Thursday, November 16, 2017

Homemade Holiday Coffee Creamers

It is common on social media to be inundated with people who post pictures of their children- like 5 pictures of them doing the same thing every day- and for others to unfollow said people. It's honestly too much. We get it, you love your child more than anything ever, going to work everyday is the worst thing ever, and your child is the first one ever to ever do anything and we need 1343432 pictures of it. (I'm being sarcastic and dramatic with that statement, kind of) Maybe it's just me, but it used to bother me that I didn't feel that way, almost a guilt that I didn't mind, and almost looked forward to, going back to work or needing time away from my children. Over time I have come to realize that a) social media provides a false sense of reality and b) motherhood looks different for different people. I have not shied away from the fact that being a mother does not complete or consume my life. Don't get me wrong, I love my children more than I can explain so it is complicated, but when they were born my world didn't stop with all-consuming love that made me change who I am. My friends, family, husband, job and working out are also part of my balance that completes me.
My entire pregnancy I was grateful she was doing well and healthy, but it is the beginning of becoming more selfless because your body is not yours- you can't do or eat or drink like you used to because there is another life to think about. Therefore by the end, I was looking forward to feeling like "me" again. When I had Mila I was excited to finally have my body back and enjoy a glass of wine and workout like I want. I was wrong in my thinking. Since I am nursing I can't be away from her for more than an hour because sometimes she eats that frequently- so she is always with me- no alone time. I am up all night, exhausted and limited on time when I workout, and have to be careful what I eat and drink still. That glass of wine I wanted so desperately when I was pregnant? Yes, I can have it now, but the cruel thing is that you're not supposed to have a lot and a glass, or two, of wine makes being up in the night more miserable. Well played life. Is formula an option? Absolutely. I think, despite the immense pressure on women to breastfeed, fed is best. But I told myself that if it went well this time I would stick with it. Nursing, the supposed most natural thing, is so not natural for me. It is going so much better this time versus Charlie, but I am not going to lie, I hate it. You will never see me post a picture of myself breastfeeding (which, by the way, will probably horrify said pictured children in the future) and those pictures almost made me not want to nurse- ask my sister, she feels the same. But I am going on week 8 and am currently pumping and nursing to build up a frozen supply when I go back to work- so exhausting! Not only am I hungry all the time, but I feel like it consumes my life.

Since I am sleep deprived and hungry, I am dying for two things- caffeine and sugar. I don't have a sweet tooth and I have no idea what is happening, but suddenly somebody who never used to eat a cookie, and drank her coffee black, is ordering the most sugary drink on the Starbucks menu daily and baking five dozen cookies a week. Not good. I figure the caffeine thing is not going to stop as long as I am not sleeping at night and the spending money at Starbucks can be alleviated slightly if I can make this fun drinks at home. So I give you some of the creamers I have made. Use as little or as much as you want! If you put them in the blender with coffee you get a lovely foam :) 

Mocha Mint Creamer

(makes about 2 Cups)

- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 tsp Mint Extract (or oil)
- 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk (or half and half)

In a small sauce pan, or in the microwave, heat the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cocoa powder and stir while it is still warm to avoid clumps. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Keep in a sealed container or, like me, in a small mason jar. Shake before using.

Salted Carmel Creamer

- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk (or half and half)

In a small sauce pan, or in the microwave, heat the sugar, salt and water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla and milk. Keep in a sealed container or, like me, in a small mason jar. Shake before using.

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