This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.


It’s been a little over five years since I had my first child. Upon his arrival I was overwhelmed with love for this new life that was cradled in my arms. It was a love no one could ever prepare me for, and it took my breath away on regular basis. In that time I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a loving community that stopped by with gifts, flowers and best of all, food.

Fast forward 9 months later, my husband and I found out we were having another baby. That was a shock, to put it mildly. Just as I was caught off guard by this second pregnancy, I was unprepared when he arrived an entire week early, with a delivery so fast I struggled to wrap my brain around what had just happened. My then 17 month old had a nasty cough and cold, it was snowing in March, and our unfinished bathroom remodel left us without a shower. Unlike with the birth of our first born, my husband had to return to work quickly, and in those first few days I experienced emotions I didn’t even know existed within me. The crying went from the typical post pregnancy hormone tears to straight up ugly crying real quick. I knew I needed help, but I had no clue where to even begin to ask. I did this once, I should be able to do it again, right?

That first year of our second born’s life was extremely eye opening and raw for me. It wasn’t until he was 18 months old that my husband and I were even able to talk about some of the feelings we were experiencing, and things we had gone through. It was in that conversation that I was finally able to express that my greatest desire was for someone to just take care of me. I wanted someone to feel sorry for me and to genuinely ask how I was doing, because in that time, I was not okay. Like most hard things in life, we survive. We find it in ourselves to draw from an unseen strength and rise to meet the needs of our families. And I did just that, survived. Where I found that I failed miserably was meeting my own needs. I was exhausted, underweight, unhappy, and overwhelmed. When I was finally able to look in the mirror and see myself again, I made a vow to offer nurture to the other mom’s I knew who were in the throws of adjusting to life with a newborn, because I knew just how tough it could be, and I knew what I had needed so desperately.

Part of preparing myself for this cause was creating an arsenal of recipes that were delicious, home-cooked, protein-packed, healthy, comforting and great for leftovers: the perfect meals to bring new moms in the midst of the struggle. Tortilla soup is at the top of my ever-growing list. While food is an obvious physical provision for new moms, I like to think of it simply as an offering that opens the door to ask the question “how are you really doing?” and offer reassurance that she is in fact doing a great job and yes, she will survive.





Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 6

1 rotisserie chicken
1 (15 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1 zucchini, large chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can creamed or sweet corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves

Serve with:
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
fresh lime juice
sour cream
cheddar cheese, shredded
corn chips, crushed

While rotisserie chicken is still warm, pick all meat of the bones. Place chicken meat in a large soup pot. Discard bones, or save if you like to make homemade stock. Place all ingredients from roasted tomatoes through bay leaves in the same pot as the chicken. Turn heat to high. As soon as soup begins to boil, turn to medium-low heat and continue to cook until onions as translucent and zucchini is tender. About 30 minutes.
Serve soup with chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado and corn chips.

Comment ( 2 )

Tags : Food , Modern Proper


Contributor: Jane Maynard

When it comes to taking dinners to families with new babies, ALL food is ALWAYS welcome. You could drop off a bag of potato chips and onion dip for dinner and I guarantee those sleep-deprived parents of a newborn will be happy! That said, there are small things you can do to make the meals you deliver to new parents extra wonderful and useful. Over the years, as people have brought meals to our family after we have had babies, I have picked up some great ideas and tips about what makes a delivered dinner really great.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan meals for the loved ones in your life who have just had a baby!


Comment ( 3 )

Tags : Food , Wellness


Guest Contributor: Jane Maynard // This Week for Dinner

Yes, pregnancy is a time to avoid alcoholic beverages. But just because you have that adorable baby bump doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun drink in hand! There are all kinds of delicious mocktails out there that can help you ride out the next nine months. And, let’s be honest, some (all?) of them actually taste better sans alcohol!

These 15 fabulous mocktail recipes are just what you need to quench your pregnant thirst. And, with warm weather finally settling in, the fizzy, fruity fun that is a mocktail is perfect for spring and summer. Don’t forget! Just because you’re not a virgin (yes, the preggo belly gives you away!) doesn’t mean your drink can’t be! Bottoms up!

01_Strawberry Mint Fizz

Strawberry Mint Fizz –
This tasty strawberry mint fizz also has a slight cucumber flavor. The freshness of this drink is perfect for spring and you’ll definitely want more than one glass! Get the recipe from Babble.


Blood Orange Basil Mocktail –
This mocktail has a richer flavor thanks to the blood orange and basil, which end up complementing one another beautiful. And, of course, fizz! Get the recipe from Babble.

