Food + Fitness

Week 12 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 12

Recipe 1: Hawaiian BBQ Chicken via Short List Meals

Recipe 2: Enchiladas Verdes via Pinch of Yum

Recipe 3: Beef & Broccoli Ramen Stir Fry via Damn Delicious

Recipe 4: Cilantro Lime Chicken via Fit Foodie Finds & Mexican Cauliflower Rice via Skinnytaste

Recipe 5: Parmesan Chicken with Sun-dried Tomato Cous Cous and Garlic Veggies via Life Made Simple

Week 12_V2

Week 12 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks)

Week 12 Grocery List


8-10 Chicken Breasts
1 rotisserie chicken or 2-3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 pound flank steak

19 garlic cloves
15 tomatillos*
3 jalepeno peppers*
cilantro (LOTS of it)
2 zucchini
2 red onions
3 -4 broccoli crowns (2 sides worth)
4 limes
fresh basil
crimini mushrooms
kale (3 cups)
cherry tomatoes
cauliflower pearls (4 cups)
2 medium tomatoes
fresh ginger

brown sugar

italian seasoning
garlic powder
sesame seeds

red pepper flakes (optional)

shredded cheddar cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
shaved Parmesan cheese
sour cream (optional)

chicken broth
beef broth

10 or so tortillas of your choice
brown rice
cous cous
roasted salted almonds

2 packages refrigerated Yaki-Soba (seasoning sauce packets discarded)
1 (9 oz) jar marinated sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained





I guess Motherhood IS pretty powerful after all…

Tiaras & Swords V3

My daughter recently asked me: “Mom, can I be Super Man even though I’m a girl?” and I said “yes, of course….Super Man isn’t Super Man because he’s a boy….he is Super Man because he is brave and kind and generous.”

To be perfectly honest, I’m not too worried about Lucy feeling inferior simply because she is female. Not only is she surrounded by strong women but, maybe even more importantly, by men who respect and empower women as peers and colleagues. So while she may one day face inequality in school or the workplace, I feel pretty confident that she will handle it like a bad ass. I mean….she’s only three years old so I guess I shouldn’t get ahead of myself but I’m not too worried about it.

Due in large part to the current political climate, the topic of equality (or lack thereof) has been at the forefront of our society…and you know what….I’m glad. More people are discussing inequality than ever before…fighting for it….advocating for and recognizing it now more than ever. After deciding to leave the workforce and stay at home I felt a bit useless…..and guilty. There was part of me that felt like I let my “sisters” down by “giving up” my career to stay at home….and felt like I gave up my right or my voice….like I  had set us back…or let down all the women who fought so hard to give me so many opportunities. I was desperate to contribute to and be a propellant for positive change…and have spent a lot of hours thinking about how I can make a difference. So, as I continued to think about my role and what or how I was doing to contribute to society I realized I needed to dwell less on what I had done and more on what I could do moving forward and I have come to realize that regardless of whether or not I am working, the most powerful way I can make a difference is by raising kind humans who believe in and fight for equality. I can raise my family and my children in a way that paves a path for equality. It is something I can show them….day in and day out. I can do that. Regardless of a persons gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or any other magical reason someone is different from them….I am going to raise humans who see beyond any of that. I am committed to raising children who grow up loving their neighbors something fierce….I’m going to sprinkle kindness around like confetti. It’s going to be a kindness party up in here (okay, okay…I’m getting carried away….or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to drink during the day).

It’s amazing how at 3 years old my daughter is already recognizing the different roles genders play. She recently asked me why girls don’t play sports. Ummmm….I’m sorry….come again child. Not only does Lucy play any and every sport she wants…..but ummm…I’m her mom. I love sports. In fact, I would even say that I’m a better athlete than her dad (he LOVES when I tell people this). After discussing this with her in great detail (especially the part about me being a better athlete than her dad) she said….”yeah but why don’t girls play sports on TV”? Hmmm….you got me there kid….guess we’ll be watching a lot of softball this year!

Speaking of….we just celebrated Lucy’s 3rd birthday and this came up on my Facebook memories from a year ago:

Tiaras & Swords V1

“I am not one to easily take offense to something and I choose to keep politics to myself but trying to pick out the perfect birthday card for my smart, brave, hilarious, construction/dinosaur/monster/Paw Patrol loving daughter, I am disappointed in the selection. Every card I choose for her says Birthday BOY…..where my ladies at?? Good thing I have a Sharpie readily available!!”

