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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Buy a Drink, Get a Pizza!

And we’re not talking your standard greasy saucy pizza. This is wood fired pizza (which I LOVE). Sounds too good to be true, right? Daily Candy and Metromix don’t lie about Happy Hour specials in Chicago, do they? Well Doug and I were unsure also, but it’s for real! Last Friday after work, we headed to the Florentine inside the JW Marriott to check out the deal.

Doug had a beer and the mushroom pizza (crimini and oyster mushrooms, tallegio, radicchio), while I enjoyed a Sicilian Lemonade (Pallini Limoncello, Blood Orange Juice, Fresh Lemon) and the goat cheese pizza (leeks, yellow onion, smoked bacon, roasted garlic). My drink should be served at all barbeques! It was so light and refreshing…like pink lemonade, except with booze. But not in a cheap vodka + lemonade kind of way. Yum! And the wood fired pizza?! Deeeeliciously thin, light, and crispy with tasty toppings! Mine may have been a tad salty from the goat cheese and bacon, but still so yummy nonetheless!

Go go go!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{Noah} - 3 Months

Last weekend I took Baby Noah’s 3 month pictures to document how he’s Getting So Big throughout the year... 
I love his soft hair and little belly pooling over his diaper! Noah was easy to work with (which puts me at ease, phew!) and didn’t mind being stuffed inside a beverage bin hehe J We kept him in his diaper for 85% of the shoot because he looked so chubby and cute that I didn’t want to cover all that sweet softness up! **I'll tell you about my set up at the end of the post**
As expected, baby needed a milk break. The parenting professionals books/magazines don’t lie when they stress eye contact and bonding with your baby during feedings.  Noah seriously didn't take his eyes off her, despite my hopping around on the couch to capture him gazing into momma's eyes.  
He looks so big yet little in Mommy and Daddy's arms, right?
And once we got clothes on him, he looked like such a little man!
Time really does fly as your precious itty bitty baby quickly evolves into a little person. I'm glad I could capture these moments for them. Thanks for having me over again guys!
Oh and big brother Elijah was excited to see me again and thought my ribbit ribbit’s were pretty hilarious J
This handsome little guy is going to be such a heartbreaker one day!
Email me at mindysukan{at}gmail{dot}com for more info if you'd like me to photography your family!
**Tips on the first two shots**
After previously shooting in their home, I knew where the best lighting would be – a huge kitchen window. They cleared out the kitchen beforehand and I ghetto rigged a backdrop by clipping (potato chip clip and a hairclip) a blanket onto cabinet doors so there'd be no cabinets in the background. So call me McGyver, yeah? Baby faced the window to get catchlights in his eyes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIY Flower Headbands and Bows

I took Baby Erin’s three month pictures this weekend, but had to make a little gift first. I wanted to dress her up a bit, so I DIY’ed these flower headbands and bows for her. Now's a good age for accessories since she's not yet aware that she can rip them off! 
Scraps of fabric and felt
Scrap of tulle (optional)
Sparkly embellishment/button/brad (for center of flowers - optional)
Needle & Thread
Fabri-tac or hot glue gun 
Lighter or candle

Cost – Didn’t have to buy a thing!

Time – An hour for four accessories while catching up on DVR’ed shows.

A - Rolled Rosettes on Elastic Headband
  1. Make rosettes with Tatertots & Jello tutorial.
  2. If you want, fold tulle and glue to square of felt. If not, skip this and move on…
  3. Arrange and sew/hot glue rosettes to felt backing. Cut excess felt so it doesn't show.
  4. Measure baby’s head (at 4 months old, Mia’s head was 42 cm) and cut elastic a little bit longer than measurement. Sew elastic ends together.
  5. Sew rosette piece to elastic where you sewed the ends together. Done!
B – Rosette on Triple Braided Yarn Headband
  1. Make rosette with Tatertots & Jello tutorial.
  2. Cut two small leaves out of felt. Arrange and sew/hot glue leaves to rosette.
  3. Measure baby’s head (at 4 months old, Mia’s head was 42 cm) and cut 9 pieces of yarn a little bit longer than measurement.
  4. Take 3 pieces, make a knot at one end, braid them, tie knot to finish. Repeat until you have 3 separate braided pieces.
  5. Take the 3 braided pieces, make a knot at one end and braid them to make your headband, tying a knot to finish.
  6. Sew rosette to middle of headband. Tie on to pretty girl’s head J
C – Singed Flower on Twisted Yarn Headband
  1. Make singed flower with Craftaholics Anonymous's tutorial. I couldn’t find a lighter, so used a candle. I also did this over the kitchen sink because of dripping wax and to minimize flammables near me. I sewed a random decorative button to the center.
  2. Measure baby’s head (at 4 months old, Mia’s head was 42 cm) and cut 2 pieces of yarn a little bit longer than measurement.
  3. Tie knot at one end, twist the two pieces around each other until the end and tie in a knot.
  4. Sew flower onto middle of headband. Tie on to pretty girl’s head J
D – Felt Bows
Follow Make it and Love it's tutorial. Her post includes lots of other cute felt flowers too. She also had a great tip for attaching a bow (without a headband or clip) to baby’s head. I’ll be using Aquaphor! haha

