I've lied to myself over and over again saying things like, "I can stop any time I want." Or, "It's not a party without them." Or, "I'll only have a few." Or, "It's a PMS craving that's out of my control. Please (begs husband) run to the store and grab me some!"
It's time to admit it. I'm an addict. I've been addicted to potato chips since my baby teeth came in.
What the hell do they put in these things to make them so deliciously addictive anyway? I crave them every day. I'm certain there's a conspiracy within the food industry! If I sound like I have a chip on my shoulder, I do. I also have a few on my lap and even more between the couch cushions.
My waistline isn't getting any smaller and my blood pressure isn't getting any lower. Chips are carcinogenic. The things can kill you.
My friend Sarah Gunn is a fellow chip addict. She kicked the habit for three years — nary a chip passed her lips until a few months ago, and now she's hopelessly hooked once more. The amount of time she and I spend discussing our mutual love/hate relationship with chips is a sign we need to do something drastic.
So Sarah and I have made a pact. We are going to quit the chip together. But, we need a consequence to keep us on track (and away from the snack aisle). Whoever succumbs to the lure of the Lays first must pay. But what consequence will be enough to keep us on track, yet out of jail? Something embarrassing enough to rub salt (and vinegar) in our wounds, but nothing so severe that it should sour (cream and onion) our reputations. It's imperative that we remain All Dressed. We require a deterrent rigid enough to Ruffles our feathers a bit and keep us honest.
We need your help dear readers. If one of us should fall of the chip truck, we must ______________? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below and....let the chips fall where they may! *lies on ground and opens mouth wide*
Looking back over my twenties, I laugh at the problems I considered to be challenging at the time. In my thirties, I encountered a little something called parenting, where the challenges are significant and sometimes overwhelming.
I experienced the regular mummy growing pains with my first child; the sleepless nights and worries like, "Is he eating enough? Is he growing enough? Am I mom enough?"
When our second child was born, those challenges paled in comparison. Our daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that turned everything I had learned about raising a child on its ear.
Tiptoeing into my forties, I focused all of my energy on her. Consumed by her needs, I stopped taking care of me. My treadmill collected dust, I worried, and I stopped entertaining and being social and avoided many of the activities I had once enjoyed. I wasn't eating or sleeping well. I gained a few pounds and felt generally unwell.
This tunnel vision and disregard for my own health took a toll. I wasn't doing my daughter or myself any good by being this lesser version of me. More than half of girls globally say their mother is one of their female role models. I want my daughter to look at me and think, "My mom is beautiful. She loves me, and she loves herself, too. She's unstoppable, and so am I."
It was time to bring back the real version of me. I began exercising and casually entertaining again and tried to balance my legitimate concerns for my daughter with purposeful action. I started writing about family life—raising my kids, one with special needs. This gave me a voice, and I soon discovered a community of parents who could relate.
I'm not perfect of course. There are still days when I feel myself being pulled back down into that place; when a medical procedure for my daughter looms, or work or life stress robs me of sleep and makes it difficult to breathe. That's when I turn to humour and friendship to calm my racing heart. The support I receive from other parents is a life preserver. This is why I strive to be a role model—not only by sharing the positive stories, but by divulging the challenges, mistakes, and scary parts of parenthood too.
Does homemade show we care more about our party guests? Hardly. My energy is better spent elsewhere — like setting the mood, and the table and flat ironing my hair. To quote Pink, "Don't be fancy, just get dancy."
Short cuts and time savers are perfectly acceptable. And yes, store bought items are just fine. They’re more than fine, they’re yummy and easy which means…less time and effort spent being fancy, leaving more energy to get dancy. Pink is freakin’ brilliant.
I shop for quick and easy party food at a few places — Costco has great fruit and veggie trays. I also love their hummus and they have great dessert options too.
I also shop at M&M Meats. And no, they didn’t pay me in sausage rolls to write this. My daughter loves going to see Theresa at our local store. She "samples" while mummy shops. There’s a lot to be said for great service and Theresa is one of the reasons I continue to shop there. Well her, and the Too Tall Lemon Cake.
There’s a reason Martha Stewart looks a tad surly — she’s sick of being stuck in the kitchen preparing appetizers and folding napkins into swans. So get out of the kitchen and mingle. That’s what makes entertaining so…entertaining.
Here are five no muss-no fuss snappy appies:
Italian Style Meatballs. Through them in your slow cooker, add your favourite sauce. Done.
Hot dips. I like the Spinach, Artichoke, and Cheese Dip. Not fattening AT ALL (at least that’s the lie I tell myself as I’m shoveling it in).
Cold shrimp. I'm a fan of this new Shrimp Mini Fan.
Wings. These come fully cooked. Just heat and serve.
And of course, the easiest of all…Hors d’Oeuvre party pack trays like this Oriental Party Pack.
Images via www.mmmeatshops.com