Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A crazy little update!


Life has just been CRAZY around here for the last 6 weeks! The Organic Bloom hasn't just blossomed over night- it has EXPLODED!!!

In 6 weeks time, we have garnered over 10,000 Facebook fans!! Pretty much everyday I ask myself if this is all real!? So if you wonder what on earth has happened to me- well, I work about 18-20 hours a day now (as does Jason). I went from working about 3 days a month to managing 6-8 people full time any given day- and we are STILL slammed with business! That just blows my mind! Needless to say though, Jason and I are living our dream!

We also have hired our lovely friend, Rachel, full time! She was the first person we hired 4 weeks ago- when we met her this summer, Jason told me "If we ever have the chance to hire her, we will!" She's been our "face" person for the time being- answering the phone and over 100 email's a day! We are so proud of her! (This photo was taken on pretty much the only day off we've had in 6 weeks- at our friend's farm in Arkansas.)


Finnigan has taken his new role as office supervisor quite seriously- he figures that somebody needs to sleep around here!

I spend my day's supervising the painting and packing end of things- and I miss my Finn! Rachel and her doxie, Walter, take good care of him all day at home though!

Gotta get back to work- just wanted to pop in and say hi!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthing



It's been right around 3 months since our miscarriage. I'm just now beginning to feel ready to the idea of being pregnant again. So many people handle miscarriage in so many different ways. I was never terribly devastated, "couldn't handle anything or go anywhere" etc. Don't get me wrong, I was definitely sad. bummed. frustrated. But never incapacitated.

My defense mechanism: loosing all interest. I went from reading all sorts of mommy blogs, parenting magazines, etc- just devouring it to none. I didn't want to know what kinds of food you try first with your baby, or what the best cloth diapers were anymore or anything. Slowly that interest is being peaked in me again.

Another part of my defense (distraction) has been birthing a baby of another kind.



First we got pregnant with the idea.
Then it started growing as we tried out making our first frames
Then it got a little bigger as a few of Brenda's clients ordered our frames
Then it got even bigger as I quit doing anything frame related at home
Then it hit the 9th month (figuratively) and we hired a painter
NOW we are in labor. Our Facebook fan page has grown from 200 some fans on Friday night to nearly 2,200 fans tonight- that's in FOUR measly little days, Folks!
It's a VERY hard labor, and forget hours, this one has been days and weeks on end.

Then a BABY

The nights have been late for quite some time.
Everyone is visiting to see the new baby company.
Even meals are a bit un-predictable around here.
We're learning so much every day.
It' can't be left alone, it's 24 hours-a-day care
We're both crazy exhausted.
But ecstatic beyond words!

I know I've been sparse around here, but what can I say- newborns are beautiful and VERY time consuming. Even the non-human kind are. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

delicious, healthy and quick!

It's no secret around here that we really don't eat junk food. So how does one eat healthy and lead the crazy starting a new business life that we've been living for the past 3 months?

Just one evening a week I meal plan, we grocery shop together, and lastly I prep ALL the meals as soon as we arrive home from Whole Foods. It took me almost 3 hours just to prep all the meals for this week...but let me tell you how worth it those 3 hours were:

I came home this evening from being at the shop for almost 11 hours- opened the fridge and grabbed a few things and within 10 minutes had a delightful asian stir-fry ready that is now sitting in front of me as I type. (Jason is playing racquetball with his friends- that's why we're not eating together at the table.)

Anywho. From the fridge I grabbed:
2 eggs
2 tupperwares with chopped veggies ready for stir-fry (broccoli florets, carrots, onion, sugar snap peas, and celery)

No patience to cook real rice tonight, so I just skipped that part (I typically make this all into fried rice). I scrambled the eggs in a small skillet and steamed/stir-fried the veggies in a 2-qt. soup pot (with lid) with soy sauce, rice vinegar and my favorite- sesame seed oil. Occasionally stir the veggies while making the eggs and combine in a bowl when the veggies are somewhat tender.

There are enough veggies left I can do this another night for the both of us! Yum!! It's like going to a Japanese steakhouse, without the show and large bill at the end of the night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

FurBaby

My new camera came a couple weekend ago- so I just HAVE to post a few photos this morning before I run off to do my day's tasks. I still don't have Photoshop on my screen on our Mac, and I really don't have the time to transfer stuff around via email. So any photog types- bear with me as these are just SOOC. (hehe- I've always wanted to use that term, now I can! straight out of the camera that is).

Finnigan has been good practice for me as I learn more about light and how it affects faces. Again, bear with me, I don't have any cute toddlers yet running around my house to practice on!
Hi baby! He's begging for some tuna juice here :)


Vanessa caught him licking his lips the other day!


far too bright, but he's still so cute!




I should have stepped over to the right a tad to get more light on his right eye.



Brenda- he sleeps kinda like a newborn, if only I could get his legs tucked!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FOUR

Today is our FOURTH wedding anniversary!! Hopefully in the crazy busy lives we're currently living we'll get to spend some business/commitment/schedule- free time together tonight!
76 more to go, Sweetheart!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

en route

Brenda and I ordered my new camera...a Canon 7d...this weekend!!! I am SO SO excited!

