winter spice bourbon cocktail recipe.

well. it’s been almost a month of radio silence from me. there are a lot of reasons for that, the main one being that we are potty training miss Amelia, while also dealing with a not-quite-three month old. i’ve also been a little short on blog post inspiration. so i figured, why not write about something near and dear to my heart? which right now, is this cocktail. or any cocktail really. i mentioned potty training, right?

(plus, it’s been a little baby heavy around here lately, so i figured we could use a change.)

this cocktail was inspired by those simmering potpourris you make on the stove with citrus and mulling spices, the ones that make your house smell like christmas. i had some clementine peels laying around one day during nap time, and after digging through my spice cabinet for the rest of the ingredients, this recipe was born.

drinking this cocktail is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and going out into the fresh snow. the mulling spices make it a bit warm and spicy and the citrus keeps it tasting bright and fresh. it’s perfect for the winter, especially when everything starts to feel a bit dark and you just feel generally blah. or you know, it’s perfect for an evening after a day spent potty training your strong-willed two and a half year old. whatever occasion makes more sense for your life right now.

let me know if you make it, and what you think! bonus: the simple syrup can be used to sweeten coffee or tea for a little seasonal flavor.

winter spice bourbon cocktail (makes one drink, easily multiplied)

  • 1 oz. winter spice simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1/4 clementine
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ice

fill a lowball glass with clementine and cherries, smash together a bit. fill glass with ice. pour simple syrup and bourbon over ice and give it a quick stir with the cinnamon stick. garnish with another cherry and slice of clementine. best enjoyed while curled up with a blanket, a fire and a good movie.

winter spice simple syrup

  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. sugar
  • peel of 2 clementines
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

in a medium saucepan, bring clementine peel, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes. let cool completely, then strain. discard the solids. bonus: syrup can be kept in fridge for 1-2 weeks, and can be used to sweeten coffee or tea with a subtle citrus and warm spice flavor. 

if you need ideas for other cocktails, check out these posts too:

apple cider sangria || cranberry moscow mule || spiked hot cocoa

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william: two months old.

little william buddy is going to be 10 weeks old on monday. but he turned two months old on christmas eve, and we shall celebrate his two-monthness, no matter how late it might be!

let’s get straight to it, shall we?

we have been enjoying the heck out of this amazing little boy the past few weeks. something happened around the 8-week mark, i’m not sure what it was. he seems to have grown into himself a little maybe? he is more at ease on his own, he enjoys laying on his playmat and playing with george the giraffe (also a favorite of his sister). he falls asleep a bit easier, still fights it like his life depends on not going to sleep, but the fights are a little shorter now. and best of all: he loves the sleep sack swaddle at night. praise sweet baby Jesus!

we’ve been getting into a little more of a routine since the 8-week mark too. you go to bed every night around 9pm, and usually (I SAID USUALLY I’M NOT GETTING COCKY UNIVERSE) gives me about 6-7 hours of him sleeping. so he eats around 3am, then again at about 6am, and will normally go back to sleep until about 8am. i get his sister ready when she gets up around 7:30am, and then he hangs out for about an hour before he eats. he now can do three hour stretches between eating, which feels so freeing to me as the source of his food. he is terrible at naps like his sister, unless i’m wearing him, so depending on our day, he usually gets a couple 45 minute naps, and then one really long afternoon nap because he has exhausted himself, or he’ll sleep on me for a couple two hour long naps and then another hour or so in the evening to tide him over. he’s honestly so happy that it hasn’t really bothered me that his naps are so sporadic right now…the little man is happy to just be with us when he’s awake!

i can’t believe that i’m over halfway done with my maternity leave. i go back february 13, and i’m already certain that it’s going to go by way too fast and i’m going to wake up and it’s going to be time to go to work again. and that might kill me. because this mom of two thing is way, way harder than i ever thought it would be. there are more days than not that i don’t get out of my pajamas, and many more days that i am much too crabby with Mister Man because i’m overtired. but the good days are full of so much good that it’s going to be hard to leave this sweet life of no schedules or long work days or missing my babies.

little william: thank you for being such a perfect addition to our family. you cannot begin to understand how amazing it has been to watch you grow in just these last couple months. your dad, your sister and i can’t wait to see how much more fun we get to have with you as you grow.

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you don’t need to savor every moment. 

as i write this, it’s 4:56am and i’m sitting up in bed holding the baby while he sleep-farts, because apparently he can’t sleep-fart in the comfort of his own bed. Mister Man is away on his first work trip since William was born and i’m coming off a day of both kids conspiring to make me insane. 

and here’s the part where i’m supposed to say, “but even through my bleary eyed exhaustion, i know these are the moments i’ll miss when my babies are grown. babies don’t keep, so i’ll hug mine a little tighter and appreciate every moment.” 

except i’m not going to say any of that because it’s total bullshit. 

when my babies aren’t babies anymore, you know what i’ll miss? snuggling them while feeding, their sweet little coos, watching them find their hands for the first time. those moments are the ones i’ll want do-overs for. but i don’t have to miss every moment that happens with them. i don’t have to wax poetic about everything. 

now that Amelia is in full toddler mode, i can look at her and see what parts i wish she’d keep from her babyhood. want to know what isn’t on that list? being awake with her at all hours because of her teeth or her gas. changing her exploding diapers or getting pooped on by surprise. the witching hours. all these things are normal and expected with a baby. does that mean they need to be savored? i don’t think so. 

so do i look at my sweet boy’s face to make me feel better as i sit here watching sleep pass me by for another night? of course. do i appreciate this moment? nope. 

and that’s okay. 

ask any parent if their children make them happy every single moment of every single day. unless they’re dirty liars, they’ll tell you that would be impossible. no matter what age they are, our children are human, and are going to do things that make us crazy. but the wonderfully magic gift that motherhood gives me is the ability to love and adore and be thankful for my babies at all times even if i don’t appreciate each and every thing they do.  

so to the new mom who hears everyone say, “soak in every moment, you won’t get it back”, just know that you are still a good mom even if you don’t soak them in. you’re still a good mom if you want to fast forward through the wake ups and the crying jags and the blowouts. it’s not all flowers and unicorns and rainbows and you don’t need to pretend that it is just because people tell you that you should. 

