MILK & COOKIES

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hello! It's a rainy Monday afternoon while I type this and I'm craving warm weather and hot hot sunshine. A year ago I already had a tan and it was in the 80's every day. Where is spring? Isaac and I joke (half seriously) at least once a week that we are going to up and move to a warmer climate where it's sunny year-round!

We wrapped up Rosie's birthday week yesterday with a sweet little "milk & cookies" party. My heart is brim full with happiness and gratitude for all the wonderful aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents that helped us celebrate our baby girl! Rosie made it through the whole party and then promptly passed out as soon as everyone left. Success!

I kept party decorations simple with lots of flowers and balloons, branches from our backyard and a big display of photos from Rosie's first year. Olive helped me make a few batches of cookies (my little sous chef!) and Isaac set out an iced coffee & (nut)milk bar for guests to fix their own drinks. At the bottom of the post I've included our favorite no-fail gluten-free cookie recipe - let me know if you try it! xx













OUR FAVORITE Vegan Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 c gluten free oat flour (I make mine in the blender using gf oats)
1/2 c gluten free rolled oats
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

1/4 c + 2 T melted coconut oil 
1/4 c coconut sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
2 flax eggs (2 T ground flax + 6 T water)
1 t vanilla

3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c chocolate chips 
(I like to add chopped pecans or coconut flakes. Anything works!)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment or use a Silpat.

Whisk together flax eggs and let them work their magic while you prep the dry ingredients. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (don't forget the flax eggs). 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in dried cranberries and chocolate chips. 

Let sit for 10 minutes so the oats can soak up some of the moisture. 

I like to pop the dough in the fridge for another 15 minutes to chill before cooking. Totally optional.

Scoop cookies onto baking sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool and enjoy! 

BIRTH STORY: ROSIE JEWELL

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My spring baby is ONE and my heart is so full! This milestone is not nearly as hard for me as when Olive turned one. I didn't know then what I had to look forward to after the first year and I felt a little sad that the "newborn" stage was over already and we were heading into the toddler years. This time around I am just so happy to celebrate Rosie's first year of life and excited to see her start walking and talking and interacting more with us!
It took a lot of convincing (myself) to sit down and write Ro's birth story - I'm much more of a dreamer and an artist than I am a writer, but I know that a year (or 10!) from now I may read through these old posts and be glad I did. So here we go. 


It was April 17, the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Isaac was off work. We decided to walk the greenway before dinner - as soon as we got in the car I felt my contractions starting. I knew right then we would probably be meeting our baby girl in the next 24 hrs - I had a hunch she would be born April 18. 
The contractions were frequent, but easy. We watched Grey's Anatomy that evening. I remember turning to Isaac and saying, "This is so easy! Maybe these are actually huge contractions and my body just knows what to do this time around so it feels easy!" He did not seem convinced. 
A little more Grey's Anatomy and we were ready for bed. My midwife checked me and I was at 5cm. I told her I felt fine. She decided to sleep on the couch, just in case. After a quiet night she slipped out early in the morning before we woke. 
I had muesli for breakfast and felt my contractions pick up again once I started moving around. Isaac got our birthing pool blown up and Dad picked up Olive so Isaac could focus on ME!
I spent the morning in and out of the pool laughing and talking with Isaac and my midwives between contractions. 
My hopes that I would sail through this birth without any/much discomfort were dashed at 11am when after a whopping contraction I burst into tears at the kitchen table. I think my midwife must have thought that was a good sign because she whipped out her pen and made a note on her chart as if to say, "Good. Progress." 
By 1:30 I was hoping and praying each contraction was the last one. I needed a little energy to make it to the finish line... we put on Bob Marley and ordered some Thai food. 
1:52 - My body started pushing and I started yelling! We freaked out the Thai food delivery guy who arrived mid-roar. For a split second, fear swept over me. I felt so small and weak and afraid. I told Isaac I wasn't sure I could do it. I prayed out loud for strength and reminded myself this is my race and I AM AT THE FINISH LINE.
... 
2:00 - head crowning.
...
2:01 - welcome to the world, Rosie Jewell! 

Welcome, little Rosie, to this breathtaking world! We have been waiting so long to meet you. Waiting to see your perfect face, to brush your cheek and smell your skin. Waiting to hear the sound of your cry, to kiss you, to feel your fingers wrap around ours. Waiting to hold you, to rock you to sleep. We have been counting down the months, the days, the weeks, the hours until this moment. And now it is here! You are the fruit of our love. You are a miracle. You are a gift from God. You are ours. 









