Why I’ll Never Be Mrs. America: Another One of Those Posts about Body Image

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Why will I never be Mrs. America? (Is there such a thing?) Well, it’s mostly because of my stretch marks. And the fact that my only talent is being able to make toddler dinners in five minutes flat and of course, sing every word to Ice Ice Baby. But, really, it’s because my body is so damn dinged up now; they would never let me into a swimsuit competition.

Five years ago, before my wedding day, I had a “boudoir” photo shoot for my husband. Photos for his eyes only that I had delivered to him on our wedding morning. It was a silly photo shoot I did with my wedding photographer. Me in sheer tanks and a sweatshirt embroidered with “Mrs. G.” I said to myself, at the time, as if clairvoyant, “I will really, really be happy I did this someday. Like after I have kids.”

And holy Moly am I. Like times 100.

I gained 67 pounds with Parker. This is outrageous mostly because he was 3 weeks early. Can you imagine what I would have been full term? Greenpeace would have started a special fund just for me. 21 months later, I had Celia and (if you start from the same “starting” weight) gained an impressive 75 pounds with her. Even though she was born, at 39 weeks, via C-section and weighed 10 lbs. 11 oz., I was by no stretch of the imagination “all baby.” I was “all nose” or “all double chin” or “all over chubby” but “all baby,” no way.

And yes, my stretch marks and hang-y belly skin and C-section scar are all lines that tell a story of two people (as so eloquently written about in this article). But, when I don’t have the appendage of an eighteen month and three year old hanging off of me, I am just another woman with a muffin top, a flabby belly, those extra ten pounds—or— (gasp!) in Mom jeans.

And on some days I am totally okay with that. When I am feeling all Rosie the Riveter about life and don’t think that anything could possibly stop me now— but just like anything, there are days when I feel not so much like that. Like times 100.

And, like I have written before, this is what frightens me most about having a daughter. First of all, she will learn that her mother is a very vain person. At a girls weekend game of “True Colors” once, I was named as “the one who cares most about how she looks” (That clearly never got to me, right?). Second of all, she will see that I’m not all that in love with the vessel that made her and her brother. I am afraid Celia will see me sucking in my gut, looking in the mirror and grimacing. Day after day, year after year.

The Oprah and Dr. Phil shows I have watched about the topic tells me that girls first hear their mothers criticize their bodies, then they start to look at their own. I am sure this is what happened with my own mother. Although I don’t think I ever had a bad image of myself (I was pretty oblivious of my chubby phases even through college), I know that it played into other parts of me as a person.

A friend told me once that she got rid of a pair of old jeans when she had her daughter. She had used the old jeans as a measuring tool of her weight since high school. Fitting into the jeans meant she was skinny, not fitting into them well, you know what that meant. But, instead of throwing them away when they didn’t fit, she saved them. Using them as a metric of future thin-ness. Fitting into the jeans meant something more than just losing a few pounds; it meant she was worth something. She got rid of them one day as her daughter, just a year old, watched her try them on. I was engrossed in and fascinated with the symbolism of that act. Setting yourself free from the metric that rules you. Telling your daughter to do the same.

I have the same pair of jeans. Zipping them up effortlessly means I have in some way been “good.” Struggling with the zipper and button means I have sinned. I know exactly the number that is on the label inside the jeans and I know exactly the number on the scale that means the jeans will fit.

I have not yet been able to rid myself of my own pair of ten year old jeans in the same symbolic act. Something keeps me hanging on—because well, they make me feel good. They fit well (when they fit) and make me feel powerful, womanly, thin. I like to think that they encourage me to eat better and not gain those 5-10 evil pounds that are always creeping back.

But, we all know what the jeans are. The jeans are a sign that I am not okay with my body. That I know that I am not at my best. And that I will continue to kid myself that being at my best means fitting into those jeans.

