Coffee Break

It’s been 3 months since we last caught up! I didn’t even realize that much time had passed until I began writing this post. Between work, baby, and trying to be a regular human being with real life relationships, time is flying!

My Girl

Let’s begin with the most important: Noelle. Our sweet girl will be 10 months on July 23rd. She’s crawling and pulling herself into the standing position. Watching her discover this world is truly amazing. She’s saying mama and dada!! Right now I think “mama” and “dada” are just noises and she doesn’t say either with intention… but maybe she does? She surprises me everyday, so who knows!

Noelle’s a little water baby– loving bath time and splashing in the baby pool. We love her little individual baby pool with the removable shade. (Super inexpensive, awesome purchase!) She claps when I say “YAY!” and waves hello + bye-bye. She loves the dogs and has the brightest smile whenever they walk into a room. She’s just the happiest baby with the biggest personality! She’s extremely vocal and always giggling. I’ll leave the room for a quick minute and she’ll be laughing by herself in her playpen area. Or she’ll wake up from a nap and begin giggling in her crib. I love our silly girl!!! She melts my heart every time she smiles or reaches her little arms out for me. She’s a great sleeper, always has been, and loves story time. If you’re in the market for baby books, these are our 3 most-loved books:

Do you know the blog Your Cup of Cake? My friend Lizzy runs it. She launched a line of handmade baby/toddler bows, both clips and headbands. She sent me a few as a gift and I love them. It’s hard to see, but Noelle’s wearing one in these photos. Not only are the bows adorable, they (1) STAY ON NOELLE’S HEAD and (2) are comfortable! All the other bows we have slide off her head or simply don’t stretch. Lizzy’s bows are super stretchy, so I can see them fitting for awhile.

Order Lizzy’s beautiful bows here! Or you can purchase through her Instagram or email her at [email protected] 🙂

Mom Life

I LOVE being a mom. The past 9.5 months weren’t easy, but they’ve been magic.

I’ve talked about my struggle adjusting to motherhood a few times before. I’m unsure if it was normal new mom stress or a form of postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety. There’s no need to label it, but I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will bring comfort and support to other new mothers. (This is very serious and sensitive for most, so if you are inspired to approach this subject in the comment section, I ask that you do so with an open mind and with care. I never saw a doctor and while it’s best to speak to a professional or join a support group if you feel you may be experiencing PPD, I didn’t realize what I was experiencing in the moment.) I was ashamed that I didn’t immediately connect with my baby and felt inferior to mothers around me. I didn’t know what I was doing and as I watched my incredible husband approach fatherhood so seamlessly, I felt like a terrible, selfish, and heartless mother. My baby lived inside me, I birthed and nurse her, I love her so much, but why don’t I feel a connection yet? I was overwhelmed, plagued with guilt, tired, confused, and felt isolated and scared.

The connection came with time. And while I’ll always have the mom guilt, the nervous, overwhelmed, and inadequate feelings and fear have slowly faded. 9.5 months into motherhood doesn’t make me an expert, but I’m confident in the way I mother my baby. And I couldn’t really develop this confidence unless I experienced and worked through the first few difficult months of learning how to be a mother. For me, confidence has everything to do with it. In addition to time and confidence, what really helped was spending time with other new moms and babies. Determined to rise, I joined a local mom group on Facebook, reached out to all my mom friends for advice and play dates, and joined a mommy & me class. It was really hard and I was scared to put myself out there, but I did it anyway. Getting out of the house with Noelle to meet with other new parents and babies turned out to be a breath of fresh air– for Noelle and I both! If you feel isolated, force yourself to get out. It really helps.

Now the most difficult part is juggling my career and motherhood. I want to spend every minute with Noelle but I also love my career, time with friends, exercise, etc. Is work/life balance really a thing? Because there’s no way to perfectly balance it all. But I’m doing my best and making the most of my time when I’m working and the most of my time when I’m not. That’s the best we can do!

Sprinkled

Thank you so much for all the support with Sprinkled, my new video mini series. 3 episodes have aired!

These are all old recipes from my archives and I’m thrilled to breathe life back into each. Also in the episodes are interview style scenes, shots of me working, writing, editing, photographing, and recipe testing. You can find all the episodes in the Sprinkled section of my website or on my video production team’s youtube channel!

