Coffee Break

The great pumpkin pie recipe on

Taking a break from my regularly scheduled recipe posts to say hi!

Let’s catch up. Obviously this has been an extremely chaotic, eventful, and completely blissful fall in this house. Noelle is 5 weeks tomorrow and you all totally warned me: the time flies!

Noelle 10-2017

(by Megan Brodie Photography ♥)

We’re in love with our baby girl, though obviously it’s been a huge adjustment. And even though I now operate on small amounts of broken up sleep and my new definition of “me time” is a 5 minute uninterrupted shower, every single snuggle with our baby girl is worth it. I’m sort of in a fog, both wonderful and overwhelming. One day I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world, then the next day even making coffee feels like a triumph. There’s no question: becoming a mother is extremely difficult in all aspects. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. A lot of women told me this would be hard, but no one warned me it would be this hard.

A couple weeks ago, I felt a degree of guilt admitting that new motherhood is a struggle and not every single second is pure bliss. Noelle has my heart and I love her with my entire core, but I began recognizing that it’s ok to have those feelings. As the weeks go on, I savor every moment that I can but I’m also grateful that we’re beginning to establish a routine of sleep/eat/snuggle/play. Each week is slightly less overwhelming and once we hit the 1 month mark this week, things seemed much more manageable. I’m finally becoming confident in my role as a mother.

My favorite thing to do? Sit in the rocking chair on the porch with Noelle in my arms listening to soft music.

I hope these words strike a chord with any new moms reading. You’re not bad at this, you’re NEW at this. You’re doing the best you can. Read these words over and over again when you feel like you’re failing: you’re not failing, you’re learning.

Franklin fall 2017

This was a tough week for our little family. Our younger pup, Franklin, had to have emergency surgery on Monday. My little buddy had been feeling ill for a few days and after going back and forth to the vet a couple times, they finally found a small object blocking his digestive tract. It was a piece of corn cob. We haven’t eaten corn on the cob in over a year, so an animal must have tracked it into our yard?! He doesn’t stray from our yard and we usually keep a good eye on the dogs when they’re outside. He’s recuperating from the surgery just fine. It breaks my heart, but we’re so thankful we caught the problem before it got even worse. Keep him in your thoughts. Poor little thing has to wear a cone for 2 weeks!

I think Jude secretly enjoyed being the only dog around the house for a couple days while Franklin was at the animal hospital. Jude is obsessed with Noelle and never leaves her side. He cries when she cries, sleeps right next to her, and is very clingy to whoever is holding her. You know, just to make sure she’s safe.

Chocolate turtle cookies on

I’ve been missing the kitchen, so I baked some cookies this week to cheer us all up. Baking is my therapy. Felt so good! Tasted so good! I made another batch of these deeeeeelish chocolate turtle cookies. (That’s actually my 1st recipe from my 1st Sally’s Cookie Palooza back in 2013! This year will be year #5, so get excited– it begins Monday, November 27th.)

Speaking of cookies. I hope you’ve been enjoying all the new recipes in Sally’s Cookie Addiction cookbook! Tell me, what have you made so far?

Slow cooker taco spice turkey chili on

We’re still eating our way through all of the freezer meals I prepped. This past week was slow cooker turkey chili. Want to hear about something our friends bought for us though? Two meals from Chef’d. They sent them to us 2 weeks after Noelle arrived and we were SO excited. I’m in no way affiliated with Chef’d, but let me tell you why we loved this gift so much. Kevin and I don’t have any meal subscription services, but we sincerely appreciated a couple dinners with portioned ingredients on the ready. We had to cook the dinners, which took some time and effort but it was so nice to spend time together in the kitchen. You can buy Chef’d meals on Amazon– always a plus. (Just search “chef’d” on Amazon.) I thought the meals seemed pricey at first but then thought about how much it costs to go out to dinner for us both. Sure, you have to cook the meal yourself but we love to cook anyway! Kevin and I both said this would be the perfect date night for us. Buy a meal, something completely new to us, crack open a bottle of wine, and spend time together cooking and eating. Again, I have zero affiliations with Chef’d. I’m just super pumped about it!! And PS: the spinach enchiladas were incredible. I loved that creamy tomatillo salsa.

Anyone else pumped for season 2 of Stranger Things today?!


Remember pie week from last year? I dubbed the first week of November 2016 “pie week”– I shared new pie recipes the entire week. I already tested, photographed, and wrote the recipes for this year. (I admit it was strange to make Thanksgiving pies back in July!) Pie week begins on Monday, so get your pie dishes ready.

