Monthly Archives

February 2012


The Name Game: Update!

February 29, 2012

Many of you will remember that a couple months ago I posted about my hesitancy to change my name after getting married. This post really stirred up quite a bit of feedback, and I thought it was time to share a little update on what I decided to do with my name.

After that post went up, plenty of friends and family members were eager to share their advice on what they thought I should do. Some thought it was a Biblical responsibility to change my name to Hofmeyer, while others, including my 91-year-old grandmother, thought I shouldn’t feel any pressure to change my name; she’s a bit of a feminist and ahead of her time. ūüėČ

But the advice that really hit home with me was an e-mail I received from a woman who is very dear to my heart and has always been someone I’ve respected and admired. She told me when she got married, she, too, struggled changing her last name and what that would mean for her identity. And while she now goes by her married name, it didn’t come quickly. Thankfully, her husband was incredibly patient and allowed her to change her last name slowly, as it felt right for her to do so.

Knowing that I could give myself the freedom to adjust to my new name slowly, bit by bit, made it much easier for me. Ultimately, I want to share a last name with my husband and my kids some day, but jumping into being Madison Hofmeyer head first seemed a bit too much.

So, slowly but surely, I’m transitioning to Madison Hofmeyer. Legally, I’ve settled on Madison Jane MayberryHofmeyer (no spaces), so I can still be connected to my family name. Many people in my personal life address letters and packages to ‘Joe and Madison Hofmeyer’. And everyone at work still calls me Madison Mayberry. While it may seem a little confusing, it seems to feel right to me at this point. I imagine that some day, I’ll completely transition to Madison Hofmeyer, but for now I feel comfortable where I’m at, as does Joe. And I suppose that’s all that really matters, right?


No Fat Talk Tuesday: Katie’s Story

February 28, 2012

Todays’ guest post comes to us from Katie Smith, a senior at the University of Maryland. I’m excited to have Katie share because she brings a unique perspective to No Fat Talk Tuesday, since she is still in college and dealing with her own set of stressors and pressures. Growing up with divorced parents, I can relate to the struggles that Katie dealt with growing up, and am happy to have her post today. – Madison

Hey everyone! My name is Katie and I’m 22 years old, finishing my senior year at the University of Maryland. When Madison reached out for stories relating to ‘No Fat Talk,” I felt compelled to share my experience. Even after my tumultuous teenage years ended, I struggled with my weight and self-acceptance throughout college. On the brink of graduation, I finally feel like I have reached a turning point. But it took some time getting here.¬†

Everyone experiences pain in their life. As teenagers, minute heartbreaks can seem like the end of the world. ¬†However, through my adolescence, I experienced both the divorce of my parents and a string of bad relationships. I feel like I transferred the pain of each experience into the next and, also, onto myself. ¬†Midway through college, this manifested itself into a lot of partying and heavy drinking, in part to avoid truly dealing with the emotions. For the most part, these behaviors didn’t negatively influence other areas of my life, like my schoolwork or my friendships. I continued to make great grades, hold down internships and part-time jobs, and make and maintain amazing connections with the people around me. ¬†To be honest, for a time my destructive behavior didn’t sink in because so many others around me were doing what I did. I go to a state school where people drink all nights of the week, so saying no to a drink stands out more than saying yes. ¬†

However, I was treating my body like trash and it was affecting me physically and mentally. My weight would fluctuate depending on how much I was exercising and how vigilantly I was watching what I ate. ¬†But on the days or weeks that I felt heavy or ugly or undesirable because of my weight, I couldn’t brush it off. ¬†It would bring back old feelings of rejection and sadness and I would be absolutely miserable. ¬†Sometimes, I would withdraw. I would avoid people because to me, seeing people meant drinking which meant gaining more weight. When I returned from studying abroad in Australia, I was at my heaviest, and unhealthiest. I remember sobbing, flat on the floor, crying to my mother that I was too embarrassed to be seen. A moment so raw, so low and so real that it sparked a resolve in me to change. ¬†I was too young to waste any more time hiding myself from the world and I was too old to be behaving like there was anyone to blame but myself. In order to become happy with myself, my behaviors needed to change and my body would follow.

I made slow changes. I practiced a lot more moderation. The nights I did go out drinking with friends, I found I enjoyed a lot more when I could remember the details of the conversations we had. People are funny and fascinating and have a lot to share. Where they come from, where they’re going, what they want to achieve and who they want to become. The memories you make together are a lot better if your head doesn’t pound the next day.

I also started to cook more for myself. I found that I love cooking (and blogs like Espresso & Cream are amazing inspirations–cooking can be easy, healthy and fun… and MUCH better for you than that $7 takeout meal every night of the week). I now also exercise regularly–which I had always done but not accompanied with the right lifestyle choices, which made it futile and much, much harder. I exercise because it makes me feel strong and powerful and the endorphins are irreplaceable. A positive hour at the gym with some great music is a form of therapy unto itself. ¬†

Being a journalism major, I hold a certain reverence for the quintessential bad boy of our trade, Hunter S. Thompson. Amidst his hard-drinking, drug-induced writings (this is the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas guy, after all), he once said, “I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.‚ÄĚ A brief, to-the-point reminder that only you can make you happy.¬†

Making healthy choices breeds a self-respect that can’t be replicated by anything else. When you have made the choices that allow you to feel healthy, happy and free, you show that to the world. Since I’ve changed my lifestyle, I’ve felt more confident in myself and my future. ¬†It sounds like a cheesy PSA, but I can assure you, I couldn’t have said this six months ago. Negative talk and negative choices won’t get you anywhere; an active choice to change will. Life is meant to be experienced, enjoyed and exhilarating and we all owe it to ourselves to love ourselves, inside and out, every step of the way. ¬†

Key Lime Pie

February 27, 2012

Hey, everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and thank you so much for awesome feedback on last Friday’s post. It was so refreshing to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles with feeling the pressure to do things perfectly. Sometimes we just need one another to remember how normal (or crazy!) we all truly are.

