Wednesday Wow: Keep Those Icky Germs Away-Herbal Remedies

Phew! Can you believe we are headed into the winter season already? There is nothing more pitiful than to look in your child’s eyes and see pain, congestion and low energy. Over the years, I’ve put together some of my favorite herbal blends for my family. Because they don’t always like my culinary creations, I try to mix it up a bit with power herbs to reach the same goal of a high immune system.

 

Kombucha-A happy gut is a healthy body. The main part of your immune system is ingerm-2 your gut, so keeping it supplied with good bacteria will help make a stronger body. There are a few ways to do this but a good probiotic and/or fermented foods in your diet like kombucha  will help populate the good bacteria in your body.

Powdered herbs into blender shakes/Smoothies– ADD IN  cod liver oil, collagen/ food sources of vitamin C  with some berries, steamed greens and coconut water every day to make sure we are starting off on the right foot.

tea-tree-soapSoap -When flu prevention experts advise you to wash your hands, they don’t mean a light drizzle of water. As mama always said, use soap and warm water — and rub hands for 15 to 20 seconds. Sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice while rubbing, to keep track of the time.

What You’ll Need

  • A natural bar soap of choice. Homemade bar soaps usually work well and my other favorites are Dr. Bronners, african black soap, and Kombucha soap (available here).
  • Distilled or filtered water
  • A dispenser: Reuse an old soap dispenser, use a glass one or metal one, or make one out of a mason jar by drilling a hole in the top and hot gluing on the top of a soap pump dispenser.

What You Need- to do is:

 

teaStrong Tea-Keep things moving by drinking water. This will help stimulate your immune system during an illness because it helps your body flush the germs. Making the water into a tea is a bonus.

Natural Mamma Immune Boosting Tea and Recipe

Recipe Type: Herbal Tea
Prep time: 5 mins    Cook time: 20 mins  Total time: 25 mins
Ingredients
  • 1 part Elderberry
  • 2 parts Rose Hips
  • 2 parts Echinacea puroporea
  • 2 parts Chamomile
  • 2 parts Astragalus
Instructions
  1. Combine herbs and use 1tsp of the mix per cup of boiling water. Let steep at least 20 minutes up to 8 hours for full medicinal effect. Drink 2-3 cups a day as needed to support immune function.
 Mouth Wash  (if you have a Doterra or Young Living connection, you’re good! )

mouthwash

How To Make Homemade Mouthwash

  • 1 cup of Purified Water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5-10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil (depends on how strong you want it)
  • 4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Optional: 1 tsp baking soda
  • Glass bottle (essential oils can degrade plastic)

Getting our herbs and spices from our garden and local farmer’s market is nice too. Being able to grab Western medicine is easy. But do you really want to be completely dependent on someone else for your healing. Let’s be like the ants and do more for ourselves. It works!

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This list, as simple as it titled, needs to be shared. – Hand Washing

Make your own laundry soap, and all-purpose cleaner . You’ll save money and provide healthier options for your family.

Check Out this HippyHomemakers tincture. It’s EASY to make AND she has a list of healing herbs.

Dynamite Herbal Infusions listed here.

Soap Making- Click here

 

In Total Wellness, Jabela

 

 

Fade Away Sleep Sounds WORKS!

Do you have a fussy baby or a busy mind?

(Yes, keep reading) (No, you will if you’re lucky, so keep reading) I have found the complete solution to them both. It’s a company called Fade Away Sleep Sounds.

Ultimately it’s has been a God send for me more than for the children. When it rains here in Charlotte unlike others, I don’t try to hide from it. I do the opposite. I open the window and may even go sit on the porch. The sound of rain, thunderstorms, wind chimes just soothes me. It’s the same sounds I can listen to everyday via Fade Away Sleep Sounds.

Have you heard of white noise /sounds? I’ll explain, White noise is a type of noise that is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together. If you took all of the imaginable tones that a human can hear and combined them together, you would have white noise.

