Category: Holidays

The Beginnings of Family: Reflections on My Third Anniversary

Posted December 17, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 4 Comments

 

 

This past Wednesday, the Mister and I celebrated our third anniversary!

Has it only bee three years? It feels longer (in a good way). On my first anniversary, I shared a post about my wedding ring, and last year I wrote about why I carried sunflowers in my bouquet.

This year, I’m going to write about something a little different.

 

 

As you may know, the Mister and I are expecting our first baby in a little over a month. It’s exciting and strange to think that this is our last anniversary as “just us.”

It’s tempting to think our family is just now starting out, but then I remember something the priest at our wedding said during his sermon:

“People will start asking you when you’re going to start your family,” he said. “When they do that, you tell them, ‘It started today.’ Because from now on, the two of you together are a family.”

That stuck with me. And when I look back at the past three years, I realize how much of it has been focused on building the two of us into a strong family.

After all, what’s being a family all about?

  • Patience. No matter how much you love somebody, living with them requires patience. I’ve always been on the hot-tempered side, but I’ve chilled out a lot since Year 1 of being married, especially about domestic stuff. It’s made the little daily frustrations a lot easier, and I can feel it shaping me into someone who will be a better parent.
  • Making Time. The Mister and I have LOTS of practice at this one, what with the two and a half years he spent going to grad school and working full time. And yet, we know that finding time for each other after children—and spending meaningful time with our children amidst the demands of daily life—is going to get a lot harder.
  • Sharing What You Love. We have a tradition that every year on our anniversary we go to our local Brazilian steakhouse and eat like kings (Seriously. Fogo de Chao. It’s the greatest.). However, even though the food is amazing, the food itself isn’t the point. The point is to celebrate an important day doing something we both love (we share an abiding passion for good food). This year, I was super excited that Baby got to share in the tradition, and if the wild kicks in my tummy were anything to judge by, Baby was excited too. ^.^
  • Making a gift of self. Marriage challenges you to approach life with a new generosity of spirit, but parenthood flat-out demands it. When I got married, my life wasn’t just about me anymore. And when baby makes three, the sharing will stretch even further. Motherhood is definitely a gift of self, but it’s building on a lesson that marriage taught me first.
  • Creating a Home. I’ve always believed that the difference between a house and a home is the difference between a place and a person. I loved our first little newlywed apartment, but I wasn’t that choked up when we left. After all, my reason for loving it was moving right along with me. Soon, I hope our baby will able to share in the feeling of home that the Mister and I have created with each other.

 

Long story short, I’m pretty darn proud of my two-person family, which is part of why I’m so excited for it to grow! So when our first Little Miss or Little Mister makes their appearance come January, I’ll remind myself that my family isn’t beginning—it’s getting bigger. And I think I can speak for both the Mister and me when I say:

Welcome to the family, Baby. We can’t wait to meet you.

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A Very Bookish Christmas: 10 Literary Christmas Decorations

Posted November 29, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays, Link Up / 12 Comments

‘Tis the season to deck the halls! As I started planning my Christmas decorations for this year, I thought about how great it would be to use wintery decor as a way to celebrate my love of books. I searched the interwebs, and it turns out there are TONS of gorgeous, festive literary decorations out there. Here are my top ten!

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Thanksgiving Recipe Throwback: Part 2

Posted November 22, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 0 Comments

 

Lunch table / salad

 

A couple years ago, I did a roundup of all my previous dishes that I thought would make perfect Thanksgiving recipes. But since then, I’ve made a lot more, so I decided to write a post with an updated list!

The recipes below all feature classic autumn/Thanksgiving flavors with a bit of a unique twist. To me, that’s always really important when making a dish to pass for a family function.