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If you haven’t seen it, here is a “trailer” for Sprinkled season 1. 🙂

The website redesign also launched this spring! We’re still working out a few kinks. Still unsure if you prefer the full-width blog posts (here’s an example) or regular blog posts (like the one you’re reading). It all displays the same on mobile devices, which is how a majority of you read my blog anyway. But many of you love the full-width look. I’m always looking to improve the layout of my website, so thank you for your feedback!

July Baking Challenge

July Baking Challenge: Apple Hand Pies

Love seeing your baking challenge photos every month! Please keep me posted on your hand pie baking adventures. Not a fan of apple? There’s a few alternate filling suggestions in the blog post like blueberry and cherry. Thank you for participating in the baking challenges!

Have you read/watched my pie crust braiding tutorial? Let me know if you give this beautiful braiding technique a try.

How to braid pie crust video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Other Stuff

My other babies! My pups, Jude and Franklin, are doing well. 🙂 Enjoying the dog days of summer. Franklin has fully recovered from his surgery last fall. Remember when he needed emergency surgery after finding and eating a piece of a corn cob? Poor little thing. He was back to his rambunctious self not long after surgery. He loves playing with Noelle. He lets her climb all over him. (Adult supervision of course!) Jude is my shadow, as always. Living and loving life at 10 years old. We’re so excited to bring our children– all 3 of them– on our family vacation at the end of the summer. We’re heading to Deep Creek Lake, our favorite vacay spot. Both of our families will join too!

Stephanie, one of my assistants, and I are attending a French pastry class later this month!! I’m satisfied with my croissants and macarons, but baking other classic French pastries intimidates me. Looking forward to sharpening both my skill and knowledge and hopefully I’ll gather some recipe inspiration from it all!

Are you enjoying your summers? Reading any good books? Baking anything delicious? Traveling anywhere fun? Recipes for butterscotch blondies, macadamia nut cookies, and creme brûlée coming soon!

Family photos by Megan Brodie Photography

Bow photo by Busy Bows by Lizzy

Sprinkled photos by Grateful & Co

More life posts right this way.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

118 Comments

  1. Sally, I’m so glad that you opened up and shared about your feelings at the beginning with Noelle. Your blog reaches so many people that I feel that you will be able to help many others who may be in a similar position.

    I had a bad time when my firstborn came along. He had day-night reversal and would be demanding for attention at night when I desperately needed sleep. I couldn’t sleep in the day because I wasn’t living alone then and I wasn’t allowed to nap in the day (another story). It didn’t help that he had reflux issues and would literally ‘merlion’ out all the milk that he’d just drunk. I would have just fed him, and he’d throw up all over my nursing pillow, clothes, bed… He pooed every time he nursed too. It was me nursing him, me nodding off from exhaustion halfway, burping him, him throwing up, me having to change everything, starting to nurse again, him pooing, me changing diaper… Pressure from others made me stop latching him and I was devastated about that. I was a breastfeeding warrior and on hindsight, I made it difficult for myself.

    I was in tears all the time. I cried when my hubs left for work. I cried when he came back. I cried when I looked at my baby, wondering in guilt why I sometimes felt like I hated him when I was supposed to love him so much. I didn’t dare go anywhere with him alone.

    It was a horrible time and I didn’t really “get a grip” till a couple of months later. It was an awful time and at that time, I didn’t realise that I needed to and could seek help. I was just stuck in that rut, passing each day in a blur. Thankfully, I was more aware and had an easier time with my second child. He had his ways too and I had the hormonal swings again, but I was more experienced and took steps to prevent some issues from happening like with my first.

    I hope all mums who are experiencing any difficulty in anyway will ask for help. Talk to someone, anyone, who is willing to listen. Don’t label yourself or feel guilt that you aren’t perfect. What matters is that we all do the best we can.

    1. YOUR story will help others, Joyce, so thank you for sharing! The pressure we put on ourselves only makes matters worse and while social media is helpful in connecting with others, it can make us feel worse by displaying unrealistic expectations of new motherhood. It’s a balancing act in every sense. Thank you for the kind words!

  2. Hi Sally,
    I want to thank you for being so real and honest. Being a new mom is tough… no matter how many kids you have, it’s still tough balancing life with a new little love. I have experienced ppd, or ppa with all three of mine. All three times I didn’t realize, until I was out of it, what was going on. I think sleep deprivation has something to do with that
    Anyway, thank you again. You have an awesome platform to help other moms who may be feeling not right. You’re shining a light for them!

    1. Thank you so much Amy! It’s so important to talk about it. There is no shame in having a difficult time adjusting.

  3. What a beautiful family, including the dogs! I’ve enjoyed your blog for several years, and continue to do so. I love all 3 of your cookbooks, too.