Check back next week to see how the second session of {Erin}’s Getting SO Big series turned out!

linked up here:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Introducing {Baby Aiden}

On Friday I showed you the DIY gift I made for Baby Aiden’s 100 day celebration. Before the rest of the family got there for dinner, we had a photo session for the little guy since I didn’t do a newborn shoot for him. I got there just as he finished a bottle, so he was happy and even gave me a few charming smiles J
He effortlessly puts himself to sleep and stays peacefully sleeping despite what’s going on around him. I was
easily able to shift him around here and there and do my thing. I love his silly hair!
You can just feel how elated mom and dad are since this precious baby boy made his way into their lives.
When Erin arrived, I couldn’t resist capturing the two adorable cousins - Mia was too busy with her bottle. Now's a good time to sit the babies together since they are more alert yet still too young to wiggle away hehe.
I always enjoy spending time with all our family. Since Erin and Aiden are less than three weeks apart in age, you’ll see Erin’s 100 day celebration and three month pictures soon!

linked up here:
Sweet Shot Day

Friday, June 24, 2011

DIY Baby Boy Gift – Crinkle Tag Robot

It’s a Korean tradition for babies to celebrate their 100 days (after birth). My understanding is that way back in the olden days, it was fortunate for a baby to live that long, hence the celebration (Baek-il) of the baby’s health and survival. We celebrated Baby Aiden’s 100 days this weekend, who is a very special blessing for our family. Pictures from my nephew's photo shoot will be up next week, but first I wanted to show you a DIY gift for a boy!

Late the night before (I do this to myself every time, dangit!) while catching up with America’s Best Dance Crew, I made Aiden a crinkle tag robot toy. Babies love to hear new sounds and to suck on tags at his young age, so I hope he likes it!

It cost about $2 to make (but 2.5 hours because of my slow hand stitching skills). And yes, I’d rather spend time rather than money to make a personal gift.  So call me crazy. And no, we're not completely cheap, the robot accompanied a real store bought gift, don't worry!

3 sheets of felt – $0.33 cents each
Anything crinkly (baby wipes bag, plastic bag, etc) - Free!
Ric Rac*
Thread & needle
Sewing machine (optional)

*I’ve been getting random craft supplies from Pick Your Plum. It’s like Groupon, but for craft supplies. It’s great because I can’t get to Joann/Michael’s as often as I'd like and this way, supplies just come right to my door J

Get the full Crinkle-bot tutorial from Prudent Baby here.

As part of my "Baby's Getting SO Big" series, I'll be seeing Noah and Erin for their three month pictures this weekend. My SIL asked how I was going to make the three month pictures look different from the first session....Muahaha, I love a challenge! Have a good weekend!

linked up here:
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Thanks for the feature Macy!
Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Like Mommy - MmMmm Strawberries!

This picture is one of my most favoritest baby pictures of myself. And 28 years later, here’s my baby girl stuffing her face with strawberries just like mommy did J Mia loves fruit. Probably because I ate a ton when she was in my belly?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MCP Project 25/52 – Crave

Like I mentioned yesterday, the MCP Project 52 prompt for this week is “Crave”. It’d be expected to photograph some kind of food, but I thought I’d stretch my creativity a little further than that...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

As Seen on {MCP Actions}

There are plenty of “Project 52” photography challenges out there to encourage people to take at least one photo each week.  Oftentimes there are weekly prompts to: give you an idea of what to shoot; to challenge yourself to take pictures outside of what you normally would; or to make you creatively think of how to intrepret the theme. I finally participated in one, despite starting at week 24/52.

