Recently in Notes from the Bakery Category
In 1996, I began experimenting with diets. From food combining to the handful-of-chocolate-chips-throughout-the-day meal plan, I exhausted every bone in my body to completely embrace each one. By 2008, my extremism led to severe burn out and I swore off diets all together. I chose a plan of eating, with the guidance of registered dietitian, that was balanced and all-inclusive.
Everything was smooth sailing until I found out I was pregnant. All sense of normal eating and table manners were thrown out the window. Desserts were de rigour and grazing was a given. "It's the baby. She's craving this ice cream cake," I would reason after I'd turned up my nose at a salad. Five months after pregnancy, I continued to embrace the pregnancy diet. I couldn't blame Darla for my funky eating habits anymore.
It was a sign that something needed to change when Erin asked me to review Mom Energy: a simple plan to live fully charged by the famed registered dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness guru Kathy Kaehler.
I anxiously opened up Mom Energy after Darla fell asleep one night. I was afraid I would have to throw the book across the room when the "cut-this-food-item-out" preaching began. I didn't think my sleep-deprived brain could handle such pressure. What I read, however, were balanced, thorough descriptions of healthy eating and living habits, coupled with complex nutrition concepts written in laymen's terms. I began to understand the mechanics of nutrition, which I had previously followed blindly.
What really caught my attention were Koff and Kahler's ability to take the guilt out of eating. This is extremely helpful for mothers, since we live, eat and breathe shame. They encourage us to change one or two things a week until we eventually reach a steady routine of healthier habits. We're even given the option to not do it perfectly.
While no amount of healthy eating can bring energy into my system that only a night with more than four hours of sleep can cure, it has helped me find the balance that my delirious brain just can't figure out on its own. Now, I make myself sit down for meals occupied by food groups other than "candy" or "donut," which helps clear my head. That's not to say, however, that sweets are banished. I just consume them in moderation. Luckily, I have unfettered access to the types of baked goods of which Koff and Kaehler approve. I'm eternally grateful that BabyCakes' is still allowed! Further, the book is a handy guide for when I shop. I've kept in mind some of the tips listed in the book and I have, already, become a much more conscious consumer who foregoes the supermarket for the farmer's market.
The exercises prescribed are very manageable, as well. I'm much more motivated to strap baby Darla into her Ergo backpack and walk her up and down the monstrous hills in my neighborhood twice a day. Once with the two of us in the afternoon and once in the evening with the husband/dad (Greg). Not only do I have more energy and a sense of calm afterwards, it has allowed me to kill time until Greg gets home, encourages Darla to go down for a nap and gives Greg and I a chance to talk.
This "choose your own adventure" book allows the exhausted mother to slowly reenter the atmosphere of saner, healthier living. Already, I feel slightly less dumb and a lot less lethargic. I'm excited to see how much better I'll continue to feel as I gradually absorb more of these lessons. Hopefully, baby Darla will start sleeping through the night soon so I can put into practice some of the ideas discussed in the sleep chapter!
Director: Crystal Moselle / Producer: Vivan Thi Tang / Director of Photography: Dave McGrath / Editor: Mariana Martin Capriles / Hair and Make-up: Courtney Perkins
We can't believe this Saturday will mark 6 years since we opened the doors at BabyCakes NYC with 4 recipes and just 3 girls: me, Sabrina Wells and my sister Elizabeth. It's so emotional looking back at what started as a small neighborhood specialty bakery and has turned into quite the big project! Thanks to everyone who have supported us through thick and thin over the years. We love you guys!!!
Pop Sugar had a massive contest to see who was the biggest Anne Hathaway fan. The winner scored a trip to NYC to tour all of Anne's favorite spots. Check out the BabyCakes cameo. This is so sweet!
