Friday, December 27, 2013

a little 2-week reality check.


i cannot believe our little girl is two weeks old {plus a day!} already...seriously, it seems like we were just taking her home from the hospital yesterday.

i am surprised to see how much has already changed in these short 15 days.  for instance, i now realize that i can survive on a broken-up sleep schedule {knock on wood, but juliet has fallen into a great sleeping pattern: 3 hours down, 1 up to eat, then back down with little to no fussing...i am counting my blessings}.  i also have had to revise some of my expectations for myself.  i am a doer: i feel most complete and accomplished when i get things done, and i will usually push myself to do so...but nowadays, there is someone way more important than that extra load of laundry, or the floor which desperately needs to be swept, etc.  and so?  i give myself a break.  as long as my baby is fed and safe, my day is complete.  dinner will figure itself out {especially when my parents stop by to feed us (:...thank you again!}.

also, you know all of those "i will never..." statements that you think up when you think of what you will/ won't do with your child?  some are worth sticking by definitely, but others may need to be revised.  i swore up, down, right and left that i would never give my kids a pacifier. {when i was a kid, i used one for too long and it made me have speech problems later which had to be corrected in therapy...read: "hi! i'm thephanie."...}  but you know what?  pacifiers work, people, and if it soothes my baby and helps her sleep i am all in.  

i am also very thankful for the little things in my day...the cup of coffee i enjoy during her morning nap, the books i read to her as she's falling asleep {this morning it was are you my mother?}...my sister coming over whenever i need an extra set of hands and literally doing anything i need in return for a few minutes of baby-holding.  heidi: you are a gem!

so this is life nowadays!  and i couldn't be happier (:

hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Friday, December 20, 2013

juliet, 8 days...and cookies!

a cute baby and cookies?  my kind of post.

my sister brought these cookies to the hospital the day juliet was born and i seriously devoured them.  it's ok though, because regardless of my giving myself all sorts of dietary liberties these days, these are not your average cookies: they're actually good for you!

try them out and let me know what you think...and if you don't care for them, call me - i will take them off your hands, no problem.

good-for-you-but-don't-taste-like-cardboard cookies

2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup almond butter, peanut butter or sunflower seed butter {i use almond...no salt added}
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple butter {*check the labels when you buy this: many of the brands out there add a lot of extra sugar - we found that whole foods carries a variety relatively low in sugar, fyi}
1 large banana, mashed {about 1/2 cup...you can adjust this depending on how banana-y you like things}
1 cup dried fruit {cranberries, cherries, raisins, chopped apricots, blueberries...all work well}
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
{you can also add about 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips if you want a little sweetness}

preheat oven to 325 degrees. line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
combine all ingredients {except flax seed} into a large bowl or stand mixer.  mix until all of the ingredients are combined - using either the stand mixer, a hand mixer or a good 'ol wooden spoon. the dough will be stiff.  when everything is incorporated, add the flax seed and mix...if you add the flax at the beginning, it tends to just stick to the sides of the bowl and not get worked into the dough.
using a cookie scoop, tablespoons, or your hands, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet {you can make these cookies however large/small you'd like}  slightly flatten the tops into the desired thickness...the cookies will not spread in the oven.
bake for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.  allow to cool on the cookie sheet completely.  
cookies will stay fresh at room temp for 1 week; they keep well in the fridge, and can be frozen for up to 3 months.  {they're especially good frozen, dunked in your coffee!}
these people make me the happiest:
daddy's little girl

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

she's here!

juliet alexis moger
december 12, 2013
7lb 4 oz, 20 inches

 {this is currently my favorite picture taken of anyone at any time}

Monday, December 9, 2013

a little holiday cheer.

to be honest, i totally expected to be lacking all energy this holiday season and not want to do any sort of decorating...but somehow despite a pretty consistent 3-4 a.m. bout of insomnia, i seem to rally during the days.

i'm not saying martha is going to be knocking at my door asking for decor tips, but i am saying i'm happy with the little holiday touches i've been able to add to our house.

take a peek!

 ^^bringing our christmas tree home on our beloved station wagon, bubu^^

^^some of little girl's first books, camped out in the livingroom waiting for their audience^^

^^moravian molasses cookies^^

 ^^i love working with fresh greenery^^
 ^^nothing fancy, but i love little touches^^

 ^^ o christmas tree!^^

^^and a belly pic...b/c we are officially 40 weeks tomorrow!!^^

i hope you're all enjoying your monday!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

3 days.

