Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY: Fabric Embroidery Hoops

I'm typically not a very crafty person.  I love the idea of handmade goods but when it comes down to actually making something, I seem to be a bit craft-impaired.  I was always one of those kids in school who looked to the other kids at craft time who seemed to be "getting it" for help.  But lately, I have been loving looking for different nursery ideas and inexpensive ways to decorate once we find our own place via pinterest.  And I love the idea of making your own wall art using fabric and was originally thinking about gluing fabric to canvas boards.  After comparing prices at different craft stores, I decided that embroidery hoops were a much cheaper option (the largest hoop I bought was only a little over $1!).

Using different vintage-looking fabrics is a great way to add in lots of color to white walls.  I've only made four so far and would like to make at least five more, but it only took me about an hour or less to make those!  Here's what you need:

-A square of fabric, at least 2" wider than your hoop in all directions
-A wooden embroidery hoop in any size 
-Fabric glue
-Fabric scissors

How to make one:

1.  Place fabric in the hoop (inner hoop on reverse side of fabric, outer hoop on right side), pull tight
2.  Turn to wrong side and run a small line of glue around the inside hoop, just next to the fabric
3.  Press fabric into glue all the way around
4.  Allow glue to dry
5.  Trim fabric to edge of hoop

These are the ones I have done so far.  I'll post more pictures once I actually have them hanging in the nursery (which will hopefully be soon).  Very easy to make and an inexpensive way to hang wall art!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Bob Dylan Inspired Photo Shoot

One of Israel's most prized possessions is his pair of authentic Ray Bans.  And since he's been embracing the curls lately, we had to exaggerate that bit to recreate a Bob Dylan inspired look.

We decided that Israel's hair (combed out like this) is more Dylan circa 1962.

I'm so happy to be married to a man who loves playing pretend and doing photo shoots as much as I do. 

26 weeks

I promised baby bump pictures on Thursday, and even though I posted one on facebook, I forgot to put some on here!  Here's me and Baby Girl:

Food aversions for the week:  Hamburger meat..... I've made two pizzas this week, both with hamburger and every time I thought about it I felt so nauseous and I only ate one slice.

Cravings:  Chinese food... It was very timely when we had dinner at Micah and Magen's and they just happened to have stir fry and egg rolls for dinner!  Amazing.  Still crave chicken nuggets, French fries and am loving fruit a lot right now.

Weight Gain:  +12 lbs.  My doctor said it would be best for a lady my height to not gain much more than 20-25 pounds, so I'm trying not to eat toooo many French fries.  ;)

Fruit comparison:  A head of lettuce!  If Baby Sanchez is measuring on average, she should be around 13.5 to 14.8 inches and weighs about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Magical World of Reading

I've been fighting a sort of cold/flu combo all weekend and I'm finally starting to feel a little better.  All day Friday I just felt terrible and didn't do much except wear sweat pants and watch TV.  On Saturday, after sleeping about eight hours, I went with my mom and Israel to a mini book sale at the library where you could purchase a bag for $5 and stuff all the books you wanted inside.  It was a pretty amazing deal!

I've been slowly building up a collection of children's books for the baby (came so close to accidentally writing her name!  Happens to me constantly now!) for the last month or so.  I found a few great ones at Hastings at their closeout sale and found a ton yesterday.  I knew that the children's section would be the craziest one but I fought my way through the crowd and walked away with over twenty books!

Some of my favorites I found yesterday

My mom and Israel went over to the Booktique (also in the library) because they were having a discount sale that day and I got so exhausted and worn out that I just plopped down right outside the store on the floor.  I was even able to take a three hour nap shortly after we got home!  I know Baby Girl won't be able to appreciate most of these until she's a little older but I'm just so excited to be able to read to her.

Israel and I have already started reading her some books while she's in the womb.  She responds by kicking and moving around, although at this point I think she really just likes hearing the sound of her dad's voice.  :)  I know that when I was growing up, I loved being read to by my parents.  I loved sitting on my dad's lap when I was a little girl and listening to his deep voice tell one of my favorite stories.  I was always baffled by friends of mine who didn't enjoy reading on their own, because I couldn't get enough of it.  Once I learned to read, I loved finding new books and investing in the lives of new characters.

It's one of the greatest things in the world to find a book you really love that just draws you in from the very beginning and you can't put it down.  That happened to me just last night and I kept telling myself, "Just one more chapter."  I hope to instill this same passion for reading in my daughter because it was such a magical part of childhood for me.  She's already acquired a pretty strong library so I think there's a good chance of her becoming a reader.  ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

25 weeks, 5 days: "Where are my shoes?"

According to the bump, little lady is now about the size of an eggplant, measuring around 13.5 inches and weighing about 1.5 pounds!  From here on out, she's going to be packing on the baby fat and this is the point where she'll start growing pretty fast.

