Category: Uncategorized

My Post-Cookbook TBR: A Reading List for When I Finish My Manuscript

Posted September 19, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 3 Comments

The complete manuscript for my cookbook is due mid October, so it’s currently crunch time at my house. Husband and baby have been very understanding of how much time I currently spend tapping away at my laptop as I make final edits to my manuscript, but I’ll admit I’m SO READY to be done with this stage of the process. I’m a rather detail-oriented person who I often likes editing, but I’ve been applying the correct abbreviation of “tablespoon” and rewriting ingredients in order of use for almost two months now. Needless to say, I’m ready to get back in the kitchen.

Even though editing process can be tough and tedious, I’ve been motivating myself with the promise that I can do some fun reading once it’s complete. Here’s my post-cookbook TBR, which I plan to dive into as soon as I submit my manuscript:

 

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Top 10 Quick, Easy Literary Recipes to Make with Kids

Posted September 12, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was a freebie, so I decided to cover a topic I’ve had on the brain for a while. When I made astronaut pudding for my Amelia’s Notebook menu, I loved how kid-friendly it was, and I got to thinking about how tough it can be to find fiction-inspired recipes for kids. Dishes like Turkish Delight or Deeper ‘N Ever Pie are fun recipes, but they can be intimidating for kiddos who are just starting to get curious about cooking.

I decided to do a roundup of quick, easy literary recipes for kids here on the blog, so here are ten of my favorites! These recipes require minimal cooking or cutting, and several of them are well known foods from history (sugar plums, hardtack, johnny cake, etc.) that kids are likely to come across in classic books. You can incorporate them into a homeschooling lesson, use them to satisfy your children’s curiosity about foods they’ve read about, or just whip them up for fun. The choice is yours! 🙂

 

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Chef Inside the Box: Chicago Meal Kits That Take the Chaos Out of Dinner Time

Posted August 29, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 1 Comment

 

This post is sponsored by Chef Inside the Box. I was given one free box of four meals in exchange
for an honest review of the service. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Most of you know I’m juggling a cookbook, a blog, and a baby…which basically means my life is a crazy, wonderful mess at the moment! 🙂 Despite loving to cook, these days I don’t always get dinner on the table at a reasonable time (or at all), and when I do, it’s often a hassle.

That’s where Rachel comes in. She emailed me a couple weeks ago representing Chef Inside the Box, a brand new Chicago-based meal kit service. They send a box of 4 quick-to-make meal kits right to your door, complete with instructions…all for $27.80/meal! Since I’m a Chicago-based blogger, Rachel offered to send me a free box in exchange for an honest review. And I was instantly like:

 reactions come on liz lemon lets go lets do this GIF

I mean, who DOESN’T want to get a package on Monday that takes care of dinner for the rest of the week?

Plus, with a new school year starting, I figure there are a lot of people out there whose lives are in a similar state of craziness. And I’m pretty sure we could all use an easy way to take the headache out of dinner. So let’s talk meal kits! 🙂

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TTT: Top 10 Back to School Items for Book Lovers

Posted August 22, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

The new school year is just around the corner! Now’s the time for what I consider one of the best parts of the back-to-school season: shopping for school supplies. I loved school shopping as a kid because every item was an opportunity to show my personality. I remember purple and teal composition notebooks, novelty erasers, highlighters in every color of the rainbow, and scented markers (but you wouldn’t believe how disappointed I was that my graphing calculator only came in black).

So when The Broke and The Bookish announced that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt would have an open-ended back to school theme, I knew I wanted to make a list of back to school items for book lovers. Below you’ll find everything from backpacks to study materials, all with a bookish theme. May they help you ace that classic lit exam…and maybe strike up a friendship with a fellow book lover!

P.S. Since we’re all book lovers here, I just wanted to note that your supply shopping can benefit National Novel Writing Month by shopping through Amazon Smile! (NaNoWriMo didn’t sponsor this post, I just think they’re really awesome. :))

 

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A Very Bookish Baby Room: Our Hobbit Nursery

Posted April 25, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 6 Comments


I mentioned a few months back that I would post pictures of our book-themed baby room once we got it all set up. And now it’s FINALLY finished! It took ages, but we’re very pleased with the outcome. Three cheers for postpartum productivity! 😀

As you can see from the pictures, we’ve got a bit of a hobbit theme going on. We had a hobbit baby shower and asked guests to bring a favorite childhood book instead of a card, so it seemed perfect to style the Little Mister’s room after Middle Earth. Plus, we wanted something gender neutral, since we didn’t know if we’d be having a boy or a girl. I love how it turned out, and I’m toying with the idea of theme-ing our future children’s rooms after other favorite books (Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.).

