Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Apple Pie Bites...and they're healthy!

I wouldn't label my kids picky eaters by any means--and for this I feel very fortunate. But, once in a while, I feel like we go through a bit of a "snack rut," where they're regularly asking for Goldfish crackers or some other starchy thing that I think is fine once in a while, but not on a daily basis. So, I'm always on the lookout for healthy snack alternatives.

Here's a snack I created that's healthy, delicious and simple...what more could you ask for?

Apple Pie Bites
1 c. dried apple rings
1 c. dates
½ c. shredded coconut (toasted if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Place dried apple rings and dates in a bowl of warm water to cover, for up to 15 minutes to soften. Drain. Place fruit, along with all other ingredients, in your food processor and process for about 1-2 minutes, until all ingredients combine and clump together. Roll into 1-inch (or whatever size you prefer) balls and space out on a parchment-lined pan. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes and then serve.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Festa Italia (Isthmus)

Are you game for a spaghetti eating contest?

For those of you local to the Madison area, be sure to stop by Festa Italia this weekend at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg. To learn more about the event, as well as the group behind it (the longest-running Italian Workmen's Club in the nation, I should add), read my article in the Isthmus.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Books for the World in Isthmus

It brings me joy when I hear about charitable organizations whose mission is two-fold. Books for the World not only helps the environment by keeping large quantities of books and educational materials out of the landfill, but they turn around and give those materials a whole new life in Third World countries. What a win-win!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Brava Magazine: Eating Disorders and Motherhood

I'm proud to share my feature article in April's Brava magazine! I want to thank everyone who contributed to the article and made it what it was. I hope other women can find inspiration in these three women's stories and how hard they have worked to overcome their illness in the face of motherhood.

The Joy of Now

As a parent, it can be so easy to get caught up in the yesterdays and tomorrows: What are we going to do to keep the kids busy this summer? Remember when Johnny was just a baby, and we could cradle him in our arms? 

As a parent in today's world, it's even easier than ever to distract yourself from now. Mobile devices make it possible for a person to distract themselves any second of the day, no matter where they are at that moment. And while we can all make the argument that we are using these devices purposefully ("I'm just shooting off an e-mail for work." or "I'm checking our calendar to see if we're free that weekend."), it's not surprising that research shows that these behaviors are having damaging effects on our children.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Misery of Being a Grown-Up

The realities of being a grown-up!

Those bills need to be paid, today. You need to call somebody about that drip in the basement. You need to go back to the grocery store and tell them your receipt doesn't reflect that awesome BOGO promotion there was so much signage for you'd be blind to miss it--but yet, somehow, their computer system still did. You need to speak to a manager because the service, or the food, or something at this restaurant is truly sub-par and your experience has been awful because of it.

And those are just the little things. What about the big decisions? Should we remodel or move? Lease or own? Family of three, four or more? Stay together or call it quits? Keep working that emotionally-draining job or take a leap of faith that something better is out there?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eleven Signs You're a Parent

There are some things in our pre-parenting lives that we just didn't appreciate the way we do now, and that really are unavoidable upon entering the parenting realm:

11. You can almost never finish something you've started (not in one go, at least).
10. You realize there truly is a difference between "G," "PG" and "PG-13" rated movies. A BIG difference.
9. Many lyrics in many popular songs don't seem so "cool" any more.
8. You've got to be a lot better about hiding certain things, be it your secret chocolate stash or something else...
7. You no longer think it's gross, but can understand the importance of doing post-bathroom spot checks well into elementary school.
6. Chuck E. Cheese is your new nightmare.
5. Your wardrobe = functional over stylish.
4. You now find the hilarity in the noise of the adult voices on Peanuts movies.
3. You're in by 10, out (as in "lights out") by 10:30.
2. You embrace the minivan as very practical and functional--everything you need in a family ride!
AND...the one you probably really held out on for as long as you could...
1. You do find yourself referring to your spouse as "mom" or "dad"

What perceptions have changed for you with the onset of parenting?