Image belongs to Toni Jones

Yes, another interview this week. I’m lucky to interview such inspirational people and to share their stories with you. Every time I read what they have to say, I feel motivated (especially when it comes to anything with health and fitness). It’s easy to stop when you don’t feel good (My whole family is battling a cold right now, and between taking care of my baby and myself, I have had no energy to do anything else). But when I read a good fitness story, I always find a way to pick up from where I left off. So, this could not have come at a better time. Today I’m talking with Toni Jones, 28, of Monrovia, CA, who is a trainer and who follows a gluten-free diet after discovering eczema on her baby.

Have you always been into health and fitness? Starting at a young age, I was always involved in sports but as far as nutrition goes, I knew very little. Coming from a single mother home and having two other siblings, there were days and nights where food was limited so we ate whatever we could find in the house at the time.

When did you find out about your allergy problems and how did that affect the food you eat? About two years ago when I gave birth to my youngest daughter, she had a bad eczema outbreak on her stomach and legs. I also had eczema behind my arms my whole life and creams never really took it away. I started to research “how to treat eczema” myself and experiment by eliminating foods. Once I took out gluten and dairy from my diet I started to see results and in no time my eczema was completely gone!

Since I was breast feeding at the time, taking it out of my diet -also took it out of my daughters diet and her eczema was completely gone too! That’s when I decided to get testing done to see what else I may be allergic or intolerant to.  I found out I’m allergic to corn, dairy, gluten and peanuts. Now, we eat like “cave men” as my husband says. We don’t eat processed foods and have to read all the labels. It was extremely overwhelming at first, but now that it’s been a few years, it has been a lot easier.

Are you the cook in the household or does your husband help? I do most of the cooking because I know what to get from stores and know the brands that are tolerant for me. My husband will occasionally help cook and do the grill if I prep it first because my way is like a different language to him.

Image belongs to Toni Jones

Image belongs to Toni Jones

Are there any websites that inspire your recipes? Yes! I have a top three that I love using…they are all blogs with people who have similar allergies to me. Against All Grain,  Elana’s Pantry and The Clean Program Blog

Does your family eat the same food as you? Absolutely. Creating healthy habits for my family is priority. I even started a book of my favorite recipes for them with pictures and notes. I want them to each have one when they grow up and go out on their own. I also make sure that both of my daughters go shopping with me to pick out vegetables and then they help me prepare them. It’s fun and they love knowing they did something so “grown-up”!

I love the book idea – may have to start my own!

How do you manage your workouts with taking care of your children? Do you involve them in the workouts? I usually do my workouts early in the morning before they wake up and before my husband goes to work or I do them later in evening once they are getting ready for bed and my husband takes over bath and bedtime. If those don’t work my girls come with me to workout and they usually try to “copy” me and we will skip rope together!

Favorite fitness wear? I love LuLu Lemon, it’s expensive but I love their pants! They fit great and they don’t become see-through as some do over time. The quality is great. As far as tops go, I love tank tops so I get whatever is on sale. Target has some great sports bras and tanks for great prices!

What’s your most favorite meal to make? Two words, SLOW COOKER! I love using it because it’s super easy, and not time consuming. I’m free to run errands, play with my kids, or do house work- all while dinner is being cooked. My favorite thing to make is throw in so chicken, a lot of veggies, season to taste and there you go! I usually use the slow cooker when I know my days are so busy.

I agree. My slow cooker is one of my favorite things about fall. That, and my birthday, of course.

If you do have a cheat meal, what is it? I love Pizza!

Best and worst part of being a trainer? I love helping clients feel great about themselves. I want them to look in the mirror and be happy about what they see back. I want my clients to feel strong, healthy and sexy! My favorite is seeing them smile from ear to ear when they tell me about how they went shopping and dropped sizes or just how great and energized they feel.