I don’t have a resolve for this or a pearl of wisdom for you. I would like to say: accept yourself and love yourself first, not last. Make your metric be the smiles on the faces of your family, not the number on the inside label of your favorite jeans. But in order for us all to follow that and for it to be 100% true, I would have to undo years and years of yo-yo weight gain and loss— skinny jeans and fat jeans. Double chin pictures and “Wow, look at how thin my arms look” pictures. I would have to undo the self-reflection that plays on the inside of every woman’s mind—day after day, year after year.

But I do have this: We are women. People who make people. We need to give ourselves permissions and at the same time not allow ourselves to make excuses. We need to empower our daughters while also keeping our own power and authority as grown women. We need to be supportive, not judgmental with ourselves and with the other women we share our lives with. We may have stretch marks and scars and laugh lines and crow’s feet, but we each have within us the ability to either turn inward or outward. And, the mantra of this blog, on more than one occasion has been to turn out—show love, show appreciation, show happiness. Because those acts should awaken the wonderful person in you more than any pair of jeans with any number printed on the inside ever will.
 

Falling in Love All Over Again

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Life sometimes seems surreal when you are a parent. Just when you are done navigating the sea that is eating, (not) sleeping and pooping you are thrown in without notice into potty training, preschool selection and sippy cups. The phases change so fast you often miss things and find yourself falling in love with your kids. All over again.

You remember when it first happened. Their creased skin, monkey toes and little grunts. You first fell in love with a little being that you couldn’t even yet imagine as a walking, talking, thinking being. You first fell in love with a sleepy smile, bright eyes, cooing trills and the way they would nuzzle, so deeply, into your chest to sleep.

Falling in love with a newborn baby is one of the easiest things to do in life. A fuzzy head, little pouty lips, long fingers balled up in fists at their lips. Breaths and sighs and piggy snorts. The first kiss, the first hug, the first I love you. At every new turn, you find another new part of them to love.

Confession: Even with this painfully nostalgic baby talk, I think I’m done having kids. I don’t get flutters in my belly when I see a baby. I don’t have a name picked out that will never be. I have gotten rid of every burp cloth, bottle nipple and receiving blanket with no second thought. I won’t smell the new baby smell of a Gallagher baby. I won’t touch little fingers and toes. I won’t sleep with a person perfectly snuggled on my chest on the couch. I won’t change those little newborn size diapers where you can’t even really tell if they’re wet or dry. I won’t sway in the dark at 3 am in the nursery. Ever again.

We’re out of baby zone, out of the formula and diaper car payment equivalent. We’re the parents of toddlers. Mobile, loud, boisterous, destructive toddlers.

And, even though I have been in this place for months now, I haven’t really stopped and smelled the roses. I’ve been so worried about the beginning of one phase and the end of the other that I haven’t stopped and said, “Hey– hey you, kid. What’s the coolest thing you do these days?”

Because apparently, I was waiting for Spring break to figure it all out.

Tonight, Parker marched into the living room, very concerned, and asked his father one question. “Daddy, does Celia have boobies and nipples?” I looked at my husband and saw him casually assure Parker that yes, Celia had nipples, would someday have boobies and that all girls had them. We double checked that he hadn’t gotten onto some unfortunate videos on you tube, but, no, he was just that curious.

Today, spot in the middle of a time out meltdown, Parker shouted, “Mommy, your pajama pants match my PLAY-DOH!”

And yesterday, twice, on the way home from his Nana’s he said, “We had a great time at Nana’s, right?” We had the most wonderful visit with my mother and even a three year old could tell that the family was on a holiday-high.

My little boy is turning into a person who is connecting his world in a multitude of ways. I can’t even keep up with the ways his spider web of thoughts intertwine. But still, he reveals his innocence, his purity and his perfect little outlook on the world every day. “Thanks, we had a great time!” He exclaimed to the desk attendant as we left the zoo on Easter Sunday. Just a little person in a checkered hat having a great time at the zoo.

And little Celia. Time alone with her has become so special. She putters around when it’s just her and I– plays independently and really delights in being on her own. She assembles wonderful play costumes, constantly babbles to herself and occasionally sings her favorite song, “Highway” from Cars. She has become my best friend. We cuddle together in the morning and after nap. She listens to every directive I give (I realize this phase will be very brief) and loves to cuddle. Tonight we ran errands together and it was the most enjoyable little Mommy/daughter shopping trip ever (One of many to come? Yay!). She’s just–so—cool.