I love the way Fade Away Sounds explains it: See below. https://www.facebook.com/fadeawaysleep/videos/10154432454291052/

 

When asked my moms friends of Queen City Stay At Home Moms how they enjoyed it I got responses all across the board. Since we have 5 babies aged 10 months and below, we thought it would be cool to try the white sounds on our little ones.

But after 4 weeks of consistently using the Fade Away Sleep Sounds, the common response was “it works!”  The babies love white noise. And it makes sense. They’ve just spent their entire life in the womb. And the womb is deafeningly loud. I guess you can say White noise sounds like “home” to a baby.

Here’s what my mom friends have shared:

Kim said she was able to do laundry, and have an uninterrupted lunch date with her husband while the baby slept soundly in the next room..

Tina shared, “As a homeschooling mom, having her little one nap at a certain time every day makes life much easier.”

Lisa messaged me and said the she wants to try more. She wrote, ” It helps not only her twins, but her husband too!”

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These sounds are  a way cheaper  and less toxic option than running your actual water or burn gas driving in circles till Little Bruce falls asleep.

They have so many sounds. Don’t miss any of them.

Follow them on twitter () and Facebook ().  and  thier YouTube Channel () –

Also, Fade Away Sleep Sounds are available on most all of the streaming and music download sites, listen in at  Spotify!

and Apple Music

Personally I suggest you  buy and download the sounds (as opposed to online streaming), from their  the website ()

Parents, you are gonna LOVE this. Be sure to share it with you baby for a full night sleep.

Enjoy!

Jabela

Oh, also see- 10 Facts About Baby Sleep You Never Knew You Knew   

 

 

Disclosure: This has been another honest but paid review by the moms of Queen City Stay At Home Moms. The opinions are all ours.

Friday Four: Graduation and Absent Parents

High School Graduation  brings all types of newness. step parents affirm

I have a classmate that gave her daughter to a community friend. This year she graduated from high school and I was so pleasantly surprised to see here there supporting her child. It signified a a new chapter for them both. No matter what happened in the past,she was there and her child needed that. Another classmate of mine told me her nieces mom didn’t even showed up and the graduate actually cried on her BIG day.  What I want to share with any absent parent, let go of the ego and get your child!  Unless you are a creep, molester, etc,. the current guardian can no longer keep you from your child.  Yes, honey, it’s YOUR TIME TO bond!

Need help making it happen? I got you. Here’s FOUR ways To To Take Advantage Of This bonding Opportunity:

  1. Apologize for everything. Some things could have happened and you may not be aware of it.It may not even be your fault. Something could have happened completely out of your control. Own up to it.Gone on, claim your ‘ish.  Sort through all of it.But don’t put blame completely on the child and other guardian*
  2. Answer Offer to Answer any and all questions she/her may have. You’ll be embarrassed,but keep the end goals in mind. Sometimes you have to “UNTIE KNOTS “to get on a smoother road. Now is that time.
  3. Ask for a relationship. Don’t be crazy and ask her/him to call you mamma/daddy, but ask can we build some type of relationship from here.
  4. Find ways to be significant. You already know your child will need a mini fridge. Go buy it. Create a pintrest page to share with her/him. Keep it updated with college tips and advice. Send monthly care packages, Send gift cards to local venues/attractions in her /his college town. Whatever you do, keep sincere. While you will never make up for lost time, you most certainly can create a special relationship with your child that will never be broken. When she celebrate- you celebrate. When she upset, you find ways to put a smile on her face that no one else can.

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These are my personal tips. They are working so far for me. Met my number 3.(yes, I altered her face)  She and I are building a real bond now.I know in my heart, she’s another reason why my professional services create more opportunities for me to be in her life. I’m not wasting the opportunities.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

 

Do NOT Touch My Child! Child Abuse Prevention Month

The month of April is devoted to celebrating everything we can do to transform our community into a place that cares about – and actively supports — families and children. By ensuring that all parents in our community have access to quality childcare, affordable health services, parenting education resources, and substance abuse and mental health programs, we make progress toward what the month stands for: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Here is a list of simple tips that can have a positive effect on the well-being and healthy development of children, families and communities. Print it out! . !

