The Middle of the Night

I’m toying with the idea of going back to the old-school-style blog post every now and again, from waaaaay back in the day when I was on Blogger, just sharing thoughts…

I’m toying with the idea of going back to the old-school-style blog post every now and again, from waaaaay back in the day when I was on Blogger, just sharing thoughts as I had them. No photos, nothing fancy, just dispatches from my life or my brain whenever they come along. This one came in the middle of the night a couple of weeks back, and I wanted the thoughts to be recorded somewhere before they escaped. If you like the idea or just the post, shoot me a comment and let me know. xoxo

Sometimes it seems like a good idea to write in the middle of the night. When nobody else is awake, not. even the little newborn girl who’s nursing in my arms. When it’s quiet and my mind is both blurry and entirely clear, when I can hear myself think without the sounds of doorbells or toy car crashes or washing machines.

Sometimes in the middle of the night the words come easier. They fly out of me while my thumbs tap tap tap them out on my phone with the brightness turned all the way down so I don’t wake her. In the day I search for them endlessly, with feelings caught inside that are begging to be let out but are shy about being found during the light of day. During the night can finally say what I mean to say, which right now is this: Babies don’t keep.

I can feel it already, these sweet days slipping away. Every day my toddler strings more words together. Now he walks into dark rooms by himself. Now he wants to put on his own shoes. Now he pulls his own chair up to the kitchen counter to help me wash dishes, and slides them over to me one by one. Tomorrow he will be in college.

My newborn is barely a newborn any more, and looks at me with wide eyes and bright smiles like she already knows the world. How do you grow three inches in 10 weeks, little one? And I appreciate you sleeping at night but just sometimes, if you needed me to hold you a little extra, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

Stop, time.

In the night, when it’s quiet and the only motion in the house is me in the rocking chair with Maggie in my arms, every middle-of-the-night moment is worth it. Worth the bags under my eyes, the bone-tired days, the running to catch up with life. And even though my eyes almost won’t stay open I will them to do just that, to stay awake long enough to snatch another moment holding my girl or hearing my boy laugh in his sleep in the next room. These moments. These moments make us. They fill a heart enough to keep it going, swirl around our house and make it home, duck in and out of our days and make us family. xoxo

Pink Christmas Tree

Be Merry

Signing off, friends. It’s cold and quiet and peaceful and I’m always so grateful for this time to slow down and just be with my family. It’s our first Christmas…

Pink Christmas Tree

Signing off, friends. It’s cold and quiet and peaceful and I’m always so grateful for this time to slow down and just be with my family. It’s our first Christmas as a family of four and I’m fully convinced there’s no way I could be more blessed.

Thank you so, so much for a gorgeous year. You all are what makes it so lovely in here, and I can’t wait to see you at the start of 2017 for some new adventures and ideas. For now, though, I’m hoping you are able to take some time to be with the people that you love and just enjoy the spirit of the season. No matter what you celebrate, I hope that it’s beautiful. Be merry. xoxo

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles

Guess who’s back!  The Goodie2Spoons girls have been dreaming and scheming this gorgeous little recipe for months now and we’re all so excited to finally share it! These sparkly champagne truffles are the…

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Guess who’s back!  The Goodie2Spoons girls have been dreaming and scheming this gorgeous little recipe for months now and we’re all so excited to finally share it! These sparkly champagne truffles are the exact perfect thing to try if you’re in a festive spirit with Christmas and New Year’s Eve on the way. And yes, the glitter is edible. 😉

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 1 hour (or up to overnight)
Yield: 12 truffles

  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup champagne
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Sugar and/or sprinkles for decorating (we used lots of Disco Dust!)

Add chocolate chips and heavy cream to a double boiler, and stir until just melted. While the chocolate and heavy cream are melting, warm champagne in a small pot on the stove until it just starts to simmer, then remove from heat. When the chocolate has melted, add the champagne and stir until completely combined. Transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for at least an hour – we prefer to let the mixture freeze overnight.

Once the chocolate is firm, use a small cookie scoop to get about 1 oz portions. Using your hands, form the chocolate into small truffle balls. Immediately roll the truffles into decorative sugar, or drizzle with chocolate! We put these in small paper cups to set, and prefer to store them in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat.

Note: If the chocolate gets too soft while making the truffles, you can put it back in the freezer. The colder the chocolate, the easier it is to work with.