And I realized as I was going through my array of photos taken today that: Wow, not working means I get to find all these little peccadilloes about my little man and little lady.

And, as I put them to bed, not nearly as tired and tattered and harried as usual, I said to Parker, “You’re my best boy, you know that?”

“Yes, Mommy, and you’re my best guhhhl.”

And it’s only Monday:)

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Raising a Redhead: Not a Task for the Faint of Heart

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MRR Stock Photo:)

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This is how redheads do Easter!

You may look at the title of this post and say, “how is raising a redhead different from any other child?” And I understand your skepticism. But, you have to believe me when I say, there’s something special about the redheaded child and I hope to inform you in this post.

The Genetics

An unexpected caveat to becoming the parent of a sweet little boy three years ago was also becoming the parent of a redhead. Now, I am not a red-head, my husband is not a redhead and we have no redheaded relatives to speak of. But, I have learned, in order for little Parker to have become a redhead, we both have to carry the gene. And so we do.

The Stereotypes of Redheads

Now, you may be ignorant to the stereotypes of redheads. If you remember Chuckie from Child’s Play, the red-headed child does not get the best rap. Then, of course, there is the vampire—traditionally red headed and pale skinned. Freckles usually adorn the face of a stereotypical red-head and a complimentary cowlick (in boys) or tangled curls (in girls). To learn more about the stereotypes, I consulted www.raising-redheads.com (Yes, that’s a real site). In it, several stereotypes are listed for redheads: crazy, fiery, hot-tempered, unpredictable and spunky, sassy. The list goes on and on. If you have read any of my posts about Parker, you know that these are not stereotypes, these are facts. But still, some people take offense. Like the blonde joke, the ginger joke is not well received by all redheads. To push the envelope further, South Park ran an episode where they (very hilariously) claimed gingers to have no souls. Some people (and rightfully so) have lost their sense of humor in all the poking fun of redheads. And, while it’s understandable, I still operate under the idea that I am part of a very exclusive and private club. MRR. Moms raising redheads.

The Secret Club

Have you ever known someone who drove a Jeep Wrangler? Everyone in Jeeps wave to each other as they pass. It’s a cool tradition, like you are part of some special club. Only Jeep owners allowed. Cool people, who ever so coolly wave and give a nod of, “I know what you got, and I like it.”

Having a redhead is kind of like that.

When Parker’s locks showed their first tinges of red, I thought it was a fake out. I was described as being strawberry blonde as a child and thought his would grow out to blonde or brown like his Dad’s. But, by 12 months he had a head full of red curls.

You first start getting looks in the grocery store, “Look at that red hair!” You start to notice families with red heads. And, most of all, you start to feel like you have just been initiated into some kind of club. And you it comes with some great perks— people gushing, people being a little more patient when they see him misbehave (see Ginger stereotypes) and people, just in general, loving to see a real live ginger child like they have seen in the movies and on TV.

I first knew I was in for it when his little personality was developing. He was hilarious, sensitive, ready for a party and, always willing to speak his mind (even if it was in expletives). Parker makes his presence known no matter who is in his company. He’s a whole lot of toddler in a very little body. And with that comes: a temper, a great sense of drama and acting ability, an inquisitiveness that is utterly exhausting and an ever so keen sense of humor. From this short list of qualities, I have made a list of survival techniques for raising a redhead. If you are a new Mom who sees the ginger locks starting, might be good to buckle up and get ready for what’s down the pike.

1. Be ready for a debate at every turn. Think that just the treat of a movie later will get you through the day? No way. This redhead needs something a little more immediate. Do you have any skittles on you? Yes, he’ll take those please.

2. No Tantrum is Unnecessary. Even if he doesn’t get what he wants, he has successfully worn you down for the next time he wants something. It’s all a part of a larger plan, don’t you worry.