As you can also see from the pictures, there’s no crib. We’re co-sleeping, so the Little Mister currently sleeps in a Pack ‘n Play right next to our bed. As such, his “bedroom” acts more as a nursing and changing room, which we’ll gradually phase into a bedroom as he gets older.

 

But let’s take a look at some of these awesome accents!

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More Exciting News: I’m Writing a Cookbook! :D

Posted February 28, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging, Teas, Uncategorized / 14 Comments

 

 

February is drawing to a close, and I’m happy to say we’re settling in well with our new baby, and it looks like I’ll be able to be more active on the blog in the coming weeks. That in mind, I think the time is right for another big announcement that I’ve been waiting on for a long while:

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Say Hello to the Little Mister!

Posted February 24, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 15 Comments

 

 

Howdy, folks! Those of you who follow me on social media have probably seen some posts about my new baby over the past couple weeks. The Little Mister came into the world at 7:52 pm on 2/2/17, weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz. And now after some R&R, I’m finally announcing his birth here on the blog! I’ve included his birth story below. We’re both doing well, if very tired, and enjoying getting to know each other…though I will admit, getting to know him involves WAY more extra laundry than I anticipated. 😉

 

The Birth Story

The Labor

I was 10 days overdue when my labor was induced, so we were more than ready for things to get underway. I was doing everything I could to kick start labor, but this kid was determined to stay put!

I went in for a scheduled induction at midnight on the morning of Wednesday, February 1st. Labor went slowly, with many interventions. I was on Cervidil for 10 hours, which ultimately started my contractions. Then they hooked me up to IV fluids and put me on Pitocin in an attempt to regulate the contractions. Even with the Pitocin, the contractions never reached a consistent pattern. I had times when they were 3-5 minutes apart but very mild, then constant and more intense for 5-10 minutes.

Because the contractions were inconsistent, they never actually got that bad (I never rated my pain above a 7). More than anything, it was just tedious to be in pain for so long, unable to sleep or sit comfortably. By far, the hardest part was being tethered to the bed. I had an IV in the back of my hand, two monitors strapped around my stomach, a blood pressure cuff on my left arm, and eventually an epidural in my back (mostly so I could sleep). I got so desperate to walk around, I would buzz the nurse to detach my monitors so I could hobble around with my IV every once in a while.

The Delivery

After about 30 hours of that, I was only 6 cm dilated. The baby’s heart rate was gradually beginning to drop, so the doctor recommended a c-section. I was a little sad about this, since I really wanted to deliver on my own, but the Mister and I agreed that it was the safest thing.

Then in a snap, I was prepped, wheeled into surgery, and numbed from the neck down. I remember the jovial tone in the surgical room. The doctors and nurses talked about baseball, and the anesthesiologist showed me pictures of his little girl on his phone. They hung a curtain past my neck, so I wouldn’t see the procedure (though the Mister was with me and could see everything, and he said the incision made him pretty queasy).

Through most of the procedure, I was terrified that something would go wrong—that for whatever reason, my baby would never have a first cry. So when the doctor happily shouted “it’s a boy!” and I heard that first squalling wail, I laugh-cried for three full minutes. I think the fact that the baby was a boy is extra special because I had vivid dreams all through my pregnancy about having a boy. Even though I didn’t really care what kind of baby I had, it’s neat to think that I might’ve somehow known who he was all along.

After they cleaned him up and gave him his APGAR, the Mister cut the cord, and they brought the baby around the curtain so I could see him. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was totally on top of things and snapped this picture of the Little Mister and I getting our first look at each other:

In a matter of minutes, we were in the recovery room, and I got to feed him for the first time. I was worried that I might have trouble breastfeeding because of the IV fluids and epidural, but the Little Mister nursed like a champ. In a strange way, that first feeding stands out in my memory even more than our first look. Maybe it’s because everything was quiet and still in Recovery, and my husband was there with us. I just felt like, in that moment, our little family was exactly where it needed to be.