A fresh new chapter of my life is about to be written. A chapter that's always been waiting in the wings, anxiously asking me over and over if it was ever going to be time to appear. The opportunity has finally come, it's show time!


Inspiring:

This lady almost goes without saying around here these days- brendahoran.com - she believes in me. and us.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Meeee!

First some newsy stuff...

The Organic Bloom is taking off like CRAZY!! I have been slightly overwhelmed, but I think the excitement is overpowering it!

We are tentatively planning to attend the Creative Estates Blog Conference in Chandler, AZ in April. I've been following Shey B (aka the camera strap lady) via her blog for a while. She posts lots of helpful info and tips she's picked up in taking her small creative endeavor to a well known online company. After attending the BlogHer Conference in NYC in August, she realized there was a need for a blog conference relating to handmade businesses vs. just mommy blogging. There's definitely lots to still consider about going... but there will be professional photographers there (target market!?), it's in a suburb near where our friends the Spriks now live, and I'm sure there's plenty we can learn at the conference in taking our online business places! They will also be offering a handmade market (booths) for a very reasonable price. I really hope it all works out, we love road trips!!
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So. Yesterday my computer died. At least I think it did. Sigh. We really don't have time to deal with it, but I'm sure Jason will be able to revive it. He always does. Eventually it will have to finally die though, it's SEVEN years old. Yes, like prehistoric in computer years.
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On to the meat of this post. ha! My birthday was two weeks ago (remember wonderful spa day?!). After my afternoon of pampering my pal, Brenda, threw me a mini little party at D'novo. Here's a few pics from that evening:


Brenda, Mom, Vanessa, me, Elise & Grandma


Laurie, Mom, Vanessa, me, Elise & Grandma


My mom knows me too well...I like a good "wrapped" present! (gift bags are so boring to open!)


Apparently everyone got the same memo about what colors to wear!



Brenda got me a gift certificate for my very own camera strap cover!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Laurie Lu!



Who says twenty-somethings are too old for slumber parties!?

A couple weekends ago our friend Jef emailed out about throwing his wife a surprise slumber party for her 25th birthday!

I arrived at the same time as one of the other gals, so with pillows in hand we rang the doorbell. Miss Laurie opened the front door and stared at us quite confused as we hollered, "Happy Birthday!"

Jef promptly vacated the house for the night and a couple other of her friends showed up. None of us really know each other outside of Laurie, but we all had fun together anyways!


Meseidy of The Noshery whipped us up dinner out of pantry odd & ends- it was delish! She needs to start hosting home cooking shows!


Jef also had a cake "hidden" in the fridge...he must have picked out a cake he would like, cause we only ate 5 slices that night (about 1/4 of the cake) and Laurie told me later he finished it off slice by slice all by himself!! haha!


We had tons of chick flicks to choose from...but after chatting till 2am, we all decided we'd better get to sleep if we wanted to function in the morning! (a couple of us had to leave at 8:30)

Happy Birthday, Laurie!! I'm glad someone thinks we're not too old for slumber parties!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

click!

One of the latest things I've been up to is assisting Brenda in her photo studio. Little by little she's teaching me what she does/knows. It's wonderful!!

Here's a sneak peak at some of the things I do with her at a newborn photo session:
Here I am holding up the white blanket, the baby is on a bean bag.

She made an instruction guide for a photographer in England last week- all on newborns, so she did some "pull back" shots to show how it all comes together.

We cover the baby up between poses so they don't get cold and wake up . Plus there's usually lots of patting on the back to keep the babe settled from all the re-positioning we do.

Here's a few of the final outcomes...I sure couldn't tell you if these are the same baby or not...when we do 2-4 newborns a week the sessions all sorta run together in my head.

This is one of my all time favorite headbands she has!


This hat is new- we call it the peppermint stick hat!



If I remember right- this baby girl was an absolute angel! She slept so soundly we got all sorts of shots with her- lots of hats and headbands!! This is one of the headbands I made recently.



Another thing Brenda does is post her photos on Facebook in one of our Organic Bloom frames! It's been GREAT advertising for us since she posts to several big photography fan pages like Florabella and GracyLu Originals on a daily basis!



Friday, September 17, 2010

more painting!

I mentioned yesterday that The Organic Bloom will be participating in several shows/craft fairs this winter. To do so we have to have a display booth of sorts. Jason set up some MDF for Brenda and I to paint- we didn't quite know what we were going for, but it turned out great!

For some silly reason Brenda refused to be photographed in her paint clothes, I on the other hand don't care. It even makes me feel more legitimate if I have to go to Lowe's in them! ha!

first we primed the MDF

Then we painted them white...probably could have just primed twice for the same look.

Then we rubbed brown glaze all over them.

Ta-da! We set them all up like an actual room (in the allotted booth dimensions) and got our wall/room layout all done. It's going to be FABULOUS!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

so very loved

I've decided my blog needs some updating- specifically some updating on happy-non-losing-a-baby things. Contrary to my blog, life has been WONDERFUL these last 5-6 weeks!

Yesterday was a glorious "pre" birthday!

