Had to pop into the blog to wish you all a safe and Happy Halloween! This year I waited until approximately 2 days before Halloween to purchase our costumes: mom fail! This was the only one left that fit Inez! It’s funny because last year I went all out and had everything coordinated weeks in advance. It’s a whole new world with two!
Excuse the slightly blurry iPhone pics! Taking a selfie with a toddler and a baby is no joke. Mostly because of that crazy toddler.
I also picked Julian up an Elmo costume, because he is obsessed with Elmo and I just had to! He wore his costume to trick-or-treat at the library last week and I about died from the cuteness.
But, to tell you the truth, I really wanted to dress Julian up as Richard Simmons! If I wasn’t in such a sleep deprived brain fog, maybe I could have pulled it together. I mean those curls would have been perfect under a sweatband! Amiright?
I’ve been having a lot of fun with fashion lately! I was not one for maternity fashion, and I must say, I am so happy to no longer be pregnant. I find it a heck of a lot easier to dress myself when not accommodating a watermelon belly.
This bell sleeved trend is such a fun spin on a classic shirt! This sweater is only $40 and is the softest fabric. Those sleeves don’t do well in the kitchen when you’re hovering over food, but they are a fun look for date night! Speaking of date night, I’m thinking Jeff and I need to schedule some more. These days I’m just getting dressed up to run errands and head to the grocery store. Hope everyone has a great upcoming weekend! Can hardly believe it’s almost Halloween!
This is going to be a cut to the chase kind of blog post. I didn’t have the chance to snap photos of these delicious cookies after they were frosted, but before they were devoured! So this is the only photo you get! You’ll just have to take my word for it, these cookies are amazing. These are my favorite Halloween cookie cutters that I’ve had for years. I lost the pumpkin cutter somewhere along the way, but that is life.
I make these cookies every year, but this year has been especially fun. Now that Julian is a little older (almost 2, oh my word!) he has been able to help so much in the kitchen with me! If you follow along on Instagram (@heidi.stephens) you’ve probably seen that a lot! For a future post I may offer some tips on baking with toddlers if you all are interested.
Anyhow, happy baking everyone! Oh, and if you try this recipe out, be sure to tag me so I can see your spooky, sweet creations! Without further ado…
¾ cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
Grated rind of 1 lemon (or 1 tsp lemon extract)
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
4oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
With a standing mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until light in color. On low speed beat in egg and egg yolk just until combined. Add vanilla, lemon rind and salt. Add the flour until blended, do not over beat batter. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and stamp with desired cookie cutters. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for approx 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating. In a small bowl, beat the frosting ingredients until fluffy and well combined. Frost cookies. Store in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all! Enjoy!
Lately I have been living in robes and pajamas. But then every once in awhile, when the babies all nap like angels, I take the time to get dressed up! I have been sporting this sweater more than I’d like to admit. It’s just so comfy and I love knits for fall. But the dusty pink color is what really got me!
These jeans are magic and are called insta-sculpt for a reason. They feel like denim spanx, in the best way possible. My booties are now 20% off and they are one of my favorite purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
We had plans of going to the Pumpkin Patch today, but the rain is making me want to just stay in and hunker down. We have a metal roof on our home and it sounds heavenly when it rains here. Makes me want to stay in even more! Perhaps a hearty chili is in order tonight. Enjoy that crisp autumn air loves! Happy Thursday!
Here are a few products and practices I use to look and feel my best in these hectic postpartum days! Mornings especially are chaotic, so I like to wake up and feel like I’m already somewhat put together. It’s nice to feel your best, even if you haven’t brushed your hair just yet.
Invest in your hair. About a year ago I had a gift card to Nordstrom, so I splurged on Oribe Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner that my stylist had been recommending to me for years. Holy cow, I wish I would have done this sooner. My hair is stronger, longer and shinier than ever before. But best of all, a little goes a long way so this investment will last you. And I once read that JoJo from The Bachelor uses it too, hey girl!2. Blow it out. Take a few extra minutes to blow dry your hair. I know, I know! That sounds time intensive! I’m talking just 5 minutes to blow dry your hair after a shower. This ionizing hair dryer is amazing and can dry my long hair in just a matter of minutes. Trust me, it’ll save you time in the long run. If I take just a few extra minutes to comb through and blow dry my hair, it can last me for days. I won’t tell you how many days exactly, but it’s a lot. Probably too many.
3. Dry shampoo saves the day. Extend your blow out with dry shampoo that gives you a lift. I swear by this Oribe Textruizing Dry Shampoo. Not only does it absorb oil, but it gives your root a boost. It has been my go-to for years and I use it nearly every day.
