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!


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

Sprinkled on

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on

Behind the scenes filming Sprinkled on

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

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.


  1. I loved how you opened up about yourself. You will always remember the birth of a child but the other feelings fade. I think it gets easier with each child but for some this may not be true. I had two children and believe that the most challenging time was in there 2s and 3s. But we all survived the challenge and have grown up to graduate college and are living their lives Good luck and your pictures are so adorable Your child is a beauty Stay safe and God bless.

  2. What a great coffee break, it just made my morning… thank you for sharing, makes me feel like I´m not the only one. My Little girl is 5 months and it´s been tough, I just started working after taking a 1 year break and it has just made it so much harder. I only get to see my lil one a few hours at night and I feel like she isnt as connected with me, feels like she is more in love with the nanny than with me, but even with all of that she is my whole life. I love her to pieces and I´m sure that’s how you feel about Noelle, who by the way is the most adorable lil girl!! in the black and White pic all the way to the top, I though Noelle had some dark long hair, until I noticed it is a cow in the background LOL I need me some glasses!!! thank you for sharing your life and your amazing récipes Sally!!

    1. HAHA!!! It’s a horse!

      I understand how you feel. As a working mom, I just try to make the most of my time when I’m with Noelle. No phone, no technology, just us playing together, or running errands, or simply sitting outside watching the dogs.

  3. We went to the beach for a week in June, but that’s about it for our family summer travel since I am saving vacation time for maternity leave with baby #2 arriving later this year. I have already bookmarked your freezer meal prep post!

    I participated in my first Sally’s Baking Challenge this month, and my husband, 3-year-old son, and I all loved the apple hand pies. We had enough for a few nights of dessert, and each night my son would sit down to dinner and say “I need pie.” (Don’t we all, buddy!)

    I received my Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook awhile ago but only subscribed to your blog this year. I love it! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with readers.

    1. Thank you so much for subscribing to my blog and participating in the July baking challenge! Happy you’re enjoying SBA cookbook, too. Congrats on baby #2!!!

  4. I have always admired how honest you have been about your challenges since Noelle was born. My little girl is only a few months older than her and from reading your posts, I feel like we have been walking the same road. I have been jealous by times because it’s taken me a lot longer to feel confident in motherhood, and I still have rough days. But I try to remember that everyone’e challenges and victories come in different forms! My little one still doesn’t sleep though, so it’s mostly exhaustion! I’m a teacher, so with summer here things are a lot more relaxing. I can’t wait to take my little to the beach – she loves the sandbox at daycare. She is also loving her water table – I bet Noelle would like one!

    My little one loves to read, and we love all three of the books you mentioned! She is obsessed with Sandra Boynton books – The Bunny Rabbit show and Blue Hat, Green Hat are her current favourites. She loves Brown Bear Brown Bear too. For me, I just read When Life Gives you Lululemons, a sequel to the Devil Wears Prada, and it was super funny!

    I just picked a flat of strawberries and am about to put together some strawberry tarts. I’m planning to catch up on some of the baking challenges I was too busy for during the school year – definitely making croissants!

    Have a wonderful summer with your family!

    1. Once Noelle began sleeping longer and more soundly, things changed. It will come, mama, I promise! I’ve heard great things about a water table! We love Sandra Boynton books too. They’re cute, silly, and just FUN to read!

  5. Sally-It took a lot of courage to open up the way you did concerning your feelings and emotions after the birth of your beautiful girl. You put yourself out there, and those new mothers who have felt the same way, or are currently experiencing similar emotions, will be so grateful to you because they know they are not alone. Perhaps this will be a topic that will be discussed more openly thanks to you.

  6. Sally, you are doing such a wonderful thing by gently sharing the difficult early months you had after Noelle was born. When I had my son almost 28 years ago, those types of experiences just weren’t discussed openly. You had your baby, so you should get on with life and be happy, but it isn’t always that easy. You are so wise to suggest that new moms get up, get out, and connect with other new moms. That’s a terrific idea! And today’s new moms should NEVER be afraid to ask for help: be it from friends, family, or medical professionals. It can make such a difference in the early months. Those who read your blog for the wonderful recipes, and gorgeous photography can also learn a lot about being a new mom – and, boy, is there a lot to learn! You’re doing a terrific job as a mom, and extending your hand to other new moms is the greatest gift you can give. Thank you from a not-so-new mom, who
    loves to bake, and is still learning new lessons about parenting, even though her “baby” is almost 28 years old. Enjoy your well-deserved Deep Creek Lake vacation with the entire family, including Jude and Franklin, of course!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Debbie! Becoming a mother has been the best experience of my life, but it comes with its challenges. I’m thankful moms are openly talking about the hardships.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am a new mom too and can relate. It is awesome to see that you encourage others to talk about these things. Thanks for all you and you are a role model to many out there.

  8. I am not a new mother; but I am a caregiver to my octogenarian, dementia afflicted mother. Oftentimes it seems as though I have a baby. I’m overwhelmed trying to juggle a full time time job, caregiving, home ownership and pet parenting. There is no balance and there is no “me” time, or free time. I’m exhausted 24/7/365 and I don’t even get to experience the milestones of first smile, laugh, steps and words. I know it will only get worse until I put her in a nursing home, or collapse from exhaustion.

