Image by @michellerosephoto
Food. It feeds us literally and, for many, feeds our souls. It can be therapeutic - for the great chefs of the world, a sense of pride in serving a lovingly crafted dish is ever present.
For NYC writer, cook and mom Ashley Hutchings, preparing a favorite dish for friends and family (especially when it’s fool-proof) is a habit she's made to keep her cup consistently full.
Ashley honestly answered our questions about motherhood - going from one to two, maintaining a sense of herself, and feeding the souls of others. Read on for more about her take on keeping her cup full.
What was "the break" you were forced to take after the birth of your first daughter like?
For me, it was the opposite. I needed to force myself to break out! I wasn’t working and an expat in another country (England), with a husband that worked long hours, so it was very isolating! I made sure I left the house to explore the neighborhood, get fresh air, catch up with my new moms “NCT” group, and run errands everyday! Now, with a three-year old that doesn’t stop talking, I would have never felt lonely!!
How did you handle the transition from one daughter to two - any tips?
I think 25 months was an amazing age difference. My oldest didn’t have any feelings of jealousy. My biggest tip is always to name the baby. This really helped my oldest visualize a baby and understand that it is the same baby when she comes out. It really helped form an instant connection!
What advice would you give moms who feel the weight of the world on their shoulders - working at least one professional shift and then the home shift?
I’ve never had a 9-5 position, and have been really grateful for the flexibility of all my jobs. I think my biggest advice is to realize you can do a lot in life ahead of time. I’m a big planner. Everyone is always so impressed with my meals, but my biggest secret is prepping. I will often make marinades, dressings, candy the nuts—whatever—the night before!
We ARE totally deserving of feeling and looking our best! What are your favorite self-care tips that anyone can do for a pick-me-up?
Skincare all the way. I am often makeup-free, without a fancy outfit, jewelry, or nail polish, but my skin always feels like I just left the spa. Love a good skincare routine!
How has style played a role in your motherhood journey? How has it evolved since pre-baby?
My style hasn’t changed all that much, though I definitely go out less! I’m often mindful about breastfeeding-friendly outfits, but outside of that, you’ll find me in either black or white with diamond studs and maybe a nice lipstick. All about that clean and classic life!
What is your favorite dish to prepare for friends and family?
Pasta, hands down. It’s the easiest way to please a crowd and pretty hard to screw up! Here’s one of my original recipes for Sausage and Broccoli Pasta with Tomato Bursts!
Create Ashley’s winning dish for your friends and/or family with her original recipe, available HERE. Plus, you can find more recipes and cup-filling tips when you follow her on Instagram @mom_uptown