For your family:

  • As a parent, block out 15 minutes a day to play one-on-one with your child — doing anything he or she wants. We know from studies that the more parents engage in positive activities with their children, the less they use negative physical and psychological discipline.
  • Tell the children or youth in your life how much you care for them and appreciate them.All children deserve to have someone who is “crazy about them” and loves them unconditionally.
  • Work with the kids in your life to explore their heritage and learn their family’s story.Every family has a rich story to tell and our connections to our past help us carry forward our values and traditions.

chFor friends and neighbors:

  • Compliment a father — someone you know or even someone in public — on something positive you see him do with his children. Dads contribute uniquely to children’s development.
  • Offer your time to baby-sit for the child of a friend, neighbor or family member. All parents need help sometimes — even if it is just to rest or “recharge” for an hour or two.
  • Mentor a young dad you know in growing his relationship with his kids. Some young dads may need help with transportation or in identifying helpful resources for their children.Dads provide qualities and benefits for their children no one else can.
  • Support parents looking for a job by offering your professional knowledge and experience in resume writing or preparing for a job interview. Financial stability links directly with family stability and can have a big effect on the emotional well-being of caregivers and their children.
  • Encourage single mothers you know, whenever possible, to support the involvement of children’s fathers in their lives. When non-custodial dads work to be involved in the lives of their children, they need the positive support of the child’s other parent or caretaker to encourage the development of that relationship.
  • Build community trust and togetherness by inviting friends to participate in a meaningful cultural event in your life. Helping people learn about your culture may help them understand that despite some differences, we have a lot in common — especially the need for support now and then. See Queen City Stay At Home Moms
  • Arrange a potluck event in your neighborhood to get to know other parents and their kids. Friends and neighbors can give outstanding support to families in times of need or stress.

For your community:recoginizing-and-reporting-child-abuse-neglect-5-728.jpg

  • Sponsor, volunteer at or participate in a cultural event in your community. Families come from different cultural backgrounds that all bring value in creating caring and compassionate communities.
  • Do volunteer work for a youth- or family-serving organization in your community. Some families just need a little help from time to time, and community organizations are designed to do just that.
  • Take action on legislative issues that affect children and families. Call your elected representatives, join demonstrations and be sure always to vote to show that you support services to help families raise healthy children. (See Momsrising)
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Caring and connected neighborhoods can be powerful in reducing neighborhood violence and supporting struggling parents.
  • Create a “Safe Children Zone” in your neighborhood. Host a community meeting with your neighbors to talk about what each of you can do to help create a sense of safety for the children in your neighborhood.
  • Volunteer at or donate resources to a local preschool or daycare center. Early education builds the foundation for a lifetime of healthy brain development.
  • Ask yours or another faith-based organization in your community about donations — even small ones — that can be made to support families in need. Some families need help providing for their children’s basic needs.
  • If you have reason to believe a child may be at risk of harm in their home, call your local child abuse hotline. Anyone who is worried about the well-being of a child can call to report their concerns.Individuals who report concerns have the right to receive a letter later to know what happened with the case.

To report concerns of child abuse or neglect, visit or call your county’s DSSChild Protective Services agency.

Call 911 in emergencies. (I’ve done it before. It’s okay and the child will thank you for it – later.)

Facts about Child Abuse

Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers

((photo credit for cover photo………not sure who created it. I found it on google images.))

Wednesday Wow: Family Valentine’s Day Party GiveAway

Want to win tickets to the 3rd annual Family Valentines Day Party this Saturday in the QC? I hope so because this contest is too easy!  The perks of being a small time blogger is paying off for you.

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We are having a “Sweet Minion” Family Valentine’s Day Party! As a mom, finding affordable opportunities for my family to enjoy together is a priority. It’s rare that we go out ALL together, but when we do, it has to make sense, and it has to be safe!  This is it! We’re having:

  • A live DJ (Julie Brim)
  • A Real Magician (Houdini’s World)
  • A Vegan based Dessert bar (Cassie’s Sweetz)
  • A $5.Gift Shop  (various vendors selling brand new items for $5. or less!)
  •  Fun  games, photo opportunities 
  • A SAFE family event with Free parking! 

dj minionHere’s how to get some of these 32 tickets. If you belong to any of the following categories- read up!

