Bring it, 2014.

New Year's / Saturday, January 18th, 2014
Card by Papyrus.
Card by Papyrus.

Some food bloggers manage to post desserts every day and still look like these gorgeous, waif-like, hipster milkmaids.

That’s not me.

I realized last year that food had started taking up way too much space in my head – and my jeans. Besides cooking, photographing and writing about food, I was watching cooking shows, reading food magazines, checking out new cookbooks, trying different restaurants. As soon as we’d start to plan a trip, I was thinking about where we’d eat. If someone was planning a party, my mind jumped to what food(s) we could bring.

It was a problem.

So I took some time away from the blog to focus on other things. I did a Color Run 5K, learned how to ride a bike, saw Neil Gaiman, started writing a book, hung out with friends, took some road trips with Jeff, checked out almost every tourist spot in Nashville (The Elvis fortune-telling machine? You know it.), read a lot, had a three-day slumber party with my nieces – and then there was the big doll donation.

I wish I’d written about more of it here.

There’s so much more to my life now that has nothing to do with food. So now, there will be more to this blog. And I’ll have a regular partner in crime: my sister, Jennifer. Because I love the way her brain works.


So, New Year’s resolutions. Did you make some? I accomplished most of last year’s smaller goals but NONE of the Really Big ones, so Jennifer and I have agreed to take a different approach this year and each make One Resolution to Rule Them All. Here’s what we’re working on in 2014:

My One Resolution: Eat veggies with every meal and snack.        

The Issue: It would probably be more exciting to say my resolution is to lose ‘x’ pounds, but I can’t control exactly what happens on the scale every week, so I’m resolving to do something I can control: filling up on vegetables like a boss.  

The Lightbulb Moment: I read a tip from a friend who’d lost 50+ pounds on Weight Watchers. She said that filling up on veggies was the way to go, and the girl looks good, so I’m believing her.

The Plan: I’ve been getting into the swing of doing a “Sunday set-up” – planning the week’s meals, buying groceries and prepping the veggies ahead of time. You wouldn’t think a few minutes of washing and slicing would make a huge difference, but knowing they’re in there, ready to go, makes me way more likely to throw together a veggie omelet in the morning or a big salad for lunch instead of a sandwich and chips. Also, I’m a big believer in steam-in-the-bag vegetables. I know they’re more expensive, but at this point, the convenience for me means I’ll actually eat them instead of letting them go to mush in the bottom of the crisper. Yes, I can be that lazy. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.


Jennifer’s One Resolution: Get good at saying no. (Like the child you see above.)

The Issue: I am a “Yes Girl.” I’m that person you can ask for anything, and I will do it, find it, agree to it. Need 342 dozen cookies by tomorrow? Sure! Church is having a yard sale? I’ll donate enough to turn it into a Goodwill. Have a baby elephant you need fostered? I’m your girl. I’ll even use Babar’s poop for compost.

I was raised to believe that, if you can help someone, you do it. If you can fix something, you DO. But lately I’ve realized that I “do” to the detriment of myself, my family, sleep and sanity.

The Lightbulb Moment: I asked my 4-year-old daughter why she was crying, and it was because I hadn’t hugged her that day. I’d been too busy “fixing” other things.

The Plan: I’m not going to say yes to anything until I ask myself these two questions: 1.) Will this take away from my family, our time together or change our dynamic? and 2.) Would I really helping, or would I just be enabling someone else to watch “Scandal” while I bake all those cookies? This year, I’m going to enjoy my life, instead of scrambling to keep up.