Food & Recipes

Quick and Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies

November 10, 2015

Pumpkin No-Bake CookiesNo-bake cookies, the kind with cocoa and oats and sugar, are a favorite in our house. They’re easy, tasty and store well for quite a while, which is important when your home crew of cookie eaters is small. I remember my mom telling me stories of how her mom would make these cookies, and the idea of continuing on with that tradition makes me smile.

quick-and-easy-no-bake-pumpkin-cookies_01I don’t make no-bake cookies all that often, but when I do they’re always a hit. Now that it’s pumpkin-everything season, I thought it was high time someone made a pumpkin adaptation of this classic no-bake cookie! That someone, I guess, was me because I’m sharing the recipe over at And chances are you already have all the ingredients you need sitting in your pantry. Hop on over for the full recipe and step-by-step instructions: Quick and Easy Pumpkin No-Bake Cookies.




Ainsley Update: 8 Months

November 5, 2015

I have pretty much fallen off the monthly update bandwagon completely, but since I talk a lot about motherhood and Ainsley, I thought it was time to give a little update. Although I don’t think I’ll resume monthly updates, my plan is to check in from time to time with all things Ainsley.

Ainsley has been doing so many new things lately! She is now confidently crawling around the house (she started crawling about a month ago) and pulling up on everything in sight. She isn’t quite coordinated enough for me to leave her unsupervised and has an affinity for the corners of tables and hard surfaces, which makes her momma nervous.

She is also making a lot more noise. No words to speak of, but lots of “mama” and “dada” and “baba” without any real understanding of what she is saying. I’m trying to claim that she knows what “mama” means, but Joe strongly disagrees!

Health Concerns
I’ve talked a little about how Ainsley was born with a medical issue that required her to have surgery when she was 8 weeks old. Her diagnosis (which we’ve chosen not to disclose for Ainsley’s privacy) required us to do a series of follow-up tests and exams over the first year of her life. Thankfully, everything has gone as well as we could have hoped, and it appears that aside from the surgery she had to correct her lip gap and ear tags, we don’t anticipate Ainsley having any other issues! It’s an extreme answer to prayers, as we went from doctor to doctor having her checked out. They said if she had not had the small gap in her lip, she would probably have never been diagnosed because she shows no other symptoms. What a blessing it is to have such a skilled and competent medical team at Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minneapolis.

Ainsley is doing really well. She goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps anywhere between 10 and 12 hours with no wakings. If she wakes up after 10 hours, I’ll feed her a bottle and she goes back to sleep for 2 more. Everyone in the house is feeling well-rested these days.

Ainsley is eating 4 bottles a day, usually 6 to 8 oz each. We’ve also started to make a more consistent effort to feed her around mealtimes, so she is eating food 3 times a day, in addition to plenty of Cheerios, which seem to be her new favorite. Bonus? They’re way cheaper than the puffs we had been buying! She has decided lately that she isn’t all that into baby food and would prefer to eat whatever is on our plates.

Pippa continues to be Ainsley’s favorite play toy. She pulls on Pippa’s tail and covers her in drool, and we’re always trying to keep Pippa from licking Ainsley’s face. It’s so cute to see them together and Pippa couldn’t be more patient! Nutmeg, on the other hand, steers clear from Ainsley. She isn’t hostile to Ainsley in any way, but since she is older you can tell she has less interest in being around a loud, grabby baby. Ainsley actually LOVES Nutmeg and gets super excited every time Nutmeg is around, which is a testament to playing “hard to get” I guess!

Mom + Dad
We are having SO much fun with this little girl. Every day seems to get better and better, and we keep talking about trying to find a way to stop time. Anyone figured that out yet? Joe and I have both had some travel on our schedules this fall. I took a girls grip to Indy two months ago, and a work trip to New York as well. Joe has traveled all over for work, so we’re both getting used to spending a little time away from Ainsley. Hoping to take our first trip as a couple without baby early next year!



