Tag Archives: Pintrest

Let’s Cook!

I was never much of a cook. Growing up, my mom didn’t cook very much. She made things like Stouffer’s lasagna or Mrs. Budd’s chicken pot pies. When she did make a homemade meal, she hit it out of the park. Appetizers and holiday cooking like Thanksgiving and Passover were her specialities and still are today.

My husband also loved to cook. When we lived in Hoboken, he loved to whip up new and exciting meals like stuffed peppers or bolognese while I made things like spaghetti or turkey burgers. Our roles have since changed.

When I lost my job a few years back, I started to get into cooking. When I wasn’t job hunting or interviewing, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. While Eric worked, I needed an outlet. So I started to cook. I thought it would be nice for him to have something to come home to. Plus, I felt like I did something; it somehow justified me being home all day and not working.

When I reentered the job force, I still tried to cook. Unfortunatey, I just didn’t have the same kind of time to devote to my new hobby. After working all day in the city, commuting and then getting in a run or workout, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. Besides, living in Hoboken, there were so many great restaurants and eateries to enjoy, it was so much easier to say, “Lets eat out tonight!”

Fast forward to mommyhood and my life in suburbs and I have found a new love for cooking. At first, I was somewhat intimated, like when I wanted to try to make a cookie cake for Eric for Father’s Day. He loved it when a girlfriend of mine made it so I faced my fear, gave it a try and found surprising success. Pintrest has become a good friend of mine as I look to create new and exciting dishes for our family like a chicken, artichoke and spinach pasta bake; balsamic chicken; homemade banana bread; or lasagna roll ups.

Believe it or not, cooking somewhat relaxes me. I feel creative. Staying home, I don’t always feel like that, especially after a successful career in public relations where I was constantly coming up with new ideas and initiatives seen all across the world. Cooking has filled a little bit of that void for the time being. While my daughter sleeps and I have some extra time in between cleaning, paying bills and catching up on “The Real Housewives,” I’ve found something new to be excited and proud of again.

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Planning My Daughter’s 1st Birthday

My husband and I are pretty good at throwing parties. I’d like to admit that we’re actually better than good, maybe great. We have ugly sweater parties, pimps and hoes parties, Super Bowl parties, and so on. We have thrown countless parties together over the last 10 years full of food, drink and nonsense, but now it’s time for us to buckle down and work on planning our daughter’s 1st birthday party.

I don’t have experience throwing parties for kids. I know how to order kegs, stock wine and crock meatballs. Granted, I have been to a handful of events for little ones, but this is not my area of expertise, even if I have been in this mom role for 10 months.  To be honest, it’s been kind of stressful thinking of exactly what we are going to do. Do we rent out a place and have a huge affair with family and friends? Or maybe an intimate gathering of close family and friends? There’s always a separate family party and separate friend party and maybe a playgroup party? So many options, so little time to prepare. In my mind, I have two months to get this soiree together, whatever it may be; however, I’m constantly being reminded by various vendors like music groups, gyms, and the like that I actually only have a few weeks until J turns one. Thanks, I really need those five extra weekly reminders.

In all honesty, while we have pretty much decided what we’ll be doing, I’m constantly worrying if what we’re planning is what will be best. We decided to do a party at our home for immediate family and then invite our friends to a separate birthday gathering another weekend. While I’m happy with the decision, I have a million thoughts running through my head about themes, supplies, food, and goodie bags. Do I have to hire entertainment for the friend party since there will be a handful of youngsters there or set up crafts for the older kids? Where do I get a smash cake? And do I have to do this all twice?

Of course, I could have one big party, do it at a venue and hire people out, but that would be too easy. Remember, my husband and I thrive on this stuff. And this is our first daughter’s very first birthday. It has to be magnificent! We want to be with family and celebrate; with parents and siblings and aunts and cousins, on a more intimate level. And then we want to celebrate J with our friends who love and adore her, while swapping stories over cocktails about the latest in car seats and teething.  So now that we have a plan, we have to start actually planning. Invitations, decorations, food, etc. For a person who mentally stresses over nothing on a daily basis, my stress level is certainly hitting a high!

I know in the end that whatever party (or parties) we have for J will be fabulous. Whether we have a magician or just eat pizza, it will be filled with love and joy surrounding our special little beauty. In the meantime, I’ll be the stressed out mom surfing Pintrest for 1st birthday party ideas. Suggestions welcome.