Voila! Think you’ll try these? I just couldn’t get enough of the twinkles while we were photographing these little babies! And the best part? They taste divine. Go check out Goodie2Spoons and follow along on Instagram to see what else they’re making for the holidays! xoxo

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Champagne Truffles with Edible Sparkles Recipe

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

DIY Elf Christmas Cookies

As we prepare to head out for the holidays, I’m sharing one final best-of-Lovely Indeed post! These Elf Quote Christmas Cookies were maybe one of our most popular posts ever, and…

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

As we prepare to head out for the holidays, I’m sharing one final best-of-Lovely Indeed post! These Elf Quote Christmas Cookies were maybe one of our most popular posts ever, and I was so pumped to see that you all loved them as much as I did! They were a total ball to make and I remember having fits of laughter with Ryan as we were deciding which quotes to use from Elf. I mean, there are just too many to choose from, right?! I still can’t pick a favorite. But in case you need one more baking idea, you can get the recipe and how-to for these fun cookies here. Happy baking! xoxo

MAKE OUR ELF QUOTE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

Elf Quote Christmas Cookies

Sugared Cranberries

Happy Friday + Just for Fun

This Christmas I’ve been getting lots of joy from doing projects just for fun, and not actually to share on the blog. I know, it seems a little backwards because…

Sugared Cranberries

This Christmas I’ve been getting lots of joy from doing projects just for fun, and not actually to share on the blog. I know, it seems a little backwards because that’s what I’m here to do right!? But sometimes it’s just really fulfilling to make or bake or decorate something for the pure joy of it and not have to stop in the middle to document every moment.

There were these lovely sugared cranberries (inspired by this recipe), which Henry and I have been happily chomping on all week. And there was one evening after the kids were in bed where I popped a bottle of sparkling rosé and got tipsy while decorating my very own gingerbread house. For the record, you can actually see where I started my second glass of bubbles, because the rows of candy shingles on the roof get all crooked. Ha! I’ll share it on Instagram soon. Anyway, here’s wishing you a beautiful weekend filled of things you want to to just for the joy of it. Merry merry! xoxo

Color Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a Stick

DIY Color-Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Been waiting to share this one with you! It’s a project that we put together for Swooned, and I just love how it turned out! Not to mention the fact…

Color Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Color Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a StickBeen waiting to share this one with you! It’s a project that we put together for Swooned, and I just love how it turned out! Not to mention the fact that a cup of white hot chocolate is duh-licious. Like, seriously over the top good. The fun paint-splattered look on these white chocolate sticks is a cool alternative to your usual chocolate-on-a-stick-situation. And you can make ’em any colors you like!

Head over to Swooned to see the full tutorial and make these babies yourself. xoxo

Color Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Color Splattered White Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Eight Simple DIY Gifts

8 Simple DIY Gifts

Be done with shopping already! If you’ve still got a couple of people on your list, it’s time to get your DIY on. We rounded up eight simple but totally…

Be done with shopping already! If you’ve still got a couple of people on your list, it’s time to get your DIY on. We rounded up eight simple but totally fantastic DIY gifts, with a little something for everyone on your list. So tonight, turn on White Christmas, pour yourself a glass of something sparkly, and start making. xoxo

Eight Simple DIY Gifts

For your Mom // Bead and Stone Necklaces
For the Teacher // Lemon Printed Tote Bag
For a Kiddo // Smiley Toy Crates
For the Cook // No-Sew Apron
For a New Mama // Beaded Pacifier Clip
For the Apartment Dweller // Concrete Mini-Planters
For your BFF // Rhinestone Flats
For your Dude // Copper Candelabra

Mom and Baby

Things Not to Be Scared of for the First Time Mom

I don’t necessarily think I’ve earned my OG-Mom badge yet, but I’m also happy to say that this is no longer my first rodeo! Being a second time mom is…

Mom and Baby

I don’t necessarily think I’ve earned my OG-Mom badge yet, but I’m also happy to say that this is no longer my first rodeo! Being a second time mom is surreal, because you’ve been here before but it’s still all new again. But the beauty of the second time is that you’re way less scared. The little things that freaked you out the first time seem like child’s play, and you just feel more confident. I’m so thankful for that confidence, because momming is scary enough in and of itself. So! For you first time moms, here are a few things that you can take off your list of scary things.

Breaking the Baby With Hanky, I didn’t know how to hold the poor kid. He seemed so tiny and fragile and I was so uncomfortable handling him for the first few weeks. After he got a little more sturdy I felt so much more comfortable, like I wouldn’t break him if I held him wrong. But when Maggie came along, I realized that babies are much resilient and strong than we give them credit for. (Just watch the nurses in the hospital while they’re tossing your kid around like a softball if you need reassuring.)