I wouldn’t say there as any “worse” thing about being a trainer, but something that does grind my bones is when I have someone who trains and I’ve worked so hard to create a program for them and they just disregard it and blame me for their lack of weight loss. I always say “What you eat in private, you wear in public.” As a trainer I can only do so much to help someone achieve their goals but if they can’t put in the effort and meet me in the middle, they won’t see change.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 12.14.28 PM

Image belongs to Toni Jones

What motivates you every day? I motivate myself. I see how far I’ve come mentally and physically and I’m proud of what I’m accomplishing and have accomplished. I love learning about the human body and nutrition and I feel inspired all the time. Seeing old pictures of myself when I didn’t have kids and seeing them now after having two and feeling more beautiful than ever is pretty amazing!

Where do you get your workout inspiration? I’ve learned from so many great trainers by shadowing them. They all had different views and programs but I can really appreciate the diversity of it all. I also love how women these days are really becoming stronger and seeing that being model skinny isn’t what it’s all about. It’s about being strong and feeling beautiful no matter what body type you may have. I used to box so creating workouts that are empowering and fun is my style. I want my clients to be proud of themselves and see how strong they have become but most importantly having fun is the key!

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 12.19.37 PMWhat advice do you have for people who want to workout every day but can’t make it to the gym? Honestly go to Target, Walmart, or wherever they sell jump ropes and start jumping rope! It’s a great cardio and gets the legs looking good! Try to keep busy by moving around like gardening, playing with your kids, walking or taking a jog and most of all watch the food you put in your mouth!! Try to be mindful of your eating.
Just a little tip. If you have had a baby in the last year, be careful when you try jumping rope, or doing jumping jacks. You know why.

What projects are you working on right now? I’m currently in the middle of creating a workout program for women and men where we meet three times a week for six weeks and do workouts while eating properly. I want to teach them to live healthy and NOT diet! It’s about changing your lifestyle and being active to achieve better health. Everyone is capable of it, you just need to start!

What is the best part about your health and lifestyle change? As I mentioned earlier, as a kid we didn’t always have food around so learning about nutrition was like learning whole new language. I always struggled with weight issues because i barely ate or when I did eat it was all the wrong stuff. I hated how I looked and it made me so depressed growing up. When I had my first daughter I was determined to change because I wanted her to see me happy and love myself. I didn’t want her to learn that looking at yourself in the mirror meant criticizing your flaws.

I wanted her to know that when she looks in the mirror that girls that she sees is beautiful no matter what! I’ve changed my body by workout out and eating healthy, but I also changed my mind. Even with stretch marks from my pregnancy I still find them beautiful because it reminds me that my body was used to create these two little humans. That young girl who  always had weight issues and eczema no longer exists. I’m a confident, strong  and independent women, mother and wife. I won’t stop at nothing to help other women and men feel the same way. I mean, “YOLO” right ;)

You can find out more about Toni Jones on her blog, I’ll Start on Monday and you can also follow her on Facebook under Get it Right, Get it Tight. Who inspires you to keep living healthy? Whether they motivate you to eat better or workout more, I would love to know! Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #healthmotivator and maybe I can score an interview with them, too! Check out my Pinterest for more healthy inspiration

Yo Momma Monday: Amy Christie

yo momma monday

Amy Christie, 31, is the wonderful mind behind the this heart of mine blog. She has two adorable kids, and when she’s not busy taking care of them, she makes all sorts of good stuff, from yummy food like the strawberry shortcake from scratch that I featured in the weekly treat, to beautiful polymer works of art.

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Anytime I see a mom who is able to do her artwork from home while raising her children, I have to find out how they do it. So I contacted her to find out more about her and her life, and this is what she had to say.

Describe a typical day.

The house wakes up. It’s breakfast time and I try to sneak in some emailing too. The morning is filled with lots of different things – playing, outdoor activities, beach play, creating, prepping posts, project creation, etc. We have lunch (and on beach days, we eat at the beach!). Our afternoons are usually spent at home, stilling playing and creating with a nap thrown in here and there. My husband gets home and we have dinner. Then it is the bath time/bedtime rush. When the children are in bed, I finish up posts, edit photos and brainstorm. I usually go to bed late which makes the morning come too quickly. :)

Family-Photos-9

Image belongs to Amy Christie

When did you start crafting?