Note: Theminion bakerse offers excludes goodie bags and reserved tables. We want to make sure we are serving the ones that need this the most. And because our entertainment is so amazing, we want to have a good crowd for them to absorb the loving energy!

So be sure to tag your favorite business, organization, club, and group. This is gonna be huge!

If you have a non profit, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you own a daycare, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you own a support group for families, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you are a organizer for a mom group, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

Give the passes to whomever you choose! This offer is for the 1st 4 industries to enter. That’s 16 people. Now for the public sector. We need more traffic. We’re new’ish.

 Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you are visiting a place where the chief sits on the floor. (Ghana)

So I have 4 family packs to give you!  And yes, for up to $80 per family in value, there’s a few things I’ll need from you. (trust me, it’s easier than you think)

  1. Like and follow–> my blog, FB, Twitter, Instagram and then comment on this post BELOW or here on the event page. The more you like, the better your chances! Fair right?
  2. That’s IT. Winners will be announced on Facebook,called & or emailed! Hurry the party is THIS SATURDAY!

See you Saturday at the hottest mom powered family event of the year!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Contest

I know 6 little ones that are super excited to see the circus next week! If last year, is anything like this year…… they are in for a treat! SEE blog post from last yearclown

The excitement starts an hour before show time with the All Access Pre-show where your family can meet the amazing cast members and get up close and purr-sonal with their tigers and other animals. Performers include high-wire wizards, strong men, BMX trick riders, daredevils on the trampoline bungee aerial skydiving and more.
Show Schedule 
Wednesday January 27 at 7 p.m.
Thursday January 28 at 7 p.m.
Friday January 29 at 10:30 a.m.
Friday January 29 at 7 p.m.
Saturday January 30 at 11 a.m.
Saturday January 30 at 3 p.m.
Saturday January 30 at 7 p.m.
Sunday January 31 at 11 a.m.
Sunday January 31 at 3 p.m.

{Contest Info} Win a family four pack to the show on Thursday, January 28th at 7pm. I won’t even make you pile into a clown car – nope – just do any of the following – 1 entry per completion.

1. Comment on our Facebook post with your favorite circus act.
2. Comment on THIS blog with your favorite circus act.
3. Share the Facebook post publicly (you have to change the post privacy to public so I can see it)

I’ll draw a winner on January 25th. Good luck!

Charlotte Family Events

2016 is coming in like a lion! There is so much to enjoy this month! We started with Kwanzaa and now we’re getting ready for our next list of adventures. Take a look and come along! https://www.facebook.com/TheQCSupermom/videos/1007314052665244/

norm-of-the-north-teaser-poster

The Laugh Out Loud Adventure In Theaters 1/15!

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TIME WARNER CABLE ARENA | JANUARY 8 & 9

MONSTER JAM

The 2016 touring season brings more Monster Jam excitement, providing entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old. This event will feature eight different trucks including Captain’s Curse, Doomsday, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Hot Wheels, Mad Scientist, MM Dalmatian and Zombie Hunter. Approximately 12-feet-tall and about 12-feet-wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch-tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, these trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower and are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Monster Jam trucks can fly up to 130 feet over 14 cars side-by-side and up to 35 feet in the air.

 This will be our 3rd year and each year it’s absolutely amazing! Don’t wait to get your tickets ya’ll. Buy them here- at the

And  last but not least, for any mom that is afraid of her money, or allowing it to control her, this is for you. We will broadcast it live on Persicope! Under QCSUPERMOOM

Now our 3rd Family Valentines Day party…… it will be like the others —- AMAZING! Tickets are on sale NOW!

