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Kids in the Kitchen | Bacon & Chive Potato Salad

I've got another kid-friendly recipe for you and this time it's one my kids actually ate! Imagine that ;-) Also it's great for summer BBQs, as my friends can attest to.     Yes, they're jumping for joy because I brought my potato salad that night. I know. It's life-changing!     Anyways it's life-changing because it's loaded with bacon but I don't know how virtuous you can feel after eating it... it's still pretty heavy and true to the general ingredients of it's normal potato salad cousins.     Bacon & Chive Potato Salad 6-8 medium potatoes, washed and cut into chunks 10 eggs sour cream yellow mustard one bunch of chives or green onions, diced one package of bacon, cooked and crumbled 1-1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons herbed seasoning salt (or regular salt)   So the day before your next BBQ you cut up the potatoes and boil them along with the eggs. When

3 Places I Find Girl-Power Inspiration

In this all-girl household, I am ALL about empowering women. All women… Myself… And these mini-women!     One thing I love about being a girl-Mommy is that I am not allowed to be lazy on personal growth in the girl-power department.  I mean, sure, I'm technically allowed to do whatever the heckity-heck I want. But I don't roll that way. So even on days when I might want to be self-deprecating towards MYSELF, I find those hateful vibes get choked out a little faster because I am very rarely without these two monkeys watching my every move. I am glad that I don't have the luxury to give up. I'm glad that I feel the pressure... that there are two very adorable reasons not to give in to those awful messages. I'm glad that they will think of their Momma as strong as hell, and their biggest cheerleader. They'll probably even roll their eyes about it, because I'll probably overdo it... it's just my way ;-) Anyways when I’m feeling low on the

Kids in the Kitchen | Avocado Chicken Salad

Optimistic Mom-myth: when kids help you cook, they are more invested in the food and they are more likely to adventurously try said food. Parenting reality: not in this case.      What made my kids hate the wonderful, delicious, avocado so much? Why can't I convince them to love the heavenly combination of avocado, lime, and cilantro? Why do they call guacamole "that yucky green stuff we don't like?" Why? Why? WHY?     Well I'm nothing if not stubborn and eternally optimistic. But when it comes to avocados I'm mostly stubborn. Cause by george these girls have GOT to grow up to love Tex-Mex as much as meeeeee! Anyways I tried (again) an old recipe and this time I tried to entice them to make it with me to see if that would help them feel more invested in, I don't know, actually eating it. Spoiler alert: it didn't help. Not this time anyways. But that's okay, I'm sure you guys can still appreciate this simple summery

Walking Towards the End of School

I'm really proud of my ladies for how hard they've worked this school year. But I'm happy for them that it's almost time for PLAY! School is almost over y'all! It's crazy.     What's even crazier is that we finally just started walking to school again. It feels like it's been six months.     I guess it has actually been that long. We had the kind of NY winter that lasts until April this year, something I haven't experienced in almost a decade since living abroad. (And yes, I sort of count Mississippi as "abroad", especially where the weather is concerned.) It's not just that it was cold and rainy and sometimes snowing on and off in March and April, it's also that I was just out of habit. I'm still a firm believer in the German phrase "no bad weather only bad clothing." But it does take a little too much effort (for me) to brave certain types of NY winter weather (with kids.) Even on a nice day, we have to get out the door at

Kids in the Kitchen | Scrambled Egg Soup

You're gonna love this soup recipe. Only two ingredients guys. Chicken stock and eggs. Wait, three ingredients... you gotta have a heaping hunk of patience with kiddos in the kitchen ;-) Oh crap you also need salt and pepper. So ignore my "two ingredient" comment. But whatever it's so easy even your littlest helpers can help big time!      Quick note on farm fresh eggs. I hard boil about a dozen a week (school lunches and quick protein snacks) and I found a trick. You do need to treat fresh eggs differently when you're trying to hard boil them because otherwise the shell will not peel right AT ALL. It sucks. So I follow my America's Test Kitchen {affiliate link} rule of bringing the water to boil, removing from the heat and covering for 10 minutes, then a 5 minute ice bath. BUT I now punch a tiny hole in the bottom of each egg first and am happy to report clean angst-free peeling!  Key is to just poke a hole through the shell without