I grew up in a creative household, my mom encouraged lots of creative activity.

What was the first craft project that you did, and how did it turn out?

Probably something for my cardboard Barbie house.

What about baking/cooking?

I love baking and cooking. Again, I grew up on homemade food and continue that in my own home.

What is the one treat that you always get asked to make?

Nothing specific. Home-cooked food is very appreciated though, desserts especially.

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Image belongs to Amy Christie

How often do you spend each week on crafting and baking?

Not sure, I don’t keep track, but probably a good chunk of my time since we have to eat every day and my job is to create content. :)

What is the most challenging thing about balancing work and play with your kids?

The most challenging part is the balancing – how to get everything done, get everyone’s needs met all while trying to take care of myself. It’s a daily battle.

What projects are you currently working on?

Lots of things!! Recipes to share, projects and DIYs to post and we have a few house projects going on as well. Lots to do.

How did you get into photography?

I’ve always appreciated it. My mom had a 35mm when I was growing up and we talked about the points of good photos. I bought my own 35mm when I graduated high school and after my daughter was born, got my first DSLR. I am self taught but I learned how to take photos the way I want them to look and I like that.

What is the favorite craft that you’ve done?

There are so many!! Recently I finished pallet shelves for my work space and I’m fairly enamored with them right now.

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Image belongs to Amy Christie

What is the best and most challenging part of being a mom of two?

The busyness and noise. There is always something happening and it’s usually at top volume.

What inspires/motivates you?

Making is what I do, it’s how I’m wired. I don’t feel complete if I don’t get to create. I stay inspired by taking time to brainstorm, getting outside, away from my desk and doing projects that are just for me. It’s hard. Sometimes I feel tapped out but if I step away, I come back inspired.

What is your favorite piece of decor in your home and why? Any pictures of it that you want to share?

Like I mentioned above, the pallet shelves I just finished are my current favorite. They were fun to make and an experiment that what I envisioned was possible. Here’s the link to their reveal. http://www.thisheartofmineblog.com/2013/07/22/work-space-update-new-pallet-shelves/

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Image belongs to Amy Christie

Favorite room in the house and why

I like our kitchen/living/dining area. Lots of things happen in that space. It’s where our little family hangs out at the end of the day, it’s where our friends gather and good food is shared plus our couch is really comfy.

What book are you reading right now? Ever thought of doing an online book club?

No online book club but I’m reading a handful right now. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran, The Host by Stephanie Meyer and The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely.

Where do you hope to see your art and blog go next? What are your plans for the future?

Like most businesses, I want to grow and expand. I have steps in mind, hopes and dreams and I’m excited for the adventure. I feel so blessed to be able to create for a living.

You can find out more about Amy Christie, her recipes, and her art at this heart of mine. If you know of any cool moms (yourself included) who would be awesome for this, please feel free to leave a brief description and contact info in the comments. You can also email me at mamabecrafty@gmail.com. It has been so amazing getting to know all of these inspirational and rad mommas!

Gettin fit: old clothes challenge

Current weight: 147

Goal weight: 130

So, it looks like I finally broke the 150 mark! I can’t freakin believe it. I finally gave up soda and fast food for good, and started cooking (mostly) healthy meals all the time. I also have stuck with my workout and yoga routine, which has helped a lot. I made my mom take some photos of me last weekend so I can see the transformation as it happens. I don’t know how people get those pictures of themselves in the mirror. That ain’t easy. Or I just have too much stuff in my room.

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My new find is Argus, which is a food and fitness tracker. You take photos of your food, and choose the food groups. I absolutely love that since I don’t count calories. Also, if I’m eating something and it’s not on there, I know maybe I shouldn’t eat it. Like, unfortunately they don’t have a “sugar” category. I actually got the idea from a Greatist article that I read. I haven’t had any issues with it yet. It even has a stop watch on there, and allows you to pause your workouts as you’re recording them.