03_Persian Pomegranate Mocktail

Persian Pomegranate Mocktail –
Orange blossom water gives this mocktail its special Persian twist. Get the recipe from Tori Avey.


Frozen Virgin Strawberry Coconut Daiquiri –
Frozen drinks are always the best, especially when there coconut and strawberries are involved. Get the recipe from The Lemon Bowl.

Sparkling Honey Rosemary Lemonade –
This is lemonade, cocktail style. Except, of course, no booze! Get the recipe from Nutmeg Nanny.


Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Cooler –
One of the fun things about cocktails is the interesting mix of flavors, which this drink most certainly has thanks to hibiscus. Get the recipe from Tasty Yummies.

06_Banana Pina Colada

Banana Piña Colada –
Piña coladas are always a great candidate for going virgin! Get the recipe from Tasty Yummies.


Frozen Virgin Strawberry Margarita –
This frozen strawberry margarita is perfect for when you’re in a party mood! Get the recipe from Barbara Bakes.

Pink Grapefruit Sparkler –
This pink grapefruit sparkler also features the flavors of pineapple and ginger. Bonus: ginger helps with morning sickness! Get the recipe from Cookin’ Canuck.


Mango Margaritas –
A mango margarita will definitely help a tired, pregnant mama relax and transport herself, at least mentally, to a desert island! Get the recipe from Simply Sated.


Mojito Smoothie –
This slushy mojito is downright irresistible. Get the recipe from Wonky Wonderful.

Ginger Mojito –
What better way to get in some anti-morning sickness ginger than with a mojito! Get the recipe from Taste As You Go.

Citrus Mint Spritzer

Citrus Mint Spritzer –
A hint of mint gives this citrus spritzer a refreshing flavor you’ll love! Get the recipe from Diethood.


Summer Fruit Spritzer –
When summer comes be sure to get out this recipe and take advantage of all those summer fruits! Get the recipe from Miss in the Kitchen.

Cranberry Sorbet Bellini –
If you can’t have a classic bellini, go for this variation on a theme, with raspberry and cranberry. Get the recipe from Country Cleaver.

Comment ( add )

Tags : Food , Wellness

Guest Contributor: Jane Maynard // This Week for Dinner

When I started nursing my first baby I could NOT believe how hungry I was. Coupled with being the most tired I had ever been (am I making new motherhood sound fun yet?), I needed fast and easy food at my fingertips at all times! But that food also had to be nutritious and baby-friendly. (Needless to say the gobs and gobs of cookie dough I ate those first months probably didn’t totally fit the bill!)

Having filling snack food at the ready is a must after baby is born, especially when you are nursing and needing that extra 500 calories a day. The following snack ideas are perfect for nursing moms, packed with all kinds of great nutrients and flavor and, most importantly, SUPER EASY to make and eat! The last thing you need is a recipe when there’s a newborn to be fed!


Hummus –
Hummus is a great snack to keep in the fridge. It’s super healthy and flavorful and pairs well with chips of all kinds as well as fresh veggies, which you simply can’t get enough of when you’re nursing.


Nuts –
It doesn’t get much easier than reaching into a bag of nuts! Nuts are an incredibly nutritious way to get in protein and they taste great, too.


Fruit –
This might seem like a no brainer, but don’t forget to keep a stash of fruit in the kitchen! No prep necessary, vitamins, fiber and a good way to satisfy a sweet tooth, fruit it where it’s at!


Cheese –
Cheese is another great snack for nursing moms, thanks to protein and calcium galore. Throw it on a whole-grain cracker and you’ve got fiber added to the mix. Any new mom knows just how much we need that fiber – so fun!

Greek Yogurt –
Greek yogurt is not only packed with protein and calcium, but it has all those great probiotics to keep your system happy. I love getting plain Greek yogurt and mixing in a dollop of homemade jam (that I made months before baby was born, by the way). So good!

eggs 1

Boiled Eggs –
If you like boiled eggs, then you are in luck! Eggs are another one of those protein-packed snacks and boiled eggs are beyond easy. Just boil a bunch of eggs at once and then keep them in your fridge for when you need a quick bite.

peanut butter

Peanut Butter –
Whether you’re dipping yummy things like apples or celery into your peanut butter or just eating it straight off the spoon, peanut butter is a pantry staple that is perfect for the nursing mom!


Hummus Guacamole Dip –
I know I said no recipes, but I swear this recipe is easy and you can make a bunch and have it last for several days. I love hummus guacamole dip not only because it’s tasty (which it is!), but because it’s packed with all kinds of healthy ingredients, like avocados, hummus and black beans. I can seriously sit down with this dip and some corn chips and be happy for lunch or dinner, so imagine what a fantastic snack it must be! Click here to get the recipe from This Week for Dinner.