Birthday (and Holiday) Presence

This past week has been a whirlwind of fun fall festivities and Elsa's 7th birthday. I always have a tough time at family outings and events being torn between my photographer-self and my mom-self. Specifically, to take a picture or to enjoy a moment?  As a photographer, I place very high value on a photograph to preserve a memory... not just for my clients but for myself. I want so desperately to remember every little moment and I have this fear that if I don't take a picture I WILL FORGET... but then I have known for a long time that if I always have the camera in front of my face, I miss something else that I can't ever get back: being present in the moment with my family. I still take a lot of pictures, trust me.  But sometimes when I am out with my girls or we're home celebrating an event, I remember this moment I had with them once when we were traveling in Germany... If you travel with small children, then you know what it means to be tired of bathroom

How Losing My Watch Made Me a Better Mom (& Daughter, Sister, Friend)

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I am a recovering watch-addict. I didn't realize I had such a problem until I accidentally left my watch on the beach during a vacation. And then decided not to buy a replacement right away. I mean, you don't need a watch on vacation.       Well come to find out, I don't need a watch for real life either. In fact, I am better off without it! Until the watch was gone, I didn't realize how often I looked at the time... how often I stressed about "what time it was" and the fact that "we needed to hurry up and do this and that" before "that time". I also didn't realize how much of my day to day stress was based on the fact that I was running behind this imaginary demonic schedule that I hadn't really created intentionally. But it was there. And it bugged me. And I wanted to be "on time". Always. Even for silly things like dinner time and bedtime. (5:30 and 7pm SHARP thankyouverymuch)     So losing

Dear Mom Who Just Had a Baby…

Hey girl! So you just had a baby! CONGRATS! You're amazing! You gave birth! You deserve a thousand gold stars! You deserve a medal, a high-five, a cookie!     You know what you also deserve? Not to have to get out of your comfiest yoga pants for at least two weeks, that's what.  You also deserve not to clean up, cook, or worry about anything during this time. You have every excuse under the sun, but your fresh sweet little one is certainly the only excuse you need ;-) You deserve to enjoy that tiny human in all their tininess... cause we all know how quickly they turn into a toddler. Then a preschooler. Then a college graduate. (Or so I've heard.)     And you know what else you deserve?  You deserve to remember this time. I get it... your brain is scrambled eggs right now. You are dealing with more hormones than a sorority house and the last thing you have time to do is think about anything... least of all

5 Ways to Preach STRENGTH not Skinny

{Alright you know how this works but just a reminder, any amazon links you see in this post are affiliate links. By clicking on them, you help me bring home some more bacon, at no extra cost to you! You don’t even have to buy what I’m blathering on about, but if you buy anything at all, you are helping support this blog and this business. THANK YOU!}     I'm pretty passionate about teaching my daughters to have a healthy self-image and a healthy view of fitness. I've wasted too many years of my life worrying about how much I weighed or how toned my tummy was. I've struggled with an eating disorder and a terrible results-focused approach to fitness. I want to teach my girls to be STRONG and healthy. Not just thin.     So here are five things I do:    1. Expose them to a variety of types of exercise.  The important thing is starting the conversations. Show them which muscles are getting stronger with the

A Letter to my Daughter

This might be the beginning of the end of a really funny and adorable era in your life... ...the end of you dressing like a homeless, color-blind princess.     You have always been adamant that your favorite colors are blue... and the rainbow. You have been seen in dress up clothes at ice cream parlors, the grocery store, and kindergarten open house. We have gotten in fights because there aren't any "fancy" pajamas clean. (seriously??? for the love.) You also make it very clear that if I force you to wear jeans I run the risk of being put in a really crappy nursing home when I get old. The other day you came out of your room dressed for school in a relatively tame outfit. I thought it was Opposite Day... that you had had your sister pick your clothes or something. There were no conflicting colors or patterns and there was no lace or frills or glitter or anything. There weren't even mismatched leg warmers! (Now the next day you came out decked head