Image belongs to Greatist

Image belongs to Greatist

I also found a new recipe from my girl at The Gracious Pantry, clean eating banana muffins! They were quick and easy to make, and they are so delicious! I added blueberries, because I will pretty much add blueberries to everything, and I love every bite.

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

I’m so happy to finally see some progress. All of he hard work and sweat has finally paid off! And yes, turning down Spanish rice is hard work. Seriously. Hopefully I’ll keep this motivation off, and soon I will be able to actually wear the clothes that are hanging in my closet!

Feel free to follow my fitness blog too fit to be square if you are needing a little inspiration, and you can join my old clothes challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find more healthy living inspiration on my Pinterest.

This week at the weekly treat

weekly treat

One of my favorite treats growing up was Rice Krispie treats. I loved how they were both sweet and salty, and didn’t have chocolate. I always ate my mom’s chocolate chip cookies, but I wasn’t in love with chocolate until I got pregnant. Then it was all over. So when I got onto Pinterest this morning and spotted a Rice Krispie treat recipe, I knew it was a sign. So here are some awesome Rice Krispie treat recipes!

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Image belongs to Oh So Delicioso

Chocolate dipped rice krispie treats, from Oh So Delicioso

Image belongs to Shugary Sweets

Image belongs to Shugary Sweets

Cinnamon Roll Rice Krispie Treats, from Shugary Sweets

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Image belongs to Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

You know I have to do a clean eating recipe…

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Image belongs to The Gracious Pantry

Clean Eating Rice Krispie Treats from The Gracious Pantry

I love these recipes, they bring back such awesome memories of my childhood, and they add a little something new! These treats are awesome for parties, BBQs, or just to have around!

If you love baking or are just getting into it, check out our Weekly Treat group for some recipe inspiration. Share your lemon and blueberry treats in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #lemonblueberry You can find more of my lemon blueberry inspiration on Pinterest!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

At this point, I have over two bins full of clothes that Cecilia doesn’t wear anymore. I keep trying to give them away or donate them, but I fear that it will be just my luck to have another girl and have zero clothes for her. And we all know how expensive baby clothes are! So, I’ve started to go through all of the clothes for her to pick out some that I wasn’t a fan of to make for some more room.

Here’s the other problem that I have. I’m not a big “bow” girl. I don’t like wearing them, and I don’t see the point of putting them on my baby when a) I’m not sure she will even have enough hair to clip, and b) she will pull them off in a flash. I already know that. But, I always seem to get the response “he’s so cute!” when we go out. Biased or not, she doesn’t look like a boy. Sure, she has no hair and sometimes I put her in blue, because I’m also not a big “pink” girl, but she clearly doesn’t look like a boy.

However, I have found something that will solve both of my problems….repurposing headbands out of old clothes! I’ve already picked out some of her outfits that I probably would not use again, and I think this is what I’ll be doing with them. Here are some cool tutorials on how to do that.

Image belongs to Culture

Image belongs to Cultured

DIY: Baby Turban Headband from Cultured – Dana posted a detailed and photographed step-by-step process for making both a baby and an adult turban headband, which I could totally be into wearing one as well. Not a matching one, though. That, I am not into. This is a really awesome blog ran by two ladies, Dana and Blake, and they share tutorials, recipes and fashion inspiration. I love this new find.

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Image belongs to Alisa Burke

upcycled baby headbands from alisa burke – I have used this website before for inspiration, and I still love it the same. She has so many tutorials and her experience as a freelance painter and mixed media artist shows in her work. I feel so inspired when I go through all of her stuff, and I get a lot of ideas!

Image belongs to beck-a-boo

Image belongs to beck-a-boo

DIY Baby Headband from beck-a-boo: This headband was made out of tights, which works perfectly, because we have about 20 pairs of tights since Cecilia was born in December, and I can remember her wearing them once. For about twenty minutes. On Christmas. Then she was over it…and so was I. There are a lot of different recipes and tutorials on this blog and they’re worth checking out!