The Aftermath

When we were discharged, it was 1:30 in the afternoon, and the weather was beautiful. I’ll never forget the Little Mister’s first time outside. Just as the nurse wheeled us out the door, we saw a lady about to enter the hospital. She was crying. When she caught sight of the Little Mister wrapped up in my arms, she said “Oh!” and smiled at him. She then explained that she was going in to say goodbye to her father, who was dying. She smiled again at the Little Mister and said, “I really needed to see this today.”

Someday, I can’t wait to tell him how the first time he stepped outside, he made the day better for the very first person he saw. 🙂

Home Base

And now we’re finally home resting up and figuring out our new normal! Even though it’s only been a little over three weeks, life before the Little Mister already feels like a long time ago. It kinda reminds me of how it felt when I first got married. Even though life was entirely different, it very quickly started to feel like it’d always been that way.

For the most part, the Little Mister sleeps and eats very well, but getting back into a schedule after having a baby is pretty tough (as evidenced by the fact that I started writing this post while I was still in the hospital, and it’s JUST NOW going up). I already miss being able to sleep through the night, but I wouldn’t trade my new snuggle bug for all the sleep in the world! 🙂

Baby Love

His little personality is already shining through. He ADORES his hands—inspecting them close to his face, splaying his fingers, sucking his fists, and laying them against his face as he nurses. In fact, we’ve only been able to put him in a half swaddle to sleep, because he gets so upset when his hands are pinned down. We can’t even put a blanket over them when he naps in his swing, otherwise he wakes and fusses.

He also loves curling himself up as small as he can and sleeping on people’s chests (getting him to sleep anywhere else has been a challenge).

And he’s curious. So curious! He can already hold his head up, which he does whenever he wants to stare out windows or into mirrors, look around his room, or look for me and the Mister whenever he hears our voices. It’s fun to watch his brow furrow like a little professor as his eyes search over everything. You can practically see the wheels in his brain turning as he tries to take it all in.

I can’t wait until he can talk, so he can tell me what’s going on in that whirring brain of his! 🙂

…but now it’s time for me to get back to the very important job
of staring in awe at my new roomie!

You’ll all hear from me again soon. Regular recipe posts resume next week! 😀

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Quick Baby Update

Posted January 31, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

 

White Bear Plush Toy on Baby Mobile

 

For those who are keeping track, my baby was due 9 days ago. Don’t worry, we’re all fine! I just haven’t gone into labor yet. It looks like this baby is determined to camp out as long as possible! I think someone told them how cold it is outside right now, and they decided to stay where it’s warm (I told my mother-in-law that if the baby sees it’s shadow while being delivered, we get 6 more weeks of winter). 😉

I’m scheduled to be induced tonight if nothing happens earlier today, so either way I’ll likely be MIA from the internet for at least the next few days.

I may be feeling super ambitious and post something on social media the same day the baby’s born, but realistically I may not get to it until this weekend. I have a post planned to share the birth story, though. So if all goes well, I’ll hopefully be able to share more of the details with you as early as next week.

Any prayers and good thoughts you want to send our way would be highly appreciated! See y’all on the other side! 🙂

– Alison

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Survey Time: Help Us Improve Alison’s Wonderland Recipes!

Posted December 27, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

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This year I’ve decided to close out December with a survey to get a better idea of who is reading my blog. This way, I can tailor my posts to my readership better in the coming year. None of the questions are required, but answering as many as possible will be very helpful. Thank you for your feedback! 🙂

 

 

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Big Exciting News!!! :D

Posted September 27, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Uncategorized / 16 Comments

 

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AHHHHHHH!!! I’m so psyched to finally tell you guys about this! I’ve been keeping it under my hat for MONTHS. ^.^

Do you remember how in my Harry Potter World post I said I didn’t ride the theme park rides “for health reasons”? And how I had other people help with the development and taste-testing of my Romulan Ale recipe? Well, there’s a good reason for all that. In fact, some of you may already suspect what it is! 🙂

But for those who are still in the dark, the big announcement is * cue drumroll *

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