Read Olive's birth story here =) 

40 WEEKS

Friday, April 13, 2018

Hello! It's been a while! I took a little break from blogging for about a year to focus my energy on caring for a newborn and adapting to life with two little ones, but now that I'm sleeping a solid 8+ hrs every night and the girls enjoy a good afternoon nap, I'm thinking about visiting this space a little more... we'll see =)

Our daughter, Rosie, was born last April and we are loving life with two little girls! Here are some photos I took on my due date at 40 weeks. I never got around to sharing them because she arrived just a few days later! I might share some photos of her birth and those magical first 24 hrs a bit later. Should I write her birth story?

Hope you all are well! xo Christine











BOTANICAL GARDENS

10 BABY SHOWER GIFT IDEAS

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Not long ago I posted 10 gift ideas for a mama-to-be. Today I'm sharing a few gift ideas that are a little more baby centered. Baby showers are typically filled with lots of blankets and onesies and maybe a diaper cake. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or something a little out of the ordinary keep reading. =)

// 10 UNIQUE BABY SHOWER GIFTS //

KNIT TOYS
I love love love the knit dolls from Cuddle and Kind! They are a wonderful family-owned company helping feed children in need - every doll sold provides 10 meals! You can read more about their mission here. Another really adorable doll company is Hazel Village. So unique and sweet!

SLING / WRAP
Babywearing is so big right now! There are a bunch of companies that make beautiful slings and wraps but my favorites are Solly Baby and Wildbird.

SWADDLE
A swaddle might not seem like a unique gift but when you see the ones from The Ollie World or Little Unicorn (also love their muslin quilts and crib sheets!) you might change your mind! And I can't get enough of the knotted gowns from Candy Kirby Designs! Add. To. Cart. haha

MOSES BASKET
While I've never used one, I think they are precious! RH Baby & Child has a bunch but also check out Plum + Sparrow for more of a bohemian look.

WASH WITH WATER
I found Wash with Water on Instagram and love everything they are about! Made in the USA, vegan, cruelty free, hypoallergenic and family-owned! Their products have glowing reviews - I don't think you can go wrong with anything from this company and I don't know a mama that wouldn't love to receive this pretty little gift set

PHOTO SESSION
Is there anything more sweet and beautiful than those first few hours/days/weeks with a sleepy newborn?! I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out my box of photos to look through all of Olive's baby pictures. I took hundreds and still don't feel like I have enough. Loving this candid shoot in the hospital and this one done at home.

OWLET MONITOR
A new tech toy on the market and perfect for first time mamas. It's a little pricier than a pack of onesies but definitely just as useful! The Owlet tracks your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you if they fall out of a preset range. Olive was such a sound sleeper when she was born and Isaac and I couldn't even tell she was breathing she would sleep so still - this would have helped us relax knowing she was fine and we didn't need to worry. 

PUJ TUB
Love my Puj tub so much! I think it was my first purchase when we were expecting Olive and definitely worth every penny. New mamas do not need to be bending over bath tubs! Get a Puj. It will save your back and make bath time so so fun! 

WOODEN TOYS
Wooden toys are classic and basically last forever. I'm a huge fan! If you follow me on Insta you probably saw me gushing about these gorgeous wooden blocks we got Olive for Christmas! They are soooo pretty! Land of Nod has a great selection of wooden toys for babes of all ranges.

CLASSIC BOOKS
I grew up on Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter (didn't we all?) and I can't wait to share those same wonderful stories with my baby girls. Absolutely loving this hardback copy of The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, this one of The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh, this sweet gift set, and this board book set! You can't go wrong with the classics!

OCEAN ISLE BEACH

MATERNITY PHOTOS IN NEWPORT

Sunday, February 19, 2017












Today I'm sharing some maternity photos we took on our babymoon in New England a couple weeks ago. It snowed the day we arrived and made everything look so beautiful and wintery. It was cold and windy but absolutely breathtaking standing on these cliffs watching the water crash on the rocks. I'm pretty sure we could have spent the whole day out here!

Our winter babymoon was everything we hoped for! We spent a few days at the Vanderbilt Grace hotel in Newport, RI and got so spoiled and pampered by the staff there! They were all so friendly and took really good care of us. Isaac had arranged for chocolate covered strawberries and drinks in our room when we arrived and a couples massage for later in the week. We did the Cliff Walk (where these pictures were taken), toured Rosecliff Mansion (so pretty!), and went ice skating outdoors at night under a million stars and dozens of twinkle lights! We found plenty of gluten free options at local cafes and restaurants and really enjoyed slowing down and taking time to relax. It felt like we were dating again walking (& skating!) hand in hand just talking and dreaming about our future. =)

Big hugs and thank you to my sister and her husband for staying with Olive while we were gone! They took such good care of our baby and definitely helped make my first time away from her as easy as possible!

Hope you all have a beautiful week! xoxo Christine