Salem MOM | Feb/Mar 2020

Page 1

real local moms

since 2005

Salem | February / March 2020








Oh, What a Team!

Santiam Women’s Clinic, part of Santiam Hospital, offers care and support to help women manage their health at every stage of life. Whether you need a routine checkup or are pregnant and seeking a midwife or OB/GYN to deliver your baby, we can meet your needs.

Brooke Renard, MD, OB/GYN

Jennifer Brewer, MD, OB/GYN

Melissa Sheffield, ARNP, CNM

• Medical degree from University of Nebraska College of Medicine

• Medical degree from Oregon Health & Sciences University

• Nurse midwife degree from Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing in Kentucky.

• Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology

• Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology

• Member of the American College of Nurse Midwives, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and the American Midwifery Certification Board



Part of Santiam Hospital

All of our providers are accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 503-769-9522 1373 N 10th Ave., Stayton •

Santiam Hospital & Clinics accept all insurance including all Medicare plans, OHP, Kaiser Permanente & Blue Cross.

Sublimity Medical Clinic, part of Santiam Hospital offers full spectrum, comprehensive primary care including obstetrics. Our skilled physicians provide support throughout your pregnancy and post-delivery, care for your newborn, and continued care for the years beyond.

Emily Alvale, MD

Eva McCarthy, DO

• Medical degree from Oregon Health & Sciences University

• Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Des Moines University in Iowa

• FP-OB Fellowship, Natividad Medical Center, Salinas, California. Hospital-based obstetric training with highlight on high-risk OB and procedural training.

• Board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association


All of our providers are accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 503.769.2259 114 SE Church St., Sublimity •

It’s what‘s

inside that counts

Black History 20

Birthday Cakes 22

Under Pressure 28

Meet the MOM experts..... 4

On the road............................18

Vacation MOM.................... 27

They know what they're

A guide to safe winter driving

All-inclusive beach vacations

talking about

from Capitol Auto Group

Because I said so.................. 5

Black History.....................20

A message from MOM

This reading list celebrates the

Healthy MOM...................... 8 Keeping up with developmental milestones, from Santiam Hospital

Cover MOM: Kristen Marr Rodriguez ...10

Under Pressure................28 Instant Pot favorites

contributions of African Americans to our history.

Birthday Cakes To Remember..................22 Insider tips for creating memorable birthday cakes.

This mom gets real

More ways to love your MOM Blog: Facebook: lovemommag Email: We love hearing from you. Email us with feedback, story ideas or nominations.

Cover MOM


Photos by Joni Loraine Photography

CONGRATULATIONS to United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, winner of the 2020 MOM Magazine Community Impact Award. Look for more information about United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley services in upcoming issues of MOM Magazine and check out their ad on page 17.

Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Kim Leighty at 3

meet the


[They know what they’re talking about]



Healthy MOM with Santiam Hospital, page 8

Something to Smile About with Dr. Na Xu, page 6

Drive. On the road with Shelly Morales, page 18

“ “The secret of staying young is to live

Say cheese with Dr. Ana Castilla, page 26

honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”

– Lucille Ball


Say Cheese.

Vacation. Vacation MOM with Donnita Bassinger, page 27


Because I said so! Published by GO Creative, LLC 263 29th Avenue SW Albany, OR 97322 Editor-in-Chief Managing Director Angela Hibbard Salem Advertising Representative Kim Leighty 503-510-9036 Mid-Valley & Lane County Business Development Manager Linda Blair 541-231-7250 Tri-Cities Business Development Manager Kim Harvey 509-460-6526 Designer Sean Carver

MOM MagazineTM is produced by GO Creative, LLC. © 2020 All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or part, without written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. Information in the magazine is provided for general information purposes only with the understanding that none of the content constitutes professional advice. Opinions expressed by the writers or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of the magazine or the publisher. Inclusion in the magazine does not constitute endorsement of information, products or services.

