Let’s sit down and chat for another monthly update!
Update on Jude
Thank you so much for all your kind words and well wishes for our dog the past few months. Jude was diagnosed with cancer back in August– we actually found out on Kevin’s birthday– it was awful. After we noticed Jude drinking a crazy amount of water for a week or so, we took him in for a check up. His calcium levels were abnormally high, a particularly dangerous situation for his kidneys. Given Jude’s age (11), we take him in if we notice anything out of the ordinary.
Soon after that, Jude had a cancerous tumor removed and he’s been in post-surgery treatment since. He’s had 4 rounds of canine chemo and is doing wonderfully. In fact, ever since he started treatment, Jude’s been smiling, wagging his tail, playing with Franklin, and overall acting like his normal self. We are so glad to see him in good spirits!
The vet says Jude’s blood work is healthy and physical shape is awesome. We understand the cancer will likely return, but we know Jude has more love and life left to gift this world.
Thank you again for all your kind words! You know how much our dogs mean to us. ♥
Recipe Page Update!
Before I forget. Have you seen my new recipe page yet? You can select exactly what you want to see. So many categories! I also have more categories in the “Select Category” dropdown menu on my sidebar (on desktop) or if you scroll all the way down on your mobile device.
And you can search by ingredient too!
Life as a Working Mom
Something’s been on my mind a lot lately.
This is my busiest time of year and as I worked late in my kitchen one night, I was totally consumed by guilt. This isn’t anything new, I’ve felt guilty for working since the day my daughter was born. I don’t know how working moms do it, but I’ve been doing this for 2 years and I’m convinced we all have a shred of guilt at some point. The guilt is especially consuming because I own a business that literally never stops. The internet doesn’t turn off and my website doesn’t shut down when I’m taking care of my family.
I know I’ve talked about this before, but it’s hard. Working parents essentially have 3 days in 1– (1) getting the kid(s) up and ready for the day (2) work and (3) dinner and bedtime. When all I feel is guilt, I try to remember that I’m not only a mother. I’m also a wife, business owner, daughter, sister, and friend, and I have a lot of passions, hobbies, and dreams that make me who I am and most importantly, make me a great mom.
I found an article earlier this year– and I forget if I shared it with you before– but it reminds us that we’re working to provide a meaningful childhood. And hopefully, you’re also working because you enjoy your independence and all the other aspects that make you… you.
Living in the Moment
My friend who just had a baby sent me this video the other night. (Brace yourself– there will be tears, especially if you’re a parent.) It’s a wonderful message, obviously, but emotional because it speaks the truth about how quickly these stages fly by. When you’re in the thick of a really hard stage like tantrums, teething, or sleep regression… it’s hard to not wish for that stage to be over. Not every moment is enjoyable, but every moment races by quicker than the speed of light. Now having a spunky two year old who loves independence, I wish I knew the last time she fell asleep on my chest would be the last time!
Firsts become the lasts all too soon. The video was a beautiful reminder to cherish as much of this precious time as we can, especially this hectic time of year. 🙂
Holiday Success Guide – Email Series
Earlier this month, I wrote and published a new email series called Sally’s Holiday Success Guide. Ok, the name is super corny but it gets the message across! This is the time of year when we’re told to slow down and savor every moment (like what I said above!) but it’s also the time of year when we need to do 14798347 things. There’s bake sales, cookie exchanges, gift shopping, holiday parties, work potlucks, brunches, school projects, hosting, big meals, traveling, and more. You also want to kick back, bake cookies, and watch Elf.
Truth is– there’s not enough time to do everything so I compiled all of my holiday success tips into 1 place so you can simplify this season. This 5 day email series includes:
- my pie crust cheat sheet
- ultimate Christmas cookie guide
- make-ahead baking tutorial
- 5 ingredient or less holiday treats
- homemade gift ideas and more
Sign Up Here
This is a completely free email series. You can unsubscribe at any time. It’s simply something FUN and USEFUL I created in addition to the regular holiday recipes you see on my blog. 🙂 If you’re already on my email list, you won’t receive these emails unless you sign up above. This series is in addition to what I regularly send out to you!
Thanksgiving & Christmas Menus
We’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but we are having both families here for Christmas. It will be an absolute packed house (which I love!) but that also means a ton of food. If you’re making Thanksgiving turkey this year, I recommend our favorite herb-roasted turkey with delicious citrus flavors. We make it every year when we host. Sides you can’t miss:
I’m making a few sides and bringing dessert, of course. Traditional pumpkin pie is always my go-to and I’m also making apple cranberry pie, one of my husband’s favorites. I’m going to use the crumble topping from my apple crumble pie. (We love it that way!)
When we host Christmas, we might actually make the turkey recipe I linked above or we’re considering a big ham. What sides do you love with ham? I’m thinking scalloped or mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, a nice Christmas salad, and a vegetable dish of some sort. Also, here are my annual Christmas goodies– these are constants I make every December.
November Baking Challenge
November Baking Challenge recipe: Praline Pumpkin Pie
November’s baking challenge recipe essentially combines pecan pie and pumpkin pie. The pecan praline topping is sweet and caramelized, while the pumpkin filling underneath is smooth, spiced, and custard-y. This is a fun twist on traditional pumpkin pie and your reviews have been amazing!
I love seeing your pies!
Cookbooks I’m Loving
If you need gift ideas (for others or yourself!), here are some favorites:
- Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard, author of the blog Half Baked Harvest. This book is absolutely PACKED with recipes that focus on easy entertaining, fewer ingredients, and hassle-free meals. And, bonus, you get Tieghan’s beautiful photography on every page, too. Try the spinach & artichoke mac & cheese first!
- Hello, Cookie Dough by Kristen Tomlan has become one of my all-time favorite cookbooks for dessert lovers. Kristen is the owner of DŌ Cookie Dough Confections, so you already know you’re in for a real treat. It’s filled with dozens of safe-to-eat cookie dough recipes, plus endless fully photographed chapters of sweet treats including brownies, cakes, bars, cookies, fudge, and breakfast sweets all centered around our favorite flavor: cookie dough!
- Weeknight Baking by Michelle Lopez, author of the blog Hummingbird High. If you have a demanding schedule but still love to bake, this book is totally for you. Michelle packs this book with time-saving tips and kitchen-tested favorite baking recipes. I love it!
Thanks for reading and have a delicious week!