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.  Oh my gosh, Noelle is so very cute…and that cupcake onesie is perfect. I cannot imagine how you get anything done during the day with that little bug to snuggle and just enjoy. I am happy to hear your other little baby…Franklin…Is finally feeling better. I was watching an episode of Animal Planet’s Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet the other evening and he operated on a boxer mix that had ingested a mango seed. The owner had no clue how it had happened but it caused a huge issue in the dog’s intestinal tract. He was fine after the surgery but it was a serious problem. Lastly,  you might want to check out for baby clothing. They have  sweet  graphic onesies…including one with a pink topped cupcake.

    1. That’s exactly what happened with Franklin. Stuck in his digestive tract. It was so scary. He lost so much weight since he couldn’t eat. The poor thing.
      Kee-Ka has some cute stuff!

  2. Sally who does she look more like now? The face changes so much the first few months. I can tell she has your eyes. She is very cute.

  3. Love this post, Sally!! Your little cupcake is just as sweet as can be! I would love a post for recommended gifts! I always love when you share your favorites with us, whether they are for baking or life in general. If it’s Sally approved I want it!!

  4. Such cute baby pics, of all the babies!!  My question is on your furniture covers.  Wondering where you got them and how you like them.  Looks like they are a cotton quilted material, do they tie on or secured in some way.  We are looking for some covers for family room sofa and chairs that actually look nice and fit well.  Please share!!

    1. Hi Jan! Great question– they’re actually from Walmart. They’re quilted. Very cozy. We have two on one couch (because one wasn’t long enough for it). They don’t secure down which drives me nuts, but I just rearrange them every night before bed.

  5. She such a cute baby! I never did a strict schedule until around 3mo old… up around 7, morning nap around 10, afternoon nap around 2ish and bed for the night around 8ish… and up however many times nursing (which will vary depending on teething, not feeling good etc etc some days will feel like that is all you do is sit and nurse)
    We got so very lucky a few weeks ago… our blue heeler/beagle mix Loki got sick in his crate.. he usually finds some sort of plastic to eat then throws it up. So when he did it that morning I didn’t think much about it. I took the plastic bottom out to clean it and noticed it wasn’t a piece of plastic. It was a partial corn cob! We never eat that. My neighbor must have thrown it out and an animal brought it to our yard and Loki got it. So glad he was able to get it up and it didn’t get stuck.
    We are frying a turkey, I am going to make some garlic parm roasted brussels sprouts, black eyed peas, rolls, mac n cheese and mashed taters, and mixed veggies. And your deep dish apple pie.. yummy

    1. I’m looking forward to a schedule whenever the time is right!
      And oh my gosh, the same thing with Franklin! Except it got stuck. It was awful. So glad Loki is ok and you didn’t have to go through that.
      Enjoy your whole meal. I love that deeeeep dish apple pie!

  6. She is sooooo stinkin’ cute lol!!!   So very happy for you all. And those eyes!!!  Enjoy every minute. Sure I’d be interested in a round up of “baking it easier”  items so to speak. Can’t wait!  I’m also not hosting Thanksgiving–my sister is. So… not sure what I’m bringing to her house yet. Although I just found a to die for recipe for pumpkin coconut cream cheese bars with a gingerbread crust…..yeeesh!!  I am def making those. The combo sounds interesting and yummish lol.  It promises in the recipe to be the best thing ever. We shall seeeeee. I love all things Thanksgiving.  Have the best holiday filled with love and wonder.  Blessings to you and yours. 

  7. She is adorable!! Oh my gosh- you totally reminded me that when my daughter was first born I wrote everything down too. When I moved last year I found those notebooks. I couldnt believe how sleep deprived I was!! That kind of stuff is so fun to look at later on. I’m so glad your dog is feeling better!! 🙂 We are making your pumpkin pie and salted caramel apple for the fourth year in a row! I also use your cornbread/cranberry apple stuffing recipe. I think this year I am going to try the honey butter rolls. I just made the herb skillet version for dinner for fun and they were sooo good. Super excited about next week! Hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving!!

  8. Noelle is so adorable! I’m so glad to hear you are all doing well.  

    I love the idea of a list of bakitems and gifts! I’m always looking for things and just love the cute gift ideas. Even if it’s only to gift to myself! Please share anything and everything!

