I'm Lauren!
Wife. Mother. Blogger. Food eater. Thunder thigh haver. Baby maker. Carb lover. Travel goer. Exclamation point user.

Portland Guides

Gingerbread Cream Pie

Gingerbread Cream Pie You guys. My Gilmore Girls binging is coming to a close…it’s another show I can add to the archives of my brain, next to Friends, Friday Night Lights, Monk, Friends again and Dawson’s Creek. Now, I’m left with all of my kids favorite Netflix shows to stream while I edit photos, do dishes, come up with new recipes, and grow another child. And as much as I love DinoTrux and Larva, I think I’d rather find another show to get sucked into. Tell me all your addicting shows. Share the love. Do it because you care. Comment below 🙂 Speaking of addicting things: download the game Patchmania to your iphone or tablet or mobile whatever. You will thank me later, man. It’s crazy good. Brooke and I both play together on the couch for a few minutes everyday after she gets home from school. We’re on level 72, incase you were wondering. #notashamed   Also addicting: all these pies I’m making. I’m on a kick, yo. The crazy thing about this Gingerbread Cream Pie is it actually tastes like a soft and sweet gingerbread cookie in pie form. It’s BANANAS. Also: it takes 10 minutes to whip up. OMG. It’s another
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Beauty Tuesday

Beauty Tuesday

Welcome to Beauty Tuesday! Where I stop being a frumpy Mom and actually care about my appearance. Haha!

Between the sleepless nights that come with having a baby, being a Mom to two other kids, being a wife to a painfully good looking man and all my work that never seems to end, there ain’t a lot of time for me. Plus, having the weird not-skinny-but-not-pregnant physical attributes makes it hard to have a lot of self confidence. {Whyyyy can’t these last 12 pounds just melt away?}


So, I’m starting to do things with intention for me {and only me} to make myself feel great on the inside and out.

Up first? My hair.

I thought I needed a big drastic change to be happier with my appearance. Turns out, learning how to style my hair in a different way filled that craving and now I love the waves and the tighter curls!

What do you do to make yourself feel beautiful? I’d love to hear to give me more ideas for Beauty Tuesday!

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I made these cookies yesterday and just about died at how freaking delicious they turned out to be.

Obviously warm chocolate chip cookies are incredible when done right. But yours truly decided to take things into ridiculous territory and add some warm salted caramel ganache {which is fancy talk for caramel melted together with cream and then sprinkled with sea salt}.

Thunder thighs be damned. I will eat cookies forever more.

I got so excited about this recipe that I changed my editorial calendar so I could share this recipe immediately. Everything got discombobulated, but that’s ok. These cookies? Totally worth it.

A few things to note:

I used a SECRET INGREDIENT in the cookie dough. They turned out deeeeelightful. No, it’s not crack.

The caramel bits make life so easy, but if you can’t find those, just use regular caramel squares, unwrap and use this recipe as stated. It’s all the same stuff.

Feel free to use smaller flakes of sea salt. I used bigger pieces so you could see them in the photo a little better.

That’s basically it! Please please please go make these today and eat them all warm. Your life will change for the better. If I had a bakery, I would make these and sell them for millions.

And yes, math is not my strong suit.

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YOU GUYS. This week is going down in history as the most crazy/adultish week I’ve ever lived through. Read on, folks. Read on.
My two little boys were sick from our trip to the Redwoods and finally got over the hump around Tuesday. They shared the love with me and I’m currently on day 4 of this sickness. My husband is two days behind me, based on his symptoms. And just today, Brooke got home from school feeling rotten. We all have the same bug, but all our bodies are reacting a little differently. It’s interesting?! Brooke is coughing. I am sneezing. Gordon is just clearing his throat a lot.

So there’s that whole thing going down in the background of the madness of Monday through Thursday I’m about to describe.

We bought a new house this week! That’s right, folks. Our small little starter house ain’t cutting it for us anymore. We sort of knew a bigger house would be on the horizon, but we didn’t realize we’d get here this quickly. I’ll do a more detailed post about our move and everything going down over the next few months. Suffice it to say, we’re surrounded by boxes. Oh, and did I mention we’re moving OUT OF STATE too?! Shocking, I know. I promise more details will come, but for now I’m too tired/too sinusy, so I’m keeping it cryptic. Mwahahahahahahacoughcoughcough.

Also this week? Eddie turned 3 months old and SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT TWICE. There is a God and he does love me. That little boy certainly picked a good week to let his mama sleep. It definitely helped me feel a little better; bless his sweet heart. Also, his dimples and double chin are killing me!! I just want to smooch him all over.

And then do you know what today is? BLAKE’S THIRD BIRTHDAY! So we are blowing our noses partying it up! He’s requested a chocolate dump truck cake. I’m working the logistics out on that one. Perhaps if I think of a way to make it cool, I’ll do a post about it?! I MAKE NO PROMISES.