Seriously….every dinosaur card was for a birthday boy. But you know what….it goes both ways. One of Lucy’s very best friends is Frozen obsessed. He LOVES Frozen!!! We wanted to give him a Frozen birthday card but they were all for the birthday girl. I recently saw a friend of mine post about how her son wanted to wear a Wonder Woman shirt. HELL YES. She has twins (yes, she is in fact Wonder Woman) and her son wanted to wear a Wonder Woman shirt but of course she couldn’t find one. See below:

MTD feature V3

From: @annda003 

“The kids wanted Wonder Woman shirts so we could match. Of course, there weren’t any in the boys section. Apparently girls can sport heroes, but boys can’t wear heroines. Females team members are missing almost always missing from boys apparel. You can see this with The Justice League, The Avengers (give Black Widow her own movie!), Star Wars, Paw Patrol, The Lion Guard…How can we teach our sons to respect women as peers and colleagues (let alone as leaders) if we exclude them from the narrative? My son will learn that women kick ass just as much as men. Not because he has a mom who kicks ass or his sister kicks ass. Because they are PEOPLE who kick ass. So yes, I found him a shirt. He’s wearing a girl’s size small and he loves it. His shield is in the way and the Invisible Jet is parked out back.” 

Anyway, I started thinking a lot about how I can show Lucy that gender doesn’t (or shouldn’t) mean a damn thing and it got me thinking about how brands play such an important role in how equality is taught and comprehended by our youth. You walk through clothing stores, toy stores, book stores, etc. and its clear….boys vs girls. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have separate sections but boys and girls should at least have access to the same characters….right? My kid loves Paw Patrol but all of the girls clothing and accessories are Skye & Everest….well Lucy loves Rubble damn it. My nephew thinks Everest is a bad ass yet he would be hard pressed to find some Paw Patrol paraphernalia with Everest on it in the boys section. I truly believe we have more power than we give ourselves credit for. I can’t help but think that by making small changes to what I purchase….what I watch….where I spend my time and money…..that collectively, we can slowly show brands that this matters. It does make a difference. It makes a difference in how our children see themselves and each other and that matters. Now don’t get me wrong, there are brands out there who fight hard for this but oftentimes they are too expensive and/or not as readily available to everyone like a Target or Old Navy would be and while I love some of these small brands fighting the good fight for us (like Budding Stem)…..I just can’t seem to justify $39 for a dress or $27 for leggings (I don’t even spend that on my own wardrobe) that my 3 year old will likely grow out of in a few months or rip a hole through them on day 2. This isn’t easy….I know this is bigger and more complex than I even begin to pretend to understand….but isn’t there a way we can show big brands that this is important to us? That this is how you win loyalty from your consumers. Give us something that supports our mission….our mission of raising a generation of lovers, scientists, politicians and friends who don’t see gender, race, religion or sexual orientation as something that makes someone different but something that makes them unique and magical and beautiful. It is up to us to raise a generation who can heal and re-build a nation…a world….a society that is worth fighting for. We have to demand more from the brands that dominate the aisles of our stores. Unfortunately, I really don’t have a solution here….I don’t have some wise call to action or brand to support…..but a virtual chest bump that we CAN make a difference. Where you shop, where you eat, what you wear….it matters.

This sounds and feels so silly but I believe that by making small changes…big and small…we can change the conversation. Something small we did recently was for Lucy’s birthday. She wanted a princess party….greeeeeat….and she wanted to give all her guests tiaras….even bettttttter. So, as we were packing up the bags she said, “what about the boys?” Ummm “what about the boys???” and then she told me that “boys don’t wear tiaras”. TO HELL THEY DON’T!  I told her that yes, they absolutely DO wear tiaras….and that girls carry swords….and that some people wear a tiara and carry a sword while riding a magical unicorn over a rainbow (…but seriously….I think I’ve actually seen this in Portland). The point is….I don’t want her to see the world this way but somehow her little brain is already recognizing and internalizing the bullshit stereotypes society impresses upon our youth. Boys and/or girls can wear a tiara WHILE carrying a sword….in a pink tutu with soccer cleats on. So, I got on Amazon Prime and ordered 25 foam swords to put in the bags so everyone got a tiara and a sword because they are not mutually exclusive and yes, I realize this is trivial and silly but its one small way that we can start changing the way our kids see themselves and stop assigning erroneous roles based on gender. It starts with us…it starts right now with our kids and you know what….that’s pretty powerful.