3. His Sweetness is His Secret Weapon (The Eddie Haskell Effect). Smiley and sweet can very quickly turn to angry and irritated. Be aware that the moment where you say to yourself, “What a sweetie,” is probably when he has taken all the loose change he has found on the ground and stuffed it into the DVD player. So, just keep on your toes.

4. Siblings- Partners in Crime or Ultimate Enemy? Be careful to pay attention to how he is using his innocent siblings to further his own interests. Especially if said child does not talk. Makes it very hard to decipher who exactly put the tampon box into the bath and stirred it around until it was cardboard soup. That being said, watch for aggression with the sibling. If he doesn’t dish it out chances are he could instigate it.

5. Cute is his middle name. No redhead would get away with anything if they weren’t also adorable. And he is. With his creamy skin, his auburn-y red hair, green eyes and glasses, he’s got “ I can get away with anything” written all over him. And he will try, again and again.

So, if you are someone or know someone who is raising a redhead, time to get serious. There’s a lot to enjoy about being in this select group of children but there’s also a lot of chaos in store as well. But, you will be very glad you have been inducted into the exclusive Moms Raising Redheads Club—because even with their fiery personalities and high maintenance temperaments, there’s some real special about having one of your own.

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This was about when the red hair became apparent!

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Mountain tantrum? Oh yes, yes, redheads do that.

Full Disclosure: My Life on Facebook…Kind of a Lie

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Truth be told: This is not what every bedtime looks like. :(

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. Knowing that my life on facebook might not be an accurate depiction of, well, me. Ever since social media started, it’s kind of been about bragging about yourself. My first social media page was on MySpace. And it was an assault on your senses. My favorite song would blast as soon as you clicked on my page, you could read my mood based on the selected smiley face I chose and you could hear a lot of random crap about me that no one really cares about.

And, I have to admit, I kind of loved it. My closest friends would call me a bit narcissistic (I have discussed the origins of this in the past) and anything that’s “all about me!” is kind of exciting.

When everyone including my friends’ parents and grandparents started joining Facebook, social media took on whole new purpose. Instead of a place to share your “personal” thoughts and feelings, it became a great tool for stalking— er, I mean keeping in touch with people you have not seen in a long time or just don’t see as often as you would like to.

Now, people have enacted personal rules for using Facebook. We all know the repeat offenders–the ambiguous status, the complaining status, the controversy causing status, the politicky status, the public humiliation of random stranger in grocery store status. You’ve read them all. So, in learning from these hard to read statuses (statusi?), I have my own rules: no complaining about my husband, my kids or my job. Mostly because I know I am lucky to have all three of those things— but also because I don’t like having a public record of my discontent.

That being said, all bets are off when it comes to my contentedness! If I am having a good day, you are going to hear about it, see pictures of it and probably gag yourself when I do the before-bed-reflection status post, “Best. Day. Ever.” My ever-so-hilarious brother-in-law called me out on it when I called over there recently, “Bridgette, are you okay? You haven’t posted on Facebook in like 42 minutes?”

Touché.

Let me let you in on a little secret. Uhm, that’s all kind of a lie. Well, not a total lie. I mean, it’s my life but, it’s my life–airbrushed. Even though I might post a happy picture or witty status, I do not necessarily feel that way every day. Some days, I get mad, stomp my feet and maybe even shed a tear of frustration. I might be using Facebook to help pull me out of my bad mood or hard day. And what’s the best way to make yourself feel better when you’re feeling icky? Make everyone think you are feeling the opposite. Smoke and mirrors, people, smoke and mirrors.

Because, (un?)fortunately, Facebook is not life. It’s just a snippet, a Polaroid taken at just the right time and in the right lighting, an anecdote among a lifetime of stories. My life on Facebook is an extention of life but still sort of—an illusion. And my illusion is going to be good instead of bad. When a person once told me she thought my life was so great because of what she saw on Facebook, I was shocked and then kind of flattered. And soon following flattery was guilt. Did my life match up to what I put out? Not really. I didn’t realize the social value Facebook has accrued. It’s like automatic street cred. Credit that is not necessarily deserved.

