My Daily Routine with June Belle

It’s been a little over a month since I left my job and started my life as a stay at home mom and we’ve gotten ourselves into a little daily routine. When I first came home, I was obsessing over getting her on a strict nap schedule but it just didn’t work for us. She started to wake more in the middle of the night and so I decided to relax a little about specific nap times and it’s going pretty well. Remember though, that every baby is different so you’ve got to find what works for you. Some babies are sleepers and some aren’t. Now of course there are some exceptions to our days together because we love to meet up with friends or go to the park or zoo so that disrupts our routine. But for the most part, this is what a day in the life of us looks like.

Around 7A - June Belle wakes up for the day. I nurse her and then feed her some oatmeal or rice cereal.

7:30A - I make myself some breakfast and coffee (that usually gets cold). JB goes into her exersaucer or if I’m feeling bold, I leave her on her blanket where we play all day in the living room and peek in on her every 10 seconds while I make my breakfast because she’s wild and is crawling all over the place. I prefer to put her in the exersaucer. I’m usually super hungry at this point from nursing and my go-to breakfast right now is oatmeal with fresh strawberries and a little brown sugar.

June Belle will play on her blanket while I sit beside her and guard her from crawling to the fireplace or the hardwood floors. I shovel in bites in between picking her up and moving her back to where her toys are. But she’d rather play with the wipes package.

IMG_0087.jpg

We play after breakfast until she starts to get sleepy again. Sometimes she’s ready to go down as soon as an hour after waking up.

8:30A - She goes down for a nap. She usually sleeps at least 2 hours so this is when I get to work on my business and catch up on emails. I reheat the cup of coffee I made at 7:30 and enjoy the quiet house. But usually about 20 minutes into her nap I miss her and wish she’d just wake up already! This naptime is also when I get showered and dressed for the day.

IMG_9561.jpg

10:30A - JB wakes up. I nurse her and get her dressed for the day. We play or go for a walk - if it’s not a million degrees outside. I sneak in little chores like making the bed or throwing in some laundry when she doesn’t need me.

Her afternoon nap varies in time based on when she woke up from her morning nap. I put her down when she starts showing signs of being tired. I know she’s ready for bed when she starts rubbing her eyes or staring. If she doesn’t get overtired, I can usually put her down in her crib and walk away while she’s still awake and she falls asleep on her own.

12:30P - I eat lunch and try to get some more work done during her afternoon nap which is usually around 1.5 hours.

2P - JB wakes up and I usually feed her something like sweet potatoes or her favorite banana/blueberry pouch. This is when we’ll run quick errands like to the grocery or to Target. We both love an afternoon Target run.

IMG_0340.jpg

Around 4P - JB will take a short nap and I start to prep for dinner. Or, if I was able to get something in the crockpot, I’ll usually pick up the house and do a little cleaning. Or maybe I’ll sit down on the couch and watch tv and not even feel bad about it.

5P - JB wakes up and I nurse her. We play a little and then I finish making dinner.

6P - Tim gets home. We eat dinner - JB will have some kind of vegetable puree mixed with rice cereal.

IMG_0368.jpg

After dinner, Tim always loves to play with her while I clean up the dishes. Then we’ll give her a bath before bed.

8P - JB typically goes down for the night. Tim takes care of the bedtime routine after I’ve nursed her a little.

IMG_0455 2.jpg

Once she’s down, I usually finish any chores that I didn’t get to during the day if I’m feeling up to it. Or I put them off until the next day because I’m grown and one of the perks of being an adult is putting off chores until the next day.

JB will usually wake up twice in the middle of the night - at midnight and at 4A. I give her a little bit of milk and then put her back down.

And that’s what we do on the days when we stay home! The days when we’re out and about, she’ll usually catch a nap in her stroller or in the car. I’ve driven around while I played her lullaby songs so many times that the cd is starting to skip. This doesn’t seem to affect her nighttime sleep but she does tend to be a little more fussy in the evening if she doesn’t get at least one good nap during the day.






















The Best Sugar Cookies

I've always loved baking cutout sugar cookies. I love rolling out the dough and piping on the icing.  And while I've mastered the actual cookie part, I had yet to figure out the perfect consistency for the icing. I had never been able to get it perfectly smooth and they never would dry properly. But this weekend, it happened. I figured it out thanks to Sally's Baking Addiction.

ACS_0016.JPG

She had a very helpful video listed in her recipe that helped me to see the consistency that the royal icing needed to be and that was the gamechanger for me. The best part is that with this recipe, you don't have to make two versions of icing - a thick one for outlining and a thinner one for filling in. This is the perfect texture for outlining and filling in. 

ACS_0019.JPG

Her recipe doesn't call for it, but I added a dash of clear almond extract because I'm obsessed with almond extract and it's also in the cookie itself. The cookie recipe that I absolutely love is from Bake at 350. And don't forget about the Fancy Sprinkles. They're v important.

