American Express and Amazon, Saving my LIFE!

Hi friends!  I’m now a little over a month deep in this new life as a mama and it’s mind boggling how much has changed!  My priorities have shifted and it feels like our lives now orbit around this tiny, incredible, sweet little human.  I feel infinitely more vulnerable to all of life’s ups and downs which is both exhilarating and terrifying. My heart now lives permanently attached to this little guy’s happiness and well being- and that alone sometimes nearly takes my breath away!  As you may have read here, we had a rocky start.  Things have improved but I’m still fighting the good fight to heal and have had a few bumps in the process.  Thank you all so very much for all of your sweet comments, kind notes and support!  I read every one of them and if it wasn’t so important for me to use the rare free moment I have for rest I would have responded to each of you with my love and gratitude!  You are all seriously the BEST!

As all parents know, these first months are exhausting!  We recently found ourselves awake at 3:30 am wondering what trick might help our little babe sleep through a particularly fussy phase (upright to help with reflex and out of our bed for a couple of hours so that we could actually get a little deep rest as well).  Within minutes we were on Amazon reading reviews and ordering the mama roo swing, which turned out to be a lifesaver when it arrived two days later!  THANK YOU AMAZON PRIME AND HELLO SLEEEEP!  Repeat this scenario with different needs 20 times and you have our life right now, in a nutshell.  We collected very few baby things in preparation with the reasoning that every baby is different and that they need so little in the beginning anyway.  It’s been wonderful because we don’t have anything that’s not being used- we’re ordering as we go (with free two day shipping it’s yet to be an issue)!  There’s a short list of items that I’d recommend for every baby, and I’m sharing it below.  But first and foremost I recommend signing up for Amazon Prime and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card where new card members earn 10% back on Amazon purchases for the first 6 months.  Given our current ordering rate that’s a big deal!  HELLO SAVINGS!!!!!  They’re making me feel better about our middle of the night desperation purchases and the extra expenses that come with this new addition to the fam!  Click through to see my must-have short list and let me know what saved your life with a newborn- we are open to anything that will help make this sweet phase in life just a little easier.  xx- Sarah

This post was produced in partnership with American Express.  Thank you for your support of this site and our sponsors!

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Apples And Whipped Cream

I’ve been on a single serving dessert kick ever since I snagged this KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer- finding ways to whip up easy, healthy and delicious treats has been a major goal of my pregnancy.  Which is what led me to an apple pie craving, which led me to this apple pie-ish incarnation, which leads me to sharing it with you because keeping it to myself would be practically criminal! 

Now that we’re in the throws of fall I am craving all of the apple everythings- and this little treat hits the nail on the head for me!  Warm, brown buttery cinnamon apples topped with fresh whipped cream, which is a breeze to whip up (HA!) in my mini mixer.   (An aside: why is it that everything mini is so much more fun?!  Case in point:  mini ponies, mini cupcakes, and mini golf!)

My friends, are you into brown butter?  I’m sort of new to it, but since I started making it it’s been a weekly addition.  The carmelly, nutty flavor is just the BEST!  And it’s so easy to make but also makes you feel like legitimate baker genius.  Win- WIN!   Add apples and cinnamon, top with fresh whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a simple treat that tastes far more decadent than it is! 

Seriously, thank you KitchenAid® for giving me an excuse to make small batches of whipped cream.  My pregnancy has been a million times better because of it.  Fresh whipped cream makes everything better, now that I think of it. 

And thank all of you for supporting KitchenAid®, whose partnership made this post possible.  Hope you love!  xx- Sarah

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Mateo Mora – Our Birth Story


Hello my friends, I’m sorry for the long absence!  You’ll understand why I’ve been gone for so long by the end of this, but for now- meet MATEO!  He was born October 17, 2016.  He’s the love of our lives.  Insert ALL OF THE CLICHES ABOUT PARENTHOOD HERE.  All of them.  They apply.  He’s the most darling baby ever, in my completely unbiased opinion.

I don’t know where to begin with his birth story, so I suppose I’ll start with what we had hoped, dreamed and planned for the birth of our son.  We knew from the beginning that we would attempt to have a home birth.  I’d been by my best friend’s side as she delivered her baby a little over two years ago and knew that I wanted a similar experience for our family.  We hired a midwife who we trust implicitly, borrowed a birth pool from a friend, and I started practicing Hypnobabies to prep myself for the experience.  In my preparation for birth I tried to let go of expectations as much as possible- I made peace with the idea that although a home birth was our ideal scenario, I trusted that Mateo would come into this world exactly as he intended.  I accepted the idea that I might have to deliver in a hospital in a variety of ways, depending on how things went.  I never would have imagined though what actually happened, which was close to my worst nightmare and nothing I could have prepared for.