Not another toy! WHEN MY KIDS start talking about what they want for their birthdays I like to remind them that I gave them the gift of life. Isn’t that enough? But, seriously, I find the kids’ birthday party circuit overwhelming—especially all of the gifts. There was a time when we spent virtually every weekend at one or more parties and, somehow, I always ended up roaming the toy aisle 10 minutes before the party thinking, “What should we get?” Overspending on meaningless toys can be a drag on more than your wallet. And when you’re on the receiving end, managing all of those gifts is no easy task—just take a peek at our junk closet. But I’m not a total party pooper; I love celebrating and gift-giving. I just want it to be meaningful and manageable. So consider some of these toy alternatives to avoid birthday-gift-overload. Coupons: Make a coupon for a playdate for your child and the birthday boy or girl. Consider including a special outing like mini-golf or bowling. Subscriptions: Purchase a subscription to a kids’ magazine like National Geographic Kids, Disney Junior or Highlights.

Cookies: Print out your child's favorite cookie recipe and provide the ingredients to make it. Your child can get creative by decorating the recipe card and ingredients box. If you really want to make your life easier, choose one of these (or your own) non-toy ideas and make it your gift for every party this year. Then, next year, select a different gift. You’ll never find yourself aimlessly wandering the toy aisle again. Why? Because I said so!

Gift certificates: Kids love the idea of having their own “money.” A gift card to the movies, ice cream shop or a favorite restaurant is always a hit. Picture frame: Have your child decorate a simple frame with a photo of your child and the birthday boy.

Angela Hibbard MOM Magazine Editor-in-Chief 5

something to smile about


Wonderful Water Water is important for your overall health, but did you know it also has powerful dental benefits? Here are a few reasons to reach for a glass of water. Cleans your mouth. By

Prevents staining. Foods

Reduces dry mouth. Saliva

rinsing away food particles

like berries and coffee can

is the first defense against

and sugar, water helps

stain your teeth if allowed

tooth decay. Dry mouth,

reduce your risk of decay.

to stay on your teeth for

when your saliva runs low,

Of course, you still need to

too long. Drinking water

can put you at risk for

brush and floss regularly

after eating or drinking

tooth decay. Drinking

but water goes a long way

these foods, and even

water helps reduce your

to making your smile

swishing water in your

risk of dry mouth.


mouth a few times, can help flush away the food’s stain-causing elements.

Na Xu, DDS, is a mother of two.


For more dental tips come visit us at Healthy Smiles Family Dental.

Brought to you by: Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry

2601 25th St., Suite 400, in Salem 503-689-8936

[ Momism #180:

Look with your eyes, not with your hands.




Salem Health delivers!

Pregnant? Schedule a prenatal appointment today!

• The most babies in the MidWillamette Valley • Both OB/GYNs and certified nurse-midwives • The only NICU in Marion and Polk counties

503-814-4480 7

smiling at people, self-soothing by sucking on his hand and even making those adorable cooing sounds. He may be doing some, all, or none of these things and still be perfectly on track. However, you should point out if your baby doesn’t turn his head toward sounds, smile or pay attention to faces. A lot will happen between that first check up and their next at six months. By this time they will recognize people and enjoy interacting. Their babbling will sound more like words and they will exhibit curiosity about objects and their surroundings. However, if your baby seems stiff (or floppy), is not affectionate and doesn’t show interest in people, you should mention that to the doctor. Early intervention can make a big difference if social and emotional milestones are not met.

Keeping up with the

KINDERGARTNERS Nothing makes a new—or even an experienced—parent nervous like comparing their child to others. In any setting, there’s always a bigger, smaller, quieter or more talkative tot and, given normal (but different) rates of development, the contrast can be concerning.


ortunately, the developmental markers established by the pediatric healthcare community are broad. Some children advance very quickly while others take their time to roll over, crawl, walk and verbalize. And that’s perfectly okay. Understanding the wide spectrum of achievement is important, as is knowing the signs that might be cause for concern. Even though they are still wee, your pediatrician will make initial assessments about your baby’s social and emotional benchmarks at their two-month check-up. At this age your baby might be

0 months

• Self soothing , Smiling at people • Making cooing sounds


2 months

It’s amazing how much a baby changes in the first year. They likely have favorite toys or activities; they show displeasure when mom or dad leave; and even if they’re not talking, they will be interacting with others who speak to them, using gestures. They may walk by this time—or just be champion crawlers! But if they’re not crawling or standing, doesn’t point to objects, or has lost skills they once had, it’s time to ask your doctor about seeing a specialist. At each checkup, baby’s doctor will ask about age-appropriate benchmarks and give parents a list of things to be watchful for. Between checkups, the most important thing is to enjoy the milestones as they come. They’re not little forever!

