Meet NJ.

Hi and welcome! I’m NJ. I’m a Midwesterner by birth but a New Englander by choice. Some would say I’ve got an accent. I’d prefer to think I’m just lazy with my r’s. Mmm… lobst(ah). I’ve lived in Western MA for over a decade and even though I don’t have any blood family nearby, I’ve got a great family by choice here. I’m  married to Mike and I am the mother of two, Malone (4) and Lola (8 months). I love thrifting, baking, chocolate, and a quiet house. I long for a day where I can complete a single task without being interrupted.  I often go to bed thinking about my first up for coffee for the next day.

I have been told that I come across on the screen the same way I do in real life- enthusiastic, encouraging, hilarious, and friendly. I think that is probably one of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten. Except for the day my English professor father in law called my Big Girl Panties series fresh. That was a little strange, not gonna lie. But a compliment is a compliment, nevertheless.

I’ve known I had a story to tell since I was in high school. It took a long time to land in the right spot, but telling it here at A Cookie Before Dinner feels like home.

Why A Cookie Before Dinner?

A Cookie Before Dinner was a 3:00 am idea.  I’ve found the best ideas tend to come in the middle of the night or while I’m doing dishes.  On this space, you will see heart stories about life, love, and breaking the parenting rules. Here you will find laughter, ideas to make your life easier, and most importantly, encouragement.

More About My Family.

My husband Mike, and I were destined to meet. I mean, look at us. We grew up with the same awesome 80’s shirt.

NJ & Mike 1


We met via after discovering a mutual love for the Boston Red Sox. He “winked” at me. I “winked” back. We met for coffee and talked for four hours. I think that is the longest conversation I’ve ever had with my introvert husband (I’m a COMPLETE extrovert). Four years later, we got married.

Malone is four and fabulous. For a long time, he was a pink loving boy. But recently he told me that he likes rainbows better because that way he can have ALL of the colors. Lola is a spitfire who breathes joy with every breath she takes. She was born in the summer of 2013.  We barely made it to the hospital, she was born in 10 minutes and 3 pushes. 

Photos by my amazing friend Paul Specht

My goal as a mother is to raise empathetic, self sufficient, open minded tiny humans who love the world and their neighbors as themselves. I want my children to grow up with a wide lens of the world. We’ve celebrated solstice, Hanukkah, Passover, and marched in a gay pride parade with our friends.  I am a Christian who blogs, but not a Christian blogger. Just like in my offline life, everyone is welcome here.

 Digging A Little Deeper.

I am a motherless daughter who is finding her way as a mother. I’m no stranger to the waves of grief. 

I once saw Santa at a funeral and it really challenged my thoughts on the use of social media.

The post I loved writing the most was about hating my underpants. My second favorite one includes a story of my cat showing up with tums just in the nick of time.

I am an adventure lover. We recently took our four year old and two month old to the Red Sox Rolling Rally. There were 2 million people there that day. Michael and I both agreed it was one the best days of our entire lives.

I write because my story matters. And yours does too.

One of my greatest joys is community and I’d love to connect with you beyond this blog. My email is . Or you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+.