    I’m the designated pie baker for thanksgiving and will be baking a total of 3 pies. I’m also going to try your cust recipe, mine that I got from my mother is very similar but is an all shortening crust and has a little baking powder. But I’ve just seen yours and I’d love to try it for myself. Next week at work we’re having a little pie baking contest and I’ve gotta figure out what pie to bake. I want to win!! Suggestions are welcome! 

  9. OMG, she is such a cutie! I’m so happy for you, Sally. As crazy as it is, I have no idea what to make for Thanksgiving! I only have a few things in mid so far…. Turkey (obviously), macaroni&cheese bake, green bean casserole, & LOTS OF PIES :)Ahhh, I have to get on it. Happy Baking!!!

  10. Those eyes! Noelle is adorable! Congrats Sally! Thanks so much for sharing that you struggled as you started motherhood. I did also and felt (and still feel to some extent) that parenthood seems so easy for some and was a rocky start for me (complete with postpartum depression). Keep going! You aren’t alone and are doing a great job. 🙂

    Any plans to write a post about your birth story?
    Blessings on you and your family!

    1. Hey Elisabeth! Yep, I’m in the same boat. A very rocky start where I just felt unsure of myself for weeks. Things are getting so much better.

      We’re going to keep her birth story private, but thank you for the kind comment!

  11. Noelle is adorable, I’m so happy for you that you’re finally settling into a loose routine with everything! I think it would be a great idea to do a post about holiday gifts for bakers and with kitchen gadgets! 

  12. My parents are here visiting and Mom brought 2 cans of pumpkin and ground cloves! I will use your pie crust recipe and make pumpkin pie. I have seen lovely sweet potatoes so we will have those. We cannot make green bean casserole-I didn’t think to ask my mom to bring the mushroom soup and fried onions-so green been almondine it is!  I have not seen a turkey, so I think we will be having roast chicken. We will also have fresh bread from the local boulangerie since the 23rd is not a holiday here! 

  13. Sally, Noelle is just so adorable.  I am glad you are finding your way now. I am not a mom but I can only begin to imagine what learning how to be one is like. You’re doing great!! I’m also not American so my Thanksgiving is done already (whew!) but I wanted to say to @Amy that there are many recipes for the green bean casserole that make the mushroom sauce from scratch and use fried shallots on top that are sensational.  Check out Bon Appetite and Serious Eats (I think).  I finally paid for and attended an amazing macaron class just last weekend. Now I know where I have been going wrong – not beating my meringue long enough, not pregrinding my almond flour with the powdered sugar and sieving first and not beating it all down enough. Once you get a feel for it, they are so fun and creative – not to mention delicious – to make and give as gifts. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!! And yes to a gift list!!! But only if you feel like you have time for it.  You should take time to really enjoy the holiday season en famille this year!

    1. Thanks Ella! And I have to say– gifting macarons is the best. Because no one really makes macarons themselves, so it’s such a special treat to give. I think the more you bake the, the better you become. There really is a craft to making them at home.

  14. Noelle is so sweet! I love the onsie- purple and cupcakes are my fave! You’re doing a great job, Sally! It gets much easier as time (too quickly)  goes by!!!

  15. I tend to be an overachiever and I definitely feel like I’ve taken on too much for Thanksgiving! We are having a Greenberg turkey(if you’ve never heard of them, look into it!), baked beans, pan fried potatoes, , macaroni and cheese, green beans, broccoli cheese casserole, dressing, deviled eggs,  your honey butter rolls, your caramel apple pie, pecan pie, your pumpkin pie, buttermilk pie, your chocolate cake, your banana cake, your chocolate chip cookies, and your peanut butter cookies. Let’s hope the stress doesn’t kill me!!

  16. Oh, your sweet little one is precious. It’s ok, don’t beat yourself up or try to be perfect at this new role that you didn’t get an owner’s manual for! You are doing the best you can, and yes, you will make some mistakes along the way, but both of you will survive them, I’m sure! We all made mistakes and wanted it all to be smooth and perfect and its just not. Lots of love and prayers will help you tremendously. I’m not hosting this year, but will be bringing: sweet potatoes/baked apples casserole, corn pudding, cherry pie, buttermilk pie. I’ll try some of the pie crust techniques on the cherry pie and let you know how it turns out!

    1. I think that was the issue– trying to handle it all, do it all, and be perfect at it all. SO NOT POSSIBLE with a new babe! I wholeheartedly appreciate all your words and advice. Thanks Lisa!