• Recognizes people • Babble sounds like words • Curious about objects

6 months

At six months, babies can recognize faces and people around them resulting in adorable smiles

Brought to you by: • Has favorite toys and activities • Recognizes people and can be sad when mom and dad leave • Interacts with people and making gestures

12 months 9

KRISTEN MARR RODRIGUEZ Cover MOM, Kristen Marr Rodriguez, is new to motherhood. She shares about adjusting to life with her sweet baby boy.

s t e G ! al e r

10 10

Her Family, Husband, Ryan Rodriguez, used car manager at Capitol Auto Group and son, Merrick, born in September. Photo credit: Joni Loraine Photography 11

Q& Who is MOM?


From Monmouth/ Independence area, recently moved to South Salem. PROFESSION:

Capitol Auto Group, new car department.

Family comes first. All families are unique. Tell us about yours. My husband, Ryan, and I were married July 7th, 2018 in Hawaii. We just had our first baby and have two dogs: Tank, a lab-rottweiler mix who's about 10 years old and Lucy, a blond cocker spaniel, who’s 12 years old. I have one brother who’s two years younger than me and lives in Roseburg with his wife and three little girls. Every family has their own traditions. How does your family celebrate birthdays or special occasions? We let whoever’s birthday it is pick where or what they want to eat, and my mom makes everyone their favorite dessert. My husband and I started to get away



for our birthdays. They are both in April, so we go somewhere the weekend in between them. A couple of years ago we went to San Diego for our birthdays (so I thought) but he ended up proposing to me down there. What is something you swore you would never do before kids that you now do? I never thought that it would be so hard to get out of the house to go anywhere. But now I’ll just stay home for days and wait until my husband gets home if I need to go do any errands. I used to not wear makeup on Sundays and now I go for days, if not weeks, at a time without makeup. Your biggest wish for your son is… I really hope that he enjoys school and sports. I can’t wait to go to watch him at games.

No one works harder than mom. We know that being a mom is a full-time job. Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. I’ve worked at Capitol Auto Group for seven years and that’s where I met my husband. How do you balance (or not) motherhood, activities, work, volunteering, household responsibilities, and life in general? Typically, what falls through the cracks? I haven’t really mastered balancing anything yet. I try to do laundry and clean the house while the baby’s sleeping. Running errands just doesn’t happen anymore. Tell us about a recent achievement you’re proud of, or a personal passion or talent. I used to really enjoy running, I’ve done a few marathons and half marathons. I hope to at least get back into running sometime soon. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? I would like to have one more child, preferably in about two years.

“I really hope that he enjoys school and sports. I can’t wait to go to watch him at games.” 13





If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. How did your upbringing shape the mother you are today? I had a great upbringing—my family is very close. We went on lots of family vacations. My brother and I were very active in sports and my parents made it to every game. My brother and I have always been very close and did everything together when we were younger. Most of my family on both sides lives in Monmouth and Independence so I got to see all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins a lot when I was young. Most of my husband’s family lives in Salem or nearby so Merrick will get to see everyone a lot too.




for MOM Tea or Coffee?

Dog or Cat?

Sweet or Savory?

Morning or Night?

Beer or Wine?

Hugs or Kisses?

What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you? Traveling at a young age. My parents always took us everywhere. They instilled good manners in us from the beginning, so they were never afraid to take us anywhere.

Summer or Winter?

Bath or Shower?

Ice cream or Chocolate?

Fly or Drive?

Math or English?


Gold or Silver?

Hot or Cold?


What is the quality you like most about yourself? My sense of humor.



Coffee Night

Summer Fly



Shower Math

Sweet Hugs

Early or Late?