The Belly Button Ah, the belly button stump. So weird. So gross. So in-the-way for the first week or two. Don’t be scared of it. It’ll either be there or not. Maybe it gets knocked around a little bit, but the kid will be fine. Keep an eye on it for signs of infection, keep it dry, and you’re good. Side note: when Hank lost his we didn’t know where it went and it showed up in one of my socks a week later. NOT OKAY.

Spitup My kids are spitters,  y’all. It’s unfortunate but true. Hank was a little dribbler and Maggie just barfs all over me all the time. I do laundry more often than I care to mention. But initially with Baby #1, I was so freaked any time he would spit up. I thought it meant that something was dramatically wrong and that my baby was broken. But guys, babies just spit up. Their little bodies don’t always have it together to keep food down and so it just… comes back up. Early on I learned the term “happy spitter” — a baby who spits up or vomits with no apparent discomfort or anguish. That’s my kids. Obviously if your little one seems to be in pain associated with the spitting, that’s a different story. But 9 times out of 10, it’s normal. Just ask your doctor.

Nighttime After Henry’s first night at home, I was convinced we had made a horrible mistake. It was torturous. Crying for hours, nursing nonstop, and approximately zero sleep. For every night after that for about 6 weeks I would dread what was coming. I hated the nighttimes because I was so worried I couldn’t help him or give him what he wanted, especially when I was so sleep deprived. But as the nights got better and better, a switch flipped and suddenly I looked forward to those quiet moments in the middle of the night, with just me and him. I have the clearest memories of walking him back and forth in our bedroom, getting him back to sleep, feeling his little breath on my neck. With Maggie, the nighttimes are equally hard but this time I’m relaxed enough about it to know it will soon pass, and that I just want to use the time to be near that sweet little baby.

Letting the Kid Cry I know, the sound of your baby crying is simultaneously like nails on a chalkboard and a knife in your heart. But sometimes, dang it, you just need to take a shower. Or go pee. Or, I dunno, eat a bite of food without a baby in your arms. So if the kid is fed, clothed, clean, and safe, don’t be afraid to let him cry for a couple of minutes.

Spoiling Your Baby On the other hand, if you want to snuggle that kid, snuggle away. We have done sleep training with both kiddos, and in that world there’s a lot of talk about not letting a baby get used to being held or rocked to sleep. And I understand that. But sometimes a baby needs to be held or rocked or snuggled, especially in the early weeks and months. I was afraid with Hank if we held him too much he’d always need us to hold him to get him to sleep, but no such thing happened. In fact, he was falling asleep by himself and sleeping for 12 hours at night by 3 months old. So with Maggie, I’ve let go of that fear and we just enjoy these days when she still needs some extra holding. Because those days are gone so fast. It’s all I can do to keep Hank still for 10 seconds to give me a hug these days!

All in all mamas, there are so many things that you could worry about or be scared of, but the bottom line is that you’re gonna be just fine. If you’re a mom I would LOVE to know some of the things that totally freaked you out when you brought home your babies! Or if you’re a mom-to-be, what are you scared of? xoxo

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

DIY Custom Cover for Annual Photo Book

It’s that time again! I’ve been sorting through all of our zillions of photos from the year to compile into an annual family photo book. I love this tradition, and to…

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

It’s that time again! I’ve been sorting through all of our zillions of photos from the year to compile into an annual family photo book. I love this tradition, and to me it’s totally worth all of the work of organizing all of those photos. Looking back at our family photo books is always such a treat, especially now that Hank likes to look at them with us. And this year, after we had ours printed I decided to add a little custom DIY to the mix, because you know I can’t leave well enough alone. 😉

I came across the premium photo books from Mpix this year and really fell in love with the covers — they’re linen and they come in a bunch of colors, including my current favorite shade of aqua. So I got to work on their site and once I got the hang of the book editor it all came together in about 90 minutes. Seriously! You can customize every page if you like with different layouts, text, and all that jazz. I did a custom layout for every page and it still went super fast. I made myself a rule a few years back when I started putting together these albums, and it’s this: Don’t Agonize. You could spend days and days agonizing over every choice, but then you’ll most likely toss your hands up and forget the whole project. So I gathered all of my photos, uploaded them to the site, and popped them into the layouts. Mpix does the rest, and their printing makes it all look so beautiful. I especially love using full-frame layouts where the images go right up to the edges of the page — I think it looks so fun! And if you’re into the DIY cover, here’s the how-to.

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

Step 1: Download our printable 2016 template. If you have a cutting machine, upload the file to your machine’s software and cut out the design from the vinyl. If not, print and cut the design and trace it onto the back of the vinyl. Use the craft knife to cut out the design, leaving the rectangle outline and the numbers on the vinyl backing and pulling away the excess vinyl. Either way, be sure to reverse the image so that it’s correct when you iron it on.