PS: here are a few pretty pie dishes I’ve stumbled across!

And, as always, it’s not the fall season without the great pumpkin pie recipe (pictured at the top of this post!) or an extra fat slice of deep dish apple pie.

Deep dish apple pie on

See you on Monday for PIE WEEK!


  1. Having just become a mom myself in July this so resonates with me. My little guy has my whole heart but my gosh, it’s so hard!! I agree with the one month mark feeling like we crossed a hump but there are still days I wonder if I will ever feel like myself again. That said, I wouldn’t go back, I can’t imagine my life with out his sweet little face 🙂

  2. Ohh becoming a mom is so so hard at times! It’s such an identity shift and such a complete and total upheaval that even though you desparately wanted your little one its definitely an adjustment all around. It gets SO much easier once your baby starts to have a bit more of a routine, for me one of the hardest things to adjust to was feeling like there was no rhyme or reason to my son’s eating and sleeping and it made me feel like I always was “on” so to speak. I really began to feel a bit more like myself when he turned 3 months old and by the time he was 6 months I felt so much more comfortable in my new mom role! Admitting that new motherhood is HARD is so important and doesn’t mean you don’t adore your baby.

  3. What a great picture of your daughter! I love how you said “you aren’t bad at this. You are NEW at this.” I think that is so well put! I’m looking forward to seeing all the pies.

    My husband and I watched the first episode of Stranger Things last night! Our plan is to pace ourselves and watch one episode on Sunday evenings together. Are you going to binge watch them or spread it out too?

  4. Hi Sally! My goodness, could sweet Noelle be any cuter? Love her! As for Jude……he’s just the best big brother ever! Oh I hope Franklin is on the mend-so hard when they are unwell. Just take things one day at a time and enjoy Noelle and be kind to yourself, Sally, you are amazing!

  5. Noelle is precious! And yep, parenting IS hard! My kids are 19 and 14. It’s just different challenges as they get older!

    Love your blog, have made several of your cookies with great results!

  6. Noelle looks so adorable! Those eyes!!! I love the part where you shared how difficult being a parent is. I think a lot of times in the past, people only shared the good parts so we felt so alone when we struggled. My twins are almost 10 now and I still remember how hard it was those first few months, even though, like you said, it’s totally worth it and so rewarding at the same time. 🙂 I miss those days now but every new stage has been even better than the last. 🙂

  7. Hi Sally!
    The best new mom advice I got was from my sister in law who told me that “week 6 is magic” and she was so right. Once my daughter hit 6 weeks she became so much more aware and able and generally more fun. I went from survival mode to enjoying motherhood so much more. That and baby smiles were game changers for me. It is so hard but continues to get better and better and better.

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! I just read this out loud to my husband. We’re almost at 6 weeks! She just started smiling and it melts my heart 🙂

  8. Oooooo I’m reading this again, and I am so excited for cookie palooza! Cookies are my jam! So many different kinds, and they make wonderful gifts! 

  9. Such a beautiful baby girl! I get excited when i see baby girls! after having 3 boys finally had my baby Alana in May. We are at the separation anxiety stage right now when i leave for work/even the room she is fussy, but when i get back she is the most happy baby in the world.. Motherhood can be hard at times, but measure it with all the excited moments and fun you have with that little human being and it’s worth the while. When her first teeth sprouts, the day she starts crawl and then walk oh my.. My heart smile each and every time..

  10. Your little girl is so darn cute!  Good for you being honest about your feelings as a new mom.  It is so hard to conquer all the emotions that come from being a new mom, everything seems foreign your body has changed and your hormones are still going crazy.  Enjoy all those baby snuggles and smells because they go away so quickly, but enjoy each new stage and milestone she hits.  I have 3 kiddos and my youngest baby is 6 months old and I am still amazed at how quickly all the stages pass by!  Don’t ever feel bad about admitting how hard this mom thing is every single mom has been there st some point!!  We all have to stick together and build each other up!

  11. I just love your blog and to be honest the first and only blog I read, and I’m tech savvy.  As the mother of a 18yr son and 17yr daughter, I just LOVE, your “new mom” comment.  I still use it today.  Every step along the way, I’m still NEW.  Today sadly, I’m new at helping my son apply for college.  Thanks to you, last year I was “new” at some different cookie recipes.  You are a wise women, wife and mother.  Thanks for sharing your recipes, your family and photos of your precious daughter.  

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally