Wasn’t that the name of a gameshow?

Yep. It was.

Which doesn’t really matter. I’ve just been thinking about catchphrases, aphorisms, mottos, and mantras lately, and the purposes they serve, if any. I know some people really do find comfort, strength, or power from having a personal motto or mantra. Some of the work I’ve done in therapy this year is to repeat positive phrases to myself, like, “I’m perfect the way I am.” But adopting something like that as a mantra? Not for me.

Then I got a gift from a friend in the mail today. It’s a Road ID tag for my shoe, and the tag says, “I believe in you!”

Wow. I have been working really hard at understanding that I don’t need external validation to understand that I am worthwhile, but having someone I really care about tell me she believes in me like that, unexpectedly, felt amazing. I’ve been repeating those words to myself all day. Thanks, Mary. I believe in you, too.

So! I haven’t posted in awhile. Things have been crazy in Casa McWittmann. But also good.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we had a friend over for Cuban food and to watch a documentary we were all excited to see.


So Cuban food is super delicious and fun to make, but it takes me awhile to put a whole meal together since I don’t do it a whole lot. It’s a two day process for me. Day 1: make picadillo to fill empanadas with, and fill empanada shells. Make sangria. Day 2: make congri, fry empanadas, tostones and rice pudding.

A lot of people don’t seem to know what congri is. What it is is AWESOME. Rice cooked with beans and the water used to cook the beans, garlic, and oil. Sometimes it’s also made with bacon and other stuff, but I try to do a healthier congri. Some pics to make you jealous:

(I baked my empanadas and tostones)

Cuban rice pudding is made a bit differently than other rice puddings. It’s made on the stovetop with orange peel and anise seed.

First you cook the arborio rice with the anise seed.

They’re so tiny and they pack such a flavor wallop!

Then you cook it over really low heat for a very looooooooooooong time.

Eventually it cooks down and turns all creamy. Then you add vanilla and spread it in a pan to cool.

I may have added some rum.

It had to go in something!

It was a fun night. Then the next day we did this.

That’s right. Sangria for breakfast. And puppy hijinks.

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend! A little late.

What do you think about mantras or personal mottos?


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