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      But First...Coffee {BLOG}

      "Chocolate Brownie Impostor" - Barista Babe Feature by Julie Wilcoxson

      "Chocolate Brownie Impostor" - Barista Babe Feature by Julie Wilcoxson

      We all get that chocolaty, sweet craving from time to time and need a way to calm that bad monster without hurting our goals. Last night I was playing around with a protein mug cake because something with rich chocolate just sounded like a good idea at the time.

      Sometimes just playing in the kitchen without any rules produces the best creations. (How do you think my popular protein pancake ever came to light?)

      If you find yourself in the same situation then I encourage you to give this Rich Chocolate Imposter a try…. I promise you won’t miss the real thing at all.


      1 scoop protein powder (I used vanilla because that’s all I had)

      1 TBSP dark Hershey cocoa powder

      1 TBSP all natural peanut butter

      ¼ tsp baking powder

      Unsweetened vanilla almond milk - For a rich brownie batter consistency use ½ c almond milk, for a cake like consistency use ¼ c almond milk


      1. Put it all in a microwaveable cup and mix it together.
      2. Heat for 40 seconds and stir, if it needs more time then bake another 5-10 seconds. Mine was perfect after 40 seconds.

      Enjoy without any guilt because we all know guilt leads to emotional eating and we don’t even want to go there. Have fun in the kitchen without any rules, you never know what you will create.

      - Julie W
      Barista Babe
      Full blog here: http://www.juliewilcoxson.com/


      "Keeping it Simple : Loaded Oats" - Barista Babe Feature Kelsey Wetzel

      "Keeping it Simple : Loaded Oats" - Barista Babe Feature Kelsey Wetzel



      In my opinion, oats are the perfect go-to. They're quick/easy to prepare and extremely versatile. Oats can be prepared on the stovetop, in the microwave, or soaked overnight in the refrigerator for a quick, delicious, pre-made brekkie. You can even bake them into muffins or bars in the oven for a nutrient dense, handheld breakfast on-the-go! You can top them with just about anything - make them sweet or savory, add protein powder to make "proats", or even blend them into flour for some healthy baked treats or pancakes.  I'll be testing out some recipes very soon for you all, but in the mean-time, let's stick with a quick - microwave friendly - oat recipe you'll love. 


      1 Packet of 100 Calorie Better Oats Maple & Brown Sugar or  1/3 Cup Rolled Oats + 1 Packet of Stevia  

      1/2 TBSP Organic Peanut Butter (Natural PB should only contain 1-2  ingredients : Peanuts & Salt)

      Berries of Your Choice : Totaling 1/2 Cup 

      1 TSP Cinnamon  (You can also add Nutmeg or Pumpkin Pie Spice)

      1 TSP Hemp Hearts or Chia Seeds 


      If you are using a packet of 100 Calorie Better Oats - Follow the instructions on the packet to cook your oats.

      If you are using Rolled Oats - Add 1/3 cup oats + 2/3 cup water to a microwave safe dish (make sure your dish is fairly deep so that your oats don't spill over in the microwave). Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for 1 more minute. If you find that your oats are still too watery, stir and microwave at 30 second increments until you reach desired consistency. Add 1 packet of stevia and mix well! 

      Once the oats are finished cooking, top with your berries, hemp hearts/chia seeds, peanut butter, and cinnamon. 

      Yes, it's really that simple, and THAT delicious! 


      Okay, so we know oats are super versatile and pretty tasty when you add all those delicious toppings (especially peanut butter - am I right?) but what makes them "healthy"? 

      Oats are a whole grain carbohydrate source, which places them into the category of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates contain more fiber, and are digested and absorbed at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates (ie. white bread, cereal, juice). Because complex carbs are digested and absorbed more slowly in your GI Tract, you will feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time after consuming them.  

      Oats are a great source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and turns into a gel-like substance during digestion (similar to how your oats form once you've added water to them). The gel-like substance that forms in the GI Tract can help regulate the way food moves through your digestive system, aiding in nutrient absorption and potentially aiding in glycemic response. A diet that is high in fiber may also benefit your colon health. Your Microbiome (AKA your "healthy gut bacteria") may benefit from sources of soluble fiber. Your Microbiome is responsible for producing certain vitamins, short-chain fatty acids (that are difficult to obtain through your diet alone), and a number of other substances that are beneficial to your body. Soluble fiber can aid in the production of these substances in the GI Tract - keeping your gut health on track!

