Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year’s Eve cocktail: a Goodnight Kiss

Let’s ring in the new year with a bubbly cocktail, shall we? I love the Goodnight Kiss recipe from Drinks Mixer, except I make it with Prosecco, Italy’s more affordable answer to Champagne. Besides, the cocktail calls for a splash of Campari — an Italian bitter liqueur — so it seems another reason to use Prosecco. The best part of this drink is the sugar cube, though. Not only does it add a sweet kiss to the otherwise dry and slightly bitter sparkling sipper, it doubles as a garnish. Happy New Year!


Go easy on the bitters or this kiss will leave you with an unpleasant pucker.


Goodnight Kiss

4 oz Prosecco

Splash Campari

1 sugar cube

1 drop Angostura bitters

Place a drop of Angostura bitters on a sugar cube and drop into a champagne flute. Add Prosecco and a splash of Campari.

— Recipe adapted from Drinks Mixer

Piggy bank availability could solve the debt crisis

Bennett recently broke Avery’s big piggy bank, a pre-Christmas catastrophe that provoked tears, wailing on her baby brother, and last-minute pleas for Santa to bring her a new one. Since Santa didn’t deliver, Blake went to Walmart looking for one today. No luck. 

Maybe if Walmart sold piggy banks there'd be no debt crisis.

“They were sold out of piggy banks?” I asked, rather incredulous this simple money-saving device could cause a run at Christmas. “I don’t think they carry them,” Blake answered. “Well, maybe they should. It could solve the debt crisis,” I said, to which Blake countered: “You know, Walmart wants you to spend your money on plastic crap, not save it for a rainy day.” How true. It must be a conspiracy amongst retailers: remove piggy banks from circulation so another generation can grow up without any money sense.
We are trying to instill basic economic principles into our daughter, like how you need money to buy things like food and clothes and books and toys. After reading several stories about kids and money we started giving Avery an allowance. Problem is, she wants to spend it as soon as she gets it. She wants things like plastic animals, knock-off mermaid “Barbies” or jewelry from Dollarama — ugly cheap stuff that either breaks promptly or will give her lead poisoning if she puts it in her mouth. Now that her money rests in plain view, without a piggy home, it constantly tempts her to spend it. But, as another article counsels, parents are supposed to let their kids practice spending their money on whatever they want, so they can (hopefully) learn that cheap toys from Dollarama are not good value.
This explains how Avery came home with a set of kids’ makeup from the farmers’ market last week. It’s tacky and totally inappropriate for Grade 1. I won’t allow her to leave the house in it, lest she be mistaken for a child prostitute.
So I guess it’s not just Greece. Our six-year-old is having her own mini debt crisis. That’s the real reason she cried when Bennett broke her piggy bank — it revealed she was out of toonies, loonies, quarters, dimes and nickels. But not pennies. She’s donating those to charity.

Mommy w(h)ining: Is drinking while parenting OK?

In a recent story in the Washington Post, writer Janice D’Arcy asks if drinking while parenting is a good time or a problem. It’s an interesting question to ask, especially in light of recent books such as The Three-Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor and Naptime is the New Happy Hour by Stefanie Wilder Taylor, which imply that rearing children is such a buzz-kill, it’s easier (and more fun) to parent while buzzed. Incidentally, Wilder Taylor has now admitted publicly to an alcohol addiction, which was the basis for the story in the Washington Post. The message seems to be: if motherhood is driving you to drink, well, maybe you shouldn’t.


Author Christie Mellor has fun -- and a cocktail -- while parenting.


While I’m the first to admit that I like a good cocktail, especially a Perfect Margarita, I also usually consume just one. When the kids were younger (read: needier, more taxing) there were times we mommies would get together and have a couple glasses of wine while we bemoaned our new lives of diapers, night wakings and dislike for playing Sir Topham Hatt (of Thomas the Tank Engine fame) with our toddlers ad nauseam. I’m sure for most of us the need for group w(h)ining has waned as the children have gotten older (read: are potty trained, sleeping through the night and attending school full days). (Note: we never hit the bottle alone in the closet, a la Sue Ellen of Dallas — that seems to be some kind of line you really don’t want to cross.)

Surely, not every mommy who develops a fondness for Shiraz when the children are young turns into a raging alcoholic. And yet, as with so many motherhood issues, it’s a subject that draws an all-or-nothing debate, with people advocating abstention lest you dive headfirst into another bottle to self-medicate. It leaves us cocktail-friendly moms wondering: whatever happened to moderation?

In the January issue of Today’s Parent in a story called Confessions of a Merlot-loving mom, writer Lisa van de Geyn argues for just that. Relax, mommies, she writes. It’s OK to indulge from time to time, or even to have one drink a day.

So with New Year’s Eve approaching — and the prospect of two more weeks of non-stop parenting while the children are out of school — let go of any guilt you may have about drinking on the  parenting job. As long as you don’t overdo it regularly, don’t stress about it. Moms already have enough things to angst over on a daily basis; it’s no use beating ourselves up over the occasional journey to Margaritaville. Hiccup!