A new (out)look: a reintroduction of ChefShayna.com

In the kitchen with Chef Shayna

I am so excited to be launching my website (again)!  I’ve been here before, but at this moment in time, the experience couldn’t be more different.  I am committing my time, energy and passion to this project with a new found intention and sense of purpose.

The first time I tried this, it was more out of a sense of obligation than passion.  Starting a blog was what small business owners were ‘supposed’ to do, and while I would take the time to develop content, take the pictures and write the posts; it was almost with a chip on my shoulder.  A resentment that at a time when my daughters were 3 and 1, I was spending my time curating a lifestyle image only because I thought I should.  To be honest, writing doesn’t even come that easy to me – which just added insult to injury.

In the kitchen with Chef Shayna

But here I am, blogging away, yet again.  This time though, with a much different perspective and a clear sense of purpose. I have created this site as a place for me to not only share my experiences, thoughts and recipes with you, but to inspire everyone to find the joy and value in cooking – and everything that comes with it.  I want to be a part of bringing families together in a way that has kept families together for centuries – a way that seems to be losing it’s art form.  Being in the kitchen can be fun and frustrating, exciting and exhausting – and by embracing the contradictions, we just might be able to come together to learn and laugh and enjoy the chaos that is family.  I want to share how I include my kids in the kitchen to learn new things, share experiences with each other and perform that very basic and necessary task of preparing the food that nourishes our bodies. The goal is not to show off the most complicated recipes, but instead to demonstrate, step by step, how the things that may look complicated are not out of anyone’s reach.

What can you expect? 
- Cooking videos and guides of my girls and I making quick weeknight dinners and snacks.
 - My videos and recipes from ABC 30 segments. 
- #Momlife tips & tricks
- Recipes all in one place – I receive recipe requests frequently and plan to constantly upload them here.
- I may decide to share a few style and home decor guides (after all, in my past life I was a wardrobe stylist and my dream job when I grow up is to be an interior designer).

Why Now?
This summer my family and I took a long trip abroad. During that time, I was able to disconnect from our daily habits, truly connect with my family (especially my husband), without any distractions, and sit quietly to reflect on my goals, desires and accomplishments. I had the time and space to set my intentions for the future without being bogged down by my daily “to do” list.
It has been said that “to travel is to journey inside yourself,” and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot in my life. Whether it be a month abroad with a girlfriend, road trips, studying abroad or family vacations. In the past, however, I have always been distracted by the business of traveling, the act of “doing” something or learning something.
This summer was different. While abroad this summer, after a week of feeling uncomfortable without my ‘to do’ list, I decided I should just BE…. And enjoy the process of self reflection. This is something I have always struggled with. As a ‘doer,’ it is hard to just be; to be still in my thoughts, to be content in simply sitting and connecting, to be present without distraction. I have always thought that unless I am doing, I am being unproductive. This has created an unsettled, anxious feeling that propelled me to just keep doing MORE without thinking about why or for what purpose. Anyone else find yourself going down this rabbit hole?

Over the past year, I have changed this mentality - mostly because I want to set a good example for my daughters. I want them to be content and fulfilled by simply being who they are and not feel that they are constantly being judged on performance or productivity (the ‘doing’). When I first launched this site I was so busy with “doing,” both at home and professionally. Now that my girls are older, they are watching and emulating everything I do, so the time to really be present, is now.

Chef Shayna

Because my girls are older now, I am also realizing that I am in a new phase of my life. This realization was sparked by my daughters first day of kindergarten, and has only been confirmed by realizing how different things are now than they were 3 years ago. For the past five years in fact, I have had a baby to tend to. Since my youngest is now 2 years old, I no longer feel as if I am attached to my child as if her life depends on it. This is both, very liberating and at times, incredibly sad. Obviously I know that my job as a mother is not done, and most days they still do rely on me for every little need. But I realize that my job as a mom as it is now is fleeting. Soon they will be able to tie their own shoes, read their own books and actually make food all on their own. So quite honestly, I am trying to slow down, enjoy each little moment, embrace each giggle or tantrum. Documenting it here might just be our own little time capsule, but it is our story that excites me to keep writing. So here we go like a herd of turtles, and this time I am very excited to share our stories, my mission, and this new project with you.

Let's connect: Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think and what you would like to see.