I absolutely cannot wait to try making these headbands and see how they turn out. I’m more excited to see how long they will last on baby girl’s head. For more baby headband, check out my Pinterest. Have a fun baby headband tutorial or did you make one using these tutorials? If so, post in the comments and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #diybabyheadband

Interview with Ziggy Hanaor from Cicada Books

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Image belongs to Cicada Books

Remember when I wrote about all of the awesome arts and crafts books that I found a couple weeks back? Well, I felt so inspired from visiting the Cicada Publishing site, that I wanted to learn more about how it got started. What I learned is that the publishing company is a one-woman show, run by Ziggy Hanaor, 35, who lives in London. I contacted Ziggy to learn more about how she started her own publishing business, and this is what she had to say.

After working for book publishing companies, what inspired you to start your own?

I had my older daughter, and wanted to work flexible hours. A friend of mine came to me with a great idea (for Graphic Europe), and after a bit of research, I realised it wouldn’t be that complicated to do it on my own. I tiptoed into it with one book a year for the first couple years, and once I got a bit of confidence (and space in my life) I stepped it up a notch.

What is the best and scariest part of starting your own business?

It took a lot longer and a lot more money than I initally expected to make it into a functioning business. There were definitely moments when it felt like a pointless and fairly stressful moneypit! The best thing  is being my own boss and not having to compromise on the way I think a book should come together!

What made you choose the art and design genre?
I sort of fell into this genre. I started out working as a script editor in television, and wasn’t happy. I decided to make a career shift, and got an internship in Black Dog Publishing, an art and design publisher. As soon as i got there I realised it was what I had been waiting for. I’ve always been surrounded by visual people – all my friends went to art school, I’ve always felt comfortable in the art world -  but I’ve always been a words person. This brought together my two primary interests.

How many clients do you have? Did they come to you or did you seek them out?

I don’t really have clients, per se. Occasionally if a book idea interests me, but I don’t think it will sell strongly enough, I’ll partner with someone financially on a project, and in those circumstances it’s more of a client relationship. But usually I find people (or they approach me) with ideas, and it’s more of a collaborative relationship – working the book up together in as equal partners. In these instances I would say it’s about 50/50 – half the time people approach me, half the time I think of an idea and approach people who I think would be appropriate.

What books are you reading right now?

To be honest between looking after my kids and running my company I don’t read that much. Mostly I read the New Yorker.

What motivates you every day?

Making beautiful books that I think will sell. Thinking up new ideas for books that I think will look beautiful.

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Image belongs to Cicada Books

What are you working on next?

For some reason I’m going through an ‘illustration’ phase. I’ve got some awesome books lined up with some great illustrators – Fiona Biddington, Lucy Dalzell, Merlin Evans, Rebecca Elves and Annu Kilpelainen (all female – not deliberate but a happy coincidence). We’ve got some illustrated journals, a colouring book, an architectural wallchart…. it’s going to be great!

Where do you hope to see your company go?

 It’s quite lonely and stressful doing it all on my own, so I’d love to be in a position to employ a few more people to share the load, and take on more projects than I am currently able to do.

What do you do during your off time (if you have any)?

Look after my kids!

Who would be your dream client?

Oh I don’t know really…. I’d like to work with some big museums, and do some pure art books. I’d like to work with textile designers – I’m interested in textiles at the moment.

Image belongs to Cicada Books

Image belongs to Cicada Books

Do you do everything by yourself, or do you have people working for you?

I work with my designers, Studio April, and I have help on things like foreign rights, but for the most part it’s just me. Hopefully that will change in the next few months.

What advice do you have for people who are wanting to start their own company?

Make sure you have plenty of time to devote to it, and be patient. Sometimes it takes a while to make sense.

Has book publishing changed what you read or the way you read?

I read less. I read and edit all day, and find it hard to read as a means of entertainment (unless I’m on holiday and completely switched off work).

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Other books, exhibitions, popular culture…. anything can spark an idea.