I'm definitely starting to feel "more pregnant" and more uncomfortable with each passing day.  It's really hard to believe that I'm almost into the third trimester and nearing the final stretch!  No pun intended.  ;)  I think the second trimester honeymoon stage is almost over, and I'm starting to just feel larger and larger.  

Ever since we moved to Kansas and with our things all over the place (still have most of our stuff in boxes), I've started to lose track of my shoes.  It has become almost a daily question to Israel:  "Where are my shoes?"  I'll look under the bed-- which has gotten quite comical as I get on all fours and try to look underneath-- and they're usually never there.  I have to do some searching because I never remember where I put them last.  Pregnancy brain has definitely set in.  

The other day as I was going upstairs, Israel asked me to bring him down something, and while I was upstairs for only two minutes, I had completely forgotten what he wanted.  I seem to be forgetting things constantly.  

Putting on my socks and shoes has become my least favorite thing of the day.  Because of my growing bump, it makes it quite difficult to bend over to do these little tasks!  I usually will sit on the floor or on the bed and put my socks on sideways and then slip my shoes on over them.  

Some fun things that have happened lately:

-both my mom and Bekah have now felt the baby move!  One afternoon she was very active and I was just standing in the kitchen and my mom was able to feel her kick.  
-in the last couple of weeks, my linea nigra has started to appear although it's still pretty faint at this point.  My belly button is looking so weird these days!  It's closed up but hasn't quite pushed out yet.  
-I still can't get over how fun it is to see little baby move around and see my stomach move!  I want to take a video of this once I'm a little bigger.

I'll post more baby bump pics on Thursday!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marinated Chicken and Peppers

So, it's been a while since I've posted a recipe... quite a while.  Six months maybe?  I've pretty much gotten over my phobia of looking at pictures of food since being pregnant and wanted to share this one with you!  This marinade I came up with on my own and has been my go-to chicken marinade for months because it is very flavorful and tasty!  This all comes together in about half an hour so it makes for a very easy mid-week dinner.

Chicken Marinade:

4 skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. lime juice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. parsley
salt & pepper

Combine all in a large Ziploc bag and just shake it until it's pretty well distributed!  Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, the longer the better.  


1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. basil

Heat olive oil in medium-sized skillet.  Once hot, add onions and saute those while you chop your bell peppers.  Once onions are translucent, add peppers and spices.  Saute until veggies are tender.  Set aside.

In other large skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil and add chicken marinade.  You can discard the garlic cloves now since they were only needed for the marinade to give it flavor.  Cook until chicken pieces are browned and white in the center.  Serve with brown rice and peppers.  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weekend Update

Hello friends!

This weekend was pretty nice.  On Saturday, I did a little maternity shoot with Nick and Brittany which was a total blast.  Shortly after I had written that post on wanting to become more serious about Photography, Brittany had contacted me and asked me to take some pictures of her and her husband.  So that was really cool!  I'm trying to collect some of my old photos from my old laptop to put together for a real website soon.  This was my first maternity shoot and it was a great experience!  As soon as I got home from the shoot I got to work on editing, which is something I enjoy as much as shooting.  It was definitely interesting a pregnant lady shooting another pregnant lady!  I wasn't as agile as I usually can be during photo shoots but we made it work.  :)

On Sunday, Israel and I went to church and the Young Married's Sunday school class (still not super sure about this class, will elaborate on that another time maybe).  Afterwards, we were debating on where to eat lunch and I was craving Mexican.  If you know Israel, you can guess his initial reaction to Mexican food-- he's not a fan.  He claims it's way too spicy (Cubans have a strong dislike of all things spicy and all things Mexican food).  But my delightful husband took one for the team and made the greatest sacrifice of all by taking me to Cielito Lindo's.  Israel got the chicken fajitas and he actually ended up liking them a lot.  See, love?  Being adventurous sometimes is a good thing.  ;)

Lately, I've been having even more food aversions than ever.  I'm always hungry but nothing sounds good.  Even chicken is starting to get a little old.  Subway or a good sandwich usually always does the trick.  I've been having a hard time getting in my daily protein because of all my food aversions (don't even talk about eggs around me) so lately I've been drinking lots of protein shakes.  I really hope I will like some of my old favorite foods again once the baby is born and my eating can get back to normal.  

The little lady has been quite active ever since we've been able to feel her little kicks outside the belly!  She's most active in the mornings and about an hour before I go to bed.  We love watching her little punches and kicks on my stomach.  We even put some headphones on my belly the other night to play her a little music.  She responded pretty well to Michael Buble and Pitbull.  She is half Cuban after all!  ;)  Just last night I kept feeling her move on the way right side of my stomach.  I woke up sometime in the middle of the night and she was just kicking away!  Her little kicks felt so hard on the side they scared me a little!  Right now, she's measuring about 12 inches long and weighs about a pound and a half!  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

24 weeks

The other day I asked Israel to take a few baby bump pictures for me and then I edited them when we got home.  It was really fun to go on a little photo shoot and take some pictures other than from the backyard.  On the way home we got to see a gorgeous sunset and even saw two deer cross the road!  

