Tag Archives: food

Turns out I am an abstainer after all.

Way back when before all these kids, I was a music therapist at a psych hospital, and I ran other groups as well.  I used to share all kinds of ideas and articles, including one from Gretchen Rubin on abstaining vs. moderating which she describes here and further discusses here.

I would talk about it perhaps in terms of addiction, or maybe just in a positive thinking type group, but I generally thought I might have been a moderator – but what it boiled down to was I didn’t want to fully give anything up.  That is no way to live! Surely I can moderate my diet/internet use/what have you.  I need my desserts, darn it!

But I can’t, and in the second article, perhaps she is arguing that maybe only very few especially temperate people can truly be moderators.  My Grandad, for instance – who just passed away this year – I think would be one. And then there is me.  I recently read about someone’s experience with compulsive overeating and it sounding a little too familiar.  If you’ve watched the new show This Is Us I can relate to Kate quite a bit.  And you might look at me and say well you aren’t nearly as big as her, but it wouldn’t take too many steps for me to get there. (I’ve since stopped watching after episode 2 – I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need anxiety from a tv show!)

So how did I come to this new self-knowledge?  Brian and I are rewarding ourselves with $5 a week for maintaining certain rules and mine is no sweets, except for a snack at church if available during coffee hour, or a special occasion like a birthday or outing.  And it’s easier.  It’s easier to have a rule.  I am, at heart, a rule-follower. The rule becomes freeing.  I can even scroll through pinterest, note how delicious everything looks, and move on.  I am no longer tempted to put things in the grocery cart because they are simply not allowed, and then I don’t have to try to not eat half a container of cookies that are in the house.  Our allowance of sorts is helping the budget as well, by cutting down on extraneous spending.

I’m tempted to use a further example, the thing, ahem, you usually think of when it comes to abstaining.  I’ll just leave that there for you to ponder.

So which are you?  Any true moderators out there?  Any rebellious rule-breakers who balk at abstaining?  Anyone else like me who is finding (or has found) freedom in boundaries?




Swan Cookies!

So I found this recipe for swan cookies and I was intrigued by how simple it looked to make the swan shapes!  But the recipe was very vague and included some European ingredients I didn’t feel like hunting down, so here is our version.


Refrigerated pie crust

A couple raisins (or brown sprinkles)

1 egg plus a little water


Unroll the pie crust and cut out circles with a glass or cookie cutter.  Fold the circles in half, then refer to the original recipe for where to cut and how to shape into a swan.  Just three little cuts, curl the neck, and spread the wings a little!

Cut up raisins into little bits and place as an eye on each.

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Mix the egg with a little water and brush over the cookies.  Sprinkle sugar all over each.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden!

I had a pretty cute little helper, and little mister not-taking-a-morning-nap entertained with toys in his high chair for a bit!

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They came out pretty good!  But then I also really like pie crust (even better raw – but I couldn’t swipe much in front of the kiddos.  I’m such a weirdo)

The boys liked them (only a little bit for Elliot, and Leland would eat them all day if I let him – I’m using “save some to show and give to Daddy” to keep him from eating more after his nap!).

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P.S this is a great shot of Elliot’s coming-in-out-of-order teeth and amber necklace!

Thanksgiving Trip Highlights

Well now that Christmas is only 10 days away (!!) how about a recap from our trip to NJ and PA?

This was our first trip with 2 kids along and they did pretty well!  We all survived anyway.

Where did we go?

  • First stop – 1 night in NJ with my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and baby bump!
  • Then a few days in Mount Joy, PA with Brian’s parents, visiting some old friends, and Thanksgiving at Brian’s Aunt’s
  • Then 1 1/2 days in Lehigh County, PA with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousin

Family and Friend Highlights

  • Elliot met his Great Grandparents for the first time, and my Aunt Chris, Uncle Dean, and Cousin Dan
  • Leland got to play lots with Pap-Pap, including building a snowman!
  • The three cousins (and two cats!) playing together at my brother’s – soooo fun
  • Four kids (0, 1, 2, and 3) running around when our friends visited us at Brian’s parents
  • Meeting baby Titus!
  • Chatting in person with my college housemate about Gently Parenting
  • A trip to the Fun Fort where Brian and I spent so much time in college – now the kids could play there, it was kind of a strange feeling!
  • Doing Christmas with Brian’s parents

Showering Highlights

  • my sister-in-law Shannon has Wen which I’ve always wanted to try – I did and it is nice!
  • my Aunt Denise has Moroccan Oil shampoo and I love it


  • Fried Avocado for dinner at a Mexican restaurant – I had seriously been wanting to try it since we were last in PA in March.  It did not disappoint (Avocado stuffed with meat and cheese, breaded and fried)
  • Shannon made us pizzas (including a tomato-free one for Leland)
  • My cousin Dan made us some crazy turkey sliders with Thanksgiving leftovers when we arrived that evening
  • Rockwell’s!  Such a good restaurant and I hadn’t been in ages – the kids’ first time there (crab dip of my dreams . . . )
  • I made shrimp alfredo one night (only the semi-homemade way but it tasted yummy!)
  • Country Table pumpkin pie
  • And of course, Thanksgiving dinner at Brian’s Aunt Cindy’s

I missed

  • my bed!
  • wifi
  • our shower pressure
  • my dimmable mirror light by my bed for nighttime wakeups (but a downloaded flashlight app saved the day!)

Hey, let’s do it again in 10 days!