#AskAwayFriday With Mrs. Tee.

Mrs. Tee

I’ve wanted to play along with #AskAwayFriday for a few weeks because it seemed like such a fun idea. The premise is simple- trade 10 questions with another blogger  and answer the questions they have for you on your blog. I had a lot of fun ones for Mrs. Tee. Head over to her space to check them out! 

Here are her questions for me.

1. Your Site’s Tagline is “Life, Love and Breaking the Parenting Rules” .  So, what parenting ‘rules’ have you broken so far?  Do you regret it or would you do it again?

On a daily basis, we break the “food” rules with Malone. It is more important to us that our kids learn to make good choices about food, to listen to their bodies, and to learn when they’ve had enough to eat than it is for them to clean their plates at a meal.

We do not fight about food. PERIOD. If you’re hungry, I will give you something to eat. If you’re not hungry, you don’t have to eat just because society says it is lunch time. If it is a table meal and you’re not hungry, you need to sit and be part of the community for a few minutes before running off.

We’re also really liberal with snacks. Malone typically prefers to eat little bits of food throughout the day instead of three large meals. He eats three meals a day at the table with us but then often asks for 3-7 snacks a day. We don’t keep a lot of junk around. His favorite snacks are carrots, celery, a piece of fruit, almonds or pecans, or popcorn.

The only rule we have is no one is allowed to make negative commentary about a meal I serve and everyone has to take at least one bite. If, after one bite someone doesn’t care for it they can say “no thank you, I do not care for this.” More often than not, the “no thank you bite” is actually a win and Malone asks for more.

I don’t regret this method at all. I have seen Malone decline a piece of cake at a birthday party because he wasn’t hungry. His favorite foods are things most kids run from – leafy greens, which was a no thank you bite discovery.

2. You said if we lived in the same town you would want to go out for coffee and ‘dig deep’.  You had me at COFFEE!  What else would we do if say I lived in YOUR town for a day?

We’d go for a hike around the reservoir. It is one of my favorite places on earth.

Then we’d have a picnic at this park. It’s not technically in my town, but it is about five minutes from my house- just on the other side of the river. This splash pad is in the middle of two great playgrounds and a set of swings. I’ve seen high school kids have a blast at the bigger structure- it is an huge obstetrical course with a lot of climbing and agility activities..

 3. I know you love the slow moments but what have you done in some of your crazier moments?

A few weeks ago my husband and I took Malone and Lola (who was 2 months old) into Boston to watch the Red Sox rolling rally World Series parade. There were 2 million people in the city for the parade. It was AMAZING. I love adventure and am usually game for just about anything. I’ve para sailed and bungee jumped. And I adore to road trip for the sake of finding adventure along the way. I also cannonball into pools whenever I get the chance, and especially if I am 37+ weeks pregnant. Because, of course.

 4. I love the names Malone and Lola!  How did you choose them?  Is there any special meaning did they simply stick with you?

Thank you! Malone is named after Sam Malone from Cheers. Michael and I met in Boston (where Cheers is set). We wanted a name that represented a piece of our love story. Malone named Lola. I had morning sickness with Lola from day one, so we had to tell Malone much sooner than we had hoped. From the day we told him, he told us “it is a sister and her name is Lola.” He picked Lola because his favorite song of all time is Lola by the Kinks.

 5. What brought you to the place of starting a Blog?

I have always been a writer. I’ve known since high school that I had a story to tell. I’ve kept a blog off and on since 2003, but nothing has every felt sticky they way A Cookie Before Dinner does. It is home. It feels cozy here. I blog because I want others to know they are not alone- especially mothers. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly here because life is real. And it can be really messy at times. Oh, and I love to make people laugh.

6. What is your favorite brand or flavor of Coffee?

I’m a New Englander, so I drink iced coffee year round, except for at the holidays. Once November comes, I want a peppermint mocha from Starbucks. I know I could order them throughout the year, but it seems extra special drinking it from a red cup.  At home, I drink whatever dark roast is on sale. I’m not picky. If I’m hitting the drive through window of Dunkin Donuts, I order it regular. Regular here in MA means 3 creams and 3 sugars, not black.

7. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

It is a tie. I’d love to go to Turks and Caicos and sleep in a bungalow over the water and just relax. Malone is obsessed with the Eiffel Tower and I’d love to take him to Paris to see it in person.

8. What is your favorite Holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is any one where someone is throwing a bbq and inviting us. I love the meaning behind summer holidays and the fact that they’re not super commercialized.

9. What is your favorite post you have written so far? Why that one?  Share a link here.

It is SO HARD to pick just one! I wrote this one almost exactly one year ago. It is a tale of a series of unfortunate events that happened while we were traveling to PA for Thanksgiving. It is a day in the life post that ends with my crying and eating a cheese steak on the toilet. I look back at this day and LAUGH but at the time it sucked. I love this post because it really shows what motherhood can really be like sometimes. It is so easy to project a perfect image through a blog or via a social media site because you can share your world through a very filtered lens. This post isn’t filtered. It’s real life.

10. Ok I haven’t asked this question in a bit and I borrowed it from my friend TheMissusV over at The Vanilla Housewife.  Quick!  No clean up, sort through or arranging allowed.  What’s in your purse?  A pic would be an EXTRA Bonus! :)

I keep it really simple with a wristlet from Target. Inside there is enough room for my iPhone, cash, my checkbook, my keys, chapstick, my wallet, and ONE of Malone’s matchbox cars (which is a lifesaver if we’re at an appointment that is running late). I ditched a huge bag years ago when I realized I was lugging half of the world around with me but never using it.

That was fun! Thanks again to Mrs. Tee for those amazing questions!

How do you order your coffee?


  1. 1

    ophelia weiner says

    It was great reading about you! I LOVE coffee too and DD! Love your children’s names. That is so awesome that you got to see the parade for the Red Sox. Although my familia was devastated when the Dodgers lost that last playoff game. We wanted to see the Red Sox vs. Dodgers. Such a great memories for your kiddos. Have a great weekend!
    ophelia weiner recently posted..Sopa de Fideo {noodle soup}My Profile

  2. 2

    The Real Housewife of Caroline County says

    Thank you for joining us! You had a great partner and we look forward to you being apart of AAF in future weeks!
    The Real Housewife of Caroline County recently posted..#AskAwayFriday Week 16 with Noise of Boys!My Profile

  3. 3

    Nancy says

    I had no idea that regular in MA is three milks and three sugars! I drink mine black…
    Nancy recently posted..The CrossroadsMy Profile

  4. 5

    Heather says

    I, too, adore a peppermint mocha and only drink them around Christmas. Lately though I’ve Ben adding peppermint mocha liquid creamer to my fav flav K-cup brew.
    Heather recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Ambitious CurlsMy Profile

    • 6

      NJ says

      Yum! That sounds like a great idea! I haven’t had a ton of luck with flavored creamer. Do you have a brand you love?

  5. 7

    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says

    I am with you, i have a small purse. The smaller the better for me. I carry only the essentials because i have back problems and don’t need a heavy bag dragging me down.
    Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families recently posted..Christmas Gift Ideas for Toddlers – Eight Ideas to Make Finding a Gift EasierMy Profile

    • 8

      NJ says

      I also carry a diaper bag with me nine times out of ten, but my purse has to be small. Otherwise, I end up carrying too many things for other people!

  6. 9

    Carissa says

    Love getting to know more about you! I love the name story and how the oldest named the youngest! And how Malone is part of your love story! He will love hearing that story as he gets older!!!
    Carissa recently posted..#AskAwayFriday With SonyaMy Profile

    • 10

      NJ says

      Thank you Carissa! I think it will be a blast to tell them their name stories when they get older! Malone already loves to tell everyone he meets that he got TO NAME his little sister.

  7. 11

    Sarah says

    Love learning more about you and I enjoyed the questions! Can’t wait to do this with you. Now I need to think of some ultra cool topics!