      Lastly, consuming oats (and foods similar to oats that contain soluble fiber) may benefit your Cardiovascular Health. Studies show that consuming a diet high in soluble-fiber may decrease Low-Density Lipoprotein - LDL (AKA bad cholesterol) levels and overall cholesterol levels. It is thought that soluble fiber may have the capability to bind with cholesterol particles in the GI Tract before they are absorbed - resulting in an overall decrease in blood cholesterol levels. 

      Now that we've covered all of the health benefits of these delicious little flakes of heaven, let's talk about their macronutrient profile. 


      Total Macros for Recipe Using 100 Calorie Better Oats: 205 Calories : 6 P / 28 C / 8 F : 7 Grams of Fiber 

      Total Macros for Recipe Using Rolled Oats + Stevia: 216 Calories : 6 P / 32 C / 8 F : 6 Grams of Fiber  

      *If you're looking to boost the protein content of your oats - Add 1 scoop of a protein powder of your choosing! I use Arbonne Vegan Protein Powder in all of my protein-powder based recipes! It bakes up very well, and has a far less gritty texture than most vegan powders I've tried. 

      Well, that's a wrap! I am so excited to begin my journey blogging with you all. Thank you so much for your continued support and kind words, it truly means the world to me. Here's to many more blogs in the near future!

      - Kelsey Wetzel
      Barista Babe

      Full blog: https://kelseylwetzel.wixsite.com/website/blog-1

      "Mama Needs Some Coffee: Sleepless Trials of Sleep Training" - Barista Babe Feature by Nicole Domitro

      "Mama Needs Some Coffee: Sleepless Trials of Sleep Training" - Barista Babe Feature by Nicole Domitro

      I remember waking up after a night of drinking and thinking, “I could sleep for days.”

      And then I had a baby. 

      No amount of articles, books, friendly conversation, or prayer could have prepared me for that first week with a newborn. There were moments I honestly thought, "If I fall asleep I won't wake up for month." 

      But, as with all things, we endure it because that's what we do; as parents, as women, as amazing magical beings (I can't be the only one who feels like that sometimes). 

      However, just when I thought I had suffered through the worst of it, I discovered this irritating incident known as "sleep regression." Apparently, "sleep training" can help with the tireless nights of your baby waking every hour (true story). Thcatch; my son is my son and therefore gentle tactics don't hold much influence. 

      Now, I am not a doctor; I am not telling anyone what to do or speaking from a pedestal in support of one accord or another. I am just a new momma trying to figure out what works and share my experience with others who may need encouragement in doing the same.

      With that being said, we opted for the Check-and-Console method, also known as “Ferberizing.”

      Someone needs to hear this, so I will just say it... IT’S OK! It’s ok that he cries for five minutes while you run in the bathroom or hide under the sheets. It’s ok that his cheeks are stained with tears for ten minutes. These babes may be small, but they are mighty.

      Still, knowing all this doesn’t make it easier, that I will not lie about. Hearing Andy choke up his tears hurts my heart in a way I never knew possible. But (again – I am speaking of my own experience), it is so important to Mike and I that Andy learns how to self soothe, to know that even if we aren’t there for him, we are still there for him. 

      The first night of sleep training I put Andy down at 9pm. After two hours of 5 minute intervals, he was asleep. By 1 AM he was awake and ready to fight. Did I mention it was Daylight Savings? (Note: I do NOT recommend starting something like sleep training that way – learn from my mistakes.) He then cried for another two hours of 5 minute intervals before falling back asleep. I was not so lucky. I was up for a total of 21 hours following that endeavor (read: I was a walking zombie).

      The following night, he cried for ten minute intervals for about an hour. After the previous twenty-four hours, that felt like he went right to sleep. And magically, after waking for his 3AM feeding, I put him back in his crib, grabbed the monitor, and walked away with his wails in the background. By the time I reached the kitchen, preparing myself for another rough one, I had to stop for a moment - right there in my tracks, in the middle of the doorway - and look at the monitor.

      That my friends, that was the sweetest silence I have ever heard. He did it. He cried for barely three minutes, and put himself back to sleep. He slept until 8AM. : Insert hands raised high in PRAISE! 

      It is going on a week since we started this sleep journey. I’m not sure who has learned more; Andy, or me. Through this trial I have learned what patience is and what love means. I hope that my son has learned to feel secure in his surroundings and understands just how loved he is.  

      Sleep training is a mother. But its nothing a big ol’ cup of Joe can’t fix. So if you’re venturing on this journey for the first time, coming back to it (as I hear often happens as well, Oh Joy!), or reminiscing on the days of #teamnosleep, I am lifting up my morning coffee to you, sister (or mister). 

      May the sleep be ever in your favor.