Well, no. That’s no fun. I will promise pictures and lots of them!

You’re welcome.

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IMPORTANT!!! {sort of}–> how many of you lovely readers would be interested in a Lauren’s Latest meet up? I always get stopped when I’m out and about with my kiddos and thought that this might be a good way to meet many of you wonderful readers 🙂 Let me know so I can plan in advance! Also: I will be traveling this year, so I can plan them for other places too! Lets meet!!


I’m trying to eat 47% more healthy than I was right after I had my baby to limit my jelly belly situation. This basically means that I have two pieces of pie instead of three and a half and I throw in the occasional low carb meal into our dinner rotation. Though, are short ribs considered to be “healthy” even though they are quite indulgent?

Don’t answer that.

UGH. FOOD. You’re such a pain in my side love handles.

When I wrote this post about losing the baby weight, I was super gung-ho about it but things are fading fast and I’m losing steam. This typically happens when I’m sick and tired.

Sick = coughing, sore throat, nasal drip, etc. etc.

Tired = I have three kids and one is an infant.

It’s a vicious combination, really.

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These two older kiddos of mine are quite the characters. Between the silliness they’ve inherited from their Dad and their incredible intellect from me {HA! not.}, we are pleasantly surprised by what they tell us every single day. So here lies the first of probably many Brooke and Blakeisms posts. Our children are the light of our lives and I suspect that this post will be one of the ones I cherish the most.

Enjoy! Have a great day!

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Remember the sick kiddos I was talking about in the lemon sour cream cookies post? Well, mama ain’t immune to the colds and fevers they have so I’m starting to get sick too. LUCKY ME. I’m trying to stave it away {zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, the usuals}, but my efforts are failing. Come on body! Don’t fail me now!

Most jobs get sick days, but lets be honest. This household doesn’t function if I don’t make it function, so there is no rest for the weary. Actually, correction: no rest for the weary mother. So that is where we lie. Business as usual ’round these parts which means Pizza Fridays! I started making pizza on Fridays a tradition because my kids kept having heart attacks every other day of the week when we weren’t having pizza. This way, I can just refer them to/blame the calendar when we’re not having pizza. Its made the complaints go way down and my overall sanity level go up about 14 points. Always a good thing.

This is the pizza I made a few weeks ago and I had no intention of sharing it on the blog. But then I tasted it and changed my mind. Brown butter alfredo on a pizza is the freakin’ bomb dot com. And suuuuper healthy incase you’re wondering. Not.

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Sick kids are the worst. Snotty noses and fevers galore over at my house. The girls {Brooke and I} are magically immune to this nonsense. The boys? Notsomuch.

Poor Blake started it all with his stuffy nose and spiking fevers. {I blame the kids at the gym daycare. Actually, I just blame the gym. And possibly the treadmill. And the teacher that teaches total body conditioning.}

Then the second day we were in California, this glorious virus made its way to my sweet baby. Cue all the curse words.

THEN Gordon decided to work out yesterday and suddenly can’t bend over, lift his arms to any degree, squat, sit, crouch, etc. etc. because of said work out. Obviously, he’s not sick like my sons, but he sure is acting like it. Watch the first 10 seconds of this as a reference to understand the scope of what I’m dealing with.

My complaints about the gym making my sons sick and my husband nearly useless may or may not have to do with my vendetta against exercise. But, I digress.

Anyways, my little boys are having trouble sleeping, Eddie still has trouble nursing from time to time because he can’t breathe and his fever, though not super high, is still there which means his little body is trying to fight off whatever this is and I get to stay on top of his medicines.

I feel like Blake has turned a corner and is definitely on the mend, but Ed is still in the thick of it.

Gordon? It’s not looking good.

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This post is sponsored by Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter.

This past weekend, my little family and I had the opportunity to travel down to California to visit the Redwood National Park. Sometimes we get the hankering to get the heck outta town and hit the road. Since we live in Oregon and have been to every National Park in this beautiful state, we decided to head even further south to the Redwoods. We have always wanted to take our children here and we finally had the opportunity to make it happen.

YOU GUYS. You hear about the Redwoods and you see pictures but holy cow, these trees are HUGE. Like, the park rangers totally weren’t kidding.

We arrived late Friday night, so we rested up and got a nice early start Saturday morning, thanks to my children’s internal clocks waking them up and therefore all of us up at 6am. Ew. So we grabbed a little breakfast and headed over to the visitor’s center to pick up all the maps they had {hello no cell service}. We set out with a very loose plan and hoped for the best. The best adventures and memories are made when there are no strict plans! As we found hikes and different trails to explore, the trees kept getting bigger and cooler! Take a look at these pictures I snapped.

And, as expected, the trees are bigger and more beautiful in person.

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