    • 12

      NJ says

      It will be fun to swap with you Sarah! I feel like I already know so much about you, it might take a little extra work to come up with some good ones!

  8. 13

    Jhanis says

    I would have loved a photo of the bag contents :)
    I am so with you about food. I used to get so upset when my children would not eat a lot during meal time, i tend to forget that they have little snacks all throughout the day. I just make sure that the snacks are healthy and both drink lots of milk.

    Great to meet you through AAF!
    Jhanis recently posted..AskAwayFriday with Christy from Uplifting FamiliesMy Profile

    • 14

      NJ says

      I am so glad to meet you too, Jhanis! I didn’t take a picture of my bag because there really isn’t much to see. There isn’t really anything exciting in it!

      Malone is a snacker and is 50/50 on drinking milk. As a kid (and a grown up) I HATED milk, so I don’t force that issue either.

  9. 15

    Stacey Gannett says

    Love these answers! The Red Sox parade sounds amazing! I know my hubby would have loved to see that, his dad was from Boston. Summer holidays are the best, we are so backyard bbq kind of folks! Totally agree about the purse thing, I quit carrying one a while ago! Have a great weekend!
    Stacey Gannett recently posted..Ask Away Friday 16!My Profile

  10. 17

    Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured life says

    Love how you have such meaning behind your kids’ names! They will have those stories to carry with them their whole lives! And I also love summer holidays – seem so much more relaxed and about time with family. Kind fo how all holidays are *supposed* to be, but have gotten swept up in crazy!!
    Great answers!!
    Beth @ Structure in an Unstructured life recently posted..Ask Away Friday with Wendy!My Profile

    • 18

      NJ says

      I love the summer holidays. Mmm… burgers from the grill. I am hungry now just thinking about it. I love my kid’s names, I really do. I will admit that there were other names for Lola that I liked much better, but Lola (nicknamed Lollie) really seems to suit her. I hope she loves her name and her name story when she gets older!

  11. 19

    Lanaya | Raising Reagan says

    What great pics of your little one. Reagan loves to snack too and sometimes we give in to her but we have been much more diligent about making her sit down with us at dinner time and not running to her bedroom or wanting to watch a movie. I wish I could get her to eat more healthy snacks but she doesn’t eat crap either so I’m ok with that.

    Great getting to know you.

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Lanaya | Raising Reagan recently posted..Ask Away Friday – Round TenMy Profile

    • 20

      NJ says

      Thank you Lanaya! Malone gets a pretty good mix of healthy with a few sprinkles of junk from time to time. I have learned to let go and just be happy with what he eats. If I turn it into a power struggle, no one wins. He loves most fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It is harder to get him to eat yogurt/cheese and meat is sometimes iffy too.

  12. 21

    Tiffany says

    Thanks so much for swapping with me this week and welcome to the #AskAwayFriday family!

    The reservoir look be-a-utiful! That would definitely be a ‘must do’ for a visit to your town.

    Wow! I used to watch CHEERS with my grandmother all the time. I think that is so cool and an awesome way to keep a emmory of your meeting your husband. I love that your son named your daughter. My oldest daughter actually named my son in much the same way. When she knew I was pregnant she always referred to him as his name. We told her we didn’t even know if it was a boy…she just said he is. LOL So when he was born she just said Hi BUDDIE and we knew he was a keeper.

    “i feel cozy here” That is such an awesome way to express how you feel about your Blog…I want my Blog to be an extension of me and that is much how it feels as well…like home.

    Thanks again for being such an awesome partner and for being a part…
    Tiffany recently posted..#YouSaveFriday – Why Wait For Black Friday? Save TODAY!My Profile

    • 22

      NJ says

      It was super fun to swap with you Tiffany! The resevior is amazing. My photograph doesn’t really do it justice. There are several parts of the path were there is water on either side of you (I think the path is 5 ft wide or so). We love that our kids have such unique name stories and both of their names “fit” them. Thanks so much for reaching out to swap with me!