3 days.

we are three days from our due date.  i almost can't believe we're actually here.

for the past few weeks i've been having a strange feeling {i'm sure a lot of first time moms get this...maybe?}...anyway, my feeling is that i'm just going to keep on being pregnant.  mainly b/c i don't know what life is like after this stage, and this is all i've known for the majority of 2013...but i just feel like "ok - my life is now a little rounder, and i get kicked a few times a day, and this is alright!"

don't worry: logically i know what comes next.  i've read the books.  i've heard the stories.  it's just all so magical thinking about everything that's going to change, and how life is going to be, and how i am going to be and how my husband and i are going to be.

i've never been one to eschew change - i actually like mixing things up a bit...routine depresses me big time...so i'm not worried about the changes, i'm just so curious: what will they be?!

on a very bright note, i am officially off of work for 3 months.  YES.   and while i have a few days {we think (:} before our little miss makes her debut, i'm really taking the time to let myself experience these big feelings.   the doubt, the worry, the excitement...i am feeling it all, and i want to feel it all.  i want to let this in, and let this experience be so real.

so here we are: 3 days out and as ready as we'll ever be.

sweet bibs my mom & grandma made...and baby's first bear

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a lovely little shower.

a few weekends ago, the grandmothers-to-be threw us a little shower at my mama's house.

in all actuality, there was nothing little about it: there was lots of good food, plenty of sweet friends and sooo much love.  we had a ball.
let's begin with the food, shall we?
 something i wish for daily is that our little girl is lucky enough to
have as good of friends as we do.  these ladies are the deal.

tip: when visiting my mom's house, always, always save room for dessert.

the hostesses!  {and one very tired-looking mama to be}

the fam - what a good crew.

i swear we did not plan this.

 preggo back at the food?  you know it.

the belly dance - i should probably be embarrassed?

 dana put together these super cute favors - and my sister in law made some 
delicious caramels to go with: what could be better on a crisp fall day, i ask you.

i am still feeling the love from this day - baby girl, you are one lucky little lady.  i cannot wait for you to be here and meet all of these wonderful people.  i love that you are already so loved!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


i stumbled upon this article today and i'm really happy i did.

have a read, have a laugh, and then come back here and tell me what you think.

me?  well it certainly made me feel a lot better about things.  because i'm nervous!  excited, definitely - but nervous, absolutely.  and after reading this little gem, i feel a lot better about the next chapter ahead.

10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood

Not For Reuse

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

pregnancy love list.

this little baby in here is getting very ready for her debut.  her kicks are some of my favorite parts of the day these days.  she has some really active periods of the day, and then some where i figure she's napping.  happily, she has been less active overnight than she once was...maybe this is an indication that she will sleep right through the night?  {i know...keep dreaming (: }

i have been thinking lately about when i was newly pregnant {and, let's be honest...way before we even thought about being pregnant, ha}...i would scour my favorite blogs for good recommendations on those little somethings to make pregnancy just a tad easier on mom.

i really appreciated the insight i found, and so i wanted to throw my two cents in and post a few good things which i feel have made these past 8 months just that much sweeter.  i don't have a lot on the list, but i hope if you're pregnant and looking for some relief, or thinking about pregnancy and love a list, that you find something you can work with.

Reversible Seamless Tank   

1.  you all know my obsession with castile soap - it's green, organic, fair trade, and smells amaaazing.  i picked up the lavender version a few months ago when i was having trouble getting to sleep and haven't looked back since. 

2.  to add to my sleep issues, i've had some RLS over the course of this pregnancy.  let me tell you: there is nothing worse than being ready for bed and feeling like you need to get up and run around the room.  i found that the stretching taught in my prenatal yoga video really helped, as well as to relax me in general, which is a nice perk.  this video especially was really great - all experience levels welcome, and the teacher is super preggo in the video, so she totally gets what is and isn't possible for you.

3.   anthropologie reversible seamless tank.  i have 4 of these.  they stretch so well over your belly and somehow don't ride up.  also, they don't lose their shape.  i am sold.  i will give these as gifts to my future mama friends...they are that good!

4.  cocoa butter.  i received this from a friend who bought it and didn't care for it, actually before i was pregnant.  to tell you the truth, i don't love the smell {to me, it smells like pudding}, but i do have to say it's a great moisturizer.  i don't use it every night {the pudding thing is too much sometimes}, but i try to use it at least a few times a week and thus far, no stretch marks.  maybe i'm just lucky, or maybe those folks at palmers really know what's up.  you decide. 

like i said, this isn't a huge list, but these are things that i absolutely do use and appreciate.

oh, and we're at 36 weeks today!   baby, we are so close to meeting you, i can hardly stand it.   life is good.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

35 weeks!

hello friends!

not much happening over here these days aside from growing this little baby.  {little being the operative word: as seen below, we seem to have had a growth spurt!}

also, there was halloween - a quiet but fun night for us...fewer trick-or-treaters means more leftover candy for your resident preggo!  win-win.

i can't carve faces very well, so i improvised (:

hope you're enjoying your week!

