Momma’s Garden Project: The beginning of the end

garden

This is everything I pulled from my garden yesterday. To say my garden is a mess would be a huge understatement. I let it get away from me for a few weeks, and weeds took over everything. There are ants everywhere and it’s almost too much for me to maintain with the small amount of time I get to spend on it.

So, here is what I’ve learned from my first garden:

  • You don’t need to plant everything you see at the Nursery
  • One garden bed per new mom
  • Maybe don’t even start with garden beds. One garden pot per new mom
  • You don’t need an entire six-pack of peppers. Start with one pack.
  • Look at when it’s good to plant something
  • Think about what you actually eat and decide to start there

I am going to make hot sauce with most of the peppers and then dry the rest. But, it’s almost too consuming for me right now. I shouldn’t have taken on such a big garden for my first time, and I should have dedicated every Sunday to it, like I planned.

I’m going to pull what is left next weekend then I will probably take the plants down before the frost hits. I’m going to get the rest of my basil out now and make all my pesto, then maybe downsize to a smaller herb garden that I can put in front so it will be sheltered from the rain.

At least I can say that I was able to give a lot of family and friends gifts from my garden, and we haven’t bought tomatoes in a long, long time! It was an awesome learning experience and I’m so glad I started it. I have truly learned that to be good at anything, you need to put a lot of time into your practice. This will help me on so many levels, and I’m not sure I would have seen this so clearly if I had not started my garden.

The best part of it all – I can finally get into canning!

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I just got into baking last year when I was entering my “nesting” phase (which hasn’t left yet, so I think it’s more than a phase now, it’s an eternal state of being). It quickly became an addiction for me, and I find myself at more baking and cooking stores than clothing stores, now. Sometimes, I don’t even go in there to buy anything, I just love to look. I especially love going to the Baker’s Boutique in Stockton, they serve you cupcakes that are made in the back!

Since I love baking so much now, I also happen to love anything that goes with baking. I’ve seen some cute baking inspired clothing and prints all over Pinterest and Etsy, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Image belongs to KatchACanvas

Image belongs to KatchACanvas

Culinary Inspired Canvas Tote from KatchACanvas – When we first had Cecilia, we had what I’m pretty sure was the world’s largest diaper bag. Then we downsized to a large backpack (not much of a downsize, to be honest). Now, I normally just carry a couple diapers, some wipes and her formula in my purse. Since she is getting more into her toys and loves having them with her, I’m thinking this tote would be perfect. And the best part – the shop is run by preschool teachers from the Philippines. France, one of the owners, lives in San Diego now and continues teaching in America. They donate one book to a needy child in Philippines for every tote that is purchased. This one goes for $12, which is not bad at all.

Image belongs to Caustic Threads

Image belongs to Caustic Threads

Ladies Kitchen Mixer T-Shirt from Caustic Threads – Erica Voges, the wonderful lady behind this shop, drew up the design herself and then screen printed it on the shirt. She makes every item as the order comes in, so it’s made fresh, just for you. Voges is a mama in New Mexico, who wanted to screen print for a long time, and finally got started in 2010. The shirts are all dyed by her and she screen prints everything by hand.

Image belongs to Eat Say Love

Image belongs to Eat Say Love

Pyrex art print from eat.say.love. – Ashley, who is the owner and designer at eat.say.love, is a graphic designer in Boston, MA. She individually prints each print on archival paper and ships them off herself. There are a lot of other cute prints like this in her shop, such as “Fork It, Let’s Get Takeout,” a conversation that has been shared many times in this house. And if you follow her on Instagram under @eatsaylove, you can get exclusive deals and giveaways!

Image belongs to Pretty Things For You

Image belongs to Pretty Things For You

Baking is Happiness Large Digital Vintage Image from Pretty Things For You – This Etsy shop is full of digital vintage images that can be purchased for a really good price. This print is only $2 and is available for immediate download. You can use the images on all of your crafting projects. The image can be sold as a finished project, or if it was digitally layered and flattened. It cannot, however, be sold as is. That’s just not cool.

Image belongs to Little Ink

Image belongs to Little Ink

Made with Love Wooden Stamp from Little Ink – Suzie, who runs this online store, mixes her love of natural fibers and material with her love of bold colors to come up with her designs. This stamp is $30 and measures 32mm x 25 mm. It’s mounted with a beautiful black wooden handle and also comes in a cloth pouch. You can use this design for all of your homemade goodies, and any clothing you make by hand. That would be so cute!

One of my favorite things about blogging is finding hidden treasures like these. I want each and every one of these items, and will work on purchasing all of them when I can. Like I’ve said before, I promise to never share anything with you that I wouldn’t get for myself. Do you know of any cute baking-related items? Share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #favoritefridays. Follow me on Pinterest for more of my favorites!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

There is nothing more thrifty than free, right? There are Giveaways popping up everywhere…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…all my stomping grounds! I used to be really hesitant about entering Giveaways, because there was always a catch to them, and I would always end up getting random calls about free trips to Mexico. However, the world of blogging and social media has changed the game of Giveaways, and now they’re pretty awesome to enter. Here are a few good ones I found (including a Mod Podge one – yes!)

Image belongs to Creature Comforts

Image belongs to Creature Comforts

Paper to Petal Book Giveaway by Creature Comforts Blog – Ez Pudewa, who founded Creature Comforts Blog, is offering this paper flower crafting book by Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell on her blog today. All you need to do is leave a comment on the post explaining how you would use the book and leave your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. She will even pay the shipping! The Giveaway ends 10/3/13 so hurry on over there and check it out!

Image belongs to burlap & blue

Image belongs to burlap & blue

Mod Podge Giveaway from burlap and blue – Linda from burlap and blue has teamed up with Amy Anderson from Mod Podge Rocks to offer this awesome giveaway! I started using Mod Podge a little while ago, and I have never looked back. This Giveafway includes the book Mod Podge Rocks, Linda’s favorite formula and a sample pack. I bought an even smaller sample pack a few months ago, and all of it is gone already. Oops. So, if you love Mod Podge as much as I do, you have four more days to enter!

Image belongs to Blue Skies Shop

Free Dress Giveaway from Potholes & Pantyhose – Rebekah from Potholes & Panythose has hooked up with Blue Skies Shop to offer this awesome dress giveaway. This was my favorite dress from their collection, and it’s $48 – not too shabby! I agree with Rebekah that it’s really hard to find a dress that fits right. I usually go with skirts and tops since I’m my top half is a lot smaller than my bottom. I’ve used her website before for tutorials and crafting, so even if you’re not into this giveaway, you should check her out. BUT if you are into the Giveaway…then go enter. You only have 3 days left.

Instagram Giveaways (These Giveaways are only on Instagram. Trust me, I checked. If you do have Instagram, follow all of these shops. They’re totally worth it. Then enter the Giveaway. If you’re not on Instagram, I would strongly urge you to give it a shot).

Image belongs to lovedbyhannahandeli

Image belongs to lovedbyhannahandeli

Fall Woodland GiveawayI found this giveaway on the profile of @lovedbyhannahandeli on my Instagram. It features a whole bunch of awesome shops – Slyfox Threads, potluck store,  little big fabric, Sugarplum Lane Baby Boutique, Paper and Pleats and lovedbyhannahandeli, all run by awesome people. I checked out (and followed, of course) everyone on this Giveaway, and seriously…who needs to go to the store when you have all of this? From what I can tell, the majority (if not all) of these designers are moms who own their own businesses. You all know how much I love that.

Image belongs to CocoPress

Image belongs to CocoPress

Hand-printed Card Giveaway from CocoPress – CocoPress is offering a set of letterpress cards in this awesome giveaway. You can also check out her awesome Etsy shop for more beautiful stationary. Everything is hand-printed and made in her home studio. The Giveaway is over tomorrow, so if you have Instagram, hurry over!

Every Giveaway, tutorial and recipe I share with you is approved by me. I don’t share anything that I wouldn’t enter or use myself. I will never promote a Giveaway that requires you to do anything out of the ordinary, like cut off your right arm. Nothing is worth your right arm…except your right arm. I am not compensated for any of this. I just love to share awesome stuff that I find. If you are running a Giveaway, please feel free to share in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #staythrifty. Follow me on Pinterest for more Thrifty Thursday inspiration. And, as always, stay thrifty my friends.