    There is no help and I’ve no hope for a better tomorrow. No extended family, just friends who are needy and equally as burdensome as my mother. One friend even sends me daily updates on her ill family and friends. If my situation isn’t depressing enough, I have to deal with her issues as well as my own. For a while, she persisted in calling me as soon as I arrived home from work. She only stopped when I had a nuclear meltdown over the phone.

    Thanks for sharing your story and letting me vent. Sometimes, venting makes me feel a bit better.

      1. Thank you for your kind reply. I felt a bit less burdened venting, somewhat anonymously. It’s so very hard and demanding being a caregiver. Baking relieves my stress and my coworkers are always eager to devour my offerings. I have your “Baking Addiction” book and follow your blog throughthe receipt of e-mail updates.

        Again, thank you for sharing your journey, allowing me to vent and responding with love. Bless you and your family.

    1. Cookie, I have a sense of what you’re going through from trying to support my mom while she cared for my dad. I really recommend looking into whether there are caregiver support groups in your area. My mom cared for my dad until his needs became unmanageable and he qualified for long term care. For 15 years, she attended at various support groups (and still does) and has found friendships, unconditional support, understanding of the experience of mourning your living loved one as you lose them to dementia, a place to vent and a safe place to talk about issues that are sadly far more common as part of the caregiver/dementia experience than you would ever expect. I have an inkling of how hard things must be for you and I hope you find a way to care for yourself as you care for your mother. xo

  9. You really are amazing! My oldest is 27 and some days I still remember how bad I felt when he was a baby. It was much easier with his brothers but getting out and being with people and asking for help are VERY IMPORTANT!!

    On a lighter note, I am off in the summer and have lots more time to bake and read. I baked my first ever cherry pie and your banana cream pie set up for me-and was so delicious. I think the hand pies are next! I just finished reading Pachinko, a story about generations of a Korean family, that I could not put down. I’ve recommended it to all my friends. Enjoy your week deserved vacation!

  10. Beautiful baby, beautiful mother, beautiful husband, beautiful pups, beautiful life!
    You wear motherhood well. Bod Bless You and your beautiful family!

  11. I admire you so for sharing your struggles stepping into motherhood on such a public platform. Your bravery will surely help other moms. As a mom of 2, I feel we too often compare ourselves to others expectations of motherhood. What matters is you love your daughter and the feelings you were experiencing were just a season of your life as a mom.
    May God continue to bless you and your family. May you continue to grow in confidence as a mom and know that regardless of what the world may see or say your are Noelle’s world and the love you give her surpasses everything else.
    Oh and your recipes are all amazing! I have 2 of your books and can always rely on each recipe turning out delicious!

  12. Thank you for being so open and honest about your emotions at the time of Noelle’s birth. I had my first 34 years ago and vividly remember feeling like there was something wrong with me because I didn’t feel a rush of emotion the first time I saw him. I was happy but certainly wasn’t feeling like what my friends and family had described. Ashamed, I told no one. Those motherly feelings came with time. It was completely different with babies two and three. That rush of emotion was there. I think feeling more confident in my role made all the difference.
    I really enjoy your blog, have all 3 of your cookbooks and have really enjoyed the recipes that I’ve tried. Thank you for your hard work.

    1. Thank you for all the encouraging words and support Paula! I’m thankful that the struggles of new motherhood and motherhood in general are more openly talked about compared to the past. There’s no reason to be ashamed.

  13. While I love your recipes, and that’s why I started coming here years ago in the first place, these types of blog posts are my favorite. I love seeing your life outside of the kitchen ❤️

  14. I was teary-eyed when reading this… i can relate to how you’re feeling Sally. Congratulations to you and your family for rising above all stages of life! Thank you for your hard work, for sharing with us your everything even if you’re having your own struggles. Be well always dearest Sally!

  15. Sally, I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty with the challenges of motherhood. It’s so easy to think that others have it all together from social media…I so value transparency (in myself and others). So thank you!

    As for summer plans…I actually leave tomorrow morning to a trip to Europe! So excited!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy your family vacation as well!

  16. Sally,
    I love hearing about your Noelle. My son is 24 and 4800 miles away and your stories bring back memories of when he was little. His favorite books were by Eric Carle-The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider. Enjoy this time and it only gets better!

  17. Thank you so so much for sharing your early baby experiences; I have a son (Logan) who is 4 days younger than Noelle, and I went through a lot of the same things (and still do!). It’s so helpful and reassuring that you’re not alone. Also Giraffes Can’t Dance is Logan’s favorite book!

  18. We love ‘Snuggle Puppy’! A favorite in our house that we all sing along to! It’s so fun to hear the the little 2 year old voice singing along 🙂
    Stay strong Mamma, you are doing great! You don’t have to prove to anyone the love that you have for Noelle, she know how much you love her! No matter how hard the days may be. You are a good mother. 🙂
    I made your angel food cake cupcakes for the 4th and they were DEVOURED!!! I was pretty proud of myself for accomplishing a recipe i never thought i could do! Thank you again Sally. 🙂

  19. Thanks for opening up on your early motherhood struggle. It seems to be resonating with many of us, and I Just want to be another voice that says–yep, it gets way better!