Hot 15

How does it feel to be a Cover MOM? Strange. I hate attention and I’m so new at being a mom that I don’t have a lot to talk about yet.


Favorite… …family game: Cribbage. …way to get out of making dinner: I don’t cook, my husband does. I like to bake.


What is your greatest extravagance? Right now I might say my hair and nails.

[ Momism #139: Eat


your vegetables.


It is our intent to be nimble and adaptive in our response to the needs of women and children in our community, striving for lasting social change in our Mid-Valley region. Join us.


We are a philanthropic group of women who take action on important issues affecting women and children in our community. Join us every first Friday of each month at the United Way office for our Brown Bag Monthly Meeting.




WOMEN UNITED is a subsidiary of United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley | (503) 363-1651 | 17

on the road

Car trouble is never fun, especially if your car if full of kids. So play it safe this winter by following these tips for safe driving in winter conditions.



Check the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers. Keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir and check your antifreeze. HAVE KEY ITEMS ON HAND:

Keep a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone. STOPPED OR STALLED?

Stay in your car, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light. If you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm. PLAN YOUR ROUTE:

Brought to you by:

Allow plenty of time. Check the forecast and adjust your departure to avoid serious weather, if possible. Be familiar with the directions and let others know your route and arrival time.



1 Practice. During the daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot. 2 Drive slowly; accelerate, decelerate and turn slowly. 3 Steer into a skid. 4 Know what your brakes will do: stomp on anti lock brakes, pump on non-anti lock brakes.


5 Increase your stopping distances. 6 Don’t stop if you can avoid it. 7 Especially don’t stop going up a hill. Get some inertia on a flat road before you take on a hill and don’t power up a hill. Applying extra gas will start your wheels spinning. 8 Don’t idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. 9 Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t.

EXPERT TIP: We love this advice from a truck drivers’ training school: Watch the tire spray. If there's a lot of spray coming off others' tires, the roads are wet. If there's not as much spray but the roads look wet, take caution because they're beginning to freeze. And if the roads look wet but you don't see much spray, you're on ice, so be careful.

MEET SHELLY MORALES Shelly Morales has been with Capitol Auto Group for 19 years and works in the control office. She has two children: Jakob, age 16 and Madelyn, age 14, both of whom are set designers for their school theater. As a family, they enjoy hanging out at home, cooking and baking. Shelly loves working at Capitol because it’s like being part of a big family and it’s such a fun and easy-going atmosphere. 1-844-361-9185 Come see us at Capitol Auto Group to get your car road trip ready.

[ Momism #113:

Don't run in the house.




B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences Beaverton, Oregon 19


b L AC K H IS T ORY It’s important to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to U.S. History all year long, but in February—designated as Black History Month—we have an opportunity to recognize this history in a special way. Celebrate with your children by learning about the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to our collective history.

Here’s a selection of books you can read with your children. Some highlight historical figures, while others celebrate heartwarming stories of children of color.




1 6

4 5





1 The Quilt By Ann Jonas

5 Whoever You Are By Mem Fox

8 Teammates By Peter Golenbock

Age: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Recommended ages: 4 and up

Recommended ages: 6 and up

Publishers Weekly called this delightful book a “landmark in children’s literature.” Made from her old pajamas and curtains, a young girl’s new quilt inspires a dream adventure. The squares of the quilt become part of a dreamscape she enters into in order to find her lost stuffed dog. An ALA Notable Children’s Book

This book offers a preschooler-friendly introduction to the concepts of diversity and equality. Award-winning author, Mem Fox, tells little ones that wherever they are, whatever they look like, and no matter their customs, there are other kids like them all around the globe: "Joys are the same, and love is the same. Pain is the same, and blood is the same."

This book takes us back to 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. He was taunted and terrorized by baseball fans, opposing players, and even his own teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers. Historical photos and watercolor illustrations transport us to the fateful game when Pee Wee Reese, the Dodgers shortstop, embraced Robinson on the field as his teammate in front of a heckling crowd of spectators.

