Halloween Sugar Cookies

Autumn at home on beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington. Pacific Northwest home decor during fall time. White kitchen with warm open cabinets of wood and marble counter tops. Halloween sugar cookie recipe, easy recipe with cream cheese frosting. Bainbridge Boheme

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…

Ingredients:

COOKIES:

¾ cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla

Grated rind of 1 lemon (or 1 tsp lemon extract)

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ cups flour

FROSTING:

1/4 cup butter, softened

4oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

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!

xx,

Heidi

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Cozy Fall Knits

Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme. Comfortable and casual fall 2017 style. Everyday autumn fashion with a chunky knit sweater, dark wash denim, Kate Spade bag and brown open toed booties. I love fall fashion! So comfy and cozy. Bainbridge Boheme.

Sweater: Free People / Jeans: DL1961 / Purse: Kate Spade / Booties: Vince Camuto

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!

xx,

Heidi

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8 Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That

Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That
Photo by Chelsea Macor Photography
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.

  1. 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!Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That2. 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.

Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That3. 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.

Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That5. 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.

Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That
Pro-tip: bring your newborn to your lash appt!
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!

Ways to Look Your Best Postpartum with Minimal Morning Effort: Because Nobody Has Time for That8. 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!

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xx,

Heidi

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Inez Marie: A Birth Story

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWriting 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.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWe 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.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWhen 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.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWe 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.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeJeff 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.

Inez Marie Stephens:

Born August 15, 2017 at 8:19am

8lbs 9oz, 22 inches

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

 

xx,

Heidi

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Sweater Weather Has Arrived!

Best cozy sweaters for autumn 2017! Sweater weather in the Pacific Northwest, fall 2017.

Happy Fall y’all! Loving autumn is “basic” for a reason; it is one of the best seasons! Fall has always felt like more of a new start to me than New Years does. Perhaps that’s from years of schooling where it really was the start of a new year. Last year I was very ambitious and wrote an autumn to-do list. I’m hoping to even get one of those things checked off the list this year.

I love it when the weather turns and I can start cozying up in sweaters. But even more so this year because I’m still adjusting to my post-partum body. Oh hi muffin top. I’ve rounded up a few sweaters I am lusting after, and a few that are already being put to use in my wardrobe. Hope you are all enjoying the start of the new season. I’m off to bake another loaf of Pumpkin Chocolate Bread. Promise I will jot down the recipe soon so I can share it here with you guys! I haven’t forgotten, I’m just still adjusting to two under two. And sleep deprivation. And having no “me-time.” Happy Friday everyone!

xx,

Heidi

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Blissful Baby Bath Time in 5 Simple Steps

Take a peek at how we keep bath time fun in our home! Thank you to Collective Bias for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone, and I take pride in showcasing the best products for you all! #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasBath time at our house is one of my favorite activities. When I was pregnant with Inez, I was so unbelievably sick. The bath was one of the only places I felt a small reprieve from my nausea and vomiting. So, Julian and I would sometimes take one or two baths a day! I had to get creative to find ways to keep bath time exciting for my little one! When I saw these adorable, newly designed Johnson & Johnson products at our Silverdale Target, I knew bath time would get a little more exciting for Jules. Here are a few ways that we keep bath time fun in our household:Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

You can shop these products simply by hovering over the image above!

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias1. Bath time is anytime. Mamas, you know how crazy nighttime is! You scramble to cook dinner, feed your babes, clean up, brush teeth, take a bath, read a book. The list goes on and on. One way I try to alleviate the nighttime hustle is by giving baths in the morning or the afternoon. It’s a fun way to break up the day, and to check one thing off that nighttime to-do list. Of course, this does not apply to the days when your toddler eats spaghetti with his hands for dinner.

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias2. Choose products your kiddos will love. These Johnson & Johnson products with the oh-so-adorable design packaging are exclusively available at Target. I picked up the Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wash, Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath, and Johnson’s Baby Lotion because I knew Jules would love these fun designs! Julian is really interested in the octopus on the Head-to-Toe Wash bottle. He thinks it’s hysterical that octopuses have 8 legs. It’s a simple way to get your kiddo to love to soap up! These would make for the cutest package for a soon to be mama too. A fun gift for mom and baby!Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias3. The bubble song. I learned this song from baby story time at our local library when Julian was a newborn. It’s been a beloved part of our bath time routine ever since. And I’d like to think it was how Julian learned to count to 10 on his own!

“One little, two little, three little bubbles,

Four little, five little, six little bubbles,

Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles,

Ten little bubbles go pop! pop! pop!”

(Count bubbles on fingers and clap when you say, “pop!”)

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

4. Use the best. At Johnson & Johnson, safety is their top priority. I love that I can trust this brand on my little ones. These products are paraben free, hypoallergenic and not tested on animals.

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias5. Baby massage. I love capping off bath time with a baby massage! This design on this Johnson’s Baby Lotion is such a fun take on an old classic. When I’m giving Julian his massage I like to talk to him explaining “this is your left leg, here is your right arm, this is your belly!” He loves it, and I love that he’s getting soft skin and a little anatomy lesson.Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasHow do you mamas keep bath time fun in your homes? Let me know in the comments!

xx,

Heidi

 

 

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