New Mom Style :: Comfy Casual {+ a giveaway!}

November 1, 2015




StellaAndDot_6Jeans from Madewell :: Sweater from Anthropologie :: Shoes from Tieks :: Legend Pendant Necklace c/o Kim Jensen :: Aurora Ring Set c/o Kim Jensen :: Deja Vu Pearl Studs c/o Kim Jensen

Curating a practical mom-drobe has changed the way I shop. Because I’m toting a messy, drooly baby around town half of the day, my clothes rarely make it through the day without a few spots and stains, meaning dry clean only items are a thing of the past. Some might say off-white isn’t practical with kiddos, but I love wearing white. As long as I can wash it at the end of the day, I’m good!

This sweater is incredibly comfortable, cozy and flattering. I paired it with my favorite skinny jeans, flats and some beautiful baubles from Stella & Dot. This is the second outfit that Kim styled for me, and I’m loving the edgy + lady like look these three pieces create. The pearl studs are actually reversible, so it’s like owning two pairs of earrings in one, which is perfect for a jewelry minimalist like myself.

Kim has been so kind to host a giveaway for Espresso and Cream readers! She will be giving away a $25 gift card to her Stella & Dot shop to one lucky reader. Thanks, Kim, for hosting the giveaway and keeping my mom-drobe looking fresh and stylist. Even if you don’t win, I would highly suggest hopping over to Kim’s page and doing a little holiday shopping – I know I already did!

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Food & Recipes

From the Archives: Fritos Scotcheroos

October 30, 2015

Today, just in time for Saturday football games and Halloween, I’m dusting off a recipe from the archives. Joe had a work potluck today and specifically requested that I make these Fritos Scotcheroos. And who am I to deny Joe and his co-workers these amazing bars?

Before we get too far, let’s be clear: These are not healthy in any way. In fact, I think I remarked yesterday while making them that they might be the least healthy recipe on the site. But there is a time and place for over-the-top decadence, and when you’re looking to indulge, I think these bars are a pretty good option. They are the prefect mix of sweet and salty! Just be sure to cut them small to avoid going over-the-top.

You can find the recipe HERE




New Mom Style :: In Pursuit of the Perfect Jeans

October 29, 2015


Madewell_1Madewell High Rise Skinny Jean in Dayton Wash (tall) || Anthropologie Slubbed Scoop Tee ||
Tieks Flats in Camel || Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant 

I feel like I’ve been in pursuit of the perfect pair of jeans for as long as I can remember. A few things I’ve found true (for me) along the way…

1. Gap and Banana Republic jeans are deceptive. They feel great in the store and fit wonderfully, but they start to sag and do funny things after even the tiniest bit of wear.

2. Low rise jeans are not a momma’s friend. You always end up yanking them up to avoid looking indecent. And it’s hard to chase after a baby when you’re focused on not showing your behind to everyone.

3. Expensive jeans are (almost) always worth the high price tag.

4. A good pair of jeans should hold their shape for multiple wears before washing and shouldn’t leave you itching to take them off at the end of the day. You should actually enjoy wearing them!

5. Size doesn’t matter. Find a pair that fits, regardless of what number is on the label.

That said, I’ve been having a hard time finding a great pair for a little while now. Okay, a long while. I used to be head-over-heels about J. Crew’s Matchstick jeans, but they went and changed them on me and there’s something that just isn’t quite right anymore.

I had heard a lot of buzz about Madewell’s denim and finally bit the bullet and gave them a try. Since we don’t have a Madewell nearby, I ordered four pairs online and tried them on at home. Madewell offers free shipping both ways, so it was a no-risk proposition.

You guys? These jeans are amazing! I went with the 9′ High Riser Skinny Jean in Dayton and couldn’t be more thrilled. I ended up having to buy them in tall because they were a tad on the short side, but once I found the right size and fit it was a perfect match. They have just a tiny bit of stretch, hold their shape for multiple wears and are SO incredibly comfortable. I’m pretty sure the high rise is just our modern version of the mom jean, but with a fit like this, I’m totally okay with that.

*I was in no way paid to write this review. I simply love these jeans and thought others might be looking for a great pair, too! 

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