Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Obsession

I am writing a confession. Here it is: I have been completely obsessed with sleep. Not my own sleep, but the hypothetical future sleep patterns of my baby. There. I said it. Now bear with me because I promise - this is not going to be like one of those mommy blog posts. This will go somewhere.
If I haven't mentioned this in earlier posts, then I'll restate a fact which many people close to me will nod in agreement with: I am a control freak. This has been good and bad. Good because I started my own business and have been living independently since I was 17. Good because everyone needs to get a bit of their control freak on to really move the ship.
And then it's been bad. Bad because I attempt to control that which cannot be controlled.
Now here is why I am obsessing: I have decided that Cedar's ability to sleep well, and to nap like a good baby, and soothe himself blah blah blah is what will enable me to leave him with others knowing that he'll be okay, and to allow me to return to work when I need to. Do I sound crazy?
I know it's crazy, but I also know there are millions of other moms who obsess about this. I know because I have read those weird mommy forum things on the web about it (the confessions are just rolling now).
I have also read books about sleep, and sleep training, and when to, and why you shouldn't, why you should etc... Today I was getting a coffee and this older couple was admiring Cedar, and they told me they had three boys who were all grown, and I asked them, "So - what did you do for naps?" You know it's bad when you're hitting the streets looking for these answers...

Who knows why the control freak obsesses as she does. I am now reminded of the E-myth book
which I read a while back, and in it he makes a major point about entrepreneurs getting stuck in the role of the technician because they believe that no one else could do a job as well as them. For example, I have mopped many a bakery floor because I though it just wasn't clean enough.
I'm not exactly sure how this relates to motherhood and napping, but the thoughts are somehow linked. It's the bigger picture that counts. It's the bigger picture that requires attention - not the little things that can drag a day into madness.
See - I don't ever want to let him go. He's brand new and so little and I hold him ALL THE TIME, and one day he'll be big, and able to sleep on his own, and off to travel the world, and fall in love, and all that good stuff... So for now I act like a crazed woman.
This too shall pass.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My New Job

I always seem to have an excuse for not updating my blog, but this time I really have an excuse: his name is Cedar and he was born at home on October 9th, 2010. He weighed in at 9lbs 10oz! Good thing I had no idea how big the kid was...
He is almost 3 months old, and I am just now starting to feel and see some of the dust settling. I'll be honest - I thought it would be easy. I thought since I've owned a business for 13 years and always been a crazy go-getter who never stops, that a baby would have nothing on me.
I was so so wrong. So wrong in every way. He is everything I needed to set me straight about life, and we have only just begun.
I ran myself into a state of sheer exhaustion to the point where I developed insomnia and lost a bunch of weight, and wasn't eating enough, and trying to do too much, and obsessing about Cedar and his naps and diaper rash and whatever I could obsess about. All this because I attempted to approach motherhood the same way I've approached my work.
So here is what I learned: being a mother is not a job. It can't be a job. If it's a job then I'll treat it like work and then I won't enjoy it very much. If it's a job then I will try to control it, which will only backfire and make me crazy in the end. If it's a job then it will be just like everything else in my life that I could have enjoyed but decided to turn into work instead.
What is this obsession with work? Why is it that I only value myself if I'm working, and thus will make everything into a job?
So here's the catch: being a mother may just teach me how to enjoy. How to be in the moment. How to slow down. How to be cool with endless hours of the same things every day (until they change, of course). Being a mother may just teach me how to relax and go with the flow. The thought of it terrifies me a little bit (a lot), but also excites me. It would be nice to have a new approach, because the old one wasn't exactly working for me.

In the meantime, Baker Babe is hanging out with Cedar: he laughed for the first time yesterday.
I think I'll keep him.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Canadian House and Home review

Ooooh - a taste test between Goldies and Lovebites...who will win?
Read the Canadian House and Home review of New Moon Cookies to find out...

