Winter Warmth

If you aren’t living on the east coast, I’m sure you’re at least hearing about the “storm of the century” that’s bringing high wind and feet of snow. My little sister lives out East, and I wish I could overnight her a care package with hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and a few good books. Colorado, surprisingly, reached a balmy 68 degrees today. We’ve had our share of snow over the last several weeks (and we’re due for more on Saturday) so I’m trying not to get used to these spring-like days. Which brings me to a few things that remind me of warmth. I think we could all use a few of these in our  (yes, even us luckly Coloradans).

Screen-Shot-2014-12-15-at-07.58.54Beautiful old bench. Gray blankets with texture. And a warm mug of hot chocolate.


Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary Madeleines

Green knitted cap by ZaraA green knitted cap (on sale!)

Reading roomImage by Nicole Franzen 

Chocolate Hazelnut CakeChocolate Hazelnut Cake

Blueberry Mango Muffins

Blueberry Mango Muffins

We had one of those good/bad weekends. Ryan and I got in a silly fight on Friday night. I went to a beautiful birth on Saturday morning…only to miss the actual delivery by 2 minutes. We made dinner together. We went out to our favorite breakfast place. For the first time ever, we watched football in our own home. And then the snow came back. We’re currently sitting in at least a good 6-8 inches of white powder.

Blueberry Mango Muffins

Thankfully, the sun will come out tomorrow and we’ll be back up to almost sixty degrees by Sunday. The weather is a mysterious beast here in Colorado. But cold days call for baking, and Lulu and I spent Monday in the kitchen with mixing bowls, bags of flour, and dried fruit.  These blueberry and mango muffins are the perfect way to fight off any cold-day-blues. And a sweet little girl is another great excuse to light a fire and stay warm indoors.

Blueberry Mango Muffins

Blueberry Mango Muffins

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut sugar

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups full-fat yogurt

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

3/4 cup diced dried mango

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard, 12 cup, muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in eggs. Stir until combined. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the yogurt. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in dried and frozen fruit. Divide evenly among muffin cups (these will be large muffins!). Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Golden Coconut Macaroons

Golden Coconut Macaroons

Remember how Lulu started school last week? And how her first day was a flying success? Well, Monday morning brought several inches of snow, and Lulu had her first snow day. I’ll admit that when I woke up and saw the rather impressive dusting, I felt mildly disappointed. I had so much to do, and now my four hours of quiet were no more. My morning changed from productive….to playful (but you know what…that change was more than okay). I’m realizing that my little girl is growing up fast, and although I cherish the few hours I get with just a cup of tea and my laptop, I treasure the moments I get to spend with her even more.

Lulu and Ryan

We made these coconut macaroons together on Sunday. They only have three, yes THREE, ingredients, which is ideal when you have a toddler/job/budget/etc. And unlike most cookies, these coconut macaroons are made with good-for-you ingredients. Unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut sugar, and organic eggs. So make a batch, and then share them with little ones, old ones, skeptical ones (ie my husband, who normally steers clear of coconut). They’ll love them.

Golden Coconut Macaroons

Golden Coconut Macaroons

3 1/4 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)

2/3 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare a small bowl of water for wetting your hands.

In a large bowl, stir together ingredients until the mixture begins to hold together. With wet hands, press lightly and shape into walnut-sized balls. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Baked Apples with Pecans and Maple Syrup


Lulu woke up earlier than normal. Six AM. Not particularly painful…unless you’ve been at a birth the night before. Why oh why does she only wake up at six AM when all of us are exhausted? But that’s one lesson you learn when you’re raising a toddler…reasonable behavior is few and far between. But what we lack in reasonability, we gain in joy and laughter. Her early morning wake up was peppered with calls for ma and milk, vibrating toddler lips, and laughter. Quite possibly the best noises I could wake up to.

And because I’m married to a man who loves me and Lucy so well…he whisked her away and let me sleep two more hours while they played in the early morning light.

Baked Apples Life is changing in small ways at our house. I’m gone at births more…and Lucy is starting to show signs of independence. She started a montessori program this week…and much to my surprise…she took to it immediately. She didn’t shed a tear when we dropped her off on Monday morning. When I came back to pick up her a few hours later, she greeted me with a loud, “Hi!” and the proceeded to hug and kiss all of her new friends.

I couldn’t have been prouder. I know that some moms struggle with sending their children to school. I’ve seen quite a few, “she didn’t cry but I did!” posts on facebook and instagram. And I totally expected to by “that mom.” But when we dropped her off, and I saw her settle in her environment, and then reach out to the other little ones in the room, it made my heart feel so full.


And now I have two mornings a week in which I can bake apples or write or read or sleep after a long birth. And that, my friends, feels HEAVENLY.

Baked Apples with Pecans and Maple Syrup

3-4 large baking apples

4 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup crushed shortbread cookies

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1-2 cups orange juice or apple cider

Using a sharp paring knife cut out the cores of each apple, leaving the bottom 1/2 inch of the apples intact. Use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the holes so that they are an inch or so wide. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the pecans, cinnamon, and shortbread cookies. Gradually work the cold and cut butter into the mixture until it begins to resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in maple syrup.

Place apples in a baking pan or a cast iron skillet. Generously fill each apple with pecan-cookie mixture. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of juice in bottom of pan/skillet. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until apples are just tender. You may add additional juice to bottom of pan if needed.  Be careful to not overbake. Baked Apples may be served warm or at room temperature.

A Very Merry Holiday

We had a wonderful Christmas…a bittersweet Christmas. On one hand, I was thrilled to have time with my sisters. But I knew that today, Monday December 29th, was just around the corner. My younger sister left early this morning to drive back to West Virginia…and my older sister just finished packing up her family and is currently en route to France. Susanne and family will live in Albertville, France for one year, and then they’ll move to Senegal. I’m a mixture of so many emotions…and so instead of waxing on and on about sisterhood, and how much I already miss both of them…I’ll share pictures of our holiday together.

Lulu’s second Christmas was just about as magical and chaotic as I’d imagined it would be. She definitely understood the concept of presents…and wanted to open each and every one in a mad flurry of paper and ribbon. It took quite a bit of convincing to reel her in. But despite the occasional toddler tantrum, we really did have a beautiful day. Below are pictures of my sweet family. My sisters, my daughter, my niece, and nephew. We already miss you all SO MUCH!

Xmas12 Xmas11 Xmas10 Xmas9 Xmas3Xmas6Xmas8

Xmas4Xmas5Xmas7Xmas1Xmas13PS. Lulu starts her Waldorf program next week which means I’ll be back to regular posting in 2015.