It’s all business, baby

There are very few nights during the week that I am able to go to bed before 10 pm. Ironically, on those nights, I am unable to sleep. I lay awake worrying about stuff that I don’t even need to worry about, but I can’t get them out of my head. Since my boyfriend wakes up at 5 am and has a very strenuous job, I don’t want to wake him, so I normally find myself on the couch, thinking. Luckily, this insomnia has given me some time to think about the direction of all of my work. And here is what I have decided.

logo

When I started baby burrito collective (my online art collective), I had a big picture of what I wanted. Back when I lived in Sacramento, I was big into the art scene, even though I never considered myself an artist. I just loved being around it all, and I loved to help promote my artist friends the most that I could. I wanted to keep that going when I started my art collective. I couldn’t do it in person that much anymore, so I wanted to do it all online. Since everything is so out there right now, and not a whole lot of people are taking their stories to the media anymore, that part of it is limited. So, I’m offering more web services now: adding people to my website and online store, creating flyers and pretty much anything else they need to get started. I’m still working on transforming it, but I’m seeing my vision become more and more clear, day by day.

Sweet Mariposa

I have also decided to change my online handmade shop from Mariposa Blossoms to Sweet Mariposa. For some reason, that name has just sort of stuck with me, and it sounds so beautiful, so I decided to change it. I have also added another person to my shop, my friend Kandyce! I’m going to be putting up a few of her paintings, and some new stuff I’m working on, so they should be up there soon! I’m really excited to see what will happen with this shop!

And finally…my first love, this blog. I thought about it really hard, and this is what I want to see happen. I like the flow that it has right now, and I’m hoping to add some more profiles on women who started their own businesses, especially moms. I love hearing their stories and I feel so inspired every single time I write about them. I have been contacting a bunch of lovely ladies – to the point that I feel like a vacuum saleswoman at times – and I am hoping to share some of their stories soon. I also hope this will lead me to some people that I could write about in my book, but only the future will tell. I will be sharing some more news soon!

I am always looking for people and companies to partner up with. The online handmade community is one of the biggest reasons that I started blogging, and I love everything about it. If you think your story would fit with this blog, or if you think your company would benefit from sponsoring this blog, please let me know. I would love to work with you. I am also thinking of starting a book club that is centered around reading homemade business books. Let me know if you’re interested in joining!

Thank you so much for joining me on this wonderful journey. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. I’m pretty much everywhere. Let me know if you want to be featured on my blog, or if there is someone you think I should interview. Post in the comments and use the hashtag #businessminded on any of the social media sites listed above.

Gettin fit: Old Clothes Challenge

Current weight: 143 | Fitness goal: Yoga and workout every day | Food goal: Eat as clean as possible

A couple weeks ago, I decided to stop the 365 Days of Yoga Challenge on Instagram. I still practice yoga and I try to fit it in every day, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. One day I was practicing, and I realized mid-practice that I forgot to bring my phone in to snap a picture for the Challenge. When I got back into the practice, I didn’t feel the same. I was too busy worrying about getting a good shot. And do you know how many truly good poses you can capture when you are the one doing the poses, and taking the photos? About two.

Cecilia is also getting a whole lot more active and just wants to walk around all day. Since she can’t walk by herself yet, she depends on me to hold her hands while she cruises the house. When I’m not busy playing with her, I’m cleaning the house, taking online design classes and turning my love for writing into a career. So, if I happen to miss a workout, it’s not the end of the world for me anymore. She gives me plenty of a workout, anyway!

Now that the weather has cooled down a little, I’m going to take her on walks a lot more, since that not only helps me get in shape, it’s good bonding time with her and it helps me relax and take everything in. Since I’m not working out as much as I was, I need to stay focused on eating better. Since joining the Real Food Challenge with Eat Hugger and Erin Motz, I’ve tried a few new recipes.

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

Image belongs to Eat Hugger

Yesterday I tried the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese but used pumpkin instead, since that’s what I had, and it’s what I love the most. It was so delicious, no joke. I use lunch time as my time to experience with different food since my family isn’t all into that. So, I made some yesterday and I’ll eat it every day for lunch until it’s gone. Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned to enjoy the same food for several days in a row.