    I had an extremely similar experience to what you describe. As much as I loved my baby girl, the first month of her life was in many ways the worst of mine. I’ve been gently “scolded” for saying that, but it was hell! I tell people it was like boot camp: those babies break you down before they build you back up! And it’s just because we DO love them that we somehow manage to power through and still keep them in cute clothes. With time and experience, I eventually stopped feeling like someone who accidentally got someone else’s baby and was just pretending to be mom (never mind physically getting her out of my body).

    Almost exactly 2 years later, I had another daughter and the experience with her was night and day compared to my first. It was still hard, because babies. But this time I KNEW what I was getting into and I was able to handle it a thousand times better. My oldest is now 4, her sister is 2, and my husband and I have gotten cocky enough (and forgotten enough?) to willingly tackle being outnumbered, with baby #3 due right at Thanksgiving this year. After that one gets here, I’m sure we’ll be having Humble Pie along with the requisite Pumpkin.

    Speaking of pie, one book you should check out (probably for when she’s older) is a very cute one called Ugly Pie. It’s about, wait for it, pie! My girls love it (especially the older one) and it even has a recipe for Ugly Pie at the back that we’re planning to make together one day. 🙂 We also love Sandra Boynton’s The Going to Bed Book (and any of her books, really), The Little Blue Truck, and a sweet one called A Night Night Prayer–my girls love saying “night night” to all of the things in the book. 🙂

  20. I’m in Maryland too so if this French cooking class is local please let me know where as I would love to take a French pastry class. I took one about 4 years ago in Paris and it was one of my favorite cooking classes ever. I have loved your baking challenges this year as it has got me to try new things and my niece informed me that I must make baked Alaska for her birthday this September.

  21. Thank you, Sally, for being so open. My son is a teenager now, but I felt exactly the same way. It was made all the more unbearable by him needing life-saving surgery AND having to return too soon to a demanding job with what I now know was a mentally-abusive boss. It was such a rough start that it has affected us to this day. It’s so easy to blame yourself and find yourself wanting as a mother, because it’s just not talked about. So, your honesty makes a difference and I appreciate it very much.

  22. I am not a mother, but what spoke to me was the fact that you changed something, knowing it would be tough, but also knowing that you will come out stronger because of it. So congrats to you for pushing yourself to come out of that situation.

  23. Hi Sally. I’ve not been to your website for a while, been stalking you on Insta though! I love this post and I can relate to all the baby stuff. My son is 9 now but I remember I didn’t feel a connection until he was about 2. I just went through the motions. Looking back I feel sad I gave myself a hard time and never shared my feelings with my husband. Anyway, I wish we were friends! Distance is against us though! Let me know when you do your first Scottish book tour, I’ll be there xx

  24. Sally,thank you for your blog,your recipes and more importantly sharing a part of you. I feel that I know you. Sharing your story brings back fond, as well as not so fond memories of being a new mother. Love love love the “firsts” that you share about sweet Noelle. Your pups and hubs are handsome additions as well. Keep on keepin’ on…you continue to amaze me!

  25. Hi Sally! I’m so glad you shared a picture of Noelle with us. I check your blog every couple of days hoping to see how much she is growing, in addition to, teasing my sweet tooth. My two daughters are six and almost eight and we LOVE Giraffes Can’t Dance. When each was in Kindergarten, it was the book I read to their classes as their Mystery Reader. It’s one of those books that really teaches a great lesson! Thanks for sharing so much of you & your family with us! Safe travels and great rest of Summer!!

  26. I so enjoyed your post, and your photos. Just lovely!! Especially the one of the 3 of you towards the end. Beautiful property…and family. Your little gal is adorable, and the dogs..just adore the dogs!!! You are a very talented and generous lady, Sally. Keep on inspiring.

  27. Snuggle Puppy!! THE BEST!! My son is almost 17 and up until a few years ago he still liked it when I read it to him. If you haven’t heard the actual song, find it online; it’s great. I’m sure your sweet Noelle will love it as long as my son has. 🙂 I bet he’d still love it if I read that book to him.

  28. Thank you for sharing your experience of how difficult those first few months of motherhood can be. My son is just five days older than Noelle and I totally agree that life became infinitely better when I started forcing myself out into the world. I worked hard to get to a class, playgroup, singalong, read aloud, or just a trip to the grocery store every day! Now I have a great crew of mommy friends who keep me sane. They are my sisters in mommyhood! And it sounds to me like Noelle might like SWIM LESSONS! We enrolled our son when he was six months and he absolutely loves the pool and I love being in the pool with him. It is so cool to see him gain confidence even in deep water. It is expensive, but it is the only class we take and it feels very worth the cost! Highly recommend you at least do a test class!

    1. Surrounding yourself with friends experiencing new motherhood is so important! And thank you, this was just the push I need to enroll us into a swim class! I’m thinking we’ll join a local class in the winter season.

1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love



Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

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