2 Amazing Grace By Mary

Hoffman (author) & Caroline Binch (illustrator)

Age: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader Grace loves to act, but one day some kids tell her she can’t play the part of Peter Pan because of the way she looks. Grace’s grandmother helps this young girl realize that, with effort, anything can be achieved. An inspiring and heartwarming story.

3 Bigmama’s By Donald Crews Age: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader Every year the narrator and his family take a trip down to Cottondale, Florida, to visit his grandmother, Bigmama. This autobiographical story recalls the joys of summer and the contrast between the author’s life in the city and Bigmama’s lush, rural home. While the illustrations suggest it was a period of segregation, this thought never overpowers the carefree summer celebration.

4 Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ​By Doreen Rappaport (author) and

Bryan Collier (illustrator)

Age: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.

6 Moses: When Harriet

Tubman Led Her People to Freedom By Carole Boston Weatherford

9 I Am Rosa Parks

Recommended ages: 5 and up

By Rosa Parks and James Haskins (authors) and Wil Clay (illustrator)

Introduce children to Harriet Tubman, the champion of the Underground Railroad who earned the nickname "Moses" for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom. Spirited text and paintings portray how Tubman's compassion, courage, and deep religious faith helped her lead 19 trips from the south to the north in order to help fellow African-Americans.

Age: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader The famous civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, has simplified her autobiography for young readers in this Puffin Easy-to-Read book. She describes how she was arrested for not giving up her bus seat and shows that her personal role was part of a wider political struggle.

7 Little Leaders and

10 Through My Eyes

By Vashti Harrison

Age: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Little Legends

Recommended age: 8 and up These beautifully-illustrated biographies celebrate exceptional black men and women in history.

By Ruby Bridges

Six-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African American to integrate an elementary school. Her memories of that year, when so much hatred was directed at her, makes for a powerful memoir. A 1999 Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are countless titles to explore with your family. So visit your local library to expand your knowledge of Black History. Book summaries adapted from, and 21

Birthday cakes to remember The Rad Baker, Destiny Garcia, shares her insider tips for creating memorable birthday cakes. Fun with fondant The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your next birthday masterpiece. Fondant is such a versatile cake-decorating tool. It can be used to cover cakes or make great little cake toppers. I personally call fondant grown-up Play-Doh because it can be so much fun to create different decorations that fit your theme. Cookie cutters and molds can be used to cut out a base for your fondant or gumpaste decorations., and your local craft store are great resources for decorating supplies.

To create this Baby Shark-themed cake I used a Play-Doh set. How could I resist, right? Pair this with shell molds and you have an under-the-sea masterpiece!


If you’re not the most confident baker, that’s okay! Here are some helpful tips to help you succeed: Before you get started, be sure to read the recipe thoroughly. Baking is a science, so be sure to understand the directions.

Unicorn cuteness Pirate’s booty

You can have a swashbuckling time with this pirate theme by pairing decorative molds with things you can find at the grocery store, like gold coins.

Flower and horn molds are a great way to create unicorn cupcakes or—the little sister— unicorn cake pops.

Room temperature is best for your ingredients. Let your items such as eggs, butter and milk sit out on your counter for a couple of hours prior to baking. Correct measurements are very important! My advice? Before you start mixing, make sure you have all your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go. I use this practice in all of my baking. Want a box cake to taste like it came from the bakery? Follow the directions on the box but add an extra egg, use melted butter instead of oil, and replace the water for milk. And don’t be afraid to add a little flavoring like a teaspoon of vanilla or a touch of almond extract. Greasing your pans is an important step! Butter is best, but a 1:1:1 ratio of oil, flour, and shortening (otherwise known as “cake goop”) is also great. And if your cake doesn’t release entirely from the pan, no worries! Wrap that cake up and freeze for cake pops later. 23

Check it out

Checker board technique

There are many different ways to create a fun birthday cake but one of my favorites is the checkerboard technique. And you can do this without having to buy expensive, fancy pan sets. All you need is some circle cutters that you can find at your local craft store. The one I use is by Celebrate Arts sold at Michaels stores. The largest of these circles start at 5 inches, which is perfect for a cake that is 8 inches. I used 6 inch round cakes that I colored pink and purple, with one layer having some fun sprinkles it. Start by cutting two circles out of every cake layer. When assembling, place a different color circle in each cake round until they are complete.

