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Looking at the mom in the mirror.  Their beauty, thoughts, and imperfections.

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New Lunch Time Fave! Have you tried this before?

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I. Stay. Hungry.

For real, I STAY hungry. Hungry, hangry, all of that. I’m rolling into my third trimester with baby number 4 and my food aversions have somewhat returned, only now I’m averted to the things I actually still like to eat. Yes, I realize that doesn’t make any sense. I’m pregnant and losing it. Just go with me here.

For some reason I want to eat my favorite foods, but I can’t unless I prepare them differently. That’s the only way they’ll be appetizing to me. I’ve been at a loss lately for new twists on old favorites, but today I struck gold.

I was trying to decide what to make my 2 and 4 year olds for lunch and, as usual, trying to convince myself that I’d figure out something decent to eat for myself. That’s when I overheard the kids’ Leapfrog cooking game mention grilled PB&J. I began salivating instantly at the thought of a childhood favorite in grilled form on my “good bread” (read: the bread the kids can’t have because they’ll waste it).

I had everything I needed at home: grape jelly, bread, butter and almond butter– we don’t use peanut butter because my 5 year old is allergic to peanuts. I made a PB&J for myself with my favorite Sarah Lee Artesano bread. Let me tell you, this bread is phenomenal. It’s thick, soft, and perfect for grown up grilled cheese and French toast. There’s a wheat version too!

I made another sandwich on the kids’ sandwich bread for the littles to split. I spread a little butter on the outside of the bread and cooked it on both sides. If you don’t care for butter then margarine, olive oil or whatever you like is just fine.

Have you had a grilled PB&J before? Let us know if you try it out!

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Moms Making Moves: Co-founder of Facebook’s Moms of Beverly

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Lauren Kent, mother of three young boys, was sitting in a park in Chicago’s south-side Beverly neighborhood with her fellow neighbor and mommy friend Shanya Gray in June of 2013 when they came up with a brilliant idea.

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Racism At Play? Serena Williams Nearly Dies After Childbirth

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Serena and Baby Alexis cover Vogue. Photo: Vogue

Everyone is talking about the new Vogue cover story that details Serena Williams’ six-day ordeal after giving birth to baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Williams had a c-section and afterward felt short of breath. The tennis star assumed her continued issues with blood clotting were at play. She told her nurse about her thoughts and her nurse thought the pain medications were “making her confused” in her thoughts.

But “Dr. Williams” was right. She needed a heparin drip to help dissolve the pulmonary embolism in her lungs. She wound up having three surgeries to correct the issues and when she finally got home to be with baby, was too exhausted to do anything but stay in bed. The ordeal sounds horrific. It also sounds like Williams, because she knows her body very well, was able to articulate what she needed and push for what she needed even though she initially wasn’t believed.

Vogue’s cover story on Serena Williams and her birth story.

 

What does this mean for mothers who are about to give birth or just a few days beyond labor? It means that you are your best advocate. If the world’s greatest tennis star -who is in great health and has the money to pay for the best doctors – has to remind hospital staff how to take care of her how much more important is it for the rest of us to speak up when something is wrong?

Doctors and nurses are certainly the experts. But if you suspect something is not right, you absolutely have to speak up. In the United States, black women are three to four more times likely to die after childbirth than any other race.  Also, generally speaking, women in  the United States are more likely to die from childbirth- or pregnancy-related causes than other women in the developed world. Half of those deaths could be preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To be clear, the excessive rate that affects black women in the U.S. is not new. It’s been known about for decades but is making headlines right now.

NPR, the LA Times and Pro Publica have written extensively on this newest incarnation of this old epidemic.

But back to Williams. Here’s how the Twitterverse responded to the story.

 

 

And this.

 

It’s more important than ever to be your own advocate, and to show your partner and friends these stories so that they can advocate for you if you cannot. Mamas are selfless and put everyone else first but us. But these stories are worth contemplating when it comes time to remember that we all have to fight as hard for ourselves as we fight for our babies.

 

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Birth Control Causes Breast Cancer? There’s More To The Story

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In December 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine released this statement:

“Women who use hormonal [contraceptives] for more than a year are at a 20 percent higher risk for breast cancer, [though] the overall risk remains low,” and is called “safe and effective.”

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New Sassy Blogger Alert: Mother, Doctor, Singer, Writer!

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Hey y’all, it’s Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald here! I am a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist in practice in Chicago. My hospital affiliation is with Prentice Women’s Hospital, but I am a partner in a private practice.

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Quick, Healthy Recipe: Thai Curry Vegetable Soup

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This recipe was first shared with me about two and a half years ago by a friend who, like me, likes to have healthy, easy weekday dinner options that are low fat and low sodium. This Thai Curry noodle soup is light yet filling, and it’s a meal you’ll feel good about eating. 


If you’re looking to save time (ok, who isn’t?), prep your veggies and garnishes ahead of time. 

Another easy time saver: instead of grating fresh ginger, you can use ginger paste. It’s sold in a little squeezeable bottle in your fresh produce section. I sub with this all the time and it works great!


Check out the finished product! Click here for the original recipe and let us know how you like it! 

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Learn to cook PERFECT Salmon with this quick and easy recipe 

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We eat salmon quite often in our home. I struggled for a few years trying to get it right. I would cook a great filet on occasion, but for the most part I ended up with fish that was either too dry or too soft in the center. It was frustrating to say the least. 

