Coffee Break

Dana's Bakery macarons

Hi! Today is a fun day! I’m going LIVE on my Facebook page and Instagram account. I haven’t filmed a LIVE baking demo in 3 months, so I’m thrilled to get back in the kitchen with you. On the menu? We’re working on pie crust. Troubleshooting through it all. Making a festive pie crust design like you see below. Fun pie crust designs = November’s Baking Challenge. 🙂

Tune in on my Facebook page and Instagram at 1pm ET. The video will be saved on Facebook if you miss it. Just go to my video section and find it there. See you soon!

Pie crust design with leaves on

7 and 1/2 weeks in with our little miss! Last time I checked in, we chatted about the struggles of motherhood. It’s been a difficult adjustment and I was immensely comforted in the fact that many of you experienced the same. Obviously I’m not jumping for joy that other moms struggle, but I don’t often find that women openly admit the hardships. So thank you– from the bottom of my heart– for being honest and offering advice from your own personal experiences. I appreciate it so much.

Once we hit week 5-6 and Noelle began SMILING, I hit a major turning point. Her genuine reaction to my face!!! Oh my gosh!!! It melts my heart. It was at this point that things began to *click.* It’s no easier, but it feels more manageable. Seeing her reactions to my silly voices, little tickles, and gentle lullabies gives me a sense of reassurance and strengthens my confidence. I AM a good mother. I AM doing this right. We also began establishing *somewhat* of a routine, which is huge for the general sanity of the household. She’s still very young, so we don’t have a rigid routine or anything– but introducing a loose schedule has helped me predict her needs. I know it sounds silly, but even when her needs are SO simple, it’s difficult to comprehend them. Especially when you are a new parent.

You know what helped? I began writing everything down. When she fed, how much she ate or how long she nursed, when she was fussy, when she was alert, when she napped, etc. I just started tracking it all. Such a simple concept. When you’re sleep deprived and recovering from childbirth (surgery!!!), your mind is practically mush. So writing it all down helped me see and understand it all.

Look at this little cupcake!!

Noelle 6 weeks

Her purple cupcake onesie is by Gerber. I bought it a few months ago off of the Gerber website and I can’t seem to find it online anymore. I really want it in the next size. 🙁

Onto another child!


Little Franklin had surgery last month. He found and gobbled up a piece of corn cob he found in the yard (no idea how it got there. We haven’t eaten any in over a year!) and it got stuck in his digestive tract. Last I updated you, he just had the surgery. He had the staples removed last week and is feeling back to normal. Playing with his toys, bones, and barking at the mailman. We can take him on long walks again and there’s NO MORE CONE! Those couple weeks were so rough– his sad puppy eyes wearing the cone! I couldn’t handle it! Thanks for your well wishes for our little guy.

As for Jude? He’s all smiles, as per the usual.


I know I’ve talked about my obsession with Dana’s Bakery macarons before. Dana, the owner, sent me some pink macs to celebrate Noelle (at the top of this post!). Strawberry shortcake flavored, the same flavor we had at our wedding 3 years ago. Dana and I got to talking and I’m going to offer a fun macaron giveaway on Instagram in the beginning of December. Stay tuned for that!

Interested in making macarons at home? I have a French macaron tutorial.

Random question. Would you be interested in a list of suggested holiday gifts/items for the bakers in your life? Or for you? I’ve been thinking about rounding up some baking related favorites for gift giving and such. Things like fun pie plates, oven mitts, adorable aprons, baking gadgets, kitchen decor, etc. Thoughts?

Have you planned out your Thanksgiving menu yet? Tell me everything you’re making. I love seeing/reading others’ holiday menus! I’m off the hook from cooking this year, but you know I’m in charge of dessert. There will be pie. And plenty of it.

Apple pie filling on

Happy baking!


