I may or may not have shouted from the rooftops that I was invited by my beloved Mocha Moms, Inc. to attend a media influencer event at the White House this week to discuss Mrs. Obama's health and wellness initiative, Let's Move. The event was great - an opportunity for 120 or so mom bloggers (invited by an array of media brands, including SheKnows, Babble and Cafe Mom) to hear from various stakeholders (i.e. USDA, Partnership for a Healthier America, HHS, etc.) and to take waaaaay too many selfies in front of various backgrounds in the East Wing. Three-time Olympian, Dominique Dawes, shared her story of having to change the way she ate and moved after she stopped competing, and also as an exhausted and busy mom of a toddler. I loved listening to her speak because she was down-to-earth, honest and FUNNY. We also had the treat of a cooking demo from Cris Comerford, the White House Executive Chef! She made her 'Must-Have Mason Jar Tuscan Kale Salad' (which she was tickled pink to say was inspired by Pinterest). The venue, the photo opps, the high-profile speakers...It was a blogger's dream.Of course, the highlight was the remarks from the First Lady and she was as engaging and relatable as always. She shared her story of getting a wake up call when her daughters were younger and vowing to make healthy changes to their eating and activity habits. She also encouraged us to use our voices and platforms to spread the word about the small changes moms can make in their families' food choices that will result in a major impact on decreasing obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more. As she said, in her house dessert went from being "a human right to an occasional treat that only happened on weekends." If only I could convince my husband of that. HA.But let me tell you what else shined - for me, anyway. Hearing from Ryan Shadrick Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel for the Partnership for a Healthier America. She explained that children see something like 5,500 commercials for junk foods on TV yearly and only about 700 for healthy foods. When it came to marketing fruits and veggies, it was a losing battle. So they decided to take a look at what kinds of things enticed children to ask their parents for the crappy foods. The answer? Branding!Celebrity endorsements, snazzy logos, bright colors, catchy slogans and flashy ad campaigns are what makes candy and soda sexy. So, the PHA decided to 'rebrand' fruits and vegetables and give them their very own monster ad campaign. Meet FNV! Brilliant!And you'll want to follow them in Instagram and maybe even rock some of their tees.Oh how I love a good branding. … [Read more...] about the brilliance of branding: meet FNV
We're about one month into summer and I'm 100% over the "gathering" part of my role as the head female in the household. Here is how my days go: Figure out what is for breakfast. Make people breakfast or help people make their own breakfast. Clean up after breakfast. Figure out responsible answers to constant requests for snacks. Figure out what is for lunch. Make people lunch. Clean up after lunch. Continue to figure out responsible answers to constant requests for snacks. Figure out what is for dinner. Make people dinner. Clean up after dinner. And this doesn't take into account the menu planning, list-making, grocery shopping, unpacking, defrosting and other meal prep.It is exhausting.I would happily swap roles with The Hubs to take the role as the lead "hunter" in the relationship for the remainder of the summer months. I have no idea why this paragraph from Wikipedia makes me laugh hysterically. Perhaps I am delirious from foraging. Or perhaps it is the the thought that this implies my current state is causing me to become increasingly "sexually attractive..." [STIL LAUGHING.] The emergence of cooking in early Homo may have created problems of food theft from women while food was being cooked. As a result, females would recruit male partners to protect them and their resources from others. This concept, known as the theft hypothesis, accommodates an explanation as to why the labor of cooking is strongly associated with the status of women. Women are forced to gather and cook foods because they will not acquire food otherwise and access to resources is critical for their reproductive success. On the contrary, men do not gather because their physical dominance allows them to scrounge cooked foods from women. Thus, women's foraging and food preparation efforts allow men to participate in the high-risk, high-reward activities of hunting. Females, in turn, become increasingly sexually attractive as a means to exploit male interest in investing in her protection. … [Read more...] about i’m over the gathering part