      Have fun baking/cooking!

  17. Oh my goodness, Noelle is the cutest little one EVER!  Such a darling photo.  Glad to hear you are getting into a routine of sorts – you will be helping a lot of new moms with your “write things down” idea.  I did that when my son was born, 27 years ago, and it sure was helpful, or maybe it was just good therapy to focus long enough to write things down!

     Meanwhile, I’d love for you share a list of gift ideas for the cooks and bakers in our lives. I will just have to try hard not to turn it into a wish list for myself!  

    Last, but far from least, SO good to hear that little Franklin is fully recovered.  Such a stressful thing for all concerned, especially at holiday time.

    Enjoy- you have a major amount of things to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving holiday season.

    1. Thanks Debbie! I’m glad I began to write it all down. It truly helped me find a pattern day to day. (And that pattern changes ALL the time, but still! It helped.) 

      I rounded up some baking related items and will share next week!

  18. Yes I would love some gift ideas for my sister as she is an avid baker! Congrats on your baby and I’m glad you are doing well! 🙂

  19. Hubs and I volunteered to make the second turkey for my side of the family. And we always make America’s Test Kitchen’s green bean casserole—SO GOOD. And he makes his grandmother’s pumpkin chiffon pie and I will hopefully have time to also make pecan pie. Then Friday we are hosting “Friendsgiving” but going Italian…from-scratch lasagna and tiramisu. It is tougher (takes more planning!) to round everything up with little ones in the house. Congrats on miss Noelle and good luck with the continual transitions of life with children!

  20. Congratulations! I have a twelve week old, and girl, I hear you. It’s so hard to function through the mental fog of sleep deprivation. It gets better! I look at my two year old and already am lamenting that the baby stage goes by so fast!! Thanksgiving plans include going to my in-laws, but I will be making a pumpkin hazelnut cheesecake that I found in a Cooking Light magazine a few years ago. It’s now a family tradition to make it. Also, thanks for your chocolate cupcake recipe. I made them into little owls for a church fundraiser with oreos and m&m’s and they sold out!

    1. Little owl cupcakes sound too cute!
      Congrats on your 12 week babe! And pumpkin hazelnut cheesecake sounds SO delicious. I need to make pumpkin cheesecake soon. It’s been awhile!

  21. Noelle is beautiful!  Thanks for sharing her picture with us.  I have a baking question–now that vanilla is so expensive, where do you think is a good place to purchase it?

  22. For the in-laws Thanksgiving I’m making Pumpkin chiffon pie, dinner rolls and probably roasted carrots. Get to do our own Thanksgiving at home this year, mashed potatoes with cream cheese.. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls,

  23. Hi Sally! I just pulled out your apple pie crumble pie recipe to add to my shopping list for Thanksgiving! It was such a hit last year it’s been requested again! As are most of your desserts!

    I had to share you’re not alone on the 7 week click. My little guy was 7 weeks before I really felt like I was more than just food to him! It was Easter Sunday and I will never forget how he was crying when everyone was holding him except me – that’s when I knew I brought him comfort. We had our moment and it’s only gotten better from there! The first couple weeks are so hard because you love this little thing but you don’t know them and their personality yet! Just wait – it gets to be so much fun! 

    1. Megan, that is so sweet. Melts my heart about your baby boy. I had a similar experience the other week. She immediately stopped crying when I picked her up. Ahh!!! 🙂

      Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I appreciate it so so so much.

  24. You are SO right about how hard it is to figure out what your baby needs! My first was colicky & often over stimulated. He had reflux & didn’t sleep well. I was exhausted! I read some things & finally realized I was mis-reading cues & needed a better schedule. Once I figured out he was over tired, I worked hard to keep a schedule & watch his cues. It really worked! I’ll never forget how great it felt when he slept all night

    1. The difficult part is that you CAN’T read the cues until you’ve experienced them. So it truly does take time to learn your baby. It’s a learning process for sure.

  25. Awww Noelle is so adorable!!! So happy to hear things are going well. Oh that onesie is also at Walmart so you may wanna check out your local store 

    Yes, I would love a list of baking gift ideas! 

  26. Your baby is so beautiful! Her face is the cutest and those eyes!!!!
    I would love to see a list of gifts! Then I can forward it to my parents as a hint!

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