  1. First, I want to babysit, even though I’m three thousand miles away!  Second, I would love baking suggestions for gifts. My daughter wants to start decorating cookies and I’d like to know what to start her out with. Thanks 

  2. I would love to see a list of holiday gifts for bakers! Although I myself might be on the receiving end of said gifts more often than not 😉

    1. Ha! Well maybe you can treat yourself to a baking related gift or two this year 🙂 I’ll share that list on my blog next week!

  3. Noelle is such a cutie. I’m glad everyone is doing well. I don’t have a Thanksgiving menu yet. Since there will only be 4 of us I’m keeping things simple. I would love a list of baking gift ideas. I could pass it on to my husband so he knows what things to get me lol.

    1. Haha! Well I just rounded up a few baking related items I love and will share it on my blog next week after Thanksgiving. 🙂

  4. She’s gorgeous!! I’m glad you’re getting into a routine, it’s definitely a huge adjustment & the days aren’t all flowers & rainbows, but it’s so much fun watching them change & grow, making all the rough days worth it!! My mom is hosting Thanksgiving, I’m taking mashed potatoes, green bean casserole & a dessert of some kind, getting ready to scour your website for ideas! Big yes on the bakers gift idea list!

    1. Thanks Kimberli. A loose schedule has been our saving grace the past week or so. Have fun cooking and baking for Thanksgiving!

  5. I would love a list of gift ideas for bakers! Both my sister and I love your site and cookbooks!

    As for Thanksgiving I am hosting a Friendsgiving that I am making the main and some sides for. I will be making two fritattas as the main dishes since I am a vegetarian. And I am making sautéed carrots for a veggie side and your cheddar biscuits for bread!!! For real Thanksgiving I will be bringing your Tried and True honey butter rolls! Super excited to get back into bread making.

  6. Glad to see things are falling into a routine of sorts for you Sally. Noelle is one gorgeous little cupcake indeed! So glad Franklin is back to his normal self (& Jude is still smiling!).
    I would love some baking related gift ideas. I might be able to tell my mum something other than “I don’t know” when she asks!
    No Thanksgiving plans for me given that I’m an Aussie! Planning on making plenty if cookies for Christmas though! Looking forward to seeing you live again. Take care.

    1. Thanks Judy 🙂 And I already have a little round-up of “baking” related gifts ready to go! I’ll share it on my blog next week.

  7. Your baby girl is beautiful! Glad to hear things are going well! Yes! I would love to say a gift roundup for bakers. I’m always looking to give my husband hints. I made a Thanksgiving Pinterest board and I think all but one recipe are yours. I making your buttermilk biscuits, pumpkin streusel bars, and cornbread stuffing, to start!

  8. I am so glad to hear you are finding your stride with Noelle. Baby smiles and giggles are the best! Just when you think you figure it out she’ll be throwing you a curveball. Happy to hear Franklin is doing better. Can’t wait to watch the Facebook live video, I would love to see a round up of what you would recommend, you can never look at too many gift guides. I think I have my Thanksgiving menu all ready to go, just some small details, like which homemade cranberry sauce to make and how to prep the zucchini, Dessert for us is a vanilla bean cheesecake and brownies for the cheesecake hater/chocolate lover in the family. If I am feeling ambitious I will try to do a pie too! Glad to hear that you will get to enjoy Noelle’s 1st Thanksgiving without the feeling the pressure to cook.

    1. Just my opinion… I think you should go for the well too. 🙂 But if vanilla bean cheesecake is being served– do you even need pie?! That sounds so good!

  9. Your little girl is absolutely adorable!!!! Oh sorry, so are Franklyn and Jude!! Is it social media that puts so much pressure on you young ladies to be perfect?? Our son is 30 and social media wasn’t a huge part of our lives yet. I don’t remember all the pressure to get everything right or else feeling I see in a lot of your posts ( referring to all the young ladies I know ). I wish that people weren’t so hard on each other and would not judge others so harshly. I remember motherhood being fun with much less pressure to be perfect. You are an excellent mother and embrace this time in your life. We will be here to cheer you on momma. (Sorry so lengthy).p.s. You got this!!