If your family’s anything like mine, most relatives have a specific dish they’re known for, which they bring to most holidays. This means most classic foods are covered, which can pose a challenge for us young folks who are just getting into the dish-to-pass game. I don’t want to bring the same thing as someone else, but I also want the dish I DO bring to make sense. My solution is to make something that fits the expected flavor profile but isn’t on the list of expected classics. And that’s where these beauteous recipes come in! 🙂

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Healthy Chobani Yogurt Pops

Posted February 3, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays, Link Up / 2 Comments

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GUYS. Do you remember last year when Chobani asked a bunch of food bloggers (including myself) to make recipes for their #deliciousbowl Super Bowl project? Well, they emailed me again this year to say they liked my Healthy Dessert Pizza so much that they want me to make another healthy Super Bowl recipe! On the outside I was all “Ah yes, my good people. I would be elated to oblige,” but on the inside I was all:

 

celebrities happy flattered

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Most Popular Recipes of 2015: In Which A Burger Almost Takes the Crown in One Month

Posted January 1, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging, Hints, Holidays / 5 Comments

Happy  2016, folks! Can you believe we’ve made 52 recipes this year? I can’t. I’m convinced cooking fairies came in the night and finished all these posts for me…mostly because I want to believe there are such things as cooking fairies. 😉

Last New Year, I made a review post detailing the most popular recipes of the year. Y’all seemed to like it, so I’m doing it again this year! In the spirit of the season, feel free to mix yourself up something to drink before we get started. I recommend Siren Notes on the Rocks from The Odyssey:

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These little beauties combine white rum, vodka, lime, coconut water, strawberries, and fresh basil into a refreshing accompaniment to homemade basil crackers.

Do you have your drink? Ok. Time to reveal this year’s most popular posts! The winners are…

 

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All Those Endearing Young Charms: Why I Carried Sunflowers on My Wedding Day

Posted December 14, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 7 Comments

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Today is my 2nd wedding anniversary! Last year on my anniversary, I posted about the origin of my wedding ring. Since it’s still one of my most popular posts, I decided to do another anniversary post, this time about my bouquet. Enjoy!

When I was a little girl, I didn’t have big plans for my wedding. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted to wear or how many tiers the cake should have. In fact, I very much doubted I’d get married at all, since I wasn’t exactly the go-out-and-meet-new-people type. I was more the stay-inside-reading-all-by-myself type.

But when I was in middle school, I came across a poem (an old Irish folk song by Thomas Moore) that made me sure of one thing: the kind of flower I wanted in my wedding bouquet. The song is called “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms” and it goes a little something like this:

 

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear.
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close
As the sunflower turns on her God when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose.

 

As a 6th grader, I hadn’t read a lot of love poems, but I’d read enough to know that they almost always fixate on the youth and beauty of the beloved. This one was different. It was about how those qualities will fade, but the lover only sees it as an opportunity to show how deep their love really goes. I realized this was what I wanted to find some day. And that’s what sunflowers came to mean for me: constancy, devotion through time

When the Mister and I decided to get married, I knew I’d found someone I was excited to get old with. I still wasn’t that worried about the dress and the cake, but now I knew why: the wedding day is just a single day. Yet, it’s the beginning of a marriage, which goes on for the whole rest of your life. Weddings aren’t about being young and beautiful. They’re about creating something that will still be there when youth and beauty are gone.

 

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Legend has it Moore wrote the song for his wife, after she contracted smallpox and locked herself away from the world, ashamed of her scars. It’s said he sang it to her outside her door, and it gave her the strength to face the world again.

 

I still have the flowers in the picture, but they’re not fresh and young anymore. My mom dried them for me, and I keep them in a mason jar on our bookcase. They’re frail and withered, and they fade a little more each year.

 

But I still love them.

 

 

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Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Posted July 19, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 0 Comments

Source: Raspberry Cordial Ice Cream | Alison’s Wonderland Recipes

 

The Mister and I differ greatly on what makes the perfect ice cream. He’s a plain vanilla purist, while I usually view ice cream as an excuse to combine 12 kinds of candy and cookies together (I’m slowly learning to pace myself). But when I found out that today is National Ice Cream Day, this Raspberry Cordial Ice Cream I posted last July immediately came to mind as a crowd pleaser.

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This 4th of July…BE FREE: 8 Recipes to Shake Up Your Backyard BBQ

Posted July 3, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Holidays / 0 Comments

There are lots of culinary staples when it comes to the 4th of July (hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, etc.). But the whole point of the day is to celebrate freedom, right? So why not shake things up a little bit and make whatever you want? Make an elegant dessert that shines or awesome steaks instead of burgers. Go wild! We’ve got some recipes below to help you make whatever tickles your fancy this 4th. It’s Independence Day—let your foodie flag fly!

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