What is a normal day for you? First thing you do when you get up?

Get the girls ready for school, go to the office, don’t quite manage to get through everything on my list, pick the girls up, take them to swimming or the heath or wherever, make them dinner, put them to bed, watch TV or work depending on how much I didn’t manage to get through earlier, go to bed. Pretty prosaic!

If you want to see what Ziggy Hanaor and Cicada Books are all about, feel free to visit their site and/or follow them on Facebook. I’m hoping to keep going with this and I would love to talk to some more inspiring and awesome people who have taken the big risk by starting their own company. If you know of anyone who fits this, please let me know. I would like to keep it along the lines of creative businesses, but I’m open to anything…as long as it’s legal…I’m a mom now. Check out more inspiring people on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Gettin fit: old clothes challenge

IMG_5294To know me is to know that I will plan my birthday months in advance. Normally, it’s because I plan on having a month (or week if I’m poor) long celebration. This time around, I’m planning it because that’s when I plan to meet my goal. Since my birthday is in 3 months, I’m giving myself that amount of time to kick it into high gear. I know, I know…I’ve set goals before and never stuck to them. But hey, maybe it will work this time.

The baby and I are starting to get our schedule down and now that she’s into her walker and playing with all of her toys in her playpen, I have a little more time to work out and practice yoga. I do try to include her in my workouts, but now that she’s mobile, she would rather not. I’ve also started baking all my breads on Saturdays and Sundays when I have more help. Then, I use them all week. And it works!

I have found all of my workouts so far on Fitness Blender. They have quick workouts and I always feel good afterwards. Sore, but good. And of course, for my yoga needs, I stick with Erin Motz and Do You Yoga. I just love her.

Tonight, I’m going to cook my black beans and oatmeal so they are ready for tomorrow. I got my black beans in a bag, so this will be my first time preparing them. We’ll see how it goes! I’m finding it easier to stick to my clean eating lifestyle, and I’m feeling a lot better.

Posting my yoga and workout sessions daily has really helped me stay on track. I just don’t want this blog to be over-saturated with workout stuff. So, I decided to start a healthy blog called too fit to be square. I upload pictures of my workout sessions, good food I made, recipes, workout tutorials and videos I found and just general healthy inspiration.

I will still be updating this blog about my healthy journey every week, but that blog will be updated daily.

Feel free to follow my blog if you are needing a little inspiration, and you can join my old clothes challenge by using the hashtag #oldclotheschallenge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find more healthy living inspiration on my Pinterest.

This week at the weekly treat

weekly treat

When I was pregnant, I went insane for Almond Joy and Mounds. It was crazy. I literally bought the Halloween bag of Almond Joy and kept them for myself. Luckily it was Halloween and I was super pregnant, so nobody dared question me. Then, when all the Halloween candy went on sale, I was in an Almond Joy/ Mounds wonderland.

When we went to the grocery store yesterday, I felt inclined to buy Mounds since I was starting my “bangin’ body challenge” today (more about that later), and I wanted to indulge one last time. While I was enjoying my moment of bliss, I was thinking of treats I could make with coconut. And here is what I found….

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to The Midnight Baker

Coconut Banana Popsicles from The Midnight Baker

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to Sunflower Supper Club

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream from Sunflower Supper Club

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

Image belongs to cooking ala mel

DIY Coconut Milk and Flour from cooking ala mel

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Daring Gourmet

Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookies from The Daring Gourmet

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Image belongs to The Edible Earth

Coconut, Cranberry and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from The Edible Earth

This is a clean eating blog so all of her recipes are clean

I love finding all of these things you can make with one main ingredient. In one post, I got recipes for cookies and coconut milk, and more than that, I found a new clean eating blog. This is my favorite part of The Weekly Treat, not just finding new recipes, but finding new blogs and people.

If you love baking or are just getting into it, check out our Weekly Treat group for some recipe inspiration. Share your lemon and blueberry treats in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #lemonblueberry You can find more of my lemon blueberry inspiration on Pinterest!