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#NormOfTheNorth, #TurboTaxParty , #MonsterJam,and #QCFamilyValentinesDayParty . We bring these things to you because we like having nice and safe fun with our precious children all over the QC

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual Wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. While different individuals may have different views of what spiritualism is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence, leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world

1a quote-Mahatma-Gandhi-spiritual-relationship-is-far-more-precious-than-41697_2.png

My daughters grew up in the church. They attend children’s church, children’s choir and even ushered when they were old enough. The other day my daughter told me that I don’t pray in front of them any more. If she feels this way, I can only imagine what my poor son think. See, we left our home church a few years ago and have yet to connect with another one since then. I wanted to see if my husband and I could nurture their spiritual wellness inhouse. Since we have books, and fairly spiritual (not religious) parents. For a while it worked until the conversation with my dad popped up. He asked if I was still connected with my church family. I told him yes. Then he went on to say why he wished his grandkid would have their own relationship with God. He said that sometimes kids miss parents messages, but it’s amazing what they pick up from other people’s mouth. I couldn’t do anything but agree with him after my daughter comment, so I sat down and made a plan. I will take them to church this coming sunday and see how it goes. I also created this collection to get the children on the right track. Here you go——

 

(INSERT CHILD’S PICTURE)

I love you from the bottom of my heart. I also know that I will not be here for you in times of need. This was created just for YOU! I wanted to give you hope for all things good bad and ugly. Enjoy

 

William Murphy

Praise Is What I Do lyrics

Solo

Praise is what I do

When I want to be close to You,

I lift my hands in praise.

Praise is who I am,

I will praise Him while I can.

I’ll bless Him at all times.

Chorus

I vow to praise You

Through the good and the bad.

I’ll praise You,

Whether happy or sad.

I’ll praise You

(This is my testimony)

In all that I go through,

(Somebody said why)

Because praise is what I do,

Cause I owe it all to You.

Verse 1

(Come on church)

Praise is what I do

(Come on church)

When I want to be close to You,

(I lift my hands-somebody lift Him)

I lift my hands in praise.

(Somebody say it so the devil will hear you)

Praise is who I am,

(Come on praise the Lord)

I will praise Him while I can.

I’ll bless Him at all times.

Chorus

And I vow to praise You

Through the good and the bad.

I’ll praise You,

Whether happy or sad.

I’ll praise You

(Somebody lift your voice and say)

Verse 2

Praise is what I do,

Even when I am going through,

(See I’ve learned…)

I’ve learned to worship You.

(See I want to let the devil know tonight, even though…)

Though my circumstance doesn’t even stand a chance,

My praise out weighs the bad.

(So I vow to praise)

Repeat Chorus

Now somebody lift your voice

And just go to praising him right now

Somebody lift your voice in this place

Lift up your voice in this place

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My Prayers-

Morning Prayer:

Thank you God for waking us up this morning. I know you didn’t have to do it, but  you and only you did. I’m so grateful for the use of my limbs, brains, and will. Thank you for keeping us as we slept last night. I know not everyone received that blessing. If it’s your will, please look over us as we go on through our day. Bless our going outs and coming in. In your name God, we praise you always. Amen.

Grace and Mercy:

Lord thank you for keeping me and my family. So many people are going through hard times. I know you could never be pimped so I’m asking you father to please give them understanding. Please bring them comfort and a peace of mind. I don’t know what to do, but you do. I don’t know how to make it better but I know that you do. I don’t know how to fix it God, but I know that YOu DO because you have do it before. And your will will always be done.  You God are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Because you are already in tomorrow, I know it will work out for them. Thank you God for being a help in a time of trouble.

Prayer for Strength:

I am perfect and wonderfully made. There is nothing that will happen to me that you will not sign off and my faith in that will protect me. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I am More than a conquer.

Prayer for a healing

God you know I have things to do. What lesson am I to be learning? I’m listening. My mind and body is now ready to listen. I’ll rest, learn, and listen as I recover. Thank you God for loving me enough to slow me down.

Prayer Of  Thanks

THANK YOU God! You really be showing off with me, don’t you? You’re the real MVP! Please allow me to continue to bring you honor!

Spiritual Wellness Play Mix:

This collection leaves me in tears. Praise feels so good. I builds , maintains  and protects my spirit. I hope it proves to be a blessing to you.

