Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Shop Update

Yet again, it's been a long time since I've done a shop update, but I figure it's due since I have some exciting things going on for the holidays! Well, exciting for me anyway ;) I've been working on a bunch of holiday cards, some of which are up in the shop already, and have some new products, like a Card of the Month Club. I looove sending and receiving mail, so I thought it would be a fun gift to send a new blank card each month, with postage attached. That way you and your friends can spread the letter writing love! 

I've also got a few specials running for the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which I'll be spending in my PJ's on the couch. No 3 AM shopping sprees for me! From Friday 11/25 - Monday 11/28, all of my card sets will be marked 20% off! All purchases will also come with Free Shipping, just enter the code FREESHIPHOORAY at checkout to get your discount. If your purchase is a gift, let me know in the "Message to Seller" and you also get free gift wrapping and a holiday card with your gift message! 

Take a look at some of the new listings in the shop, 
and feel free to let me know what you think or make suggestions in the comments :)

Don't forget that you can be updated of specials and holiday freebies (I'm doing a new one each week after this weekend!) by liking the Jojobean Designs Facebook page

Thanks all, and in case I don't see ya, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One More Reason to Stuff My Face

You ever say yes to something when you shouldn't? A simple something, like maybe oh, can you help me with a little party? Just a little birthday thing, no big deal. And then the next thing you know you are baking and cleaning and picking up flowers and balloons and getting stuck in traffic and decorating a dining room while nursing a baby and trying to put him to bed with three minutes to spare even though the guest of honor's flight was delayed? Yeah. That.

These are those kind of crazy cupcakes. Sigh. At least they were worth it. I know that carrot cake is usually a spring thing, but these were a special request. It was a birthday, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is the birthday girl's very favorite thing. Of course I had to go all overboard in the middle of 4 other projects and make her some from scratch with little carrot toppers instead of just ordering them and giving my boss the bill. Typical. They were a delicious pain in the ass that took me three days to complete thanks to Jude getting a cold, Jason forgetting he needed a Halloween costume until the last minute, and then everyone got sick. Word. So anywhosit, even though these are really a spring thing, a few recipe switches make them fabulously fall friendly. Say that 5 times fast. I switched the raisins out for dried cranberries and added crystallized ginger and coconut. Top them with turkeys instead of carrots (or just a sprinkling of coconut and cranberries) and they'd be kick ass on your Thanksgiving table. And on your ass later, cause these are so fricking fattening! Have two.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing 
adapted from Martha's Cupcakes

1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated (sounds like a lot, but trust me!)
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbls. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/2 c. grated unsweetened coconut
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
For icing:
2 sticks butter at room temperature
12 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
reserved vanilla bean seeds
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Blend carrot, egg, sugar, oil, buttermilk, 1/2 of the vanilla bean seeds, ginger, coconut and cranberries in a large bowl. Sift remaining dry ingredients and fold into the carrot mixture. Divide evenly among tins and bake for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on wire racks. Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla bean until very fluffy. Beat in sugar a little at a time until very fluffy, at least five minutes. Frost cupcakes.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Booby List

If you are one of those people that gets freaked out about the idea of breast feeding, I'm sorry. Just go ahead and skip this post, maybe go read about my crazy former neighbors or that late night moth attack I'll never forget. I know that some people think it's weird, and that my foodie readers probably don't want to hear about boobs. Or maybe you do. But if you are a mommy-to-be and you are considering breast feeding, right on! It has been the single greatest bonding experience I have had with my little man and I could not recommend it more. Plus, it's free, and you know how I love free.
Boobie Beanie by SarasStiches on Etsy

That said, breast feeding can be a challenge, it can be scary, and it can be incredibly frustrating in the beginning. If you are dedicated to trying to stick it out, there are a few things you must have in your arsenal...

A Breast Feeding Support Group or a Lactation Consultant or at least an Experienced Friend: I can't stress this enough. I started going to a breast feeding support group when Jude was 4 weeks old, and have gone almost every week since then. There are so many moments when I thought something was wrong, but when I shared my concerns, at least 3 other moms were experiencing the same thing. I left group feeling better every time. There are a million ways to position, tons of products out there to help, and sometimes you try ten things before you find the answer. Having someone to give you feedback or just listen to you moan can be the saving grace on those tough days when you feel like a miserable moo cow. Check with your hospital or your doctor/midwife to see if there is a group near you. If not, there are online communities if all else fails. You can even contact me! I'm not an expert, but I'm happy to listen to you cry it out via email.

Nipple Cream: You are going to have some pain. It can range from a bit of chafing to toe curling pain every time your baby latches on. One way to ease that early pain in the boob is the right nipple cream. Many of the women I know use Lansinoh , but I hated it. It was so thick and greasy! I switched to First Years Nipple Butter and loved how much smoother it was. Plus, I like that it has no lanolin, because it kind of freaks me out to rub sheep grease on my lady parts. I used it after every feeding and the soreness was gone within a few weeks. However, if you have severe pain that lasts longer than a few weeks, you may want to ask your doctor for a prescription for Dr. Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment or APNO. It is the stuff of dreams.

A Good Breast Pump: Especially if you are going to go back to work (but even if you just want a partner/sitter to give a bottle now and then). Most of the women in my group have the Medela Pump InStyle Advanced and love it. It really doesn't matter what brand you have, but get a good one. It will save you time and frustration. Many insurance plans cover all or part of the cost now, and all of the cost is tax deductible. Just be aware that, especially in the beginning, you may not produce a lot. You may never produce a lot, but don't freak about it. Your production could be anywhere from 1/2 an ounce to 8 ounces per pumping session depending on a million factors. How much water or caffeine you drink, how much glandular tissue you have, when you last nursed your baby... It all comes into account.

A Hooter Hider: Some kind of nursing cover is a necessity for feeding your babykins in public, which you are bound to have to do at some point! A blanket or burp cloth will always do in a pinch, but a real nursing cover is worth registering for! The strap around your neck helps prevent your sweetie from tearing it off and exposing your hoohas to the world, which will happen. I assure you. Most also have a stiff band in the neckline so that you can peek down to check on your baby's progress. I have also used mine as a makeshift changing pad, a stroller shade, and a beach blanket. It's great.

Well Fitting Nursing Bras: Go buy several brands before you give birth. Try to clip and unclip them with one hand in the dressing room. If you can't do it easily, don't buy it! Grab a few nursing tank tops while you're at it. The Gilligan and O'Malley ones from Target are great, and (obviously) affordable. Get fitted professionally if you have to. Your girls are going to change so dramatically over the first few weeks that having an uncomfortable bra will make you so miserable.

One fun thing to also get is this beauty. Come on, you know that photo is funny. But seriously, it makes folding laundry, typing emails, or just stuffing your face possible while pumping. It may make your breasts look like superheroes in disguise, but it's worth it if you are going to do lots of pumping!

So ladies in the peanut gallery... Did you breastfeed? What are your favorite tips/products?