4. Overnight success. To save time in the mornings, I do a few things at night that will leave my hair soft and ready to go when I wake up. A spritz of dry shampoo, a little split-end treatment, toss my hair up in a bun and hit the sack.
5. Lashes. Getting lash extensions is a fun way to treat yourself and give your look a boost. It is so nice to wake up in the morning and feel like you’re already put together. Even while you’re still in your robe! I go to Blush by Brenna for my volume lashes, and I love that she makes your natural lash health a priority. Lashes are an investment and require monthly maintenance, but I love how they brighten up my face. Especially because I’m so tired (and tired looking) lately.
6. Hydrate. Every morning before I down my first cup of coffee, I have a tall glass of water to kick start my day. I can’t have my coffee until I’ve had my water, so I never forget! You don’t need me to tell you that staying hydrated can help you to look and feel your best. But there, I guess I did anyway.
7. Heal your preggo skin. No one has time for makeup postpartum! Well, for me, I had so many insecurities about my postpartum skin that I didn’t like skipping makeup. My pregnancy melasma caused lots of discoloration on my face. So, I would almost always use concealer to hide my problem areas. I worked with my aesthetician to combat my melasma with very specific products. I exfoliate with Arcona’s Brightening Gommage twice a week, and then nightly I use their Brightening Drops directly on my discoloration. It is still a work in progress, but my discoloration is improving immensely, and I can’t wait for the day it’s all gone!
8. Repair your scars. Alright, this one won’t apply to most, but I wanted to include it. I scar really, really bad. So, when my surgeon told me about these silicone scar repair strips that you can place over your c-section scar, I was all about it. I use them daily, and so far, my scar looks way better than my scar from having Julian! Having keloid scars can be painful, so I’m doing what I can to promote good healing.
These a just a few things that help me to look and feel my best in these crazy postpartum days. I always love hearing what products and practices others swear by. What helps you look your best? Let me know in the comments!
Writing Inez’s birth story has taken me weeks. Perhaps it’s because I am juggling two babies at once now! But, more than that, I have been trying to find the right words to describe it all. Our sweet girl is almost two months and it has all flown by way too quickly.
Inez Marie was born in Port Townsend on August 15th at 8:19am. She weighed a perfect 8lbs 9oz and measured 22 inches long. The same length as her brother, but 2 ½ pounds lighter! She had a gorgeous full head of hair and the most beautiful pink skin I had ever seen.We opted to have a c-section for medical reasons, as I already needed to have abdominal surgery unrelated to my pregnancy. Julian had resulted in a c-section, so the idea that I could potentially have emergency surgery with Inez, and then weeks later need another surgery was not appealing.
The strangest thing about having a c-section is that you don’t feel any pain, but you feel all of the pressure. I wish I had a better way to describe it, but it quite literally feels like someone has their hands inside your abdomen. Which is apparently exactly what I told Jeff during the birth of our Julian Koki, but I don’t remember that in the slightest! You feel the pressure of the surgery and you can see your shoulders moving as the surgeons go about their work. It is the weirdest feeling, and one that I don’t recall at all with Julian.When Inez was delivered they brought her straight to my chest. I cried with joy at the first sound of her crying and I felt all of my fears wash away. For days leading up to Inez’s birthday I felt this strong sense of fear of the unknown. I couldn’t comprehend how I could love anyone as much as I loved Julian. I couldn’t fathom what kinds of changes our family was about to go through. As soon as I heard her cry I felt at ease. Like I was at home with her already. I’ll never forget how she just latched onto me right away and got straight to eating. She laid on my chest nursing while the surgeons finished the surgery and I felt perfectly at peace. There was an immense sense of calm that passed over me when she was born. I felt at peace and I remember taking a moment to just embrace that feeling.We decided to stay the maximum amount of time we could in the hospital. I was not eager to get home to dishes and cooking our own meals. Besides, Jefferson Healthcare has the most incredible homemade jello in the history of jello. I had a great deal of break through pain post-op to work through, so my recovery was oddly hardly the second time around. The anesthesiologist opted to not give me a long acting anesthesia due to my history of vomiting. This pain of course made me vomit anyway, which is not fun with a new incision. Inez stayed in the room with us the entire time and we could tell from those first moments and days that she would be an angel. She slept and ate, and when she fussed she was easily consoled by mama or dada. I know how lucky that makes us as parents, I truly do. I loved that she knew who we were right away. Julian was incredible with her right from the beginning, you can see his love for her in these photos and it melts my mama heart.Jeff and I feel so fortunate to be Inez’s parents. There’s a beautiful story behind how we named our baby girl that I hope you’ll read. Our girl completes our family in every way. Her brother Julian is smitten with her, and showers her with kisses all day. Jet Pup even stands guard by her when she sleeps. We love you beyond measure Inez Marie.