It’s a powerful tool and you can use that in a multitude of ways. You can make it your bragging spot, your venting spot or your connection spot. Some people do all of those things at different times, some people do none of them. But, as my ever-so-wise husband has said, “People handle Facebook like they handle life.” And if I am making it a positive portrait of my sweet family (even if it is not 100% true day-to-day) then I think I am doing okay. I think that’s a good way to handle life: look for the positive things in it.

You’ll never see the yogurt crusted to my floor on Facebook, or the vacuum that I leave out permanently– because I cropped it out of the picture. You won’t see the picture where I have a double chin. You won’t see my child’s tantrums and time outs. You won’t see how I carried one, under my arm and dragged the other one by the hand into the house. You won’t see the dirty looks I got in Target. Because I won’t let you.

We have to realize that no person has an accurate “picture” in an online world. While I am thankful for the things that technology and social media provide me with (a “home,” an outlet), they are nothing compared to real, live face to face conversations about life and living with each other. When we have this conversation, you will hear about how our “outside” play lasted only 10 minutes, the cookie baking was actually a real pain in the ass, and my sleeping children? They are really just fighting off bad colds.

My advice is to consider this when you compare yourself to others via their Facebook updates. We compare ourselves to each other quite enough face to face. You really don’t have to be comparing your lazy Saturday to the ever so exciting and family centered Saturday happening across the country with your—very skinny now and has not aged a bit–old high school buddy. Instead? Use Facebook for good— for connection, for complimenting each other on the cuteness of our kids and for sharing exciting news. And, in times of crisis and loss, a method of support. Because, you are more than the profile you have created on Facebook— you are a real, living, breathing un-airbrushed REAL friend. And I’m sure a lot of people would like to tell you that face to face instead of just letting you see the writing on your wall (Pardon the bad attempt at a pun here).

Connect, don’t compare. Accentuate the positive, don’t give words to the other stuff. Because in real life, you don’t need to share the every day of the good things in your life with the world– because the people that need to know are right there experiencing it with you.

Mornings with Mike

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I don’t blog much about my husband. Mostly because I subscribe to the notion that my blog is not my personal bragging or complaining space. To that, I think, my husband is very relieved and pleased. But sometimes, there are just too many funny things not to share. And, since he has a birthday coming up, he’s due for a tribute.

My husband was a Marine. It’s kind of a cool thing to say. People are always a little surprised mainly because of his nice guy charm. Beneath the jacket and tie, there’s some remnants of Parris Island and Semper Fi.

There are lots of things he learned there that I am sure he could tell you about. How to pack a backpack to look like it’s heavy when it’s really not. How to barter for better MREs. Michael Gallagher is not short on stories, trust this. But one thing he always talked about was how they got out of bed, quickly, and “dressed by the numbers.”

And so, that being said, here’s a little snapshot of a morning nearly two decades after his time in the Marines. With a wife. And two kids.

5:53 am The Wake-up

IPhone alarm goes off blasting “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. He doesn’t just shut off the alarm like a normal person; he lets it play as long as possible.

“Isn’t that your favorite song, my sweet butter buns?”

I roll away from Mike who has now clicked on his computer and is allowing too much light from the screen into the room. “Empire State of Mind” is not my favorite song, nor do I have any idea why we have to hear it blasting every morning. And, every time he calls me sweet butter buns (his odd version of the anti-pet name), I grimace. But I don’t correct him.

Because he’s a Gallagher. And that would only make him do it more.

6:20 am Wake up Mini Me
Parker has a LOT of his Dad in him— sense of humor, wit, outgoing personality. But it’s in the talking, discussing and re-discussing that I know that I have a Mini-Mike on my hands. I mean this kid has already got the market cornered on negotiation. “I see your cereal bar and I raise you a sippy cup full of milk and a Toy Story guy. Hmmm, not taking it? Well, then, watch me flush this Ziploc down the toilet.” Confession: I was inspired from this link I saw this week. Another confession: The Ziploc example is true.