WE LITERALLY MADE HUMAN BEINGS YOU GUYS….INSIDE OUR BODIES. We are magical freaks of nature. We can change the world….by being good moms…..and dads….and aunts and uncles and friends. Raising our kids to fiercely love one another… be includers…..and to fight for equality. We can do that. We can do that right now so yeah, I guess being a mom is enough. Motherhood is in fact pretty powerful.




Food + Fitness · Health + Fitness · Parties + Entertaining

Week 11 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 11

Recipe 1: Honey-Lemon Chicken Broccoli Bowls via Damn Delicious
Recipe 2: Taco Salad (recipe below)
Recipe 3: Grilled Balsamic Chicken & Roasted Peppers via Short List Meals via text (recipe below)
Recipe 4: Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers via Dear Crissy (I have made A LOT of stuffed peppers and these might be my favorite so far)
Recipe 5: Skillet Sazon Chicken via Skinnytaste

Continue reading “Week 11 Meal Plan”



MTD Logo

You may have noticed that on the first Friday of each month, we are featuring a mom who inspires us….encourages us and makes the world a better place! I obviously didn’t get around to publishing this on Friday but the purpose of these features is all that matters….right? Anyway, I am big on celebrating my mom tribe. You are what gets me through the good times and the bad. While I may be married to the best human being alive….there are some things that only another mom can understand… day drinking.


I used to compare myself to and/or envy all of the moms out there who I thought looked happier or more “together” or their children were better behaved but after a year at home I have come full circle to celebrating their (your) successes and picking them up when they fall down (but laughing first if you actually fell). We really are better together. So these little features mean a lot to me. I want us all to be successful….to show the world that we really are super women….moms, wives, friends, entrepreneurs….we can do it all! We really can (with enough coffee and wine).

So far, we have introduced you to Short List Meals and Donuts + Dinosaurs.

Wellllllll…..we are SO excited to introduce you to (drum roll please………)

JP Image 1 MM

….beautiful Jackie over at Mom Time Delivered. It’s the perfect time to feature this mama  since we’ve been talking lots about #selflove on IG lately and with Mothers Day just around the corner and the fact that she has made it her business to celebrate and treat Moms everywhere! I know Jackie in a roundabout kind of way. I actually worked with her husband on a multi-family lease-up in downtown LA and if you know anything about real estate and/or new construction you know how stressful a lease up can be. This guy was patient, kind, honest and never even broke a sweat. I have seen grown men cry working a lease up and this guy was not only good at what he did but kind and generous to his staff and colleagues throughout it all. This was rare in my line of work. He was top notch and even better than his work ethic was the way he talked about his family. His wife…their wedding day…there was magic in his eyes.

MTD Family Photo MM

I briefly met his wife once….shortly after they had their first child….at an event for the project we were launching. She was strong, confident and beautiful. Years have passed, we’ve had more babies, changed jobs and probably all have more gray hair. That’s when I received a Facebook notification from Brook (the infamous husband) asking me to check out Mom Time Delivered. I checked it out and was so excited for them. I could feel how genuine their business was and loved their mission of supporting moms in taking a little “me time” as I have come to realize how important that time is. I have recently been on a quest to make sure I am taking care of myself so that I can be the best mom and wife I can be. I love this idea that motherhood doesn’t define us….it’s just a part of who we are….and just like Milk & Mascara….Jackie has made it her business celebrating both the mother and woman in all of us.

Name: Jackie Purcell

Age: 34

Where do you currently live: Los Angeles (born and raised in Metro-Detroit and lived in the Seattle area for 8 years)

How many kids do you have? Two! My daughter is almost 4 (yikes) and my son is 18 month old

Tell me about Mom Time Delivered: 
Mom Time Delivered is a subscription box for moms. Each month will receive 4-6 items including: spa products, indulgent treat’s and fun mom-centric goods.

How many boxes are there each month? When does the new monthly box become available? Our first shipment, to 20 well deserving Moms, went out on May 5th. Each month is a new box/theme and will be shipped the first week of the month.

How did this come about? What inspired you to start Mom Time Delivered?
I love getting subscription boxes and I love sharing them with my friends, so it seemed like a natural fit for me to start my own. And the concept of Mom Time Delivered, is because whenever I found myself with some alone time, I never knew what to do with it. I would just binge watch Netflix or scroll Facebook/Instagram. I want to make it easy for Moms to truly take care of themselves and do something that will help rejuvenate them…enter Mom Time Delivered.

How do you select the items/partners in the boxes? Each box is an experience and designed to be used all at once, so the items all need to compliment each other. I look for small businesses, especially Mom owned businesses, to partner with. This way the customers can try new products from great small businesses without having to search them out.

What is your hope for Mom Time Delivered? Of course, I have some business/financial goals (duh! Don’t we all?? Can someone pay me to write this blog?), but truly my hope is to brighten each Moms day that receives the box. Help them take time for themselves so they can be even better Moms.

What did you do before starting Mom Time Delivered? 
Before starting Mom Time Delivered, I was the VP of a children’s fitness franchise. I had been with them for 11 years, so it was very hard to leave, but time to focus on my family and dream.

What has been the most challenging part of starting your own business? The most challenging part is learning the E-Commerce business. I have owned my own business before and understand small business, but e-commerce is totally new to me. It is a fun new adventure and I am learning something new every day.

What’s your favorite product in this months box? This is a tough question, as I do try each product and only put the ones in that I love. The body scrub is something that I have been using for over a year and approached the company to be in the box. This scrub is always in my shower (in different scents). I hope the customers love it as much as I do.

Alright moms….and dads….alright….fine….humans….it’s easy to see why Mom Time Delivered is a great gift to give or a special treat for yourself but can I just take a minute to applaud Jackie and her family for chasing their dreams….taking risks and winning at life? I love this. I want to be more like this. What am I so afraid of? Maybe I will start my own business! Right? I can do it?!?! Jackie….you’re so cool and I for one cannot wait to get my box!!! Thank you for inspiring moms everywhere….celebrating your tribe and keeping it real.

To top it all of….Jackie is providing all Milk & Mascara readers with a coupon code for your first box!! Enter milkandmascara for $10 off!




*Still testing out photos because my friends are jerks and make fun of every one.


Food + Fitness · Health + Fitness · Parties + Entertaining

Week 10 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 10

  1. Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken via Carlsbad Cravings
  2. TACO TUESDAY!! (Ideas here & here)
  3. Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets via Skinnytaste + Baked Sweet Potato
  4. Asian Lettuce Wrap Chopped Salad via Skinnytaste (I use ground turkey instead of ground chicken and that is reflected in the grocery list)
  5. Mushroom Asiago Chicken served over linguini via The Midnight Baker
  6. Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowl via How Sweet Eats

Continue reading “Week 10 Meal Plan”


Lets be Includers

We’ve all heard it: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Well….William Congreve likely didn’t have kids when he wrote that because a woman has got nothing on a Mother. You want to talk about fury….I double dog dare your kid to push my kid at the playground.

Be an Includer

I have dealt with anger issues for most of my life….I just didn’t know it until I met my now husband. Long story short….I was angry. I was angry at my past. My parents. My siblings. The town I grew up in. The kids I grew up next to. Myself. The world. God. After years of therapy….forgiveness….growth and love….anger was no longer something that held me captive. Sometimes I still feel angry of course but I am able to easily combat that anger with joy. Peace. Love. Hope. I am happy. For all the right reasons. I know how good I’ve got it and I really do….I’ve got it good. You would have a hard time making me angry….or offending me because there is little that can bring me down without some serious self reflection, understanding and empathy. That is….until a week ago. When someone was mean to my kid. I’m not talking like didn’t share their toys mean. Lucy got mean girl…ed.

