My Everyday featuring ... Amber Vander Vliet

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
My husband (Kevin) I are parents to a spunky little girl, named Opal, & a mellow baby boy, named Foster.  We own and run a cupcake business in the sleepy, tiny town of Los Olivos, California and a corporate teambuilding business that services all of California.  Kevin and I have been smitten with each other, best friends, & business partners for over a decade. Our lives are completely woven together in all that we do and I can’t imagine it any other way. 

photo by Jose Villa

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
My favorite time of day with Opal is her bedtime.  It’s time to cuddle and pray.  I love hearing her talk to God.  Her prayers are simple, yet profound and teach me so much.

My favorite time of day with Foster are the days I’m not at work and get to be with him right when he wakes up.  He wakes up bursting with joy & affection every morning.

[#3] Name Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
@paperandthread / @jackiewonders / @mindyricedesign

[4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity? 
My everyday work forces me to continually be creative, since we change our flavors and the “look” of our cupcakes weekly.  I’m constantly creating new recipes and techniques.  And most of our customers give us creative reign with cake orders and dessert displays so I’m always trying to come up with new designs & approaches.  I’ve had to try to learn to be creative on demand and integrate my kids into that process.  

Opal is 5, with a big imagination, so I try to include her, get her opinions & ideas.  I’m also able to get a lot of my work done while she’s still at home sleeping or while she’s at school. My son is another story!  Foster was born 7 months ago at the exact start of our busy season.  He was born on a Tuesday and in the bakery with me on Saturday.  I would get very frustrated while reading baby / parenting books (I had to refresh my memory since it had been so long since Opal was that tiny!) because so much of the advice didn’t jive with our wacky & demanding schedules (especially when it came to sleeping).  I had to embrace our craziness and quickly realize that I didn’t need to follow convention and rigid schedules, but rather make sure my kid’s needs are being met and that they are loved madly.  

I also had to stop comparing my life with a new baby with other mom’s with new babies since I didn’t have the opportunity to take a maternity leave.  Foster fit in with our lives and business right away.  He came to work with me at 3:30 am (which is obviously not “normal”), went on deliveries and to photo shoots with me, and instead of being bummed that I didn’t have lots of chances to be still with him, I chose to feel blessed that I was able to include him and bring him along.

[#5] What are your staple go-to pieces from your closet this month? 
Hue jean leggings, my favorite hat (growing my hair out a bit and my bed head is uncontrollable), textured knee-high socks that peek out over my boots (keep me warm and add a little flare).

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why? 
I love this pic of Opal & Foster at home on Christmas morning. Opal got a new camera from her aunt and, of course, wanted her baby brother to be her subject matter. Their interactions are so sweet.

Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings. 
My husband snapped this pic from his spot on the sofa one morning after I returned home from work.  The bulk of my work was done for the day and both kids were still in their jammies.  I was able to simply snuggle with my little loves.I don’t put on make-up, do my hair or put on nice clothes before going to bake and I had just returned home from the bakery…it’s definitely not a glamorous snapshot of me.  Opal was also very sick.

Be sure and follow @enjoycupcakes on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms