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The problem

I don’t know about you (or the women around you), but I struggled to rebound into regular routines after becoming a mother. For me, the simple reality is this: I didn’t love the first year. I didn’t love the first year & a half. But, I did start to fall into my stride again after that age range — finally!

Putting “life” back together came as a challenge for me after each baby. I was content (or so I told myself) to skip showers, eat mostly granola bars, and put off exercising. I also didn’t prioritize friendships, work, or even leaving the house very often. As you can imagine, all of those things are terrible ideas. I take responsibility for those bad ideas & I work (am still working) to shed each of them day by day, month by month.

As we all flop & skid toward summer in the midst of a pandemic & a long, cold spring, food is one of the things taking up most of my conversations & headspace. I wonder if that’s true for you, too. Usually, I declare the kitchen as “mostly closed for the summer” and consider outside playtime the family priority. Don’t most of us?

So it’s time to make it blog official: I’m going to cook & bake again … on the regular.

One of my summer mottos: hot food helps.

The Plan

I am not trying to ruin the relaxed vibe of summer. I am not trying to become a home chef. I am simply trying to make it a goal for this summer to get some hot food to the table more often than not. I can’t wait to see what a difference it will make in the mood & mental health of myself & our little family.

To move toward this summer intention, I’m doing a few semi-intense things:

  • Binge listening to as many of the food related podcasts I can squeeze in from The Lazy Genius Podcast archives. Kendra’s ideas are wonderful, funny, relatable, and practical.
  • Working with John to create a list of Brainless Crowd Pleasers (@TheLazyGenius) Episode #97. This is going to be the supper list.
  • Collaborated with the kids to create a list of Brainless Crowd Pleasing lunches for them. We have a rotation of three simple lunches. I plan to keep all of those ingredients in stock for the summer season.
  • Reviewing my current cookbooks for ideas & inspiration.
  • Chatting with my food-loving friends about ideas that work for them.

Identifying the Pain Points

I’m curious what works for you, especially if you’re cooking in a rural setting & dealing with some of the food-related challenges that rural life creates. None of my problems come from a lack of ideas or recipes. It’s all about priorities, time-management & logistics. Here are some logistics that come to my mind:

  • lack of access to specialty ingredients
  • lack of access to quirky veggies & fresh herbs
  • rising food prices because of the pandemic (3-16% depending on the item)
  • a long drive to a larger chain-type grocery store
  • late summer work nights for farmers & ranchers don’t pair well with small kids early dinner preferences
  • prefer to play outside and forget about supper until …. oh no supper!

If you have any ideas or solutions or even partial-solutions for any of the pain points above, please let me know! I can’t wait to crowd source some solutions. I’m only about six episodes into The Lazy Genius Podcasts archives and I’m already brimming with enthusiasm and ideas about how to make this work better for us this summer & fall.

I’ll write more on the summer food strategy as things come together!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!