Today Was a day of naps.  Dean napped because he's a toddler.  I napped because I have a sinus infection.  The best part was we napped together.  Snuggled on the couch.  Watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  Regardless of the fact that I can hardly breathe and the ridiculous amount of snot, life was grand today. <3

~ Sarah


Chocolate Espresso Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookies

Don't let my mostly blank planner fool you, I'm actually pretty busy. Not in the "I have things to do/places to go/people to see" sort of way, but "my baby went straight from crawling to running and hasn't once stopped" sort of way. Each day my plan is: how can I fill this day with the most fulfilling and productive activities? I strive to give Dean a full, happy, healthy, and educated childhood, to the best of my abilities. Granted, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm trying. Each day is an adventure. When one day doesn't go as I planned, I work that much harder the next day. When days do go as I plan I get myself another coffee.

Pretty much every day involves a coffee but some days I'd like a little sumthin' sumthin' extra. More coffee is always the best answer, but it's not always the right answer. That's where these cookies come in. I smashed up some dark chocolate espresso trail mix and added it to my favorite cookie recipe. Chocolate covered espresso beans, praline almonds, sea-salt pecans, and chocolate chips- bam! It's the perfect addition to the perfect cookie.

In between exploring the outside world with Dean, I want to get a load of dishes done. After play time with Legos & Zoobles I'd like to tidy up. Once lunch is over, it'd be great to sweep the floor. These cookies give me that extra umph to help me get more stuff done once my coffee is gone. Don't get me wrong, I don't get all these chores done everyday (most days), but these cookies do help me keep up my motivation levels.

The recipe is actually one for amazingly awesome lactation cookies, but since I'm weaning Dean I tweaked the recipe a bit. I omitted the brewer's yeast, which is the ingredient that helped me with my milk supply. If you're not nursing, then I recommend omitting it as well.

Also, this dough is d a n g e r o u s. Every time I make these cookies I probably eat a half a dozen cookies worth of dough. Don't judge.

Do you have any treats that keep you a motivated mama?

P.S. You can buy "Book of Brave" by the insanely inspirational Laura Jane Williams here. Doitdoitdoit.


Mama's I Have To Tell You Something - You Are Doing Great

I could tell you this to your face, but you're not here. You're at your house, or in your car, at t-ball practice, waiting in line at the grocery store, at work, or any number of other places.

I'm going to write this down for you to read because the baby is sleeping so we should be quiet, or you're away from your computer, on the phone, running after the kid(s), probably doing lots of things at once, and I really just want to get my words right.

You are doing great.

Let me repeat that. You are doing great.

I mean it. You are doing a fantastic job. You are a great mama to your baby/babies. I don't know when it was the last time you heard that (hopefully recently), but I really want you to know that truth.

That truth that whatever it is you are doing, you're doing a fine job at it. You are doing your best. Raising kids is hard. You are giving it everything you've got and doing it with all your heart. These precious little guys don't come with a manual, and each one is different, so really a manual probably wouldn't do much good, haha!

Don't worry if you turned Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Octonauts on for a while just so you could get some work done. You are not ignoring your baby. It's ok if you closed the door when you went to the bathroom, or let baby cry in the crib for a few extra minutes. It's acceptable to want (and have) a few minutes alone to breathe. Don't worry that you bought another container of Gerber Cheese Puffs so the little guy could make it through Target without fussing, or gave in to another nursing session. You are doing just fine, your baby is just fine, and you both are going to be fine.

Us mama's are told we should raise our kids are certain way, discipline them a certain way, when to stop nursing, how much weight we should have lost already, what foods we and our kids should be eating, what we should be doing with every minute of our day. We're told this from so many different people, from so many different directions, before we know it, we start questioning our decisions and our ability to be a good mother and to do a good job raising our kiddo's. I don't like having to question every decision I make. I want to be confident in myself and to know that certain things work for me and my family, and that makes it ok. I want you to have confidence too!