MCP Actions prompt for week 24 was “Make it Tasty”. Lucky for me, I just made some margarita cupcakes and submitted my photo to the MCP Project 52 flickr pool . And it was selected as one of the top 10! Yippee! Check out the other “Make it Tasty” featured photos for the week here.
Margarita Cupcakes WM
²     I finally “invested” in two white foam boards as a backdrop/reflector. They’re like $2 each and are what you would use for a school project. Now you don’t have to see my hardwood floors or coffee table next to my largest window anymore.
²     I used a leftover napkin from the Wine & Cheese party to make it more fun. J

MCP Actions is a website that offers original Photoshop Actions. Although I don't even use Photoshop, the website is a great source of photography knowledge and inspiration. So feel free to play along! Week 25’s prompt is “Crave”. And I'm challenging myself to make it non-food related. Check back tomorrow to see what I captured!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spend the Day Playing

Tomorrow marks the first day of summer and time is flying by.  Can you believe June is almost over!? Yesterday definitely felt like a beautiful summer day as we barbequed in my parents’ backyard for Father’s Day. I love love love hanging out in our their backyard on a sunny evening, running around in the grass, eating grilled steaks and veggies and fresh fruit, enjoying each other’s company in our bouncy patio seats under shady maple trees and of course, swinging in the hammock.
On Thursday, I’ll be linking up with Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop. The theme for this week is "Spend the Day Playing" and there's {almost} nothing I love more than spending time in the backyard I've known for the past 28 years. The purpose of her linky party is to encourage us to find inspiration and beauty around us {in real life, online, etc.}. And that is what I love about blogging...finding inspiration in other people’s ideas and inspiring others to create beautiful projects of their own. J  

linked up here:
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!Sweet Shot Day

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Margarita Cupcakes

You know how pregnant moms crave stuff? Stuff they can’t have because they have to be careful of all the harmful things that might reach that needy little person growing in their bellies? For me it was hot dogs. At my demand request, Agatha rush delivered one to the hospital as soon as she heard I had Mia. J

The first time around for our other friend, it was sandwiches.  Agatha, being the good best friend that she is, came to the hospital freaky fast with Jimmy John’s in hand. Now, the second time around, our dear friend has been craving alcohol! A good ol’ drink. We’ll have to wait and see what Agatha brings to the hospital this time!

But until then, I made our pregnant mama some margarita cupcakes for her birthday. I got the recipe from here, but didn’t brush tequila on top of the cupcakes and I omitted it from the icing too. I thought they were just ok, but other people said they liked them.  I hope they weren’t just being nice! Maybe skipping the booze on top and in the icing made a difference.

Naturally, the leftover tequila doubles as a birthday/congratulations-your-pregnancy-is-almost-over-and-then-you-can-drink gift. Only one month until mama can have it! You’ll know when that is since I’ll be taking the newborn pictures J

linked up here:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ribfest and Swimming

Looks like with all the summer happenings I’ve been starting off the weeks with a weekend recap.  Last weekend included Ribfest and Mia’s first swim class. Oddly (since I’m a meat and potatoes girl), Mia doesn’t care for meat. But she did enjoy the sweet potato “fries” from Black Rock Pub & Kitchen. And because we all love a same-time-last-year picture for comparison, here's Mia at Ribfest last year and this year J 
I had a taste for thick cut sweet potato fries, but instead got this take out container full of shoe strings, wah wah. Oh well, at least Mia found something to eat. Of course our fave was Smoke Daddy.  What was your favorite? I hate not recognizing most of the vendors there and then I don’t know which ones to try!

When we got Mia dressed for swim class on Sunday, she didn’t want to put clothes on over her bathing suit! She just twirled around and around by the mirror saying “awwww” at how cute she was J Mia and Daddy enjoyed 30 minutes in the water, not noticing all the other screaming babies and then Mia knocked out on the walk home J
A very special baby boy has his 100 day celebration this weekend, so I hope to have some crafts for you this week! I better, considering I spent an hour and $50 at Joann's on Saturday...