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william: one month old.

oh my poor little second child. already getting left behind because life is so crazy. this, your one month update, is already a week late, which at this point in time means that some of what you were doing last week is already old news. but you’re a trooper so i know you’ll forgive me.

william one month old

i love watching my little mister and seeing what he’s like in comparison to Amelia. because while there are a lot of similarities, in their looks and some of their habits, he is definitely his own person.

like his sister, he is one big bag of gas. unlike his sister, he handles it much better than she did. like his sister, he likes to stay awake ALL morning (from 7-11am, like clockwork), then nap through the afternoon, then howl for a while around 8pm until he eats and goes to bed around 10pm. like his sister, he’s a pretty good night sleeper, he gets up to eat but goes right back to bed. i’ve gotten a couple 5 hour stretches out of him, which is freaking fabulous. like his sister, he hated being swaddled. unlike his sister, he doesn’t seem to be very into his wubbanub, which is a bummer when trying to calm him down for sleep.

william one month old

william one month old

he started to wake up and pay more attention to everything around him a couple weeks ago, and so far, he seems to just be really chill about everything (unless he’s trying to fall asleep). i have a lot of fun with him in the morning before Amelia wakes up, and i try to spend some quality time with Amelia during his first morning nap. but i’m not going to lie, i’m kind of obsessed with when they both sleep at the same time and i get to spend an hour or two without a child or two attached to my body…

william one month old

i’ve been so grateful the last month for a baby who has just fit into our family like he’s always been here. it’s taken a bit to get the routines figured out (or you know, just thrown out the window), but i can’t imagine him not being here in the world. having William has also given me a newfound confidence in myself as a mother. there is nothing like parenting a spirited toddler while pregnant to make you feel like a failure. now that i’m on round two, i’m realizing that i do know what i’m doing, and most of the time, i’m doing a good job. i’m not constantly questioning if i’m doing the right thing, it just comes easier to me now. and that’s a gift only he could give me.

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thank goodness for big sisters. (+ a freshly picked sale & giveaway)

before William was born, i thought a lot about what it would mean for Amelia to be a big sister. i’m the oldest of five kids, and i’m only 13 months older than my brother, so i’ve never really known what it felt like to be an only child. i’ve only ever really been a big sister. the sibling relationship fascinates me, and so instead of worrying about if i would have enough love to go around (i knew i would), i wondered what that relationship would look like for my children.

from the moment they met, all my wildest dreams for my children came true. Amelia was instantly infatuated with this tiny baby brother we introduced her to, and amazingly, William seemed to know and love her right back. it seems crazy, but it was easy to see that there was an immediate bond between them. 

ever since that first meeting, Amelia has been the best big sister. she wants to hold William all the time (as long as he isn’t crying), she lets me know if she thinks he wants a diaper change or is hungry again (she’s almost always right with her suggestions), and whenever she sees “baby William”, she goes over to him and reminds him that “it’s okay, big sister is here!”.

i mean, she’s not perfect, she is only two. she has asked me on many occasions if she can hit her brother, and has also demanded that her stuffed animals be allowed to sleep in his bassinet instead of him. she also thinks everything belongs to her; blankets, swing, moccasins, you name it, she would like it to be hers. 

but the overwhelming feeling from her is love. and she is a big help to me with getting clothes and diapers when i’ve forgotten them in the other room, or even talking to him when he’s fussy to calm him down. as she gets older, i know she’ll help me dress him, and teach him how to drive me insane, as older sisters should. 

there’s something awesome about watching their relationship grow from nothing to everything. i feel like i’m watching some sort of secret club be formed, and it’s a pretty great feeling knowing that i gave them the gift of each other. 
                                 ***

we love Freshly Picked moccasins in this house (see above about Amelia wanting all the moccasins to be hers), so i am super excited to be partnering with them as they kick off their biggest sale of the year! 

the sale starts TODAY, november 22nd at 10am MST, and only last for 24 hours. this is Freshly Picked’s biggest sale of the year. everything on the site is 25% off, which only happens twice a year!!! if you’ve ever thought about purchasing a pair of moccasins from Freshly Picked, this is the time to do it!

and now for even more fun news: in honor of the sale, Freshly Picked is allowing me to give away a pair of moccasins this week! the giveaway is going to be held over on my instagram (@erinhzauner), and will run during the week of november 22nd to november 27th. to enter, go to my instagram post about the giveaway. then just do the following to be entered:

  1. follow both my instagram account and Freshly Picked’s instagram account.
  2. “like” the instagram post.
  3. tag a friend who would like to hear about the giveaway and the sale in the comments. you may make two comments tagging different people for a total of two entries. 

that’s it! the winner will be picked at random on november 28th, and i will send a message to the individual to gather their information.

good luck! Amelia says she’ll take any extra mocs if you feel like sharing, since she doesn’t fit in her brother’s.

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