“I‘m Still Holding On” (1984)- Luther Barnes, Red Budd Choir
Luther Barnes Spirit Fall Down
“I WON’T COMPLAIN” REV.PAUL JONES (Extended Version) Praise Break
Through It All Andrae Crouch
‘Open The Floodgates of Heaven’- Bishop Paul Morton @ GE Patterson Church
Amber Bullock – For Every Mountain
I Give Myself Away by William McDowell
Donnie McClurkin – “Stand” MaLinda Sapp Funeral
Donnie McClurkin – Great is your mercy – Live

More on the web on Spiritual Wellness:

HERE

I had something that happened earlier that was straight from the enemy. I closed my closet  door, sat on the floor  & cried out to God…literally just cried. I had no words, just tears. I know God sees me & he sees my tears.  In closing, Trust God. He knows you  better than you  know yourself.
Peace & Blessings, Jabela

Smash Cakes: Because your Baby is the King/Queen Of All Babies!

Nine babies and I only had 2 smash cakes! What was I thinking of? They are so cute, fun, and just plain smart!

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I know a great vegan baker in Charlotte NC. See Cassie Sweetz

Who wants a cake a lil hand all over their cake? REALLY??? Lil Mikey can be the cutest thing since Kermit the Frog, but uuugh, I’ll pass on the booger laced slime delight.

A smash cake is typically given to the birthday child at the first birthday celebration and is to be smashed, smeared, enjoyed and eaten by the birthday boy or birthday girl (remember to take lots of photos for the album!). Increasingly, people are making two cakes for the 1st birthday party: a smash cake and the main decorated birthday cake. The birthday guest of honor gets to have fun with the smash cake while the main birthday cake can be enjoyed by the guests, untouched by little hands.

whispered-inspirations-giant-cupcake_ cassie smashed

racheldomesticated-monster-cakeCassie sweetzcake-14

There are several ways to create a first birthday smash cake. A smash cake is usually a mini cake that matches the party theme, however any cake will do. The smash cake can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake (a giant cupcake is perfect) or as complex as a smaller version of the main cake. The possibilities are endless!

Remember to remove any cookie sticks, decorative pix or candles before you serve the smash cake and be sure to spread newspapers under your child’s chair to catch the mess!

Order it from Cassie’s Sweetz or make it your self! Or you can click on the links of each picture for more details.

PRETTY IN PINK CAKE

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white velvet cake is my go-to cake for birthdays. You can pair it with almost any frosting or filling. Although Beranbaum prefers a non-chocolate frosting on this cake like this one, I think a silky chocolate buttercream frosting works just fine here if it’s not overly chocolate-y.

If you have only two 9-inch pans like I do, follow this recipe to make the first two layers. After they have cooled and you have another pan available, halve the recipe to make a third layer. This will give you three 1 1/8-inch cake layers.

INGREDIENTS:

For The Cake:4 1/2 large egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

STEP 1: MAKE THE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease tops of parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

Combine ¼ cup milk, the egg whites and the vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining ¾ cup milk, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (or high if you’re using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the sides, and add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Scrape the batter into the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. The pans should be about ½ full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. You will want the cake to spring back when pressed lightly.

Cool the cakes for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Remove from pans.

STEP 2: MAKE THE FROSTING

Make your favorite frosting. I am partial to an Italian meringue buttercream.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE

Using a cake leveler, evenly cut the tops off the cake so the layers are equal height.

Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer and stick the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is set. Add the second cake layer and repeat with frosting and freezer time. Add the third layer and spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides of the cake – this is your crumb coat. Put cake in the freezer for 5 minutes or until frosting is set. Add a final thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, making sure it has a smooth finish. Place the cake in the freezer, covered, until you’re ready to decorate.

STEP 4: DECORATE THE CAKE

For the final fondant decoration, please see Not Without Salt’s instructions. I used 2 lbs of red buttercream fondant (with some leftover) and 4 lbs of white buttercream fondant (with some leftover). I used “antique white” to cover the cake and “wedding white” to make the strips.

If you’re making a 9-inch cake, you will need another set of hands to help you wrap the fondant around the cake, that is, unless you come up with a better system or technique than I did. If so, please share!

