Sep 1, 2014

The List

We all have one. Some of us hate them and are stressed by them. Some of us love the organization and feeling of accomplishment when things get crossed off. I'm talking about that never ending list of things to do that lives in your head.

For every thing you cross of The List you can think of five more to add. Some of the things on The List are long term, like really long term maybe years away (like tackling our gameroom which involves putting up drywall, taking down the cabinets and installing something kid friendly, building a cabinet for the wine fridges, deciding what to do with the wet bar, etc). Some of the things on the list really needed done last week (like fixing James' crib so we can think about letting him sleep there). But, for the most part, The List helps me keep the big house projects in perspective and focus on what I can actually accomplish.

My planner. A great mini binder from Russell+Hazel

One version of The List actually lives in my planner instead of my head. This is my monthly list of things I want to get done. It sometimes doesn't happen and things get carried into the next month, and that's okay. It's just a few goals.

The List in August

The List for September

Right now, The List is really lean. I spent the first half of the year growing a person. I spent the last two months adapting to having three very tiny humans in the house. From now until November I have one goal: finish my dissertation. Actually, two goals:

(1) finish my dissertation and
(2) keep the tiny humans alive.

Working on my dissertation WHILE keeping a tiny human alive. Win.

I'm not doing fall decorations this year. I'm not taking on a room to decorate and plan. I'm not adding any new things. My dissertation is such a huge and all-consuming project that it is just all I can handle right now.


Well, that and my i blog project.


As I wrote last week, the blog is going to grow up and become an adult. It's going to get its own domain and a new look. I kicked the process off my thinking about {why} i blog and what content I intend to blog about in the future. Next up is {who} i blog as I look into potential names and domain names. Choosing a blog name is harder than I expected it to be!

So, let's edit my major September List
(1) finish my dissertation
(2) keep the tiny humans alive
(3) register a new domain name for the blog and start (hire?) design work

September monthly view. Lots in the beginning on the month. The end will fill up I'm sure!

I posted this on Facebook last week and got a few great suggestions.
Sadly, most aren't available. So I'd love a few more!

I'd love for y'all to help me with my September list do you have any ideas for a blog name? Send all your awesome ideas my way!


Aug 29, 2014

dairy free sweet treats

This week has been rough. Really emotionally draining. I suspected J might have a milk protein intolerance rather than reflux. We have been down this path before, but as I wrote on Wednesday, seeing that bloody diaper and then having it confirmed by the pediatrician is just hard.

Although I know most babies outgrow MPSI before they even start solid foods, my experience is with Davy whose reactions have gotten worse over time. Davy's diagnosis was actually changed from a milk protein intolerance to a milk protein allergy (they aren't the same thing). I've been down this path before. And my heart just breaks for my poor Davy. I am in constant fear every time he is in public that he will pick something up. Any play date we go to with goldfish or other snacks leaves me emotionally drained by then because I have to be on such high alert. The idea of going through it all again? Terrifying!

But for now, I need to hand the long term fears over to God. I need to focus on having dairy free breastmilk. I need to focus on what I eat.

So, for Friday Favorites this week, a few favorite dairy free sweet treats.

{---} You can't talk dairy free foods without talking Oreos. Oreo creme? Not really cream. They are dairy free. If you are an Oreo fan you have to go check out this funny comparing Oreos, Double Stuffs, and Regular Stuffs.

{---} A number of dairy free "ice creams" exist. Most fruit gelatos are dairy free. Most sorbets are dairy free. A number of companies make ice cream using coconut milk (which is delicious and creamy). My very favorite? NadaMoo Maple Pecan Ice Cream. Yum. Just yum.


{---} Duncan Hines Brownie Mix. My delicious go to for dairy free entertaining! Many of the cake mixes are also dairy free. Good stuff!

{---} Marshmallows and marshmallow cream. Nutter butter sandwiches can still happen! And if I read labels carefully most dark chocolate is dairy free. Combine with graham crackers (which are dairy free) and s'mores are a go.

{---} Trader Joe's Cookie Butter. Yum. Just yum. Spread it on a graham cracker and you have dessert.

Cookie Butter


{---} Pop Tarts. I agree it's a stretch to call these a treat but they are dairy free. And we still gave some in out pantry because I craved them in the early stages of this last pregnancy!

{---} Nutter Butter cookies. Another processed dairy free cookie. Doesn't rank as high as a MegaStuff Oreo but still an awesome cookie option.

{---} And the clear dairy free winner? Making it yourself. I can make Dole Whip (sorta tastes right). I can make cookies. I can make cakes. I can make bars. I can really make it all! Vegan ingredients are great to find for dairy free living! Yesterday while I was wallowing, I baked. It's relaxing on a rough day! I made maple-peanut butter-chocolate chip- oatmeal cookies with sea salt {recipe} and they are every bit as amazing as the name sounds!



Do you have a favorite dairy free treat or recipe? I'd love to hear!



Be sure to link up this Friday. I'm linking up with A Little Bit of Everything, Grace and Love, and Momfessionals for Friday Favorites as well as with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for oh hey Friday!




Aug 28, 2014

{recipe} maple, peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies with sea salt #dairyfree

Say that name 10 times fast! Today at naptime I baked. It relieves stress. It makes me feel better. A homemade little treat makes everything seem okay. And I'm a bit stressed.

I made cookies. And then I ate them. Then the boys woke up from nap and I shared with them (and ate another myself clearly).

So, the recipe...


  • ⅔ cup natural peanut butter (I didn't quite have ⅔ cup left. It still worked.)
  • ⅔ cup real maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance dairy free spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I'm heavy handed when I measure vanilla. Because yum.)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (Apparently I was out if baking powder. How did I not know this? I "made" baking powder with two parts baking soda to one part cream of tartar)
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor or blender
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Read the label. Only a few brands are dairy free)
  • Coarse grain seal salt (I used Himalayan Pink Salt instead. It's pink. And fun.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Combine peanut butter, maple syrup and melted butter into bowl. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Beat in the egg.
  5. Whisk in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and fine salt.
  6. Combine in the oats (ground and rolled) and the chocolate chips.
  7. Drop the dough by tablespoon onto the parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  9. Bake 6 minutes. Then swap the two baking sheets (move the one on top rack down and one on bottom rack up so they cook evenly). Bake an additional 6ish minutes until the edges are golden.
  10. Pour a glass of almond milk and enjoy!

Adapted from this recipe.

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