Every day, I find numerous reasons to say, "Sorry, it's my stupid mom brain." Asinine comments are unavoidable landmines and thoughtless actions are the norm. A few days ago, I even left Darla inside to grab the groceries from the driveway (don't worry, it was only about three feet from the house). I heard the door slam behind me and I thought, "oh no! What if I accidentally locked it?" I calmed down a second later when I thought; "don't worry, I can figure out a way to get Roy (dog) and Darla (5 month old baby) to coax it open." I stopped walking, frozen by my own stupidity. Luckily, the door wasn't locked. I didn't want to have to test my dumb theory.
I know I'm not the only one who has such absurd thoughts. Every mother I've come in contact with has had those moments where, after they pay a bill, they wonder how the hell they could've thought that 3 + 8 =12. Some even say it's a scientific fact that a woman's brain shrinks by 20% after she gives birth. More recent research has found that a woman's intelligence may expand after, but factors such as sleep deprivation and distraction might lead her to act with a certain amount of idiocy.
As you can tell, lack of sleep has led me to behave thoughtlessly, which is why I worried over how I would handle my first day back at the bakery. Would the customer's have to witness my "mom brain" first hand? Could I maintain my cool? Of course not!
I started the day off great. I frosted cakes in record time and helped customers with very little problems. I had hit my stride. Then, everything changed when a man and two women came to the counter.
The man asked how Tom Colicchio was involved in the bakery. I said he was Erin's mentor. He said he knew his wife. I asked if she had her baby, yet. He said she had about five months prior.
"Like me!" I exclaimed.
"We had one three months ago!" said the man's wife.
It was all over after that. When two new moms meet, we only know how to talk about babies. We compare sleeping habits. We exchange soothing techniques. And, most importantly, we ask to see pictures. We do this with the secret hopes that the other mother will ask to see our pictures. All we really want to do is show how truly adorable our babies are.
I asked to see her son. She showed me her cutie pie and I gushed over his full head of hair. I was thoroughly impressed. After she put her phone away, the transaction was complete. I handed over their baked goods. They were about to leave when her husband said something that sealed my fate. He whispered, "Ask to see a picture of hers."
The woman asked hesitantly, knowing that I probably didn't have them at the counter with me. She was right!
In a flash, I ran to the kitchen and grabbed my iPhone to show her Baby Darla. I made the mistake of unplugging my phone, which was also the bakery's iPod at the moment. There was nothing but silence. In a bakery, nothing sounds louder than that. Then, my phone froze. I looked up to see the couple giving me nervous glances as the other counter girl finished wrapping up the next order for me to ring up. My time for this transaction had run out.
"You don't need to see a picture," I yelled over the silence. "Just envision a fat balding man and you've got the gist of it."
The customers left and I turned the music back on using my (now unfrozen) phone. I decided then and there that I needed to practice some restraint when it came to showing off pictures of Darla. I resolve to do that just as soon as I show you this super cute video of her!
Written by my super-smart sister Elizabeth and featuring Cults front woman (my niece AND former BabyCakes girl) Madeline--Refinery 29 gets a glimpse of what it's like to be the chanteuse of the radically adored band here. Read up on how she copes when cooped up in a tour bus full of boisterous dudes, how she achieves that hair and which dresses have reached security-blanket status in her suitcase (note: that green one she's wearing is mine. GIVE IT BACK, MADDIE). Does it sound like I'm bragging? I am!!
It's no secret how much Erin adores Julia Childs. One might even say that she channelled her inner Julia when writing her second book, BabyCakes Covers the Classics . Any association with this kitchen master is welcomed by Erin.
We all remember the movie Julie & Julia (adapted from the memoir Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen) Well, Erin has her own "Julie" named Johanna, which is a charming development. She started the Bake through BabyCakes blog with the tag line "80 recipies, 2 books, 9 months." We're excited to see what the next months have in store for Johanna!
Yesterday we participated in LA's annual Donut Summit and guess what? Of the 55 competitors, BabyCakes was awarded the most excellent overall donut and thus crowned the DONUT KING of Los Angeles! It takes a lot to reign supreme over all those deep fried gluten and dairy filled donuts out there so we're really popping our colors right now. If you haven't been to our Downtown LA shop to try them yet, maybe this will motivate you.