These are the most popular menu items coming out of my kitchen these days thanks to my surprisingly bossy—but charming—19-month-old son.
No, he said at the offering of roasted chicken with heirloom carrots.
No, he said after he took a few bites of Bolognese pasta and pushed it away like an insulted food critic.
No, he said right before he tossed a blueberry pancake across the room like a Frisbee.
After a few weeks of this, I decided to test a theory that had been looming as I researched for answers on what to feed my son who was surviving on crackers and grapes. So I gave him a hot dog and you know what? He loved it. He actually ate every bite and made happy eating noises the entire time and when he was done screamed for more.
Sigh. What can I do? My kid likes processed meats and I’m dealing with it, because that’s what moms do. We deal.
Somewhere between going into labor at my neighborhood coffeehouse while noshing on a piece of shortbread and chasing after an exuberant toddler at the park—I became a mom.
I even got my card in the mail, the mom card. The one that gives me permission to wipe my sons face with a wet thumb, the one that says it’s okay to wear a ponytail every single day, and the same card that says it’s totally normal to run out of the house wearing PJs and gripping a tube of sunblock, so I can save my darling baby from skin cancer.
Yep, I got the card. Although I do think Victoria’s Secret may come and take their card away any day now.
I’m a different woman than I used to be. No big shocker really, everyone tells you how much you will change and that different things will become a priority. But what has surprised me most is how different my heart feels. It feels bigger, softer, tenderer, and more grateful to be a mom but also just to be a woman.
These days, I am trying to find balance to allow the different parts of me to co-exist happily—the woman, the writer, the professional, the daughter, and the friend. They all have different needs and it’s not always easy to allow each one be present every day or even every week. But I’ve learned that it’s important for me to still carve out time for myself—everyday as best as I can, it makes me a better woman and a better mama.
As for my son and his picky food stage, I think we will be fine. He shows a strong passion for truffle salt on his popcorn and chocolate. So I think we will keep him.
I’m very excited to be part of Cindy’s Cover Reveal for her debut novel, Heartbreak Cake. Drum roll please… And here it is!
Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling.
Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him.
Rumors begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to maneuver the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends, family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.
CINDY ARORA was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also mama to an adorable little boy, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. To learn more about Cindy, please visit her website!