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"Just because you are a mom, doesn't mean you still aren't you!" - Ashley Palicki

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

My name is Ashley Palicki and I am from Bowling Green, but currently live in the cute little town of Holland. I dabbled in college and wasted a lot of money for about six years, "majoring" in everything from Event Planning to Psychology. I love to learn, but I just couldn't get focused enough because I already had a well-paying job at Wood County Hospital. While I enjoyed my job, I knew that my true passion was having a lot of kids and being a stay-at-home mom.

My vision for the future came true seven years ago when I have birth to my first daughter. I instantly knew this what I was meant to do. I LOVED being a mom. I loved being a mom so much that I decided to have two more kids within the next two years. To the outside world (aka social media) my life looked glamorous – mothering adorable children, shopping, looking marvelous, and always having a warm home cooked meal ready for my husband when he got home from work. But as we all know, being a wife and mother is at times anything but glamorous!

The first few years were pretty great, I was getting adjusted to mom life, so I didn't really expect too much out of myself. However, these last few years have been some of the most challenging. As a woman who had worked for 10 years and was very independent, becoming a stay at home mom of three little girls all within a year of each other was tough. You go from thinking only about yourself to thinking about everyone else BUT you.

So in 2016, I decided I had to do something for ME. I started taking pictures of the food I was making for my family and explained on social media about how I made it. It was here that I discovered my passion for cooking. Every time I cook, I feel happy, empowered, and totally myself – and I wanted other women to feel like I do. Every woman has that something that brings them real joy. Cooking brings me joy. I love how it empowers me and inspires me to help other women feel the same.

I decided I was going to start my own business somehow, someway - I was going to make this cooking thing work for me! It just felt right in my soul. And so, my Busy Mama Meals food blog was born. It has become my mission for moms to know that making a meal for your family doesn't have to be fancy or take hours.

I wanted to focus on creating easy, simple solutions for busy mothers like me. The moms that suffer the daily struggle of a home cooked meal vs. fast food. The moms that have that mom guilt when they order a pizza because their work meeting ran later than anticipated (no judgement here!). And the moms that just hate to cook but know that their kids can’t survive on PB&J and Pop-Tarts.

Since launching Busy Mama Meals, I have become more connected with women and my own self than ever before. Just because you are a mom, doesn't mean you still aren't YOU! We are allowed to dream. We are allowed to have goals outside of our kids and partners!

Without the leagues of women I know in our area who show constant and unrelenting support to other women, I am not so sure I would have had the guts to chase my dreams. There are so many incredible women in our Toledo community and I feel so proud to be a part of it!

Ashley Palicki runs a food blog, Busy Mama Meals. You may see her showing her cooking skills on WTOL To contact Ashley or to view her recipes, visit her website.

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