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Roasted Plum Ice Cream


Hello my friends!  The temperatures are dropping here in San Diego and I can feel the seasons shifting, although we’re certain to have at least a few more hot weeks before the year ends.  My neighbor says we’re in the midst of the battle between summer and fall, which I love.  For now I’m basking in the mild weather and thanking my lucky stars for a break in the sweltering.  I’m also squeezing in the last of the summer treats before I dive back into roasting winter squashes and simmering soups for hours over the stove.  I found some pink plums at the market the other day and decided they would be the perfect way to celebrate the change of season, so I roasted them with a nod to fall and then turned them into ice cream as a farewell to summer.  And oh me oh my, I’m so happy I did!  With a richness from roasting, the flavor of the plums is sweet but not overt; delicate but also somehow decadent.  Or maybe it was the dark chocolate and the toasted coconut (which I strongly recommend as a topping) that brought about the decadence.  Either way, this ice cream will not disappoint.  I hope you love!  xx- Sarah


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Friday Links


Happy Friday my friends!  Has this week flown by or is it just me?  It feels like I blink and it’s Friday again.  No real complaints about that except that I’m kind of DESPERATE FOR TIME TO SLOW DOWN!!!!!  I haven’t even barely started prepping for this baby and if time keeps going like this I’m going to wake up one day soon with a baby in my arms and not even a single diaper to put on him.  AHHHHH!!!!!  And if time goes by this quickly before he arrives I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like once he’s here.  Anywhoooooo, that’s where I’m at!  Just blinking and missing entire weeks.  That’s all.    Hope you all have fun plans for the weekend!  Here are a few links to keep you entertained!  xx- Sarah

Let’s start with that hazelnut blackberry cake with mascarpone cream right there, shall we?!

Your cute fix for the day in the form of a baby Corgi!

This basil fig vodka smash sounds like a taste of heaven, doesn’t it?!

I’m loving this etsy shop’s organic baby clothes.  Cannot wait to dress our little guy!

I’m also really looking forward to the day when I can dress myself (non maternity style) again!  Loving this top and these jeans.

Would you ever travel to Antartica?  This makes it look mighty tempting!

Here’s an inspiring list of easy home updates for every budget!  I support these ideas.

I would like to have breakfast here, please.

What do you think of black and white interiors?  I’m not sure I could live it but I kind of love it!

Sneaking veggies into cookies?  I’m into it!!!  These, please.

My Best Cleaning Tips!


Hi friends!  I’ve been asked a lot how I maintain our house with the cream colored rugs/curtains when we have two dogs and a rabbit!  I’m sure that question is going to come along even more often after this baby boy get his legs under him since we have no intention of changing out those pieces, and things are bound to get even more messy.  We shall see how that goes- HA!  Today I’m going to share a few ways that I clean things sparkly, clean and healthy for our family.  There are three basic strategies we have that help us maintain our home and sanity (both Lou and I come a bit undone when the house is a mess, although admittedly I can tolerate a bit more chaos than he can).  Ok fine, I can tolerate a lot more mess but when things are grimy, that’s when I hit my limit and start cleaning like a woman possessed!  Here’s how we manage it:

Cut the Clutter-  This is my number one recommendation for keeping a tidy house because if there are piles of stuff everywhere it doesn’t matter how much time you spend scrubbing, it will feel messy.  Doing a serious edit of your belongings, often, is a wise investment in tidying time, in my opinion!  This includes kitchen cabinets, closets, junk drawers and all other misc storage spaces as well as the usual suspects- counter tops, table tops and coffee tables!  It’s so easy to just stash stuff with the out of sight out of mind idea but when your storage spaces start to become dysfunctional because of the amount of things crammed into them, even a deep cleaning won’t get you the relief you deserve!  So, get to sorting through those drawers and closets you’ve been avoiding, sell or donate what you no longer need/love and feel the freedom you can experience in having less!  I promise you won’t miss the stuff but you’ll love the extra space it leaves behind!

Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum some more!  With a dog who sheds YEAR ROUND LIKE IT’S HER 24 HOUR JOB, I can’t even begin to tell you how important a vacuum is to our routine!  We bring out the big guy for a full house vacuum at least twice a week, and use the little guy for in between cleanings, curtains and all our other above-floor vacuum needs.  We recently upgraded to the Oreck Elevate Conquer Power Team (the upright and handheld) and they’ve been a lifesaver- especially during my pregnancy induced allergy fits!  Both are excellent at rounding up all the dog fur with ease.  The HEPA filtration traps 99.97% of the tiniest particles that we’re itching to get rid of, including mold spores, pollen, dander and dust.  And all of that nastiness is locked up when their SaniSeal System automatically closes upon disposal- which gives me peace of mind.  And thankfully, it’s lightweight, which has been another lifesaver during this pregnancy when hauling around this belly feels like enough work already!  I swear it’s our diligence in regular vacuuming that keeps these rugs around- we wear shoes in the house and with two dogs who can’t be bothered to clean up a single bit after themselves (outrageous, right?!) you would think they’d be a mess.  But year after year they hold up!   I thank our diligent vacuum routine for that one…

Bi-weekly deep cleanings- Inevitably there are spaces that are just plain old neglected in our house on the regular, like the bathroom, because they’re our least favorite to clean and land at the bottom of our priority list.  This is why bi-weekly deep cleanings are critical for us.  We can maintain pretty well with light cleaning for a couple of weeks but then if we don’t commit to a few hours of scrubbing things will get downright unpleasant, quickly.  My strategy for these deep cleaning sessions is to play music, loudly, and tackle it as a family.  There’s something so satisfying about finishing up a deep cleaning and getting to enjoy a sparkly house!  Saturday morning is my favorite time for this project- it opens up the rest of the weekend for enjoying the space exactly as we love it most!

Ok, so those are my strategies for keeping things in order around our house.  Any tips or tricks you have that I should know about?!  I’d love to hear them!!  xx- Sarah

This post was produced in partnership with Oreck.  Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep a roof over our heads!


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