Phew! What a week it has been in my neck of the woods! In addition to the holiday sprint before me, here in New England we’ve had TWO snow storms that have made the logistics of my life infinitely harder! I haven’t meant to be silent all week, but there just haven’t been enough hours in my day to write, read, or comment.

If you are new around here, Ask Away Friday is a weekly link up hosted by Penny from The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country and Amber from Bold Fab Mom. Two bloggers trade 10 questions and answer those questions in their own space.

For today’s installment of Ask Away Friday I am thrilled to be swapping with Alison of Writing Wishing.  I have been a long time reader of Alison’s blog and have really enjoyed getting to know her on a more personal level the last few months via  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  There have been a few days where we’ve connected on all three of those sites as well as email. Alison is one  of the most generous bloggers I know in terms of passing on and sharing blogging resources.  On top of all of that, Alison has her own company called Little Love Media where she offers blog evaluations and strategy and social media services. If you are wondering about next steps with your blog or want to really nail down your focus, you probably want to talk to her!

ask away

How did you come up with your children’s names?

Michael and I have a really tough last name. It is pronounced WRONG-ner, which makes naming babies a bit hard. A lot of names end up like a tongue twister if you put them together.

145Our criteria for naming Malone made it even tougher. We wanted a unique (but not made up or misspelled) name that had significance to our story and had the potential to sound cool over a PA announcement should he ever play professional sports. We ran through our family names and they were all really ordinary (Charles, David, Robert). We named Malone after Sam Malone from the television show Cheers. Cheers was set in Boston, where Michael and I met.

Lola’s story is a little longer but also very unique. The long of the short of it is that Malone named her. His favorite song is Lola by The Kinks. Both Michael and I had names we liked better, but Malone wore us down and won.

What is the absolute hardest thing about motherhood?

The pressure I put on myself to raise self sufficient, emphatic and trustworthy tiny humans. I worry that I’m failing them on a daily basis, which probably means I’m doing something right.

What advice would you give to first-time mothers?

Throw away the baby books and trust your gut. You have instincts for a reason, follow them.

Nothing lasts forever. The sleepless nights and tantrums will fade. You child will not go to his high school prom wearing a diaper or spend his first night of college sleeping in a crib. Stop worrying about the things you can’t control.

How did your love for the Red Sox come about?

I grew up in Northern Illinois and my entire family loves the Cubs (except my Dad, who is a huge Cardinals fan). I spent a lot of time with my grandfather and his sister (my Great Aunt) watching and listening to Cub’s games as a kid. I grew up on Harry Caray, Ryan Sandberg, and a bus trip into Wrigley Field every summer. Baseball is in my bones.

This is a happy sad picture. Here we all are at the church during my Great Aunt’s wake. She was a one of the biggest Cubs fans I know.


When I first moved to Boston, it was a natural progression to fall in love the Red Sox. AND all of the cutest boys were huge Red Sox fans. For a while, I worked for someone who had access to corporate seats. Tickets to the Red Sox home games were frequently handed to me on an almost weekly basis. That was a pretty epic adventure. Michael and I met on He clicked on my profile because he thought I looked cute in my Red Sox hat!

Because we are insane,  we joined 2 million other people when we took both Lola and Malone with us to the 2013 Red Sox World Series Rolling Rally parade. The entire day was magic, from beginning to end.

Share with us your first ever Instagram photo!

Malone was SO LITTLE! I’ve been on Insta for just over two years! It is by far my favorite social media platform!

Your blog name is A Cookie Before Dinner – so, what is your favorite cookie?

I’m NOT picky. But if you’re going to make me choose one, I’m going to say Cherry Chocolate Macarons. But really, if you hand me just about any cookie, I’d eat it as long as there aren’t raisins disguised as chocolate in it. There is NOTHING WORSE than biting into a cookie and thinking it is chocolate only to learn it is a raisin!

Speaking of dinner, what’s your favorite go-to dinner dish?

We eat spaghetti about once a week. We all love it and it is a really affordable meal. We also eat a lot of stir fry and tacos. Meals in our house area always well rounded and never fussy. I love to make chicken pot pie from scratch, but I’m just not in a season where I can devote an entire afternoon to preparing a meal.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start thrifting?

A good deal isn’t a good deal unless you love what you’re buying.

I adore buying vintage toys. Here are a few of my favorites. The 1950’s toy box might be the best thing I’ve ever scored ($4.99!).

Vintage Love

What’s the best and worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?

When I was 11 my great grandmother gave me a pregnant Barbie. I think it was Midge.  You could literally rip off her stomach and yank the baby out. All of the girl cousins got her that year. She was awesomely terrible.

Last year, it was around this time we learned we were expecting Lola. It was really fun to call everyone on Christmas Day and share the news.

What is Christmas morning like at your house?

Christmas morning is nice and slow because we don’t live close to any family. We spent Malone’s first Christmas in Illinois but then we declared to all interested parties that we WOULD NOT be traveling for the Christmas holiday again. My entire family is in Illinois and Mike’s is spread out across the states.

As a kid, I remember having to rush through Christmas morning at home to make it to my grandmother’s house in time for lunch. It sucked because I was never allowed to bring my new toys with me. I’ll make cinnamon rolls and Malone will have the freedom to open gifts at his own pace. I imagine he’ll spend a good amount of time playing with each new toy before moving on to the next. We are meeting up with friends for Chinese food around 4:00 pm. We always eat Chinese food on Christmas day.

Wondering what I asked Alison and how she answered? Head over to her space! 

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