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Blogging for Bunchland

I was asked to do some recipe blogging for a great site called Bunch Family. Every week I write a post called Cravings, about what I craved and cooked during the funny food times of pregnancy. It's been fun blogging, and of course - eating and cooking. Take a look!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Let Go

I have a really good excuse for not keeping up with the blog lately: I'm pregnant. So pregnant, in fact, that I am now full-term and could potentially go into labour any day now...
I am in the process of tying up loose ends at work, searching for the right car seat, nesting like mad, and perusing supermarket aisles late at night for the kind of sweets I would normally NEVER eat...
So this is it. I am about to have a baby, become a mother, change. Things are about to change in ways that I can't foresee, and only have a sense of. I know I am about to embark on an incredible journey and I am both excited and nervous.
I've done a lot of reading, observing, listening, and asking about the birth process. I think "how" a woman births says a lot about who she is. And I don't mean what happens in a birth: whether or not she has a c-section, a water birth with dolphins, takes an epidural, or sings through her contractions - I'm talking about the response and approach she has to birth.
After everything I've read, and watched, and listened to, I came up with only one thing that I really have to do: let go. It's very interesting to me that I feel the same way at work these days, as I prepare to step away and pass over a lot of responsibilities.
I've gone on trips before and had to do lots of prep to be able to get away, but there is something very different about how it feels to prepare for this.
New Moon has been my baby for 13 years. I love my business, I love the people I work with, I love the creative upswings and the incredibly challenging downswings. New Moon hasn't prepared me for motherhood. It has made me a mother.
And now I will have a new baby, an actual human living, breathing baby. My relationship with New Moon will never be the same. I know it will only get better, and that things will deepen and get richer and juicier - but I feel a sense of loss right now.
When all my friends were taking long trips to Thailand and Europe, or partying every night, or just doing those things that we equate with freedom and youth - I was baking. Or learning the books. Or staying up all night thinking about where to move that rack, or how much longer to bake that cookie for. And maybe it sounds really boring - but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have loved every second.
Now I have to start looking at my business differently, and approaching it in a new way; much to do with how to have impact and keep things growing without being there every second. This is the mark of a true entrepreneur I think, the gateway into macro-managing. Why? So I can take the step back I need to take in order to be the kind of mother I want to be for my baby.
This is the moment I have been working towards for years, and it feels good to be here.
What's the hardest part? Letting go. Trusting. Not thinking I have to do everything myself in order for it to be done right. Do you have any idea how big of a challenge this is for me?
And yet - this is what I have to do. Let go.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

I Want My Job

Sometimes it's really fun to be interviewed...
Last week, Sean O'Neill, who writes a column for the torontoist site, came by the bakery and we sat and had a great chat. He writes a feature called "I Want Your Job" and it's about different people in the city, doing different jobs, and having a great time doing them.
The thing about a good interview is that it makes you think about what you're doing - not just operate in the daily auto-pilot of the to-do list. Sometimes it's easy to forget why I love my job, or what's unique about how I run my business. I felt all warm and squishy after the interview - but more importantly, had renewed faith that I am on the right track.
Here's the article - I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Wake 'N Bake

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had an epiphany while waiting in line for our coffees at our local cafe. The thought was something like, "why the heck are we standing in line here, and spending almost ten bucks a day on coffee?"
So we went out to the mall (I secretly love the mall - but only at night. It relaxes me. I am strange) and picked up a beautiful stainless steel stovetop espresso maker and this really cool milk frother that you can stick on the stove. The timing for this radical shift (wow, is my life really this domestic?) is perfect because summer is here and that means coffee on the roof deck first thing in the morning.
I know it sounds like a small thing, but I'm telling you - it has changed my life; instead of rushing out the door I have been taking time in the mornings to settle into the day, work on some writing, and have a quiet moment alone. As soon as I am relaxed, my creative forces start doing their thing and bam! I want to make something. So I've been (big surprise) baking in the mornings. Today was fresh berry scones. I guess you want the recipe too, huh?