  13. 23

    Marika @ Ambitious Curls says

    As a kid, I dreaded dinner time for the simple reason that I have to eat everything off my plate even if I didn’t feel for it! You saved your kids so much childhood stress with that. We need to spread the word on breaking this “parent rule”
    Marika @ Ambitious Curls recently posted..#AskAwayFridayMy Profile

    • 24

      NJ says

      It was similar at my house. We were totally a clean plate club family and somewhere along the way, I lost my ability to listen to my body. I don’t want that for my kids!

  14. 25

    Brittnei says

    I love your philosophy with food. I grew up in a finish your food type of environment. Since I decided to breastfeeding I learned that babies know when they want or need to eat. I keep it the same still with my 19 month old. I’m still nursing but I don’t force him to eat if he isn’t hungry. He’s usually hungry around mealtime though and we give snacks in between. I try to keep it healthy too. It looks beautiful where you live. I love coffee too! :) It was a pleasant surprise to see you on Ask Away Friday this week! :)
    Brittnei recently posted..Feature Friday!My Profile

    • 26

      NJ says

      While I was nursing Malone is when we really came up with the idea. And for the same reasons you listed- we learned very quickly that he knew when he was hungry and when he wasn’t. It is so beautiful to see him listening to his body! My area is really pretty, I need to take advantage of the outdoors more often. Every time I look at this picture I wish I was there!

  15. 27

    The Dose of Reality says

    I LOVE your attitude about meal time. It’s perfect!! I LOVE that Malone named Lola! That is the cutest story ever!! We almost did the same thing with Bobby. His favorite dinosaur at the time when I was pregnant was the carnotaurus so he decided if the baby was a girl, her name should be Carnotaura. It was all he called her when I was pregnant. At the end of the day, we nixed that and went with Lucy. Malone is better at naming than Bobby was! :D –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Pinterest Nightmare #132: The Pet High ChairMy Profile

    • 28

      NJ says

      Hahah! Lisa I love it. How fun would it have been to have a little girl named Carnotura. You could have called her Carnie for short… like the carnival ride operators! I agree, Lucy is way better. I love that it is another “old fashioned” name! For the record, Malone already has BOTH baby names picked out for #3 if we should ever have another.

  16. 29

    Sonya says

    I like your food philosophy with your son. I have a five year old with sesnory issues related to food. So we also don’t battle over food. We let him eat what he likes and I fix new foods for him to try at his request. It’s hard for us to have a sit down meal together because he gags at times from seeing other people eat. Even if it’s the same food that he is eating. So he has his own small table that he eats at most of the time. He also eats lots of small snacks.
    Sonya recently posted..Jo-Ann Free Shipping On All Online OrdersMy Profile

    • 30

      NJ says

      Malone has a little bit of sensory issues with food too. He gags on food with a soft but solid texture (mashed potatoes, stuffing, oatmeal etc.). A regular soft texture is fine, like yogurt or ice cream. That must be really challenging to support him through his needs… poor pup!

  17. 31

    Rea says

    If you’re not hungry, you don’t have to eat just because society says it is lunch time. — I love this line! I can so much relate especially that I work during the night and our “lunch” here may actually fall at midnight.

    The reservoir looks like an amazing place of relaxation and fun! :)

    • 32

      NJ says

      My husband is at the reservoir more than I am because he runs there often. Going there is one of my favorite things in the entire world to do. It is a hidden gem, for sure!

  18. 33

    Sarah says

    Alright I’m coming to your town, take me to all those things LOL. PS I love those names. Good getting to know you more!

    • 34

      NJ says

      I’d love it if you came to visit, Sarah. I didn’t include it because it isn’t in my town, but the Yankee Candle world headquarters is about 20 minutes north of where I live. Their store is the size of a small village and has a few rooms where it is Christmas all year, a kitchen/home shop, a toy shop complete with the REAL Santa, a Bavarian village, and every single candle they make in every single size possible. Oh yeah, and they have a room where it “snows” bubbles every three minutes.

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