  4. Hi Sally. I appreciate your honesty about your experience with new motherhood. I’m going through something similar only I’m pregnant with twins right now and worried about not bonding with them the way I bonded with my daughter. It’s making me feel sort of disconnected from it. My husband is seamlessly weathering the news and impending change while I’m… not so much. I’m happy but kind of off kilter about the whole thing right now. I’m glad you’ve finally found your groove with motherhood and are feeling better. And thanks again for sharing.

  5. Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggle adapting to being a new mom! It’s incredibly difficult. My first daughter had colic and so from 5 pm on she would cry without stopping from about 5 pm until about 10 or earlier (when I was lucky). I tried everything at nights to get her to stop crying even sitting (and holding) her on top of the dryer to get the vibrations to get her to go to sleep, or driving her around the block. She would fall asleep in the carseat and as soon as I took her out, she would wakeup, so usually at that point I would leave her there until she woke up.
    I had trouble learning to nurse, too, but knew I needed to stick with it for the baby’s health benefits. I’ve never been a baby holder (teens have always been my favorite age–even though they aren’t easy either), so getting used to being a mom wasn’t easy. Especially since my husband went to work early and stayed very late every day in those years.
    I’m glad that after a few months you figured it out (and I did) and after 3 months, my daughter’s colic went away almost overnight, and being a mom became a much happier experience for you (and for me). Luckily, friends and getting out to be with others really does help!

    1. We do what we can!! And I don’t know what I would do without the support from other parents. It’s so important to reach out even if it’s through an online group.

  6. Sally-your courageous, gentle way of transparently shedding light on a subject that is often ‘hushed’ is opening doors and windows for new mothers…those that are dealing with the very same issues. There is a good chance that a new mommy, thanks to you sharing your experience, now has a life raft and knows they are not alone…that there is light on the way. I applaud your bravery; adore the love you share with your sweet family; am thankful for the joy that you bring to so many. Blessings, ♥️

    1. My hope is that new parents struggling with feelings of fear and isolation understand they are not alone, nor should they feel ashamed for having a difficult time adjusting to the big change.

  7. What a beautiful family, Sally!!! Thank you for sharing your story…I know that it is going to help someone else. As I go through my own trials in life, I have found there is so much strength in our willingness to be transparent with ourselves and others.

  8. I always read and watch your “Sprinkled” series , it is awesome and so educational for me. I want to also mention as a positive thing you have very pretty eyes!

  9. I love these posts! I’ll be honest and I don’t always have time to read all the blog posts (working single mom of two!) but these posts I read in their entirety. I still check three times a week to see what new recipes you’ve come up with though (priorities ).

    I had post pardum depression twice, and went through hell and back the first time and second time was easier I think because I got help right away. Since going through this I really try to advocate to my friends/family/coworkers about mental health and how it doesn’t have to be something people don’t talk about. The more people talk about it, the more comfortable people and society will become talking about it and reaching out for help/to help.

    I am happy to report that almost 3 years after my last baby was born I am weaning off anti depressants safely with my drs supervision. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thank you Sally for being so open. It’s forums like this that can help end the stigma around these topics.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Maureen. I hope new parents reading find comfort in all of these supportive and uplifting comments!

  10. Noelle is adorable! 10 months already? Time goes by so fast. I’m in love with your new kitchen, it is so beautiful. Looking forward to some recipes for French pastries. I also wanted to thank you for inspiring me to start my own food blog which I have finally created and am ready to start posting recipes on! 🙂

  11. Sally – in regarding to work/life/balance, it’s a myth. It’s not a real thing you can only do your best and that is all that matters. I misssed these coffee breaks and Saturday sevens! Was great to catch up!

  12. I was just thinking about one of these post when I was reading your blog on Monday. Its like you read my mind. 🙂 I am so glad to hear that you have adjusted to mom life, I remember you trying to adjust early on. I can’t imagine it being an easy task. They are the best at this age though, so easy to entertain and its right before they can walk and get into ALL the thing. The whole work/life balance thing will always be tough. I think its about being where you need to be when you need to be there, and deciding that you can’t do it all. I can’t wait to hear all about the French pastry class you & Stephanie are going to take. I am determined to try your macaron recipe soon, my stepdaughter really wants to learn too. Enjoy your family vacay at the lake, sounds perfect!

    1. Thanks so much Courtney! I hope you and your step-daughter bake the macarons. If you try them soon, pick a day that isn’t too humid. The humidity can affect how the macarons set up and bake.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Sally.