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! You’re right– social media and the internet in general puts an insane amount of pressure on men and women these days, especially new moms. It’s challenging. So it’s been very nice to have some real “conversations” with mom readers through my blog!

  10. Hi Sally! I love your blog! Noelle is absolutely beautiful. ❤️ So happy to hear you’re settling into motherhood. It definitely takes some adjusting time. I would love some gift ideas. This Thanksgiving at my house I’m making turkey, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn casserole, mashed rutabaga, crescent rolls, pumpkin pie, cheesecake and chocolate cream pie.

    1. Michele!!! What a menu!!! Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. You’ll deserve lots of sleep and relaxation after preparing all that delicious food.

  11. Noelle is such a little love!! 🙂 Her outfit is too cute! I’m heading to a Friendsgiving this weekend and most likely bringing your apple slab pie! Perfect for a crowd!!

  12. Hi Sally, your baby is such a cutie! So glad to hear things are falling into place for you. Motherhood is hard and balancing it all takes time. I wish someone had told me that when I was struggling as a new mom. My first born turns 27 in a few weeks and she was not a sleeper. Those early months were hard, but we all get through it. Would love a baker’s holiday gift list. For Thanksgiving I am definitely trying your walnut cranberry bread, making a triple layer chocolate chip bday cake for my girl, apple crisp as well as stuffing and butternut squash (we are going to dinner at a relative’s house so those are my contributions (except for the bread-that’s for us!) enjoy your Thanksgiving!

    1. Glad you’re keeping the bread all for yourselves. Smart decision!!
      Thanks for the reassurance on new motherhood. You’re right, we all get through it. And everyday becomes more manageable… and gets better. 🙂 

  13. Aw Noelle is just so beautiful!  And yes yes yes to a bakers gift wish list.  I usually always ask my mom for clothes, but have realized there are many baking items I want that we didn’t get when we got married.  

  14. Hi Sally, you’re doing just fine! It’s absolutely normal to take some time adjusting. Smart idea, writing everything down with Noelle, thereby getting to know her more, being able to draw conclusions.
    We’re not celebrating Thanksgiving here in Germany (sad for us, I know), but I have picked out three recipes I want to try the next days: the cheddar biscuits, a pie of some sort (hello baking challenge!), and my kids want to make the sprinkles slice and bake cookies 🙂 All the best to your little family! Sina

  15. Hi Sally,
    You are a fabulous Mama – it’s new to you, and it’s new to Noelle too, so just relax and enjoy the journey! We love hearing your stories and seeing photos as she grows! Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday – my favorite time of the year for baking and cooking! We always have lots of people coming and going all day. We start with appetizers while the kids watch the Macy’s Parade and I get things going in the kitchen, then it’s Thanksgiving Dinner in the afternoon, and a huge Pie Party Thanksgiving night for friends and family. Jigsaw puzzles and football too. So much fun!

    ​Bacon Cranberry Almond Cheeseball
    Snausages (Caramelized Kielbasa & Onion)
    Fresh Spinach Dip & Fresh Vegetables
    Turkey & Cranberry Pinwheels
    ​Apple Cider (Slow Cooker)

    Apple Cider Turkey Brine
    Herbed Roast Turkey
    Traditional Herbed Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing
    Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans, Apples & Dried Cranberries
    Perfect Mashed Potatoes
    Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
    Marshmallow Swirled Sweet Potato Casserole
    Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyere & Parmesan
    Fresh Green Bean Casserole
    Corn Bread Pudding
    Fresh Cranberry & Raspberry Sauce
    Soft & Fluffy Amish Dinner Rolls
    Home-Churned Fresh Butter (the kiddos make this)

    Classic Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream & Sugared Cranberries
    ​Salted Caramel Apple Pie
    Classic Pecan Pie
    Chocolate & Toffee Pecan Pie
    Fresh Cherry Pie
    French Silk Chocolate Pie
    Thanksgiving Gingerbread Turkey Cookies

      1. Hi Jackie – here’s the link to my recipe for Make Ahead Turkey Gravy. It is so good and really saves so much time on Thanksgiving Day – also pretty darn good for leftovers!