About five years ago I became a certified Pinterest fanatic. One wonderfully wormhole-y afternoon I was pinning away when I came across a post from Pioneer Woman. Changed. The. Game. Since I tried her technique I’ve never ended up with anything other than a beautiful, moist, flaky, perfectly cooked filet of salmon. I’ll walk you through it. 

Wash, season drizzle, bake. 


Rinse off a 1lb salmon filet. Some like to pat it dry. Place the salmon on a foil or parchment lined pan and season. I use a little seasoned salt (go easy guys, we don’t want too much sodium!), black pepper, and a healthy coating of garlic powder, not garlic salt. Drizzle your filet with extra virgin olive oil and you’re ready to go.


MAJOR KEY: don’t preheat the oven!!! 

Place your pan into a cool oven. This is the key to perfection. Turn the oven to 400 and bake for 25 minutes. If your filet is very thick it may need a few extra minutes. If it’s several pounds and pretty long, I suggest slicing it into a few different pieces before prepping it for the oven to ensure that it cooks evenly. 

*tip: Use your nose! Check on the fish when you start to smell it. If you see a little bubbly white foam on top it’s likely ready. I normally use farm raised salmon, which is thicker and a little less lean. For wild caught salmon, 20 minutes may be enough. 

Sauces – Glazes – Marinades


For a little extra flair and flavor, try brushing a marinade on top of your salmon before baking. This time I used a Kroger brand sweet and spicy chili sauce (not at all spicy). I’ve also used sriracha and honey, barbecue sauce, honey and lemon, lemon butter with herbs, Parmesan and panko crumb crust, and my all time favorite, Stonewall Kitchen’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce (a little bit goes a long way!).  


If you’re looking to make dinner even easier, add a foil pack of crunchy veggies to the pan. Season and drizzle them just like the salmon, wrap them in foil and voilá: a whole meal in 25 minutes! My meal features broccolini. Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peppers and onions, and zucchini are other healthy and tasty options. 


Give this super easy method a try, then tell us how it turned out! 

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Remembering Daddy: What He Taught Me + Tips For Dealing With Loss

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Adrienne Gibbs and her father on her wedding day.

To all my mamas who miss their dearly departed daddies on Father’s Day:

I feel you. You are raising amazing little brown or black boys or a similarly amazing little brown or black girl, and while you do have lots of men in your life, nobody replaces your daddy. No one is stronger, smarter, more protective, funnier, wiser or able to discern how to help you fix your problems more than your pops. At least that’s how it was with mine.

My father was the first man to buy me gold earrings. They were tiny hoops, 24k gold, from Marshall Field’s. I was 14 when I got them on my birthday, and I never knew, until I was much older, that my father gave me jewelry for several reasons. One, so that I would of course be beautifully adorned, but also so that I knew the difference between trash and treasure. The situation of the creepy man on the street, hanging out at my high school and trying to give away cheap gold-plated rings or bracelets to girls in exchange for sex (which really happened, by the way) never happened to me. I didn’t need to trade sexual favors for gold from strangers. My pops gave me jewelry, not a lot of it, but enough to make it clear that I never needed to gold dig – not while I had a mother and a father and an entire extended family happy to help me get whatever I needed (and sometimes wanted) in life.

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On Pregnancy, Mothering, And All That Jazz!

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To grow and deliver a tiny human being is no small feat. The impact of pregnancy on the human body can vary drastically from one person to the next. Some women come out unscathed while others have lasting scars and/or conditions to remind them of their journey to motherhood. In fact many try, to no avail, to conceive spontaneously only to be faced with years of infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss. Some mommies have lovingly adopted children or welcomed bonus babies into their blended families. So, with families nationwide celebrating Mother’s Day today, I wanted to take a look at pregnancy and motherhood from the perspective of a few mom friends. 

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Why Moms Should Date Their Mommy Friends

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The contributors of Sassy Plum enjoy a “Mom’s Night Out!”

My mommy friends can wine and dine me, honey!

We don’t get out often, can’t you tell? We’ve been drifting in this thing called motherhood for a while now, some of us longer than others, and we get a little too excited when we get to pop out on the town. Why? Because of life, kids, motherhood…did I mention life? Getting in a quick date during the week after a long day of work can be a great way to break up the monotony. Weekends are even better! But rest assured, when we do get out we have a ball! And this is why moms should date their mommy friends.

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Ripped: How I Got My Sex Back After That Big Ass Tear!

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It is not seemly to talk about sex. And I’m not trying to be unseemly. I also don’t want to scare anyone who is pregnant or in labor right now because you probably won’t wind up with a third degree tear like I did. At least, I hope you don’t. 

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A Note To Fellas: Give Moms The Day Off For Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day, Party of One!

Okay, this is a sweet little note for the fellas because I think you all need a little tweaking in this area. Now look, don’t be mad at me…I’m just the messenger! But every year, Mother’s Day rolls around and I listen to my mom friends whine and vent, totally bummed about not really getting what they wanted for Mother’s Day. And I think the main reason is that many of you men totally miss the mark on this one. Perhaps this isn’t your fault, you really do try to make a special day and for that moms are eternally grateful! But, what if I told you there was something else moms wanted more than anything…. something that may have never occurred to you?

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20 Wishes I Have For My Children As They Grow

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As I watch my children grow, I often daydream about the life I want them to lead and think of ways I can prepare and expose them for what is to come. I won’t always be able to block them from negativity and I cannot promise everything will always go their way. But I will give them the tools to succeed and wish for the best.

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