And since we’re talking about Toy Story…there is not an end to the Woody (the character in Toy Story, of course) jokes that Mike pulls out in a given day. It could be, “Where is your favorite place to play with your Woody? “ Or “Is this one your big Woody or a little Woody.” It’s ridiculous. Or hilarious. Or both.

;

6:30 am Wardrobe

Mike has a different way of saying, “are you sure about that?” in the morning. It’s the casual technique of ridicule without the maturity of directly talking to the person. “Mommy has her PINK PANTS on! It’s a PINK PANTS day! You have to have sunglasses for THOSE PANTS! Do you like those pants, Parker?”

And, sometimes I change, sometimes I don’t. Because I like my BLUSH colored pants very much thank you. But, on this particular day, I change. Because now I feel a little silly and the pants look suddenly very pink.

6:45 Bret-fist

Mike has eggs every morning. Every. Morning. Same eggs. Same plate. Same breakfast (or bret-fist, as Parker says it). He tries to get Parker to eat eggs but no go. So, instead, Michael’s pride and joy, The Best Egg Eater in the House, Miss Celia, sits and shares eggs with him. I swear it’s his favorite part of the day. The two of them at the table, an egg feast before them; it’s really a sight to see.

6:55 am Robot Dance-off (You read that right)

I have been named the worst dancer in our family. I really know that I am the best. Somehow Mike has convinced Parker that I cannot do the Robot dance as well as he can. Who the hell does he think he’s married to? I was a freaking cheerleader! All I DO is dance. Clearly, whenever this debate comes up (read: every morning), it makes me furious.

“How does Mommy dance if she doesn’t dance like a Robot?”

“Like a chicken!” [Everyone laughs]

Yup. I am going to live a life trying to convince my kids that I can actually dance. I am like the Elaine of Moms already and they have not even really ever seen me in action! Sigh.

7:05 am Love you Bye

We say goodbye and end our morning while each of us drives off in one direction with one child to a different day care. We then head in to the same school to teach for the day and still manage the “HI!” in the hallway when we see each other. I carry on with my day in the cutest pink pants you’ve ever seen and he carries on with his–fueled up and ready after his protein punch of a breakfast.

We will laugh

Mike will always be a Marine, he will always be good for a laugh, a sarcastic comment and a good, “did you hear what you just said?” We see (and blatantly point out) the funny things in each other. Sometimes he’s a little more forthcoming than I, but I would say a focal point for us has always been— making each other laugh.

When we were married, I wrote a poem that the priest read at the ceremony that repeated the phrase “We will laugh.” Even though I knew that life would always be fun and interesting with Mike, I think I underestimated the amount of laughing we would actually do. Our evenings and afternoons are so colored by the hilarity of the other person that the bath-time-dinner-time-toddler-negotiation-time of life doesn’t get us down. It just helps to inform the next joke, the next song on the Ipod alarm, the next “Mommy’s wearing her _____pants!” comment. And with this, I realize that I decided to spend my life and parenthood with the right person, the one who might ridicule my dancing but will continue, each morning, to make me take myself and every aspect of my morning and my day—Jay Z and all— much less seriously.

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Foodie Friday: Party Appetizer Round Up

Well, football playoffs and the coming Super Bowl season means it’s time to talk good appetizers. Since appetizers are my favorite food group (besides pizza and cookies), I would like to give you a list of some of my favorite easy peasy lemon squeezie appetizers.

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20130118-140726.jpg Baked Brie pre-oven and cheese football

I have referred to some of these recipes before, but there’s always time for a refresher course. A true shortcut girl likes to do things in the following manner:

1. At the last minute.

2. With little or no thought.

3. With little or no labor (no real cooking involved)

So, today I bring you six awesome treats that will win you friends, compliments and lots of extra time to watch your DVRed episodes of Nashville.