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and it was way less rushed than my last appointment with her.  I got to ask her more questions I had about different labor and delivery policies.  And she told me that she had looked over the results from my last sonogram and everything looked really good.  Baby Girl is healthy and normal and I praise God for that so much.  I'm so thankful that despite a few uncomfortable issues, this has been a very healthy pregnancy.  

I also asked my doctor about which due date I should go by and she said I should just stick with my original due date of April 26.  Right now I'm 24 weeks along, but the baby is measuring at 23 weeks.  Both of this little lady's parents are short so I'm sure she'll be tiny as well.  :)  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Maternity Pillows

I've become a bit of a pillow addict.  I used to be pretty content sleeping with only one pillow, but when I started having morning sickness I felt a little better if I had another pillow to lift my head up.  As my belly began to expand with the baby, I would wake up in the morning with my stomach really hurting, almost feeling sore.

I started researching different maternity body pillows and requested a Snoogle mini body pillow for Christmas.  I like it but it's a little difficult to get it to support my stomach when I sleep.  I do like to tuck it between my knees and it really does help my back feel better.

I try not to look this creepy when I sleep with it, FYI.

A week ago, when Israel and I were registering at Babies R Us, I saw the Boppy Wedge pillow.  I remember reading about this one too and I knew it would be perfect for fitting under my belly for a little support.  We bought it that day and I have been sleeping with it every night.  It's perfect.  I loooooove it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A few nights ago, Israel finally felt our baby girl move!  A few days ago before that, I had been feeling little popcorn flutters on my stomach but I really didn't know what these were.  I didn't think they were kicks because they felt so different than her movements before.  I really thought they were just uterus growing pains or gas bubbles or something so I just tried to ignored it when I would lay in bed reading.

So, the other night, Israel and I were praying and I started feeling those little popcorn movements again.  I told Israel about them and when I lay on my back, they increased in frequency.  We figured out that it was actually the baby kicking!  What amazed me is that we could actually physically see her little movements-- every time she kicked, my stomach looked like it had been punched from the inside.  And that's exactly how it feels.  For about a half hour, all we did was wait and watch for her little kicks and punches.

I've noticed that the little lady tends to move a lot more when she hears Israel's voice.  It's so sweet.  Even before I started feeling these stronger kicks and was in the flutter stage, I remember one day I was in the living room on my computer and was starting to feel concerned that I hadn't felt her move in a couple days.  When Israel came out of the bedroom and said hello, she immediately did a little flip in my stomach!

Now that I know those little popcorn punches are from her, I've become addicted to putting my hand on my stomach at night and watching her move.  I want to capture a little video of my stomach moving around once I'm a little bigger.  This just makes it all the more real that there really is a tiny person inside of me.  I can't wait to meet her.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome, 2012!

It was a pretty quiet New Year's Eve, but it was a nice evening with our little family.  Israel and I got some subs from Quizno's and just hung out at home for the night.  At 11, he received a lot of phone calls from his family in Miami telling us Happy New Year.

We toasted at midnight (non-alcoholic Sparkling Grape Juice, of course) and both ate twelve grapes, a Cuban (or maybe just Hispanic?) tradition and danced a little salsa to Israel's homeboy, Pitbull.

I'm excited for 2012!  I don't have a ton of resolutions, but I do have three pretty strong convictions this year:

1.  I really want to get more serious about Photography.  I've done a few weddings and engagement sessions with friends of mine over the years, but I'd really like to branch out more in this area.  My goal is to set up my own website very soon, hopefully in a couple months.  I'd also like to start saving up for a more professional camera which I know will help a lot.  This has always been my biggest passion and I feel like I've been neglecting it, so I'm very excited about becoming more serious about it this year.

2.  This year I will become a mother.... crazy!  I'll be honest and say that I am scared about this huge responsibility.  I so want to be a good mom.  When you get married, you definitely become aware of how selfish you are and that you need to work on being more selfless.  I know that being a mom will require me to become even more selfless, and I want to do well in this area.  My goal is to just love my little girl no matter how hard it will get sometimes and just always do what's best for our family.  More than anything, I'm just really excited to meet our daughter!

3.  My last big resolution is to become closer to the Lord.  It's definitely a challenge to have strong self-discipline and be consistent in this relationship.  I want to be a good example to my daughter and have a strong spiritual foundation in our house.  I know that I need more of the Lord right now, especially since I know with His help, I love people better when I'm just completely relying on Him.  

Happy New Year!  I hope this year you can accomplish more of your goals and dreams.  Here's to 2012!