Craft store circle cutters.


What’s really cool about this technique is the reveal when you cut into your cake—it will have checkerboard appearance. And because I used three different colors instead of two, it added a little more dimension to the inside of the cake. Beautiful, isn’t it? And it’s super fun when creating cakes such as unicorns, mermaids, or lumberjack themes. Give it a try using different flavors and colors. It will be a hit at your next party!

Assemble the cut rings alternating the colors

Thanks to The Rad Baker, Destiny Garcia, for these creative cake-decorating tips and images. For more cake-decorating inspiration check out The Rad Baker on social media. @theradbaker

Voila! The big reveal 24

[ Momism #73: How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tasted it? ] Schedule with us today! 503-814-4400

Looking for a kid-friendly pediatrician?

Get better coordination between doctors, specialists, and more by choosing Salem Health as your child’s medical home. Salem Health Medical Clinics offer: • Pediatricians • Family doctors • Online video appointments • Medical advice hotline • Urgent care • Specialists

We have you covered in Keizer and West Salem.

Summer Camp

Type 1 Diabetes: June 23 - 26 Session C: July 12 - 17 Session A: June 28 - July 3 Session D: July 19 - 24 Session E: July 26 - 31 Session B: July 5 - 10

Spend a week lakeside in Central Oregon!

Ages 8-14

Session F: August 2 - 7 Session G: August 9 - 14 Session H: August 16 - 21 25

Smile. It’s good for you. SCIENCE SHOWS that smiling

increases health and happiness. That’s right, the simple act of smiling has been shown to boost your mood. This is due to the interaction between physiology and emotions in the body. When you do things that are typically associated with happiness or silliness, like smiling, laughing or shaking your rump, the feedback your body receives connects it with the usual pleasant emotions and makes you feel better. Go ahead and try it. You’ll find that even if you don’t feel like smiling, your mood will start to improve if

Castilla Orthodontics

503-399-0721 434 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem

you continue to smile. You can’t help it. Of course, this mechanism works the other way, too. If you have a sour facial expression, or hold your body in a posture associated with depression, you are more likely to experience feelings of sadness. If you find yourself grimacing or hunching over in a defensive posture, switch to a smile and an open, welcoming body posture and watch your mood soar. Call us today to learn how you can enhance your smile and improve your overall health.

Ana Castilla, DDS, MS is a board-certified, Oregon-based orthodontist. She is passionate about helping patients attain their perfect smile, so they can live their lives to the fullest!

r o f g n Cari ies

il m a f g growin

5 2 9 1 e c sin






What to consider when planning an all-inclusive family vacation:

beach vacations OF ALL THE VACATIONS you can take with your family, nothing is quite like an all-inclusive beach vacation to make everyone happy. The right all-inclusive resort can fulfill all of your needs and be the easiest vacation ever! There are huge differences in quality at all-inclusive resorts even though the photos on the websites all look beautiful. Here are my top choices.

Club Med Cancun Yucatan Club Med was the innovator of the all-inclusive concept and now has over 60 “villages” in locations around the world, from ski mountains to exotic beaches. Club Med claimed the best location in Cancun over 40 years ago spread over 22 acres. Only registered guests are allowed on the grounds and it is very secure. They have three distinct beach areas: a huge powder-white sand beach, a beach with a coral reef for snorkeling, and a watersports beach. A large lagoon in the middle of the resort is used for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Club Med is a French company and there are many European guests. They have amazing French chefs, which gives it a multicultural atmosphere. If you ask my active family where they want to go on vacation they all shout, “Club Med Cancun.” During our visits we love to play tennis, take windsurfing lessons, go sailing, paddle kayaks, learn new dances, play beach volleyball and soccer, try new foods, go to their amazing parties and brave the “Flying Trapeze.” Of course, you are free to lounge on a sunbed while the staff bring you tropical beverages. There is no pressure to purchase extras and tipping is not expected, so there is no need to carry money.