  16. Oh my goodness; Noelle is just the cutest! What a beautiful smile she has!!! I found that 6 weeks was the magic time, where things fell into place, when I didn’t feel as overwhelmed and gained confidence. It’s so smart that you’re writing everything down!! It’s also wonderful that Franklin is better. I can’t imagine how stressful it must’ve been having a newborn and a sick doggie at the same time! And seeing Jude’s smiling face is always such a joy. Yes to the bakers’ list of gifts!!! For Thanksgiving, this is the first year my family is going out. I usually do the whole meal myself and I need a break this year! I’ll be cooking for Christmas, and will be baking a ton of Christmas cookies! 

  17. Noelle is so adorable!!! I’m glad she is doing well and Franklin is too. And Jude still the diva as always. For thanksgiving I’m making your pumpkin pie and Hasselback potatoes. We will also be having corn, turkey, and cornbread.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing! Noelle is beautiful, and love hearing updates about the pups. Oh yes, would love a gift list – that sounds great! Wanted to share that we’ll be making your green bean casserole, pie crust, and pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving. Your recipes are always a treat 🙂

  19. She’s Adorable! I’m going to start my Christmas cookie baking this weekend!! So excited! I’m doing a lot of traditional Italian cookies as well as peanut butter blossoms, Reese’s cookie cups, and snickerdoodles.

  20. Noelle is a cutie pie. I think she could hold a rolling pin because of the way her arms lay.

    Appetizers: Sicilian Aranchini, antipasto
    Dinner: roast turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans Italiano, cranberries, grilled steak for those who prefer
    Dessert: Dutch apple pie, triple layer pumpkin pie, cranberry walnut biscotti, pumpkin walnut biscotti

  21. Oh my goodness! My oldest child is named Noelle too. I had to name my daughter after my favorite holiday! New motherhood is a struggle indeed, but very gratifying. For my most recent child, I used the app Baby Tracker to track nursing side/duration/diaper changes/nap schedule and it helped tremendously!

  22. yes please to the baker’s holiday gift list !!!!!

    i am making a few things from your kitchen 🙂 most importantly, your honeycrisp sangria ! apple crumble pie and your cornbread stuffing — big hit last year.

    Enjoy your baby girl’s first thanksgiving

  23. Yes, yes, yes to the baking gift list! And please include the link to Milk & Honey’s adorable engraved silverware! I will just email the link to your list to my hubby for easy shopping. 🙂
    My whole family is going out of town for Thanksgiving, so I’ve tried to prep as much as I can in advance. I have all kinds of cookies, muffins, salted caramel apple pie bars, etc in the freezer. All I have to prep on the day of is the green bean casserole!

    1. I rounded up some favorites and will share the list next week– milk & honey is included of course!

      Look at you for getting ahead on cooking/baking. So smart!

  24. I’d love to see holiday cooking gift ideas! This is my first time ever making Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m doing a turkey, PA Dutch filling, dried sweet corn, cranberry wobbler, apple prune dressing, crockpot sweet potato casserole, shoo fly pie, and apple pie. Still trying to figure out a green veggie and bread to make!

      1. Cool thanks, I’m pinning it now!! Sounds delicious. Coincidentally, I have an regular no-knead bread in the oven as I write this.

  25. OMG I want to steal her. Okay not really but OMG. She is perfection. Harrisburg isn’t that far away, call me if you need a baby sitter girl!!! <3

  26. Noelle is a CUTIE!!! Excellent choice with the cupcake onesie. It suits her perfectly. I would absolute love to see a gift guide of baking items. I look forward to seeing what you love/recommend 🙂

  27. Sally-your sweet little Noelle is soooo adorable…So glad you are settling into your new routine…motherhood is challenging, beautiful, and forever changing ❤️ Also glad to hear Mr. Franklin is doing well…
    Can’t wait for your LIVE today…and yes! Very interested in the list of bakers’ gift goodies! 

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