me in new york city


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I love New York City.  I love the time on my own every year when I leave my cozy life to be right in the middle of the commotion of the city.  I see my life more clearly.  I appreciate the simple things more.  I always come back rejuvenated with clarity for my life.  And the time spent with people I love there is so fulfilling.

Happy Monday friends. It feels so good to be home and to have had my own adventure, just for me.

(More pics of the trip on Instagram @nshiffler.)

 the sleepy time gal

right now...


IMG_9886  Right now...


 {The most natural and beautiful curiosity from my oldest}


{Cocoa chia seed pudding with toasted coconut flakes + salted peanuts for breakfast.  As usual, half love it, the other half can't move on from the chia texture.}


 {Christmas thank you cards: writing, spelling, penmanship, and collaged illustrations happening at the dining room table.}


{Someone's first thank you card.  He couldn't be more proud of.}


 {Ready to drive down to Baltimore tomorrow morning for the day to finally see the blacktip reef sharks and Calypso, the 500 pound green turtle at the Baltimore National Aquarium.  WooHoo!} 

Hope you have a wonderful (toasty) weekend.  

the sleepy time gal

over half a million!


IMG_9815 It's freezing outside and beginning to lighten up a bit before the sun comes up over the tree line.  I'm waiting for Rowan's usual shouting of "Mommy!" right about now that signals he's just woken up and, simultaneously, wakes up the others.

I feel good.  I've made my way through this week by beginning some routines again in the early morning hours.  Not quite early enough or totally laid out but perfect for right now.  I'm sipping my first of Tazo's Passion herbal tea, dressed in my heart thermals at the computer, and listening to Spotify's Winter Acoustic's playlist playing softly.  This is a good morning.


Early yesterday morning while I was pumping myself up for the day (part of my morning routine of reviewing my goals), I decided to start an inspirational quotation board on Pinterest.  It's called Inspire Me if you're interested and is the beginning of a collection of quotations that inspire me in my journey to live boldly.

And speaking of Pinterest, I'm super thrilled to announce that The Sleepy Time Gal's very own projects, ideas, and recipes have been pinned in 2014 over half a million times!

It makes me so happy to know that people all around the world are being inspired and using my tutorials/projects to do something more, dig a little deeper, inspire their children, eat healthier, get organized, and simply create.

All I want from this space is to inspire.  It is the whole purpose of this blog.  Thank you for being the friend on the other side of this computer screen that makes the effort and work of keeping up a blog so worth it.

Happy weekend to you all.


much love,

the sleepy time gal

learning how to be a mother all over again



Yep.  It's this little boy.

I know.  I've raised four toddler girls before (and twin toddlers which takes the cake!) but there is something different about raising a toddler boy.



{Rowan saying, "Da wocket goes SHHH to da moon!"  He watched one take off from NASA on YouTube with me and demonstrates it regularly.}

As much as the daily flow of activities makes me think that Rowan is simply another member of the gang of half-pint Shiffler's, him being a boy means so many different things.  Like when I walk through the kitchen door from running an errand and he runs to me, arms extended with, "Mommy!"  I can't help but bend down, scoop him up, and hold him tightly.

He loves me so much.  It's different than with my girls.



And how his toddler frustations are always made manifest through growling, throwing something, swiping things off the table, and other quite physical actions.  Very different from my more "emotional" toddler girls.

And then there's my favorite: feeling guilty when he's done something he knows he shouldn't and so comes to me with frustration, trying to deflect by getting my attention--throwing my pen or squeezing my leg for a reaction--while at the same time wanting me to hold him/love him for approval.




It's been a very different experience in many ways and yet, the same in others.  This I do know: I've never felt more loved by a child then by a little boy.  And it is the most incredible feeling for a mother to feel.  Despite his roughness at times and happy/frustrated emotions his little toddler self feels so deeply, his huge hugs around my neck,  puckered kisses on the lips, and our focused moments reading truck books together are currently my favorite parts of the day.


the sleepy time gal

a few things...



It's been a good week in this space.  Thanks for sharing this week with me.

Here are some things I so want to share with you today...


Have a wonderful weekend!


the sleepy time gal

simple pleasures



There are those simple pleasures that make life so amazing.

For me lately it's earning the satisfied approval of a new dish or treat from the family or sneaking downstairs early in the morning to whip up a simple sewing project that is finished right before I hear little footsteps coming downstairs.

For my husband those simple pleasures are closing out his day lifting weights in the basement to his favorite motivational podcasts.  It is his special place to unwind, reflect, and dream.  For my children it would be racing to the neighbors after breakfast to see if they can play or cuddling next to me in the quiet afternoon with iPad in hand to pin project ideas or talk about fall plans.

What are your simple pleasures?  What do you think about doing when you can think about anything in the whole wide world that makes you happy?

I'm trying to make more time for simple pleasures.  I've been getting back into reading--even a few minutes--from a book I'm interested in every morning right after I wake up.  Or take Rowan on a daily post-lunch walk, hand in hand, around the cul-de-sac once before his nap.  Or consciously use my body oil after a shower.  Simple things.



Sometimes it's the simple pleasures that help squeeze us through the tight spots of life and situations we can't control.  And other times it's the simple pleasures that remind us that life must be lived wholeheartedly because we only get one chance.  We had better do and be and make happen all of the things we dream about.  And then, our simple pleasure will be watching the life we've always wanted literally unfold before our eyes.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost 


the sleepy time gal



--Every morning Johanna gathers her miniature items from right inside the front door and takes them outside to set up her fairy home in front of the entrance to a real bunny hole.  Every day new items can be found there: recently blue construction paper ponds and a fire.  It is something brilliant to witness.

--I've recently gotten over a dehydration migraine from last week.  I'm amazed at the slow process to feeling 100% better again.  I've had quite a bit of time to think and be grateful for my usual good health.  And now that I'm fully well I hope to do some of the items on our list of summer activities this week.  This particular week: beach towels and sandals for the upcoming birthday girls' American Girl dolls, a twig fairy harp per Johanna's request, and a few more "meetings" with the twins to talk about the exact same (but still exciting) details of our annual beach trip coming early September.

--And then there's Rowan.  Rowan.  His little toddler self is changing, experimenting with new things, and requiring an open-minded, creative mother to help him through this exciting/difficult stage.  Thankfully, as I'm sure you know, the challenges never surpass the absolute cuteness and sweet toddlerisms that make a mother head over heels for her child.

I hope you feel the same optimism and promise to this new week!

the sleepy time gal

new things



It's Friday.  What weekend plans do you have?  Travel?  Relaxing?  Working around the house?


I'm super excited about some upcoming changes in this blog space.  Along with a few surprises (to be revealed in August) is our summer sugar scrub the girls and I created which we will post next week along with the finished updated art room.  In the new recipe category, there are a few recipes that tie as my most favorite creations (and most challenging to get just right) that I'm really thrilled to share with anyone looking for healthier eats for the whole family.

One is a recreation of my mother's "no-bake" chocolate cookies (which we of course had another name for) that are gluten-free and chocked with amazing goodness and the other recipe is coconut sour cream pancakes + salted peanut butter maple syrup.



Other new things in our little world would be baby watermelons growing on their vine, our gigantic sunflowers finally revealing their faces, exploring all things relating to "the wild west", and me totally mesmerized by our new high efficiency washer and dryer.  Never would have thought that two updated metal machines would make laundry as exciting as summer berries with ice cream.


Have a wonderful, sunny weekend.


the sleepy time gal