I've already been driving my kids nuts because: "The mooost wonderful tiiiiime of the year" is here! With Thanksgiving, the winter holiday season kicks off in earnest and I AM HERE FOR IT. I go all in: decorations, baking, holiday shows, Christmas carols - the whole nine yards. Starting in October, I've been scouring and clipping from the Thanksgiving issues of all of my magazine subscriptions and planning my menus. Of course, a big part of all of this whole holiday hoopla is the parties. I'm all about the holiday parties and gatherings but I am not a fan of stressful entertaining or overly complicated shindigs (unless I'm a guest at one, haha). So when the editors at Southern Living magazine asked me for my casual holiday entertaining tips, I was more than happy to oblige. In the December Holiday issues of the magazine distributed in the Southeastern region, I'm sharing two of my favorite tips: Host A Toasting Party Skip the big. fancy meal and complicated appetizers and have your guests celebrate by toasting to health and happiness! Setup a well-stocked bar with all the trimmings: cranberries, mint, rosemary sprigs, cherries and seasonally appropriate beverages such as apple cider, spiced rum, eggnog, and champagne. Hand-write a few menu cards with suggested mixed drink recipes and display them in small shiny frames. Finish with festive bowls of sweet and spicy nuts; holiday snack mix and a platter with cheese ball with crackers. ‘Tis the Season for Gift Giving Sending your guests on their way with a little token of appreciation adds a thoughtful touch. Who doesn’t like getting gifts? The fabulous news is that these favors don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Some of my favorite parting gifts are: a single candle in a jar (bonus points if it’s gingerbread or pine-scented!); a coffee mug filled with chocolate candy; or a glittery ornament. If you're in the Southeast, pick up a copy! And no matter where you live, you can stay tuned for a fun project that I'm working on with Tervis. More on that soon - in the meantime, break out the pie recipes and the egg nog (it's never too early for that). … [Read more...] about Host a Toasting Party and Fun Hostess Gifts: My Casual Holiday Entertaining Tips in Southern Living!
Curry was a staple in our household growing up thanks to my dad's Trinidadian background and my mom's Guyanese father and Bajan mother. She also lived in Jamaica for a while which added another element of curry to her repertoire. There is much debate among West Indian cultures about whose curry is the best - I have to admit, I like both. My mom makes her curry with tomato or tomato paste (decidedly the Trini way of making curry); and that's how I've made mine for years until, one day, I was in the grocery and decided to try the Grace Jamaican Curry Powder. The bottle has a recipe on the back and I gave it a shot. No tomato required. When I'm in the mood for a more concentrated flavor, I go this route. Just don't tell my mom. Monday: Curry Chicken w. Rice Tuesday: Pineapple-Glazed Pork Chops w. Wednesday: Baked Potato Bar w. All the Fixins' Thursday: Shrimp Scampi Pasta Friday: Beats Me! … [Read more...] about What’s for Dinner This Week: Curry In a Hurry, Baked Potato Bar and Pineapple Porkchops
We took time out of our Sunday to clean out the freezer which was completely overloaded and something fell out onto the floor each time someone opened the door. It's amazing what you can find when you actually face the freezer beast head on: every ice cream and popsicle flavor under the sun; three different kinds of hash browns and even mussels! So my next mission is to use as many of these items as possible before hitting the grocery store again. The chicken tenders and shrimp from this week's menus are part of those freezer finds. And I'm trying to get back to one day a week when we go meatless for dinner - hence the cheesy enchiladas for Thursday. Five bucks says my husband asks where the meat is.What's for Dinner This Week Monday: Mixed Grill (Salmon, Steak, Chicken leftovers) w. Tortellini Primavera Tuesday: Chicken Tenders w. Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Corn Wednesday: Shrimp Scampi w. Broccoli and Rice Thursday: Cheese Enchiladas w. Guacamole and Chips Friday: Beats Me! … [Read more...] about What’s for Dinner: Mixed Grill, Scampi and Enchiladas