It’s your baby’s first birthday! Let him dig into his first birthday cake toddler-style with an adorable smash cake that’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.

101 More ideas-

Everything Else to Know about Smash Cakes

Just a lot of pretty ideas-

(Be sure to click all of the links in this post for more details)

A letter to my mamas, from your doula

Dear Mama –

Thank for allowing me to server you and your family. I was your doula and I’ve always thought that, if I did my job well, then you would only remember how amazing YOU were when it was time to birth your baby.

Birth is hard work and I hate how our culture presents it as a nice, tidy little inconvenience.

But you went against that cultural norm and chose to birth your baby with the help of a midwife, with all of the pain, bodily fluids, doubt, and triumph that come along with choosing that path.

You were beautiful. I know, I know … you hadn’t showered for two days and you threw up six times … but when you got to 8cm, there was a beautiful glow in your cheeks. … and beads of sweat on your lip.  I put a cool washcloth on your forehead, knowing that you were near holding your baby, knowing that there might still be a ton of work to do, and knowing that every moment would be worth it for you.

You frantically looked around and gasped “I can’t do this anymore.”

And I looked you in the eye and said, “You can do this. You are doing this. Don’t be afraid!”

And you believed me, as well you should have, because I was telling you the truth.

I knew the baby would be moving down with these powerful contractions as your cervix melted away.  And I told you “You’ll feel a lot of pressure, like you have to poop a bowling ball.”  And then, when that happened (the pressure, not the bowling ball!), you had a brief moment when the recognition of “Oh! This is what she was talking about!” passed over your face as the contraction faded away.

I didn’t tell you to push because your body knew damn good and well when it was time to move your baby from your womb to the outside world. And a few contractions (or maybe a few hours) after you’d been pushing, you said, “I think I’m pushing.”  “I know,” I said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s perfect.” If you were a mama who I did actually tell to push, know that there was a good reason for that.

You may have been in the water, or you may have been on the toilet, you may have been on your hands and knees, or the birth stool, or on your side, or standing up, or flat on your back.  If I look in my birth log at the day of your birth, I’ll remember which of these positions you were in and I’ll remember if it was because I asked you to get in that position or because that is where you instinctively went.

It matters to me where you were when your baby was born.

I remember that moment when we could clearly see the head. I love that your baby’s daddy thought that the top of the baby’s head, when we could see about three inches of it in diameter, was the whole head … and that as the rest of the head emerged his eyes were filled with tears and big as saucers. I remember after your baby’s head was born whether or not your baby turned to the left or to the right. I remember if your baby didn’t turn and I helped straighten the shoulders. I remember your baby coming fully into the world and the look on your face … I remember that in that moment, you became a mama – whether it was for the first time or the ninth time – relief and joy and sweat and sometimes tears intermingled.

I remember if I missed your birth, I remember if I was there three minutes or three days. I remember if we went to the hospital. Believe me when I tell you that I remember all of it.

I handed your baby up to you and just stepped back, always keeping an eye on the two of you. I tried to keep my mouth shut and let you discover your new little person on your own. I’m sorry if I chatted too much.  I sometimes am just so proud of mamas that I can’t contain myself. But I try hard to honor your space and the sacred-ness of new life.

I remember what your immediate postpartum was like, too. Really, I do. I talked to you about how babies process things about six times slower than we do and urged you to keep that in mind as you loved on your baby. And after a few hours, I tucked you into bed and went on my way.

You were beautiful and strong and tired and, I hope, proud.

I got to see you many times over the next six weeks. And after that last appointment, I got in my car and cried. I was so proud of you and so honored to have gotten to be a part of your life that I cried tears of joy, knowing that I may never see you or your precious baby again … but, for these brief months, I hope that I was all that you needed and dreamed of because YOU were all that I dreamed.

And my prayer for you as I drove away that day, “Oh Lord, please help her to remember that she CAN do it, that she IS doing it. Please help her to always remember that her doula said, “I was made for this”

Because I’m a doula, I revised it from the original version from Carrie Blake, CPM, LM