ACS_0018.JPG

Now that I've got the icing figured out, I have decided to dedicate my life to proper piping technique and making pretty cookies all of the time. Because I've got plenty of time for that, right? 

XOXO,

Di

Thanksgiving Recap - Hosting on a budget

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love hosting people in my home. I may not have a big formal dining room or table settings for 18, but I do have a folding table, mismatched chairs and cute paper dessert plates that I picked up at TJMaxx. You don't have to be fancy to pull off a pretty Thanksgiving! So today on the blog, I'm gonna get real with y'all and give you the 'story beyond the instagrams', if you will.

IMG_2907.JPG

I spent $20 on some greenery from Trader Joe's and I probably could have gotten away with less. I had a ton leftover! (Not pictured: red and green solo cups).

IMG_2941.JPG
IMG_2940.JPG

I took all of the little pumpkins I had leftover from October and used them as place cards or actually, place pumpkins. I bought paper napkins and copper plasticware from Target.

IMG_2908.JPG

The moral of the story, you don't have to have the best of things to make the best memories. I love to get creative and make things pretty but I have no doubt that Thanksgiving day would have been just as good without the extra $40 I spent on a few things for the table.

XOXO,

Di

 

Fun bonfire tips for your next fall gathering

I'd like to start out by apologizing for the photography you're about to see. I took my own photos with my iPhone and I'm ashamed but I wanted to show you some things I did for a casual hangout at my house this past weekend.

IMG_2592.JPG

We had some friends over for dinner and a bonfire last Friday and I think it's important for me to call out that we survived Tim's giant, 7 foot tall, bonfire that was fueled by my anxiety and gasoline. He had a rather large woodpile in our backyard (aka the tree he chopped down from the front yard) and I think I was in denial that he'd ever burn it. But he did. And I had to apologize to all of my friends after the fire died out because I may have overreacted a bit (or just reacted normally) but the jury is still out on that. All I know is I shouted things like "make it stop!" and "get the hose!" and I had my kitchen fire extinguisher in hand - as if it would be able to battle the fire. But in true Tim fashion, he knew it would be fine and it was. And now I have the trauma of the whole scenario to discuss with my counselor next week. Anyway, I digress.

What we served for dinner:

We made two different types of chili - white chicken chili and also a vegan option where Tim basically replaced the beef in his normal recipe with things like zucchini and carrots. It was delish. I would give you guys the recipe but I have no idea what it is. Tim just throws things in a pot when he makes chili and it's amazing. I will however share my go-to white chicken chili because there's an actual recipe for that. Y'all, it is so. good. You must try it.

We also had a little baked potato bar and it was my favorite part. It's a super cheap and easy way to feed your friends. And who doesn't love cheese and bacon on a potato?

IMG_2593.JPG

I found those cute little gold buckets and the letter stickers at target and I lined them with parchment paper before I filled them with the good stuff. Except onions. I hate onions. But I know people who like them so I had to make them a bucket full of chives.

I scrubbed the potatoes, poked some holes in them with a fork, rubbed olive oil all over them and salted them. Then I wrapped them in tin foil and baked them on a sheet pan for a little over an hour on 400 degrees. 

The Smores situation:

Because I knew that my nerves wouldn't allow me to get within 30 feet of the mega-fire, we also lit a proper fire in the fire pit. So while the men were shouting and pouring gasoline on the monster bonfire, my gals and I sat around the lovely lady fire. There were smores so the men joined us eventually.

IMG_2591.JPG

Have you tried a smore with a Reese cup? A friend of mine told me about this magic so I had to try it out. It was definitely next level. Also, pro-tip, whenever serving smores, be sure to have some wet naps on hand. Your guests will love you for it.

What are your favorite tips for a fall gathering?

XO,

Di

My latest obsession, burrata toast

In August, my best friend Danielle and I went to the beach to celebrate her birthday and I'm still sad it's over. Our favorite 30A restaurant is Caliza, so that's where we went for her birthday dinner. It's the most incredible poolside restaurant and every single detail is absolutely gorgeous. I wish you could tell from this adorable selfie of Danielle and I, but you can't. 

IMG_2524.JPG

Anyway, while we were there, we ordered the burrata toast with tomato jam and from that moment on, it was love. What is burrata you ask? It's a soft, fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a texture like ricotta and it tastes like heaven. So when I got home, I tried to recreate it. And while I don't have an amazing poolside table to sit at with incredible chandeliers and a waitress with the most beautiful European accent, I did find some burrata cheese at Costco and I have a pretty cute dining room with a handsome husband to pour my Pellegrino. And I must say, my homemade version was pretty darn good.

Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

It's just three ingredients, burrata cheese, tomato pesto and a delicious crusty bread of your choice. I lightly toast the bread, spread on a thin coat of tomato pesto and then add as much burrata as you like on top. I also like to sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper. It's simple as that!

Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

So next time you're having your girlfriends over, whip this up in just a few minutes and be prepared to wow them. 

Happy Monday!

XO, 

Di