Step 2: Place the design with the backing down on the front of your linen photo book. Be sure to center it. Smooth the design in place.

Step 3: With a hot iron, press firmly onto the clear backing of the vinyl. Press and hold for about 15 seconds in each area, being sure that it all adheres to the linen.

Step 4: Carefully pull away the clear backing; the gold design should remain affixed to the book.

That’s it! I love the gold against the aqua color of the book. And I love how the linen cover feels in your hands. Just a little something to make the book extra special! This one will be going on the shelf right next to our previous years — that is, after Henry finishes looking at it for the 37th time. (Have I mentioned that kid loves pictures?) xoxo

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

Custom Cover for an Annual Photo Book

This post is sponsored by Mpix. All ideas and opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeño Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Who’s having people over for the holidays?! We’ve had lots of peeps coming and going from our house with the new little one and the holiday season. I was messing…

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Who’s having people over for the holidays?! We’ve had lots of peeps coming and going from our house with the new little one and the holiday season. I was messing around in the kitchen recently and came up with this fun appetizer snack that I love having around when people are stopping by. It’s kind of a deconstructed jalopeño popper on a cute little crostini. So good! And for the folks who need an extra compliment to something spicy, I’ve been making these refreshing spiced milk shots to go with the crostini, because, after all, #FoodLovesMilk.

Ingredients

  • milk
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • thin baguette bread
  • olive oil
  • jalapeños
  • cream cheese
  • shredded cheese (we used a mix of cheddar and monterey jack, but you can choose your fave!)
  • pancetta
  • fried onion strings (substitute bread crumbs if you like!)

Make Time: 20 Minutes

Jalapeño Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Start by dicing and pan frying your pancetta until you have small, crispy pieces. Set aside to cool.

Prep your jalapeños. Slice off the stem, cut them in half, and scoop out all the seeds. Place them skin-side-up on a cookie sheet and broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until the skins start to blister and turn black.

Slice your baguette into 1/2″. Mist or brush on a light layer of olive oil on each piece. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the tops of the slices become slightly crisp and begin to brown.

Leaving the bread on a cookie sheet, spread a layer of cream cheese on each slice of bread. On top of that, stack a piece of jalapeño, topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a few pieces of pancetta, and some onion strings or bread crumbs. Place the pan under the broiler for a quick burst (you may only need about 30 seconds), just until the shredded cheese melts. Remove and set aside.

While your crostini is cooling just a bit, mix up some spiced milk shots! Fill a rocks glass half full with cold milk; add a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. Whisk quickly with a fork. If you’re feeling fancy, whip up a batch ahead of time and pour it from a bottle just for fun.

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Serve your guests a few crostini with a milk shot and enjoy! The milk is a perfect chaser for the slight spice of the jalapeño, and the added spices in the milk are a subtle nod to the holidays that’s just right (although I’d serve this all year!). It’s a little unexpected but a totally fun combination, and a great way to get some milk in your day. Have fun! xoxo

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

Jalapeno Popper Crostini with Spiced Milk Shots

This post is sponsored by got milk?. All ideas and opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking! 
Advertisement

Two month old baby girl

Maggie // Two Months

Sweet Marguerite is two big months old! I’m sure I sound like a broken record but I can’t believe how time flies. And, it seems, time flies even faster with…

Two month old baby girl

Sweet Marguerite is two big months old! I’m sure I sound like a broken record but I can’t believe how time flies. And, it seems, time flies even faster with a second baby. We are deep into life over here, passing milestones like crazy between our two little nuggets and trying our best to sit in every moment and enjoy it before it passes. Maggie is just a little doll and she wanted to swing by and tell you what’s what with her these days.

She’s an observer. She’ll sit quietly and watch people/toys/fans/whatever is in front of her forever. Until you get in front of her and encourage her to talk and then she’ll give you an earful of cooing and ahhhh’s and she’ll smile for you as long as you like. I’m wondering if she’ll stay like that, because that’s kind of how I am — an introverted extrovert who just needs a little coaxing. She’s on a rockstar schedule during the day, eating every 3 hours and napping in between. At night we’re still… working out the kinks. 😉 She goes to sleep at 8 and  wakes around 3 am and 6 am to eat. Which I guess could be a lot worse! She isn’t the best of friends with her carseat and just doesn’t understand why she has to be strapped in there. Until she falls asleep, then she’ll sleep in it for a good 2 hours. She loves it when Daddy whistles, and when Mama blows raspberries. Bath time is like her own personal little spa day. She’s super into it. And that, friends, is our Maggie. xoxo

P.S. Maggie at one month! And Henry at two months!