Let me start off by saying that I know my Lucy is not perfect. She is a wild little lady with all sorts of opinions. Every day…every transgression is a teaching moment….we teach kindness….we teach gentle hands….we teach inclusion….compassion….love….forgiveness…acceptance. I work hard at all of this every day. There are days that get the best of me….and unfortunately…..there are days that get the worst of me. I’m not perfect. I have bad days…..just like my almost 3 year old. BUT I assure you….my Lucy is also kind….and funny….and playful….and social. She….in its purest form….is a child. An innocent child. A child that I will fiercely protect for as long as I live.

You may see where this is going. Last week, I dropped Lucy off at “Kids Camp” at the gym where her and her brother spend an hour or two twice a week while I work off this mom bod. She ran in with excitement….hugging her teachers….her girlfriends and promising to take care of her little brother. There is nothing quite as wonderful as finding somewhere your kids feel safe, loved and heard at while you can work on a little #selflove. Am I right? I returned to her classroom an hour or so later to find Eli eating (per usual) and Lucy….in the corner of the room….playing by herself while her girlfriends (girlfriends we know well….friends, neighbors, etc.) were playing on the other side of the room….laughing, dancing, pretending. My heart fell to my stomach. This is so unlike Lucy. We saw each other and she ran to me with excitement….not a care in the world. She asked how my class went and if I had taken a shower (she doesn’t like sweaty mom) and I asked her how “Kids Camp” was. She said it was “wonderful” (her words not mine) and that Eli had a hard time going to sleep but that pita bread made him happy. As we packed up her snacks, I asked her why she was playing by herself when I got there to which she replied “oh, my friends wouldn’t let me play with them. They called me a baby. Then they told me to go away.” She didn’t even blink an eye. She was fine. I however felt rage. Hot blooded rage. Rage traveled through my veins and I could feel my face turn red. “You’re a baby?” I asked. “Who said that?”

So, Lucy is almost 3. She will be 3 on May 11th and she talks….A LOT. She uses words that I didn’t use until I was in my late 20’s….trying to impress a guy I met at a bar with a masters degree. Lucy has expressed frustration when kids her age aren’t able to communicate with her or talk with her as much as she might like so she sometimes gravitates towards kids who are a year or 2 older. The friends at Kids Camp fall into this example. They are 4 and almost 5. These kids join us quite often for neighborhood activities and events and are generally good kids. Sweet kids. So, I was surprised. Then, one of the girls ran over to us and said “It was me that called her a baby. She is a baby and we didn’t want to play with her.”

I mean…..she’s not wrong. I get it. Lucy isn’t even 3. She is a baby. MY BABY {insert Godzilla mom stomping buildings and eating small children}.

My heart was broken. Does mean girling really start this soon? I had NO IDEA what to do or how to handle this or what to say to Lucy. I was speechless…..and heartbroken. As we walked to our car, I asked Lucy about her day. She told me that she had a great day. She played and colored and tried to play house. Tried? “What do you mean you tried?” Well, {X} & {X} were playing house and I wanted to play too but {X} wouldn’t let me….so I played by myself.” My response? Nada. I had nothing. I was so sad. I think (know) I was hurting more than she was. I know it’s real. I know the mean girl factor is out there. I know it exists. I was bullied. I was bullied HARD. Elementary school. Middle School. High School. I was bullied and I was excluded. Excluded because of my parents. My siblings. My behavior. It was awful. Now…..I am not necessarily blaming anyone else. My behavior wasn’t great. I pushed boundaries. I was rebellious but as a parent today, I want/need to remember that even the most rebellious kids want nothing more than to be included. To be loved.

Anyway, what was/am I to do with this situation? I had no idea. My first thought was Google but that was overwhelming. So, I pinterested (is that a word?) “Toddler Bullying” and WOW….this is a thing you guys. A lot of more graceful and eloquent parents prefer to call it “peer rejection” since toddlers rarely know what they’re doing….they’re not bullies….or so they tell me. My first introduction to the topic was by Pennies & Playdough and I immediately felt ashamed. This woman showed so much grace….and love….and empathy in how she navigated her experience…..while I was over here googling how to give a 5 year old diarrhea. I immediately felt like a failure and while I loved what Crystal had to say about teaching our children about inclusion and empathy….I did not relate to her approach. Like at all. She didn’t even consider arson? I mean…..who is she? Jesus?

