It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Everyone has their go-to food. For me, it’s peanut butter & jelly. It’s my little taste of comfort. I want it when I’m sick. I want it when I’m hungry and have no idea what to eat. I’ll have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner–or all three meals!

My husband was flipping through one of the South Beach Diet cookbooks this weekend, and dog-eared a recipe that I just HAD TO HAVE the minute he told me about it: PB & J cookies! (Here’s a link to the recipe.)

He’s always looking for ways to cut out sugar from his diet, which is also helpful for me since sugar is pretty much all I want! I’m surprised that there isn’t a picture of my face next to the definition of “sweet tooth” in the dictionary. 😉

A little bite of nutty happiness.

I had my doubts that these cookies would satisfy my craving, but I was pleasantly surprised. We used regular peanut butter instead of fat-free, but stuck to the recipe with our sugar-free raspberry preserves. I made a few with real jelly (because I didn’t trust that it would taste right) but it made a hole in the center. Perhaps that happened because they’re flourless? I’m sure there’s some sort of scientific reasoning behind it. Where’s Sid the Science Kid when you need an explanation?!

Anyhow, if you’re a fan of peanut butter and looking for a low-calorie treat that’ll crush your crankiness, I highly recommend these cutie pies. The kids will eat them up too!

“Seaing” life more clearly.

The view that helped me gain perspective.

Despite the murkiness of the Sandy Hook Bay, it’s when I’m on this body of water that I see life, and what’s most important, much more clearly. I grew up near this bay, and looking up at the limitless sky while being rocked by rhythmic waves and listening to the familiar sounds of sea gulls squawking has always reminded me that there’s something much bigger than myself out there. The tranquility and grandness puts me in my place and hums a comforting message into my ear that says, “adjust your sails the best you can and simply go with the flow.” I try to go with the flow, really I do, but this is the first year that we’ve taken both of my little ones on my parents’ boat, so my introspective journey was a little less Zen. Fortunately for my sanity’s sake, going for a long, fast boat ride chilled everyone out, and the loud motor made it pretty easy to tune out their whining. 😉

Being on the water with my parents, husband, kids, and my friend Rachel who was visiting from NYC was a definite crankiness crusher, but the best moment of the day was when my mom called me up to the bow of the boat and encouraged me to dangle my feet over the side and dip my toes into the water as we cruised along the bay. The heat was stifling, so I smiled in relief as the refreshing breeze caressed my face and waves crashed above my ankles. In that moment, I closed my eyes and it was just me, the sea, and a spray of pleasant memories blooming in my mind. I thought about how my brother and I would lay down at the front of the boat when we were little, grasping on to the railing for dear life as our bellies bounced up and down with the huge waves made by the bigger boats. We’d turn around to our parents, flashing our wide, carefree smiles. And as I reminisced, I glanced back at my children who were enjoying this wild ride and wearing that same silly grin. That grin that I wore as a child, and the same one that I was flashing to my mom as a 37-year-old woman who was thankful to be happy.

This boat ride reminded me of the importance of doing some type of activity that both grounds you as well as recharges your spirits. Like the direction of the wind, you may not be able to control what life blows your way, but like a good sailor, you can control how you choose to cope with it.

G-rated role playing.

When I was little, I used to love to play dress-up (as I think most kids do). There was something about actually looking the part that I was envisioning that really made the story come alive. Wearing a costume also encouraged my imagination to burst with creativity, and act more daring or more confident and beautiful, depending upon my choice of garb.

Big & little pirate wenches! Credit: Catherine Commander

This past weekend my family and I went to a pirate party to celebrate my friend’s son’s 4th birthday. When we walked in, I saw that kids both young and old were wearing pirate hats and kerchiefs and it made me smile. I immediately grabbed a kerchief for myself and my daughter and we were instantly transported to the world of merriment that was going on in and around the pretend ship. I really got into character, almost embarrassingly so, but greeting people with the phrase, “Ahoy there me hearties!” and grunting “Arrr!” with one eye closed was a real laugh and a huge crankiness crusher. A few scallywags took some unflattering photos where I looked way too much like a drunken sea dog, but I’ll share these two that my talented friend Catherine took since I’m vain and only want you to see the cute shots. 😉

I never thought that dressing up like a pirate wench would be a pick-me up, but it just goes to show you that a little bit of role-playing (the adult kind too–ha!) can be a quick and fun escape from reality. It can help you find your buried treasure of positive thoughts so the crummy ones won’t anchor you down.

Hope you enjoy the weekend, mateys!

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