Donnita and her family enjoying the white, sandy beaches of Club Med, Cancun.


Club Med Punta Cana & Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Domincan Republic If you want to go to the Caribbean, it is only 10 minutes from the Punta Cana airport to Club Med Punta Cana. This location features CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil which is an interactive playground featuring talented instructors teaching acrobatics and circus skills. They have endless activities for kids and you can check in your little ones while you escape to the Zen Oasis for grown-up relaxation and fun. If you want a really upscale experience, you can go to the brand-new, eco-chic Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda which is about 75 minutes from the Punta Cana airport. There are also Club Med Villages in Florida; Ixtapa, Mexico; the Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Martinique and an adult-only village in the Turks & Caicos. The one thing that sets the Club Med Experience apart from all other vacations is their amazing staff called G.O.s (Gracious Organizers). The G.O.s are the key to the Club Med experience. They are hand-picked from around the world and must possess many skills including a warm, friendly and fun-loving attitude which is contagious.

Some resorts start with a lower price and then try to upsell you with lots of extras and surcharges. Tipping is expected at some resorts and not allowed at others.


Make sure there is something for all ages and interests in your family.


Do you want to leave to visit other sights? If so, how easy is it to get to them?


Who do you want to spend your vacation with?


How important are meals to you? Do you want multiple gourmet restaurants? Do you want to dress up and make dinner reservations, or be more casual?

Vacation MOM, Donnita Bassinger, lives in Eugene with her husband and three boys. She has been a travel agent for 30 years and is the owner of VIP Vacations, Inc. Donnita is a Club Med Certified Travel Expert and would be happy to help plan your family’s all-inclusive vacation. Contact Donnita for more information 541-913-5272. @VacationMOM 27

Under pressure Instant

Pot favs

By Angela Hibbard, MOM Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Instant Pot ® novice.

I’M NOT AN EARLY ADOPTER. In fact, if I finally embrace a new technology, style or fad, it’s a sure sign that it’s on the way out. So I was certainly not the first mom to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon. While everyone else claimed the Instant Pot was changing their lives, I was holding firm to my crock pot. We’d had a long and happy relationship and I didn’t have room (literally, no cabinet space) for a new appliance in my life... But when my rice cooker gave out and I learned that I could cook rice in the Instant Pot, I suddenly had the justification I needed: swapping one appliance for another was cabinet-space neutral. A few days later a giant box was at my doorstep. Several days after that, it was still in the box staring me down from the dining room table. I would not be defeated by an appliance but, I must admit, I was a little intimidated—okay, terrified—to get started. It’s been a few months now and I am by no means an expert, but I am a convert. I’m still a complete Instant Pot neophyte but, after some experimentation, our family definitely has some Instant Pot favorites.

Instant Pot makes the best rice, hands down

Unlike a crock pot, which requires planning ahead, the Instant Pot will save your rear when you get home at the end of the day and nothing’s planned for dinner.

Extra Nice


It turns out that the Instant Pot makes the best rice. In fact, I use it for this function so often that I’ve even considered getting a second Instant Pot to dedicate to rice-making. Rice is also a low-stakes way of initially experimenting with your Instant Pot if you’re a little intimidated like I was.

For white rice use a 1:1 ratio

of rice to water. Thoroughly rinse the rice before adding it to the Instant Pot. Add water, a splash of olive oil and a dash of salt. Stir to combine making sure that all of the rice is in the water. Ensure that the valve is in the Seal position, then select the Rice setting on your Instant Pot and wait for the best rice you’ve ever had.

Brown rice is even better.

Using the Sauté function, add a tablespoon of olive oil; a small onion, finely chopped; a dash of salt and rice. Sauté for 3-4 minutes to toast the rice and onion before adding water using a 1:1.25 ratio of rice to water. Cook on High pressure for 22 minutes.

For both brown and white rice let pressure naturally

release for 10 minutes before turning the valve to the venting position to release the rest of the pressure.