Moving on to lighter, but still important, matters, like pie. When we were in Salt Lake City a couple weeks back, we enjoyed an amazing meal. One of those lengthy eating experiences where you order appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Call me crazy, but I don’t usually get all that excited about desserts at restaurants. Unless the restaurant is known for something specific, I find restaurant desserts to be overrated and overpriced.

But our dessert that night was different. Our server brought out the most amazing slice of key lime pie I’ve ever tasted. In fact, I forgot that I ever even liked key lime pie until a week and a half ago. Now, I feel quite differently. Something about the smooth simplicity, cutting tang of the limes and the almost-frozen chilled temperature was to die for.

When I searched the internet for the perfect recipe to recreate my experience at home, I knew it needed to be simple and classic. Naturally, I went to Gourmet, still my first true magazine love, for the recipe. Simply put, Gourmet never steers me wrong.

Why have I never made key lime pie before? (If you haven’t made it before, either, you should be asking yourself the same question) It’s ultra-simple, quick to pull together, and killer-good. Oh, and in other news, we’ve got over half a pie left. Someone help me before I eat it all myself!

Key Lime Pie
Recipe from Gourmet magazine, 2003
*5 tablespoons butter, melted
*1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
*2 tablespoons sugar

*1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
*1/2 cup key lime juice (or, if you can’t find key lime juice sub freshly squeezed non-key lime juice)
*4 egg yolks

*Preheat oven to 350¬įF.
*In a small bowl, combine the butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir until well combined. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of one 9″ pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.
*Meanwhile, in a second bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and egg yolks. Stir until well combined. Pour mixture into baked pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
*Once pie is cooled, place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Cut into slices to serve. Makes 8 servings

Happy Baking!


The Good, Bad and Ugly

February 24, 2012

This morning I was planning on posting a few photos of our life over the past couple days: time spent with Nutter, a spontaneous date-night at home with homemade calzones, pictures of magazines I’ve been loving lately.

But then earlier this week I started feeling the pressure. The pressure to do everything perfectly: to perform well at my job, to keep the house clean, the laundry done, to put good meals on the table, to be a happy, joyful spouse every minute of the day. And although I know it’s not realistic to always be every single one of those things, I lost a little perspective and was feeling down when comparing myself to others on the blogosphere.

I’m not sure what my life looks like to those reading E&C, but I try hard to keep it real. Joe and I have a wonderful, happy life, but it’s not all ski trips, spontaneous date nights and cuddling on the couch. There’s laundry, dirty dishes and dust bunnies underneath the bed that have been there too long. A junk drawer and a messy closet at times. And while I don’t usually post the ‘behind the scenes’ photos (how many photos do you really want to see of my laundry pile?), I thought it would be fun to show how easily we bloggers can create the illusion of ‘perfect’ by being selective with what we show.

Here are the more beautiful moments…

{Looking through magazines, both old and new, for inspiration for upcoming work projects.}
{Making homemade calzones with leftover marinara sauce and homemade whole wheat pizza dough.}
{Fresh asparagus roasted in olive oil to go with our dinner.}
{Healthy whole wheat pizookies to end the meal with something sweet.}
{And the cutest little dog you’ll ever see, waiting for dinner to be done so she can beg for food.}
{The finished product!}
And the less than glamorous parts of life…
{Still working on getting our ski stuff cleaned from this past weekend!}
{And more laundry that needs to be put away asap.}
{A bag of dry cleaning that I’ve been meaning to get to the cleaners for over two months and shoes that never seem to have a good place to rest.}
{Dust bunnies that always hide underneath our shelf/wine rack in the hallway.}
So that’s me, on a Friday, keeping it honest. Now, it’s your turn! Tell me, do you ever read blogs and feel the pressure to have it all together?


Whole Wheat Waffles with Banana

February 23, 2012

Chances are if you met me and we got to talking about kitchen appliances, I would tell you something about my waffle maker. Not about how much I love it, but about how little I use the thing. It’s not that I don’t love my waffle maker, since I most certainly do, it’s just that I never think to take it out on the weekends.

Pancakes rule the roost in our little apartment. In fact, late on Friday night, you can usually find me in the kitchen getting the coffee ready and the pancake batter mixed ahead of time in order to have the most relaxing Saturday morning breakfast experience possible.

But it never occurred to me until last weekend that waffles might actually be more stress-free than pancakes could ever dream to be. I mean, you don’t even need to clean the waffle iron after you make breakfast. Just wipe it down and call it a day! Waffles for all!

When we do make waffles, this whole wheat recipe from King Arthur Flour has been my go-to. Since most waffle recipes rely on way too much butter for me to feel good about, this recipe appealed to me right away. There is just enough butter/oil to give the waffles a crisp exterior without making you feel heavy and weighed down for the rest of the day.

And another note: since there is no possible way Joe and I could eat all the waffles this recipe makes, I cook up the whole recipe and then wrap the waffles in plastic wrap and place them in freezer bags. That way we have breakfast during the week that takes no time at all. Just pop them in the toaster and go!

Whole Wheat Waffles with Banana
Adapted just slightly from King Arthur Flour
*1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 large egg
*1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
*2 bananas, sliced
*Sugar-free syrup or maple syrup (optional)
*Preheat waffle maker.
*Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a second, smaller bowl, beat together the egg, water, vanilla, cinnamon and butter or oil until well combined.
*Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Small lumps will remain which is fine.
*Cook waffles according to waffle maker manufacturers instructions. Serve with sliced bananas and sugar-free syrup, if desired.