Better-than-Breakfast Spelt Berry Scones

*preheat your oven to 375F
1 1/2 cups organic white spelt flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 tbsp milled brown flax seed
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
** Sift and stir all this stuff into a bowl, then add:
1/3 cup coconut oil (or sunflower oil, or whatever you have...)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
**stir it again until it becomes a batter, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl
Then throw in half a cup of berries and stir it again.
Grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Drop your batter onto the sheet into little, messy scone-y shaped things. Bake for 15 mins, or until golden on top.
Eat them warm, maybe by yourself or with someone you like a lot. Take a moment.

xo BB

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Cookie Makeover

Well, we didn't makeover the cookies (because they are really good as they are) but we did give them a new wardrobe. New packaging! 100% recyclable cardboard boxes that stack well, hold the cookies well, and are super cute.
Let's face it - most of us are suckers for good packaging. If you haven't actually tried a product, wouldn't you say it's the packaging that makes you want to?
We have a loyal fan base of folks who know our cookies and have loved them for years, but I felt it was time to see who else we could persuade into cookie love.
In any case - if you go to your local store and don't see the old stuff - take a look around because the NEW stuff is waiting for you.
And as always, thanks for buying New Moon cookies. They keep a roof over my head.

Monday, 8 March 2010


When I started up the business almost 13 years ago (holy crap), I was the holder of a teeny-tiny seed of a vision. At 19 years old, I wasn't seeing the business as a gone-national cookie company or anything. No, I was probably just hoping to get the delivery of cakes to the East End without them getting smushed in the back seat...
As the business grew, my vision grew. I began to see something shiny way off yonder in the distance - and although it was hazy, I envisioned my business becoming something huge. For whatever reason, the vision always had to do with the cookies being sold in California. Since I love California, it probably just meant that once we had grown to reach the California market, well - then we'd made it!

In February we took on our first big contract with the US. There was much screaming and jumping up and down in the bakery, and then we got serious about the many thousands of cookies we would have to make...
And OF COURSE - chaos hit! Our new packaging was delayed, the wrong flour was delivered, and then - worst of all - our cookie depositor broke down. Yes, Baker Babe was even brought to tears. Nothing was going to stop us from getting that first order out, but it sure felt like everything was trying!
The bakers and I (and the husband pitched in too) hunkered down and hand-scooped almost 35,000 cookies. During breaks we soaked our hands in warm sea salt baths, and shook our heads at the madness of it.

People often compare a business to having a baby, and I would add to that by saying that a business is like having many babies. Just when you think the kid's grown up, you're in labour again, pushing out the next one. A business is about constant re-birth and expansion - and from what I know, it's not exactly a walk in the park, but it's always worth it.

We got the order done, we worked our butts off, and a piece of that beautiful vision was actualized. As crazy as it was, I wouldn't have changed a thing. The chaos brought our team together, showed the integrity of the company, and was a pretty great story to tell.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Healthy New Year!

Hey People!
It's 2010 and that means we just had a New Year thing happen, which means (if you're like me) you're probably thinking about resolutions and all that. I find New Year's resolutions a bit hokey because they never seem to work. We all start strong in January and then by February we are back into eating full bags of cookies in one sitting. I say 'we' in order to alleviate my guilt. I'll start referring to myself now, okay?
I've come to understand that the thing about making a positive change in my life is that it has to become part of my everyday routine in order to stick. And even then, it's hard not to fall off the wagon when life gets busy or chaotic.
My diet seems to be the thing that suffers most when life gets busy. And you know, since I am a Baker Babe and all - life WILL get busy (I kind of like it that way). So here we have two topics: New Year's resolutions and poor diet. By poor diet I mean - eating on the go, take-out, skipping meals, eating cookies instead of lunch (hey! it's all we have at the bakery!) etc...
So I've decided to conduct an experiment and a challenge for myself (and the husband, I might add) which is that I am going to cook all of my meals at home for one month straight (with the exception of three days in January because I'll be away - thought I would just share that with you.) I can eat home-cooked meals at friends' houses, and I can grab a coffee to go - but that's it. 
Because, let's face it, when I eat at home I am much healthier, I feel more balanced, and I've also saved a whack of cash. It requires planning. And organization. And people - I LOVE to cook, so let's not forget that inspiration is a requirement to making anything good actually happen.

Today was day one. New Year's Day - hilarious because everything was closed and we had no groceries in the house. Our first at-home meal was prepared by the Husband. Breakfast for dinner. A great way to start the year.
Scrambled eggs with sundried tomatoes and shitake mushrooms. Asparagus with grated parmesan. A couple of mixed greens tossed on the side.