Red Beans and Rice This simple recipe is a huge hit in our house. Technically it’s a side dish, but we throw it on a plate with some salad or veggies and call it dinner. Warning: there are never any leftovers. INGREDIENTS

3 bacon slices, chopped into ¼ inch pieces 1 onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 large pinches of cayenne 1 cup long-grain white rice 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper DIRECTIONS

Select Sauté to preheat Instant Pot. Once hot, add bacon and cook until lightly crisp. Remove and set aside. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more until onion is translucent. Add cayenne and bacon and stir. Add the rice, beans and broth and stir. Season with salt and pepper and secure lid. Select Manual and cook at high temperature for 5 minutes. Once cooking is complete, use natural release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Source: The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, Laurel Randolph

Due to its cult-like following, there are countless social media groups and websites dedicated to the Instant Pot that offer more advice and recipes than you could ever need. 29

Under pressure Instant

Pot favs

Lentil Rice Soup

Minestrone Soup

This is another family favorite that’s perfect for chilly winter evenings or thrown into a Thermos en route to a ball game.

This soup makes an almost weekly appearance at our house. It’s easily adapted depending on what’s in your pantry. No potatoes? No problem. Substitute frozen spinach for kale, if needed, or swap out cannellini beans with red kidney beans.


1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped


2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

3 medium carrots, chopped

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

3 stalks celery, chopped

6 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves, garlic, minced

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup uncooked rice, rinsed well

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Sour cream (optional)

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes


2 russet potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

Press Sauté; heat oil in Instant Pot ®. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add salt, herbes de Provence and pepper; cook and stir 30 seconds. Stir in broth, lentils and rice; mix well.

4 cups vegetable broth

Secure lid and move pressure release valve to Seal position. Press Manual; cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

When cooking is complete, use natural release for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure. Stir in parsley. Top with sour cream, if desired. Source: Instant Pot ® Favorite Recipes

It’s certainly possible to make unhealthy dishes in the Instant Pot, but I find that simple dishes my family would have previously rejected —soups, beans, vegetables—are now welcome since they are loaded with flavor.

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 can diced tomatoes Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional DIRECTIONS

Press Sauté; heat oil in Instant Pot. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper and red pepper flakes; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in potatoes, broth, beans and tomatoes; mix well. Secure lid and move pressure valve to Sealing position. Press Manual; cook at high pressure for 3 minutes. When cooking is complete, press Cancel and use quick release. Stir in kale. Secure lid and move pressure release valve to Sealing position. Press Manual; cook at High pressure for 2 minutes. When cooking is complete, use natural release for 5 minutes, then release the remaining pressure. Serve with cheese, if desired. Source: Instant Pot ® Favorite Recipes



At Childhood Health, our approach to your child’s health starts with a focus on mother/baby wellness and lactation consulting. Then, we provide ongoing developmental, nutritional, and preventive care and advice for you and your child.


Salem & Silverton. Now Accepting New Patients!

As a locally-owned 5-star* pediatric clinic, our goal is to help every parent raise a healthy baby, who becomes a healthy child, and then a healthy, well-adjusted, teen. So, no matter if it’s your child’s first birthday or their sixteenth, we want every one to be a celebration of health. (503) 364-2181 Salem: 891 23rd Street NE (& D Street)

Silverton: 450 Welch St. (Next to Hospital)

*Certified 5-Star by Oregon’s Patient-Centered Primary Care Program which recognizes clinics statewide for offering quality patient-centered primary care. 31

263 29th Avenue SW | Albany, OR 97322 541-926-0353 | 541-926-1515 fax |

The views, information and content in this magazine are not that of the organization that may have provided MOM Magazine to readers as a courtesy. MOM Magazine and its distributors assume no liability for the contents or events arising out of its distribution.


Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico

Cancún Yucatán, Mexico

Club Med Cancún Yucatán and Club Med Ixtapa Pacific are designed for the perfect family getaway. Enjoy an extensive array of water and land sports, top-ranked Children’s Clubs ranging from 4 months to 17 years, and an authentic Mexican dining experience. At Club Med, families will disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other. Check-in to the time of your lives and check-out with memories that last a lifetime. Contact Vacation MOM Donnita Bassinger at (541) 913-5272 to plan your Club Med vacation. 32

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.