      - Nicole Domitro
      Barista Babe

      Follow her full blog here! https://www.iamanchoredbyhope.com/meet-the-author


      "I’ve Totally Got This. Kinda" Barista Babe Feature by Tandi Rae

      "I’ve Totally Got This. Kinda" Barista Babe Feature by Tandi Rae

      Being a stay at home mom is taxing y’all. I love it more than life, but shit! Not only can it be hard being with the kids all day, there’s the toll that lack of adult interaction takes, and you become everyone’s personal damn assistant (because you obviously have the time), on top of being the maid, chef, and chauffeur. It’s exhausting AF.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thankful that my husband quote unquote brings home the bacon. But if I hear how he just needs a break because of how long his day or week has been one more time I’m going to loose my shit. Or maybe I already have and that’s why I’m writing this..who the fuck knows.

      Also, I’m not taking away from that, I know it’s been a long week filled with even longer days in a multi-week stretch with no days off. But when was my last day off? The luxury of grabbing a few beers after work with friends must be amazing. Like I would literally punch someone in the throat to know what that’s like.

      In the past week I can think of at least four occasions that my wonderful husband has gone and had drinks, or hung out and did his thing with his friends, kid free obvi. FOUR days out of seven, and that’s only because I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, there’s probably a time I’m forgetting. The last time I saw my friends, we of course had our kids and it was the first time in a few weeks. It was also planned weeks in advance. *Cue face palm* Nor, do I really know when we’ll hang out again. 

      Work sucks, I know. ( Please tell me you started singing along with Blink 182 as you read that). But, Dear Bringer Of Bacon, while you were working here’s a brief recap of what I was doing this week:

      Approximately 15 loads of laundry. Thinking of and buying everyone’s Christmas gifts. Scheduling and REscheduling family get togethers and events were supposed to attend. Grocery shopping and then re-shopping because of course something was forgotten. Frantically trying to keep up with what all three kids need for class parties, book exchanges, and every damn class activity that’s happening next week. There’s seriously something every day. Throwing our kids a Christmas Party with friends (I’m certifiably insane, but it’s the only chance I also get to see my friends so there’s that). Tanning clients and trying to be a social media marketer for said tanning business. Trying to save my somewhat struggling little makeup biz. Working on my new baby blog (but thanks for the inspo). Paying bills. Repeatedly reminding you to take care of something I can’t because I’m not “the primary”. Cleaning…but we won’t get into how I pick up the same crap 985,739 times a day with no actual success, or the amount of butts and toilet seats I wipe. Working on projects and a party for my PDO class. Teaching that PDO class. Bath times. Cuddling sick babies. Dealing with teachers and school work issues. Homework. Permission slips. Making three meals a day, which no one really eats, then hearing about how hungry everyone constantly is. Playing snack and drink bitch. Breaking up fights. Kissing boo-boos. Playing the bad cop. Handling meltdowns and mood swings. And any other task or errand thrown at me.

      I’m dying for the chance to shower, or at least pee alone and the only hint of me time I get is when I go to the gym at FIVE freaking AM. I, sometimes begrudgingly, go to every last minute get together we’re invited want to and I don’t complain about the impromptu BBQs that he loves to have. But yes, I want to reach through the phone and punch him in the face every time he tells me he’s stopping somewhere because he “needs to unwind”. Meanwhile I’m just trying to not to lose my sanity one cup of coffee and cuss word at a time  

      Like I said, I know work sucks, but my “job” does too sometimes. Plus, mine lacks the bonus of lunch or dinner on some random vender. I’m only slightly complaining by the way, and it’s out of envy. I’m mostly just asking for a little consideration about what’s happening in my life before he breezes off to do something relaxing or fun. Have a damn soul man and take at least one kid with you. Or bring the beer home so I can have one too. Geez!!  

      But I digress. To my fellow stay at home, do it all, bad ass mommas, stay strong and feel less guilty about those girls trips, extra glasses of wine, and closet eaten sweets! You’re not alone and we got this!!

      – Tandi Rae
      Barista Babe
      IG: @Tandi.rae

      For more by Tandi check out mommysaysbadwords.com/
      "West Texas livin’ mom and wifey doing my best to navigate life one day {and a few swear words} at a time."

      How to Look Good with Allergies

      How to Look Good with Allergies

      Happy Wednesday, Boss Babes!


      Sniffles and puffiness galore – it’s allergy season. Make sure you look your best (even when you’re not feeling your best) by following these tips:


      • Use an ice roller to reduce facial puffiness.
      • Eye drops are your best friend!
      • Opt for waterproof mascara in the case of watery eyes.
      • Apply a redness-reducing primer before makeup.


      Of course, make sure you’re taking care of your body too and not just covering up your symptoms. The sooner you feel better, the sooner you can take on the day full-force.