  • Wasabi cream cheese spread– Okay, I did not make up the recipe, but I have made it enough times to take some credit for it. Here’s my shortcut tips. Use a cheese slicer and do it in layers. Put soy sauce in the bottom of a shallow dish and also— serve it with rice crackers. It’s the only way to eat it. Powdered wasabi works just as well as bottled or jarred. Just be careful not to make it too spicy! Unless that’s what you are going for!
  • Brie Bites or Baked Brie Wheel– Brie, crescent dough and raspberry preserves is all you need here. It does not have to be puff pastry, but that works great too! Nothing too complicated. And very, very, very well recieved at parties. it looks beautiful too! The picture I have here is the brie wheel before it is baked with an egg wash, when it comes out of the oven it is so becautifully golden and— YUM!
  • Cheeseball– It sounds gross. But it’s not. It’s the best thing that you ever had. Vary it with fancy crackers, flatbread, Pita chips or veggies. It’s delectable.Baked Brie pre-oven
  • Proscuitto Wrapped Shrimp– Easy and impressive. Could be an entree or a passed appetizer. Make sure shrimp are big enough for wrapping, no mini-shrimp. Get the meat sliced thin at the deli. And use whole basil leaves. I didn’t use red pepper or lemon in this recipe. Serve with tartar sauce. Mmmmmm.
  • Fig, walnut and Goat Cheese Toasts, sprinkled with honey. Mini baguette slices, fig pieces, goat cheese. Heated on the broiler, drizzled with warm honey. I omitted orange and rosemary here. No need to be that fanciful.
  • Mini Shrimp with cocktail sauce and cream cheese– This reminds me of my childhood and therefore is only served with the most buttery buttery Ritz or Club crackers. Yum.

What? You noticed all but one of these has cheese in it? So what? It’s a PARTY treat, for God’s sake. EVERYone loves cheese!

Enjoy playoff weekend and even if you don’t care who wins, at least enjoy the snacks!

(Remember when I talked about eating low carb? Yeah, well, this post doesn’t count).

 

 

 

An Unplanned Blog-cation

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Celia not so pleased on Christmas day

Well, I have been a little negligent of Shortcut Girl this week. It was a particularly hard week for several reasons. Had a lot of family time (read: the kids were crazy), we did a bit of traveling, Celia was sick and then I got The Cold. The Cold That No One Should Ever Get For the Love of God. Let’s do a little recap.

Day 1: Lump in back of throat that makes you keep clearing your throat to rid yourself of. Ears seem plugged. One nostril is impossibly congested to the point that your nose just gives up on it. Your hair hurts. An added bonus is that this cold also arrives on Christmas Eve.

Day 2: Your hair still hurts, your eyes start watering, you have stopped being able to taste. Everything smells kind of gross and your nose just spills you-know-what with little notice. You are having a conversation with in laws on Christmas day that is interrupted by your nose letting loose. Your throat begins to get scratchy. Your lips feel like someone salted them down and burned a layer of skin off of them. You have a fever. And the chills.

Day 3: You wake up sweating, your shirt is soaked. Cough is in full effect. There’s no denying it now. Doses of Day Quil and Alka Seltzer aren’t working anymore and you have started eating only carbs and sugar because they are the only thing you can kind of taste. You realize this is a terrible diet plan but you don’t care.

Day 4: You stop talking. Sleep, water and cough drops are the only thing you take time for. You start to consider that you may have done something terrible to deserve this.

Day 5: You wake up feeling better, look in the mirror and realize you have pink eye. You look in the bathroom closet at the medications you have taken during the past five days: Visine, Vaseline, Delsym, Alka-Seltzer, Day Quil, Chloroseptic. And a Neti Pot in a pear tree.

Day 6: (Today) You start thinking about life like a normal person again. Until you have another coughing fit. You then contemplate punching your sleeping husband beside you (just for a moment, it eventually passes and he remains safely in slumber).

Day 7: ???

So, dear readers, I have not abandoned you. But along with my energy, sparkling personality and sweet disposition, this _____ing cold took away my will to blog.

Stay tuned, I might get a full night’s sleep tonight and be back at it tomorrow!