IMG_0233

The picture isn’t blurry. That’s the steam coming off my pasta. Delightful!

I know that I probably could squeeze at least 30 minutes of working out and stretching into my day every day. I think I’m going to work on doing yoga in the morning or at night, and then a walk with the baby. If I can get more in, that would be awesome…but every day is a new day! As long as I keep the house clean, get my homework done, and most of all, keep my baby happy, then life is good.

What are your biggest struggles with keeping a schedule or routine? Share them in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow more of my fitness inspiration on Pinterest and can keep up with my Old Clothes Challenge on Instagram. Hopefully the next time I update this, I will be able to fit into some more of those old clothes!

Recipe Remix: Caramel Oatmeal Chewies

A couple weekends ago, I went to my very first estate sale. While there, I scored five cookbooks for $1.00. The deal was really 20 books for a $1 but since I wasn’t about to walk into my house with 20 books, I stuck with five. One of the books was a Betty Crocker Cookbook from the 70’s. Inside, there was a recipe printout for Caramel Oatmeal Chewies.

IMG_0197

I had never made this recipe before, and I wanted to give it a try. I decided to switch up the ingredients a little to come up with a “clean-er” version, and I wanted to share the recipe with you.

  • 1 3/4 c Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) (I used oats from Trader Joe’s, but any will do)
  • 1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour (I didn’t have enough WW all-purpose flour, so I mixed in WW pastry flour)
  • 3/4 c + 2 tbl Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 c Pumpkin
  • 1 c Chopped Walnuts (The recipe called for pecans, but I only had walnuts so I used those)
  • 1 c Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Unsweetened caramel topping  (It called for a cup, but I just drizzled a little

Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 13×9 in. baking pan (I ended up using a much smaller one) with olive oil or coconut oil spray (veggie oil spray also works, of course). Combine oats, flour and baking soda. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin and honey. Mix until all blended. Reserve one cup of mixture and spread the rest in the baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool 10 minutes.

Top with chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix the caramel and 1 tbl flour until smooth. Drizzle that on top and then spread the remaining mixture. Bake an additional 18-22 minutes (I baked mine for 20 minutes). Let cool until it sets. Cut the bars before they get too cold.

IMG_0205

So, there it is. My very first recipe remix! They turned out really super delicious! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I plan to do many more recipe remixes in the future. I’m going to start with that Betty Crocker cookbook. I used The Gracious Pantry to figure out how much to use for my substitutions/conversions, so if you also want to find out how to substitute healthy ingredients, check her out! If there is a recipe you want me to remix, let me know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter! You can check out my pictures of this deliciousness on Instagram and see more recipe remix inspiration on my Pinterest.

Fridays are for Favorites

fridays are for favorites

I have something I need to admit. I have never been a huge wreath fan. We always had them hanging up for Christmas when I was little, and I liked ours, but that was about it. It’s the same reason that I can’t eat grocery store cookies or mac & cheese at a restaurant. My mom totally screwed all of that up for me. Lately, though, I have discovered a love for succulent wreaths. I want to hang up one million of them all around my house, and I’m hoping to create some myself. Here are some amazing succulent wreaths from some amazing Etsy sellers.

Image belongs to L Watson Design Co

Image belongs to L Watson Design Co

Succulent Wreath from L Watson Design Co

(12 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to Succulent Succotash

Image belongs to Succulent Succotash

Succulent Wreath from Succulent Succotash

(12 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to tobieanne

Image belongs to tobieanne

Heart-Shaped Succulent Wreath from tobieanne

(13 inches in diameter)

Image belongs to Succulent Salon

Image belongs to Succulent Salon

Succulent Wreath from Succulent Salon

(made on a 9 inch frame)

Image belongs to Peacock Taco

Image belongs to Peacock Taco

Small heart-shaped succulent wreath from Peacock Taco

(10 inches in diameter)

Do you make succulent wreaths and want to share with us? Please post in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #succulentwreath. You can also find more succulent inspiration on my Pinterest. I want to use Fridays are for Favorites primarily for sharing more awesome Etsy shops, so if you have one in mind, please feel free to let me know. I love hearing from you! Happy Friday, everyone!