    Though I was physically well during my pregnancy, I was emotionally not. The last trimester of my pregnancy was spent being busy and stressed from a new job (I had to move out of state at the start of my third trimester), a new home and the last straw: my father in law being admitted into the ICU. Being part of a supportive family meant shuttling between home and the ICU before and after work. We didn’t have time for a baby shower. I went to my child rearing class alone (my husband was at his father side at the hospital).

    When my father in law was moved out of the ICU to a nursing home, we were happy because we thought we could finally catch up with the baby stuff. But the next day, I went into labor (2 weeks early). The labor and birth was quick, but we were exhausted beyond belief.

    I went into all this detail to tell you that we were simply not ready for our baby. Our nursery wasn’t ready (we had the boxes shipped, but no time to set it up). Our cousins set up the infant seat and crib. I missed my breastfeeding class, so I was confused about feeding. My daughter was eventually bottle fed.

    I clearly had PPD. My hormones were hay-wire and I cried at the drop of a hat. I felt alone, hopeless and under prepared. My usually patient husband was at the end of his wits too (he was still shuttling back and forth home and the nursing home 1.5 hours away).

    I questioned myself frequently. But time passed (slow at times and ridiculously fast otherwise), and our daughter is now 20 months old. I admit, when I attend other people’s baby showers, look in awe at their beautiful nurseries and soothe them while they impatiently wait for their baby, I get a bit sad because I wasn’t given a chance, you see. But you know, at the end of it all, I tell myself this: It’s hard not to judge ourselves. I may not be the best mother in the world, but I am the best mother under the circumstances I am put under. And so are you, Sally.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Molsi. The sudden change, exhaustion, and feelings of unpreparedness are difficult. You are the best mother for your daughter, I am the best mother for my daughter, and I hope any new mother struggling understands that they aren’t bad at this, they’re new at this. I had to repeat that to myself everyday. I still do!

  14. Hey Sally! I am not a mom (yet) but wanted to let you know that I am so in awe of you and how honest you are with us, your loyal followers. You are so much stronger and braver than you realize, always putting yourself out there for us, and you are smart and absolutely beautiful. I love seeing you as Mama Sally with your sweet family. Noelle is beyond Blessed to have you as a mother. Continued love and Blessings to you, sweet Sally! And also… um… can I come bake in your kitchen?!?! I’ve said it before but it is GORGEOUS!!!!!!

  15. Sally!! Thank you, as always, for sharing. New motherhood is NO JOKE!! My baby girl will be exactly 10 months tomorrow and it was been quite a journey. I experienced many of the same insecurities as you… I did speak with my doctor and it was terrifying, but a GREAT decision! I have come such a long way since those first three months. The journey of motherhood is so special- it’s challenging, rewarding, stressful, fun, exciting, exhausting, AMAZING!! So grateful for this blog, and you, and this community of bakers!

  16. Sally,

    I just wanted to say I love your Sprinkled series and all of your videos. Watching someone else make a recipe always helps me make mine even better. I struggle most with getting cakes to turn out how I want so I love watching all of your cake videos. While the Sprinkled ones are great, I actually really like the ones done by you and your hubby as it feels more…personable. Like I’ve just popped by to watch you bake something. Anyway, thank you for the extra work on the videos. I look forward to more in the future.

    Thank you!
    Marcy

  17. Thank you for sharing, while I do not have children of my own, it’s always good when people share their experiences. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a while now and you are the sole reason my family and friends think I’m a good baker! Lastly, I have a suggestion for a Challenge Month! Mirror cakes! They’ve made an appearance on my Pinterest feed and I am curious to try them but feeling a bit unsure of it. I bet mirror cakes would make a great video and monthly challenge!

    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion, Karin! I’m soooooo intimidated by mirror cakes but one of my assistants, Stephanie, has made a couple. I’ll need to pick her brain more about them. 🙂

  18. I just have to echo what I’ve said every time. Your experience and words on motherhood touch my soul every time. Thank you for sharing your life so openly with us. While I adore your recipes and they are always my go-to, I adore the person behind them even more. You and Nicole are both beautiful inside and out!

  19. Beautiful family. You are an amazing person. So glad I found you site. Getting requests for more of your cakey sugar cookies. Huge hit.

  20. I am always in awe of how far you’ve come over the years – wow! I hope you take time to step back and admire what you’ve built! 🙂 I am not a mom to humans – just pets – but your post seems very relatable…I bet MANY women go through this…it is very kind of you to share what you went through and what you learned.