I also came across Playground Parkbench and I LOVED what she had to say…it made me feel capable….equipped….like I could handle this without going to jail:

“One of the best pieces of advice I received came from Terri, a retired elementary school principal who now blogs at Our Good Life.

Her comfort level was with the other kids in her class. She doesn’t understand exclusion and its effect on others. In this case, it is acceptable to show the mean girl how the excluded child could fit in. For example, mom walks with child over to the group and says, look! My child is wearing the same shoes as you, or both of you have barrettes today, or, I am friends with your mom! This gives the mean girl a way to fit the other girl into her set.”

The 4 year old girl isn’t in fact a ‘mean girl’, her social development is just at a point where she isn’t yet comfortable including children she isn’t familiar with in her social circle.  By pointing out shared commonalities, it helps young children find common ground which gives them comfort and helps them build friendships.”

Okay….so what you’re saying is that maybe this 5 year old isn’t Satan after all?

I also reached out to my tribe. This is a group of woman from all walks of life….teachers, Grandmas, wives, professionals, mothers, sisters and most importantly….people who dearly love my family. Their advice? Talk to Lucy. Talk to her about what happened. How it made her feel. Validate her feelings and then turn it into a teaching moment about why and how we love our peers. I know this sounds so simple. It is simple but in the moment I saw red. Then I felt ashamed and ill equipped to handle the situation. You know those moments in parenthood where you hit a wall and think….”I didn’t see that coming!”? This was one of those moments for me. What happened to that peaceful parent I had worked so hard to become? She was gone in a matter of seconds and replaced by a psychotic bully that wanted to fight a 5 year old.

So, how do we teach our children inclusion?

Well, I came across an article on PBS about Relational Aggression as a form of bullying and this is where I really felt empowered to use this incident as a powerful teaching moment and lifestyle choice. I am excited to intentionally roll out these tactics in our every day life and for my children to reap the benefits of being “includers”.

“The best thing parents can do is to empower kids to act as “includers.” When we instill kids with prosocial skills, we spread kindness and compassion. Follow these steps to teach your kids to include others.

  1. Listen and empathize. It can be very difficult to sit back and listen when a child tells a story of being excluded, humiliated or otherwise hurt at school, but listening and empathizing are the two best things you can do. While it might be tempting to respond, “What a terrible friend!” what your child actually needs to hear is, “That sounds terrible. You must feel so upset right now.” When we empathize with our kids, we teach them to do the same for others. Empathetic kids can create giant ripples of kindness in this world. All we have to do is be there for them and let them work through their emotions.
  2. Be an “includer.” Ever stare at your phone to avoid social interaction when you’re just not up for it or you don’t know anyone in the room? You’re not alone. Technology makes it easy to avoid uncomfortable situations, but using technology to avoid social interactions sends mixed messages to our kids. If we want our kids to learn to reach out to others and include new people (or people they wouldn’t otherwise sit with), we need to do the same. Show your kids how to make new friends by introducing yourself to new people and striking up conversations with people they don’t know.
  3. Look for someone who needs a friend. It’s normal for kids to get caught up in their usual groups. Young children like routine and tend to sit at the same table at lunch or play with the same groups at recess, but this can be limiting. Teach your child to scan the room (or field) to look for someone who might need a friend. Practice ways to invite a new kid into the group or ask others to join a game. When kids practice these skills at home, they are better able to use them out in the world.
  4. Talk about unintentional exclusion. Sometimes kids exclude others without intent to harm. In the case of my client above, she didn’t invite that other girl to the weekend outing because it involved roller coasters and she knew the girl didn’t like roller coasters. She meant to protect her friend, but in planning a secret outing with others she actually caused more harm than good. Talk to your kids about what it means to exclude and how they can include others. Ask your kids to draw connections between being excluded and possible negative emotions and between being included and possible positive emotions.Open and honest communication helps kids work through feelings and emotions. It also increases empathy and compassion. Host a weekly family meeting to talk about the good, the bad and the in-between. In helping our children process emotions, we show them that kindness really does count.”

I am going to work hard to instill this kind of behavior in our home so that I can raise kind humans who will love and include your kind humans. Join me! Seriously though…don’t raise assholes….the world has enough of those.

With love,


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