We can only really do what we are able to do, and we do that with every ounce of love, every fiber in our being. That is good enough.

What works for some people might not work for you, or for me. It might take a while, and multiple tries, but we'll figure out what does work eventually. If nursing a few extra months works for you, then do it. If letting your baby "cry-it-out" isn't working for you, don't do it. Did you put the baby-gate up in the bathroom to contain the babe while you did your hair and makeup this morning? Cool, I did too. It worked and I feel pretty darn good about myself today. Hopefully you do as well.

If you are struggling know you are not alone. I am here, as well as lots of other mama's who are going through (or have gone through) the same thing. Let's come together as mama's to support each other when things get cray-cray. I'm not here to judge, just love. So keep up the great work, mama. I love you.

P.S. You should 100% absolutely buy those shorts you've been eyeing. It's summertime and it's hot, and don't you dare think you shouldn't buy them because you don't think you'll look good in them. My dear, you will rock those shorts! And if some idiot thinks otherwise, they are an I D I O T so don't you worry about them. Also, YOU WILL ROCK THEM!


Nunnally Blanket Knitting Pattern

Today's post would not be possible without the help of fellow Ravelry member, rhiannonmrl. She has helped me find one of my long lost (and most requested) patterns! Thank you so much Michelle! I honestly never thought I'd find the pattern again.

This blanket is so fun to knit up with it's easy lace pattern. It's the perfect project for someone who has never done lace before because there isn't much to the design. The lace design is only a dozen or so stitches long so it's easy to remember and keep track of.

I have made three of these blankets, (1) [2] {3}, and it was the perfect project to do while watching Aaron play games or while we watched a movie. After the first few rows muscle memory takes over and the blanket practically knits itself.

You can get your copy of the pattern here, here, or here.


11 Minute Mommy Hair and Makeup - Mini Interruptions Included

Let's talk about getting ready in the morning with a baby around. Long gone are the days of spending an hour on myself each morning primping, doing my hair and makeup. With a baby crawling around (soon to be walking) getting into things, needing up, wanting down, getting him ready and out the door so we can take Aaron to work... mornings can be hectic. (Understatement of the year, hah!)

Since Dean has been born I have worked on a routine to get myself ready quickly and as stress free as possible. Here is a little video of how I get my hair and makeup done in the morning with baby around. I hope you like it!

I need to work on the lighting and I was very nervous recording this video.

First off I stick Dean in a little jumpy thing with toys so he's contained and busy while I'm getting ready. He doesn't always like it in there but it works long enough for me to get done. Of course the day I filmed this video he was an angel and hardly interrupted me at all- yay!

My curling iron is pretty hot, which allows me to curl all my hair fast. So on mornings I blow-dry and curl my hair I put a heat protection product on it so keep it from becoming too damaged. Starting from the left front and working towards the back I curl my hair in ringlets. Then I work the right from front to back. This typically takes me about 6 minutes. I don't touch my hair once I'm done, I'll come back to it after I do my makeup and it has time to cool down.

Next I prime my face, put on concealer, foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lip balm. This takes me about 5 minutes. Very last, I ruffle the roots of my hair pretty vigorously- just the roots though. This loosens up the curls for a more natural look. Hairspray and done!

Products used:
Maybelline FitMe Foundation Stick
Maybelline FitMe Matte & Poreless Foundation
Maybelline FitMe Powder
Physician Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls
Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tatoo Eye Shadow
Rimmel ScandalEyes Jumbo Eyeliner
L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

Even with little interruptions from Dean and a call from Aaron I can get this done in about 11-13 minutes. Not only am I ready but I feel good about myself. Confident. Maybe it's just me, but I'm way more productive when I'm feeling confident. Like some bad-ass mommy super hero. It is just me? Haha ok, that's alright in my book.

Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you? Do you do anything special with your little ones to help you get ready in the morning?

This post was originally written four months ago (when Dean was 12 months old) and, while I don't keep him inside the little jumpy-thingy, I still keep this routine

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