Learning To Love Cooking + Mother's Day Giveaway!

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The giveaway has ended! Congrats Jessica W. on winning the Mother’s Day prize of a handmade apron, cookbook, and cooking utensils! If you didn’t win, stay tuned for future opportunities and make sure you are on the mailing list!

Learning to love cooking + Mother’s Day Giveaway!

“Cooking is love made visible.”

I didn’t always love cooking (and sometimes I still don’t). I didn’t really learn how to cook when I was young, and when I began living on my own after college, the extent of my culinary skill went about as far as a box of Hamburger Helper. I could burn water.

When my husband and I were dating and newly married, he actually did most of the cooking…and it wasn’t healthy…and he only cooked when we weren’t eating out (and we ate out a lot).

Then I got pregnant with my daughter. Instinctively I knew that what mom eats, baby also eats. This spurred my interest in making my body healthy. I realized that I had little control over my health if I continued to let someone else — my husband or a restaurant — cook for me.

Looking back on it now, learning to cook meals from scratch was one of the best things I ever did. The benefits have gone far beyond my expectations:

  • Eating healthy food is the ultimate form of self-care. I am healthy, happy, disease-free, and my body feels good most of the time.

  • My pregnancy was a breeze. I attribute this in large part to eating well and exercising regularly while I was pregnant.

  • A healthy body naturally maintains a healthy weight – not only did I not gain much weight during my pregnancy, I was also able to easily drop the baby weight within a year – no diets or crazy exercise – simply the result of taking care of my body and making it healthier.

  • My child and husband are healthier. My husband has maintained a 25 lb. weight loss since I started cooking more at home, and my kiddo gets sick far less than most other kids I know.

  • I’m modeling positive behaviors. As a good friend of mine put it in this guest blog post: your habits will become your kids’ habits. So if you never cook, eat lots of junk, and never exercise, they’ll likely follow suit.

  • Teaching a child to cook for themselves is an incredibly useful life skill, and one of the best “gifts” you can give them. As the old saying goes, “Catch a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life”.

  • Cooking gives my daughter and I special time together, nearly every day. I know she will always cherish the memories (and messes) we made together in the kitchen.

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Learning to love cooking: beginner tips

I understand that you may not love cooking. You may not know how to cook. You may be short on time. But I cannot stress enough that if your goals include keeping your body healthy, keeping your family healthy, or weight loss, the best change you can make is to begin cooking at home more often. You can do this!

It starts with one meal. You don’t have to commit to cooking at home every night in the beginning…take it one meal at a time! Choose one day of the week, one simple recipe, and just do it!

Salt. Pepper. Olive oil. Keep. It. Simple. A recipe with 37 ingredients and eight steps is a sure way to get overwhelmed and frustrated. Start with simple recipes that require minimal ingredients.

Plan ahead. Nothing is worse than rushed cooking or finding out that you don’t have all the ingredients you need. Decide what day(s) you plan to cook at home, find recipes you’d like to try, and go shopping. On the day(s) you plan to cook…read the entire recipe and directions, gather your utensils and all ingredients, and then commence cooking!

Don’t be afraid to fail. Julia Child’s famous quote says it well: “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing”. I’d like to add to this that one also learns by making mistakes! Some recipes will turn out great, and others will flop…but you’ll never know if you don’t try!

Pack it “to go”. I’m a soccer mom. My kid has to be ferried to practices and games. If I used this as an excuse to eat fast food, we’d be eating McDonald’s up to 4 nights per week! From a health standpoint, this is unacceptable. We either eat dinner early (yes, we sometimes eat dinner at 4:30 or 5:00 PM), or pack a cooler and eat on the field. If your health is a priority, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Get your kids involved. Kids love kitchen alchemy! Yes, it’s messy and kids are not always helpful, especially the younger ones, but they’ll love it and learn a lot. Plus, investing the time to teach them when their young will pay dividends when they’re a little older. My 8 year old daughter is now my second set of hands in the kitchen. She can chop veggies, grate cheese, juice lemons, stir soups, and prep my spices.

This beautiful spring bling apron could be YOURS!

This beautiful spring bling apron could be YOURS!

Get Cooking! Enter the Mother’s Day Giveaway!

The giveaway has ended! Congrats Jessica W. on winning the Mother’s Day prize of a handmade apron, cookbook, and cooking utensils! If you didn’t win, stay tuned for future opportunities and make sure you are on the mailing list!

Mother’s Day is approaching! Give the gift of cooking and togetherness by entering the Love Cooking Mother’s Day Giveaway! The winner will receive the beautiful spring-inspired apron shown above, handmade by a local artisan, a cookbook with simple and healthy recipes to get you started, and a set of kitchen utensils!

How to enter:

  1. Subscribe to the Kelly Bailey Wellness email list. Simply scroll down until you see a purple background. Enter your email in the “Subscribe” box and then click “Sign up”. If you are not subscribed, your name will not be entered into the drawing! (I promise that I am not an email spammer! You will rarely receive more than two emails per month, and you can opt out at any time. I will never share your email with third parties!)

  2. Like this blog post by scrolling down and clicking the “Like” button.

  3. If you are already on my email list, that’s great! No need to re-enter your email…but you can still enter the contest! Simply leave me a comment about your most memorable or funny cooking experience, and tell me you want your name entered!

Enter soon! One winner will be chosen on May 8th, 2019!

Giveaway applies to those in the USA only. If you live outside of a 50-mile radius of Medina, Ohio, I do not guarantee delivery by Mother’s Day.

The giveaway has ended! Congrats Jessica W. on winning the Mother’s Day prize of a handmade apron, cookbook, and cooking utensils! If you didn’t win, stay tuned for future opportunities and make sure you are on the mailing list!

Need a Mother’s Day gift NOW and don’t want to wait to see if you won the contest? Get in touch with Donna at Apron Strings or email her at apronstring2018@gmail.com. She has aprons in kid through adult sizes that are ready to go! Learn more about Donna below!

Donna (center) with children, Dina and Andrew.

Donna (center) with children, Dina and Andrew.

Meet The Talented Local Artisan!

Hi, I'm Donna Robb and I started Apron Strings in 2018 as a way to occupy my spare time. I am now an empty-nester and my world no longer revolves around my children, Dina and Andrew. 

I have been sewing since I was in kindergarten when my mom showed me  how to make doll clothes. I absolutely love the creative process of choosing the fabrics and trims. Each apron is unique -- there are no two exactly the same!

I can craft aprons for the entire family, and for all holidays and special occasions. Nothing makes a better hostess, bridal shower, or Mother’s Day gift than an apron!  

Special orders are always welcome. I can create “mom and me” ensembles, aprons for hobbies and occupations, and sports.  If you can dream it, I can make it!

You can find Apron Strings at area craft shows, at my online store, or, if you're in northeast Ohio, I'd love to have a trunk show for you and your friends!

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Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer

Learn more about the author here.