Kitchen Self-Care

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Meal planning and cooking for tiny people {who insist on eating every.single.day.} can get pretty tricky for moms with big families, moms who work, moms who sleep, moms who swim, moms with purple hair…ok, it’s tricky for a lot of moms. My theory is that the process – of meal planning and shopping sales and chopping veggies and cooking, stirring, and sauteeing and everything that comes with it – is all a lost art. No one around us really knows how to do it. Many moms lack the support of someone to help them embrace the deliberate, ordered steps of planning and preparing meals, so the whole idea seems incredibly daunting and unnecessarily time consuming. The catch is, if  behavior isn’t modeled for us, we miss out on seeing the tangible fruits that come from such a discipline. And so, we lack motivation. Frozen pizza sounds a heck of a lot easier (and oh gosh, IT SO IS. And that’s ok, sometimes!) We tend to scoff at those online who sing the praises of meal planning and the beauty found in preparing a meal. We shrug it off because we “don’t have our sh*t together” like those other moms. We have enough to worry about without adding the stress of meal planning to our already crazy lives. Right? Well…maybe. Continue reading

Family Fun Around the Dinner Table

It’s 2014, and I think our family is part of an estimated 3.7%* of the Western world’s population that still sits down at the table to eat supper together most nights of the week. (*I made that statistic up, but you get the idea.)  In our house, this phenomenon is made possible by what I like to call our “Perfect Storm of Availability”: tiny humans not yet overly involved in zany extracurriculars, a SAHD who cooks almost every night of the week, and a mom who works very reasonable hours and is home at roughly the same time each day.  I know that eventually, our family dynamic will change, and we won’t always eat together at one specific time every day of the week.  Still, it’s important to my husband and I that we make the family dinner a priority, especially as the kids get older and our schedules get busier.  I know that not every family has this luxury, and there are nights when Superman is at class and I am mighty tempted to just curl up on the couch with a bowl of cereal after the kids are  in bed.   Mostly, though, I look forward to our family suppers together.  We have a lot of fun at our dinner table, and it’s over food and beverage that our kids really open up and talk to us.  I love that food does that!  Think about it – when we grab a cup of coffee with a friend or go to happy hour with coworkers or celebrate a birthday – most of our most meaningful memories with friends and family revolve around food.  Our family table is no different.

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