Monday, October 28, 2013

i didn't run away, i promise!

you guys...i have no idea where my time has gone these days.

as a quick catch-up, we are at 34 weeks (!) can you believe it!

oh, and i also had a little birthday...welcome to the last year of my twenties - here's to making it great!

last weekend for part of my birthday celebration i wanted to go to a pumpkin patch.  {really getting wild, eh?}  there is a great farmer's market close to home and they have so many beautiful pumpkins.  i wanted one that was unique looking but that i could also bake with after a few weeks.  enter the fairy tale pumpkin.  i had no idea about this pumpkin, but evidently it's super sweet and a little spicy, aka great for pies. 

this weekend we spent our mornings at a childbirth prep class, and we're both glad we signed up - i'm sure a lot of parenting is instinctual, and most of it is learn-on-the-fly, but there is a lot about what actually goes down to get this little person here that honestly i was glad to have explained to me, point by point.  {and of course there were some points which i'd be just fine not having heard, thank you very much...}  jordan's take-away message from the weekend was profound gratitude that men cannot give birth.  no, honey, but they can buy jewelry for those who can (:

tonight we're a little pooped - jordan is reading the paper and i'm making applesauce.  then later, we're watching scandal - have you seen that show?  i'm obsessed.  we've already plowed through the first season in maybe a week.  netflix, you are both a blessing and a curse.
not the fairy tale pumpkin, but another fave

i hope you have a great start to the week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

green veggie wash.

if you haven't gathered already, i am no fan of germs...and i am even less of a fan of chemicals commonly used to get rid of them.  this has lead to some creative solutions when it comes to keeping my home and family healthy.

one of my favorites such fixes is this veggie wash. 

like everyone, we try to buy organic produce when possible, however the money tree in the yard hasn't bloomed yet this year, so generally we buy conventional.  regardless of whether they're organic/ conventional, fruits and veggies are not clean when you bring them home from the store.  from tree to table, they have been handled by a lot of people, and who knows how many of them washed their hands after a sneeze?  {i know, i don't like to think about it either}

washing with water is good, but not great, and i honestly feel like the food tastes better when it's cleaned with a little more effort {don't you feel better after a nice bubble bath?  i thought so}. 

so here you have it: green veggie wash

what you need
castile soap {i recently picked up the citrus variety, and love it - especially for this use}
baking soda
small spray bottle
small shaker {i reuse an old spice shaker, which you can refill as needed - works like a charm}

the spray bottle i have is from the target $1 section, and holds about 5 oz.  i use between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of castile soap for every 5 oz of water...just add the soap and fill up the bottle - give it a little swirl {no need to shake, it will mix when you add the water} and you're good to go!

step 1: spray your produce with the soap solution

step 2: sprinkle with baking soda {baking soda is a mild abrasive, so it will get in there and really clean the skins}
step 3: scrub the fruits & veggies to work in the baking soda {bonus: this will leave your hands super soft too}
step 4: rinse

note: yes, you definitely need to wash hard-skinned veggies, even those whose skin you don't plan to eat -  including squash, carrots, even watermelon.  {remember the listeria scare a few years back?  the actual fruit of the cantaloupes was fine, but the bacteria on the surface was transferred to the fruit when it was cut, making everyone sick...moral of the story?  wash your fruit.}

so there you go!  now go clean some veggies! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

butternut squash soup, two ways.

today at the grocery store i found myself face to face with a really good sale on squash {$0.79 per lb!}...and thus came home with 8 lbs of butternut squash.  i would've had more, but they did not have any spaghetti squash and the acorn squashes just looked meh...another gourd for another day. 

so this afternoon jordan went to play a little golf, and i decided to cook up my prize.  i made a gigantic pot of a really basic squash soup {our standard recipe is here}...i didn't have any sweet potatoes, so this version just included an onion, carrots, celery and butternut squash.

i usually wait until the soup is cooked before adding any spices {this goes for salt too} and blending, and when this step arrived i decided to have a little fun.  why make one type of soup when i could make two?   {or 3 or 12...8 lbs of squash will make a gracious plenty}

here are my two creations...if one of them strikes your fancy, try it out and let me know how you liked it!

south of the border
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
sprinkle of cinnamon
cayenne to taste

1+ teaspoons turmeric
2+ teaspoons madras curry powder
sprinkle of galangal {ok- not an indian spice, but i like the slight sweetness this adds}
cayenne to taste

measurements are of course subjective since it will all depend on how much soup you're working with...i now realize that because of that fun fact, this is a terrible recipe to follow - sorry about that...play with the flavors though!  i am sure you will make something delicious.

happy eating!!