Avocados –
Avocados are a true super food, packed with all kinds of good nutrients and healthy fats. They are also loaded with fiber (good for new moms!) and potassium (good for moms who might be getting Charlie horse cramps due to dehydration). Plus, they just plain taste good. Cut an avocado in half and scoop with a spoon or smash slices on a piece of whole wheat toast with a bit of salt and pepper and you’ve got one of the best snacks around.

eggless cookie dough

Cookie Dough –
I know, it’s not healthy. But sometimes you just have to splurge to keep your sanity! This recipe for eggless cookie dough from Kailley’s Kitchen is absolutely perfect for new mommas. No dangerous raw eggs to contend with and all the cookie dough your heart could desire. Trust me, cookie dough and a glass off ice water is the best when you’re nursing!

Comment ( add )

Tags : Food , Wellness



I will never forget having my first baby. It was a time of complete euphoria and complete exhaustion! I truly feel nothing but fondness when I think of those first weeks with baby, but I also remember very clearly that getting my teeth brushed was a major accomplishment. A shower? Talk about productive! Needless to say I wasn’t doing much cooking!

Since I didn’t know what I was getting into, I didn’t prepare any food ahead of time. Luckily I had a good friend and a mom who knew better. Between the two of them Nate and I had a freezer full of prepared dinners that simply required defrosting and reheating. Those meals were a lifesaver for us! We ate wonderfully during a time when about all I could manage was cold cereal.

Having food waiting in the freezer when baby is born is not only a good idea but almost a necessity, especially if you have other little ones running around! The following 12 meals are perfect for freezing ahead and are delicious, too! Get all the cooking done before baby arrives or, better yet, get your mom to do it for you! Whoever does the prep, once your sweet one is here, you’ll be so glad you won’t have to think twice about prepping a good meal. All of these recipes are great for freezing and a few are even dairy-free, something that many nursing moms need.


sweet potato goat cheese quiche
This Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Quiche looks especially scrumptious. Get the recipe from Well Plated!


One of our family’s most favorite recipes is Grammy’s Orange Chicken. This dinner is ultimate comfort food, has no dairy except for butter, and is not heavy on spices. Plus it freezes nicely! Get the recipe from This Week for Dinner!

This cozy Spinach Tortellini Tomato Soup is not only delicious but filled with healthy tomatoes and spinach, and the pasta makes it nice and filling. Get the recipe from Diethood!

Chicken Noodle Soup was one of my most favorite meals after having babies. After my third child, a friend of mine (who also happened to be a chef…lucky me!) brought over a huge container of homemade chicken noodle soup and it seriously made me happy! If you want to freeze some soup ahead of time for yourself, Simply Sated has a great recipe!


easiest ever chicken pot pie
Chicken Pot Pie is another great dinner for new parents! Protein, veggies and pure deliciousness is just what you need in those early weeks with baby. Get the recipe from This Week for Dinner!


Yes, filling healthy dinners are a great thing to have in the freezer, but so are yummy Nutella Stuffed French Toast Sticks. Whether for breakfast or a snack, you definitely need to fill your freezer with these French toast goodies! Get the recipe at From Valerie’s Kitchen!

When I started compiling this list, I got in touch with my friends at Once a Month Meals because they are the freezer food experts. The whole team wholeheartedly recommended this Crockpot Mongolian Beef recipe, so I think it is a must! Click here to get the recipe from Once a Month Meals!

Lasagna is a fabulous meal to have in the freezer after baby is born. One of the best things we did was divide a cooked lasagna into individually-wrapped servings, so Nate and I could just grab a few servings at a time. This lasagna recipe from Ina Garten is a traditional tomato-based lasagna but with a few flavor twists. A friend brought it to us after one of our babies and it was divine! Get the recipe on This Week for Dinner!


creamy white caprese lasagna
If you’re looking for a completely different kind of lasagna, this Creamy White Caprese Lasagna is a great option. Get the recipe from The Cookie Rookie!

Beef stew was another meal that my mom cooked and froze for us when we had our first baby. I don’t know if it was just because I was completely famished and bleary-eyed, but it was one of the best things I ever tasted! I am sure I would have devoured this Vegetable Beef Stew from The Lemon Bowl just as thoroughly!

Once a Month Meals also put together two complete freezable meal plans tailored for new parents. These meals are dairy free and the meal plans include side dishes and dessert, too. You’ll love having these meals stashed away! Click here for the recipes from Once a Month Meals!


vegetable beef soup


Guest Contributor: Jane Maynard // This Week for Dinner


Comment ( 1 )

Tags : Food , Wellness