Brenda and I spent the whole morning painting the "walls" of our booth for several shows we will be participating in over the next 3 months. (The Organic Bloom and Brenda Horan Photography- we go very nicely together in a display!)

Upon arriving home I was greeted with these lovelies:
Flowers and a birthday card with the sweetest message:

"Lovely, Little Andrea-
Happy early birthday! We just want to let you know how very special you are to us. You are such a beautiful ray of sunshine, so full of life! Now get ready to feel like the pretty princess you are. Please be at Spa Southern Hills at 1:45 for a day of pampering. Your schedule is as follows:

1:45- Hydrotherapy Treatment
2:15- Full Body Massage
3:30- Mani/Pedi

Love you!
Rach, Rob & Jason"


(Big shout out to Rach for putting it all together and "helping" my husband out in the birthday department!! The massage was absolutely incredible! )


THEN, Brenda had a little dinner party planned for the evening- with my mom, grandma, sister and several of my closest girlfriends. (Thanks for the balloons too, B!)
I feel so very loved.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a harmless chick flick

So...does anyone else remember Sweet Home Alabama having a scene about losing a baby?
Ya, I didn't either.
Poor Jason, I totally lost it after that last night.

(tomorrow it will be 8 weeks ago)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reason # 926 I love Whole Foods

So I'm grocery shopping at my fav and a lady comes on the speaker:

"Attention shoppers, Whole Foods is now offering a class on juicing starting right now in the room west of the cafe"

So I parked my cart at customer service and went next door. Great little class, I learned a few new things. The best part is that the lady who taught it is a midwife and offers more classes about prenatal nutrition, etc. Eeek! That's really exciting to me!

In other news, it's my Grandma Ross' & Laurie's Birthday today!! Happy Birthday, ladies!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Family Manifesto

After making very little headway on our family mission statement over the last few months I came upon some inspiration last week via Oh Dee Doh
(Also found on Esty and aardvarkonsea.com)

And this book Jason is reading that he asked me to read too:

I wikipedia-ed "manifesto" yesterday and came up with this:
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as a creed. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.

I like that line about life stance related. a lot.
So, I think I'm going to be writing a family manifesto instead.

I have lots of notes written down, now I just need to consolidate them into an artful piece!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

week four


Today marks four weeks out from losing our baby. It feels like it was four months ago already. Time is so funny like that: slow going when your in the trenches yet so distant once it's in the past.

The time has not come for us to try again yet, so I've done my best to look on the bright side. My mom said some of these were a stretch, but way to be positive! ha!

I've worn that pair of shorts that didn't really fit in June and July

I've gone boating twice

I've supported and encouraged a friend who miscarried last week

I've had red wine

I've jumped off a cliff at the lake

I've stayed up late

I've finally said yes to assisting Brenda with her photography business

I've continued to peruse the "xs" rack at Target


"You will find what you are looking for in life: are you a humming bird seeking out sweet nectar or a vulture scanning for rotten stuff?" -Craig Groeschel

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SUNday at Grand, part II

Jason and I joined our pals Robert and Rachel at Grand Lake this past weekend.


Saturday evening we cruised over to Driping Springs and jumped off the cliff there- I didn't take my camera, so this is just a photo I found online
Rob gave us all jumping instructions, "Jump straight and stiff- arms to the side and toes down. No flailing." I got those instructions right...but here's what pretty much happened to me



My whole back side is quite tender and I have a ginormous blue bruise on the back of one of my legs. I've gone cliff jumping a couple times over the last 5 years and never had that happen! My little body acted like a feather on the way down- ouch!

Then we also went sailing one afternoon- Rachel, Jason and I became part of the dam touchers club.

(Pensacola Dam at Grand Lake)
I wish I had a pic of us four in the sailboat- but my camera battery died right after I took this pic...me and the camera just couldn't quite make it together on this trip.

I came across this awesome quote for our weekend since we did both:
There are two ways to travel on the water. A motor boat gets you from point A to point B in the most expedient fashion, with the objective of the ride being just the destination. A sail boat on the other hand, may have point B as a secondary goal, but its primary purpose is the pleasure of the journey. It may zigzag through the water at an indeterminate rate of speed, and may or may not get to the other side in a timely fashion, but the sailor has the pleasure of the experience.

And a pleasurable experience we had! Thanks Rob & Rach!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wedding Bells for KB!

A snapshot from my college roommate's recent wedding reception-


Kara (I call her KB)- has been teaching English at a college in China the last 2 years. There she met Peter, who was there teaching Korean. It was so cool to finally meet him- I've been following her blog (ok, she has two) since I discovered what blogs are!

Kara & Peter got married in her backyard with their two families present- I got this pic from her America blog...it's just so darn cute. So Kara.
I told her at her reception- I've always known she wouldn't marry an American!
She responded that she knew the same :)

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And here's a couple oldies for the fun of it!
(I've known Kara her whole life!)

Kara's mom, Erin (left), is holding me as an infant, winter '84. I'm 14 months older than Kara, so she's probably not even in existence yet here! (My mom is on the right)


I'm in the pink star ensemble and Kara is the girl with the long hair in the back
Most likely Christmas '89 or '90