    Your French pastry class sounds like it will be fun! I have made friends with a lady in my chiropractor’s office – a fellow baker – and I thought it would be fun to invite her to take a cooking class together…just need to do some research.

    I still need to try the hand pies! I am going to make another plug for one of your candy recipes to be a monthly challenge! 😉 (and that lemon cake earlier this week…I need to make this! LOVE LEMON!)

    1. Thanks Christine! I did a little research to find the local pastry class. Lots of positive reviews and even if it’s a disaster, it will be a fun experience to share with someone else who shares a passion for baking! You’ll have fun no matter what class you find!

      Thank you for reminding me about making a candy recipe a monthly baking challenge recipe. I’ve been brainstorming the rest of the year’s challenges, so this is perfect timing!!

  21. Thanks for sharing your story Sally. It is always so helpful to read other people’s experiences as well as their struggles. Your story is so relatable. You have such a lovely family and Noelle is adorable!!!

  22. Hi Sally,
    I have one week old twins and had to stop reading a lot of blogs that either sugar coated the newborn experience or focused on merely “survival.” As moms, whether confident or anxious, we all need positivity and support as well more realistic expectations. I am going to check out those books and those bows!

    1. Congratulations on your twins!! I understand what you’re saying. I unfollowed a lot of websites that only focused on the negative.

  23. Thank you for sharing about your experiences with motherhood! My little girl is about 1 1/2 months older than Noelle and reading your story was like reading my own. I think I had a meltdown every other day for the first month or two! It always makes me feel better to hear that others have dealt with it too and I’m not alone. Being a mother really is the best!
    And we just went to Deep Creek Lake in June for our anniversary! Our first time there and we loved it!

    1. Happy anniversary! I love Deep Creek Lake. It’s where we got engaged and spent a week there for a little “baby moon” last year.
      I’m thankful we can openly talk about not only the joyous moments of motherhood, but the hardships as well. 🙂

  24. I love your honesty. I am also very glad you and your family are so happy, adjusted, and doing so well now. I am sorry you had to go through all that and the guilt!!!! That is the worst. We are so hard on ourselves. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (long before Kate Middleton put it in our vocabulary) and won’t even tell you the guilt I felt from some of the thoughts I had while I was pregnant and so sick and no one really understood what I was going through. I love your blog, your recipes are fail safe, and always enjoy seeing your email in my inbox. Love you dogs. Your baby girl is absolutely gorgeous, and your husband is a gem!

    1. The pressure we put on ourselves only adds to the guilt. It does no good. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience Karen!

  25. Sally—you mentioned always having “mom guilt”. I totally get it, but I read an amazing book (my mom gifted to me) called “The Confident Mom” written by Joyce Meyer. It will fill your heart with confidence and relieve anxiety. I don’t think us moms should settle with “mom guilt” forever. It’s a worthy read if you’re interested!

  26. Hi Sally,

    I just wanted to let you know that you are such a big inspiration to me! I think it takes a lot of courage to share your difficulties that you had as a mother and that sharing your experiences already shows how well you are handling them! I have no idea how it is like to be a mother but I am very glad that you talk about the very wonderful sides of motherhood as well as the difficult parts of it!
    Keep up your wonderful work and be reminded that your posts are really inspiring many, many people!

    Lots of love from Germany!

  27. I really love seeing these posts Sally. It’s so refreshing to hear about the life behind the blogger. Hearing about your struggle with your daughter makes me feel like I can connect to you on another level besides our shared love of treats/sweets & baking – I don’t have any kids of my own, but I understand that feeling of things coming so easily to other people and wondering why you’re struggling. Stay strong! Nice to hear things have been going better. I think the Sally’s Baking Addiction community is a great one that can support each other not just in baking but in life struggles 🙂

  28. Every recipe of yours that I’ve made, has turned out TERRIFIC! I’ve recommended your website to others saying that if they follow your simple, but explicit and kind, directions, it will turn out…..and they do and it does!

    I had a hellish baby-raising experience. I found that I did better working full time while my daughter was young. (I did quit “outside” work when she was in kindergarten). I looked forward to Mondays and getting back to work because I just couldn’t sit and play with a baby/toddler for more than about 10 minutes. I got nervous and felt I should be getting the rest of my chores done. Everyone is different. Thank you for your honesty.

    1. Agreed. We’re all different! Thank you so much for sharing, for reading my blog, trusting my recipes, and sharing my site with others!

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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

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