A trip down memory lane & 2 polls

1. The Ivory Coast is one of the greatest producers of cocoa beans in the world.

Little known fact: Ava still hasn’t had any chocolate. Unless you count the one time I let her lick my spoon, from my ice cream. She’s just so sweet, she doesn’t need any added sugar! Just look… she came home from the hospital that way:

2. Staples of the Ivory Coast diet include grains – like rice and millet, and tubers – like cassava and yams.

Ava’s staples include noodles and rice. But if she could, she’d eat a diet of pure chicken. All day, every day. In the beginning, Ava was a little more vocal about her needs:

3. I’m pretty sure motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Love it. Love her. Love life.


  1. Jessica Bennett says

    I think your website should include whatever feels right at the time. If you find extra interesting tidbits about a country, let us know. If something important is going on in your life, tell us. If you want to rant about something, go for it. I wouldn’t add extra things just for the sake of it- that could cause unnecessary stress if you feel like you have to do something.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thanks Jessica! I know what you mean about being too routined, but sometimes the structure frees me up to be creative… weird, but that’s usually how I operate πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle says

    I love your site, and I don’t think you should change what you post based on us, the readers. Too much structure, and it may start feeling like a chore. I like the mix of your personal life, the food, the countries. Which is why the site is one of my favorites.

    If you were to add anything, I would like another tab at the top with a listing of the recipes alphabetically by recipe. That way a reader could look at the list and think, “that sounds good for dinner tonight” without having to go country by country. It may be too much of a challenge to hyperlink them, but to have each entry as “Name of Recipe, Country” makes it easy to know where to find them.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I totally agree with the recipe link idea. I’ve started to categorize the recipes and will definitely integrate this idea. I can’t believe how many recipes there are now! And to think I cooked and ate them all…. it boggles my mind lol.

  3. Everything is perfect…The only thing you should change if you can, is getting more rest….forget the magazines and other extracurricular activities. focus on the blog and Ava (you would have to cook every day anyway) and let the chips fall where they may. Ava’a years will go by soooooo fast…and the magazines, etc will still be there and your blog will continue to be perfect ….When you get to Z you will have a heart full of pride in a job well done.

    I love you.

    Just a mom’s love here…

    PS Cut back or eliminate the wine…it takes a lot out of you…everyone is different…I can see you don’t need it….neither do I….

  4. ooooh – Micelle’s suggestion about an alpha listing or cross-reference of recipes is excellent…I was thinking the same thing when I tried to find a pasta recipe. It would be a lot of work…mabe you could hire someone to do it as you go along. An index would really make the blog totally user friendly…..

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m actually very close to implementing it – before Christmas, I think…

  5. I agree with all of the above, except for the wine. This isn’t to say that mom doesn’t know what’s best for you; but I think if a recipe calls for wine, you should keep it there and it will be up to everybody to either use it or replace it with broth or water.
    You are doing a wonderful job, and whether you change anything or not, I am sure I will be with you to the end.
    By that time, Ava will be talking up a storm!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ha ha Rike…. the wine will stay in the food, no worries there. πŸ™‚

  6. Aunty eileen says

    Good Morning Sasha:

    To give some input to your question: “what would you like to see in this website?”… After reading your reviews on Monday of each dish (with picture of the completed dish)….there are times I am enticed to want to try one of them.

    But, for me, even the ones I wouldn’t make myself…I still like very much seeing your detailed description with wonderful pictures how to make the dish…very nice and even helpful for other recipes I make and leaves in my memory a good visual how to prepare the particular recipe you are making and that I may want to try.

    But, I would also like to see the complete recipe, without pictures, (ingredients & how to prepare with hints & even pros and cons) of each dish that I could quickly ‘cut & paste’ for the ones I would like to try.

    Regarding Michelle’s good idea… I would like to search for recipes by ‘type’… salads, deserts, etc.

    God Bless you Sasha… you are doing an unbelievably fabulous job and since you look for input… you will figure out how to best continue this ‘long wonderful adventure’ you are creating and taking…. we are with ya and thanks for the opportunity to join you on your journey!

    Love from aunty eileen

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thank you so much Aunty Eileen. Another great idea! I do need to find a way to put printables. I will put this on my list of to-do’s. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  7. I’d love to know more about what you feed ava when she doesn’t eat your meals! They are all so adventurous. Do you ever cave and give her some comfort food when she’s refusing what’s in front of her?

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ha ha… I like to think I’m pretty consistent with her. There are two exceptions… if the food is too spicy or too “hard/crunchy” – she still doesn’t have any side teeth so she can’t eat the salads and so forth (although she will eat some cucumber. Then, I’ll supplement the meal with food she can eat. But, there’s usually something she can enjoy.

      As far as our normal meals – she’s expected to eat her dinner – I’m not in the business of making a different meal for everyone. If she’s not hungry enough, she can go play until she is. This works really well for us and she’s becoming a great eater because of our consistency and not giving in. I should add, this is never a negative thing – going to play until hungry eliminates the battle and keeps meal time a good experience. πŸ™‚

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